Chinese Medicine Acupuncture BSc Honours

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UCAS code: B343 | Institution code: W50 | Attendance mode: Full-time

Our 2016 undergraduate courses feature some exciting new changes based on student feedback, which include providing more opportunities for you to broaden your knowledge and skills while here. See full details about the changes to our undergraduate courses.

Start: 16 September 2017
Duration: 3 years
Location: Central London
Campus: Cavendish

Important tuition fee information – please read.

Home/EU: £9,250.00
Overseas: £12,500.00

The medical principles originating in China between the 3rd Century BCE and 2nd Century CE remain integral components of the healthcare systems of China, Japan, the Koreas and Vietnam, and are practised today on a global scale. These principles and their development over the last 2,000 years, together with a wealth of practice and research that is currently taking place worldwide, provide the basis of this professional entry course in Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture.

Our focus is the education of competent, caring practitioners of Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture, who have the critical thinking skills combined with mindfulness, and can participate in the current debates on science and practice. You will develop your clinical skills and competence as a scholar practitioner through an NHS placement and extensive practice in our busy Polyclinic where, under the guidance of experienced tutors, your learning from the various aspects of the course is integrated.

Course content

The course is structured to support your intellectual, professional and practical skills development. Much of this is achieved through the use of themes that run through the modules and across levels. So in addition to the specific knowledge and skills required in Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture the course integrates clinical skills development, health sciences, personal and professional development, and research skills.

The course learning environment is practice led, and contact time is used to develop practice skills and to make sense of theory through its application in clinical practice and its emergence from practice.

The emphasis in the classroom is to apply materials that you will have been introduced to through recommended reading presented online.

The course offers a variety of assessments appropriate to the material assessed and to the situation in which the knowledge, skills and attitudes are eventually to be used. 

Subjects of study

The following subjects 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.

Year 0 (Credit Level 3)

The Foundation year is available for applicants who do not meet the entry requirements for the courses offered in complementary medicines. It is a well-established route of access into higher education for mature students (those aged over 21) without formal qualifications, and is also suitable if you have completed A Levels in non-science subjects.Subjects of study include:

  • Chemistry for Life Sciences
  • Introduction to Physiology and Anatomy
  • Maths and Physics for Life Sciences
  • Perspectives in Healthcare
  • Processes in Biology
  • Study Skills for Life Sciences

Year 1 (Credit Level 4)

Subjects of study include:

  • Anatomy and Clinical Skills
  • Chinese Medicine: Channels, Points & Palpation
  • Chinese Medicine: Concepts and Context
  • Chinese Medicine: Theory to Practice
  • Clinical Practice 1
  • Physiology

Year 2 (Credit Level 5)

Subjects of study include:

  • Chinese Medicine: Pain and its Management
  • Chinese Medicine: Principles, Strategies & Treatment
  • Clinical Practice 2
  • Pathology and Clinical Medicine
  • Pathophysiology
  • Research in Clinical Practice

Year 3 (Credit Level 6)

Subjects of study include:

  • Acupuncture: Learning Through Cases 1
  • Chinese Medicine: Learning through Cases 2
  • Chinese Medicine: Learning through Cases 3
  • Clinical Practice 3
  • Dissertation
  • Starting Your Practice

The course content is listed by year, corresponding to the full-time mode of study. If you study part-time you will study the same content, spread over four to six years.

Professional recognition

The course is accredited by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB), and membership of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) can usually be recommended on successful completion of the course.

Course team

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.

Science Course for Graduates (blended learning)

Graduates applying for the BSc (Hons) Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture do not need to have science A levels. It is assumed that you will have the aptitude and skills to be able to pass the health sciences modules on the course. However, if you do think that some preliminary study would be useful we recommend the Physiology module from our Science course for Graduates by blended learning. Please visit our course pages for more information.

Applicants with relevant work or learning experiences may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) for some modules of the programme.

University of Westminster Acupuncture Graduates at St Joseph’s Hospice

St. Joseph's Hospice

"This treatment has helped me with my eating and keeps my anger levels down and helps me with some symptoms from the chemotherapy. Also the advice they gave me helps me a lot."

Find out more information about the Westminster acupuncture graduates at St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney.

"I wanted to let you know that I'm really loving being a practising Acupuncturist, and to say thank-you again for your help throughout the course. I am a full time mum, and fit my clinic in around family life. I am having to turn away 1 or 2 patients a week because I can't fit them all in. As my children get older I'll gradually increase my clinic.
Have had some brilliant results (this stuff works!!!) , and most people are seeming to benefit.  (Would really love to be back in the Polyclinic again -have SO many questions)!
Hope your all well, and thank-you all so very much - you really have made a HUGE difference to my life."
Fiona (graduate 2011)

"I am an acupuncturist and I run a successful private practice, and I am currently undertaking an MSc in Chinese Herbal Medicine at Westminster University. 
After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Chinese Medicine Acupuncture from Westminster University in 2011, I travelled to Hang Zhou, China to study four advanced courses; this is where I became inspired to further develop my skills as a practitioner. 

The MSc course here at Westminster is great.  Students have the option of completing the course on a full or part-time basis. The course provides rigorous training and incorporates in-depth academic research such as in the Post-graduate research methods module, and includes classroom based and clinical learning. Herbs, formulas, classical diagnostics and modern research are all taught and debated in depth.
I thoroughly enjoy studying at Westminster University and find it a professional and vibrant place to study."
Santosh (graduate 2011)

"After graduation I spent 6 months working in India and Nepal as a volunteer acupuncturist. It was a really amazing experience. Throughout my training at Westminster and afterwards I knew I wanted to try to work in social acupuncture. I was interested in treating a high volume of patients in a front line way, and volunteering offers the opportunity to do this. During my time in Asia I treated many patients each day in some extremely challenging environments.  I had to adapt very fast, learn very fast, diagnose efficiently and accurately, treat effectively and connect with patients in a totally different way, Westminster gave me the tools to do this."
Alice (graduate 2010)

"My degree from Westminster enabled me to work within a surgery where the Primary Care Trust paid for acupuncture services where a consortium of GP's referred patients with long term conditions. This work continues to grow and I have developed my interest in the treatment of neurological disorders with acupuncture and continue to develop my professional networking with neurologists, where I promote acupuncture for conditions such as MS, Bell's Palsy, Stroke, Migraine, Spinal injuries."
Michelle (graduate 2010)

"After graduation, I worked in a new multi-disciplinary clinic. The focus was on getting NHS contracts to try to make complementary therapies available to patients with chronic health complaints. Two years later, we got our first contract which was with Durham University Hospital and once one was secure, many others followed. It gave me the opportunity to work closely with the other disciplines and understand the processes of building such a clinic. I recently applied for a scholarship in Harbin and am off the China next March for six months....very very excited!! The course at Westminster it has set me up completely for any possibility or direction of Acupuncture I could possibly wish to pursue. I know the students who graduate from Westminster with their degree have the tools to do great things for Chinese Medicine at this current time."
Rebecca  (graduate 2009)

"I thought I'd let you know that I passed my Canadian license exam and have been working as an Acupuncturist for the last 6 months. The exam is very hard so warn anyone coming out to North America, revise revise revise!I'm working at  It's a Community Acupuncture clinic and yoga studio, run by a husband and wife team. It's 2 mins from home and I love it! I saw 13 patients on my shift yesterday, I see about 40-50 per week, 4 shifts a week about 4-5 hours per shift. I'm not making a fortune, but it's a living wage and best of all I'm seeing lots of patients with room to expand too. The range of people is great, everyone from budding yogis to 86 year old lady's. Cooks, gardeners and other physical jobs also seem to flock to us with their aches and pains. I've learnt a way of treating using distal points that really works, and love the vibe of treating lots of people at once, the 'hum' of Qi in the room is amazing. Thanks again for everything." 
Steve (graduate 2008)

"Unusually, I chose to become an acupuncturist as a first career and studied for my BSc in Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture at the University of Westminster, London. After three years of full-time study in Chinese medicine theory and practice and Western biomedical sciences I graduated with a First Class Honours degree. During my training I gained experience working in both private and NHS settings.I have now been in full-time practice for over three years and during this time have developed a particular interest in treating gynaecological and obstetric problems, especially relating to infertility and problems during pregnancy. As a result I have taken a huge step and am currently training to become a midwife at Sheffield Hallam University (alongside keeping up my private practice)!"
May (graduate 2008)


Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.

We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.

During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.

In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.

For more details, visit the employability section on our site.

Career Development Centre

Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.

We can help you to:

  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
  • plan your career development
  • identify your career options
  • market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
  • develop your enterprise skills

We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Work Placements

Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.

More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.

Career options in your subject area

Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.

You can also browse the career options available to you after you graduate on the Career Development Centre's Finding work in your subject area pages and on the Prospects website.

Westminster Polyclinic

Pearl, one of our oldest patients (92 years young)
She had her first acupuncture treatment over 50 years ago. She has been having treatment in our Westminster Polyclinic since it opened.

"As far as I am concerned acupuncture is the top treatment”.
"When I come in to the clinic I may not be feeling very well, and finding it hard to walk, but when I leave I feel on top of the world and I bounce out!"

Westminster has an extremely busy student clinic, where students carry out clinical work right from their first year of study. The clinic sees a variety of patients, including NHS and social services referrals. Students are closely supervised, but are expected to work to a high standard in the clinic. Students also work in an external NHS clinic in London. For more information visit:

Staying Relevant

Steve on part-time mode (graduate 2012, first class honours)

"Over the years I have seen the course leaders continually finding ways of improving and making the course more relevant and instructive."

The Library

The students say: "The library facilities are fantastic – bright, modern and with a huge range of books. There are a large number of computers and study spaces and there are also study rooms that can be booked so you can do group work and group study sessions." 

"The library staff are really helpful, either finding information or showing you how to search and research." 

EASTmedicine Summer School

Our EASTmedicine summer school, every year, offers two weeks of research-based and clinically oriented seminars and practical workshops by leading academics and experienced clinicians in the field of Chinese and East Asian medicines. (below is the link to this year’s summer school event). Professor Volker Scheid gained a Wellcome Trust grant that aims to analyse the history of East Asian medicines throughout the last millenium by understanding the different modes of knowing and styles of practice that informed them. This project is aimed at creating a framework for researching East Asian medicines from a transnational perspective. For more information visit:

Study in the city

If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.

Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.


After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.

Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships

In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.

Personal tutoring

All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.

Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.

Language support

Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.

Personal advice and counselling

While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.

International Westminster

With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.

Study Abroad and Summer School programmes

Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.

If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.

Sport and recreation

The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.

Students' Union

University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.


Chinese- Medicine Acupuncture students

"Alex and I just completed a 3-week stint in Hangzhou, China. The learning experience there was great! We impressed a couple doctors there with our knowledge in Chinese medicine theory. Some of them even let us needle their patients free-hand. That was a daunting experience as we were hesitant to touch the shaft of the needles. Even the depth at which they would insert needles was completely shocking to us, with one doctor saying that he always needles to the bone. We learned different needling techniques like the dragon's tail, chicken feet, the turtle, the tiger shaking his collar off and more! We got to see the fire needle technique for a cold bi, and a sunken acupuncture technique which was really cool. Many of the doctors here would use the holy turtle abdominal needling technique - but that being said - most of the treatments we saw were on the back. All patients here received cupping on their backs at the end of the treatment which we found intriguing. We just wanted to thank you for teaching us over the last three years. We were able to hold our space as acupuncturists there because of what you've all taught us!"
Alex and Yasinee (graduates 2015)


"I won the scholarship to Harbin.So far it has been a great experience … I have been to the acupuncture (mainly neurology), gynae, tuina, internal medicine and dermatology. Currently in cardiology department and will go to endocrinology next week. 
Having studied herbs and some basic Chinese has made all the difference and I cannot stress that enough. Overall the doctors have been generous with their knowledge and welcoming...nice thing about being in a less famous city is that they get less foreigners so we are still a bit of a novelty. 
Between me and you...having been in contact with other practitioners that trained in the UK  made me realize that my chinese medicine education is pretty sound... :-)"
Giusi (graduate 2009

Upcoming undergraduate open days

18 March 2017Undergraduate open dayCavendish, Regent Street, Little Titchfield Street, Marylebone
21 June 2017Undergraduate open dayCavendish, Regent Street, Little Titchfield Street, Harrow, Marylebone
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Complementary Medicines - YouTube

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