Pastoral and Tutorial policy


 The aims of the College’s Pastoral and Tutorial policy are to:


  • Provide a structured approach to supporting and guiding all students in the College.
  • Regularly monitor the cognitive, social and affective progress of students throughout their course.
  • Provide the College with information about whether any student is in need of personal and/or academic support.
  • Provide the students with personal and/or academic support when appropriate.


First Year


When the student arrives at the College s/he receives information about:

  • The College building and other facilities and the College teaching and administrative staff.
  • The College student counsellor who offers support to students who have issues of a personal nature, which require special expertise. The counsellor makes a point of informing the student that their visit and the issues raised will remain confidential.
  • Who to contact at the College to discuss particular issues and when they are generally available.
  • Their personal tutor. This member of the teaching team takes particular responsibility for the student throughout the course.  The tutor will contact the student by email or phone at the beginning of the course and, in addition to timetabled contact, students are encouraged to contact their personal tutor if they have any issues with studying or of a more personal nature.  The personal tutor will evolve appropriate learning support strategies to support the student’s learning in areas such as point location, practical skills and coursework and will also give support when students have issues of a more pastoral nature.  The personal tutor also conducts the interviews in the personal tutorials described below.
  • Learning Support for those with special needs such as dyslexia or physical disabilities.
  • Regional support groups which provide regular regional meetings at which students practise practical skills and can raise questions arising from the course. Students without a regional support tutor can also request and be provided with a telephone tutor.


The class teacher also plays an informal but crucial role in the pastoral care of the students. Students frequently approach the class teacher with their concerns and the class teacher will often respond to those concerns by recommending that the student talks to the appropriate member of the teaching team.


Personal tutorials – 1st, 2nd and 3rd year


Students have three 30-minute face-to-face personal tutorials in their first year and then one face-to-face personal tutorial approximately three-quarters of the way through second and third year.  During this session they can discuss how they are progressing in relation to their coursework and assessments and any other issues that arise.  Tutors will offer support strategies to help students plan and prepare for upcoming coursework and exams. Before the session students are asked to complete a written self-assessment. This gives them the opportunity to reflect positively on their progress on the course as well as on any problems and what they need to do to improve. In addition to face-to-face meetings students have formal email contact with their tutor three times a year in the first year and twice a year for Level 5 and Level 6. 

The tutor writes a report based on the interview with particular emphasis on the student’s morale and academic progress including areas which need more work.  They will include support strategies which they have discussed with the student such as time management, study skills, and who to contact for further help.

Any difficulties that are identified are discussed and, where appropriate, the tutor and the student endeavour to agree on a course of remedial action. A summary report of issues arising from each cohort’s tutorials is drafted and sent to the Joint Principal-Education.  It is then discussed by the College EC and other relevant staff.  Any issues arising from the tutorials which cannot be dealt with by the personal tutor will be followed up by the relevant member of staff.  A record of the interviews is kept in the student’s academic file.

The second and third year sessions are similar in format to that in the first year although the concerns of second and third year students may be different from those of a first year student.


 Personal tutorials – 3rd year clinical


The demands of the clinical phase of the course are very different from that of Levels 4 and 5. Attendance is weekly and the student is under constant supervision.

In order to graduate from the College the clinical supervisors must be convinced that the student meets all the academic, practical, ethical and behavioural criteria to work as an independent health professional. There are one-to-one discussions between the student and the supervisor during each weekly clinical session and it is essential that a close working relationship is formed between each student and her/his clinical supervisors.

Clinical students have three personal tutorials throughout the clinical phase of the course.  These are preceded by the student completing a written self-assessment and are informed by the student’s weekly reflective journal on their clinical practice.  The main emphasis in these tutorials is on the individual student’s progress towards becoming a confident, competent, and committed practitioner and how they are working towards setting up in practice as an acupuncturist.  The meetings, however, allow for other issues to be discussed, although the main focus is on encouraging the reflective practitioner.

  • "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