BlogUniversityPros and Cons of Chiropractic Science at Macquarie University

Pros and Cons of Chiropractic Science at Macquarie University

Let’s face it — it can be hard to get one’s honest opinions about a university program but we’ve got your back! We’re here to tell you about the Macquarie Uni Chiropractic Science program.

We’ve invited Darren Liew, a final year student in the Bachelor of Chiropractic Science/Master of Chiropractic. He’s here to tell us all about the yays and nays of this Chiropractic program including its workload, staff and more!

So let’s get cracking!

Why should you study a Chiropractic Science degree at Macquarie Uni?
Top 3 Pros of a Chiropractic Science Degree
Top 3 Cons of a Chiropractic Science Degree
Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make
Things to Know Before Starting Macquarie Chiropractic Science
What Makes this Degree Different
Motivations for Studying Macquarie Chiropractic Science
Potential Career Paths

Why should you study a Chiropractic Science degree at Macquarie Uni?

Macquarie University’s Bachelor of Chiropractic Science/Master of Chiropractic program is internationally renowned as one of the oldest chiropractic courses in the world! At the end of the five year program, you’ll be able to apply to become accredited chiropractor under the Council on Chiropractic Education Australia to work in Australia and New Zealand.

With its highly evidence-based theory and practicals, you will develop a robust understanding of how the human body works, opening avenues to work in diverse areas such as sports, medicine, public health and research. Macquarie Uni also provides students with access to one of its three chiropractic clinics in Sydney during placements, reserving you a front row seat to experience what being a chiropractor is all about!

Macquarie Chiropractic - Quote

Most importantly, Macquarie University is the only university that offers an accredited chiro curriculum in New South Wales, so you won’t be able to find this program anywhere else in the state! 

Top 3 Pros of a Chiropractic Science degree

#1: Making a difference in other’s lives 

Training to become a chiropractor can be very rewarding, especially if you’re someone who aspires to make a difference in someone else’s lives. 

The main purpose of being a chiropractor is to help people out, so whatever you learn in class, it’s all very relevant and it comes back to helping other people improve their wellbeing,” Darren says.

“Especially in fourth and fifth year when it gets really clinical, whatever you learn in class is literally what you do once you start working so you get to see how it applies to your everyday patients and how it helps them feel better.” 

#2: Very practical based 

If you’re a very hands on person, this chiropractic course can be quite fun for you. Darren says that this program is “not something that you can study hard for. Yes, you have to do your own studies, go to seminars and Youtube to learn about the extra stuff but you also need to know how to apply both your theory and practical skills together.” 

It’s also the satisfaction of getting a practical skill right that can bring joy! “In general, my favourite thing is the satisfaction I get once I learn how to do what I’ve been taught after practising it for quite awhile,” Darren adds. 

#3: Supportive staff and cohort

While studying chiro can be stressful and competitive, Macquarie’s teaching staff are always ready to help you perform your best! 

If you dare to ask and reach out, there is always someone there to help you,” Darren points out. “The staff that Macquarie hires is very approachable. As long as you’re willing to learn, the tutors are willing to sit down next to you and put in the extra effort to teach you everything nicely. Basically, as long as you’re willing to give your 100%, they’re going to give their 100% back.”  


Top 3 Cons of a Chiropractic Science degree

#1: Heavy workload 

Be prepared to build up your stamina for the marathon that is Macquarie’s Chiro program. It’s full of intensive assessments, contact hours and placement criteria you need to meet in order to graduate.

The workload can be overwhelming because there’s so much to study that it can be too much to handle. Placements can also be really tiring because there are a lot of criteria you need to meet,”  Darren says. 

Practical assessments such as OSCEs can be quite stressful as they are barrier tasks that require you to pass in order to progress to the next stage. In these OSCEs, you will be asked to perform 9 out of 15 techniques in less than 9 minutes with your supervisors assessing you.

They want to teach you how to perform the techniques in the shortest time possible because when you go into practice, there won’t be much time to perform treatment,” Darren explains. “The OSCEs can be quite overwhelming, like at one point, I had 12 exams in one week.” 

Darren advises you to cut down on your part-time work if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the coursework.

#2: Limited staff

Unfortunately, the size of the Chiropractic faculty is quite small. This means that “there are 60 students per class and there are four or five tutors at most that attend them. So, the amount spent on each student is quite limited.” Darren explains.

Even so, the staff do try their best to attend to the students, especially those who are really enthusiastic about the subject. 

Darren assumes that it’s probably because the Chiropractic faculty does not receive a lot of attention from the university. “In my opinion, I feel like our faculty is not being focused on enough and we feel underrated,” Darren expresses. 

#3: Poor public rapport

A lot of people think that chiropractic art is a placebo effect,” Darren says. Although Chiropractic work is an accredited practice, Darren points out that the inconsistencies in practice can give the chiropractor community a bad name and this can make it hard to build rapport and engagement with future clients. 

“The community should be aware that it is a scientifically proven intervention that helps in certain conditions that the patient has,” Darren says. “Awareness should be raised so more people know that what we are doing is proven and not fake.” 

As such, the poor demand for chiropractors can make it hard for new graduates to find a full-time job. “I’ve known a lot of people who graduated above me and they have to work two part-time jobs as a chiro and also work at Woolies to just sustain their daily income,” Darren adds. 

Any regrets? 

There are days where I wonder if this is worth it but I guess the result is worth it because I see that it really helps people, especially in the final few years of studying. Helping people has always been my main priority in life,” Darren says. 

What do you wish you had known before starting Macquarie Chiropractic Science? 

#1: Research into the curriculum 

I didn’t know that becoming a chiro requires 5 years and not 3 years. I also didn’t know that you had to do a Master in Chiropractic in order to become a full-fledged chiropractor,” Darren says.  

So, it’s very important that you do research into what Macquarie has to offer in your journey to become a chiropractor! While your units are all determined for you by the university, it still helps to get on top of what you’ll be studying and experiencing in the next few years.

If you’d like more information about the degree, check out our article on its units, assessments, student resources and more here!

#2: Be patient 

Darren says that the five-year degree can feel very time-consuming, especially since the first few years are very focused on the theoretical basics so it’s hard to see how it could be applied in your future career. 

We learn a lot of theoretical stuff that can seem irrelevant to our practice,” Darren explains.

“In my opinion, I felt that learning about the details of subjects like organic chemistry is not really applicable to practice whereas if we learn pharmacology, it is useful because we see patients who take medications and we get to understand how their medication works alongside our practice.” 

That being said, Darren does advise to continue going to these classes that may seem irrelevant, because it’s going to be very useful in your final years.

“Practice your skills well, try to attend all tutorial classes. Although some stuff may seem dull, it becomes useful in third, fourth and fifth year. It all really starts kicking in third year. Once you hit fourth year, things get really intense and that’s when you really need to study because everything is relevant to practice,” Darren says. 

It’s going to be tiring but it’s all going to be worth it when you start practicing in fifth year!” he exclaims.

#3: Stay humble

Studying Chiropractic Science can be quite competitive but Darren has learnt that staying humble and kind to yourself can help you deal with the stress. “It’s very important to remember to not get demotivated whenever you’re unable to adjust a joint.”

Some people are going to learn things faster than others so try not to get demotivated because your classmates learn faster than you and you still can’t get it,” Darren advises. “So for example, if you can’t crack someone’s neck, be kind to yourself if your friend does it well and you don’t. Take your time to get it right.”

What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities? 

#1: The only Chiro course in New South Wales 

Macquarie is the only one that offers a chiro program in Sydney,” Darren says. 

And he’s right — Macquarie Uni’s chiro course is one of the four universities that offer this program in Australia. Other than Macquarie in New South Wales, there’s one in Queensland, one in Melbourne and another in Perth.

The content of each curriculum is fairly the same to meet the requirements to become an accredited chiropractor but there’s one thing that sets Macquarie apart from the others that is discussed below!

#2: Evidence based practice 

Macquarie University is one of the oldest universities that teach chiro so they actually teach in a very evidence based way,” Darren says. 

This means that Macquarie University is very experienced in equipping their students with knowledge and techniques that is backed up with evidence to handle any situation that they might face in the future workplace. As Darren explains, “They give you a lot of information in various ways to tackle situations, e.g. if you have a pregnant client and a high school student with the same issue, we have to figure out multiple ways to tackle the situation.” 

“So we have multiple things to know,” Darren adds. “Even if some people find it useless, in the real world we actually have to learn it and apply to any situation that reality throws at us.”

What inspired you to choose Macquarie Chiropractic Science?

“The funny thing was, I didn’t want to study chiropractic at first. I wanted to go to med school but I fell short of the ATAR requirement and didn’t get in. Despite that, I still had the heart of wanting to help people,” Darren said. 

What’s fascinating was that it was Youtube that sparked Darren’s interest in pursuing chiro as a career.

As Darren describes, “Then I watched some chiropractic videos on Youtube. I found that it was quite interesting because it was an instant treatment and it did not require any medication. So yeah, that was it.” 

What are the possible career paths?

Macquarie Chiropractic - Careers

The traditional route after completing your chiro degree is to become a chiropractor but many don’t realise that you can actually find jobs in other areas of allied health. Here are just some careers you can pursue with a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science: 

    • Allied health assistant 
    • Sports consultant 
    • Government policy maker 
    • Healthcare manager
    • Rehabilitation worker 
    • Researcher 

Kate Lynn Law graduated in 2017 with an all rounders HSC award and an ATAR of 97.65. Passionate about mentoring, she enjoys working with high school students to improve their academic, work and life skills in preparation for the HSC and what comes next. An avid blogger, Kate had administered a creative writing page for over 2000 people since 2013, writing to an international audience since her early teenage years.


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