Unit description

Introduces students to herbal medicine, based on the study of the European herbal tradition as it originated in ancient Greece. It covers the historical and philosophical framework of Western herbal medicine, its language and modern application. It also provides an introduction to the manufacture of herbal preparations.

Unit content

  • The philosophical tradition of western herbal medicine
  • Introduction to a wide variety of herbals
  • Scope and limitation of application of herbs: domestic, naturopathic and pharmaceutical uses
  • Ecological considerations with regard to use of medicinal herbs
  • Current political context for herbalists and relevant legislation
  • Place of traditional knowledge and modern scientific research in herbal medicine
  • Language of herbal medicine and the historical context of its utilisation
  • Materia medica of selected herbs

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 2

  • Foster, S & Johnson, R, 2005, Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicines, National Geographic, Washington DC.
  • Tobyn, G, Denham, A & Whitelegg, M, 2011, The Western Herbal Tradition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Edinburgh.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Seminar 3 hours (10 weeks)
Laboratory session 6 hours (2 weeks)
Exam: closed book50%
Essay and Annotated Bibliography30%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2014 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.