Study on our high-quality Chinese herbal medicine courses at the Northern College of Acupuncture


*MSc in  Chinese Herbal Medicine - our next course starts in September 2019. For students looking to start with us we would encourage you to book a place on our introductory event on Saturday 16th February

Teaching Faculty Biographies

Eileen Gibbon - Course Director of the Chinese Herbal Medicine Course

Eileen Gibbon

Course Director, Tutor and Clinic Supervisor

Eileen has been practising acupuncture since 1994 and Chinese herbal medicine since 2001, graduating from the NCA. She finds working with herbs hugely fulfilling and interesting because of the positive effects of herbal medicine and because of the limitless potential for extending and deepening approaches to herbal treatment, combining the ancient and the modern. She has been lecturing in Chinese medicine for fifteen years and is a member of both the Accreditation Board of the EHTPA and the RCHM Council.
Sarah Price - Module Leader and Tutor on the Chinese Herbal Medicine Course

Sarah Price

Module Leader and Tutor

Sarah has been practising Chinese medicine since 1986, having trained with a variety of teachers both here and in China. She has been lecturing in Chinese herbal medicine since 1994, and has been on the accreditation board of the EHTPA and the BAAB. Although much of Sarah’s research has been concerned with traditional acupuncture she has recently undertaken a research project exploring Chinese herbal medicine as an intervention for asthma. Sarah is a past Chair of the Research Committee for the RCHM; she currently holds the position of Research Co-ordinator for the EHTPA and is an honorary research fellow at the University of Southampton.
Cheng Hao Zhou - Module Leader, Tutor and Clinic Supervisor on the Chinese Herbal Medicine Course

Cheng Hao Zhou

Module Leader, Tutor and Clinic Supervisor

Cheng was trained at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and qualified in 1992 as Doctor of TCM. She worked in the Chinese Health Service for eight years and qualified as “Doctor-in-Charge” in 1998. She joined the NCA team in 2001 and soon acquired a reputation as an excellent practitioner with a sophisticated treatment style. Cheng has worked on various modules of NCA acupuncture and herb programmes, and been an External Examiner for other institutions. She provided an acupuncture service at the James Cook University Hospital Holistic Cancer Care Centre for more than 7 years. She is also an Accreditation Committee member at the BAAB. Cheng’s academic interest is on the clinical reasoning process of TCM which includes the focus on the impact of oriental culture, ancient Chinese philosophy and CM classics in modern practice. She combines a disciplined clinical approach with an open and supportive teaching style.


Rebecca O'Cleirigh - Tutor on the Chinese Herbal Medicine Course

Rebecca O’Cleirigh

BSc(Hons Neuroscience) BSc(Hons Acu) MSc (Herbal Medicine) MBAcC MRHCM

Rebecca trained both in the UK and in China and has been teaching since 2005. Initially obtaining a degree in neuroscience she has since studied for a BSc in acupuncture, MSc in herbal medicine and is currently completing a PhD in pharmacology on the effects of Chinese herbs on fertility, in particular endometrial receptivity. She has been practising tai chi and Buddhist meditation for twenty years. For six years she worked at the London Acupuncture Clinic on Harley Street specialising in treating infertility. Rebecca is a member of Council of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and because of her strong belief that patients and practitioners should have access to consistently high quality, ethically sourced herbs she works hard on the approved supplier scheme.
Lara McClure - Tutor and Module Leader on the Chinese Herbal Medicine Course

Lara McClure

BA(Cantab) MA(Cantab) PhD PGCHE
Tutor and Module Leader

Lara obtained a PhD in Medieval Studies from the University of York in 2003 and has a special interest in the history of medicine, religion and popular culture. She has worked as a librarian in a variety of academic contexts and has provided support services to students at the Universities of Cambridge and York. She has a strong research background and teaches research as well as being our Acupuncture Course Director. In 2013 Lara undertook extensive scoping review work for the EHTPA on the evidence base for herbal medicine.
Karen Charlesworth - Research Director on the Chinese Herbal Medicine Course

Karen Charlesworth

MSc (Acupuncture), MBAcC
Research Director

After many years working as a journalist, Karen retrained as an acupuncturist, qualifying with an MSc from NCA in 2013. She runs a private acupuncture and tui na practice and a busy community acupuncture clinic in York. Karen’s MSc dissertation ‘invented’ by consensus a new auricular acupuncture protocol (known as APPA) for the attenuation of pain and anxiety in humanitarian aid situations; she is currently designing a small-scale controlled trial to determine the protocol’s clinical effectiveness, due to start in autumn 2017. The trial will form part of her PhD in Acupuncture.


Our MSc Research Supervisors include:

Charles Buck, Morag Heirs, John Hughes, Arthur Kang’ombe, Anne Majumdar, Lara McClure, Jane Nodder, Hina Patel, Stan Switala, Irina Szmelskyj, Sonia Williams, Simen Svenkerud.


Guest lecturers

During year two we invite guest lecturers who are specialists in their field and these have included: Mazin Al-Khafaji, Ken Lloyd and Michael McIntyre. A regular contributor is:


Andrew Flower, Chinese Herbal Medicine Courses at the Northern College of AcupunctureAndrew Flower


Andrew Flower has been practising acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine since 1992. In addition to his on-going private practice in London and Hove, Andrew has also worked at the Open Road Centre for people with drug and alcohol problems, and London Lighthouse, a centre for people with HIV and AIDS. In 2009 Andrew completed his PhD at The University of Southampton exploring the role of Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of endometriosis. He has published a number of peer-reviewed papers relating to Chinese medicine research, including two Cochrane systematic reviews. He co-ordinated an EU project that prepared guidelines to improve the quality of clinical trials into Chinese medicine. In 2011 he was awarded a 5 year NIHR Post-doctoral Fellowship to investigate Chinese herbs for the treatment of recurrent urinary tract infections.