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.



  • "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