Study on our high-quality acupuncture courses at the Northern College of Acupuncture


BSc in Acupuncture (weekend and weekday options) – our next courses start end of September/early October 2019. Find out more by joining us for our online presentation and Q&A evening or on our next full days acupuncture introductory event on Saturday 16th February  - click here to book your place  

What kinds of people study acupuncture?

Acupuncture students in class.

As well as being a small, friendly college with a first-class reputation for its courses – there are many reasons people choose to study and train at the Northern College of Acupuncture (NCA). Every year, the College welcomes students from many diverse backgrounds, from across the UK and beyond, and each student has their own unique reason for wanting to become an acupuncturist. Many people, having had acupuncture themselves and experienced amazing results, are inspired to learn more about this ancient traditional Chinese medicine. Others are guided by an innate desire to help others, to forge a new career, or to add to existing skills. Most often, a combination of these motives is the reason over 30 students every year choose to change their lives by studying at the NCA.

Our students mostly range in age from eighteen to sixty-something and come from many walks of life. They bring a great deal of life and work experience with them and we all learn from each other. Our recent acupuncture course cohorts have included:

  • Property developer
  • Massage therapist
  • Computer programmer
  • Nurse
  • GP
  • Film maker
  • Kung Fu teacher
  • Policeman
  • Coach driver
  • Administration assistant
  • Model
  • Hairdresser
  • Lawyer
  • Sixth form student
  • Care assistant
  • Bank Manager
  • Teacher

And many more!

We find that this cosmopolitan mix creates stimulating and supportive groups of students. Our students bring a great deal of life and work experience with them, and they all learn from, and support each other on a common journey to become a fully qualified acupuncture practitioner with bonds of friendship that carry on into practice and beyond.


Graduate profiles

Our graduates come from all walks of life, however each year we normally have at least one student who comes from a martial arts background. We will also have several students who have already completed training in another field of complementary therapy - such as massage therapy or reflexology.


Helen Game

Helen Game - graduated in 2017

Helen was already working as a complementary therapist when she decided to add acupuncture to her business - and the decision paid off!

"I had been working as an auriculotherapist after studying with the well-known practitioner and lecturer Jim Chalmers. I then decided to study more and qualify for my BSc in Acupuncture, making a huge commitment to travel down to the NCA in York from Dumfries and Galloway. I started my acupuncture practice in August 2017 and, almost from the beginning, I’ve had a full diary and am booked up many weeks in advance. My best advertising is word of mouth; I have some local well- known people whose lives have been transformed through treatment, and they tell everybody. Being busy is a great position to be in so early on in practice, and bodes really well for the future. For anyone considering the course, I would say ‘go for it’ - unimaginable doors and opportunities will open, you will meet amazing people and learn from some of the most inspiring teachers. After graduating, the best part is reducing someone’s pain and seeing them smile again as they go on to live life to their full, healthy potential. I love my profession. It’s definitely worth three years in beautiful York."

Website for acupuncture course graduate Helen Game



Michael Ranft

Michael Ranft - graduated in 2017

Michael was working long hours as a teacher in a secondary school when his life-long interest in the martial arts brought him to the NCA to retrain as an acupuncturist - and he’s never looked back!

"Whatever your martial arts background, it’s worth learning about acupuncture because, at the core, they all share similar traits and philosophies. It’s so important to learn about the healing part of your martial art. Now I am a fully qualified acupuncturist I actually have a couple of patients who come to my clinic because of combat sports injuries. I loved the course and in my opinion all the best acupuncturists in my area trained at the NCA, and it’s been a brilliant place to learn. It’s more than just learning acupuncture points, or Chinese theory about health, it’s understanding how that fits with the real world. So, for example, how do we work with doctors and other care givers? How can we explain what we do, and how it works, to people who don’t necessarily understand Qi? The course gives you all this knowledge, and helps you explain it to others. The best bit for me was working in the clinic with the supervisors and actual patients; that was a huge selling point for studying at the NCA. Now I am fully qualified I’m so excited about the future. I’m expanding my own acupuncture business, and aim to have a few more clinics around Northumberland by next year. And I also have a friend who runs a company called ‘Recovery for Life’, a drug and alcohol rehab centre. We’re just in the process of me joining their team of acupuncturists. I genuinely look forward to my days when I’m in clinic, and there’s no Sunday-night dread of going to work - I’m skipping around the house!"

Website for acupuncture course graduate Michael Ranft