Welcome to the International College of Oriental Medicine

Montage of photographs of Acupuncture students at ICOM acupuncture college in East Grinstead

The International College of Oriental Medicine (ICOM) is a world-renowned Acupuncture college in East Grinstead, West Sussex. ICOM is fully accredited by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board and offers a degree-level Acupuncture Licentiate qualification which can be studied full or part time.

Founded by Dr Van Buren in 1972, our roots stand firmly in the classical tradition. We strive to educate and inspire our Acupuncture students to be committed seekers of an ever-deepening understanding.

We are a registered charity and we keep our fees as low as possible.

Our mission is to be a centre of academic excellence, research and compassionate healthcare, according to the philosophical principles underpinning traditional Acupuncture.

Why Study at ICOM?

There are many reasons for you to choose the Acupuncture course at ICOM. Here are just some of them:

  • You will study at the UK’s longest established Acupuncture training college. We have trained hundreds of first class Acupuncturists, including prominent figures such as Giovanni Maciocia, Sandra Hill, Roisin Golding, Charles Buck and Peter Deadman.
  • Starting from the new intake in Autumn 2024 attendance will be 50% online. Students will attend the college in East Grinstead every other week providing even greater flexibility for those who are juggling commitments and those who live further away.
  • We keep our class sizes small to maximise contact time and student support, particularly for clinical modules.
  • You’ll have more fully supervised one-to-one patient consultations than at any other institution.
  • You’ll also learn all of the acupuncture points and channels, as well as their connections and how to make the best use of them in clinic, providing you with the most solid foundation for you to begin your future career.
  • We are internationally renowned for introducing our students to the study of Stems and Branches theory which is the foundation of traditional Chinese medical thinking and is unique to ICOM.

A Living Acupuncture Tradition of Teaching & Clinical Excellence

Are you considering a career in acupuncture? Upon completion of our Acupuncture course you will be awarded a Licentiate in Acupuncture through the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB) which will give you access to the register of the British Acupuncture Council. The BAcC’s register is vetted and approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) which protects the public by overseeing the regulation and registration of healthcare professionals and ensures safety and standards of practice.

BAAB accredited courses guarantee excellence

BAAB accredited course providers offer a final award threshold at Level 6 which represents 360 credits. Typically, this equates to a Bachelor’s degree with honours. These courses embody the critical awareness, academic rigour and clinical practice standards commensurate with equivalent professional healthcare programmes at this level.

Choosing our BAAB accredited course means you can be sure you’re getting a thorough grounding in Chinese medicine theory and clinical practice, together with western medical sciences, research and practice management. You’ll graduate with an integrated understanding of both traditional eastern and modern western approaches to healthcare.

Here is what the BAAB said about ICOM in their latest report.

I am truly grateful for my experience at ICOM. The teachers here are incredibly enthusiastic about their subjects, which makes learning both engaging and enjoyable. I chose this school because it offers a more classical and inclusive approach to the Chinese Medicine, going beyond the narrow focus of TCM or the Five Elements theory.

Be prepared for a challenging workload, but know that it’s worth it. The school lays a strong foundation, and it’s up to us as students to build upon it.”

Soukaina, Current Student


You can apply for our Acupuncture course all year round and we do not charge any application fee. There is no application deadline, but there may be a discount available for early applications.

You can visit our admissions page to find out more about entry requirements, eligibility and the application process. Find out about our fees and ways to pay here. We are a non-profit organisation and our fees are always kept as low as possible.

Student Clinics

For fifty years, part of our mission has been to make Acupuncture treatment accessible to the local community. ICOM clinic serves as a teaching clinic for our Acupuncture students which provides them with superb opportunities to observe experienced Acupuncturists at work. It enables them to learn their art through direct experience and under the close supervision of highly-skilled registered acupuncturists. These appointments are very low-cost and sometimes even free. Please call 01342 313106 to book one of these appointments.

Come and Meet Us

We are now accepting applications for the Autumn 2024 academic year. Want to know more? The best way to find out about our Acupuncture course is to attend one of our comprehensive Open Days. These are held both online via Zoom and in person.

Forthcoming Open Days

Sunday 28 July 10am (online)
Tuesday 10 September 10am (East Grinstead)

You need to register and we will send you more information about how to attend. Please do also get in touch if you would like to arrange a visit to the college.

Online Study Elements

To assist those who live further away, and those who wish to study whilst juggling work commitments and families, ICOM has adopted the “flipped classroom” model for teaching with much of the teaching now taking place online. Some practical teaching still needs to take place at the college, but the proportion of online study means learning with us can be more flexible than ever. For the students who join us in the new intake in October 2024 the proportion of online learning will be 50%, with attendance at the college required on alternate weeks. Find out more.