Chinese Herbal Medicine MSc
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
You must have at least BSc Honours Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture degree or equivalent and associated work experience. Where equivalence is accepted, the length, depth, content and orientation of the syllabus will be considered. You will need the higher education skills needed for postgraduate level study, including evidence of critical thinking, academic writing, IT, reflective practice and communication together with collaborative approaches to learning. If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS score of at least 6.5, with 6.0 in each component. Academic English support activities including academic writing maybe recommended.
The MSc Chinese Herbal Medicine extends your acupuncture practice into the other of the major modalities of Chinese medicine. It is a theoretical and clinical professional entry-training. You will develop your diagnostic and case formulation skills and also learn the materia medica and formulae of Chinese herbal medicine. Phytochemistry and pharmacokinetics are integrated into the understanding of the energetic interactions of herbs. Extensive practice with patients will take place in our on-site teaching clinic where theory is deconstructed and applied. Working in the dispensary with raw herbs will develop your kinaesthetic skills to deepen understanding. The aim is that you learn how to modify classic formulae to create new formulae which address complex patterns of illness.
This course contextualises Chinese medicine within its historical roots, and grounds it in the legal, ethical and inter-professional framework of the UK.
"The University of Westminster MSc CHM is accredited (approved) by the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association which accredits courses on behalf of all EHTPA Professional Associations, including the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine. This enables graduates from the MSc CHM to apply for membership of the RCHM. The EHTPA system of accreditation was endorsed by, and included in, the initial Steering Group Report to Government which recommended that a statutory register for herbal medicine practitioners be established"
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Chinese Herbal Medicine Clinical Practice
In this module you will take developing responsibility for all aspects of patient care. You will be guided in the construction of individual herbal formulae, applying research to ensure each patient is effectively treated. You will develop your case history taking skills, and your understanding of the relevance of tongue and pulse diagnosis to the construction of a complex diagnosis and treatment principle relevant for herbal medicine. You will also explore the various ways that herbal medicine may be applied or dispensed, dosage levels, and cautions and the yellow card protocol. You will complete your research project within this module.
Chinese Herbal Medicine in the UK
This module will look at issues that concern the practice of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) in the UK at present, to include: the legal and political context of CHM in the UK and Europe; pharmacology, pharmacognosy, toxicology, CITES, quality assurance and quality control; inter-professional working; codes of ethics and practice; and research methods and issues. There will be field trips to Bristol Herb Garden and Royal Botanical Gardens Kew.
Chinese Herbs and Formulae
This is the first module of the Chinese Herbal Medicine MSc course. Building on your foundation CM skills, you will develop and refine your understanding and articulation of aetiological and pathological processes while you learn the 150 most common herbs and 50 main formulae within treatment categories, patterns and common diseases. You will be introduced to the phytochemistry, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of herbs and be introduces to dispensary preparation.
Formulas and Strategies
This module involves the exploration and innovation of formulae from the perspective of Chinese Medicine bianbing (disease categories) and explores diseases recognised in the West but not traditionally described in Chinese medicine (eg post-viral syndrome, autoimmune disease, dermatology). You will be expected to evaluate, challenge, modify and develop theory and practice and apply critical enquiry into both traditional and modern theories in the light of new research. This module includes clinical practice.
Postgraduate Research Methods
This module provides the foundation of knowledge and skills needed to undertake ethical work-based research at Masters level. The process of research and evaluation from study design through data collection and data analysis is covered. A forum is provided for critical debate, enabling you to develop critical reasoning in relation to research design.
The Classics: Shang Han Lun and Wen Bing
This module focuses on the reconceptualising of materia medica at the level assumed in formula construction. You will cover the principles of CM formulae construction from various perspectives, e.g: shang han lun and wen bing, and develop your competence, and a greater appreciation of the roles of individual herbs though critical research, in a collaborative learning environment. You will also be introduced into the clinic, where you will take increasing responsibility for the treatment of patients under supervision and work in the dispensary becoming familiar with materia medica.
- Tony Booker, Course Leader
- Mike Potter, Module Leader
- Yizhen Jia, Clinical Supervisor
- Prof Volker Scheid (Head EASTMedicine)
This course is designed for acupuncturists who want to extend their practice repertoire to include herbal medicine, or for Chinese herbal medicine practitioners who wish to upgrade their academic skills to Masters level. Individual modules can be taken as consuming professional development (CPD)
The course is accredited by the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association. This enables graduates to apply for membership of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Length of course
One year full-time (Tue and Wed - two days per week attendance to include clinical practice. Additional attendance for external field trips throughout the two years
Central London (Cavendish)
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
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