Course Overview

The Acupuncture training course at ICOM has much to offer prospective students. The College covers Classical acupuncture theory in great depth and has become renowned for its exploration of the theory of Stems and Branches. This offers a unique way of understanding the cycles of energetic change through time and their possible effect on the individual. 

Chinese medicine, as the curriculum illustrates, is a complex and complete system involving concepts that differ from the Western medical approach. A full understanding of this underlying theory is a prerequisite to the proper and effective practice of this discipline.

Helping you achieve your best

At ICOM we want to ensure that our graduates are the best acupuncture practitioners they can possibly be. 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, to develop and learn continuously and effectively. 

Teaching material and methods, for both practical and theoretical sessions, are continuously reviewed and enhanced, in order to maximise the whole student experience. As you advance through our acupuncture training course, the balance shifts toward more practical clinical work and less theory. 

Attendance for Autumn 2024

For students starting with us in 2024, attendance will be required at the college in East Grinstead once a fortnight. Lectures will be online on alternate weeks.

Attendance either online or in person will be as follows

Full time
2 days a week (year 1)
3 days a week (years 2 and 3)

Part time
Part time study options are available and will consist of approximately half the time and attendance requirements.

Term Dates

Term 1: 9 October – 15 December 2023
Half term: 23–27 October

Term 2: 2 Jan – 28 Mar 2024
Half term:
12–19 February 

Term 3: 15 April – 9 July 2023
Half term: 27 May
– 31 May

Term dates for 2024-25 will be announced soon.

At ICOM our aim is to inspire lifelong learners. We strive to:

  • provide you with the space and support to become the best practitioners you can possibly be. 
  • cultivate in all our students integrity, humility and dedication. 
  • keep our class sizes small to ensure that we can support your individual needs.
  • provide you with a thorough and rewarding training in the theory, diagnosis and practice of traditional Chinese acupuncture to develop you as a caring, perceptive and effective acupuncture practitioner. 
  • provide you with the necessary skills to practise acupuncture safely and competently upon graduation. This includes skills in patient assessment and diagnosis, as well as accurate and informed use of acupuncture techniques, moxa and cupping.
  • ensure you are given a sound understanding of Western anatomy, physiology and differential diagnosis/pathology.
  • help you to become a reflective practitioner, able to identify personal and professional goals for continuing professional development and lifelong learning. 
  • give you a keen awareness of ‘red flag’ symptoms and limits to your competence.
  • prepare you to join the wider profession, which includes membership of the British Acupuncture Council along with practice development and management.

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 4 or 5 years

We are now delivering a proportion of our lectures online, with lectures in person at the college for practical sessions and certain lectures. This enables you to reduce your travelling time, especially for those who live some distance away. Tutorials for our extensive online learning platform are provided.

ICOM has also adopted the flipped classroom model for teaching, which allows for a great deal of additional flexibility for you if you’re juggling your studies with work and/or parenthood.

In the flipped classroom, the traditional method of teaching is reversed and materials which would previously have been delivered in the classroom during lectures are now distributed in the form of podcasts, lecture notes and journal articles and absorbed by students prior to the lecture.

Activities which would once have been carried out as homework, now take place in the lecture and your understanding of the subject is further deepened during these sessions through group activities and problem solving.

Because the learning has already taken place when you join the lecture, there is now far more space and time during the class for a more learner-centred approach. The teacher is better able to fill gaps in your knowledge and clarify elements of the previously absorbed materials.

What’s more, you may digest the class materials prior to the lecture at a time when it is convenient to you. You are also free to revisit it afterwards as part of your revision.

  • Each student is continually assessed by regular tests and projects throughout the year. Group tutorials and one-to-one discussions allow your progress to be discussed and any difficulties clarified. A range of support mechanisms are available to you to help you progress, including personal tutoring and a buddy/mentor system. 
  • 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. You 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, you complete a dissertation. This dissertation is an exciting opportunity for you to explore in depth a subject of your choice related to acupuncture.
  • The Subject Examination Board determines the outcome of all results at the end of the academic period

A maximum of 18 students are accepted each year. This ensures that each student receives as much individual help as they need, particularly in the practical classes, which are normally divided into groups of 3 or 4. 

Please note that our licentiate 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.

Study Options

You can choose to study our Acupuncture course full time (3 years) or part time (4-5 years). The 3rd year is only offered on a full time basis because we believe that it is crucial for your professional development to integrate all aspects of Acupuncture practice. The tables below show how the different modules are divided across full and part time programmes.

Professional Associations

In 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 Acupuncture colleges and set and monitor standards for the profession. The process of maintaining accreditation status is continuous and ensures quality in both education and acupuncture.

Our last reaccreditation took place in 2022. Here’s what the BAAB said about us.

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. Members of the BAcC can use the letters MBAcC after their name.

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

BAAB logo
British Acupuncture Council logo

Get in touch

Phone us on 01342 313 106 or email us.

BAAB Accreditation

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