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.


The courses

Man sat computer

  • MSc in Advanced Oriental Medicine (Research and Practice) - for acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners
  • MSc in Advanced Complementary Medicine (Research and Practice) - for complementary therapy practitioners
  • MSc in Advanced Nutrition (Research and Practice) – for nutrition practitioners

In brief

  • You will have a flexible structure to develop your knowledge and understanding of your area of practice.
  • You will be able to develop a speciality, giving you an extra dimension as a practitioner.
  • You will develop your research skills and contribute to the existing knowledge base through research.
  • You will acquire further practitioner skills to benefit your patients and practice.
  • You will study alongside an international cohort of practitioners from different disciplines.
  • Your Masters will be recognised under the Bologna Process as part of the European Higher Education Area.
  • Your final award is with London South Bank University our University partner.

These are part-time postgraduate online MSc courses for practitioners holding a first degree, or equivalent, who are currently practising in their discipline and are members of a professional body.

The programmes are designed to give you a flexible structure within which you can develop your knowledge and understanding of an area of expertise. Teaching is delivered online via our well-developed e-learning platform and the pre-recorded e-learning sessions are brought to life through live, interactive online video conferencing calls with your fellow students and tutors. This enables you to feel part of a vibrant learning community and to explore ideas and develop your own thinking by sharing with others. Online delivery makes these courses accessible to practitioners from all around the world, further enriching the experience for all.

Jane Nodder, online MSc courses at the Northern College of Acupuncture

Jane Nodder - Course Director

"First of all, I want to assure you that our online Masters programmes are about much more than us sending you materials that you study on your own! Our programmes recreate most of the advantages of classroom learning by allowing you to ask your tutor questions as you engage with the material during a week-long “live” period for each e-learning lesson. There are also weekly video conferencing calls which are designed to enhance the social and sharing aspects of the student experience. We call this ‘online blended learning’ because it takes the best elements of e-learning and blends them with some of the traditional features of the classroom. This learning format has many advantages, for example it allows you as a student the opportunity to revisit subjects or concepts you find difficult. You also retain more control over your preferred learning environment, including the time of day that suits you best – some of us are morning people and others definitely not! With our ability to host online forums and interactive video conferencing, our e-learning sessions have been well-received by our current students who find them flexible and helpful in achieving their learning goals. I hope to welcome you to one of our online courses for practitioners."

These programmes address two very important strands of development - research and practice

The two elements of research and practice are intertwined throughout the programmes. Each module supports modules that follow. Therefore, from the outset, the focus of the curriculum is to develop strong foundations to support you in addressing both these elements.

1. Research awareness development

The first element of the programme is research awareness development. Research skills and theoretical knowledge are important for the research-aware practitioner. In the first module “Building Research Skills” you will develop specific skills such as: literature searching and critiquing and methodological approaches. You will also learn how to develop knowledgeable insights that can be clearly argued and substantiated in a rigorous and academic manner. There are then opportunities across all the other modules for you to practise and further enhance these skills. Perspectives and questions of context are integral to sound, ethical and well developed research, so these areas will also be addressed throughout all the taught modules.

2. Advanced practitioner/practice development

The second element of the programme is advanced practitioner/ practice development. You will be encouraged to adapt your learning within the various modules to suit you, your particular discipline, your professional interests, and the client/patient base you already see or wish to develop. This element is further enhanced by modules which address the concerns of practitioners in all disciplines, for example “Innovative Business Development” and “Advanced Therapeutic Relationships”. The final module before the final research project, the “Student Initiated Module”, provides an opportunity for personal development and exploration of an area of a special interest. On these practitioner focussed modules you will be able to develop your learning to meet your personal and professional goals.

Studying on the Courses

Two years online taught component

The two year taught element of the course offers a choice of modules with two main aims in mind: to develop solid academic research skills, and to provide exciting opportunities to develop your professional practice and advanced practitioner skills. These aims have been built into the modules, in ways that also allow you to pursue and develop your areas of special interest.

Third year Research Project

In year three your learning will be consolidated with a final Research Project which you will design, carry out and write up with the support of your supervisor(s). We will help you to follow up this achievement by encouraging and supporting you to publish your research through conferences and/or in professional journals.

The modules

Some modules in the programmes are mandatory, whilst others are optional. The majority of the modules are shared across disciplines. For example, everyone starts together with the “Building Research Skills” module which gives you a firm foundation in the skills you need for the taught course and, ultimately, to complete your final research project.

Some other modules are specific to a particular discipline. For example, in the second term, if you are studying on the MSc in Advanced Oriental Medicine you can choose the course-specific optional module – “Chinese Classics”, whereas if you are studying on the MSc in Advanced Nutrition you have a course-specific mandatory module “Complex Case Management in Nutrition”, and if you are studying on the MSc in Advanced Complementary Medicine you have a course-specific mandatory module “Integrative Collaborative Medicine”.

NB The availability of optional modules depends on student demand. As a result, we may not be able to offer all the advertised modules in any one year.

Building the modules at a slower pace

It is possible for you to take modules individually so that you are building the course at a slower pace.