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Northern College of Acupuncture


20 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 20 “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. You can find even more information on studying acupuncture on our main website.

1. How long will it take me to train as an acupuncturist?

Denise Magson, Marketing Manager, Northern College of Acupuncture

Marketing Manager Denise Magson

explains the various options for study and attendance.

It takes three years of training on our acupuncture courses to qualify with a BSc in Acupuncture, apply to register with the professional body, the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), and start work as a fully qualified acupuncturist.  Students studying on our MSc in Acupuncture also train and qualify as an acupuncturist in three years and then take a further one year to complete their MSc dissertation. It is also possible to take the BSc course part time over up to six years.

Northern college of acupuncture, bryony armstrong               Bryony Armstrong –

“I really want to say how much I appreciate the acupuncture course and the people, in particular the fantastic level of support and education I received during my 3 years with you all.”



2. What are the entry requirements?

Northern College of Acupuncture student Theresa talks about why she decided to study acupuncture

Acupuncture student Theresa

talks about why she decided to study acupuncture

Our courses in acupuncture are accessible for all and we encourage a diversity of ages and backgrounds. You will need to be over 18 and you will either have gained the standard entry requirements (if you are coming to us straight from A levels or equivalent) or you will be able to give us satisfactory evidence of your life and work experience (if you are coming in as a mature student). Our students come to study acupuncture with us from a variety of backgrounds and a variety of qualifications. Some of our students already have a degree, but many don’t. Some have a practitioner training in another field, others have a completely different background. Some students come to us as a first career, others are changing career or coming back to study after a long break. Students applying for our MSc in Acupuncture will either have an initial undergraduate degree or relevant work experience equivalent to undergraduate degree level learning.

Northern college of acupuncture, Michael Ranft             Michael Ranft -

"I came to my studies after a career as a secondary school English teacher, having decided that I wanted a new challenge and a better work-life balance. Not having a background in either science-based subjects or complementary medicine has not been an obstacle at all on the MSc Acupuncture course, as the teaching, resources and support are of such high quality that I feel like I have made huge strides in a very short space of time."



3. What qualification will I gain?

Northern College of Acupuncture student Nicola talks about why she decided on the MSc course

Acupuncture student Nicola

talks about why she decided on the MSc course

On our three year BSc in Acupuncture you will qualify with a BSc honours degree in Acupuncture. On our MSc in Acupuncture you will be eligible to go into practice once you have successfully completed the three years training, and then you will qualify with an MSc degree in Acupuncture once you have successfully completed the dissertation stage.  Both these qualifications give you a high level training and a nationally recognised qualification. You will be eligible to apply to register with the professional body the British Acupuncture Council and practise as a fully qualified acupuncturist.

Northern college of acupuncture, Mel Koppelman             Mel Koppelman -

“Completing my MSc has taught me this important set of skills, which not only allows me to confidently address my patients’ needs but has equipped me to continue to update my knowledge as I progress through my career.”




Marketing Manager Denise Magson talks to BAcC Chief Executive Nick Pahl about the organization and the benefits of membership as a student and practitioner.

4. Will I have automatic entry to the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)?

Students who have successfully completed their three years of acupuncture training are eligible to apply for practitioner membership of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). As an NCA student you will be encouraged to become a free student member of the BAcC and you will establish a good relationship with this professional body during your training.


Northern college of acupuncture, John Loken               John Loken –

“I enjoy being a student member of the BAcC  and look forward to the day when I will be a fully qualified member!”



5. How do people fund the acupuncture courses and what are the costs?

Our students fund their acupuncture course in many different ways depending upon their circumstances. Eligible students on our BSc in Acupuncture can apply for student loans (tuition fee loan and maintenance loan) to help fund the course. Our BSc in Acupuncture is classed as a full time course at a private College and as such eligible students are entitled to £6,165 per year towards their tuition fees.  Students who have already had funding from the government towards a higher education course find other ways to self-fund including continuing to work, adding to their mortgage, using savings, or taking out a professional and career development loan (PCDL). Course fees are spread out and paid in nine instalments over the academic year and the majority of our students continue to work part-time whist they study.

Northern college of acupuncture, Yvonne Csordas               Yvonne Csordas –

“If I had not been able to access a student tuition fee loan I would not have been able to afford to do the course. I also work part time - which helps to pay my living costs.”