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Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies)

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

The Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies) has a strong clinical focus and provides students with a comprehensive grounding in biomedical science and health. During the course, students gain the knowledge and skills required to continue postgraduate studies in osteopathic medicine. 

To become a registered osteopath, successful completion of the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies) and the Southern Cross University Master of Osteopathic Medicine is required.

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

Career opportunities

Provides a pathway into graduate entry osteopathy. The Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies) together with the Master of Osteopathic Medicine provides a professional-entry-level program that produces graduates who are eligible to register as practitioners of osteopathic medicine.

Professional recognition

In Australia, entry level training in osteopathic medicine is accredited by the Osteopathy Board of Australia and this revised course is currently undergoing the accreditation process which is due to be completed late 2016. Registration in Australia gives mobility across all states and territories and New Zealand.

Professional placement

Professional placements provide students with about 800 hours of experience in the practice of safe and effective manual therapy and the application of a wide range of treatment and management plans. Students have opportunities to work with a diverse range of patients in areas including injury and illness prevention and management, rehabilitation and health promotion. Clinical practice-based learning is also undertaken at the SCU Health Clinic, at the Lismore campus.

Professional experience placements require students to fulfil certain pre-requisites prior to attending any placements. Prior to applying for this course, please consider the important information regarding these requirements.

Major areas of study

Students are introduced to the philosophical and biological underpinnings of the osteopathic concept of health. They develop foundational skills in diagnosis and technique that are utilised in osteopathic clinical practice. The course includes the study of advanced levels of anatomy and physiology, particularly the structure and function of the muscular and nervous systems.

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 include fully-equipped scientific laboratories for biomechanics and biochemistry, the anatomy and physiology lab, anatomy cadaver lab, chemistry lab and manual therapies lab, visit scu.edu.au/healthlabs

Clinical practice-based learning is also undertaken at the SCU Health Clinics, located at the Lismore and Gold Coast campuses.

Course structure

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

Table of contents


Course requirements

To be eligible for the award of Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies), a candidate shall successfully complete not less than twenty-four (24) units (288 credit points) comprising all units listed in the Schedule attached to these Rules.

A candidate who, while enrolled in the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies), has successfully completed not less than sixteen (16) units (192 credit points) comprising any 16 units from the units listed in the Schedule attached to these Rules may elect to be awarded the Associate Degree in Clinical Sciences following withdrawal from the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies).

Professional Experience Learning

This course includes professional experience learning. Pre-requisites to meet national and state-based regulatory requirements, as detailed on School of Health and Human Sciences Professional Experience page must be met prior to attending professional experience placement. All professional experience learning hours must be completed and professional behaviour and conduct must be demonstrated.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent Requirements apply to this course as defined on the Student Access & Inclusion website. If you have a disability or health condition which may impact on your ability to meet these requirements please refer to the Student Access & Inclusion website for further information and contact details.

Schedule of units

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How to apply

Domestic students

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'