Diploma of Health Science

Get your first taste of the science behind complementary medicine

ACNT’s Diploma of Health Science will help you take your first steps in the world of holistic medicine. If you want a taste of study before starting a full degree, or just want to expand your personal knowledge, this course could be for you.

The one-year diploma covers the foundations you need for further study in complementary medicine.

You will choose a specialisation in one of three areas:

  • naturopathy
  • nutritional medicine
  • western herbal medicine.

You will also study the biological and social sciences essential for all healthcare professionals. These disciplines support your study of holistic medicine. You will learn how a healthy body functions, how to communicate effectively with clients, and the role of research and evidence-based practice in complementary medicine.

The Diploma of Health Science is an approved health science degree recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). As a graduate, you will be provided the basic academic and practical skills for further study or a rewarding career in the broader complementary medicine industry.

CRICOS CODE
084580B

What you'll learn:

Course Delivery

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Workload and Assessment

Typical assessment includes:

In each subject you will generally complete 2-5 assessments. Assessments are designed to meet specific subject learning outcomes and may include written assignments, learning portal activities and practical demonstrations.

Subject Information

In this subject, students undertake a detailed and in-depth study of the macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates and lipids, and how these relate to human metabolism. Each individual macronutrient is studied in regards to their composition, biological function, dietary sources, recommended daily intake, factors contributing to excess states, and states of insufficiency and deficiency; and signs and symptoms associated with nutrient imbalances . This subject is a foundational subject across the degrees of Nutritional Medicine, Naturopathy and Western Herbal Medicine as it provides students with fundamental knowledge associated with human metabolism, and begins to build an understanding of the importance of nutrition in relation to human physiology and health.

This subject explores the historical and philosophical paradigm of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that underpins clinical practice and examines a range of different modalities currently practised in Australia. This subject aims to provide the clinical practitioner with a sound knowledge and understanding of the history, philosophy and science of CAM with particular emphasis on naturopathy, nutritional medicine and western herbal medicine. During the trimester students will have the opportunity to observe complementary and alternative medicine practice within the college clinic to further their understanding of how natural medicine history and philosophy under-pins current clinical practice.

Research & Evidence Based Practice (BHS107A) provides essential knowledge in research methods and research article evaluation for complementary medicine students. This subject introduces the fundamentals of research practice and methods for the natural therapies including research design, methodology, analysis and basic statistical skills. This subject provides the student with the proficiency to be able to appropriately read, analyse and evaluate current healthcare research.

Anatomy and Physiology 3 (BHS106A) builds and expands on the study of anatomy and physiological concepts introduced in Anatomy and Physiology 1 (BHS101A) & 2 (BHS104A). This subject continues to investigate the structure and function of the human body with special attention given to the interaction between tissues, organs and systems that maintain homeostasis. The structure and function of the digestive, endocrine, urinary and reproductive systems are covered in detail including the homoeostatic control mechanisms of each system and the integration of the systems in the body.

This subject is vital in the education of healthcare practitioners to enable them to understand the structure and function of the human body as well as the importance of homeostasis and the ways in which the body maintains balance.

Biochemistry 1 (BHS105A) is a core subject that builds upon the basic chemistry principles covered in Bioscience (BHS102A). It comprises an introduction to the basic biochemical compounds in the body. This subject includes the structure and function of carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, enzymes, lipids and nucleic acid, DNA and RNA. The concept of gene expression and regulation is discussed in addition to cellular membrane structure and transport through the membrane.

This subject provides a vital foundation for the complementary healthcare practitioner in the basic macromolecules essential for life. This knowledge will be built upon and expanded on in Biochemistry 2 (BHS202A) and further therapeutic subjects

Anatomy and Physiology 2 (BHS104A) builds and expands on the information and skills learnt in Anatomy and Physiology 1 (BHS101A). This subject continues to investigate the structure and function of the human body with special attention given to the interaction between tissues, organs and systems that maintain homeostasis. The structure and function of the respiratory, cardiovascular, immune, lymphatic and special senses systems are covered in detail including the homoeostatic control mechanisms of each system and the integration of the systems in the body.

The study of Anatomy and Physiology 2 (BHS104A) is vital in the education of healthcare practitioners to enable them to understand the structure and function of the human body as well as the importance of homeostasis and the ways in which the body maintains balance.

Counselling & Communication Skills (BHS103A) encompasses counselling skills commonly needed by complementary and alternative healthcare practitioners. This subject comprises a practical approach to a variety of communication skills and strategies including promoting change, compliance, obstacles to change, systems, transition and self-care. Sessions facilitate the development of effective listening and responding skills, increased personal awareness and insight in order to assist the building of a therapeutic relationship.

This subject is vital in the education of all complementary healthcare practitioners, as it enables them to understand and put into use communication skills essential for building a therapeutic relationship in practice and supporting clients through change.

Bioscience (BHS102A) provides a foundational knowledge for further studies in anatomy and physiology, clinical nutrition, biochemistry and pharmacology. It comprises the study of relevant concepts of general, physical and organic chemistry and includes atomic theory, the periodic table, chemical compound structure, nomenclature, behaviour and bonding as well as organic compounds and their basic properties and reactions.

Bioscience (BHS102A) is a crucial component of the modern healthcare practitioner’s education in order to provide the basic building blocks for structural and therapeutic knowledge.

Anatomy and Physiology 1 (BHS101A) introduces the basic concepts and terminologies required to study and understand the structure and function of the human body. The interaction between tissues, organs and systems that maintain homeostasis is covered in detail. In addition, this subject covers the structure and function of cells and epithelial tissue, the internal structural anatomy of the human body and the integumentary and musculoskeletal systems.

This subject is vital in the education of all complementary health practitioners, as it enables them to understand the structure and function of the human body as well as the importance of homeostasis and the ways in which the body maintains this balance.

This subject builds on WHM Materia Medica 1 (CAM202A). It explores WHM materia medica relating to the nervous, urinary, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, female and male reproductive systems by learning the common name, botanical name, origin, plant family, active constituents, qualities, part used, actions, indications, preparation, dose, cautions, contraindications and interaction of each herb.

This subject builds on herbal medicine concepts introduced in Botany (CAM102A) and Herbal Medicine Manufacturing (CAM105A). It introduces the student to WHM materia medica and herbal medicine concepts. Introductory herbal medicine theories are explored including discussion of herbal medicine origins, contemporary use of herbal medicine, herbal medicine language and terminology and differences between traditional and scientific evidence based medicine. Students will explore herbal medicine materia medica relating to the digestive, integumentary, immune and respiratory systems, by learning the common name, botanical name, origin, plant family, active constituents, qualities, part used, actions, indications, preparation, dose, cautions, contraindications and interaction of each herb.

Botany is the first subject in the stream of herbal medicine. It introduces students to the study of plant biology. Plant nomenclature, classification and identification are discussed with special regard to relevance for the study of Western herbal medicine. Students may participate in field trips and walks to enhance their learning.

This subject builds on basic nutritional knowledge from Nutritional foundations 1 and 2 CAM103A & CAM203A. It aims to provide an understanding of the sociology of food, nutrition and health together with an understanding of the theory and practice of community and public health nutrition.

This subject examines the way in which food is produced, processed and distributed in Australia. It provides students with an understanding of current practices and trends in primary production and food manufacturing and distribution. It also examines the laws governing food for sale and the politics of the food system.

In this subject, students undertake a detailed and in-depth study of the micronutrients which includes water- and fat-soluble vitamins and minerals and how these relate to human metabolism. This subject provides students with underpinning knowledge in relation to the correlation that exists between micronutrients and human physiology. Each individual micronutrient is studied in regards to structure, biological function, dietary sources, recommended daily intake and therapeutic doses. Also included are factors contributing to, and symptoms associated with, states of excess, insufficiency and deficiency. An introduction to nutrition throughout the lifespan completes this unit.