The best way to find out about our college is to attend one of our Open Days, or you can arrange to visit at another time. Please get in touch if you have any questions not covered here.
What makes ICOM unique?
ICOM is internationally renowned for its philosophical and practical application of the Stems and Branches theory, taught alongside Five Element theory and TCM. This theory allows you to go into much greater depth and breadth than that given by conventional acupuncture approaches and is unique to ICOM.
When’s the next Open Day?
Since the pandemic we have refined our online Open Days to give you a really broad overview of the course and a good feel for what it’s like to study with us. These Open Days are held regularly throughout the year via Zoom. You’ll get to watch a live Acupuncture treatment, chat to students and staff and listen to a comprehensive presentation from the Principal. Book your place and you’ll be sent the link to join the Zoom meeting a day or two before the event.
Can I visit the college before I apply?
Absolutely. You are welcome to visit us in person as well as attending an Open Day if you would like to. You can arrange a visit to the college by contacting our student administrator. If you’ve attended one of our Open Days you are also entitled to receive a free treatment in our Student Acupuncture clinic so that gives you the perfect opportunity for a visit.
Can I apply online?
What qualifications do I need?
Please see our Admissions page for details about entry requirements for our acupuncture course.
What qualification will I receive at the end of the course?
You will receive the professional licentiate, which gives you eligibility for membership of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), the professional body for trained acupuncturists in the UK. Our college is fully accredited by the BAAB (British Acupuncture Accreditation Board) who work on behalf of the BAcC.
Can I do the course part-time?
Yes, you can study part-time during Years 1 and 2. Year 3 can only be studied full-time. For Years 1 and 2 the six modules are split over two years – i.e. Year 1A and 1B, Year 2A and 2B followed by Year 3. Part-time study therefore takes you 4 or 5 years to complete depending on whether you do both Year 1 and 2 as part-time or do one of these years as full-time. More information is on our Course Overview page.
What’s a normal lecture day like?
Each lecture day covers one subject area, starts at 9.30am and finishes at 4.30pm – there are breaks during the morning, afternoon and for lunch. This is the same whether you choose to study the Weekday course or the Weekend course. ICOM has now adopted the “flipped classroom” model for teaching, which allows for a great deal of additional flexibility for students juggling their studies with work and/or parenthood as much of the study takes place online.
How does online learning work?
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 the student’s understanding of the subject is further deepened during these sessions through group activities and problem solving.
Because the learning has already taken place when students 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 the students’ knowledge and clarify elements of the previously absorbed materials.
When are the college holidays?
Our academic year currently runs from October to June, with holiday breaks at Christmas, Easter and over the summer.
How many assessments will I have? Will there be written exams?
Assessments take place throughout the year. These comprise both summative tasks (where the marks count towards the final module assessment) and formative tasks (where the marks are not counted but the assessment is designed to help you review your performance). Assessment tasks include weekly tests, termly tests (both practical and theoretical), projects, presentations, and also final year written and/or practical examinations.
What does the final year thesis involve?
This is a dissertation, of 5000 words, and represents the culmination of your learning throughout the course. It is essentially the opportunity for you to research an area of acupuncture that is of particular interest to you, suitable for possible publication in a relevant journal. It shows us that you are able to undertake a short study and apply the skills that you have developed through your learning journey.
Why don’t you teach herbal medicine?
We feel that three years, full-time study in acupuncture is required to do justice to this fascinating medicine (art). To offer training in herbal medicine alongside would mean compromising the time needed to cover every aspect of the acupuncture course fully.
Do I have to find my own patients for the clinic observation or treatment experiences?
Not at all. At ICOM we have an extremely busy on-site Acupuncture Clinic with a wide range of patients and at the beginning of the academic year you will be allocated all of your clinic days. We find your patients for you so you can concentrate on studying and not on finding your next patient.
Will I be able to have treatment in the ICOM Acupuncture Clinic when I am a student?
Yes, treatment is free to ICOM students when treated by a final year student in their supervised / trainee clinics or with the second year practical day groups. There is also a student discount available for appointments with fully qualified BAcC registered practitioners in the Acupuncture Clinic.
How many students do you have at the college and what are class sizes?
ICOM is a small and friendly college, situated in beautiful grounds. We usually have a total of around 55 to 65 students attending. Class sizes are small – they can vary between 12 to 20 students. We aim to have around 20 students in each year group as this gives students the great opportunity of receiving more individual attention.
Do you have halls of residence for the students?
At present we don’t have halls of residence and all accommodation is arranged privately. You might already live locally. You can choose to live in a shared house with other students or rent a room with use of kitchen etc. with local landlords. Some of our students live in Brighton in shared houses and share a car journey to the college daily. Our notice board has adverts for local accommodation and we are happy to advise if needed.
How will I be able to set up a practice when I graduate?
In the final year, you will be given practice/business management lectures plus career planning development help. These will help you to understand all the aspects necessary to start your own practice, including planning, marketing, finance, taxation. When you graduate, we offer spaces in our graduate clinics at the college for a couple of months to allow you increase your confidence.
Can I make a living as an Acupuncturist?
Of course the answer is yes. As in any profession your commitment and effort will bring reward. You will have to allow for a period in which you build up your practice and client base, but once this is established a very good income can be made. Acupuncture is an area of healthcare that is growing well – it is used more and more each year, both within the NHS and by private patients. Read more here.
Is your qualification valid in other countries?
These qualifications are recognised internationally, but each country has its own regulations regarding acupuncture. For example in some European countries acupuncturists can only practice if they are also trained medical doctors. Please check the regulations of the country where you intend to practice.
We are always happy to answer your questions. Please drop us an email via the form below.