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Northern College of Acupuncture

FAQs

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.

11. What about assessments and exams?

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

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

Our teaching incorporates a great deal of variety, united by a central focus on clinical learning. In the same way, the courses’ assessments are varied in nature, allowing different students to show their individual strengths, but all are focused on testing those skills you will need as a future practitioner. The full range of assessments is designed to help you to keep track of your progress throughout your training in acupuncture as you build in knowledge, skills and confidence over the three years. Many of our assessments are practical, providing regular opportunities to track progress in competency at clinical skills ranging from point location to needling. Our tutors are adept at providing a comfortable, nurturing atmosphere in which students can perform to the best of their abilities.

Formative assessments are informal and intended to allow you to practise skills, competencies and the application of theoretical knowledge in a supportive environment. No marks are awarded for such assessment, but you will receive feedback to make sure you are on the right track.

Summative assessments are more formal. They are assessed and awarded percentage marks which count towards your overall end-of-year grade.
Written assessment includes reflective reports on your clinical work, an anatomy and physiology workbook, a business plan which aims to be practicable and 'real-world', and research work that helps you to bring the evidence base to bear on your practice.

There are four written examinations in the course, one in year 1, two in year 2 and one in year 3. The majority of these are case-based, and designed to test the clinical decision-making you develop in the classroom and the clinic.

Northern college of acupuncture, Carla Love             Carla Love -

“The most rewarding aspect of the first year was entering my TCM exam with knowledge and confidence.”

 

 

12. I haven’t studied for a long time – what help and support will I receive?

Northern College of Acupuncture student Kate talks about what she is enjoying about the BSC course

Acupuncture student Kate

talks about what she is enjoying about the BSc course

Many of our students are coming back to study acupuncture after a long break from study, and we understand that this can be quite daunting. You will find lots of support and help here at the NCA, both when you start and throughout your training - we are committed to supporting you to succeed in completing our acupuncture courses. Support starts at interview where we will look at your work and academic study and help identify areas where you may need help – or that you need to cover before you can start the course. Once you have started the course you will be allocated a personal tutor who will give support and advice throughout your training. You write a personal development plan which helps you to identify any support you may need during your time with us, and you will meet regularly to discuss your learning and your development as a practitioner. If you need additional one-to-one input we have dedicated learning support tutors and a counselling service. All our staff are supportive and willing to help and our doors are always open. You will find your fellow students an important source of mutual support and our cohorts form strong bonds of friendship throughout their three years in College and beyond. Our acupuncture training courses can be demanding - but we help you to get the best from us and us from you!

Northern college of acupuncture, Bryony Griffiths             Bryony Griffiths -

“Going back into education after seven or so years was very daunting. Lara showed me some great support when I telephoned her and she set me up with the College counsellor which really helped!”

 

 

Acupuncture student Denise talks about the different backgrounds of the students and starting out on the acupuncture course

Acupuncture student Denise

talks about the different backgrounds of the students and starting out on the acupuncture course

13. What kind of students study with you?

Our acupuncture courses are a lively mix of students of all ages and backgrounds. Students who learn acupuncture with us come from all over the country, but mostly the North of England, the Midlands and Scotland. You might find yourself studying with a web-designer, a firefighter, a back-to-work mum, or any number of other interesting professions.  A popular route into the acupuncture profession is coming from an orthodox healthcare background such as nursing, or a complementary healthcare background such as massage therapy. Another popular route to acupuncture training is the martial arts.  Some of our students come to us from leaving school or having had a gap year. The majority of our students have been motivated by experiencing the many benefits of traditional Chinese acupuncture for themselves, or seeing a friend or family member benefit from treatment.

Northern college of acupuncture, Carlos Lewis             Carlos Lewis -

“My journey to acupuncture started at the age of five when I first became interested in Kung Fu through watching a Bruce Lee film.”

 

 

14. Who will I be taught by?

All of our tutors are dedicated people who are practitioners themselves with lots of experience of working as acupuncturists. Many of our teachers also have a teaching qualification, Masters degree or PhD. Our clinic supervisors have many years of practice behind them and an interesting mix of specialist knowledge. In your final year you will also be learning from many eminent practitioners who are specialists in their subjects - such as acupuncture for children, electro-acupuncture, and acupuncture for people with mental health issues.

Northern college of acupuncture, Nicky Thomas             Nicky Thomas -

“I see my role as a supervisor in the acupuncture teaching clinic as one that helps students learn what it means to be an acupuncturist.”

 

 

 

 

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

Acupuncture student Marjana talks about her decision to move from Slovenia to the UK to complete her acupuncture training

15. I am a foreign student - can I study with you?

If you are a student from the UK or EU/EAA you are welcome to study acupuncture with us. However, due to government restrictions we are unable to accept students from outside the EU on our acupuncture courses.

English Language Requirement for EU/EAA students

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.