ACUPUNCTURE TRAINING THAT FITS WITH YOUR LIFE

Many of our students combine work with study, and you can choose between our weekend or weekday acupuncture courses. Student loans are available for our BSc in Acupuncture

 

*BSc and MSc in Acupuncture – our next courses start in October 2018.

 

*BSc (Hons) in Acupuncture and MSc in Acupuncture – our next courses start in October 2018

 

Five reasons to become an acupuncturist

  1. Know you've made a difference, with a meaningful and worthwhile career helping others
  2. Have the freedom to be your own boss, in a highly respected industry
  3. Earn a good living doing something you can be passionate about
  4. Never get bored at work as you constantly grow and develop as a practitioner and person
  5. Be part of a community pioneering the use of ancient medicine in a modern world

Five reasons to study acupuncture at the NCA

  1. We are one of the most well established acupuncture Colleges in the UK (30 years in 2018)
  2. You will learn in a friendly and supportive environment
  3. Our courses can be fitted around family and work commitments
  4. From day one you will be gaining real practitioner skills in our teaching clinic
  5. We are situated in the centre of the historic city of York with excellent transport links

 

Unistats:

 

 

Becoming an acupuncturist

Northern College of Acupuncture graduate Hannah Reade talks about her journey from studying acupuncture to becoming an acupuncturist.

Hannah talks about her fulfilling work as an acupuncturist.

Becoming an acupuncturist

Is it time to earn a living in a way that engages you as a whole person and is true to your own values? Our graduates will tell you that having a career as an acupuncturist is both rewarding and fulfilling. They love making a difference to peoples’ health and well-being, connecting with patients one to one, and being in control of their working lives:

  • "I have already been in practice for 6 months and it’s going well – I am already seeing more patients than I anticipated."
  • "For me it's all about the flexibility of being able to fit my work around my family."
  • "I am having an amazing career and acupuncture has enabled me to travel the world."
  • "I just love connecting with my patients – I wake up every morning excited to go to work."
  • "I specialise in helping people with fertility – it is incredibly rewarding (and moving) when my couples have the babies they have longed for."

How will I be working as an acupuncturist?

All of your training at the NCA is working towards one goal – the day you successfully complete your studies and start your career as a fully trained acupuncturist! Once qualified you will be able to choose how you work, with the majority of our graduates setting up their own practices, working in a variety of situations including:

Northern College of Acupuncture BSc graduate Amanda Proud talks about how she has transformed her career from nursing to acupuncture and how her with her work /life balance has changed for the better

Amanda talks about having her dream job as an acupuncturist.

  • ✓ Working within multidisciplinary practices with other practitioners such as physios, osteopaths and others
  • ✓ Creating a clinic room at home
  • ✓ Working within GP practices
  • ✓ Setting up their own clinic
  • ✓ Offering mobile services
  • ✓ Creating multi-bed clinics in their local communities
  • ✓ Working in hospitals, NHS clinics and hospices
  • ✓ Teaching
  • ✓ Volunteering abroad
  • ✓ Working on cruise ships and in spas

When you qualify you may find your business incorporates two or more of these options – for example working from home a couple of days a week and renting a room in a clinic in your local town or area, or working within a clinic and creating or collaborating in a multi-bed setting.

Of course, your career and goals will change as you develop as a practitioner and this is one of the joys of working as an acupuncturist - you are in the driving seat! You may choose to specialise in a particular area such as musculo-skeletal conditions, fertility or treating children, or you may continue as a generalist general practitioner seeing a wide variety of patients with different conditions. You may choose to go on to study Chinese herbal medicine, nutrition, acupuncture research, or specialist acupuncture techniques, all of which you can study with us here at the NCA. As our graduates will tell you, working as an acupuncturist will never be boring!

 

Can I earn a living once I am qualified?

Most people establish a good steady practice within two years, and after a few years most practices are sustained simply by word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied patients. Once your practice becomes well established you can earn a good living and those working full time can earn in the region of £30,000 to £40,000 per year.

Volunteering abroad

Hear what our NCA graduates have had to say from their trips around the world

The sky is your limit with a degree level acupuncture qualification and our graduates take their skills with them all over the world – often volunteering for charities or travelling and working abroad.

 

What kind of people choose to study acupuncture

All sorts of people choose to study acupuncture with us at the NCA. Many are mature students juggling careers and families. Some are students studying as a first career. Some people already have some experience working in a health-care setting and others are completely changing their career from an unrelated field. However everyone has something in common - the desire to change their lives to have a meaningful career helping other people, and this diverse mix of people and ages creates wonderful, stimulating and supportive student cohorts.

 

 

Overview

Northern College of Acupuncture Principal Richard Blackwell talks about how we help our students to become great acupuncturists.

College Principal Richard Blackwell talks about how we help our students to become great acupuncturists.

Acupuncture courses at the NCA - an overview

Acupuncture was developed in China over 2,000 years ago and is now well known worldwide as a system of medicine that involves the insertion of needles to specific points on the body. At the Northern College of Acupuncture we teach a wide-ranging approach founded on traditional Chinese acupuncture and we provide a high quality acupuncture training which is relevant in the Western world.

We are a small independent College, established in 1988. You will find here a nurturing and supportive environment and be taught by tutors who are practitioners themselves. Our students come from all over the country and from many different backgrounds, making the NCA a lively, stimulating and friendly place to study for a career in acupuncture.

Our acupuncture courses offer a complete three year acupuncture training programme and are fully accredited by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB), and reviewed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). We are developing a new partnership with *London South Bank University (LSBU). Students who have not previously received undergraduate funding may be able to access a student loan for our three year *BSc in Acupuncture course.

 

We offer two acupuncture practitioner training courses:

Our *BSc (hons) in Acupuncture is a three year practitioner training leading to practice as a fully qualified acupuncture practitioner. The BSc is a popular option if you have not had any previous University experience.

 

Our *MSc in Acupuncture is also a three year practitioner training leading to practice, and then a further year of home study to complete the dissertation. The MSc is open to you if you already have a degree or degree level study/professional qualifications.

 

We teach you the following core subjects:

  • ✓ The theory and application of traditional Chinese acupuncture
  • ✓ Biomedical sciences
  • ✓ Clinical experience in the teaching clinic here at the College
  • ✓ Chinese philosophy and culture
  • ✓ Connecting with your patients
  • ✓ Business skills
  • ✓ Research methodology

 

Study that fits with you and your life!

Many of our students fit their acupuncture study around part-time work and family commitments. You can choose which pathway suits you – our weekend course or our weekday course. We use a blended learning approach to teaching which includes classroom study, online e-learning sessions and clinical practice in our teaching clinic. Assessments are varied and clinically relevant and include practical assessments as well as written assignments and case-based exams.

 

 

 

Hugh MacPherson on the BBC2 programme 'Trust Me, I'm A Doctor'.

Hugh MacPherson on the BBC2 programme 'Trust Me, I'm A Doctor'.

Acupuncture and the growing evidence base

It is vital for the continuing development and credibility of our profession that we can answer our critics with scientific proof of the effectiveness of acupuncture and each year this evidence is growing. Here at the NCA we are committed to research and building the evidence base for acupuncture and understanding the evidence base is an integral part of our acupuncture courses curriculum. Our MSc in Acupuncture was the first acupuncture course in the country to offer an MSc option from scratch and our MSc in Acupuncture graduates make a substantial contribution to research within the profession and can go on to undertake PhDs.

 

Massage Qualification

One of the special features of our acupuncture courses a massage qualification that can be taken as an extra course over the summer holidays between years one and two. This weekend based course builds on the massage training you have received in Year One and enables you to gain more skills in order to register and work as a massage practitioner.

 

Healthcare practitioner exemptions

We also offer module exemptions for healthcare practitioners (such as nurses, doctors and physiotherapists) who have trained to degree level - which means reduced time and fees.

 

 

Courses that fit in with your life

Denise talks about attendance on the weekend and weekday acupuncture courses.

 

Acupuncture courses that fit with your life

 

We know that the majority of our students have busy lives - often fitting in study with family and work commitments. To enable you to achieve this we offer two pathways of study for both our BSc and MSc in Acupuncture courses – weekday or weekend - and you can choose which suits you best.

On both pathways your week will consist of time in class at the College, time in our teaching clinic (open Monday to Saturday), e-learning at home, and home study. Our guide for home study is two hours of home study for each hour in class or clinic.

 

Courses attendance summary

 

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 (MSc only)
Weekend course: 14 weekends

Weekday course: two half days each week over 25 weeks in term time, with 6 additional half days
Weekend course: 14 weekends

Weekday course: two half days each week over 25 weeks in term time, with 5 additional half days
Weekend course: 14 weekends

Weekday course: two half days each week over 25 weeks in term time, with 6 additional half days
MSc dissertation - mostly home study with support of your supervisor(s).
8 days in our teaching clinic
and 2 days of practitioner observation in your locality
17 days in our teaching clinic
and 3 days of practitioner observation in your locality
20 days in our teaching clinic  
MSc students also have six 2 hour tutorials - some in class and some online MSc students also have six 2 hour tutorials - some in class and some online MSc students also have six 2 hour tutorials - some in class and some online  

 

To see exactly when you will be studying take a look at our course dates below:

 

 

Acupuncture student Nicola talks about how she is fitting in the course with her life

Nicola talks about how she fits in the MSc course with her work and family

How the weekday acupuncture course works

The weekday acupuncture course starts in late September/early October and finishes in June and consists of two half day teaching sessions each week during term times (25 weeks in all) plus five or six extra half days over the year. You also need to factor in half a day of e-learning each week that you undertake at home in your own time, which also counts towards your attendance. Classroom sessions run from 10am to 1:30pm.

For the course starting in 2018 teaching days will be on Thursday and Friday with six extra Wednesday mornings spread throughout the year.

How the weekend acupuncture course works

The weekend acupuncture course starts in early October and finishes in June and consists of (approximately) every other weekend during term time (14 weekends in all). There is also e-learning that you undertake at home in your own time, and which is also counted towards your attendance. Classroom sessions run from 10.00am - 6.00pm on Saturday and 9.30am - 5.30pm on Sunday.

Holidays

There is a break from classroom teaching for Christmas and Easter and a long break over the summer. The weekday course also has half term breaks.

Clinic days

In addition to the classroom teaching, you will gain clinical experience both in our teaching clinic here at the College and also by visiting practitioners near to you. The NCA teaching clinic is open Monday to Saturday throughout the year, and your clinic days are scheduled well in advance with your preferences taken into account. You will arrange your own practitioner observation days.

Studying part time

Parts of the courses which would normally take one year can be taken over two years, spreading both time and cost. If you are interested in studying part-time and would like to talk to us about how this could work for you - please get in touch.

 

 

How we teach and assess you

Course Director Lara McClure talks about how we assess you and the streams that run throughout the course.

Lara talks about how we teach and assess you on our acupuncture courses

How we teach and assess you

Here at the NCA we are passionate about teaching acupuncture and we constantly develop what, and how, we teach you to enable you to become a confident acupuncturist. To help you to fit in studying acupuncture with your life, and give you the high quality training that you expect from a prestigious College, our acupuncture courses feature the following teaching methods:

  • ✓ Interactive classroom learning here at our College building in the heart of historic York
  • ✓ E-learning – at home on your computer/device
  • ✓ Clinical practice days seeing real patients in our teaching clinic based at the College
  • ✓ Practitioner observation days
  • ✓ Home study
  • ✓ Assessments and exams that help develop you as practitioner

Combining these dynamic components we give you a total practitioner training and all the tools you need to go into practice as a fully qualified acupuncturist, and you attain a University degree - BSc in Acupuncture or MSc in Acupuncture.

As part of your learning you will also undertake a wide variety of assessments which allow you to show your individual strengths. Some assessments are "formative", meaning that they are designed to help you to gauge your progress through the course but they do not count towards your degree. Other assessments are "summative", meaning that they do count towards your degree. Each assessment is relevant to you as a future practitioner. There are also case-based examinations in each of the three teaching years.

How we teach you in the classroom

Classroom contact time includes some presentation of material by tutors but is mostly either hands-on practical classes or interactive time on theory when you work on exercises and case studies in class and discuss with your fellow students and tutors – making classroom sessions dynamic and fun. Click the links bellow to find out more from our students and tutors:

 

 

 

Karen Johnson – Year 3 BSc student


Karen Johnson – Year 3 BSc student

"I really like the e-learning as it is both convenient and flexible. Moodle has several handy features including being able to download sessions and listen and learn whilst doing daily activities – download and store for the future, and also go back and revise when you want to."

How we teach you by e-learning

Part of your acupuncture training is a series of lectures and demonstrations that you access at home via your computer on our virtual learning environment "E-Learn with NCA" These sessions are lively and interactive and have a ‘live’ period of one week during which you can complete the session at home, at a time that suits you. To demonstrate your attendance and understanding you will answer a series of quiz questions at the end of each e-learning session. The session lead tutor will be online periodically during the week to provide feedback and answer questions, and the student groups interact with each other via the forums. Our students tell us that they like the flexibility of learning this way and love the fact that once the ‘live’ period has finished, they can watch the session as many times as they like for revision, throughout the duration of their course.

Don't worry if you have not accessed this kind of learning before, you will receive all the support and help you need to use our online resources confidently. You will be required to have access to a computer compatible with our e-learning programme.

 

 

Learn how to become an acupuncturist

How we teach you in clinic

Faye Powell - Year  3 BSc student


Faye Powell - Year 3 BSc student

"Working with Clinic Supervisor Nicky Thomas in the teaching clinic has been really rewarding for me. She is very supportive and nurturing and is great to learn from. Her approach has given me confidence to develop into an acupuncturist ready for practice."

Our acupuncture courses have an integrated approach, ensuring that everything you learn in class is backed up with practical experience. Right from the start you will be working in our busy and vibrant clinic here at the College alongside our clinic supervisors and your fellow students. In the first year you will spend eight days in clinic, three of them in the first term, so expect to get “hands on” from the very beginning! In the second and third years your clinic days increase to seventeen and twenty respectively. In the first year you will be observing, assisting and learning from your peers and clinic supervisor, and halfway through the second year you will start to do some simple needling. From the beginning of the third year you will be beginning to make decisions about treatment and administering the acupuncture, and towards the end of your final year you will be confident in leading the consultations and treatments. This may seem a little daunting at first, but don’t worry, all our teaching, practice and support come together to ensure that you have the skills and tools you need to meet the various milestones in clinical practice. Our dedicated clinic supervisors are experienced practitioners who will help you every step of the way to put your learning of theory and skills into practice, building up to the end of the third year when you will be a confident acupuncturist practising with minimal supervision. Clinic days are scheduled well in advance and student preferences are taken into account.

 

Practitioner Observation Days

These are days that you organise yourself observing a variety of practitioners in your locality in varied clinical situations. This valuable experience will help you to gather information about how people work in practice, to find out about different working practices and models, and to make contact with local practitioners. There are two practitioner observation days in year one and three in year two.

Home study

For every hour of directed study (i.e. classroom and e-learning) you need to factor in two hours of home study. This includes a variety of activities such as further reading, writing assignments, exam revision, and practising point location and massage techniques. There are specific recommendations for BSc and MSc students, with MSc students expected to apply greater self-direction and a higher degree of interaction with published research.

Northern College of Acupuncture student Michael talks about the wide range of assessments on the acupuncture courses

Michael talks about the wide range of assessments on the acupuncture courses

How we assess you

All our assessments are designed to be clinically relevant to you as a developing practitioner. We will make sure you are fully informed in advance, supported during the process, and given detailed feedback afterwards.

Assessments used over the three years include:

  • ✓ Case-based examinations
  • ✓ Case studies relating to bodywork and to patients seen in the acupuncture clinic
  • ✓ Posters and a brief informal presentation of these
  • ✓ Reflective accounts of patient interactions
  • ✓ Annual personal development plans
  • ✓ An anatomy and physiology workbook
  • ✓ A literature critique
  • ✓ Short practical tests of competence in clinical skills, point location and bodywork
  • ✓ Clinical competence logs, and clinic supervisors’ assessments
  • ✓ A business plan
  • ✓ A research project

Our tutors and students tell you about typical teaching sessions - click through and find out more

 

 

Who are our tutors?

One of our greatest assets here at the NCA is undoubtedly our dedicated teaching faculty. The College is very much a community of learners and our dedicated teachers are at the heart of that community. Most of our tutors are practitioners themselves and they bring to their classes a wealth of knowledge and experience in treating real patients in their practices throughout the country. Some are NCA graduates themselves and others are experts in their particular fields. All have the same mission - to ensure that you, their students, get the best possible teaching in a supportive and stimulating learning environment.

 

The acupuncture teaching team is headed by our Course Director Lara McClure. Working with Lara are our year leaders, who are responsible for the teaching in each year, and our stream leaders, who are responsible for the teaching on the various streams that run throughout the course.

 

Speciality Guest tutors

You will also learn from guest tutors who are eminent in their specialist fields. This is particularly relevant towards the end of your training when we introduce you to lots of specialty subjects - such as:

Pip Bolland – year 3 BSc student


Pip Bolland – year 3 BSc student

"I am really looking forward to all the year three Masterclasses in our final two terms – particularly finding out more about Japanese acupuncture with Andy Harrop. Neil Quinton’s lectures on mental and emotional problems have already been extremely useful in preparing me for treating patients with anxiety and depression when I start my own practice later this year."

  • ✓ acupuncture for children
  • ✓ electro-acupuncture
  • ✓ Japanese acupuncture
  • ✓ five elements acupuncture
  • ✓ fertility
  • ✓ classical needle techniques
  • ✓ mental health
  • ✓ and other interesting and dynamic areas of acupuncture and its practice

 

 

Course curriculum

Course Director Lara McClure talks about how we assess you and the streams that run throughout the course.

Course Director Lara talks about the streams that run through the course.

Acupuncture courses curriculum

A series of “streams” runs through every year of the acupuncture courses. The streams are integrated into the various modules so that you encounter the subject matter woven together into a greater whole, which is how you will experience it in clinic. Each year the streams build on what you have already learnt. In the first year you will establish the strong foundations and knowledge that you need for the rest of your training and beyond. As you continue throughout the years you will add layers of detail and diversity to build a broad repertoire of skills and knowledge, so that by the end of the third year you are ready to go into practice with confidence, ability and enthusiasm.

Module credits

Your study in the streams is taught and assessed at an appropriate academic level for the year of study – so for BSc students, year 1 is taught at level 4, year 2 at level 5 and year 3 at level 6.

 

BSc (Hons) and MSc in Acupuncture

A series of integrated "streams" run throughout the course building your knowledge and confidence as you progress.

The Streams (click on each stream for more information)

 

Acupuncture course curriculum montage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How we support you

Acupuncture graduate Annabel Tindale talks about how she began her career as an acupuncturist after studying acupuncture with us at the NCA

Annabel talks about how studying at a small and supportive college helped her to realise her dream of becoming an acupuncturist.

How we support you (throughout your training and beyond)

We all know that life is unpredictable and there may be times when you will need some extra support to help you to continue your studies. At the NCA we are all committed to ensuring your success in training to become an acupuncturist and our high level of student support is a special feature of the College.

Ways in which we support you to succeed during your training

  • ✓ We are small and friendly and we will know you as an individual
  • ✓ You have specific learning/pastoral support sessions that are appropriate to your needs
  • ✓ We have learning support tutors who are trained to help you returning to study
  • ✓ We have an open door policy so you can come and talk to any member of staff
  • ✓ We have a confidential counselling service
  • ✓ We have access to assessments for dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties

How do we support you?

Firstly by encouraging you to talk to us about any difficulties you are having, so we can identify the best way to help. It may be that you just need a friendly ear, to adjust your course attendance or arrange for an assignment extension. Or it could be that you need more professional help, in which case you may have access to counselling and psychological services. Our approach is to help you as an individual. You will also find a lot of help and encouragement as part of a supportive cohort of fellow students.

Yvonne Patterson – Year 3 BSc student


Yvonne Patterson – Year 3 BSc student

"I am dyslexic and at the beginning of the course the College arranged and funded me to have a dyslexia assessment. I was able to access a Disabled Student Allowance and have regular sessions with an external dyslexia tutor. This is fantastic as she helps me with study skills and specific help with assignments. I also get extra time in exams which is very helpful to me. I can’t deny that it is sometimes a struggle to study to degree level with dyslexia – but here I am in year three and looking forward to starting my own practice!"

Support for students with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia

If you have a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia or ADHD) we have specific support in place to help you, including trained learning support tutors and access to dyslexia assessments. We screen all news students for Special Learning Difficulties (SPLD’s) when they start the course and we can help to fund a full assessment if this is needed. We will also work with you individually and put in place specific actions to help you succeed - such as extra time in exams, someone to someone to act as a scribe for you - or even taking an exam orally instead of writing.

Support for students with disabilities

In recent years students have trained with us who have had problems with chronic fatigue, visual impairment and long term back problems. You may be eligible for a Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) from the government – this will give you some funding towards specific needs such as transportation, accommodation, equipment etc.

 

 

Talk to us

If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty, please get in touch to discuss your individual needs. Call Denise on +44 (0)1904 343309 or our Registrar Alison on +44 (0)1904 343300 or send us an e-mail enquiry.

 

Support for you when you have qualified

Acupuncture graduation girls

When you complete your studies at the NCA our support does not stop there - you are now part of an elite cohort – NCA Alumni! In your first year of practice we invite you back to the College for a “Practice Development Workshop Day” where you can re-connect with your cohort, talk about your experiences as a new practitioner and learn more marketing skills to help you with your new business. In recent years topics have included how to optimise your website, how to connect more effectively with social media and how to retain patients.

We also encourage our graduates to:

  • ✓ Connect at conferences (such as the annual British Acupuncture Council conference)
  • ✓ Keep in touch to let us know what you are doing and ask for help if needed
  • ✓ Engage with our periodic e-newsletters and our social media postings
  • ✓ Join us for one of our CPD courses

 

  • ✓ Further study with us on one of our postgraduate courses

 

 

 

 

Fees & funding

Northern College of Acupuncture student Laura talks about her student loan and how this works for her

Laura talks about her student loan

Fees, funding and student loans

How to fund your acupuncture training will be of primary importance to you. On this page we give you all the information you need about funding and student loans and also your options if you are not eligible for a student loan. We also give you information about other costs such as books, transport and accommodation if you are staying over.

 

 

 

Reduced time and fess if you are a healthcare practitioner

If you are a healthcare practitioner with a degree in your field, you may be eligible for reduced fees and attendance.

 

 

Talk to us

Funding the course is one of the main considerations for our students. We would encourage you to talk to us if you have any questions or concerns. Call our Marketing Manager Denise on +44 (0)1904 343309 or our Registrar Alison on +44 (0)1904 343300 or send us an e-mail enquiry.

 

Entry requirements & applying

Northern College of Acupuncture student Mathew talks about why he decided to complete his acupuncture training at the NCA and about the transition from one College to another

Matt talks about completing his training at the NCA after initially starting at another College.

Entry requirements and applying

Our acupuncture courses are accessible for all and students come to study with us from a wide variety of backgrounds, ages, ethnicity and ability. You can apply to us with a variety of qualifications, and the majority of our students are mature people applying to us with life and work experience. You may already have a degree and/or practitioner qualification in another field. We also welcome further education leavers studying acupuncture as a first career. If you have started your studies at another College or University but not completed – or would like to transfer- you are welcome to apply to complete your training with us.

 

We welcome applicants from the EU/EAA but are unable to accept non EU/EAA students due to visa restrictions.

How to apply

You will apply directly to the College via our online application system. If your application is successful you will be invited for an interview here at the College. We encourage all our acupuncture courses applicants to have visited the College prior to application by attending one of our introductory events, an informal visit or have attended one of our online presentation and Q&A events in order to be well informed of the course and what is involved.

Entry requirements for our BSc (Hons) in Acupuncture

Applicants can apply on the basis of qualifications or work/life experience. If you are applying straight from school or college you will need to have attained 260 A Level tariff points.

Entry requirements for our MSc in Acupuncture

Applicants should have either an undergraduate degree, an equivalent professional qualification, or relevant work experience equivalent to degree-level learning.

 

Applying for our BSc in Acupuncture as a mature student without formal qualifications

We welcome applications from mature students and those who do not have a conventional educational background. If you do not have the formal qualifications which make you eligible for the BSc in Acupuncture, we encourage you to make a case based on your learning from work and life experience. We will help you to do this during your interview, when we discuss with you your life and work experience to identify areas of responsibility, communication skills, and times in your life when you have worked with information, or been involved in decision-making and problem-solving. It’s not unusual for our students to start without formal qualifications and to become excellent practitioners.

We provide ample support for those returning to, or new to, academic study and we do everything we can to help you succeed and every application is assessed on its individual merits.

Coming to us straight secondary education

If you are coming to us straight from A-levels, our entry requirements are: 260 points at A2 level or equivalent. For example grade A = 120 points, grade B = 100 points, grade C = 80 points.

Beth Fairweather - Year 2 BSc student


Beth Fairweather - Year 2 BSc student

"I transferred from another University to start my second year at the NCA. The transfer process was made as easy as possible by the College. The courses were compared and I was given extra sessions where I needed it to make up for gaps in my knowledge. Now I am at the end of my first term in the second year group and I’m loving it - I feel very nurtured and supported here."

RPL - entry to BSc or MSc for students who have already completed some acupuncture training and are looking to complete at the NCA

If you would like to transfer to the NCA from another College or University, or if you have previously completed part of your training and had to stop, we will work with you to assess what level of study you have attained and how this fits with our acupuncture courses. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).Typically we will ask you to provide transcripts and the syllabus of your previous study programme and we may ask you to complete an assessment or sit an exam. Our Registrar Alison will guide and support you though this process.

 

 

Applying if you are a student from the EU/EAA

Recent Northern College of Acupuncture graduate Marjana talks about her decision to move from Slovenia to the UK to complete her acupuncture training

Recent acupuncture graduate Marjana talks about her decision to move from Slovenia to the UK to train as an acupuncturist.

We welcome applicants from the EEA. Please note that if you are an EEA student and hope to access Student Finance to help fund the course, you will need to have lived in the UK for three years or more to be eligible for government funding.

English language requirement

Communication is such an important part both of the course, and in interactions with patients, that our students need to be proficient in the use of spoken and written English. If English is not your first language we will expect you to take an English language assessment with one of the many providers such IELTS and Cambridge English Advanced.

 

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

As we take the safety of our patients seriously you are required to undergo a check with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). This is something that we help you to organise in your first term before you start in clinic. Some of you will already have your DBS check in place and will be able to bring your certificate in to the College.

 

Applying for our acupuncture courses

 

Limited places for students with a student loan

Jane and Andrea in the library

Due to a government cap we have a limited amount of places for students who are eligible for a student loan for our BSc in Acupuncture. Places will be allocated as applications are received and processed and we advise you to apply to us as soon as possible.

Closing Date

The closing date for applications in 2018 is the 31st August. Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on availability.

Interviews

If your application is successful, we will contact you to arrange an interview. Our interviews have been designed to enable us to explore in more detail your interest in studying here, and how the skills and experience you have will support you in successfully completing the course. Your interview will last 30 to 40 minutes and you will be interviewed by two senior members of staff in a friendly and informal atmosphere and you will also have plenty of opportunity to ask questions. If you are successful we will offer you a place shortly after your interview.

To find out more about our admission process please access the following information:

 

 

Equal opportunities

The College is committed to making our service provision accessible to all students. All reasonable adjustments will be made to enable this. Where offices are inaccessible, staff and elected officers will endeavour to find alternative space for meetings and events in order not to exclude any interested party. Any alterations to and/or development of the College building shall occur with improving access as a requirement, as far as practicable and within the constraints of listed building and planning regulations.

 

 

Accreditation & validation

Accreditation and Validation and Quality Assurance

Our courses are fully accredited and validated, ensuring your entry to the profession once you have qualified.

 

Northern College of Acupuncture students qualify with eligibility to become a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)

Professional Membership with the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)

 Once you have qualified you will be eligible to apply for membership of the British Acupuncture Council  (MBAcC) and your patients can be assured that you are fully qualified to treat them. The BAcC is recognised by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, which is accountable to parliament. This means that the public can be further assured that the BAcC meets high standards in governance, standard-setting, education and training, management, complaints and information. The BAcC provides its members with support at both a national and local level and many of our students join as student members at the start of their courses. We would encourage you to find out more about the British Acupuncture Council and how they can help you as a student, and support you when you become a practitioner.

 

Our Acupuncture courses are accredited by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Council (BAAB)

 

Our acupuncture courses are fully accredited by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB). This is the accreditation body for the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) which is the most widely recognised professional body for acupuncture.

 

Our Acupuncture courses are quality-assured by the QAA

 

The Northern College of Acupuncture has undergone a Higher Education Review  by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and has received its final report. We submitted an annual return to the QAA in December 2016 that demonstrates that we are continuing to maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of student learning opportunities and information about learning opportunities.

 

 

London South Bank University - a new partnership for the NCA from 2018

The College is developing a new partnership with London South Bank University with the intention of the University validating our degree programmes for intakes from September 2018. Validation will mean that students receive their degree from London South Bank University on successful completion of their course.

 

 

What makes us different from a University

We are an independent College with a special atmosphere and ethos, dedicated entirely to acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and nutrition. We give you a lot of support and nurture your development towards becoming an acupuncturist. An important part of this is that you will join a dedicated and committed group of students, who give one another mutual support and encouragement. We are smaller than a University department and you will find that we quickly get to know you as an individual.

 

Evidence for acupuncture

Acupuncture and the growing evidence base

Acupuncture and the growing evidence base

It is vital for the continuing development and credibility of our profession that we can answer our critics with scientific proof of the effectiveness of acupuncture and each year this evidence is growing.

Acupuncture research by Hugh MacPherson

Acupuncture research at the NCA

Here at the NCA we are committed to research and building the evidence base for acupuncture. Our MSc in Acupuncture was the first, and still is the only, acupuncture course in the country to offer an MSc option from scratch. Our graduates make a substantial contribution to research within the profession and some have gone on to undertake PhDs.

Our research wing the Foundation for Research into Traditional Chinese Medicine (FRTCM) was set up in 1990 to further the cause of research into acupuncture. We have collaborated on research projects such as a major back pain research study and regularly carry out in-house research projects in our teaching clinics. Funds from the FRTCM are available to assist students in getting their research into publication.

We are now running two new online-only MSc courses for acupuncturists and complementary therapists all over the world aimed at developing skills in research and practice.

 

 

 

 

Hugh MacPherson on the BBC2 programme 'Trust Me, I'm A Doctor'.

Hugh MacPherson on the BBC2 programme 'Trust Me, I'm A Doctor'.

 

Northern College of Acupuncture co-founder, Hugh MacPherson

A brief history of research into acupuncture

By Hugh MacPherson, College co-founder and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York.

“Early research into acupuncture explored physiological correlates, identifying that acupuncture has a profound effect on endorphins and neurotransmitters. The impact of acupuncture in modulating the effect of pain has been explored in many neuroimaging studies. As an example, researchers based at the University of York under my leadership, explored the effect of acupuncture on brain waves using neuroimaging techniques (1).

What has been important for us researchers is to know whether acupuncture is clinically effective for the many chronic conditions that are prevalent in primary care, especially conditions for which patients are seeking non-pharmacological alternatives. These problematic conditions include chronic musculoskeletal pain, headache and migraine, osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and depression.

As an example of research that involved acupuncturists at the Northern College of Acupuncture, the York Acupuncture for Back Pain Study was a randomised controlled trial that showed acupuncture reduces low back pain over the longer term (2), a benefit that is also cost-effective (3). This research was central to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)’s decision to recommend a course of 10 weekly sessions of acupuncture for persistent low back pain (4).

One of the questions posed by scientists is to ask whether or not acupuncture is simply a placebo, albeit a powerful one. This question has been answered definitively by a systematic review of high quality clinical trials of acupuncture for chronic pain, namely musculoskeletal pain in the low back and neck, headache and migraine, and osteoarthritis. Researchers found statistically significant differences between acupuncture and sham acupuncture, showing that acupuncture is unequivocally more effective than a placebo, as well as more effective than standard conventional medical care (5).

Beyond chronic pain, recent evidence from trials conducted by us at the Department of Health Sciences, University of York, has shown that acupuncture is statistically significantly better than usual care for irritable bowel syndrome (6) and depression (7). And finally, in a ground-breaking network meta-analysis, a research team at the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York found that acupuncture out-performs most other physical therapies for osteoarthritis of the knee (8). The combined effect of these research studies has created a critical mass of evidence that will feed into policy and practice over the years to come.”

 

 

 

 

FAQs

Don Clarke, Stream Leader on the acupuncture courses at the Northern College of Acupuncture

FAQs

22 frequently asked questions about our acupuncture courses


We would like to give you a really good overview of what it is like to study acupuncture with us here at the Northern College of Acupuncture (NCA). So we have put together a series of 22 “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) asked by people considering a career as a fully qualified acupuncture practitioner.

We hope that this information will give you a good overview of our acupuncture degree courses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*subject to validation

 

Find out more

Introductory Events

These lively and informative full day events really are the best way to find out whether studying acupuncture at the NCA is right for you.

Saturday 21st April 2018

BOOK YOUR PLACE


Hang out with us!

Online Presentation and Q&A Evenings

Join us online to find out more about the acupuncture courses and talk to current NCA students and practicing graduates.

Wednesday 25th April 2018

BOOK YOUR PLACE

 

Get in touch

Denise Magson, Marketing Manager

We are always happy to talk to you about studying acupuncture with us at the NCA!

Call Denise on
+44 (0)1904 343309

or Alison on
+44 (0) 1904 343300

 

Student Stories

 

Northern College of Acupuncture twenty-fifth graduation ceremony at the National Centre for Early Music

On October 29th, at the National Centre for Early Music, the Northern College of Acupuncture held its twenty-fifth graduation ceremony!

Northern College of Acupuncture graduate Hannah Reade talks about her journey from studying acupuncture to becoming an acupuncturist.

Acupuncture graduate Hannah Reade talks about her journey from studying acupuncture to becoming an acupuncturist.

Acupuncture graduate Annabel Tindale talks about how she began her career as an acupuncturist after studying acupuncture with us at the NCA

Acupuncture graduate Annabel Tindale talks about how she began her career as an acupuncturist after studying acupuncture with us at the NCA.