Osteopathy as a career

Studying to be an osteopath and career pathways for allied health professionals, including continuing professionals development (CPD).


Osteopathy can offer a varied, satisfying and fulfilling career in healthcare for those with a genuine interest in helping people.

Osteopathy is one of the fastest-growing allied health professions in Australia, with osteopaths in every state and territory in the country. It contributes over $500 million per year to the Australian economy, with the number of registered osteopaths continuing to grow each year.

You’ll need an interest in science and how the human body works, enjoy working with people and be ready to work in a busy, fast-paced environment where you’ll be taking responsibility for patients’ healthcare right from the start.

Most osteopaths work in private clinical practice but an osteopathic qualification can also lead to non-clinical inter-disciplinary opportunities in, for example, education, consultation and research.

It is adaptable to both part-time and full-time work. Many osteopaths go on to run their own business.

Studying to be an osteopath

Osteopaths are university-trained and osteopathy is a regulated profession in Australia. Course length varies depending on which university you attend, but you will need to study for a minimum of four years study, full-time to achieve your university qualification. The training involves practice placements where you can get first-hand clinical experience.

University courses teaching osteopathy

Southern Cross University (Lismore and Gold Coast Campuses)

  • Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies) and Master of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Course duration: four years, full-time to achieve both qualifications (undergraduate and masters)

RMIT University Melbourne (Bundoora Campus)

  • Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy)
  • Course details
  • Course duration: five years, full time

Victoria University Melbourne (City – Flinders)

  • Bachelor of Science (Osteopathy) and the Master of Health Science (Osteopathy)
  • Course duration: three years for the Bachelor's degree and 1.5 years for the qualification

Edith Cowen University, West Australia

  • Coming 2026/2027

Acceptance criteria to study osteopathy

In order to study osteopathy at university, you must have either of the following:

  • Complete the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE) (ie, ACT Year 12 Certificate, NSW HSC, NTCET, QCE, SACE, TCE, VCE, VCAL, WACE)
  • Achieve the required ATAR Course Entry (Osteopathy ATAR: Victoria University, Southern Cross University and RMIT)

Continuing professional development (CPD)

Once you have qualified as an osteopath, like all registered health professionals in Australia, you must maintain and develop your skills in practice to ensure lifelong learning. You cannot be a registered health professional in Australia without completing at least 25 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) each year.

Further study

Once you have completed your initial qualification, you can undertake further postgraduate research or clinically related taught Master’s courses. Masters by research and PhD programs are available at both RMIT University and Victoria University. There is also a wide range of inter-disciplinary Master’s programs relevant to practising osteopaths.

Extended Practitioner program

Osteopathy Australia's Extended Practitioner program recognises members for growing their clinical knowledge in a focus area. This means Extended Practitioners have expanded their knowledge in a focus area beyond the level of a newly registered osteopath.

Advanced Practitioner program

Osteopathy Australia runs an Advanced Practitioner program to build advanced clinical skills in osteopathy among our members. You can become an Advanced Practitioner in a number of focus areas such as paediatrics, exercise rehabilitation or pain management. The involves completing further education and demonstrating advanced skills in your chosen focus area, which is assessed by panels of allied health professionals and medical specialists.