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Bachelor of Clinical Sciences

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

The Bachelor of Clinical Sciences has a strong clinical focus and provides students with a comprehensive background in biomedical science and health.

During the course, students gain the knowledge and skills required to work in a range of health-related areas. They can tailor their study program through the choice of majors to pursue specific career paths. The degree can also be completed without a major, providing the option of a general study program offering a wide range of elective units.

The course is also ideal as a first degree for those who wish to continue their health education with a graduate course in a professional field such as medicine, psychology, physiotherapy, nutrition and dietetics, or osteopathic medicine.

Career opportunities

This course provides a pathway into graduate entry osteopathy, psychology and dietetics, and a potential articulation into naturopathy. It also prepares students for a variety of career directions in the health and education sectors, including at medical centres, health centres, pharmacies, resorts and retreats, in research, as natural health or nutrition consultants to the industry sector and within the media.

Professional recognition

For students interested in pursuing a career in osteopathy, five years of education and training is required (three-year Bachelor of Clinical Sciences majoring in Osteopathic Studies and Human Structure and Function; and a two-year Master of Osteopathic Medicine offered by Southern Cross University). In Australia, entry level training in osteopathic medicine is accredited by the Osteopathy Board of Australia and this course pathway was granted full accreditation in 2012. Registration in Australia gives mobility across all states and territories and New Zealand.

The Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited Psychology major offers a pathway for admission to the Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours, for eligible graduates who complete the degree with all 10 units in the Psychology major. However, APAC are reviewing their accreditation standards and we cannot guarantee the Psychology major will meet their revised standards in the future. Students wishing to progress to the Honours program are now recommended to study the Bachelor of Psychological Science.

For students interested in naturopathy, the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences provides the foundation to enter a career in industry or private enterprise as advisors. Students need to complete the majors in Naturopathic Studies and Complementary Medicine. However, in order to enter private practice, further clinical studies are necessary.

The Human Nutrition major offers students the underpinning knowledge to work as nutritionists as well as to further their studies in postgraduate nutrition/dietetics. Graduates of this major may be eligible to apply as an Associate Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society of Australia.

Students who wish to become pedorthists must complete the Pedorthic Studies and Foot Care double major. A pedorthist is a health care professional who specialises in the improvement of human movement, in particular gait and better foot function. A pedorthist conducts a comprehensive assessment which may lead to them manufacturing corrective footwear, orthoses or other supportive devices to address conditions which affect the feet and human mobility. The University is undertaking accreditation through the Australian Pedorthic Medical Grade Footwear Association. Once accredited, the degree will enable graduates to become members of the Association, to become certified pedorthists, and the practise as professional pedorthists in Australia.

Professional placement

Students who have chosen the osteopathic or pedorthic areas of study will have the opportunity to undertake a supervised professional placement.

Major areas of study

Majors to choose from include:

  • Ageing (taught by distance education)
  • Complementary Medicine
  • Ecosystem Management (only available as a double major with Human Nutrition)
  • Human Nutrition
  • Human Structure and Function
  • Naturopathic Studies (not available for students commencing in Session 2 (mid-year))
  • Osteopathic Studies (only available as a double major with Human Structure and Function)
  • Pedorthic Studies (only available as a double major with Foot Care) (taught at the Gold Coast only)
  • Foot Care (taught at the Gold Coast only)
  • Psychology (taught at Coffs Harbour or by distance education)

The course can also be completed without a major, providing the option to pursue a general study program from a wide range of elective units.

For more information about the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences generic stream (16 electives), please refer to the Course Enrolment Guide. Please note this guide is for the current year and that information contained in it may vary for future intakes.

Note for International students: The majors Ageing and Psychology are not available to International Students.

Note about session intakes: Students interested in studying osteopathic studies (Osteopathic Studies and Human Structure double major) or pedorthics (Pedorthic Studies and Foot Care double major), are advised to commence this course in Session 1. The commencing units in Osteopathic Studies and Pedorthic studies are only available in session 1 of each year.

Assessment methods

The assessment methods used in this course vary from unit to unit. Most units utilise progressive assessment with marks typically allocated across a combination of assessment tasks due at different times during the study period that often include a formal end of session examination. Assessment requirements for each unit are advised in writing to students at the commencement of each study period with clear guidelines, due dates, and the weighting for each assessment task.

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including face-to-face lectures and tutorials. Some units offer online activities, classes, pre-recorded and/or live lectures. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

The online study option is highly interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students may receive online pre-recorded and/or live lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.
  • Recognition of informal learning
    Credit may be awarded on the basis of current informal learning (that takes place through work, social, family or leisure activities).

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.

The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Specialist facilities for clinical science students include access to fully equipped and up-to-date scientific laboratories for clinical sciences, psychology, biomechanics and biochemistry, and state-of-the art facilities for human anatomy. A specialist pedorthics facility at the Gold Coast campus provides access to equipment used in footwear manufacturing and patient assessment.

The SCU Health Clinics, located on the Lismore and Gold Coast campuses, are fully operational clinics for naturopathy, and postgraduate clinical exercise physiology and clinical osteopathy student training at Lismore, and speech therapy, midwifery, podiatry and pedorthics at the Gold Coast.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents

Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the award of Bachelor of Clinical Sciences, a candidate shall successfully complete not less than twenty-four (24) units comprising:
    1. Six (6) units from Part A of the Schedule of Units plus two (2) designated units from Part D of the Schedule of Units attached to these Rules; and
    2. one (1) eight-unit major selected from the majors in Part B of the Schedule plus eight (8) elective units from Part B or Part C of the Schedule; or
    3. two (2) eight-unit majors selected from Part B of the Schedule of Units, which may include compulsory major combinations; or
    4. sixteen (16) elective units selected from Part B or Part C of the Schedule.
  2. To be eligible for the award of Associate Degree of Clinical Sciences a candidate shall successfully complete not less than sixteen (16) units comprising:
    1. Five (5) units from Part A of the Schedule of Units:

BIO00307  Human Physiology

BIO00101  Physiological Pathology I

BIO00102  Physiological Pathology II

NUT00214 Food and Nutrition in Health

Plus one unit from the following:

BIO01302  Human Anatomy

BIO10662  Systemic Anatomy; and

  1. eleven (11) units from Part B or Part C of the Schedule of Units.
  2. A candidate who while enrolled in the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences has successfully completed the requirements for the Associate Degree of Clinical Sciences may elect to be awarded the Associate Degree of Clinical Sciences following withdrawal from the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences.

Advanced standing

(a) Candidates who have completed a Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma at an AQF Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in the same or a related discipline, with similar learning outcomes, volume of learning, program of study (including content), and learning and assessment approaches, may be granted advanced standing of unspecified electives into the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences of up to 4, 8 or 12 units, respectively.

(b) Candidates who have completed a Certificate III qualification will not be admitted solely on the basis of this qualification.

(c) Candidates who have completed the Bachelor of Health Science Majoring in Podiatry may be granted Advanced Standing for up to sixteen (16) units towards the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Pedorthic Studies/Foot Care) double major

Schedule of units


How to apply

Domestic students

Applications to commence this course in 2017 will open on Monday 25 July, 2016.

International students

Confirm you meet the entry requirements including English language and academic entry and any specific pre-requisites.

Southern Cross University accepts applications directly through the International Application for Admissions form.

Additional information on how to apply is available at SCU International. Please note applicants from some countries need to go through an Education Agent.

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

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