Our acupuncture course is a three year Honours degree level Licentiate, fully accredited by the BAAB (British Acupuncture Accreditation Board). The level of the award, and our place in the accreditation process, means that our graduates will not only have achieved the highest educational standards for acupuncture in the UK, but can apply to join the British Acupuncture Council (the UK’s largest professional body) on completion. There is more on this in the ‘Prospectus’ section of the site, under ‘FAQs’. An Honours degree-level Professional Licentiate ensures that your education is balanced between the skills needed for the highest level of individual patient care, and the academic and scientific knowledge required of all health professionals.
Details on course content and structure are included in this section, and you will find general course information such as fees, under the heading ‘The Prospectus’. We have tried to include all of the information that you might require in order to make an informed choice, but are always happy to talk or email about areas where you would like some clarification, or for support through the application process.
The first ever class visit is held over three days (from Thursday to Saturday), and is followed by nine more weekend sessions spread fairly equally across the year. One further sessions does include a Friday, so those of you who are employed full-time would need to factor in the additional day off. Class days run from 9.30 to 5.30, with additional evening sessions on Saturdays when you can spend extra time practising your point location, pulse taking, and other clinical skills, with tutor support. If you are considering applying for the next intake of students, you will be able to find all first year dates for this group under ‘students’ in the top banner of the website, then ‘TAA Calendar’ from the drop down menu. Click on the group you are interested in (for example S2016 for September 2016) and then scroll through the months to see all the dates for this group only.
The ‘study period’ in between class visits include 15 hours of interactive lessons online which can largely be done to fit around your own commitments. The e-learning is supported in various ways, including interaction with classmates and tutors via on-going forum discussions, time spent in class cementing learning, and the support of your personal tutors. In addition to completing the e-lessons, you will also carry out treatment observations, attend additional point location practice and undertake your own self directed study. This and the e-lessons add up to around 18 hours per week of additional study outside of class time in total.
The structure is much the same in second year, with 10 class visits spread over the year with e-lessons between.
In the 3rd (clinical) year, you become an intern-practitioner and spend one day per week treating patients under supervision, in addition to eight further class weekends over the year. We have a large network of trained clinical supervisors around the UK, so most students will start treating patients in a clinic local to them. Quality of clinical supervision is of course essential though, so if a student has no supervisor local to them, then the clinical period will need to be undertaken further afield, or at The Academy teaching clinic in Leamington Spa.
This supervised practice lasts for around six months (the first half of the third year) until the required number of treatments have been supervised and all assessments passed. At this point, you will achieve pre-qualifying practice status, which means you will be treating semi-independently for the last six months of the course, under ‘indirect supervision’. ‘Indirect supervision’ means that you can charge patients, but you will continue to get detailed advice and feedback on your cases as well as receiving visits from supervisors who will both support you, and help you continue to develop.* Throughout the year, the whole team will also be involved in advising and mentoring you on your clinical work, so that you have as much breadth of experience to draw on as possible. You’ll have dedicated case discussion days in class, the chance to get questions answered and share your experiences on the forums, and of course your own personal tutor to advise you at any time.
If you are thinking about how you will juggle your time at this stage of the course then it is worth noting that there are no further e-lessons and so to some extent your clinical work now replaces a lot of your previous home study time. There are still seven class weekends over the third year though, and these allow time for case discussions, for studying ‘specialist’ areas of practice and for learning additional skills.