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Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check First Aid Working With Children check

Osteopaths diagnose, treat and provide preventative advice about disorders that affect the body's musculoskeletal system, using manual techniques to alleviate stresses and dysfunction to improve the body's function.

Osteopaths work in association with medical practitioners, surgeons, midwives, physiotherapists, podiatrists and a range of complementary and alternative medical practitioners. They have a high level of contact with the public.


    Osteopaths may perform the following tasks:

  • diagnose patients' complaints using information from case histories, physical examinations, observation of patients' body structure and mobility, and medical imaging and laboratory tests
  • treat biomechanical complaints (including backache, general joint problems, sports injuries, arthritis, stress and repetitive strain injuries), some breathing problems (such as asthma) and a wide range of general medical complaints (headaches, for example)
  • treat patients using a variety of manual techniques, such as soft tissue stretching, muscle relaxation, gentle mobilisation or manipulation
  • treat children for the after-effects of birth trauma and childhood accidents
  • devise exercise and nutritional programmes


  • independent and highly motivated
  • interested in health science and human anatomy
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • good communication skills
  • interested in people and their health

Interest Area

Medical Helping/Community Service Influencing/Personal Contact


Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check First Aid Working With Children check

To become an osteopath you usually have to complete a degree in clinical sciences at university with a major in osteopathic studies, followed by a postgraduate qualification in osteopathy. Alternatively, you can complete a double degree in health science and applied science (osteopathy).

To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry, biology and physics are normally required. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Entry can be highly competitive, and applicants may be required to attend an interview.

A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Additional Information

    It is a legal requirement for graduates to be registered with the Osteopathy Board of Australia before practising as an osteopath in any state or territory in Australia. For full details, see the board's website.

    Before undertaking clinical placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate, immunisations and a Working with Children Check (NSW) or a Working with Vulnerable People Check (ACT). Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


The majority of osteopaths are self-employed, but newly qualified osteopaths often work with an established clinic before starting their own practice. A small but growing number are based in private medical practices and specialist services such as pain management and aged-care facilities. Job prospects depend upon the location in which you wish to practise and the level of community awareness of osteopaths as allied health workers.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Osteopath Osteopathy Australia Osteopathy Board of Australia NSW Working with Children Check Office of Regulatory Services (ACT)

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