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11043NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine

Graduate Diploma

2 Years

Payment Options

Nationally accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework at postgraduate level

About the Course

Who is it for?

The 11043NAT-Graduate Diploma Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine is designed for veterinarians who desire to further enhance their skills and knowledge in integrative veterinary medicine. Veterinary professionals are generally working and time-poor. They seek the opportunity for education that fits into their practice and work-life schedule. This course includes live case rounds presented by an internationally recognised expert, Dr Steve Marsden. 

Successful completion of this course will enable you to integrate a new therapy into practice. You will be able to offer this service to clients and increase treatment options for patients. 

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO National Provider No. 91769). We offer nationally accredited training under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Nationally recognized training provides a standard against which courses and colleges can be assessed and assures the student that the course is of an appropriate standard and that government guidelines are met. As RTO accreditation is an ongoing activity you can be assured that the high standards of the CIVT are maintained.  This training and qualification is available across Australia and internationally. 

11043NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine is orientated towards applied theory, both traditional and biomedical which you can apply to your work almost immediately. You will be able to develop your confidence and competence over time with continuous case support, guidance and feedback from tutors with both simulated and active case forums and subsequently your own clinical cases.

Modules and Competencies

11043NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine consists of 8 Modules and 30 Topics which are the teaching components. The rest of the Graduate Diploma consists of keeping a reflective case logbook of personal experience of the skills practiced; demonstrated professional ability and competence and preparing material and evidence for assessment of competencies.

There are 8 Units of Competency that are core units and are required before full qualification is granted. Students are assessed continuously throughout the training and in the final module submit their portfolio of evidence to CIVT for assessment. Qualified assessors of CIVT assess each final submission.

Units of Competency

  • CHCPRP003-Reflect on and improve own professional practice
  • NAT11043001-Apply the veterinary Chinese medicine diagnostic framework
  • NAT11043002-Prescribe and explain veterinary Chinese herbal medicines 
  • NAT11043003-Plan and provide the veterinary Chinese herbal medicine treatment strategy
  • NAT11043004-Monitor and evaluate the veterinary Chinese herbal medicine treatment
  • NAT11043005-Provide advanced veterinary Chinese herbal medicine care
  • NAT11043006-Operate a veterinary herbal medicine dispensary
  • NAT11043007-Conduct literature review and prepare papers for publication

Course Delivery

As postgraduate students studying at an academic level, candidates are expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study in their own time and be able to practice skills in the workplace. The course is undertaken over 24 months and the theory component is delivered online with continuous support by trainers and tutors for the development of practical skills in the workplace. The modules are delivered by qualified trainers and assessors including Dr Barbara Fougere and Dr Joanna Milan with major input from recognised industry expert Dr Steve Marsden as well as other recognised industry expert practitioners contributing various components. The course is self-directed and supported by lecture notes, video lectures and comprehensive study guides which take the student through step by step. Trainers and assessors are assigned to each Module to support students in the completion of their activities and assignments as well as supporting them in developing skills and confidence in treating their own clinical cases by responding to cases via forum posts and email. One on one support is what makes this course unique. Your workplace is where you get to apply your knowledge and skills and manage your cases.

Program Duration

Part-time. 24 months. The expected volume of learning and study including clinical case time over the 24 months - 1437 hours.

Service Quality Commitment

CIVT Management is responsible for the quality of its training and assessment services in compliance with the Standards for RTOs 2015, and for the issuance of the AQF certification documentation. Once you have commenced the training and assessment in this Course, CIVT is committed to completing the delivery of the training assessment within the agreed duration and will further negotiate the timing for completion of the training assessment if you are unable to complete the course due to illness or extenuating circumstances. We offer an Absence of Leave option and an Extension of Course Time option. It is your responsibility to alert us if you require either of these.

How to Apply

Prior to enrolling ensure you read the Enrolment Terms and Conditions and the Student Handbook so you are aware of your obligations and rights.

To apply please click on the Enrol button. You will receive an initial survey which you will need to complete and return. A scanned copy of your previous educational qualifications and photo identification (passport or driver’s licence) is also required to complete enrollment. If you have questions before enrolling, feel free to email our Student Services team:

How Does this Qualification Impact Your Practice?

Dr Jamie Lines, Desert Oaks Veterinary Clinic, Alice Springs. Australia:

"I am using the TCM skills all the time - every day in lots of different ways with a number of huge success stories. I can't think how I managed without it now actually. It has become an invaluable part of our practice and working in an integrative way is really the future I believe."

Dr Lines has completed his Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine in 2017.



Participants are required to demonstrate evidence of competencies through assessment processes which comprise activities and exercises based on actual and simulated cases in practice over the two year period. This involves submitting both written assessments and performing practical tasks which will be observed by an assessor via Skype, FaceTime or viewing of a video recording. Assessment tasks are assessed throughout the course with final summative assessment occurring with submission of a case log book and two in-depth case studies.

Those who are assessed as meeting the requirements of a Unit of Competency will be provided with a Statement of Attainment. Those who are assessed as completing the requirements of the course and providing evidence of Competency for assessment will receive the the Award 11043NAT -Graduate Diploma Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where a student may be granted credit or partial credit towards a qualification in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/ or formal learning. Recognition of Prior Learning is offered to those who have pre-existing skills in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine or Certificates. This offers an entry point for people who have completed Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine training prior to the availability to the 11043NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine. These candidates need to complete an initial survey of experience and knowledge to determine if the RPL pathway is appropriate. Then they enrol in RPL for the course and begin the process of submission of evidence. This is a rigorous process. Any gaps in the mapping of skills and knowledge may need to filled by completing individual Units of Competency or elements of a Competency. A portfolio of evidence towards RPL is submitted. This process can take 1 to 6 months to complete.

Study Outcomes

The course:

  • Provides practitioners with skills and knowledge to practice veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine competently
  • Provides practitioners with an accredited postgraduate level award based on assessment of their competence
  • Provides employees and clients with evidence of a high level of competence
  • Provides participants with previous training a potential bridge to higher postgraduate qualifications through Recognition of Prior Learning


  • 99 RACE Credits
Dr Jodi Van Tine
Dr Susi Lam
Dr Joanna Milan
Dr Steve Marsden

Meet the Tutors and Lecturers

Dr Jodi Van Tine
Dr. Jodi Van Tine received a Masters Degree in Cellular Immunology from San Jose State University in 1990. She earned the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from the University of California, Davis, in 1994. For three years she practiced mixed...
2 Webinars and 9 Courses
Dr Susanne Lam studied at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna when she was first exposed to acupuncture through Dr Oswald Kothbauer. After being based in Hong Kong for 17 years, Susi moved back to Austria permanently in 2012 with...
2 Webinars and 11 Courses
Dr Joanna Milan is a 1990 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. She achieved Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) in 2002....
1 Webinar and 4 Courses
Dr Steve Marsden received his doctorate in veterinary medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in 1988. At the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon he obtained a doctorate in Naturopathic medicine, a Master's of Science...
34 Webinars and 15 Courses

What will you Learn

Module 1 - Chinese Herbal Medicine

  • Overview of Chinese Medical Physiology and Pathology
  • Chinese Medical Pathology
  • Making the Diagnosis: The Four Examinations
  • Needle First, Diagnose Later

Module 2 - Chinese Herbs

  • Assessing the Energetic of a Herb
  • The Art of Prescribing Herbs
  • Herbal pharmacology & Pharmacognosy
  • Contemporary Issues in Chinese Herbal Medicine

Module 1 - Chinese Herbal Medicine

  • Overview of Chinese Medical Physiology and Pathology
  • Chinese Medical Pathology
  • Making the Diagnosis: The Four Examinations
  • Needle First, Diagnose Later

Module 2 - Chinese Herbs

  • Assessing the Energetic of a Herb
  • The Art of Prescribing Herbs
  • Herbal pharmacology & Pharmacognosy
  • Contemporary Issues in Chinese Herbal Medicine

Module 3 - Veterinary Chinese Therapeutics I

  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of Liver Disorders
  • Nutritional Strategies in Chinese Herbal Medicine: Building on the success of Herbs with Diet Change

Module 4 - Veterinary Chinese Therapeutics II

  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Small Animals
  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of Neurological Disorders    
  • TCM Treatment of Small Animal Behaviour Conditions            

Module 5 - Veterinary Chinese Therapeutics III

  • TCM Treatment of Small Animal Urinary Disorders
  • Chinese Herbal Strategies for Kidney Disease
  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of Some Small Animal Endocrine Disorders    

Module 6 - Veterinary Chinese Therapeutics IV

  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of Cardiovascular Disorders
  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of Respiratory Disorders
  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of Skin disease in Small Animals

Module 7 - Veterinary Chinese Therapeutics V

  • Chinese Medical Pathophysiology & Treatment of Autoimmune Disease   
  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of Cancer in Small Animals
  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of Eye Disorders

Module 8 - Classical Chinese Herbal Formulas and Reflective Practice

  • Classical Chinese Herbal Formulas
  • Researching & Communicating Chinese Medicine
  • Reflecting on Practice


Read More
Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine

Before you take the course

Below requirements are needed before you can take this course.

Essential entry requirements

Students must have access to:

  • At least thirty (30) patients over the duration of the course
  • A video recording device such as a smart phone or webcam
  • A computer (with Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word and a web browser installed)
  • The internet
  • Access to a Chinese herbal dispensary and dispensing equipment

Recommended entry requirements

As this course provides vocational education and training in practical and theoretical skills relevant to the provision and integration of Chinese herbal medicine into veterinary clinical practice, for entry into the Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine, applicants hold either:

  • A veterinary science degree (Bachelors or DVM) or equivalent OR
  • A relevant bachelor degree or postgraduate qualifications (Graduate Certificate/Diploma or Master) together with significant relevant vocational practice (minimum 5 years) OR
  • A veterinary nursing qualification (Cert IV or above) with significant experience (minimum 5 years) plus written practice support to provide cases

Exceptions to these will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

It is also recommended that entrants have:

  • A high level of language, literacy and numeracy levels; sufficient to interpret and analyze lectures, journal articles and prepare written reports and case studies
  • An intermediate level of technology skills; sufficient to use an online classroom, download documents, upload assessments and post on forums

LLN support requirements and eligibility to enrol in the qualification are assessed at enrolment.

For students residing in Australia ONLY, you will be required to apply for, or use a pre-existing, Unique Student Identifier (USI).

Course Testimonials

Get inspired with our student journeys.

“Defining how I came to be inspired by integrative medicine and what this diploma means to me feels too complex to sum up - like our clients, patients and our relationships to our art! CIVT’s VCHM diploma has been an incredibly fulfilling and deep learning journey, in a very lengthy larger learning journey. I started my vet journey pursuing a career in conservation genetics research, always maintaining a tie to clinical and surgical work. A strong environmental and political activism streak through my chaotic childhood into adulthood, led me quickly to philosophy, permaculture, chaos theory, taoism and healing the emotional/physical/mental body in trauma. Much later all of the above pieces were brought together by VCHM. Currently, practicing integrative veterinary medicine out of my beloved xtra cab Hilux in Tasmania, this diploma gave me, my patients and my clients the access I needed to integrate my ability to continue pursuing being a great veterinary clinician sustainably. Having the depth of knowledge and confidence to use the deep wisdom in VCHM is what this course has opened up for me and I will be eternally grateful. It has brought immeasurable healing and growth to me, my patients and clients, on so many levels, it has completely reinvigorated my passion for the healing arts“.

Dr Wei-Yeen Yap
BSc(hons), BVMS, GVCHM

"I had been searching for solutions to ill health that did not require heavy medication and adulterated diets. When I came upon Chinese medicine in 2004 I knew I had found my Veterinary “soul mate”! I finally began to see my patients regain better health and vitality with acupuncture. The herbal aspect continued to allude me however, but I knew it was the next step and in 2018 I started my two-year journey into the Graduate Diploma in Chinese Herbal Medicine. I now have a solid base on which to grow and help patients in so many areas where traditional medicine cannot. Chinese herbal medicine can thwart endocrine disease, autoimmune disease, and even cancer! I have now had several hemangiosarcoma patients make it past 1 year remission! I am so grateful for my Chinese herbal pharmacy every day and so excited to tweak and learn with each new case. I see Chinese herbal medicine as more accessible, more affordable, and more acceptable to people and their pets. Pets also tolerate herbs better than traditional medication. It has become my go-to tool daily in practice! Thank you once again CIVT for offering these fantastic courses!" 

Dr Corinne Chapman

"The knowledge I have gained through my studies is invaluable and provides me with skills I can apply to all my patients. I am grateful and happy that I can use this new knowledge to the further benefit of companion animals. I graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) from the University of Sydney in 2007 and began practicing in Singapore, where I curently own three clinics. I completed my Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine in 2014 and was the first Singaporean veterinarian to obtain this qualification. Obtaining both Graduate Diploma in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine enhances my competitive advantage over my veterinary colleagues. My particular areas of interests are small animal internal medicine, veterinary Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture, orthopedic surgery and emergency medicine. I have been involved with the Singapore Veterinary Association, serving as President in 2014. I have always adhered to the philosophy that all animals – whether beloved pets or strays – that come to me are treated exactly the same way, I always seek to provide the best level of veterinary care for all animals no matter how advantaged or unfortunate they might be. My top three tips for my colleagues are:

1.Stretch your mind and heart to save more animals and relieve them from discomfort whereby western medicines have shown limited progress in doing so

2. Pursue your interest in this field with constant learning and upgrading

3. Excel and do your best always in life and never give up. Preserve, embrace all challenges in life and be determined, focus to reach to your ultimate goals in life."

Dr See Yang Lee

"I’d always enjoyed veterinary medicine but found myself unsettled and, at times, frustrated as I progressed through my early career post qualifying. This was often because I just couldn’t resolve some of my patients’ problems when I felt I should be able to. 

Always looking for better ways to be of help to my patients, I started looking into alternative treatments and began with acupuncture. Seeing the remarkable effects those little needles could have on my patients' well-being made me look more closely at Chinese medicine and from there I was hooked. The natural next step was to study Chinese herbs, and I started with my advanced certificate through CIVT before progressing onto my graduate diploma. What a fantastic course to study and to get deeper into the details of these wonderful herbs and Chinese medicine, as well as discovering more about myself and what I want to be able to accomplish. 

To be able to reach inside my much larger ’toolbox’ for my patients and optimise their outcomes has been such a thrill, and to see the transformation in health for patients by using whole plants, needles and diet, is a revelation. I wouldn’t be without my herbs and needles now, and neither would my patients!"

Dr Amy Watson
United Kingdom

"Having practiced acupuncture for a number of years, I was looking for additional tools to complement my conventional therapies. Although I had a prior knowledge of Chinese medicine, the Grad Dip in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine was very well taught and I increased my knowledge significantly. The course was presented in a very logical manner with relevant applications and gave me confidence to start using Chinese herbs whilst learning. I have found significant improvement in many of my patients using Chinese herbs. I was particularly happy to see improvement in cases where I had already exhausted conventional treatment options. The course importantly gave me an understanding of how to use the herbs safely with the knowledge of what effects to expect and what potential contraindications may exist. Highly recommend this course to anyone looking to expand their skills and treatment effectiveness, regardless of the type of practice you work in." 

Dr Amanda McLune
BSc(hons) BVSc(hons), CVA, CCICR, GDAC, GDVCHM

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about the questions that our students asked?
Is online study right for me?

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies offers courses that are both challenging and rewarding. You can learn at your own pace under the tutelage of experts in their field. Online or distance learning is not for everyone. Think carefully before you enroll. To succeed in online learning and distance education you will need:

  • A commitment to study and enquiry
  • To be capable of self directed learning with our guidance and support through your course
  • Motivation to pursue your course of study
  • Access to the internet and a printer
  • A good internet service that provides a good speed for downloads
  • An enthusiasm for engaging with your tutors and peers
  • The ability to work on your own or collaborate in a team
  • The capability of an independent level of written and spoken English
  • An appointment by phone may be requested prior to course commencement- we don't want you to start if we think we can't provide the right experience for you
  • If you are not sure contact us, we can help you gain a  full understanding of our courses before applying.

What you won't need is to pay airfares, travel, hotel bills by participating in green education!

All our courses are available to enrol at any time.  Our courses are part time, self paced within the course timeframe, and fully online.  Sometimes there is a scheduled start date for a course, in which we accept a group intake of enrolments. This encourages a cohort of students to move through the course together, making for a more interactive learning experience.

Although some courses have live sessions available, there are no live sessions that you are required to attend for any of our courses.  Our courses are delivered online and are self paced within the course timeframe, to give you the greatest flexibility with your study. You can study anywhere, anytime that suits you. We have great learning tools such as lectures, comprehensive course notes, videos, online resources, discussion forum and continuous support from our highly qualified and experienced tutors to help you can get the most out of your course.

Please refer to our enrolment terms and conditions when seeking extra time in a course, 

If you take a "leave of absence/deferral" from a course this freezes your progress in the course.  You will have no access to the course during this time.  A request for a leave of absence/deferral can be made for up to 3 months, initially.  Longer periods of time away from the course can be reviewed after this time.  If you want to use any course resources whilst you are taking your leave of absence/deferral you will need to download the material (such as documents, course notes, reading material) beforehand.  There is no fee to take a leave of absence/deferral, however your regular payment instalments for the course will continue.

If you request an "extension" for a course, you may be given extra time in a course and still have full access to the course.  An extension can be granted for up to, or equal to, the maximal period of study for that course.  There is a fee involved in applying for an extension, this varies according to the amount of extra time requested and is found on the link provided.


This depends on the type of course you enrol in.

Our introductory or short courses require approximately 3-5 hours per week.  Our Certifications and Graduate Diplomas require approximately 5-10 hours per week.  This will vary amongst individuals, depending on the pace in which they learn.  More time may be needed each week, depending on how long an individual needs to spend on completing assignments. 

If you are a registered Veterinarian, you are eligible to enrol in any of our courses, 

If you are a Veterinary Technician or Veterinary Nurse or Animal Health Professional you may be able to apply to enrol in selected courses for Veterinarians, however you will need to go through an eligibility process first. Otherwise, you can apply for our courses for Animal Health Professionals, 

If you are a Pet Owner, you can apply for our courses designed for Pet Owners, 


Earn your own CIVT certificate of completion

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies offers courses that are both challenging and rewarding. You can learn at your own pace under the tutelage of experts in their field. What you won’t need is to pay airfares, travel, hotel bills by participating in green education!

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the program, as per the stipulated requirements.

Payment Options

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