Diploma of Health Science

Get your first taste of the science behind Complementary Medicine and Public Health.

The Diploma of Health Science covers the foundations you need for further study in the Bachelor of Health Science specialising in Nutrition, Naturopathy, Western Herbal Medicine, Chinese Medicine and Public Health. You will also get a thorough understanding of how the human body functions as well as access to a broad range of electives that provide key knowledge and skills for use in a variety of healthcare professions allowing you to tailor the course to suit your desired career.

Upon graduation, students are eligible to attain Associate Membership with the Complementary Medicine Association (CMA).

CMA Logo
CRICOS CODE
084580B

What you'll learn:

Course Delivery

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact a Course Advisor

Workload and Assessment

Typical assessment includes:

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

Subject Information

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Within this introductory subject, students learn the principles and practice of public health and improving the health of populations. Students learn how public health is defined, the origins of public health and its evolution as a discipline. Students learn the key principles of the ‘new public health’, public health practice, the functions of public health, the role of government in improving the health and wellbeing of citizens, and public health service models, including comprehensive primary health care. They consider different understandings of health and illness, including professional, lay and Australian Indigenous definitions. They are introduced to key concepts in public health, including a human rights approach to health, an ecological perspective and the social determinants of health.

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.

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. *This unit is currently only available in Melbourne

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. *This unit is currently only available in Melbourne

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.

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.

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.

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.

In this subject students will examine the range of nutritional requirements that impact populations, communities and individuals 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.

In this subject, students undertake a detailed and in-depth study of the micronutrients which includes water- and fat-soluble vitamins and minerals and how these relate to human metabolism. This subject provides students with underpinning knowledge in relation to the correlation that exists between micronutrients and human physiology. Each individual micronutrient is studied in regard 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.

In this subject, students undertake a detailed and in-depth study of the macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates and lipids, and how these relate to human metabolism. Each individual macronutrient is studied in regards to their composition, biological function, dietary sources, recommended daily intake, factors contributing to excess states, and states of insufficiency and deficiency; and signs and symptoms associated with nutrient imbalances found in individuals and populations. Students will investigate how the management of these macronutrients contribute to the public health agenda.