Acupuncture Training as a Professional TCM Acupuncturist

Acupuncture Training at the ICTCM is now being taught as a mixed online and College-based programme.

This part time, weekend only training in Acupuncture TCM enables students to qualify as a Professional TCM Acupuncturist within a little less than 3 full academic years.

You can apply now for the October 2022 intake.


How is the Course run?

The first two years of the course mainly cover TCM theory, practical acupuncture point location and TCM diagnostic methods. They are run as a mix of college-based and online learning in which students attend classes for one weekend a month, either in college or via Zoom. This mixed mode of study makes the course easily accessible to those living a long way from Dublin.

Approximately 25% of these weekends are held in our specialist TCM College in Dublin 3. The college-based sessions focus on practical point location and skill development. The third year is devoted to Clinical Training and requires attendance in our Chinese Medicine Teaching Clinic, in Dublin, which adjoins the College. Clinical Training is run on Saturday and Sunday, very two weeks, from September to March. Other aspects of the Third year programme are conducted via Zoom.

This intensive professional Acupuncture training programme, called the Licentiate in TCM (usually referred to as the Licentiate or Lic.TCM) enables graduates to use Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Cupping, Dietary therapy and life-style advice (based on the tenets of Chinese Medicine) to treat clients suffering from a very wide range of medical conditions.

Diagnosis and Treatment is based on a thorough knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, which is why graduates refer to themselves as a TCM Acupuncturist or Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine specialising in Acupuncture.

The College is devoted to turning out fully-rounded professional practitioners, not mere theoreticians. If you want to be a “Superior Practitioner” of Acupuncture TCM, able to use Acupuncture and related TCM therapies not only to alleviate, or even cure, current diseases but also to help a client to be better equipped to prevent future illness from occurring, then the Lic.TCM is the course for you.

Who can train as a TCM Acupuncturist?

Although the course is part time it is demanding, as it aspires to turn out fully competent and qualified, confident and professional practitioners in a relatively short time. It is, however, offered in a way which enables it to be suitable for people who are currently working full time in another career or in the home.

It is specifically designed for part-time students of all backgrounds and nationalities living in Ireland, the UK, or other parts of the EU. There is no upper age limit, but you must be at least 21 years old when you begin. (As the Licentiate is part time it is NOT suitable for overseas students wishing to obtain a student visa in order to live in Ireland.)

No specific formal educational qualifications or prior Western or Chinese medical training are required for this undergraduate-level programme. Each applicant will be considered on his or her own merits and must show themselves to have the ability and resources to undertake an intensive course of study and to work as a professional in a Caring profession. While the Licentiate is specifically designed for part time students, applicants who already have significant commitments in terms of work or family will need to be sure that they have the resources and support to sustain them through the course.

What is the qualification?

At the end of the Clinical Training those students who have satisfied the requirements of the course will be awarded the “Licentiate in Traditional Chinese Medicine” qualification, along with the appropriate certificate. The Licentiate is recognised by the Professional Register of Traditional Chinese Medicine (PRTCM) – the first regulatory professional body of Acupuncture and TCM in Ireland. The qualification is in line with the entry requirements for the PRTCM and is approved, accredited and validated by them. Graduates are automatically eligible to apply for entry to the PRTCM and thus to take up a profession as a practitioner of Acupuncture and TCM working as a professional insured practitioner in The Republic of Ireland and/or Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, The Isles of Man and The Channel Islands.

VHI and the other main Health Insurance providers in Ireland recognize the PRTCM and provide cover for their members for Acupuncture treatments carried out by PRTCM practitioners, according to the cover offered within their policies.

Those with a Lic.TCM are also eligible to take part in Postgraduate training with the ICTCM and its affiliated colleges. The Lic.TCM is deemed to be a Bachelor of Science-equivalent by Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, our TCM partner University in China, and it qualifies graduates to apply for the part-time Masters Degree in TCM, which is not currently available but may be offered from time to time, in Ireland.

What is the Course Schedule?

    • It is an intensive part-time course which runs for three years.
    • There are twelve main teaching weekends for each of the first two years.
    • Teaching sessions in the first two years are approximately monthly, in the third, Clinical year, fortnightly.
    • All teaching sessions are held only on Saturdays and Sundays.
    • The College day for those only doing the TCM part of the programme is 9.00 to 5.00 each day. (The Western Medicine module runs from 9.00 to 12.00 on a different Saturday each month until March).
    • The first weekend is held in early October and there is normally one main teaching weekend each month between October and January (one every four weeks).
    • After that some of the weekends are 3 weeks apart to enable the academic year to end in mid July (so that students get a break during the summer holidays).
    • The course is referred to as “Intensive” because, in order to adequately meet all the assessment criteria of the Licentiate students will need to devote time, between the teaching weekends, to learning Acupuncture Points and typing up and assimilating notes.

Full details of the syllabus and teaching and assessment methods are available on the College website:

How much does it cost?

The fees are set in advance for all three years of this programme. For the next intake of students, the standard fees are being held at current levels. A discounted fee applies for payment in advance for the whole year.

    • Year 1 – €3,850
    • Year 2 – €3,950
    • Year 3 – €3,950
    • Western Medicine Module (if required) €480 (First year only).

Further information about the fee structure and current payment plans are available at:

How and When can I apply?

We are now accepting applications and interviewing for this year’s October intake of students. Early application is advised as we have a limited number of places available each year.

To apply, please use the Application form provided.

Please email it to the Registrar ( with a passport-sized photo of yourself and a covering letter explaining in detail why you wish to be considered for this Course.

Currently, suitable applicants are invited to attend for interview with a senior teacher via Zoom. During the interview you get a chance to find out more about how the Licentiate programme works and to have your questions answered individually. Sometimes the interviews are held in the College and you meet some of the staff (and students too) and are shown around our purpose-designed College and TCM Teaching Clinic.

We only accept a small number of  students each year. We chose to offer a good staff-student ratio, and select only those applicants who wish to study comprehensive high quality TCM theory and Clinical practice with a group of dedicated teachers who are, themselves Practitioners of Acupuncture TCM and, in many cases practitioners of other branches of TCM too (such as Chinese Herbal Medicine and Medical Qigong).

Please look at the detailed information on our website as the information above is only a summary of the extensive information available.

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