Deferral Policy

Students may defer from the course for a number of reasons including maternity leave, health reasons, financial reasons and personal reasons.  Students who have failed modules will be required by the Module and Programme Board either to re-sit the failed assessment or repeat the failed module.


Requests to defer

All requests to defer or to re-join the course must be made in writing to the Dean. It is the Dean’s responsibility to ensure that arrangements for the student to defer or re-join are made with the minimum of difficulty and delay for the student. It is the Dean’s responsibility to inform the Registrar and other relevant staff of the student’s deferral.


Re-joining the course

Students may re-join the course at the point at which they left provided their assessments and attendance record are up to date.

A returning student must give the Dean 6 weeks’ notice of their wish to re-join the course. The Dean is responsible for arranging their return to the course and notifying the College staff.

Students who intend to re-join the course are allowed to attend Regional Support Groups during their period of absence from the College

No student can be guaranteed a place in a particular class as the class may be at full capacity. This is clearly explained to the student when they defer.


Time limit for completing degree

It is a requirement of Kingston University that all students must complete their degree within nine years of first registration.



Modules previously passed need not be repeated however long a period of time has elapsed. The College reserves the right, however, to insist upon an assessment of competency to ensure that the student’s knowledge is sufficient to enable them to re-join the course. This is most likely to be invoked if the student is re-joining at the clinical stage of the programme.

Students due to re-sit assessments will be given guidance on how to prepare, including attendance at relevant lectures and practical sessions.



There is a £50 fee for changing classes. All students who defer are informed of this requirement.  The fee is waived for students transferring class as a result of failed assessments.

Under the terms of the Enrolment Agreement students are liable to pay the entire fees for the year for which they are enrolled. Any student who feels he or she has grounds for exemption from this requirement must write to the EC of the College explaining the circumstances. The EC looks at each case individually and may decide to waive some or all of the outstanding fees.



  • "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