CMPL 1001 Traditional Chinese Medicine 1

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400346

Coordinator Xiaoshu Zhu Opens in new window

Description This unit provides a comprehensive introduction to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Students are introduced to basic TCM theory, and the physiological principles of the diagnostic system that forms the basis of TCM practice. The history and philosophy of Chinese medicine is introduced and discussed in the light of contemporary clinical practice.

School Health Sciences

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Discuss the philosophical context of TCM in preparation for future clinical practice;
  2. Compare the main differences between traditional Chinese medical science and contemporary Western medical science;
  3. Explain the professional practice of TCM within the context of health care in Australia, and the development of the profession internationally;
  4. Describe physiological functions and attributes of the fundamental concepts including yin/yang, wu xing, vital substances, and bodily organs (zang-fu) and their interrelationships in TCM;
  5. Determine the principles of aetiology and pathogenesis in TCM, including the causes of disease;
  6. Discuss the interrelationship of the causes of disease, the mechanisms by which they disrupt health and the relationship of lifestyle patterns to health and prevention of disease;
  7. Summarise the historical development of TCM.

Subject Content

1. Introduction to TCM:
- The Definition of TCM
- contemporary TCM practice (methods, clinical scope, integration)
- The main distinguishing features of TCM philosophy and theoretical principles
- difficulties in the study of TCM for contemporary Western students; contemporary TCM terminology in English, TCM concepts that do not exist in Western culture, TCM wholistic paradigm vs. WSM analytical approach
- An historical context
2. Basic TCM theory:
- yin/yang theory
- wu xing theory and The concordances
3. TCM physiology:
- Physiology of the internal organs (zang-fu)
- Origins, actions and functions of QI, blood, body fluids, jing and shen
- introduction to channels (Jingluo)
- food and fluid metabolism
4. Aetiology & pathogenesis in TCM:
- TCM view of disease
- health and disease concepts and definitions
- etiology & pathogenesis of disease in TCM
- The causes of disease in Traditional Chinese medicine
- The relationship between The body and pathogenic Factors


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay - Written assignment 1,500 words 50 N Individual
Final examination - written 2 hours 50 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Maciocia, G., (2005). The Foundations of Chinese Medicine.2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

Teaching Periods

2022 Semester 1



Subject Contact Xiaoshu Zhu Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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