natural_medicine_courses

Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine)

Are you passionate about living a healthy lifestyle? Learn the skills and knowledge to teach others how to help themselves.

This degree will teach you how to develop effective nutritional plans and understand the factors which impact on the wellbeing of communities and individuals.

Learn from industry experts and get the training to prepare you for the job of your dreams.

You can study the whole course on campus in Sydney, with some units available to study online.


Have a question about this course?

At a glance

Study mode

laptop
BlendedIn-class

Provider

Australasian College of Natural Therapies (ACNT) (RTO 0269)
Career Opportunities
  • Nutritionist
  • Nutritional Therapist
  • Nutritional Medicine Practitioner
Recognition

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.
Recognised by The Australian Natural Therapists Association.

Prerequisites
  • Year 12 ATAR score of 60 or equivalent, OR
  • Completed diploma level course, OR
  • Demonstrated ability, including work experience, formal/informal study, or a statement of intent
Location

NSW - Sydney

QLD - Brisbane

Work placement

340 hours in total

Course length
Full-time: 3 years | Part-time: 8 years
Study mode

Blended

In-class


Online

Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.

Blended

Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.

In-class

Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Assessment
Written & practical assignments, clinical training, exams
Start date

Six intakes a year.

Provider
Australasian College of Natural Therapies (ACNT) (RTO 0269)

The Australasian College of Natural Therapies (ACNT) delivers high-quality and accredited natural health and fitness courses.

ANCT's strong emphasis on practical training gives students the opportunity to build valuable hands-on skills. 

Think: Colleges Pty Ltd (RTO 0269) trading as Australasian College of Natural Therapies

Price

The course price can vary depending on a few factors, including whether you are an Australian resident or your chosen payment option. To find out more, contact the course provider.

Prerequisites

  • Year 12 ATAR score of 60 or equivalent, OR
  • a completed diploma level course, OR
  • demonstrated ability, including work experience, formal/informal study, or a statement of intent

What you'll learn

Become trained in:

  • Biological and social sciences
  • Research
  • Nutritional and clinical studies
  • Human nutrition
  • Nutritional science
  • Food packaging
  • Public health nutrition

Practical experience

This course includes 340 hours of practical experience (including 25 hours of observation in an external clinic).

You will need to complete your clinical practice hours at ACNT's on-campus clinic in Sydney or Brisbane.

Course structure

36 units

Year 1

  1. Anatomy & Physiology 1


    Anatomy & Physiology 1 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 unit 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 unit 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.

  2. Anatomy & Physiology 2


    Anatomy & Physiology 2 builds and expands on the information and skills learnt in Anatomy & Physiology 1. This unit 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 & Physiology 2 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.

  3. Anatomy & Physiology 3


    Anatomy & Physiology 3 builds and expands on the study of anatomy and physiological concepts introduced in Anatomy & Physiology 1 and 2. This unit 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 unit 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.

  4. Biochemistry 1


    Biochemistry 1 is a core unit that builds upon the basic chemistry principles covered in Bioscience. It comprises an introduction to the basic biochemical compounds in the body. This unit 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 unit 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 and further therapeutic units.

  5. Bioscience


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

  6. Counselling & Communication Skills


    Counselling & Communication Skills encompasses counselling skills commonly needed by complementary and alternative healthcare practitioners. This unit 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 unit 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.

  7. Food Science, Systems & Policy


    This unit examines the way in which food is produced, processed and distributed in Australia. It will provide you 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.

  8. History & Philosophy of Complementary & Alternative Medicine


    This unit 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 unit 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 you 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.

  9. Nutrition, Society & Public Health


    This unit builds on basic nutritional knowledge from Nutritional Foundations 1 and 2. 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.

  10. Nutritional Foundations 1


    In this unit, you will 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 unit is a foundational unit 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.

  11. Nutritional Foundations 2


    In this unit, you will 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 unit provides you 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.

  12. Research & Evidence-Based Practice


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

Year 2

  1. Biochemistry 2


    Biochemistry 2 is a core unit that builds upon the basic chemistry principles set forth in Bioscience and the basic biochemical principles set forth in Biochemistry 1. This unit explains the processes of macromolecule metabolism and energy production and storage in the body.

    Included in this unit is the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids, the role of ATP and acetyl CoA in metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation and the electron transport chain and biosignalling and chemical communication. A basic introduction to humoral and cellular immune response is also discussed.

    Biochemistry 2 provides a vital foundation for the complementary healthcare practitioner in the basic macromolecules essential for life. In the Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy and Nutritional Medicine), this is also built upon in Nutritional Biochemistry.

  2. Clinical Studies 1


    Bachelor of Health Science (majoring in Naturopathy, Western Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Medicine) commence clinical studies with a common three unit series of Clinical Studies 1, 2 and 3 in which you will observe clinical practice, develop communication and learn basic counselling skills and professional ethical practice. You will complete 25 hours of external observation over the trimester. In these external placements, you will familiarise yourself with the day-to-day operation of naturopathic, nutritional, western herbal medicine and other health-care practices. You will observe practitioners and clients in consultation, undertake a range of administrative tasks and observe dispensaries in action.

    In addition, you will be guided through the process of reflective practice, learning how to reflectively write and analysis their clinical development. This unit serves as an introduction into the operation of complementary health clinics from the perspective of the client and the practitioner. It provides an opportunity for you 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 generic clinical skills such as interpersonal relations, legal and ethical compliance business acumen and an appreciation of the Australian health care system.

  3. Clinical Studies 2


    This is the second of three Clinical Studies units common to Bachelor of Health Science (majoring in Naturopathy, Western Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Medicine). This unit provides you with the opportunity to develop your pre-clinical and case history taking skills in a workshop setting. You will explore a variety of case taking methods incorporating holistic, complementary and contemporary case taking methods. You will be actively be engaged in case taking examples including the use of paper based, audio and video cases. This unit also builds on your understanding of the clinical practice as you will be undertaking 25 hours of clinical observation in the college student clinic over the trimester. You will become familiarised in all facets of college clinic administration and procedures.

  4. Clinical Studies 3


    Following on from Clinical Studies 2 you will now apply your theoretical knowledge of case taking, biomedicine and therapeutics to a conduct detailed case analysis and construction of therapeutic prescriptions.

    In this classroom based unit, you will work in small groups to practice and refine client consultation, case analysis and development of treatment methodology skills with real clients. After the introductory phase, you(under the guidance of an experienced practitioner) will participate in a simulated clinic environment, each week an assigned group will have responsibility for conducting the client consultation, there is one primary practitioner and a secondary practitioner. The class group will then have the opportunity to ask clarifying questions from the patient prior to the patient's departure. Facilitated by the experienced practitioner, the class will then work collaboratively to develop a detailed analysis using biomedical, holistic, CAM and naturopathic analysis techniques. You will proceed through the process of summarising, prioritising, analysing, filtering, determining a therapeutic strategy, treatment plan and prescription modality specific. Upon case completion the leading practitioners receive one on one feedback from the supervisor at the end of the session.

  5. Food as Medicine


    This unit introduces students to the concept that food can be used as a form of medicine. Historical data and current research in the field of nutritional science has provided evidence that traditional dietary combinations and certain naturally occurring constituents found in food can initiate physiological effects in humans. This phenomenon has given rise to the term functional foods, and is now part of popular culture. This unit therefore makes an important contribution to the education of students studying health science building their awareness of the potential therapeutic function of food.

  6. General Pathology


    General Pathology introduces the basic pathological processes operating in the body and the ways in which disease may result from injurious stimuli. Basic pathological processes of response to injury, growth abnormalities, degenerative disorders of the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, immunology, toxicology and microbiology, and their characteristic diseases are studied.

    This unit is vital in the education of all complementary healthcare practitioners as it enables them to understand the nature of various disease states, and correlates these at a cellular and gross anatomical level with clinical signs and symptoms that may be seen in practice.

  7. Health Assessment & Diagnostic Techniques


    In this unit you will use and expand on your knowledge of clinical diagnosis and nutritional assessment. You will explore the diverse range of assessment techniques commonly used by complementary and alternative health professionals. You will be introduced to the functional interpretation of general pathology results and functional pathology.

  8. Lifespan Nutrition


    In this unit you will examine the range of nutritional requirements that impact people at particular life stages including pre-conception, pregnancy, during lactation; infant, toddler, adolescent, adult and geriatric populations, as well as the specific issues affecting indigenous communities. Major non-communicable health conditions including obesity, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease will also be explored.

  9. Nutritional Biochemistry


    This unit builds on the introductory units of Biochemistry and Nutritional Foundations 1 and 2, providing you with foundational knowledge of nutritional biochemistry, which is essential for your further studies in nutrition. You will examine the forms, functions, mechanisms and actions of vitamins and minerals. Metabolism is examined from a nutritional biochemistry perspective, as oxidation, inflammation, and neurotransmitter synthesis. You will also be introduced into the growing field of nutrigenomics.

  10. Nutritional Therapeutics 1


    Nutritional Therapeutics 1 is the first of two units in which you will begin to integrate your science and nutritional knowledge for the support and treatment of particular health conditions. You will examine specific body systems and associated health conditions, and develop treatment approaches in a case based learning environment. The digestive, neurological, immune, respiratory systems will be examined as will conditions affecting the special senses including the eyes and ears.

  11. Pathophysiology & Clinical Diagnosis 1


    Pathophysiology & Clinical Diagnosis 1 builds upon the basic pathological principles established in General Pathology and comprises the pathophysiology, symptomatology and clinical physical diagnostics for various disease states.

    This unit includes diseases of the gastrointestinal, neurological and cardiovascular systems. Clinical diagnostic skills for these various body systems are introduced together with laboratory diagnosis and include: examination techniques, commonly used laboratory tests and analysis and interpretation of findings.

  12. Pathophysiology & Clinical Diagnosis 2


    Pathophysiology & Clinical Diagnosis 2 is a core unit that builds upon the concepts covered in Pathophysiology & Clinical Diagnosis 1. This unit is comprised of the pathophysiology, symptomatology and clinical physical diagnostics for various disease states of the hematologic, pulmonary, musculoskeletal and integumentary systems. Clinical diagnostic skills for these various body systems are introduced together with laboratory diagnosis and include examination techniques, commonly used laboratory techniques and interpretation of findings.

Year 3

  1. Advanced Nutrition Medicine


    This final year unit builds on and further integrates the concepts introduced in Nutritional Therapeutics 1 and 2. You will continue to learn how to devise comprehensive nutritional therapeutic strategies with an emphasis on complex health conditions and evidenced based practice.

  2. Dietary Analysis & Planning


    This unit is a core unit for final year students in the Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine) and an elective for Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) students. It will provide the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct thorough nutritional assessment and construct therapeutic dietary interventions in clinically specific disease states.

  3. Drug & Integrated Pharmacology


    Drug & 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, psychological functions, cancer, infection and the 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 prescribing. 

    This unit is crucial for the modern healthcare practitioner to understand common medications that clients may be taking and common interactions between these medications and natural remedies. This unit also emphasizes 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.

  4. Health Promotion


    This unit provides you with the knowledge and understanding of health promotion concepts within various settings within Australia. You will be introduced to the key theories and concepts regarding behavioural change as it relates to health status. This unit provides you with the opportunity to integrate your counselling and nutrition knowledge to devise and assess health promotion interventions.

  5. Integrative Complementary Medicine 1


    Each week you will review the holistic approach to the treatment of specific body systems, and then apply and integrate this knowledge in the analysis of complex clinical cases. In this unit, you will be expected to integrate knowledge from the science units including pathology and clinical diagnosis with your therapeutic understanding of naturopathy, nutrition and herbal medicine to provide sound clinical decisions, derive appropriate treatment goals and suggest botanical, nutritional, diet and homoeopathic treatments. You will devise modality specific treatment regimens according to your degree specialisation. Experienced clinicians will facilitate each case discussion, which will draw on contemporary research and clinical practicalities. This problem based learning unit covers the treatment of the nervous system, and endocrine, reproductive, renal and paediatric cases.

  6. Integrative Complementary Medicine 2


    Each week you will review the holistic approach to the treatment of specific body systems, and then apply and integrate this knowledge in the analysis of complex clinical cases. In this unit, you will be expected to integrate knowledge from science units including pathology and clinical diagnosis with your therapeutic understanding of naturopathy, nutrition and herbal medicine, to provide sound clinical decisions, derive appropriate treatment goals and suggest botanical, nutritional, diet and homoeopathic treatments - you will devise modality specific treatment regimens according to your degree specialisation. Experienced clinicians will facilitate each case discussion, which will draw upon contemporary research and clinical practicalities. This problem based learning unit covers the treatment of cases involving the musculoskeletal, endocrine, reproductive, and renal systems and paediatric and cancer support cases.

  7. Nutrition Clinical Practicum 1


    Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine) students commence clinical studies with a common threeunit series of Clinical Studies 1, 2 and 3, in which students observe clinical practice, learn basic counselling, case taking and analysis skills. The Nutritional Medicine specialisation incorporates three subsequent clinical units: Nutrition Clinical Practicum 1, 2 and 3. 

    In Nutrition Clinical Practicum 1, students are required to undertake 50 hours of clinical practicum working in a public student clinic. In this first Nutritional clinical practicum, you will be paired with another student practitioner and be introduced to the operations of the clinic. You will begin to manage patients, records and equipment, and undertake basic patient assessment and learn how to safely dispense nutritional prescriptions. In this practicum you will be required to begin integrating all the theoretical and practical studies undertaken throughout the course in a public student clinic setting. This clinical experience provides the basic clinical framework for professional practice. For each presenting case, clinical practicum students are required to take a detailed history, conduct relevant assessment, critical analyse data the collected, to compose a holistic diagnostic understanding, construct therapeutic treatment aims, identify interactions, define mechanisms of action of selected nutritionals and propose a therapeutic prescription. You are expected to act professionally, assure patients safety and demonstrate an awareness of practice limitations at all times. 

    Students in clinical practicum 1 are guided through this process under the strict direct supervision of an experienced clinical supervisor. No diagnosis or treatment will be made until the supervisor has determined the appropriateness of diagnosis and treatment proposed.

  8. Nutrition Clinical Practicum 2


    In Nutrition Clinical Practicum 2, students are required to undertake 100 hours of clinical practicum providing you with the opportunity to practice, consolidate and extend the fundamental client management and clinical skills acquired in Nutritional Clinical Practicum 1. In addition, you are required to focus on your time management and clinic promotion skills. 

    You will be enabled to work more independently during the critical case analysis phase, however, will continue to be closely monitored and supervised by the supervising practitioner. For each presenting case, you will be required to take a detailed history, conduct relevant assessment, critical analyse data the collected, to compose a holistic diagnostic understanding, construct therapeutic treatment aims, identify interactions, define mechanisms of action of selected nutritionals and propose a therapeutic prescription. You are expected to act professionally, assure patients safety and demonstrate an awareness of practice limitations at all times. 

    The therapeutic process remains similar to that of Nutrition Clinical Practicum 1, however, the expectation of the students capacity for critical case analysis, therapeutic construction and reflective practice has increased significantly. No diagnosis or treatment will be made until the supervisor has determined the appropriateness of diagnosis and treatment proposed. In addition, further integration and research is undertaken through the use of targeted case study, analysis and presentation subsequent to cases presentation to the clinical supervisor. You will continue to develop your reflective practice keeping logs/journals for each case and clinic session.

  9. Nutrition Clinical Practicum 3


    This is the final clinical unit of the Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine) and is the culmination of all of the theoretical and practical studies undertaken to date. 

    In this final Nutrition Clinical Practicum unit, you will be required to undertake 100 hours of clinical practicum. You are expected to operate independently, and demonstrate the capacity to work with clients with a range of more complex health needs with limited guidance. You will be expected to ensure your treatment approaches are informed by contemporary research and integrate relevant cultural, religious, gender, linguistic and social aspects of their clients into clinical decision making to ensure optimal client outcomes. 

    Students in Nutrition Clinical Practicum 3 are required to consistently demonstrate critical thinking, reflective practice and communicate clearly their insights to the clinical supervisor. Whilst there will continue to be ongoing feedback and assessment from the supervising practitioner throughout this unit, you will undergo an OSCE at the end of the trimester to assess your level of skill in the above mentioned areas. Successful passing of the OSCE is essential to pass this final clinical unit.

  10. Nutritional Therapeutics 2


    Nutritional Therapeutics 2 builds upon Nutritional Therapeutics 1 in which you will begin to integrate your science and nutritional knowledge for the support and treatment of particular health conditions. You will examine specific body systems and associated health conditions, and develop treatment approaches in a case based learning environment. The endocrine, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal reproductive, genitourinary and dermatological systems will be examined.

  11. Pathophysiology & Clinical Diagnosis 3


    Pathophysiology & Clinical Diagnosis 3 is a core unit that builds upon basic concepts covered in Pathophysiology & Clinical Diagnosis 2. This unit comprises the pathophysiology, symptomatology and clinical physical diagnostics for various disease states of gerontology and aging and the endocrine, renal, urological and reproductive systems. Clinical diagnostic skills for these various body systems are introduced together with laboratory diagnosis and include examination techniques, commonly used laboratory techniques and interpretation of findings.

  12. Professional Practice


    Professional Practice comprises the basic skills needed for the operation and management of a complementary healthcare practice and provides an understanding of the legal and ethical requirements that are pertinent to the complementary health.

An optional science bridging course is available to students who wish to refresh their skills before the course commences.

Support and delivery

Studying online explained

When you study with the Australasian College of Natural Therapies, you will have access to:

  • the online campus portal for course materials and resources
  • teachers who are experienced academics and industry practitioners
  • students services for academic and administrative enquiries
  • free of charge counselling
  • guidance and academic support via program managers
  • study support for students new to higher education, covering study basics and academic skills
  • a pre-trimester workshop for new students who haven’t studied science before

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