Study on our high-quality acupuncture courses at the Northern College of Acupuncture


BSc (Hons) and MSc in Acupuncture courses (weekend and weekday) – our next courses begin in October 2017. Eligible students can apply now for a student loan for our BSc in Acupuncture.

Acupuncture courses teaching faculty

Principal, Course Director and Year Leaders

Richard Blackwell, Principal, Northern College of Acupuncture


College Principal
Richard Blackwell

BMedSci LicAc MSc(Ac)

Richard has a Medical Sciences degree from Nottingham University Medical School, and graduated from the British College of Acupuncture in 1982 before going on to study Chinese herbal medicine. He established busy practices in Birmingham and then in York, and has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate level for many years. He is a past president of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine. He has published widely on Chinese medicine theory, clinical practice, research and education and has a particular interest in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Lara McClure, Course Director, Northern College of Acupuncture


Course Director
Lara McClure

BA(Cantab) MA(Cantab) PhD PGCHE

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 a strong research background and leads the Research Stream on the acupuncture courses. Lara has completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education with Middlesex University and is an External Examiner for Westminster University.

Karen Charlesworth, Research Director, Northern College of Acupuncture


Module Leader - Advanced Research and Dissertation Module
Karen Charlesworth

MSc (Acupuncture), MBAcC

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.


Eileen Gibbon, Year One Leader, Northern College of Acupuncture


Year One Leader
Eileen Gibbon


Eileen has been practising acupuncture since 1994 when she graduated from the NCA. She went on to qualify in Chinese herbal medicine which she uses alongside acupuncture. Arising from her long experience as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, she has a strong interest in how physical habits affect function and in a subtle ‘listening’ approach to palpation and bodywork. She is a longstanding tutor on the acupuncture course and is a member of the Accreditation Board of the EHTPA which accredits herbal medicine courses. Eileen lives and practises in Sheffield.

 Annie Walker, Year Two Leader, Northern College of Acupuncture


Year Two Leader and Biomedicine for Acupuncturists Stream Leader 
Annie Walker


Annie has been a Registered Nurse for twenty years, working as a clinical nurse specialist in accident and emergency, and drug and alcohol treatment. She studied acupuncture in London, practises acupuncture in Cheshire and is a director of Manchester’s multi-bed acupuncture practice ‘The Acupuncture Works’.

Cheng Hao Zhou, Year Three Leader, Northern College of Acupuncture


Year Three Leader
Cheng Hao Zhou


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. She is an Accreditation Committee member at the BAAB and has been an External Examiner for other institutions.  Cheng also teaches on the Philosophy and Context stream of the acupuncture course and on the College’s Chinese herbal medicine course, and is a clinical supervisor.


Stream Leaders

Annie Milles, Stream Leader, Northern College of Acupuncture


Chinese Medicine Stream Leader 
Annie Milles


Annie trained in acupuncture at the NCA, and gained a Master’s degree in acupuncture for examining the effects of using Japanese acupuncture in her practice. She also completed the College’s post-graduate training in Chinese herbal medicine. She has been teaching acupuncture students since 2005 and has taught at the NCA, Leeds Metropolitan University and Manchester Metropolitan University. She is currently on the BAAB Accreditation Committee which seeks to maintain and improve standards in acupuncture education, and has a private practice in York.


Lynne Dean, Stream Leader, Northern College of Acupuncture


Points and Clinical Education and Skills, and Philosophy in Context Stream Leader 
Lynne Hampson (Dean) 


Lynne originally trained as a nurse, and then pursued her interest in complementary health by studying at the NCA. She graduated in 1999 and has built up a busy practice where massage is an integral part of the treatment. Lynne worked as a Safe Practice Verifier and Accreditation Visitor for the BAcC and was previously involved in teaching acupuncture at the University of Salford. She has also studied at the university hospital at Guiyang in China. Lynne is also a clinic supervisor.

Phil Montgomery, Stream Leader, Northern College of Acupuncture


Business Stream Leader
Phil Montgomery


Phil has run a variety of different successful businesses before changing career and graduating as an acupuncturist at the NCA in 2011. He runs a busy acupuncture practice near Selby. Alongside his Business Stream Leader role Phil is a Locum Supervisor at the NCA and works on the Points and Clinical skills streams. Phil has been on a number of World Medicine trips volunteering his acupuncture skills to the rural communities in India.

Phil is also a locum clinic supervisor.


Kathryn Murphy, Stream Leader, Northern College of Acupuncture


Personal and Practitioner Development Stream Leader
Kathryn Murphy


Kathryn has been an NHS doctor for 18 years, most recently as a community paediatrician with experience in neurodisability, ADHD, teenage health and behavioural problems. She completed her training at NCA, graduating in 2010, and currently has a practice in York specialising in the treatment of women and teenagers.

Jennifer Green, Stream Leader, Northern College of Acupuncture


Bodywork for Acupuncturists Stream Leader
Jennifer Green

BA MA DipAc LCSP(phys)

Jennifer originally trained in Remedial Massage before continuing her training in acupuncture at the NCA. She currently runs a health centre in Liverpool where she has a special interest in the treatment of pain by the combination of remedial massage and acupuncture.

Don Clarke, Stream Leader, Northern College of Acupuncture


Pulse Diagnosis Stream Leader
Don Clarke


Don worked as a teacher and as an educational advisor before graduating from the NCA in 1999. He went on to obtain his MSc in Acupuncture and also completed a diploma in Chinese herbal medicine. Don also teaches Chinese medicine and is a clinic supervisor.

Kathryn Murphy, Stream Leader, Northern College of Acupuncture


Philosophy and Context Stream Leader
Phil Trubshaw


Phil studied acupuncture at the University of Salford, graduating in 2011. Following this he studied tui na at post-registration level at Tui Na Tuition North West in Stockport. Currently Phil practises in Salford and Manchester, and is beginning practice of Chinese Herbal Medicine having recently completed the course at NCA.


Other members of our acupuncture courses teaching faculty

Ailsa Marsh

Biomedicine for Acupuncturists tutor


Ailsa gained a degree in herbal medicine from the University of Westminster, then a PGDip in Nutritional Therapy at the NCA. Ailsa also has qualifications in allopathic medicine, and is currently completing her MSc in Nutritional Science. Ailsa runs a busy herbal and nutritional practice in York and lectures extensively in herbal medicine, nutrition and biomedical sciences at Colleges throughout the UK.

Caitlin Allen

BSc (Hons) Dip Ac  PGCert

Personal and Practitioner Development Tutor

Having previously worked as an addictions counsellor and manager, Caitlin graduated from NCA in 2005. She runs a busy practice in Leeds. Caitlin offers training to fellow acupuncturists in fertility and IVF and is a member of The British Fertility Society and an affiliated member of the Zita West Fertility Network. She is also a mentor and supervisor, providing support to other acupuncturists nationwide.

Anthony Sigrist

BScAc(Hons) MBAcC
Research Stream tutor


Tony studied his BSc in Acupuncture at NCA and now runs a private clinic within a multidisciplinary practice in Ely, Cambridgeshire. He also plays an active role in the BAcC Student Support and Advisory Group.


Helen Compton

Biomedicine for Acupuncturists tutor


Helen graduated from the College of Phytotherapy in 2004 and practises herbal medicine in Harrogate. She is also helped design and teach the BSc in Herbal Medicine from Leeds Beckett University between 2007 and 2012 and runs workshops, talks and walks on herbal medicine.

 Ric Chamberlain

BSc MSc (Ac) PhD MBAcC
Chinese Medicine tutor

Ric has a Biological Sciences (Genetics) degree from the University of East Anglia and a PhD in molecular virology from the University of Reading. He later worked in the fields of Hepatitis C and HIV in the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. He graduated with an MSc in Chinese Medicine from the Northern College of Acupuncture in 2002. His dissertation was on the nature of intuition and its role in the practice of Chinese medicine. Ric now lives in North Wales where he runs clinics in Ruthin and Flint.

Acupuncture treatment is carried out on our courses under the supervision of our excellent clinic supervisors


Clinic Supervisors

Brendan O'Sullivan, Clinic Supervisor, Northern College of Acupuncture


Brendan O’Sullivan 


Brendan studied five element acupuncture before completing his TCM training, and also gaining a diploma in the treatment of children with acupuncture. He has worked extensively in the NHS, in GP acupuncture clinics and hospital pain clinics, and now runs his own busy clinic in Scarborough where he specialises in the treatment of pain.

Nicky Thomas, Clinic Supervisor, Northern College of Acupuncture


Nicky Thomas 


Nicky Thomas qualified as an acupuncturist in 1999 after studying for 4 years at the NCA. Over the past 14 years Nicky has practised acupuncture in York and then in Bahrain in the Middle East, from where she has recently returned to join the clinical supervisors’ team at the NCA. As well as practising acupuncture in York, Nicky also teaches yoga, qi gong and tai chi.

Julie Williams (locum), Clinic Supervisor, Northern College of Acupuncture


Julie Williams (locum) 

BScAc(Hons) MBAcC

Julie graduated from NCA in 2012. She runs a busy clinic at home in Northallerton and also in Yarm. Julie is an affiliated member of the Zita West Fertility Network specialising in Fertility. Julie’s ethos is "acupuncture for life". Julie also teaches on the points and clinical skills stream.

Sarah Dixon (locum), Clinic Supervisor, Northern College of Acupuncture


Sarah Dixon (locum) 


Sarah graduated from the NCA in 2000. Her MSc looked at the effects of acupuncture on post natal depression. She visits patients in their own homes in and around the city of York specialising in chronic, psychological and gynaecological conditions.


Pulse team - under the leadership of Don Clarke

Ben Elliot  


Ben studied acupuncture alongside a diploma in remedial massage. He practises from two clinics in York and specialises in musculoskeletal conditions. Ben is also involved in research into acupuncture at York University.


Jill Marks  


Jill is an NCA graduate who practises in Barnard Castle and works at a multidisciplinary practice in Durham. She became an acupuncturist following a 20 year career in secondary education.


Pulse training whilst studying on our acupuncture courses


MSc Research Supervisors

Anne Majumdar, Anne Pemberton, Arthur Kang’ombe, Ashley Bennett, Charlie Buck, Hina Patel, Irina Szmelskyj, Jane Nodder, John Hughes, Lara McClure, Lianne Aquilina, Lily Lai, Lisa Esmonde, Mel Hopper Koppelman, Monika Stolzenberger, Morag Heirs, Peggy Welch, Simen Svenkerud, Sonia Williams, Stan Switala, Trina Ward.