• Full-time – 3 years
  • Part-time – 4-5 years


  • Full-time – 3 years
  • Part-time – 4-5 years

Acupuncture Course Overview

From its beginnings in 1972, the acupuncture training at ICOM has much to offer prospective students. Over the years our acupuncture course has grown and matured, reaching a depth of learning that encompasses all aspects of acupuncture.

ICOM graduates 2018

Teaching material and methods, both for practical and theoretical sessions, are continuously reviewed and enhanced, in order to maximise the whole student experience.

As acupuncture students advance through the course, they experience more practical clinical work and less theory, as they build towards becoming competent and confident acupuncture practitioners.

Although the College covers the entire spectrum of acupuncture and its related philosophy in great depth, over the years the College has become renowned for its unique understanding of the Stems and Branches, not only theoretically, but especially its practical application. The Stems and Branches theory is a unique science of understanding the cycles of energetic change through time and their effect on the individual.

Stems and Branches theory is a continuously developing science which was taught two thousand years ago only to those apprentices who had many years of practice in Oriental medicine and who were specially chosen for their understanding, approach and outlook on life. They were to become the “more developed and superior practitioners” of the classic Chinese texts.

Knowledge of the Stems and Branches theory enables an acupuncture student to look at life in general, and at a patient in particular, at a much deeper level. When one masters this unique aspect of Oriental philosophy – which is not taught anywhere else in the world, not even in China anymore – one is able to find the innermost problems of a patient.

Aims and Objectives

The Acupuncture Course aims to provide a thorough and rewarding training in the theory, diagnosis and practice of traditional Chinese acupuncture so as to develop caring, perceptive and effective acupuncture practitioners.

To educate and inspire professional acupuncturists, who will practise with a clear working understanding of Chinese philosophy, as well as the theory and practice of Chinese medicine

Provide students with the necessary skills to practise acupuncture safely and competently upon graduation. This will include skills for patient assessment and diagnosis, as well as accurate and informed use of acupuncture techniques and massage skills.

Provide students with the skills needed to become a competent and effective healthcare practitioner.

Provide students with a sound understanding of Western anatomy, physiology and differential diagnosis/pathology.

Develop reflective practitioners who are able to identify personal and professional goals for continuing professional development and lifelong learning.

Provide students with a sound basis of professional experience and reflection for their responsibilities as practising acupuncturist.


Each student is continually assessed by regular tests and projects throughout the year. Group tutorials and one-to-one discussions are also given so that the student’s progress can be discussed and any difficulties clarified. A range of support mechanisms are available to students to help them progress on on our acupuncture courses, including personal tutoring, buddy/mentor.

acupuncture Point Location Assessment

Point Location Assessment

Examinations are taken at the end of each semester or academic year and a pass in each module must be obtained before being able to progress. Students must achieve a minimum attendance in every module in order to be able to sit the end of year examinations. The minimum attendance required for course Lectures is 80%. The minimum attendance required for Clinic Modules is 100% of the clinic hours as relevant for your year.

During the final year students complete a dissertation. This dissertation is an exciting opportunity for you to explore in depth a subject of your own choice related to acupuncture.

The Area Examination Board determines the outcome of all results at the end of the academic period.

Professional Associations

BAABIn September 1997, in its 25th Anniversary Year, the College achieved national professional recognition in the form of full accreditation of its Acupuncture course by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB).  The BAAB was established to accredit responsible colleges of Acupuncture and set and monitor standards for the profession. The process of maintaining accreditation status is continuous and ensures quality in both education and acupuncture.
Graduates of the International College of Oriental Medicine are eligible to apply for registration with the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) and attain professional recognition amongst its membership.

The letters placed after the name of such a member are: MBAcC.

BAcCThe British Acupuncture Council is engaged in work to represent and regulate the high standards of the profession.


Practising outside the UK

Please note that our qualification is UK based. If you wish to practise acupuncture outside the UK, please check the requirements of the professional bodies of the countries in which you would like to practise.

Different countries have different requirements for practising acupuncture.

Number of Students per Year

A maximum of 24 students are accepted each year. This ensures that each student receives as much individual help as he or she needs, particularly in the practical classes, which are normally divided into three or four groups.

Oriental medicine, as the curriculum illustrates, is a complex and complete system involving concepts that differ from the Western medical approach and a full understanding of this underlying theory is a prerequisite to the proper and effective practice of this discipline. At ICOM we want to make our graduates the best acupuncture practitioners possible. This means not just equipping you with the knowledge, understanding and skills of the academic and practical nature of acupuncture. It also means that we want to help you, as a person and practitioner, develop and learn continuously and effectively.

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