Study on our high-quality online MSc courses for practitioners at the Northern College of Acupuncture


Online Masters Courses for practitioners – our next courses start in September 2019.If you would like to find out more we recommend that you book a place on our regular online "Presentation and Q&A" sessions that we run throughout the year.  

ION diploma graduates/students who graduated after 2012 - you can apply for the Advanced Nutrition even if you don't have a degree.

How we teach and assess you

In brief

  • Each week’s online e-learning session is made available for you to access at times that suit you.
  • You are required to join regular online video conferences at times set by the Course Director (you will be advised of times at least three weeks before a module starts).
  • You will be constantly connecting, sharing, and having fun with your cohort using the ongoing forums.
  • You will complete “formative” assignments during the modules which help you to prepare for your final “summative” assignment at the end of the module.

All your e-learning modules will be delivered in these 5 specific formats:

1. Weekly e-learning sessions

These are typically online slide presentations with voice- overs, activities, video clips, reading assignments and forum discussion topics to ensure maximum participation.

What you will need to do:

Each week you will need to set aside some of your study hours to go through the mandatory core e-learning materials. This includes reading the slides and listening to the voice- overs that accompany them, following any links, and doing any exercises that are suggested. You can budget the time required to complete the e-learning in any way that fits into your schedule during the week. In addition to this, there is reading and studying time, as well as some interim formative assignments to help you consolidate your knowledge (see item 4).



2. Online video conferencing tutorials (one hour)

During each module you will join regular online video conference calls at a pre-set time. During these one hour sessions you review and discuss the e-learning material with your tutors and one another. This way of working online helps to create strong connections within the group, in a similar way to meeting face-to-face, and helps to build a strong sense of being part of a friendly and supportive group, even though you are in different countries. Some online sessions feature guest presenters who are researchers or scholarly experts in their particular field. You will be required to attend at least 80% of online video conferences, and also to contribute to the discussions, either during the session or in the forum that follows.

What you will need to do:

You should come to the video conference call prepared to discuss the e-learning materials and having completed any required preparation.

3. Discussion forums

Hosted on our virtual learning environment, the Discussion Forums are available for you to join whenever you want, so that you can share and develop ideas with your colleagues and with tutors.

What you will need to do:

We encourage you to keep up with discussions and contribute regularly where you can.

NB - We automatically subscribe you as a member of the online courses forum at the start of your course.

4. Formative course work assignments:

You will have formative assignments to complete during the module teaching period. These will not be marked but they must be completed. These assignments are your opportunity to receive personal feedback that will guide you in the right direction for your final summative assignments. Hours spent on these formative assignments are included in your weekly study time.

What you will need to do:

Complete and upload the formative assignments on the set due dates. Formative coursework assignments and guided independent study allow you to consolidate your learning and to receive feedback from tutors on your progress.

5. Summative assignments:

At the end of the module, you will complete one or two pieces of work to submit for marking. These marks count towards your degree and indicate that you have passed each module. Summative assignments are submitted a number of weeks after the e-learning part of the module finishes.

What you will need to do:

You will need to plan for these assignments and make sure you have enough time to complete them by the assignment deadline. There will be ample information during the course on exactly how to complete the assignment by the submission date.

Technology support for e-learning

The weekly online e-learning sessions and ongoing student forums are hosted on our virtual learning environment (VLE) on Moodle. Here you will also find all your course information and materials. For the regular video conference we use technology which enables everybody to “meet” on their computer screens and to see and hear one another. Please note that video conferencing works at the limits of current internet technology and is particularly affected by your individual circumstances, especially bandwidth. It is essential to ensure that your computer is compatible with our minimum specification and you will be expected to sign an agreement that this is the case. Even then the quality of the video conference experience can be variable from week to week and person to person. Nonetheless, the positive advantages of everyone meeting up in this way definitely outweigh the periodic frustrations! We are constantly working to make our students’ online experience as good as it can be, and there is help and support available from our IT administrator.

What you will need to do:

Before you start on the course we require you to ensure that your computer complies with our minimum specification requirements. Access the webpage below for more information about this. During your course there is ongoing assistance from our IT administrator and a facility for you to “raise a ticket” to access IT support.