International students and the procedure for visa applications

Applicants to our college are eligible to apply for a student visa. You can move to the UK to study with us if you fit the visa criteria. The process requires you to submit an application and pay fees to the government. Before applying for your student visa, please read all the information below and follow all the links provided. 

Student visa criteria

You are eligible for a UK student visa if you are over the age of 16 and you: 

  • Have been offered a place on a course  
  • Are able to financially support yourself and pay for the course (Click here for information regarding financial evidence needed for your visa application) 
  • Can speak, read, write and understand English (You must pass a secure English language test from an approved provider) 
  • Have a negative tuberculosis test result (only if applying from certain countries) 
  • Have a valid passport or other valid travel documentation 

First steps

Your first step is to apply for a place on our BSc acupuncture course. Click here for our application process. You will need an unconditional offer from us in order to then apply for your student visa.   

Visa fees

If you are applying from outside the UK the current cost for the visa is £348. If you are already inside the UK, the visa cost is £475. These costs are made directly to the government. 

Course dates and fees for international students

First year sessions October 2024

1st Term:  14 October - 17 December  2nd term:  6 January 2025 - 15 April   3 term:  28 April - 1 July 

All these dates and times will be confirmed at the start of the course   

Fees for  

October 2024

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

(including clinical training)

Total fees




First year sessions April 2025

1st term:  26 April - 13 July   2nd term:  9 August - 14 December    3rd term:  17 January 2026 - 29 March

All these dates and times will be confirmed at the start of the course

Fees for  

April 2024

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

(including clinical training)

Total fees




Access to the NHS

You will need to pay a health surcharge which is usually £470 per year for a student visa. The exact cost will depend on where you apply from, your age and your considered health risk.  

This payment goes directly to UK government and means you will be able to use the NHS for the duration of your visa.  

Applying for your student visa

If you are outside the UK you will be able to apply within 6 months before the course starts and you should get a decision within 3 weeks. If you are inside the UK you will be able to apply within 3 months and you should get a decision within 8 weeks.  

The amount of time for your visa application to be processed varies and can take longer depending on your location and specific circumstances. We advise applying as early as possible. 

To apply for the student visa please go to the Government website. All visa applications are completed online. 


You can arrive a month before you start the course and stay for up to 5 yearsYou can work up to 20 hours per week on the student visa but individual circumstances may apply.  

Understand your situation and what is needed

This is an important decision. Ensure you have read through all the information and clearly understand what the procedure is for you and the costs involved.  

Please be aware that an unconditional offer, from the college will require a £3300 non refundable deposit and evidence of ability to pay ie bank statements. Immigration may require evidence showing additional funds to cover living expenses for the academic year, this is dependant on your native country

Please be aware if you are offered a place, you will not receive a refund of the deposit required to secure your place and generate a CAS if your circumstances change and you do not start with us.

Please get in touch with Jo Brown our registrar if you wish to apply for the visa or have any questions. 

  • "I wanted to become an acupuncturist because I had experienced its amazing benefits…studying acupuncture at CICM was one of the best decisions in my life.”

    Ehsan Salout

  • "I love the teaching at CICM, it is varied, interesting and extremely inspiring and the teachers all have a wealth of experience to draw on.”

    Keeley Farrington

  • “CICM was suggested by an acupuncturist I know and recommended for its high-quality tuition and professional approach. I knew I wanted to explore a degree course and after my open day experience I knew it had to be CICM.”

    Michelle Patrick

  • "I recently joined CICM and there are so many things I love about the place. The teachers are genuinely helpful and want us to do well. The place has a calm, harmonic feel and studying has already had a tangible benefit to my lifestyle and health."

    Erica Chen

  • "I was an electrician before I started studying acupuncture. It might not seem like it but there are overlaps between them, you look at a circuit and work out where the problem is coming from and then rectify it. The difference is with acupuncture I’ll help people to get better!"

    Jack Keeping

  • "Since embarking on this course, I have been astounded every day by the passion that this subject has sparked in me. I realised very quickly that I was in the right place, doing the right thing. I can only describe it as finally finding my place in the universe and becoming part of something much bigger than myself."

    Sally Connelly

  • "I wanted to become an acupuncturist as I prefer to use natural remedies which are in line with my faith and cultural background. I have witnessed the profound effects treatment can have on patients. CICM has an excellent reputation and I love the whole package here, especially the staff and supportive teachers."

    Bev Holder

  • "I appreciated the integrated style of TCM and the five elements as being the most profound way to reach and help people. This was the best possible start to a long acupuncture career that I could possibly wish for."

    Bethan Morgan

  • "My years at CICM will always hold a special place in my mind. It was like entering Hogwarts. The subjects are mind-expanding, the teachers and tutors really passionate and always keen to answer questions and give guidance. It has transformed me as a person and changed the way I see people, emotions, relationships, disease and health."

    Efthymios Fotenios

  • The teachers are really supportive and make every effort to tailor how they teach to suit the different styles of students. I like to question things and look at things from different angles - and the teachers have always supported me by being there to answer things by email after class, recommend further reading, or even being there to support me when I set up a Chinese medicine society for the college.

    Helen Reid

  • The course covers a huge range of topics, angles and perspectives, and whilst so much of it is new, unfamiliar and challenging at times- especially the 'hands on practical aspects- I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing, or anywhere else I’d rather be doing it. CICM is a hub of connection, commitment and energy, and something I am honoured to be part of.

    Ellie Farnfield

  • All of my teachers are practicing therapists with a library of information and experience to reinforce their words and the lectures. I have gained a lot of insight into myself and I often find myself reflecting on what we learned in class and applying it to life. I am recommending the course to everyone I know!

    Jacob Marley

  • As I was in my late forties I was concerned that I was too old, however the Open Day dispelled any doubts that I had as the age range of students and staff spanned from 18 to 80. The beautiful building was a joy to explore and I felt immersed in the world of Chinese Medicine. It was a cocoon of learning in the heart of Reading and only ten minutes’ walk from the train station.

    Samanthan Roderick