Health Studies (HLST) 301

Complementary and Alternative Therapies (Revision 3)

HLST 301

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: HLST 200 or equivalent. Nurses and other students with a background in health sciences do not require a prerequisite.

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

Health Studies & Nutrition home page

HLST 301 has a Challenge for Credit option.


This course will introduce you to complementary and alternative therapies currently available in Canada that are not normally considered to be part of conventional health care. The purpose of this course is to help you understand the nature and practice of various alternative therapies, analyze research available to demonstrate the effectiveness of these therapies, and to identify the trends and issues related to the use of complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies. After completing this course, you should be able to evaluate the risks and benefits of using particular CAM therapies. The course is appropriate for general interest students, nurses, dietitians, and allied health professionals.


This course reviews the research base and methodologies used to evaluate the effectiveness of any medical therapy, including complementary and alternative therapies, and the information related to the benefits and contraindications of using particular alternative therapies.

The main areas covered are mind-body interventions, music therapy, energy medicine (including therapeutic touch), massage therapy, reflexology, acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathy, herbalism, diet therapy, homeopathy, aromatherapy, cancer therapy, Native healing, chelation, and iridology.

Students will complete two assignments and write a final examination.


To receive credit for HLST 301 students must:

  • Submit two assignments
  • Obtain at least 60 percent on the examination
  • Obtain an overall course mark of at least “C-” (60 percent)
Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Final Exam Total
25% 25% 50% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Micozzi, M. (2015). Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

Other Materials

All other course materials will be accessed online.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HLST 301 challenge registration, you must achieve a minimum mark of at least “C-” (60 percent) on both assignments and the examination.

Essay Assignment 1 Essay Assignment 2 Comprehensive Exam Total
25% 25% 50% 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, October 6, 2016.

View previous syllabus

Updated October 20 2016 by Student & Academic Services