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Course summary

There is a growing demand for osteopaths as more people seek the kind of holistic and preventative approaches that are integral to this system of diagnosis and manual therapy, used to treat musculoskeletal and other functional disorders of the body.

The Master of Osteopathic Medicine is designed to develop a critical evaluation of the theory and practice of osteopathy, as well as to produce primary care health practitioners who are able to meet complex challenges and think rigorously and independently.  

As a student, you will undertake substantial clinical practice under the supervision of an experienced practitioner at Southern Cross University’s state-of-the-art Health Clinic. Graduates will be eligible to register as practitioners of osteopathic medicine.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies) who commenced the undergraduate course from 2017 onwards will receive four units of advanced standing into the Master of Osteopathic Medicine. The full-time duration for both courses (undergraduate and Masters) is four years.



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Students undertake studies in osteopathic medicine, including advanced diagnosis and management of complex problems; complete clinical practice under supervision in internal and external health facilities; and engage in a research project.

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Demonstrate advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge in osteopathy

Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts in osteopathic practice


Develop innovative and creative responses to health problems and challenges within area of research and/or professional practice

Develop innovative and creative responses to health problems and challenges within osteopathic practice

Ethical practice

Develop an understanding of health practice informed by ethical and legal principles

Apply knowledge and skills with high level personal autonomy and accountability to fulfil primary health care responsibilities

Apply osteopathic knowledge and skills with creativity and initiative in professional practice in a way that reflects osteopathic philosophy and scope of practice

Knowledge of a discipline

Communicate and demonstrate technical research skills to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences

Demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to osteopathy and its professional practice

Lifelong learning

Demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge, an extended understanding of recent developments in osteopathy and its professional practice, and reflect critically on personal and professional osteopathic practice

Communication and social skills

Demonstrate person-oriented care and communication

Demonstrate professional relationships and behaviour with health care professionals from all disciplines

Cultural competence

Apply an understanding of health care provision that is informed by cultural awareness and cultural competence, an international perspective and respect for the rights of all persons

Demonstrate an understanding of the physical, social, political, ecological and cultural influences on health and disease that impact health

Students complete a wide variety of assessments including written exams, written assignments and clinical exams such as observed long case exams and viva voces.

The osteopathic medicine units use a student-centred curriculum. Problem-based activities and studies, as well as case discussion, engender independent and team-based learning.

Clinical practice is a mentored learning experience in both real and simulated patient encounters. The research component is self-directed and supervised and aims to develop critical thinkers and readers of research. Reflective practitioner skills are integrated into the curriculum to develop interpersonal and lifelong learning characteristics.

The Master of Osteopathic Medicine is the second stage of a professional-entry-level program that aims to produce graduates who are eligible to register as practitioners of osteopathic medicine. The first stage is the Southern Cross University Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (with the double major Osteopathic Studies/Human Structure and Function), or the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies), or an equivalent award from another institution.

Southern Cross University is seeking to increase the number of graduate osteopaths in order to meet community demand. Osteopathy Australia estimates a national shortage of osteopaths that will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.  

The Master of Osteopathic Medicine includes substantial supervised clinical practicums at the Southern Cross University Health Clinic (Gold Coast or Lismore campuses) and in external health clinics and services. External placements provide opportunities to experience a range of community practices and to start to build professional networks that help establish future careers.

Professional experience placements require students to fulfil certain pre-requisites prior to attending any placements. Before applying for this course, it is important that you understand what these requirements are, as they include immunisation compliance.

The Master of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited by the Osteopathy Board of Australia. Graduates may apply to become a registered osteopath.

Graduates of the course are eligible for professional membership with Osteopathy Australia (OA).

Osteopathic services are recognised under all state government statutory workers compensation schemes and motor vehicle accident compensation schemes; under Medicare's Chronic Disease Management Plan items; Departments of Veterans Affairs rebates and most private health insurance schemes.


The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'