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


Global online courses MSc for practitioners - our next online courses start September 2017.

Overview of the online MSc courses

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".

Our BSc and MSc programmes are quality assured by Middlesex University and you will receive a Middlesex award on successful completion.

Our MSc programmes are quality assured by Middlesex University and you will receive a Middlesex Masters degree on successful completion


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.



The courses

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

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. You will also develop research skills, acquire further practitioner skills, develop a speciality, and contribute to the existing knowledge base through your final research dissertation. The design of the e-learning allows you to fit your study around your practice and other commitments.

The 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. The courses consist of two components:

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. These aims have been built into the modules, in ways that also allow you to pursue and develop your areas of special interest.

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 research dissertation.

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 may be subject to change in accordance with student demand. As a result, we may not be able to offer all the advertised modules in any one year.

Research dissertation

Once you have successfully completed the two years of the taught part of the course you will go on to complete your research dissertation, under the supervision of a research supervisor(s). Your dissertation will take two years.

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, methodological approaches, and you will 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. Practitioner/practice development - The second element of the programme is 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 dissertation, the "Student Initiated Module", provides an opportunity for personal development and exploration an area of a special interest. There is plenty of opportunity for you to develop your learning to meet your personal and professional goals.

Building the modules at a slower pace or taking a single module as CPD

It is possible for you to take modules individually so that you are building the course at a slower pace, or to take a single module in an area of interest as CPD.