How we teach and assess you
BSc (Hons) and MSc in Acupuncture
Our acupuncture courses combine a number of different ways of learning including classroom teaching, e-learning at home, practising in our teaching clinic and home study.
How we teach you:
In the classroom
There is classroom contact time which includes some presentation of material by tutors but is mostly either hands-on practical classes or interactive time on theory when you work on exercises and case studies in class and discuss with your fellow students and tutors.
E-learning at home
Part of your training in acupuncture is delivered by e-learning - a series of lectures and demonstrations that you access at home via your computer. These sessions are lively and interactive - don’t worry if you have not accessed this kind of learning before, you will receive all the support and help you need to use our online resources confidently. Each session has a ‘live’ period of one to two weeks, during which you can complete the session at home, at a time that suits you, answering a series of questions that will demonstrate your attendance and your understanding of the material. The tutor will be online periodically during the week to provide feedback and answer questions. Once the ‘live’ period has finished, the session remains available to watch, for revision purposes, throughout the duration of the course.
Minimum IT specifications
Students are required to have access to a computer and this needs to be compatible with the NCA e-learning programme. which can be accessed on a PC (Windows 7, 8 or 10), on a Mac (System 10.6 or later) or on an iPad (1, 2 or 3); although please note that not all areas of
e-learning sessions may be completed on an iPad. Please read our “minimum specification document” to check that your computer is ready for e-learning.
How we teach you:
Tam Nortley – graduate
"The clinic was invaluable for learning, and the inspiration it gave me during the course was equally valuable. The patients and supervisors challenged my understanding each step of the way and give me directions to get back to the books and reflect. I am incredibly grateful for the knowledge of the supervisors, and having attended under all of them I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn from their very individual approaches. Now I am a practising acupuncturist I fully appreciate the amazing teaching and experience I gained. I can’t big up the clinic enough."
In our clinic
Our acupuncture courses have an integrated approach, ensuring that everything you learn in class is backed up with practical experience. Right from the start you will be working in our busy and vibrant clinic here at the College alongside our clinic supervisors and your fellow students. In the first year you will spend eight days in clinic, three of them in the first term, so expect to get “hands on” from the very beginning! In the second and third years your clinic days increase to seventeen and twenty respectively. In the first year you will be observing, assisting and learning from your peers and clinic supervisor and halfway through the second year you will start to do some simple needling. From the beginning of the third year you will be beginning to make decisions about treatment and administering the acupuncture, and towards the end of your final year you will be confident in leading the consultations and treatments. This may seem a little daunting at first, but don’t worry, all our teaching, practice and support come together to ensure that you have the skills and tools you need to meet the various milestones in clinical practice. Our dedicated clinic supervisors are experienced practitioners who will help you every step of the way to put your learning of theory and skills into practice, building up to the end of the third year when you will be a confident acupuncturist practising with minimal supervision. Clinic days are scheduled well in advance and student preferences are taken into account.
For every hour of directed study (i.e. classroom and e-learning) you need to factor in two hours of home study. This includes a variety of activities such as further reading, writing assignments, exam revision, and practising point location and massage techniques. There are specific recommendations for BSc and MSc students, with MSc students expected to apply greater self-direction and a higher degree of interaction with published research.
How we assess you:
As part of your learning you will undertake a wide variety of assessments which allow different students to show their individual strengths. Some assessments are formative, meaning that they are designed to help you to gauge your progress through the course but they do not attract a mark that counts towards your degree. Other assessments are summative, meaning that they do attract a mark that counts towards your degree. Each assessment is relevant to you as a future practitioner. Assessments used over the three years include:
- Case-based examinations
- Case studies relating to bodywork and to patients seen in the acupuncture clinic
- Posters and a brief informal presentation of these
- Reflective accounts of your work in clinic
- Annual personal development plans
- An anatomy and physiology workbook
- A literature critique
- Short practical tests of competence in clinical skills, point location and bodywork
- Clinical competence logs, and clinic supervisors’ assessments
- A business plan
- A research project