Wondering what it’s like to study a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science at Macquarie University?
Here is a snapshot of everything about this degree — including its classes, assessments, student resources and more!
Let’s get cracking!
What is a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science at Macquarie University?
As one of the first chiropractic degrees in the world, the Bachelor of Chiropractic Science at Macquarie Uni fosters a strong scientific and evidence-based foundation that grounds its technical training, enriching its students with knowledge and skills relevant to the chiropractor profession.
A completion of this 3 year degree will allow you to progress into Macquarie Uni’s Master of Chiropractic program, which enables you to register as an accredited chiropractor in Australia!
With an in-depth study of the human body, comprehensive practicals and scheduled visits to the University’s chiropractic clinics, Macquarie University provides a unique glimpse into life as a chiropractor for its undergraduates!
Who should study a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science at Macquarie Uni?
If you’re someone who likes both theoretical studies and hands-on work, being a chiropractor is the right pathway for you! A passion for the sciences including Physics, Chemistry and Biology is also great to drive your scientific understanding behind chiropractic techniques.
Besides its theory and practicals, this degree is very rewarding for those who are looking to help people stay healthy in a non-invasive and natural way!
While the undergraduate degree in Chiropractic Science is a step to becoming an accredited chiropractor, you can also pursue other career pathways such as:
- Allied Health employee
- Healthcare advisor
- Rehabilitation service provider
Core Units for this Degree
What are the core units?
Luckily for you, Macquarie Uni has already structured all the units for Chiropractic students to ensure everyone has the same theoretical understanding and technical skills that are important for future practice! Overall, the units for chiropractic science will become more and more nuanced as you progress into the degree.
In each semester, you will get one chiro unit and three other non-chiro units. Chiro units mainly cover the theory and technical side of the chiropractic field, while the non-chiro units embeds the scientific knowledge required to fortify your understanding behind chiro practice.
In your first year, you will be introduced to what a chiropractor does while covering all the basic scientific concepts in chemistry, physics and biology that build the foundations of chiro.
Second year becomes more in-depth with anatomy; delving into the mechanics of joints, ligaments and motion. You will also learn about health and disease in human bodies to learn how to diagnose a patient or recognise if they need immediate medical attention.
Third year enhances your understanding further with detailed learning of biomechanics, adjustment techniques, X-ray readings as well as working with patients.
For more details about the core units, check them out here!
Are there any internships or work placements provided?
As students are not allowed to practice chiro on people until they become an accredited chiropractor, this degree does not involve any built in internships or work placements for its undergraduate students.
The good thing is, there’s a compulsory chiro unit with scheduled visits to the university’s clinic, where undergraduate students follow the daily routine of professional chiropractors and their peers in the final year of their Masters of Chiropractic degree. With this degree, you’re basically reserved a front row seat to experiencing what it’s like to be a chiropractor!
How to Get into a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science at Macquarie University
The ATAR cutoff for a Chiro undergraduate degree at Macquarie Uni is 80. Not to worry if you don’t achieve this ATAR though, there are alternative pathways which you can check out here!
To compare pathways, check out Macquarie Uni’s Entry Navigator!
Are there any prerequisites?
As long as you’ve completed your HSC English unit (either Standard or Advanced), you will be eligible for this degree!
Macquarie Uni also recommends that you have studied HSC Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics Advanced so you can ride smoothly through the more sciency bits of the curricula.
Don’t fret if you did not take all these subjects! Students still found it doable to catch up to others, especially because everyone is so eager to help each other out in this faculty.
What scholarships are available?
Chiro student or not, Macquarie Uni provides a wide array of scholarships to help its students achieve their academic goals. You can check their scholarships out here!
What’s the Teaching Format?
With two semesters per year, this chiropractic science degree is delivered through lectures, tutorials and practicals.
In a week, each chiro unit often includes 1 lecture (2 hours), 1 tutorial (1 hour) and 1 practical lab (3 hours) to help students fortify their understanding of learning content.
Lectures centre around an academic presenting concepts, theories and recent research on subjects that form the basis of chiropractic understanding.
Up to 100 people can attend these two hour-long lectures so discussions are generally difficult to start in this crowded area. However, if you do have any questions for clarification, the lecturers are always happy to answer them after they present.
Tutorials are almost like a high school classroom environment where you have around 20 to 40 students who form groups to carry out discussions, worksheets and other activities! Here, it’s the perfect place to consolidate what you’ve learnt from your lectures as qualified tutors are there to act as your guide.
Practicals are one of your most interesting hands-on classes! At the start of the class, one tutor will demonstrate a chiro technique in the middle of the room, where you will observe and take notes.
The class of 50 to 60 people will then split off into groups, where you will partner up and practice these techniques on your classmate while a tutor is allocated to each group to supervise your skills.
In your first year, these exercises will mostly be focused on identifying parts of the body and as your progress in your later years, you will work on more adjustment techniques on peripheral parts of the body! This class is also a great opportunity to practise getting comfortable with interacting with your patients — a real life skill that is very useful!
How many hours do you go to uni?
Chiro science can actually take up a lot of your time. In total, you can have 24 to 30 hours of contact hours per week.
This means you’ll need to be on campus for at most 5 days a week. If you’re lucky and schedule your timetable well, you can come into campus 3 days a week!
And this doesn’t count the additional time spent outside classes on assignments and self-learning!
What are assessments like?
For this degree, the main assessments are reports, OSCEs and final exams that test your mastery of the theory and skills learnt in your classes!
As Macquarie University’s Chiropractic Science degree drills an emphasis on evidence-based practice, scientific reports are one of the most common assessments! The focus of these reports vary each year according to subject.
In first year, you’re likely to write a report on evidence-based practice and its importance. Second year gets more technical with a focus on statistics, where you investigate and visualise data to find a solution to a given real-life problem, while experiencing the strengths and limitations of such investigations.
Third year becomes more practical as you’ll be allocated a case study as a group, where each member is assigned a role to form a treatment plan (eg. Member 1 studies patient history, member 2 examines patient symptoms, member 3 is long-term preventative care, etc.). The weightage of these reports vary depending on the subject.
Final exams are written examinations at the end of the semester that tests your understanding of the concepts and theories learnt in class. They more often contain short answers than multiple choice questions and can weigh up to 40% of your entire unit.
Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs) are the most important assessments that are held at the end of every semester. Usually a week before your final exams, you will be asked to perform 9 or more techniques out of the many techniques you’ve learnt in class.
This will be assessed by a supervisor under a time limit of around 10 minutes or less. The weightage is usually large at around 40% of your entire unit mark. It is compulsory to pass OSCEs to successfully graduate, so it’s important to really know your techniques beforehand!
What are the skills that you develop?
Macquarie Uni’s Chiro degree ultimately instils both theoretical and practical skills that are essential in building a well-rounded chiropractic professional.
Interpersonal competence is one of the most important skills, especially for chiropractors who have to work with and be in constant contact with their patients. Furthermore, communication is vital in ensuring your patients feel safe and secure under your practice! Time management is also another huge skill, especially when running your own business later on.
With a focus on evidence-based practice, Macquarie Uni fortifies its students with a strong scientific background and critical thinking to produce reliable chiropractors. Independent study is also encouraged to ensure future chiropractors are kept up to date with the latest research and treatments, empowering their graduates to constantly improve their practice.
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?
While there may be lots of people starting Chiro in the first year, you will find that this number decreases over time. This is because Chiro is a relatively difficult subject, so the cohort is like a supportive community that is extremely helpful to one another.
Macquarie Uni’s staff is also very helpful and committed to channeling their students’ best potential, so you’re in good hands!
What’s the culture like?
Chiro students at Macquarie Uni are one of the most nice, humble and welcoming people you will ever meet! It’s fairly easy to make friends and maintain these friendships throughout your degree as you will be with your coursemates in all the compulsory chiro units.
As chiro is quite a content-heavy degree, most students are ready to help each other out by sharing notes or inviting each other to group study sessions in the library. It’s like you don’t feel alone doing this degree!
Overall, Chiro Science at Macquarie Uni provides a supportive and safe learning environment.
The staff are always passionate about helping students, as they are happy to stay back to ensure you fully understand what’s going on. They often go out of their way to teach you on an in-depth scale, grabbing models to demonstrate techniques and ensuring you understand the theoretical basis behind them.
What societies are available?
The Macquarie University Chiropractic Science Association (MUCSA) is a society that is dedicated to bringing together and supporting its Chiro students! It hosts events such as trivia nights, pizza events and even online group hangouts.
What student resources are available?
Macquarie Uni has a range of support programs for its Chiro students! Most of these programs are advertised on iLearn, Macquarie Uni’s online learning platform so be sure to have a look out.
To practice for your OSCE’s, SupervisedPrac is a really helpful program that provides supervisors for students who want to practice their chiro techniques on others. This is really useful as it is compulsory for students to practice chiro under the supervision of a professional.
To brush up your theoretical studies, PAL sessions are also available to provide support for studying science subjects such as Anatomy and Chemistry that chiro students might struggle with.
If you really want an insight into chiro work, undergraduate Chiro students are highly encouraged to visit the university’s Chiro clinics in Macquarie Uni’s campus, Eastwood or Summer Hill to receive a free treatment from a postgraduate student. Here, students can ask their seniors about all things having to do with chiro studies, career pathways, research and more!
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.