Course Title: Chinese Materia Medica and Formulae 2

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Chinese Materia Medica and Formulae 2

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Angela Yang

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7175

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 202.04.018

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required prior study (Pre-requisites)

Course Description

Chinese Materia Medica and Formulae 2 is a one-semester course that will cover the remainder of the herbs that were not covered in Chinese Materia Medica and Formulae 1. Key formulae (prescriptions of combinations of herbs) used in Chinese medicine will be studied. Participation in this course will enable you to become familiar with the actions of individual herbs, meridians entered, dosage range, processing, contraindications and/or cautions. You will also study medicinal formulae which will introduce you to the theory of developing key formulae including ingredients, modifications, actions, indications, contraindications and/or cautions.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Objectives for MC138 Master Applied Science (Chinese Herbal Medicine):

  • PLO 1: Apply knowledge of Chinese medicine principles and methods in the diagnosis and management of a range of health disorders;
  • PLO 2: Plan and perform treatments using Chinese herbal medicine or acupuncture and moxibustion for a range of disorders in a safe and professional manner;
  • PLO 4: Communicate effectively with patients, other health professionals, regulatory bodies, and the general public;
  • PLO 5: Operate and manage a responsible and sustainable health care practice in compliance with legal and ethical requirements

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Synthesise and articulate the actions, indications, contraindications, dosage range, processing and any known toxicity of the individual herb and any known potentially toxic interactions with other herbs or western medication (CLO 1);
  2. Identify and interpret regulations governing the practice of herbal medicine and demonstrate the capacity to apply relevant Chinese herbal medicine guidelines developed by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia with particular emphasis on elements relating to the prescribing of herbs (CLO 2);
  3. Explain how herbal formula are constructed, list the component herbs, describe the clinical indications and contraindications and cautions for a number of key Chinese medicinal formulae and critically analyse common modifications (and appropriate herbs) of key Chinese herbal formulae (CLO 3);
  4. Write a Chinese herbal prescription according to the professionally recognised standard format (CLO 4);
  5. Perform Chinese herbal dispensing in a professional manner (CLO 5);
  6. Demonstrate the ability to interpret and transmit knowledge related to prescribed Chinese herbal medicine by the preparation of appropriate patient instructions for herbal medicine (CLO 6).

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities include a mixture of face-to-face lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Learning activities that will foster the development of the capabilities to be developed in this course will include problem-based learning, case-based learning and role plays.  You will also have the opportunity to practice skills, such as constructing, communicating and writing out a Chinese herbal prescription according to standard format and the condition of the presenting patient. You will receive feedback about your skills development. Hands-on experience is provided in identification of herbs, describing common modifications (and appropriate herbs) of key Chinese formulae, recognising possible adverse reactions and the significance of these and describing appropriate action.

Teacher Guided Hours: 43 per semester including lectures, tutorials, online activities and practical sessions

Learner Directed Hours: 77 per semester

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. All material to be chosen will be digitally available to students. Lecture material will be delivered via online mediums. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. Chinese medicine library subject guides are available via 

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1:  Progressive assessments (online quizzes 15%, short answer questions and case studies 15%)

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6

Assessment Task 2:  Competency assessment (herbal dispensing practical)

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 3: In-class written exam

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6

Assessment Task 4: Online exam (short answer questions and case studies)

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6