Admissions Policy

Purpose of the admissions policy

The purpose of the College Admissions Policy is to ensure that the applicant:

  • Has the academic abilities required to undertake a degree level course and graduate from the College
  • Is willing to use acupuncture in accordance with the BAcC Code of Professional Conduct
  • Has a desire to use acupuncture for the benefit of those in need
  • Has understood the commitment required in order to study on a three-year vocational degree course
  • Is able to make appropriate use of the course
  • Has the necessary physical and psychological health to undertake the course.


Selection policy

When selecting students we look for evidence that the applicant:

  • Will be willing to work in the acupuncture profession and to conform to its ethical and practice codes.
  • Has a desire to assess and attend to the health needs of others.
  • Will be willing to use the acquired skills and knowledge without prejudice in relation to race, age, sexual orientation, gender, religion, disability, political beliefs or social class.
  • Has the ability to develop the necessary practical and treatment skills, including those involving patient rapport and appropriate behaviours.
  • Has the ability to learn the necessary theoretical aspects of the course,
  • Currently values his or her own health so that he or she may act as a good role model for patients.
  • Has the time and resources to undertake the complete course of study.
  • Is fluent in the English language. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (academic) is required for those for whom English is not their first language, with no single element score of less than 6 (or equivalent).
  • Has the funds in place to pay for the course


Entry qualifications

Candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements of Kingston University and the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in the following ways:

Prospective students will be interviewed to assess their suitability for a career in acupuncture. Candidates must have the necessary requirements below and/or acceptable alternative qualifications of comparable standards. Two years’ experience of working with the general public in an appropriate context is preferred.

  • Five grade 'C' GCSE passes, to include English and Mathematics and
  • Two 'A' Level passes at E grade or above or
  • A BTEC National Diploma or Advanced GNVQ at Level 3; or a minimum of 80 points at AVCE Double Award; or 2 passes at 'C' in Scottish Highers; or 6 passes at 'C' grade or above at higher level in Irish Learning Certificate
  • General Studies will not normally be accepted as a qualifying subject
  • Mature and overseas students considered on an individual basis usually with a degree from a British or overseas university or validated access course
  • Fluency in the English language. If English is not the first language and secondary education has not been undertaken in English, level 6.5 (academic) IELTS certificate, with no element less than 6, will be required
  • Other APEL credit accumulation
  • All applicants will be expected to conform to the BAcC Fitness to Practise requirements
  • Full disclosure of any criminal convictions including spent and outstanding
  • Full disclosure of previous educational and professional experience

Entry is based on two cohorts of students per year, with a maximum of 38 students per intake.             


Application procedure

The College has an application procedure, which is as follows:

  • Applicants fill in an application form which can be downloaded from the CICM website. An application fee of £50 can be paid online. In the case of an applicant not being accepted onto the course this deposit is refundable. 
  • The registrar arranges an interview date.
  • Applicants are interviewed by at least one experienced interviewer who makes a decision as to the candidate’s suitability.
  • If the candidate does not fit the criteria and there are any doubts about her/his suitability, s/he is assessed by a second interviewer before a decision is made.
  • Applicants are told if they have been offered a place no later than seven days after the interview.
  • If applicants are offered a place and decide to accept they are asked to secure their place with a non-refundable deposit of £400, which can be paid online.
  • Applicants who are not offered a place will be informed in writing within seven days. Suggested ways of increasing their eligibility will also normally be given in case they wish to reapply at a later date.
  • If applicants are applying for a student loan, information about student finance is available on the CICM website and help will be given by the registrar if necessary.
  • Two months before the course starts applicants will be invoiced for their fees which must be paid a month before the start date. Information about payment options are given on the College website.

Much of the enrolment process is carried out online and applicants need to have internet access.    


Alterations to the course

The College is committed to inform prospective students of any changes to the College programme made between the time of an offer of a place and full registration and to advise of any alternative options available in the circumstances.



In the event of a complaint about the admissions procedure or the outcome of a selection, the complaint will follow the Student’s Grievance Procedure laid down by the College.


Appeals against the outcome of an application

We only consider appeals which are: i) against our final decision on an application; ii) made by the applicant in writing and received within twenty working days of the date of that decision and iii) made on the following grounds:


  1. relevant and material information was not made available to us at the time of application, through no fault of the applicant; or
  1. the way we dealt with the application differed significantly from our written policy and procedure.


Appeals are considered on the understanding that, should the appeal be upheld, any offer of a place will be either for the entry year originally applied for or the following year, at our discretion.

Appeals should be made in writing to the the Dean, who acknowledges the appeal within five working days, investigates and makes a decision,responding to the appellant within twenty working days of receipt. The appellant and any staff associated with the decision on the application may be asked to attend an appeal hearing meeting. The decision of the Dean is final and no further appeals will be considered.


Reviewing the policy

The admissions policy and procedure will be reviewed on a regular basis and whenever there is a change made to the admissions procedure.


  • "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