Policy for Students whose first language is not english

From 2007 the British Acupuncture Council will only accept applications and registrations from those who have attained IELTS (International English Language Testing System), BAND 6.5 Academic.

  • An applicant whose first language is not English must take an IELTS test and reach Level 6.5 or above (with no element lower than 6) before they begin the course.

There are two possible exceptions to this:

  1. The applicant has done their secondary or further education in English. Courses which require very little English, such as computer studies, may not count. Each case will be considered individually.
  2. The applicant’s English is clearly of a standard that will enable them to do the course and interview patients (e.g. if they have lived and/or worked in an English-speaking country for a long period of time)


In assessing the applicant’s language skills, consideration is given to:

  • Whether the applicant will be able to interview and interact with their patients without any significant language barrier.
  • Whether the applicant will be able to follow lectures or whether poor listening skills may be a barrier to their learning.
  • Whether the applicant will be able to express ideas clearly and fluently in essays, case histories, dissertation and other assessments.




The applicant has secondary or further education in English

The interviewer will record and inform the applicant that they will not need to do an IELTS test.  However if during the interview, the interviewer has doubts as to whether the applicant’s English is of a sufficient standard to do the course, the applicant should be referred to do an IELTS test.


Applicant Does Not Have Secondary Or Further Education In English

The interviewer should inform the applicant that they need to have IELTS Level 6.5 before they start the course.  This requirement is waived if the interviewer considers the applicant’s English to be of a high enough standard to do the course and interact fluently with patients.

The Registrar will ensure that students requiring an IELTS test send their certificate to the College in advance of their starting the course.