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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Study medical terminology by distance learning. Start at anytime and study at your own pace.

  • A step toward employment in a medical or paramedical environment.
  • Develop the skills to communicate clearly and effectively using medical terminology.
  • Being able to converse with patients and employers, in their language, is commonly an essential prerequisite for employment in  health, alternative or complimentary medicine.



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Study medical terminology by distance learning for professional development or to improve your knowledge generally of medical terminology.

  • Understand more about medical terminology.
  • Improve your understanding of communication between medical professionals.
  • Be able to communicate more effectively with colleagues.
  • Start at a time to suit you.
  • Work at your own pace.

The course is suitable for -

  • Students wishing to study medicine or health related careers
  • Medical secretaries
  • Medical receptionists
  • Medical administrators
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Support workers
  • Care workers
  • Writers
  • Journalists
  • Paramedics
  • Volunteers
  • Therapists
  • Natural health therapists
  • Anyone interested in improving their knowledge of medical terminology.



There are 10 lessons in this course as follows:

Lesson 1. Scope and Nature of Medical Terminology

  • What is Medical Terminology.
  • Origins of Words.
  • Structure of Words.
  • Medical Prefixes.
  • Medical Suffixes.
  • Constructing Medical Terms by altering prefix or suffix.

Lesson 2. Anatomical Structure

  • Anatomical Prefixes.
  • Anatomical Suffixes.
  • Locating parts of the body.
  • Terms to indicate positioning of anatomical features in body.
  • Acronyms.
  • Symbols.

Lesson 3. Medical Equipment and Procedures

  • Terms to describe Diagnostic and Surgical Procedures.
  • Terms to describe Medical Equipment.
  • Storage and Handling of Medicines.
  • Sterilising Equipment.
  • Terms to describe Bacteria.
  • Gram Staining.
  • Diagnostic Microbiology.
  • Research Microbiology.
  • Types of Wounds.
  • Problems Resulting from Wounds.
  • Treating Wounds.
  • Electrolytes.
  • Examples of Prefixes and Suffixes.

Lesson 4. Pharmacological Terminology

  • Types of herbal and pharmaceutical medicines (e.g. Alkaloids, Calmatives, Cathartics, Decongestants, Expectorants, etc.).
  • Pharmacological Terms (e.g. Allergens, Carcinogens, Photosensitisers, Toxic Alkaloids, etc.).
  • Over the Counter Prescription Drugs.
  • Terminology for OTC and Prescription Drugs (e.g. Steroids, Barbiturates, anti-Psychotic Drugs etc.).
  • Prefix and suffix examples.

Lesson 5. Musculoskeletal System Terminology

  • Naming main muscles.
  • Musculature ... Types of Muscle tissue.
  • Relationship between muscles and bone.
  • Bone and Joint problems (e.g. Sprains, Broken Bones, etc.).
  • Disorders of musculoskeletal System (e.g. Fibromyalgia, Sprains, strains, Cramp, etc.).
  • Suffix Examples.

Lesson 6. Cardiovascular, Lymphatic and Immune Systems Terminology

  • Parts of the Heart.
  • Circulation.
  • Systole and Disystole.
  • Terms related to Disorders of Cardiovascular System.
  • Lymphatic System and Immunity.
  • Leucocytes.
  • Vaccination.
  • Immunity.
  • Disorders of Immunity.
  • Suffix and Prefix Examples.

Lesson 7. Respiratory and Reproductive Systems Terminology

  • Lungs.
  • Respiration.
  • Pulmonary Circulation.
  • Gas Exchange (Diffusion, Perfusion, Arterial Pressure).
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
  • Diagnostic Procedures for Lungs and Airways.
  • Respiratory Disorders.
  • Male Reproductive System (Penis, Testes, Scrotum etc.).
  • Female Reproductive System.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Parturation.
  • Caesarian Section, VBAC and Multiple Gestation.
  • Premature Birth and Miscarriage.
  • Reproductive Disorders (e.g. Amenorrhoea, Menorhagia, PCOS, Endometriosis, etc.).
  • Suffix and Prefix Examples.

Lesson 8. Digestive and Excretory Systems Terminology

  • Parts of the Digestive System.
  • Renal System.
  • Kidneys.
  • Ureters and Bladder.
  • Urethra.
  • Disorders of Digestive and Renal Systems (e.g. Anal Fissure, Haemorrhoids, Inflammatory Bowel System, Kidney Stones, Pancreatitis, etc.).
  • Suffix and Prefix Examples.

Lesson 9. Integumentary System (Skin) Terminology

  • Thermoregulation.
  • Electrolytes.
  • Types of Sensory Nerves.
  • Sun Protection.
  • Intergument Structure.
  • Cell Types.
  • Disorders (e.g. Scab, Atrophic skin, Abrasion, Excoriation, Scar, Ulcer, etc.).
  • Diagnostic Procedures.
  • Suffix and Prefix Examples.

Lesson 10. Nervous and Sensory Systems Terminology

  • Brain.
  • Central Nervous System.
  • Peripheral Nervous System.
  • Disorders of Nervous System.
  • Disorders of Sensory System (e.g. Aphasia, Apraxia, Vertigo, etc.).
  • Diagnostic Procedures.
  • Suffix and Prefix Examples.



Lesson aims in the Medical Terminology course include:

  • Explain the scope and nature of terminology used in medicine and allied professions.
  • Identify the meaning of words that describe general anatomical features, including disorders.
  • Identify the meaning of words which describe medical tools, equipment and procedures.
  • Identify the meaning of words that describe pharmacological terms.
  • Identify the meaning of words that describe physiological and anatomical features in the musculoskeletal system, including disorders.
  • Identify the meaning of words that describe physiological and anatomical features in the cardiovascular, lymphatic and immune systems, including disorders.
  • Identify the meaning of words that describe physiological and anatomical features in the respiratory and reproductive systems, including disorders.
  • Identify the meaning of words that describe physiological and anatomical features in the digestive and excretory systems, including disorders.
  • Identify the meaning of words that describe physiological and anatomical features in the skin, including disorders.
  • Identify the meaning of words that describe physiological and anatomical features in the nervous and sensory systems, including disorders.



Medical terminology is not only used in medicine by doctors and nurses; but is also used in a wide range of associated professions. These related professions include dentistry, veterinary care, medical practice managers, medical receptionists and many types of natural therapies.

The Medical Terminology course is aimed to develop a students awareness of terms not only used by doctors and nurses, but also by other allied professionals.

Anyone working in any of these professions will benefit from doing this course.


There are two types of medical terms:

Eponyms - Words that are created by naming something after a person or after something else e.g. a disease named after the person who discovered it.

Systematically Constructed Words - Medical terms created systematically using other words, or parts of (or derivations from) other words, typically Ancient Greek words or

Latin words.
There has been a trend starting over the late 20th century, to replace eponyms with systematically constructed words e.g. Parkinson’s disease has been renamed “paralysis agitans.”

The advantage of a systematically constructed word is that the components of the word can tell us something about the meaning of the term.

By developing an understanding of the components that are commonly used in these systematically constructed words it is (in time) easier to both understand and remember the meanings of the terminology.


Medical Terminology is a great course to choose, if you want to not only learn about the subject now, but keep learning after you finish studying. We believe a good course should not only develop intelligence and knowledge; but also:

  • Improve your ability to communicate with others within the discipline.
  • Develop problem solving skills relevant to this discipline .
  • Expand awareness and develop creativity.
  • Facilitate networking (develop contacts within an industry).
  • Develop attributes that set you apart from others in your industry.
  • Motivate you, build confidence, and more.

According to some authorities, success is actually only affected about 20% by your knowledge and intelligence.

Our school works at helping you in a holistic way, to develop all of the things
mentioned above, in a way that relates to the discipline you are studying; and
in this way, giving you the capacity to apply yourself to unanticipated problems,
to understand new information as it emerges, to see and seize on new opportunities as they reveal themselves, and to continue to grow your abilities within your discipline as you progress through life after study.

In a world that is changing faster all the time; it is difficult to even be certain how this industry might change between the start of your course, and the time you finish studying. 
With this in mind; any course that is to have long term value in today's world, must develop  broad generic skills (as above). This approach to education is not unique to ACS, but it is an approach tested, proven and adopted in our courses; and an approach that is also used by some of the most successful, cutting edge universities and colleges around the world.


  • Courses are continually improved – we invite feedback from all graduates and change courses immediately the need is detected.
  • Courses are relevant to the whole world – we try hard to teach make the learning transferable to any region or country because the world is increasingly a global economy.
  • Courses written by our staff teach different skills to standard courses; giving a unique mix of skills and knowledge to provide a career advantage. Do you want an accredited certificate and the same skills as 100 other job applicants; or one of our courses with skills that no other applicants have?
  • Certificates and diplomas are longer. They teach you more, and our qualifications have built a reputation amongst academics and industry as being a very high standard for this reason.
  • We are focused on helping you learn in a way that improves your capacity to understand your discipline, apply knowledge, and continue learning and developing your capabilities beyond your course.



You can start the course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

Each lesson includes set tasks, and is completed with an assignment which the student submits to their course tutor.  The tutor will mark the assignment and return this to the student with comments and suggestions for further reading.


At ACS we provide you with more than just a set of course notes.

Your 'learning package' includes:

  • Course notes.
  • Self-assessment quizzes.
  • Assignment feedback.
  • You can interact one on one with a professional tutor with decades of experience - just email, phone or log on to chat to connect with them.



Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education and understanding the language of medicine is an excellent starting point.

Success in a career depends upon many things. A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and proof of your commitment to learn.

Start studying today and put that commitment into practice. 


Register to Study - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and you can enrol now.


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Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Meet some of our academics

Jade SciasciaBiologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager. Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Dip.Professional Education, Cert IV TESOL, Cert Food Hygiene.
Lyn Quirk M.Ed.,Dip.Med.,Dip.SportsOver 35 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy

Check out our eBooks

Food PreservingA great supplement for students of nutrition, self sufficiency or even horticulture, the Food Preserving ebook is a great introduction into all things preserving.
Human NutritionBoth a text for students, or an informative read for anyone who wants to eat better. While covering the basics, the book approaches nutrition a little differently here to some other books, with sections covering ”Modifying diet according to Genetic Disposition or Lifestyle”, “How to find Reliable Information on Nutrition” and “Understanding how Diet relates to Different Parts of the Body” (including Urinary, Digestive, Respiratory and Circulatory System, the Brain, etc). This ebook was written to complement the ACS Nutrition I course, and provides a solid foundation for anyone wanting to grasp a fundamental understanding of Human Nutrition.
Human BiologyFor any new student of human biology, being confronted with thousands of unfamiliar words can be overwhelming. It can also be difficult to identify which words you need to learn first. This book presents words that have been carefully selected as the most important for new biology students to learn and understand. It also provides more information about each word than is often found in traditional dictionaries, giving students a more in-depth understanding of the word's meaning. The book is intended as an aid to all new students of human biology.
Nutritional TherapyDiscover how the way you eat can impact upon the affects of an illness. This book is unique, written by our health and nutritional scientists. Chapters cover: “Scope and Nature of Nutritional Therapy”, “How different factors Interact with Nutrition”, “Different Ways” and “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses for Different Health Issues” Thirty different conditions are covered from Mental Illness and Gastritis to Coeliac Disease and Osteoporosis.