Unit description

Introduces students to the diverse field of complementary medicine, its community usage, its role in health care and society. Legal and ethical issues including regulation of the medicines and practitioners are examined. Includes an overview of the major complementary medicine modalities. Adopts a student-focused strategy aimed at allowing students to critically explore the topic while providing them with basic knowledge of the discipline.

Unit content

Topic 1: Defining complementary medicine
Topic 2: Patterns of complementary medicine use and why people use complementary medicine
Topic 3: Complementary medicine and mainstream healthcare
Topic 4: Regulation of complementary medicines and of complementary medicine practitioners
Topic 5: Efficacy and safety of complementary medicine
Topic 6: Scientific evidence base for complementary medicine
Topic 7: Introduction to the major complementary medicine modalities:

  1. Naturopathy
  2. nutritional medicine
  3. herbal medicine
  4. homeopathy
  5. tactile therapies (massage)
  6. Traditional Chinese Medicine (incl. acupuncture)

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 1

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Tutorial online 2 hours (3 weeks)
Structured online learning 2 hours (12 weeks)
Discussion board20%
Modality Profile50%

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 2016 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.