Course Title: Dermatology and Chinese External Medicine

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Dermatology and Chinese External Medicine

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr Lin Dong

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7990

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 202.04.052-2

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study

You should have satisfactorily completed following course/s before you commence this course.

Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course.

Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.

Course Description

Dermatology and Chinese External Medicine is a one-semester course that will cover a number of dermatological diseases and external conditions. It will cover their aetiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, syndrome differentiation and treatment principles.  The roles of Chinese herbal formulae, acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese diet therapy will be addressed. The practicum component comprises observation and treatment of patients under the supervision of a qualified and RMIT-approved Chinese medicine practitioner. Regulatory requirements for practitioners and professional ethics and practice management issues will be included. This course will continue to contribute to the development of an evidence-based approach to the practice of Chinese medicine. Practical experience in a work-based setting will facilitate your understanding of the broad context within which Chinese medicine is practised in Australia, including its role within the health-care sector and workplace issues.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Objectives for BP278 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chinese Medicine):

  • PLO 1: provide specialised health care within a patient-centred, evidence-based framework.
  • PLO 2: gather clinical information to make accurate differential diagnoses, assessment and management plans and carry out effective treatment.
  • PLO 3: practice as a competent health care professional in a safe, ethical and legally responsible manner.
  • PLO 4: demonstrate cultural awareness and sensitivity in the provision of specialised health care.
  • PLO 5: communicate effectively in a range of forms (written, online, oral) and with diverse audiences (patients, community/public, agencies and health professionals).
  • PLO 6: work independently and in teams, specifically to lead and contribute to inter-professional care partnership.
  • PLO 8: understand the historical development of the profession, its ethos, organisation and philosophical foundations.

On successful completion of this course, you will be expected to:

  1. Conduct a case history, taking into consideration cultural safety and diversity, integrating your knowledge of both Chinese medicine and western medicine to describe the aetiology; pathogenesis; and syndrome differentiation for a range of dermatological and external diseases and conditions.
  2. Describe the components of key herbal formulae and acupuncture prescriptions and modifications for treating dermatological and external diseases and conditions and relate the construction of the formulae to the aetiology and pathogenesis of the disease.
  3. Plan, design and implement individualised herbal medicine and acupuncture treatment plans and write a Chinese herbal prescription according to standard format, and dispense the herbal prescription according to legal and ethical requirements.
  4. Compose appropriate patient instructions for herbal medicine and other acupuncture modalities, supported by culturally appropriate verbal instruction to the patient that includes the risks and benefits.
  5. Demonstrate the procedures involved in dispensing of herbal prescriptions and pao zhi (processing of herbs); follow hygienic procedures when preparing and dispensing herbs; and communicate with patients regarding the preparation, administration, cautions and contraindications of herbal prescriptions.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectorials, tutorials, practicals, laboratories, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face to face, online or a mix of both.

Learning experiences that will foster the development of the capabilities to be developed in this course will include problem-based learning and case-based learning experiences. Learning experiences will also provide you the opportunity to work in teams, practice skills and receive feedback. They will also be reiterated and reinforced through clinical observation and/or clinical practice. 

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course.

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

This course contains hurdle requirements. All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

A hurdle requirement is necessary in order to demonstrate to the accrediting body that students are competent and are being sufficiently assessed against practice-focussed professional standards throughout the course of their program. Visit for all relevant polices and guidelines set by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Clinical Practicum (HURDLE)
Weighting 10%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 2: In-semester assessments
Weighting 50%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 3: End of semester case study assessment
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.