Course Admissions

Course Admissions

Our policy on course admissions


We are committed to widening participation in acupuncture training, and will consider implementing additional support for individual applicants with specific needs, where necessary (see ‘fitness to practice’). If you think you may have dyslexia or other study skills difficulties, we will work with you to assess your needs, and take into account any difficulties when marking your work. We provide a mini-module covering academic and reflective writing skills which we can enrol you on before you start, to help bring you up to speed with working at honours degree level.

Additionally, we will also welcome applications from mature students without the usual academic entry requirements, if you can demonstrate through life experience that you may be a suitable candidate. Prior to interview we will help you to identify any evidence of relevant experience that you could share with is to support your application, and/or you may be asked to complete the academic and reflective writing mini-module. Clear feedback and guidance will be given in all such cases, so please get in touch with us to discuss your individual circumstances.

We welcome diversity in our student population – valuing differences in race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief, class and age. We actively oppose discrimination, and aim to remove all conditions that put people at a disadvantage by striving to improve access and providing outstanding support throughout. We particularly welcome applications from sections of the population who are under-represented in higher education and in the profession of acupuncture.

Admissions process

If you are successful with your initial application, you will be invited to attend for an interview which may be carried out via phone or video call, although we prefer to do this in person wherever possible.  We very much consider the interview to be a two-way process, providing an opportunity for you to explore whether TAA is the right place for your training.

In addition, as part of the interview process we will discuss the learning of point location and anatomy in mixed group settings with tutors of either gender, all undertaken with an explicit policy of modesty and respect.  Further written consent for this aspect of study will be sought as part of your student contract should you be accepted.

In preparation for your application, you should think about:

  • Your motivation to study and practice acupuncture
  • The personal qualities you have which will be useful as a practitioner, and those you may need to develop
  • How prepared you are for the commitment of the course (e.g. health and wellbing, other commitments)

Entry requirements

Applying as a mature student (and without formal qualifications)

We welcome applications from mature students. Ideally, you will have the entry qualifications listed below, however, if you don’t have this conventional educational background, we’ll do everything we can to help you succeed. In your application, you should try to identify whether you can demonstrate:

  • A genuine motivation to study and practice acupuncture, a sincere and caring attitude, and a willingness to develop personally as appropriate
  • A standard of personal health and wellbeing sufficient to enable you to undertake and complete the course
  • Sufficient command of written and spoken English: at least up to IELTS band 7 standard
  • An understanding of the commitment demanded by the course, and how you plan to fit your studies into your life
  • Basic competency in IT (using Word, saving documents, creating folders to store files, and uploading and downloading documents)

If you do lack the conventional entry requirements for honours degree level study, we will explore with you during your interview how you may have developed relevant skills through your life and work experience, such as communication skills, problem-solving and decision making. If we feel it would be of benefit, we will enrol you on our free mini-module on academic and reflective writing skills, to prepare you for study at this level. As part of this module, we may require you to submit a short piece of writing, and we’ll give you helpful feedback on this.

It may well be that you have simply been out of education for a long time, and you’re worried you may be a little rusty?! This would apply to most of our students, so don’t worry, you won’t be alone. The writing skills module is available to all our students before they start, so if you feel you need a refresher, the help is there. Once you’ve started the course, you can go back to this module any time. At TAA, we are highly commended by our Accrediting body and by our External examiners for the quality of feedback we provide, so you can be assured that we will be right behind you, to help you succeed.

Educational requirements (always applying to applicants coming straight from A-levels)

  • Five GCSEs/GCEs at grade A-C or equivalent, including maths or a science, and English, AND at least 240 A-level/AVCE points from two or more A2 levels or the equivalent


  • BBB profile from 3 subjects at Advanced Highers level, to include a biological science (Scottish qualifications)
  • Two grade A and four grade Bs in papers at Higher level to include a biological science (Irish leaving certificate)
  • BTEC National Diploma (overall profile of DDM); a pass in all 18 units of a health related science course
  • BTEC HNC; all 10 units achieved with a merit or distinction, a minimum of 80% of units at distinction level
  • NVQ; concurrent passes in Level III Diagnostic and Therapeutic Support plus grade B in GCE A level (Human) Biology
  • Open University; 30-60 points gained in a relevant level 2 course, attaining a minimum overall grade of 70%
  • 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject

Fitness to practice

A certain amount of physical dexterity is essential when undertaking the course and then moving into practice, and while we can make reasonable adjustments to the programme for students with disabilities in line with our strategic aim of widening participation in healthcare education and practice, we also need to ensure future patient safety through accurate assessment. Part of our application process will therefore be designed to ascertain need, and possible responses.

As part of assessing fitness to practice, we will require a reference from a professional who has known you for a minimum of two years either in a workplace, study or personal capacity (not family members), describing their opinion on fitness to work directly with the public in a professional healthcare capacity.

Subject to regulatory requirements, you may be required to present a current CRB disclosure, however in the absence of this regulatory requirement at present, a self-declaration must be signed as part of your student contract, as a minimum. You should also be aware that the British Acupuncture Council will consider fitness to practice as part of your application to them on graduation.

English as a second language and students outside the UK

English as a second language students must demonstrate sufficient command of written and spoken English: at least up to IELTS Band 7 standard.

Students from outside the UK

We welcome students from around the world who have an appropriate level of English (as above). As a private institution, it is not possible to gain a study visa to study with us, however, many students fly in to attend class sessions. We would need to discuss clinical year arrangements, which may need to take place at TAA, or in one of our London clinics. Contact us to discuss how studying with us might work for you.  You should also make yourself aware of the requirements for practising acupuncture in your home country, or the country in which you are hoping to set up practice.

Recognition of prior learning

If you are looking to transfer from another institution, we’ll work with you to assess what level of study you have attained and how this fits with our course. Typically, you’ll need to provide transcripts and a syllabus for your previous course, and we may ask you to complete a practical and/or written assessment. If the course you wish to transfer from has substantial differences in content or organisation, or you have been away from your studies for over eighteen months, it is likely that you will have to start the course at the beginning; however, you may well be able to use some of your previous work in your coursework with us.

Due to the structure of our course, it is not usually possible to formally accredit prior learning and exempt students from part of the course. Health professionals will be at an advantage, and may be exempt from certain assessments or aspects of assessments, but will usually need to take all units (because, for example, in the Biomedicine unit, we compare to the Chinese medicine perspective throughout). Please contact us if you’d like to discuss this with us.