Western Herbal Medicine has been practiced by many cultures for thousands of years and is derived from European and Anglo-American traditions. A contemporary Western Herbal Medicine (WHM) practitioner understands the history and philosophy of herbal practice and is trained to formulate individualised herbal prescriptions using medicinal plants from around the world. An evidence-based practice approach is taken to incorporate traditional knowledge, research and scientific evidence in prescribing decisions.
Herbalists require a deep knowledge of health science, clinical assessment, pharmacology, herbal synergy, quality and safety issues that affect prescribing decisions.

Herbal medicines may be prescribed for a variety of conditions in the form of liquid extracts, infusions, powders, tablets, capsules or external preparations.  Professional Herbalists also provide basic dietary and lifestyle advice demonstrating a holistic approach to healthcare.

A Torrens University graduate is capable of providing preventative, chronic disease and complex health plans across the life-stages using western herbal medicines as the primary therapeutic agent. This three-year accredited degree is the highest level of western herbal medicine training available in Australia.

Learning outcomes:

  • Perform and practice as a professional practitioner, leader and team member, being accountable to all underlying moral, ethical, legal and professional principles and best practice.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of human biology, structure and function as it relates to disease manifestation, health maintenance and naturopathic/WHM intervention.
  • Interpret physiological, nutritional, complementary, and alternative medicine (CAM) data in order to apply scientific reasoning to the development of solutions to a range of complex health problems.
  • Independently exercise judgment to assess, diagnose, formulate and accurately record and communicate therapeutic treatment plans with regard to holistic and integrative naturopathic / WHM principles and theories to address health related problems.
  • Advocate for naturopathic / WHM focused health interventions addressing a range of contemporary global health issues, drawing on learning’s from the past, current practice and future innovations.
  • Apply research and digital literacy skills and knowledge to form an evidence-based approach towards professional practice.
  • Demonstrate the ability to collect, synthesise and evaluate data, and then effectively communicate outcomes and solutions appropriately across culturally diverse groups, patients or other health professionals.
  • Develop, establish, and manage professional relationships to enhance patient care, professional development and industry relevance.
  • Embed a commitment to social justice, diversity and human rights as a global naturopathic / WHM professional practitioner.

Career outcomes

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Health Science (Western Herbal Medicine) degree, there are a number of career opportunities available to you:

  • Private practice
  • Complementary and multi-modality clinics
  • Health retreats and day spas
  • Community Education
  • Research
  • Product development
  • Corporate health consultancy
  • Corporate roles in regulatory affairs, sales & marketing
  • Writing for health journals, textbooks and media

Industry Recognition

Our Bachelor of Health Science (WHM) degree is nationally and government recognised, designed to meet the professional requirements of the following industry bodies:

  • ARONAH (Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists)
  • ANTA (Australian Natural Therapists Association)
  • NHAA (Naturopaths & Herbalists Association of Australia)
  • CMA (Complementary Medicine Association)

Students may also be eligible to join:

  • AIMA (Australian Integrative Medicine Association)
  • ATMS (Australian Traditional Medicine Society)

We are career-focused and industry connected

  • Blended course delivery including face to face and flexible online study options (some coursework must be completed face to face to meet industry requirements)
  • Strong health science grounding including biological sciences and diagnostics as well as health assessment and holistic diagnosis
  • Gain a solid foundation in holistic philosophy and develop therapeutic skills to effectively treat a range of conditions and common health problems
  • Choose an elective pathway to suit your future career goals
  • Learn from practitioners – our lecturers are real industry and clinical experts
  • Clinical practicum experience – see real clients under supervision from experienced practitioners in The Practice Wellbeing Centre
  • Build student confidence and capability via an immersive clinical experience and work integrated learning opportunities
  • Course designed to meet industry requirements

Why study with us:

Our health science courses are offered at our colleges ACNT (Sydney or Brisbane) and SSNT (Melbourne) with nearly 100 years of combined history between them.

Torrens University Australia is here for good!

Here for Good is the spirit of Laureate International Universities. As the largest global network of higher education institutions, of which Torrens University Australia is a member, we’re united by a belief in the power of education to change lives. In addition, we’re serious about making an enduring commitment to the communities we serve. To us, this is about purpose and permanence. This is what we mean by Here for Good.

We believe society is best served when our students, faculty, and our entire organization, use our collective skills and experience to create positive and lasting change. Our students and graduates are improving lives and making our world better. Our institutions are providing the critical skills, knowledge and support to help make this happen.

At Torrens University Australia, contributing to the community through our student’s learning and development is part of what we do.

We FLIP the Classroom

The Bachelor of Health Science is designed around the principles of the ‘flipped classroom’ allowing you to learn through doing, not just through listening. The flipped classroom model provides you with the opportunity to explore material at your own pace before class. This might involve reading articles or texts, watching presentations or listening to podcasts. Rather than just listening to a lecturer for an hour or more, you’ll come to class ready having read through or listened to the subject material.

Guided by an expert in the field, you will then find a much more interactive and collaborative environment in which to consolidate and apply learning concepts.

  • Our students practice in University provided student-led on-campus clinics
  • Work integrated learning is embedded to create an immersive learning environment
  • Work experience opportunities are offered in key subjects
  • Our academics are current industry practitioners
  • Industry contributes to our course development

We want you to succeed

We provide a personalised learning experience by providing support to suit your needs:

  • Success Coaches: working with you to increase motivation, improve employability and provide an in-depth understanding of your natural talents.
  • PASS program (Peer-Assisted Study Scheme): One hour of dedicated time to study – run by students for students! It is a causal, safe environment for students to ask questions, have concepts explained, get study tips from experienced students and gain guidance with assessments.
  • Academic skills support: If you need help with assignment writing, referencing, time management, or any other academic-related aspect of your studies then the Academic Skills Support team can help.
  • Learning Technology support: if you have any questions about your online learning management system.
  • We care about your success: we value the importance of a positive student experience, and therefore have robust processes to resolve student complaints. The Student Complaints Policy, and associated procedures (as well as all policies and procedures), can be accessed from your student portal.
  • We have a strong history

Benefit from the knowledge and experience we have acquired from nearly 60 years of educating and empowering health students. Our courses are designed to arm you with the best possible theoretical understanding and practical skills to achieve your professional goals. Our courses are developed and delivered by industry-experienced lecturers who use real life examples from their clinical experience combined with resources that have been developed within the Laureate International Universities network.

  • We have small class sizes

Get direct and personalised access to our industry-experienced learning facilitators, through small class sizes and valuable one-to-one interactions, regardless of whether you study online or on campus.

  • We offer Dynamic Online Learning

Dynamic Online Learning mode means you can achieve success in your own time. We provide on-demand access to your course materials and content so you can study whenever it’s convenient to you. Because this is a clinical health qualification, your course will combine online and on-campus study to provide you with the best skills and knowledge for your future career.

  • Access our national campus network

Whether you study on campus or online, you can access state-of-the-art campuses in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.  There are no more boring classrooms, instead, we have designed our learning spaces to promote collaboration and engagement, and they’re located in convenient and vibrant inner city neighbourhoods.

Fast-track your career

We operate on a trimester system which means you can focus on less subjects per study period while completing a full year’s study load, a better use of your time!

                        Feel engaged with industry

  • We engage in robust dialogue with local, national and global businesses, industries and associations with the goal of creating better graduate outcomes for our We believe education should reflect the realities of industry, as well as the development of global perspectives. Integrating relevant insights and desirable skill sets through our active conversations with industry allows us to remain dynamic and evolve with the needs of the modern workplace.
  • We also invite industry onto campus for lunch time and after hour’s sessions that give you the opportunity to hear from industry professionals and expand your network in a face-to-face
  • Develop job ready skills

Through our Careers and Industry advisors and Success Coaches, we provide students with employability profiling and upskilling, courtesy of a range of events and seminars. We assist students in developing current employability skills and help them to access leaders in their field, for their personal networks and industry placements. We enjoy many mutually beneficial relationships with industry that empower our entire student cohort to be successful graduates.

Develop your academic skills

Develop skills in:

  • Writing essays and reports
  • Study techniques
  • Goal setting
  • Grammar and spelling
  • Time management
  • Creating an effective study environment
  • Academic learning
  • Exam preparation
  • Get involved in student events

Meet and network with industry professionals and gain valuable contacts at various events including networking nights, professional seminars and industry association events.  Organise events by getting involved in your local Student Representative Council (SRC).

  • Collaborate with International Colleagues

As part of the Laureate University Network, we are privileged to collaborate with International Naturology colleagues in Brazil who study at Universidade Anhembi Morumbi (UAM).  Senior students have the opportunity to participate in case discussion webinars to expand knowledge on case understanding, herbal material medica, and treatment plans.

Course Overview

Qualification Title


Study Options – Domestic Australian students Full-time or Part-time On-campus  Blended Delivery Study Options –international students This course is available to international students needing a visa to study in Australia
Start Dates February, June, September

For specific dates visit:https://studenthub.torrens.edu.au/Hub/dates

Start Dates February, June, September

For specific dates visit the: https://studenthub.torrens.edu.au/Hub/dates

Payment Options – Domestic Australian students


Upfront payment

This means tuition fees will be invoiced each trimester and payment is required on or before the due date.

FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses.

Further information within this Course Information Sheet

It can assist you in paying for all, or part of, your course fees. Repayments commence via the tax system once your income rises above a minimum threshold ($54,869 in 2016-17). Just like with any other debt, a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.

Payment Options – International students

Upfront payment

This means tuition fees will be invoiced each trimester and payment is required on or before the due date.

Course study requirements Full Time: 3 years

Part Time: 6 years

Full time = 3 x 12 week trimesters (1 year).

No. of timetabled hours per week:

Full time = 3 x 3hr classes per week. Plus self-study < 30hrs total per week.

Part time = 2 x 3hr classes per week. Plus self-study < 20hrs total per week.

Assessment Each subject you complete includes 3 assessments on average. Assessments are mapped to specific subject learning outcomes and may include quizzes, written assignments, presentation, reflective journal, case analysis, literature review and practical exams.
Location ·         Fitzroy campus Melbourne

·         Pyrmont campus Sydney

·         Fortitude Valley campus Brisbane.

International Students

Campuses available are Sydney and Brisbane

Delivered by Torrens University Australia
Provider Torrens University Ltd is registered as a self-accrediting Australian university by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). CRICOS Course code  
Provider obligations Torrens University Ltd is responsible for all aspects of the student experience, including the quality of course delivery, in compliance with the Higher Education Standards 2015 Accrediting body Torrens University Ltd is responsible for all aspects of the student experience, including the quality of course delivery, in compliance with the Higher Education Standards 2015
Course Fees                For details, refer to the /apply-online/fees Any other fees For details, refer to the /apply-online/fees
Admission Criteria

Applicants with higher education study ·         A completed higher education qualification at AQF level 5 (diploma) or above, or equivalent, from an Australian University or another accredited higher education provider


·         Successful completion of at least 1 EFTSL (equivalent full time student load, or one full year) of an AQF level 6 (Associate Degree) or above, or equivalent, from an Australian University or another accredited higher education provider

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study

·         A completed vocational education qualification at AQF level 4 (Certificate IV) or above, or equivalent, from a registered training organisation (RTO)


·         Successful completion of at least 1 EFTSL (equivalent full time student load, or one full year) of an AQF level 5 (Diploma) or above, or equivalent, at a registered training organisation (RTO)

Applicants with work and life experience Demonstrated ability to undertake study at the required level:

·         broadly relevant work experience (documented e.g. CV), demonstrating a reasonable prospect of success; OR

·         formal, informal or non-formal study, completed or partially completed, demonstrating a reasonable prospect of success; OR

·         written submission to demonstrate reasonable prospect of success.

Applicants with recent secondary education (within the past two years) with ATAR or equivalent

(for applicants who will be selected wholly or partly on the basis of ATAR)

Year 12 or equivalent with ATAR 60
English Language Proficiency

(applicable to international students, and in addition to academic or special entry requirements noted above)

International Students

Equivalent IELTS 6.5 (Academic) with no skills band less than 5.5

Other admission options

(For applicants who will be selected on a basis other than ATAR)

Special Entry:

Applicants in any category whose study, work or life experiences have been impacted by disability, illness or family disruption will be given special consideration for admission. Each application will be considered on its merit, based on the evidence supplied by the applicant attesting to the circumstances of the applicant. Applicants for special entry may need to complete written or numerical tasks to assist with assessing eligibility for admission.

Advanced standing/academic credit/recognition of prior learning (RPL)

You may be entitled to credit for prior learning, whether formal or informal. Formal learning can include previous study in higher education, vocational education, or adult and community education. Informal learning can include on the job learning or various kinds of work and life experience. Credit can reduce the amount of study needed to complete a degree.

Applicants admitted based on prior higher education study may be eligible for Advanced Standing in the form of credit and/or recognition of prior learning (RPL) under the Torrens University Australia Credit Policy.

  • Students with completed subjects may be eligible for specified credit and/or elective exemptions
  • Students who have completed a qualification at AQF level 5 (diploma) or above may be eligible for block credit (where a block credit agreement exists)
  • Students with a mix of formal study and informal and/or non-formal learning may be eligible for recognition of prior learning in addition to any credit

Credit will not be applied automatically. Applicants must apply for credit and/or RPL as early as possible prior to each study period, with applications not accepted after week 2. For further information about credit and recognition of prior learning please see https://www.torrens.edu.au/apply-online/course-credits

ATAR profile:

Please note; there is no data for the Student Profile as this course has not been offered previously.

ATAR profile for those offered places wholly or partly on the basis of ATAR in [—]

(ATAR-based offers only, across all offer rounds) ATAR (OP in QLD)

(Excluding adjustment factors) *


Highest rank to receive an offer



Median rank to receive an offer 0
Lowest rank to receive an offer 0

Notes:            <5  – indicates low numbers if less than 5 ATAR-based offers made.

Student profile:

The table below gives an indication of the likely peer cohort for new students at the institution. It provides data on students that commenced undergraduate study and passed the census date in the most relevant recent intake period for which data are available, including those admitted through all offer rounds and international students studying in Australia.  Please note; there is no data for the Student Profile as this course has not been offered previously.

Applicant background Semester one / Full year intake [—-P]
Number of students Percentage of all students
(A) Higher education study

(includes a bridging or enabling course)

0 N/P
(B) Vocational education and training (VET) study 0 N/P
(C) Recent secondary education:

·         Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR

(regardless of whether this includes the impact of adjustment factors such as equity or subject bonus points)

0 N/P
·         Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were


(e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)

0 N/P
·         Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was

not a factor

(e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation scheme with no minimum ATAR requirement)

0 N/P
(D) Work and life experience

(Admitted on the basis of previous achievement other than the above)

0 N/P
International students 0 N/P
All students 0 N/P

Notes:               “<5” – the number of students I less than 5. N/A – Students not accepted in this category.

N/P – Not published: the number is hidden to prevent calculation of numbers in cells with less than 5 students.

Where to get further information:

Torrens University:  Torrens University is Australia’s global university and offers courses including business, design, hospitality, education and more!

Universities Admissions Centre (UAC): Explore your options, apply for courses and receive offers for tertiary study in NSW & the ACT.

Australian Tertiary Admissions Centres (TACs): manage the usual process of student university applications and the study offer rounds on behalf of the particular universities that they cover. All TACs are independent of each other, so depending on which state or the number of universities you want to submit an application to, you may need to apply through multiple TACs. We’ve provided links below to the various TACs.

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT): With QILT, you can do side by side comparisons of the quality of the higher education institutions and the study areas that you’re interested in

What you will learn:

Biological and social sciences, research skills, herbal therapeutics, foundational nutrition, clinical studies and clinical practicum.  Students also learn health business skills, professionalism and entrepreneurship.

Work Integrated Learning is a key benefit of the Torrens University Naturopathy program.  Early in the course, students are encouraged to engage in a work experience placement with a health-based industry partner.  This is a valuable opportunity to network and understand the realities and opportunities of working in the Complementary Medicine field.

You are able to self-select two (2) electives from a specified elective bank.  Students can also apply for one unspecified elective which can be chosen from the Torrens range of subjects.  If students have completed prior AQF level 7 study they can apply for RPL or credit as the unspecified elective.

Students will gain hands on experience at The Practice Wellbeing Centre. This prepares graduates to confidently and successfully commence practice in the community.

Practice Experience at the Wellbeing Centre:

Clinical experience is a vital part of the course.  Students commence clinical studies with a common two-subject series of Pre-clinical Studies 1 and 2, in which students observe clinical practice, learn basic counseling, case taking and analysis skills.

From second year, students learn in an immersive clinical environment via clinic management placements at The Practice Wellbeing Centre.  This experience allows students to apply theoretical learnings in a real-world practice environment.

In the final year of the course, students undertake Clinical Practicum.  This is where students perform as student practitioners consulting with members of the general public under the guidance of professional practitioners.  Clinical Practicum is embedded in theory subjects.

The Clinic is a real-life, multi-modality clinic serving the needs of the surrounding communities.  The clinics are custom built with modern practice technology including body composition analysis and iridology technology.  You will treat real patients, work with a professional clinic team, gain experience in all aspects of working in, and running your own clinical practice, and engage with real clients in a safe and supervised environment.  This will prepare you to confidently and successfully practice in the community.

In the time you spend in clinic you will undergo a transformation from theoretical student to graduate practitioner, all under the expert supervision of some of Australia’s best clinicians.

The Practice Wellbeing Centres are located in vibrant inner-city areas of Melbourne (Fitzroy), Sydney (Pyrmont) and Brisbane (Gotha Street).

Campus facilities and services

All campuses are designed to provide students with professional spaces in which to learn and work. They have been planned with student study needs in mind with well-equipped accessible learning spaces as well as student breakout areas for group work and spending time with friends.

Facilities and Services include:

  • The Customer Service Hub – our friendly and experienced staff can give help and advice about courses, your enrolment and campus life, including all services and activities on
  • Counsellors are available for students to consult with on a range of personal issues
  • Student wireless access throughout the Campus
  • Student break-out and relaxed study spaces for group work
  • Student lounge areas – most with microwaves and kitchenette facilities
  • The Learning Hub – home to the Learning Support Team, encompasses Learning Skills Advisors, Learning Technology Advisors, and Library & Learning Skills It provides an integrated, holistic support program for students throughout the study lifecycle within a library/collaborative study environment.

The Learning Hub service includes:

  • Support and workshops with highly qualified staff in the areas of Academic skills, Library skills, and Technology skills, both on campus and online
  • Physical and digital resources relevant to studies, such as books, journals, multimedia, databases
  • Self-check kiosks for library loans and print and copy facilities

Success Coaches:

Our Success Coaches are industry and education experts who leverage your strengths to align your learning with your broader life purpose. With a focus on career goals, and trained in Gallup Strength methodologies, your Success Coach will take a strengths-based approach to helping you set your learning and career goals.

Partnering with you for the duration of your studies, the Success Coach is here to make sense of all of the learning experiences, including readiness for and securing of work integrated learning, placements, internships and opportunities in internal enterprises. All of our coaches are industry professionals, which will give you that inside edge you’ll need to be successful in your chosen career.

Irrelevant of how you like to learn, our coaches are there for you. Coaching can take place online or on campus. Our main priorities are to make sure that you are always well connected and motivated, that you are successfully completing your desired subjects, and that you gain valuable knowledge and experience through participation and engagement, whilst always aligning to your natural talents.

Paying for your qualification

We offer two payment options for this course:

  1. Upfront payment

If you want to complete your qualification debt-free you can choose to pay as you go. This means tuition fees will be invoiced each trimester and payment is required on or before the due date using EFTPOS, credit card or Flywire.


FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses.

It can assist you in paying for all, or part of, your course fees. Repayments commence via the tax system once your income rises above a minimum threshold ($54,869 in 2016-17). Just like with any other debt, a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.

Further information about FEE-HELP, including eligibility, is available at:

FEE-HELP website FEE-HELP booklets

Austudy and Abstudy

Students enrolled in this course may be eligible for government assistance, such as Austudy or Abstudy

Course Rules

The course consists of 24 subjects (10 health science; 12 specialisation and 2 elective subject).   There are five (5) specified elective subjects to choose from or students can apply for unspecified elective.  The recommended study pattern for full-time students is eight subjects per year. Part time options are available for students to undertake 1-2 subjects per study period.

Each subject includes 3 hours of teaching (e.g. classroom hours, tutorials, group work, online activities) and approximately 7 hours of self-directed study per week, totaling 10 hours of study per week per subject.

To graduate from the course, a student must satisfactorily complete 24 subjects with a value of 10 credit points for a course total of 240 credit points.  Refer to the course structure shown below.

Course Structure:

Bachelor of Health Science (Western Herbal Medicine)

Study Mode:  OC = On Campus Class.  FOL = Flexible Online Learning
Credit Points Subject  Code Subject Name Prerequisite or Corequisite Work Integrated Learning Study Mode & Attendance
YEAR 1 Study Period 1
10 BFD105 Biological Foundations Nil OC or FOL
10 CMF105 Complementary Medicine Foundations Nil OC or FOL
10 NUTR2001 Human Nutrition 1 Nil OC or FOL
Study Period 2
10 HSP101 Human Structure & Physiology 1 Nil OC or FOL
10 BHM106 Botany & Herbal Manufacturing Nil Voluntary Work Experience in Health Based Business
20 hours
For on campus classes:  weekly attendance or
For FOL classes:  on campus weekend workshop held at the end of week 10.
10 NUTR2002 Human Nutrition 2 Prerequisite:
Study Period 3
10 HSP102 Human Structure and Physiology 2 Prerequisite:
10 EBP107 Evidence Based Practice Nil OC or FOL
YEAR 2 Study Period 4
10 HSP201 Human Systems & Pathophysiology 1 Prerequisite: HSP102 OC or FOL
10 HMM204 Herbal Materia Medica 1 Prerequisite:  HBM106 Clinic Management Experience
at The Practice Wellbeing Centre.  25 hours
Theory component:
100% attendance for Clinic Management Experience
10 HBC205 Human Biochemistry Prerequisite: BFD105 OC or FOL
Study Period 5
10 HSP202 Human Systems & Pathophysiology 2 Prerequisite: HSP201 OC or FOL
10 PCS207 Pre-Clinical Studies 1 Prerequisite:
Practitioner Observation
Student organised placement to observe an professional health practitioner.  25 hours
OC only.
80% attendance in OC class.
No online study mode available.
10 HMM205 Herbal Materia Medica 2 Prerequisite: HMM204 OC or FOL
Study Period 6
10 HBP206 Herbal Pharmacology Prerequisite: HMM205 OC or FOL
10 HBT208 Herbal Therapeutics 1 Co-requisite:
Clinic Management Experience
at The Practice Wellbeing Centre.  25 hours
Theory component:
100% attendance for Clinic Management Experience
Study Period 7
10 CLA207 Clinical Assessment Prerequisite: HSP202 OC or FOL
For on campus classes:  weekly attendance or
For online classes:  on campus weekend workshop attendance in week 6 & 12
10 PCS209 Pre-Clinical Studies 2 Prerequisite: PCS207 Practitioner Observation
Placement to observe a student practitioner at The Practice Wellbeing Centre.  25 hours
OC only.
100% attendance for practical and clinical simulation components.
  Elective 1 Choose one elective subject from the Elective Bank below. refer to elective OC or FOL
Study Period 8
10 DIP303 Integrated Pharmacology Prerequisite: HSP202 OC or FOL
10 HBT302 Herbal Therapeutics 2 Prerequisite: HBT208 Clinical Practicum
Student Practitioner
@ The Practice Wellbeing Centre.  144 hours
  Elective 2 Choose one elective subject from the Elective Bank below. refer to elective OC or FOL
Study Period 9
10 EPR307 Entrepreneurship, Professionalism & Business Skills in Health Nil
10 AHT303 Advanced Herbal Therapeutics Prerequisite: HBT302 Clinical Practicum
Student Practitioner Experience
@ The Practice Wellbeing Centre.  216 hours
Theory component: OC or FOL
Clinical Practicum 100% attendance
Please note – not all subjects are available for all study modes each trimester.  Check the enrolment survey for details on delivery mode.
Bachelor of Health Science (Western Herbal Medicine)
Choose 3 elective subjects from the elective bank below.  Students can apply for one unspecified elective as credit.
Subject Code Subject Name Prerequisite Attendance Requirement Study Mode & Attendance
SOC201A Mediation and Conflict Management Prerequisite: PCS209 FOL
IRD302 Iridology Prerequisite: PCS209 FOL
FAM201 Food as Medicine Prerequisite: NUTR2002   FOL
CLA207 Critical Literature Review Prerequisite:
FLE405 Flower Essences Prerequisite: PCS209 FOL
  Unspecified Credit Program Director approval required for permission to study equivalent AQF Level 7 subject from the Torrens University course offerings. See a recommended unspecified elective subject below.
Please note – not all elective subjects are available in all study modes each trimester.  Check the subject deivery schedule for details.

Subject Descriptions: Bachelor of Health Science (Western Herbal Medicine)

Please note these subject descriptions are subject to change.

BFD105 Biological Foundations

Biological Foundations explores the biological building blocks which make up the human body from the chemical level up to the cellular level. These essential chemistry concepts will assist with building relevant links to the study of human physiology in later subjects. The subject then explores the foundational studies in biochemistry which includes the structure and function of carbohydrates, proteins, enzymes, lipids, DNA and RNA. The concepts of gene expression and regulation are discussed in addition to the cellular membrane structure and transport through the membrane. The study of the biology of the human cell concludes this subject and upon completion equips students to commence study at the tissue level of structure and physiology subjects.

CMF105 Complementary Medicine Foundations

Complementary Medicine Foundations (CMF105) introduces the historical and conceptual emergence of Naturopathy and Western Herbal Medicine and how this underpins contemporary clinical practice in Australia and globally. It specifically focuses on professional practice: introducing the therapeutic model, the underlying theoretical and philosophical concepts, and discusses the differences between various approaches to the health-disease-healing process. Students will be introduced to the local regulatory environment of the complementary medicine professions within the context of their career outcome and best practice. This subject introduces key concepts regarding ethics and communication in therapeutic relationships.

NUTR2001 Human Nutrition 1

Human Nutrition 1 (NUTR2001) provides a detailed and in-depth study of the macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates and lipids, as well as the water soluble vitamins and how these relate to human metabolism. Each individual macronutrient and water soluble vitamin 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 found in individuals and populations. Students will investigate how the management of these nutrients contribute to the public health agenda.

HSP101 Human Structure and Physiology 1

Human Structure & Physiology 1 introduces the basic concepts and terminologies required to study and understand the structure and function of the human body. This subject will build on the biological foundations by exploring the interaction and organisation of cells, tissues and organs which forms a basis to study the physiological integration of key body systems.  The maintenance and regulation of the internal environment by homeostasis at a system level will be key to students understanding disruption and disease in later subjects.  Key physiological and functional processes such as movement, metabolism, oxygenation and protection will be discussed, with body systems including the integumentary, musculoskeletal, respiratory and cardiovascular system the focus of this subject. This subject will provide the first part of an evidence based foundational knowledge of human physiology to guide health practice.

BHM106  Botany & Herbal Manufacturing

Botany & Herbal Manufacturing provides students with foundational botany and plant identification skills. Students will be able to identify key medicinal plant families and explain important botanical properties. Issues regarding sourcing and sustainable supply of medicinal plants will be introduced along with a basic understanding of growing, harvesting, drying & storage of herbs.

In this context students will be familiarized with different forms of herbal preparations exploring the definition, herbs used, manufacturing techniques and application. Students will learn about the regulatory environment of commercial production and extemporaneous dispensing in Australia.

This subject has compulsory attendance requirements and an option of participation in 20 hours of Voluntary Work Experience in a health-related business.

NUTR2002  Human Nutrition 2

Human Nutrition 2 (NUTR2002) provides a detailed and in-depth study of the micronutrients and how these relate to human metabolism. This subject provides students with underpinning knowledge about the correlation that exists between micronutrients and human physiology. Each micronutrient’s structure, biological function, dietary sources, recommended daily intake and therapeutic dose is studied. This subject also covers the factors contributing to, and symptoms associated with, states of excess, insufficiency and deficiency found in individuals and populations.

The role of nutrition and lifestyle factors in the development of chronic disease is examined. Furthermore, students will be introduced to the concepts of genetically engineered food. They will discover how food-borne illnesses can be prevented and identify environmental contaminants in the food supply.

This subject also explores the current scientific literature, enabling students to determine the appropriate use of dietary supplementation.

HSP102 Human Structure and Physiology 2

Human Structure & Physiology 2 will further develop knowledge of the structure and physiology of the human body with special attention given to the integration of human systems and beginning to explore the impact of disturbances in Homeostasis and disruption of normal function. The structure and function of the lymphatic, immune, digestive, nervous, endocrine, urinary, reproductive systems and the special senses are covered in detail including the homoeostatic control mechanisms of each system and the integration of the systems in the body. This subject builds on the knowledge and understandings of human structure and physiology, provides the foundation to look at disease, disorders and syndromes and their pathophysiology, in later subjects

EBP107 Evidence-based Practice

Evidence-based practice is an essential component of the exercise of clinical judgement in the delivery of quality healthcare. Students will also gain an understanding of how research evidence is translated into practice. This subject provides students with an introduction to health informatics, research and digital literacy, critical thinking and evidence-based practice. Students are guided through the skills necessary to locate, critique and interpret a research article for application to their practice.

They will become familiar with quantitative and qualitative evidence, research methodology, basic descriptive and inferential statistics and the foundational skills to be able to evaluate and appraise evidence in healthcare research.

HSP201  Human Systems & Pathophysiology 1

Human Systems & Pathophysiology 1 is the first of two subjects that builds upon the foundational studies in Human Structure & Physiology and then expands student’s skills and knowledge into the area of pathophysiology and human disease process.  Understanding the pathogenic process and the disruption of homeostasis in relation to disease will be important concepts, in the context of individual, community and population health.

This subject will cover:

·         Basic pathological processes in response to injury and growth abnormalities.

·         Immunology, toxicology, microbiology, and their characteristic diseases.

·         Pathophysiology, symptomatology and clinical manifestations for diseases of the gastrointestinal, neurological and cardiovascular systems

Introduction to commonly used laboratory tests and interpretation of findings.

HBC205  Human Biochemistry

Human Biochemistry explains the processes of macromolecule metabolism, energy production and storage in the body. Included in this subject are the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids; the role of ATP and acetyl CoA in metabolism; oxidative phosphorylation, the electron transport chain, biosignaling and chemical communication. The concept of gene expression and regulation is also explored. Human Biochemistry provides healthcare practitioners a vital foundation on the basic macromolecules and genetic understandings essential for life. This knowledge will be built upon and expanded further in later subjects.


HMM204 Herbal Materia Medica 1

Herbal Materia Medica 1 introduces students to the characteristics of herbal medicines and basic herbal categorisation.  Students will learn the language and terminology of herbal medicine and explore materia medica relating to the digestive, hepatic, immune, respiratory and cardiovascular and circulatory systems.   In depth understanding of the origin of the plant, correct identification, active constituents, qualities, part used, actions, mechanisms of action, indications, preparation, dose and safety considerations of each herb is explored.  An evidence based practice approach is taken to incorporate both traditional knowledge and research-based evidence in the understanding of the contemporary use of herbal medicines.  Students will explore the similarities and differences between herbs and demonstrate an understanding of basic prescribing.

This subject includes compulsory attendance in 25 hours of Clinic Management Experience in The Practice Wellbeing Centre.

HSP202  Human Systems & Pathophysiology 2

Human Systems & Pathophysiology 2 builds upon the concepts explored in Human Systems & Pathophysiology 1 and continues to expand student’s skills and knowledge in pathophysiology and the human disease process, in relation to individual, community and public health.

The pathophysiology and symptomatology will be covered for various disease states of the musculoskeletal, integumentary, hematologic, pulmonary, endocrine, renal and reproductive systems.  Conditions specific to gerontology and aging will also be considered.

General diagnostic approaches will be introduced and the commonly used laboratory tests and interpretation of such findings for the associated disorders and conditions will continue to be developed.

HMM205 Herbal Materia Medica 2

Herbal Materia Medica 2 builds on knowledge developed in Herbal Materia Medica 1.  In this subject the student continues to explore herbal materia medica relating to the musculoskeletal, urinary, integumentary, nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems by learning the origin of the plant, identification, active constituents, qualities, part used, actions, mechanisms of action, indications, preparation, dose and safety considerations.  An evidence based practice approach is taken to incorporate both traditional knowledge and research-based evidence in the understanding of the contemporary use of herbal medicines.  Students will explore the similarities and differences between herbs and demonstrate an understanding of basic prescribing.

PCS207  Pre-clinical Studies 1

Pre-Clinical Studies 1 (PCS207) is the first of the two part series of Pre-Clinical subjects in which students observe clinical practice, learn effective communication and counselling skills and professional ethical practices. This subject reinforces evidence based practices and the principles and philosophies of natural medicine, which sets the basis for guiding students to progress and evolve through the development of critical thinking, case history taking skills and communicating holistic understanding, and the therapeutic plan in a workshop setting.

Students will complete a minimum of 25 hours of external observation over the trimester. Students will familiarise themselves with the day-to-day operation of clinical practice.  They will observe practitioners and clients in consultation, undertake a range of administrative tasks and observe dispensaries in action. This provides an opportunity for the student to develop an awareness of the application of professional skills in a clinical setting.  These skills are not only to do with the practice of complementary medicine but also clinical skills such as interpersonal relations, scope of practice, duty of care and ethical compliance business acumen and an appreciation of the Australian health care system.

This subject has compulsory attendance requirements and includes 25 hours of professional practitioner observation.

HBP206  Herbal Pharmacology

Herbal Pharmacology builds on herbal medicine concepts introduced in Herbal Materia Medica 1 and 2. It introduces the student to herbal phytochemistry and pharmacology.  Herbal concepts are explored including discussion of chemical complexity, synergy of medicinal plants and factors influencing the quality of herbal medicines.  Students will explore the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics related to herbal medicines mechanism of action, and extend their knowledge of safety issues and interactions in relation to medicinal plants.

HBT208  Herbal Therapeutics 1

Herbal Therapeutics 1 builds on herbal medicine concepts introduced in foundational herbal medicine subjects. Students will now explore herbal medicine therapeutic protocols relating to health conditions within various body systems.  They will explore herbal prescribing strategies to effectively construct herbal formulas for individualised client-centred treatments.  Students will learn to prescribe across various lifestages in a safe and ethical manner.  An evidence based practice approach will be employed to justify treatment decisions.  Collaborative problem-solving and case-based workshops provide an active learning environment for this important subject.

This subject includes compulsory attendance of 25 hours of Clinic Management Experience in The Practice Wellbeing Centre.

CLA207 Clinical Assessment

Clinical Assessment builds on the theory of the Human Systems & Pathophysiology subjects and develops practical skills for clinical assessment and examination of the client. Skills for history taking, gathering clinical information, observing clinical manifestations, critically analyse signs and symptoms, identifying red flags, interpreting medical reports, pathology tests and diagnostic imaging are developed. Students will explore a range physical examination techniques using appropriate equipment to reach primary and differential diagnoses. Students will develop and practice skills in effective communication, respecting clients’ privacy, work health and safety concerns as well as the need for referral to other health care practitioners in a professional manner.

This subject has compulsory attendance requirements.

PCS209   Pre-clinical Studies 2

Following on from Pre-Clinical Studies 1 (PCS207), students will apply their theoretical and practical knowledge of case taking, holistic, biomedical and therapeutics to conduct critical case analysis and management through the use of holistic evidence based principles, clinical examination skills, and techniques to implement appropriate therapeutic strategies and prescriptions in a simulated clinic environment.

Students will refine interpersonal skills including patient counselling and develop their capacity to give and receive constructive feedback. Throughout the subject, students will reflect and develop their practitioner persona for future clinical practice. Students will also build on their understanding of clinical practice by undertaking 25 hours of clinical observation in the Student Clinic.

This subject has compulsory attendance requirements and 25 hours of student practitioner observation in The Practice Wellbeing Centre

ELECTIVE SUBJECT – See list of options below

DIP303  Integrated Pharmacology

Integrated Pharmacology comprises a study of basic principles of pharmacology, the pharmacokinetics of drugs commonly used in medical practice and common interactions between drugs and natural remedies. Drugs for pain, inflammation, infection, mental health, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, reproductive and endocrine systems are discussed. Drug actions, uses, contraindications, adverse effects and interactions with natural remedies are discussed, together with implications for naturopathic, nutritional and western herbal medicine prescribing. This subject is crucial for the modern healthcare practitioner to understand common medications that patients may be taking and common interactions between these medications and natural remedies. This subject also emphasises the need for clear lines of communication and common language between doctors and complementary healthcare practitioners in order to obtain the best health outcomes for clients.

HBT302  Herbal Therapeutics 2

Herbal Therapeutics 2 builds on herbal medicine concepts introduced in Herbal Therapeutics 1. Students will continue to explore herbal medicine therapeutic protocols relating to various health conditions and body systems.  They will explore herbal prescribing strategies to effectively construct herbal formulas for individualised client-centred treatments.  Students will learn to prescribe across various lifestages in a safe and ethical manner.  An evidence based practice approach will be employed to justify treatment decisions.  Collaborative problem-solving and case-based workshops provide an active learning environment for this important subject.

This subject requires compulsory participation in 144 hours of clinical practicum experience in The Practice Wellbeing Centre.

ELECTIVE SUBJECT – See list of options below

EPR307  Entrepreneurship, Professionalism & Business Skills in Health

Entrepreneurship, Professionalism & Business Skills in Health will introduce students to the concepts of small business management, entrepreneurship and how to identify the professional requirements of their healthcare discipline. This subject will explore the topics necessary to establish and run a successful healthcare practice and maintain their professional status in the healthcare sector. Students will also explore their professional identity to support the understanding of the ethical conduct, liability, legal and regulatory requirements that are pertinent to their specific modality.

This subject will initiate the development of a Business plan using entrepreneurial practices and innovative design thinking. This will include exploring business strategies such as operating policy and procedures, marketing and branding, networking strategies, leadership, administration and financial issues necessary for the operation and management of a contemporary healthcare practice.

AHT303  Advanced Herbal Therapeutics

Advanced Herbal Therapeutics builds on herbal medicine therapeutic subjects and will explore advanced herbal medicine therapeutic strategies for advanced, multi-factorial health conditions.  An evidence based practice approach will be taken when formulating and prescribing for these complex and emerging conditions.  Students will be challenged to consider the importance of collaborative client care and clinical risk management of these conditions.  Problem based learning workshops will apply this information to theoretical case studies.

This subject requires compulsory participation in 216 hours of clinical practicum experience in The Practice Wellbeing Centre.

Elective Options

CLR308   Critical Literature Review

Critical Literature Review (CLR308) provides an opportunity to critically examine the current literature to answer a chosen research question to inform clinical decision-making. The literature review is a scholarly paper that appraises the current knowledge base highlighting strengths, weaknesses and omissions in the literature. The subject builds on established knowledge of literature search methods and critical appraisal skills to culminate in a review that conforms to publication standards.

IRD302 Iridology

Iridology (IRD302) introduces the concepts of iridology, types of iris signs and application to concentric zones of the iris, as well as the study of individual organ signs in the iris. Variations of structure, colour and proportion in the iris are observed, analysed and interpreted in terms of an individual’s health status, and will be used as a tool to assist in the formulation of a naturopathic treatment plan.

FLE405   Flower Essences

In Flower Essences (FLE405) students are introduced to Bach and Australian Bush Flower Essences and how to appropriately prescribe these in the context of a naturopathic consultation.  Students learn about the presenting emotions of the client as they relate to the flower essence therapy and learn to formulate individualised prescriptions based on client assessment.  Referrals to appropriate health care professionals is explored in regards to safe prescribing.

SOC201A  Mediation and Conflict Management

As our number of relationships expands, so too does the potential for conflict. This subject looks at the nature of interpersonal conflict, and explores strategies for resolution such as mediation, conferencing and restorative justice. It begins by considering the nature of conflict, theories about its causes, and how conflict manifests in relationships, groups, communities and internationally. It then introduces students to key conflict management strategies and gives steps as to how we might reduce unhealthy forms of conflict and arrive at positive, healthy relationships based on empathy and understanding. The subject also considers anger management strategies in addressing entrenched, high conflict situations.

FAM203  Food as Medicine

Food as Medicine (FAM203) introduces students to the concept that food can be used as a form of medicine to promote health and wellbeing and treat and prevent disease. This subject provides an overview of farming practices, food preparation, cooking and storage methods, as well as food manufacturing and processing techniques and their impacts on the nutritional value of foods.

Students will investigate nutritional food-based science including the health effects of food additives, food safety and phytochemical toxicity. An in depth study of food evolution, historical, cultural and modern uses of food as medicine and the medicinal properties of food is also examined.  The benefits and disadvantages of new dietary models are also explored. Students will explore the potential therapeutic function of food, the relationship of phytochemical constituents and disease, and their physiological effects on humans. Students will learn how to apply evidence based nutrition knowledge to illustrate the use of food as a therapeutic tool and provide food-based recommendations in health and disease.

Frequently asked questions

What is blended delivery?

Blended delivery is a term used when a combination of both teacher-facilitated and online aspects are used to support learning!  All of the subjects in the course are ‘blended’.
 The readings, worksheets and other learning materials are accessed online via your online learning portal so you can learn at any time and in any place that is convenient to you.  This content is ‘blended’ with either a face to face workshop (F2F class) or a real time interactive webinar (FOL class) with your facilitator and fellow students.

An on-campus class also referred to as face to face (F2F) class is where you attend a three hour workshop on campus each week. In some cases, attendance will be optional and for some subjects attendance is mandatory.

A flexible online learning, or FOL class, is where you study in an online environment and interact each week with your fellow students and your facilitator through chats, forums and live “real-time” webinars (called Collaborates).

The subject content and materials that are delivered via the Learning Portal are identical in both these class types offering you the flexibility to study whenever and wherever you want.

What does the online learning environment look like?

The online learning environment is the same for both the F2F and FOL classes.  All students are encouraged to be part of an active online environment, by participating in discussions, forums and activities.  You will receive comprehensive learning materials (in electronic form) clearly laid out in a week by week format to ensure you cover each topic in sequence. If you study online, you will have access to dedicated online teachers to answer any questions you may have regarding your subjects and you’ll see and hear them in weekly interactive collaborate sessions held in a real-time online environment.

Are the teachers practitioners?

Many of the country’s leading practitioners are on our staff, all with substantial experience in their respective areas of expertise. We are passionate about what we do, and constantly seek new and innovative ways to teach the theoretical knowledge and clinical skills needed for excellence in complementary medicine.

What if I haven’t studied in a long time?

It is perfectly natural to feel nervous about starting a new course. We aim to provide you with a nurturing and supportive environment.  We have a diverse student community with people from all walks of life, including young adults and mature age students.  As more and more people seek an exciting career in health and complementary medicine the diversity of the student community adds to a positive learning experience.

Do you have an orientation program?

Yes, Torrens University supports new students with a program of events, workshops, wellness classes, campus tours and course-specific classes in orientation week. Students new to health science are also invited to join the Science Success program which covers basic chemistry and mathematics for health science as well as medical terminology.

What are the Employment Opportunities like?

The rapid growth of the natural medicine industry is largely due to a growing demand from the public, with reportedly more than 70% of Australians using herbal or complementary medicines. One reason for this growth is a strong desire from people to take greater control of their own health and wellbeing. There is a continually growing demand for highly trained practitioners who can work in various settings such as complementary clinics, medical clinics, health retreats, health food stores, research, education and self-employment. Furthermore, many students have set up their own successful clinics, undertaken postgraduate study, worked overseas, published journals and books, and worked voluntarily to give something back to the community. All of our degrees meet industry association requirements in their chosen areas, so students can register to become a member of professional associations.

What can I prescribe as a Western Herbal Medicine practitioner?

Western Herbal Medicine practitioners are qualified to prescribe herbal medicine and provide basic diet advice.  WHM is a client-focused modality that also includes basic counseling and lifestyle advice.

I’m not sure which course is right for me?

If you are not sure which path to follow, you can start the higher education Diploma of Health Science.

The Diploma is the first year of the Bachelor course and you can choose from elective subjects in the herbal or nutritional medicine field.  Successful completion of the Diploma of Health Science guarantees you entry into any of the Bachelor of Health Science programs, with varying levels of subject exemption depending on your subject choice. Contact the Course and Careers Advisor to discuss your course options and career goals.

Contact Us

If you have any further questions, please contact your Course and Career Adviser for additional information.

Email: enquiries@tua.edu.au

Phone: 1300 575 803 (within Australia)

Phone: +61 8 8113 7800 (International)

Follow us.

Torrens University on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TorrensUni/

Torrens University on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/torrensuni?lang=en