1. About the Diploma of Health Science

Are you looking for a pathway to a career as a health professional?

Are you searching for the first step to a fulfilling career in health and wellness? 

If you’re fascinated by health and love helping others to be their best selves, the Diploma of Health Science will bring that passion to life. This course equips you with the foundational knowledge and skills needed for launching a career in Health.

The Diploma can set you on the path towards making a real impact on individuals and communities in need. This could be through complementary, public or community health initiatives. This course can also lead to further study in a range of Professional health disciplines such as Naturopathy, Clinical or Non-Clinical Nutrition, Western Herbal Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Public Health and Physical Therapies through enrolling in the relevant linked degree pathways.

If you are unsure which path in health is right for you, this course is a great option. It allows you to choose a specialisation area and elective subjects of your choice from an extensive range of options. This means you can match the subject matter of your chosen subjects with your area of interest in health and future career goals. If you’re passionate about disease prevention, helping individuals make positive changes, food or herbal medicine there are options for you.

This course is equivalent to the first year of a Bachelor of Health Science degree and is great for those choosing to study for personal interest, for professionals looking to upgrade knowledge in the areas of Complementary Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Public Health or to try university study prior to studying a full degree. The Diploma will give you a solid understanding of the science behind how the body maintains health to support the study of your chosen Health electives. This course enables you to develop essential skills required for gaining employment and securing career progression in the field.

Graduates are guaranteed entry into all of the following degree programs currently offered at Torrens University Australia Bachelor of Health Science (Clinical Nutrition, Naturopathy, Western Herbal Medicine), Bachelor of Nutrition and the Bachelor of Applied Public Health. Students would also be guaranteed entry into other new Bachelor Health Science programs coming soon to TUA. Depending on the specialization and electives chosen you may receive part of or up to one year of credit towards your chosen degree.

Your Health career starts here with the Torrens University Diploma of Health Science!

Graduate employment opportunities

This course will equip students with a solid foundation of knowledge and ability to start or progress towards a successful and rewarding career within the complementary health and healthcare industry.

Graduates may find a range of career pathways and employment opportunities including:

  • CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) Retail/Wholesale
  • Herbal manufacturing and production
  • Nutritional supplement manufacturing & production
  • Health Product Development
  • Clinic administration
  • Clinic Dispensary/practitioner support
  • CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) regulatory affairs support
  • Health/Nutritional Advisor

Furthermore many students use this course as a platform to continue on into degree level study in our Bachelor programs and pursue careers relevant to these areas.

Course Overview

Course Title Diploma of Health Science (DIPHSC20)
Study Options – Domestic Australian students  Full-time and part-time options available.

Blended or Online delivery

Study Options – International students  International students on a student visa must not enrol into any more than a third or 33% of online subjects over their course and must study at least one subject that is face to face in each trimester.

International students on a student visa are required to study full time, i.e. the student must complete a minimum of 1.0 EFTSL of study per year.

Start Dates February, June, September

For specific dates visit the website.

Course Length Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 2 years

Payment Options – Domestic Australian students  Upfront payment

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

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. 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 semester and payment is required on or before the due date.

Course study requirements Full time = 3 x 12 week trimesters (1 year)

Part time = 6 x 12 week  trimesters (over two years)

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.
Locations  ·                   Fitzroy campus Melbourne

·                   Pyrmont campus Sydney

·                   Fortitude Valley campus Brisbane

·                   Online campus

International students can study at the Brisbane or Sydney campus

Delivered by  Torrens University Australia
Provider Torrens University Australia Ltd is registered as a self-accrediting Australian university by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). CRICOS Course Code 099640E
Provider obligations Torrens University 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 Australia Limited ABN 99 154 937 005,
CRICOS Provider Code: 03389E.
RTO No. 41343
Course Fees For details, refer to the website. Any other fees For details, refer to the website.
  1. Essential requirements for admission

The general admission criteria that apply to Torrens University Australia courses can be located by visiting the Torrens University Australia website – /general-admission-information-for-torrens-university-australia-ltd.

  1. Student Profile

The table below gives an indication of the likely peer cohort for new students in this course. It provides data on students who commenced in this course in the most relevant recent intake period, including those admitted through all offer rounds and international students studying in Australia.

Applicant background Trimester one / Full year intake [2020]
Number of students Percentage of all students
(A) Higher education study
(includes a bridging or enabling course)
34 24%
(B) Vocational education and training (VET) study 27 19%
(C) Work and life experience
(Admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
63 45%
(D) Recent secondary education:    

·         Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR
(regardless of whether this includes the consideration of
adjustment factors such as equity or subject bonus points)

0 0%
·         Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered
(e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
0 0%
·         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)
15 11%
International students 1 1%
All students 140 100%

Notes:          “<5” – the number of students is 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.

  1. Admission Criteria
Title of course of study Diploma of Health Science
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  Year 12 or equivalent
English Language Proficiency

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

International Students

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

Other admission options


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.

  1. How to apply

Via direct application to the institution

  1. 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 – (/policies-and-forms).

  • 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 approved.

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 /apply-online/course-credits.

  1. 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.

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.

  1. Additional Information 

Course Structure and Rules

To graduate from this course a student must satisfactorily complete 8 subjects.  Each subject is worth 10 credit points for a course total of 80 credit points.  A normal full-time study load would see a student complete 80 credit points per year.  A year is divided into three trimesters. 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. The correct combination of core and elective subjects needs to be satisfied this includes 4x core subjects 1x specialisation subject and 3 x elective subjects.

The course structure can be viewed or downloaded at the Student Hub, Course webpage



Subject Descriptors 
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.

HSP101 Human Structure & 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.

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.

HSP102 Human Structure & 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.

Specialisation subjects:

Students must choose one Specialisation subject as indicated in the course structure.  

Subject Descriptors
CMF105 Complementary Medicine Foundations

Complementary Medicine Foundations 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.

HWEL2002 Understanding Health

This subject provides students an introduction to the diversity of health theories and initiatives to improve health outcomes. Students will engage with key concepts including human right to health, social determinants of health, equality, equity and vulnerability. An introduction to Australia’s health system and intersectoral action will also be provided.

PUBH2000 Foundations of Public Health

Within this introductory course, students will learn the principles and practice of public health and improving the health of populations. Students will learn various functions and definitions of public health, the historical origins of public health and its evolution as a discipline. Students will learn relevant key principles associated with public health: ecological, human rights-based approach to health, social determinants approach; ‘new public health; the role and function of government in the administration of public health; public health service models, including comprehensive and selective primary health care. They will consider different understandings of health and illness, including professional, lay and Australian Indigenous definitions.

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Elective subjects:

Students can choose four elective subjects as indicated in the course structure.  

Subject Descriptors
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.

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.

NUTR2004 Food Science, Systems and Policy

Food Science, Systems and Policy (NUTR2004) examines the way in which food is produced, processed and distributed in Australia and globally. 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 and how these impact on public health initiatives as they relate to food security, sustainability and food deserts.

NUTR2005 Lifespan Nutrition

Lifespan Nutrition (NUTR2005) examines the range of nutritional requirements that impact populations, communities and individuals at particular life stages including pre-conception, pregnancy, during lactation, early childhood, adolescence, adulthood and ageing populations, as well as the specific issues affecting Indigenous communities, sports people and other at risk populations. This subject provides an overview of dietary patterns and eating habits by age group and dietary recommendations for optimal nutrition to maintain wellbeing at each life stage.

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BHM106 Botany & Herbal Manufacturing

Botany & Herbal Manufacturing provides students with foundational botany and plant identification skills.  In this context students will be familarised with different forms of herbal preparations exploring the definition, herbs used, manufacturing techniques and application.  Students are also introduced to the regulatory environment of commercial production and extemporaneous dispensing in Australia.

HWEL2003 Disease Prevention

In this subject students will develop their understanding of disease processes and review evidence based strategies to reduce the risk of disease and maintain health. Students will develop knowledge to apply educational and environmental interventions based upon risk factors associated with the development and chronicity of disease.

CCS103 Counselling & Communication Skills

Counselling & Communication Skills encompasses counselling skills commonly needed by health professionals for effective communication.  This subject comprises a practical approach to a variety of communication skills and best practice strategies including promoting change, compliance, obstacles to change, 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 professional relationship for interactions with clients, colleagues and members of the community.

HDW204 Healthcare in the Digital World

Digital capabilities are an essential part of employability in the health and well-being sector in the 21st Century. Health informatics is the use of computer technologies and communication systems to store, transmit or analyse health information and e-Health and information and communication technologies (ICT) are widely used by Australian health professionals. Students in this course will develop their own digital fluency and learn about the role of ICT in health.
The subject introduces the current and emerging range of health care technologies and data science, the role of telehealth, m-health (health applications for mobile phones) wearable technology and the internet of things, the use of health informatics such as telemedicine in rural communities and developing countries and managing and monitoring information technology operations is also covered. This is in context of interprofessional communication and also in a global perspective. Students will also discuss the role of social media and understand the legal and ethical issues as health professionals. In addition, legal and ethical issues and strategies for managing privacy and security of patient data are explored.
This subject allows students to create and manage an ethical and professionally appropriate online presence and use basic multimedia elements to enhance the presentation of information.

CMF101 Chinese Medicine Foundations

This subject introduces the fundamental philosophies and principles of Chinese Medicine (CM). It provides a solid and detailed account of the theory of Chinese medicine that can be used as a foundation for the further understanding of later subjects in the CM course. This introduction to Chinese Medicine explores the concept of yin and yang theory, wu xing theory, the functions of the organs and vital substances, as well as the causes, development and progression of diseases.

CMD102 Chinese Medicine Diagnosis & Pattern Differentiation

Chinese Medicine Diagnosis & Pattern differentiation, builds on the basic concepts and theories taught in Chinese Medicine Foundations. In this subject the four diagnostic methods and various pattern differentiation methods are introduced, including visual examination, audio-olfactory, inquiry, palpation, and pattern differentiation according to the eight principles, Qi, Blood and Body fluids. For each diagnostic method, the clinical information gathered is analyzed in order to diagnose disease according the patterns of disharmony and determine appropriate treatment strategies and prescriptions. Finally, an introduction to tongue and pulse examinations are developed in this subject.


The Diploma of Health Science can be studied fully online or at the below Torrens University Campuses:

  • Queensland (Brisbane)
  • New South Wales (Sydney)
  • Victoria (Melbourne)
  • South Australia (Adelaide)

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:

A positive student experience

Torrens University Australia values the importance of a positive student experience, and therefore has robust processes to resolve student complaints.  The Student Complaints Policy, and associated procedures, can be accessed from the website (/policies-and-forms).

Paying for your qualification

We offer two payment options for this course:

  • 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 semester and payment is required on or before the due date using EFTPOS, credit card or direct transfer.


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 ($45, 881 in 2019-20). 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:

Austudy and Abstudy

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