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Whawhe Kōiwi


Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine that works by correcting alignment and restoring mobility in the spine and joints, decreasing muscular tension, reducing nerve irritation and increasing blood flow.

Musculoskeletal disorders, such as low back pain and osteoarthritis, are some of the leading causes of disability within New Zealand and the burden of these disorders is increasing with time. It’s estimated that one in six adult New Zealanders live with some type of chronic pain. This highlights an increasing need for health workers who understand musculoskeletal health and are able to help address this major health issue in innovative ways. Our osteopathy qualifications are designed to produce graduates with the necessary skills and knowledge to help the New Zealand health care system meet these challenges.

Please note: to become a registered osteopath, you must also gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Osteopathy, a one-year Level 8 programme at Ara. 

Studying osteopathy at Ara involves completing a three-year Bachelor of Musculoskeletal Health followed by a one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Osteopathy. These qualifications will equip you with the knowledge and personal, interpersonal, cognitive and generic skills required for employment as a musculoskeletal professional.

During your studies you’ll learn from expert tutors in small classes, allowing plenty of time to interact with tutors and fellow students. You’ll also have the opportunity for interdisciplinary study alongside students studying other health-related subjects such as nursing, midwifery, human nutrition, sports science and medical imaging. You’ll gain practical, hands-on experience with clients at our on-campus osteopathic clinic and through an industry placement.

On completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Osteopathy you can apply to the Osteopathic Council of New Zealand to register as an osteopath.