ICTCM Acupuncture Training Fee payment options

Fee payment options

The ICTCM offers students several Acupuncture Training fee payment options to choose from. These options are tailored to meet the financial circumstances of all our students. Those who pay the annual fee in full before the date specified receive a discount. Installment plans are available for those without the resources to pay the whole fee in one go. There are several payment options to avail of for those who wish to spread their fee payments throughout the academic year. The fee installment options mean you can pay in either 2 equal installments or 4 equal installments over the course of the year.

If you are thinking of joining this year’s Acupuncture programme, which begins in early October, and would like to avail of the 4 payments option, please be advised that this option is not available to late applicants. It is advised you get your application in by the end of July to ensure this option is available to you.

After fees, there are very few additional costs. Other expenses would include one or two books per year, an examination fee at the end of second and third years and any resit fees if exams need to be taken again. At the end of the second year, you will need to purchase your own personal Clinic equipment to be used in the teaching clinic and afterwards in your own professional practice. 

For details on fees, have a look at the fee information available in the online prospectus pack, it includes detailed information on discounts and installment plans. 


Introduction to the study of TCM and Acupucture

Introduction to the study of TCM and Acupuncture

DAO – the Path every person follows in life.

In late September or early October, at the start of every Academic year, the College Founder and Director Tom Shanahan welcomes new students to the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ICTCM). His introduction places the study of TCM and Acupuncture, as taught at the college, within the philosophical framework of Daoism.

All medical systems have their use and value; each satisfies certain needs. Every system is only as good as its practitioner. As the practitioner is the most powerful medicine in the surgery, it matters hugely who you are and not just what you do. Thus, the study of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has to be not solely a study of medicine but also a way towards personal development.

Acupuncture is part of TCM. TCM is a supremely preventative medicine with a sophisticated theoretical structure. Essentially it is a simple and profound system, not based upon man-made laws but upon laws of nature, the natural laws of the universe, or what the Chinese refer to as the Dao – the Way. 

The Dao predates human civilization and transcends all boundaries of space and time, race and culture, since it is the universal and enduring Way of nature. It is the primal power that forges all phenomena in the universe, from the infinite to the infinitesimal. Invisible yet ever present it permeates the world with the very breath of life, and those who learn how to harmonize themselves with the Dào may harness that power to enhance and prolong health and life itself.

This Way is not simply a philosophy of life but rather an entire way of life based upon the most fundamental of laws. These laws do not change and will never become out of date. They are permanent and immutable.

The whole article can be viewed here.

Acupuncture Course at the ICTCM – How to apply

How to apply for the Acupuncture Course at the ICTCM

The Application procedures are as follows:

Application pack for the Acupuncture Course at the ICTCM

  • Obtain a full Prospectus pack, Acupuncture Professional Training (Lic.TCM) Prospectus pack online as a PDF file
  • Read the prospectus pack carefully.
  • Print (if necessary), fill in and sign the Application form (see notes below) and then
  • Scan it and send it as an email attachment to the Admissions Officer. The email address to send it to is on the Prospectus letter.
  • Include an email or letter explaining why you wish to apply.
  • Include a passport sized photograph of yourself.

You must provide

  • As much detail as possible about your reasons for wishing to apply.
  • Honest and inclusive information about yourself including your educational, medical and occupational background.
  • The name, postal address, email address and telephone number of 2 people who are willing to provide a reference for you. They should know you well but must not be close family members. We will ask them to vouch for your character and academic ability, and give their view of your suitability to work with people in a caring profession.

Here you can go directly to the Application form.

Selection Procedures

We have been successfully running this course for over 40 years and accept serious applicants who aspire to become Acupuncturists using Acupuncture TCM to treat clients with medical conditions,

We take up references for all applicants. Suitable applicants are then interviewed by a senior member of staff, via Zoom, and the whole process usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes.

This gives you time to ask questions and make sure that the course is suitable for you.

If you would like to find out about some of our previous students take a look at our Graduates page.

Changing career? We offer professional Acupuncture Training

Are you considering changing your career? Are you interested in holistic  medicine? We offer Professional TCM Acupuncture Training in just two and a half years. Our Training course caters for those wishing to retrain while still maintaining their full time employment. With classes held on weekends in a mix of online and on site lectures this course may be the fit for you.

What is Acupuncture TCM?

Acupuncture is part of an ancient and sophisticated form of medical treatment which originated in China but has increasingly spread throughout the world. This medicine has stood the test of time for over two thousand years. It is currently used by over 40 % of the world’s population as their first and only form of medicine.

How does it work?

It involves the insertion of extremely fine, pre-sterilised, stainless steel needles at specific points on the body surface to restore internal health.

Why study Acupuncture?

If you are interested in helping others with a completely natural, holistic and safe form of medicine then acupuncture could be the career for you. Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine which is a whole medical system. It is also very effective when used alongside modern medicine and has gained a reputation in western countries in the areas of pain relief, fertility and menopause. 

What is a Holistic medicine

Holistic medicine means it treats every form or type of disease from mental and emotional to physical and spiritual and everything in between – all aspects of the person and under one practitioner – no need to be referred to specialists. TCM is different from modern medicine in that it treats the person, not the disease. This means no two treatments will be the same even if the illnesses look similar.

What does this training qualify me to do?

Upon completion of the Licentiate Professional TCM Acupuncture Training programme you will be a fully qualified Acupuncturist that can open your own clinic, work your own hours and enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling career making a difference to people’s lives.

If you think Acupuncture might be for you, have a look at our course prospectus where you can find details such as course structure, career prospects and fees. Applications are now being taken for October start date 2024.


Why retrain as a TCM Acupuncturist?

retrain as an acupuncturist - past graduates


Are you thinking of retraining or looking for something more from your career? Have you considered TCM Acupuncture? Below are just a few reasons why it is a good time to get into Traditional Chinese Medicine as a career and retrain as a TCM Acupuncturist.


  • Growing demand for Traditional Alternative Medicine. The use of Traditional medicine is increasing every year with Acupuncture being the most popular choice according to the World Health Organisation.

“One hundred seventy countries reported on the use of traditional medicine, with acupuncture  being the most common form of practice in 113 countries” World Health Organisation (09/08/2023) “Traditional Medicine” WHO. https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/traditional-medicine

Many are using TCM Acupuncture to alleviate side effects of medications with great success while others are choosing to use TCM as their only form of medicine with its benefits of being holistic, natural and safe.

  • Low set up costs. Upon qualifying as a TCM practitioner it is relatively inexpensive to set up your own clinic. The costs are minimal when compared to other self employed areas. Clinics can be set up at home. 
  •  Job satisfaction. Many graduates find the best part of being a TCM Practitioner is the job satisfaction. The rewards of helping others and sharing an alternative form of medicine is for many, the reason for doing it in the first place. Practitioners frequently report that after a day’s work in the clinic they are not tired but in fact, feel energised. They also tend to be in good health themselves.
  • Lifestyle to suit your needs. Once you are a qualified TCM Practitioner, it is up to you, as self employed, to choose your own work hours.  You are your own boss. You can fit your clinic around your home life or around other employment, at times that suit you.
  • Be part of the TCM community.As well as job satisfaction and being your own boss, you will also be part of a movement toward offering this holistic, ancient medical system to those who need it. An effective alternative treatment option which is in increasing demand. People need alternatives when they run out of hope. TCM is an invaluable option to be able to offer in such situations.

If you would like to learn more about training in TCM Acupuncture you can view the ICTCM website here. It has detailed information on  TCM Acupuncture as well as on our Professional Acupuncture Training programme which runs each year from early October. We are now taking applications for this year. If you are interested in applying please read the prospectus pack which includes an application form. Early application is advised as places are limited.

Career prospects of Acupuncture Training at the ICTCM

A common question asked by potential students is “What are the career prospects of TCM Acupuncture training at the ICTCM?”

The Lic. TCM Acupuncture training course is a part-time course which is equivalent to a degree level standard. It takes two and a half years to complete. Many of the students at the ICTCM maintain their full time employment while undertaking this course. This makes it a popular choice with those wishing for a career change but need to remain in full-time employment while retraining.The TCM Acupuncture Training course is specifically designed to provide graduates with the skills, knowledge and confidence to set up a TCM Clinic immediately after graduation and over time develop a thriving professional practice in Acupuncture and TCM.

So, what are the career prospects after TCM Acupuncture Training?

On completion of the Licentiate, students are qualified to practise Acupuncture within the field of TCM as a member of a professional organisation in Ireland and/or the UK. 

Graduates can –

  • Practise from home on either a full or part-time basis
  • Work in a joint practice with other healthcare providers or GP’s
  • Work in their own private clinic or a hospital setting.

For most graduates, Acupuncture and TCM eventually becomes their only profession and enables them to be financially successful in a rewarding career.

Others pursue further training at postgraduate level in other branches of TCM, for example Chinese Herbal Medicine or Medical Qigong. Graduates are eligible to apply for such postgraduate courses available at the ICTCM.

To learn more about career prospects in TCM Acupuncture  you can visit the ICTCM website where there is more detailed information about this and other aspects of the course including the course structure and scheduleIf you are thinking of a change in career and are interested in TCM Acupuncture we look forward to hearing from you. Applications are now being taken for the October 2024 start date.

The challenges and rewards of Acupuncture Training at the ICTCM

Students of Acupuncture training at the ICTCM come from many different backgrounds and life circumstances. Some are in full-time employment, have young children or even live in another country. The challenges and rewards faced in undertaking new studies are different for each student. While the Licentiate TCM is a part-time course, it is intensive. Initially it can take time to get used to the new workload and commitments. The course is three years of part-time training. The same training in China can take up to seven years to accomplish! 

Below is an account of a past student of the ICTCM  – Zsusza – who shares the challenges she experienced as a student at the ICTCM and also the rewards. Having experienced the positive impact of TCM treatment on her sick husband, Zsusza was inspired to learn more about this medicine and wanted to use it to make a difference to others.

Q. What challenges did you face while studying at the ICTCM?

A. Navigating through the challenging journey of my studies was no easy feat. I managed to keep on going through the three demanding years while caring for a small child. I got pregnant, subsequently juggling the responsibilities of raising two young children, maintaining employment, and even moving houses. Despite the overwhelming difficulties, I successfully overcame each obstacle. It was undeniably tough, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. When you are driven by real passion and determination, you discover an inner strength that enables you to achieve anything you set your mind to.

Q. What was the best part?

A. The three-year intensive course transformed my life on every level.  Since graduating, I’ve been treating people for five years in my own clinic. The joy and fulfilment I experience when witnessing my client’s improved well-being through the wonders of Traditional Chinese Medicine are unparalleled. It is, undoubtedly, the most rewarding feeling in the world.”

If you are interested in training in Acupuncture TCM at the ICTCM. You can find detailed information on course structure at this link. You can also find the Lic. TCM Acupuncture prospectus pack here. Applications for 2024 early October start are now open.

Celebrations – Chinese New Year of the Wood Dragon

Celebrations and Good Wishes for the Chinese New Year. The ICTCM is very happy to send good wishes for the Year of the Wood Dragon to all our students, graduates, staff and friends around the world.

Did you know that the Chinese Calendar is based on the Lunar Year and the New Year occurs on a different date each year. This year is the year of the Wood Dragon. Each year is linked to one of twelve animal signs that make up the Chinese zodiac. The dragon represents the 5th of these signs. Each animal represents specific characters and the Dragon represents among other things, strength and luck.

Other animals that make up the 12 signs include the Snake, Horse, Goat,  Rooster, Dog, Tiger,  Rat,  Monkey,  Pig, Ox and  Rabbit.

This Chinese New Year started this year on February 10th, although celebrations can last up to two weeks. The celebration has a history which is over 3000 years old and is said to mark the beginning of Spring. It is celebrated by family get-togethers, decorating with the colour red which is the traditional colour used during Chinese New Year. Activities include savouring traditional foods, sending red envelopes, dragon dances and lantern festivals.

China has a rich culture steeped in ancient wisdom, part of which includes its Medicine. It has been used successfully for thousands of years. Knowledge that pre-dates modern scientific methods are still being used by over 40 % of the global population as their primary form of medicine.

If you would like to learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine you can find detailed information on the Irish College of TCM’s website

Happy New Year of the Wood Dragon from all at the ICTCM in Dublin, Ireland.


Frequently asked questions 1 – Will I be a suitable applicant for TCM Acupuncture Training?

As the ICTCM is now accepting applications for the next three year, part time, TCM Acupuncture training course we are providing answers here to some of the most commonly asked questions.

To announce that four new Acupuncturists have graduated as TCM practitioners and have set up clinics in various parts of Ireland and the UK.

Some TCM Acupuncture Graduates

“What qualifications do I need to be a suitable TCM Acupuncture Student at the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine(ICTCM)?

You do not need to have prior qualifications in either TCM or Western Medicine. You must be able to show us that you have the capacity (not just the desire) to undertake an intensive course of part-time study over a three year period.Prior study on intensive or demanding courses will be an advantage, because you will be prepared and know a little of what to expect, but this is not a requirement.

“What personal qualities do I need?”

You need to be intelligent, not afraid of hard work and willing to work in a small group with other adults who have the same hopes and expectations as yourself. The course sets high standards and we accept students who are prepared to put in the necessary commitment to be successful in the academic, practical and interpersonal aspects of the course. It helps to be mature and well motivated and being kind and helpful to others are qualities that will help you to be a better practitioner.

You will be training to be a professional practitioner of TCM Acupuncture so many different skills need to be developed.

You can find out more about our Students and Graduates and the specific entry requirements via these links.


Who studies at the ICTCM? – Student journeys in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Who studies at the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine?  What brings a person to train or retrain in this ancient tradition? Students of ICTCM come from all walks of life, but something has inspired them to find out more about Traditional Chinese Medicine. A common reason for their interest is having witnessed the effectiveness of TCM first hand, they wish to know more and potentially offer this gift to others.

My journey with TCM began when some close friends sought TCM Acupuncture after having no success in recovering from their conditions through Western medicine. One suffered from a stomach condition and was receiving strong medication which was having no impact. They were advised by a friend to try TCM treatment. Within a few sessions, the condition was resolved and upon learning about this positive outcome, more friends and family were eager to visit a local practitioner. In another example, a child of 5 years old who had a persistent cough for two years had been treated with multiple antibiotics but the problem persisted. They attended a TCM practitioner and after one session their condition greatly improved. After a second treatment, the condition was gone.

This inspired me to learn more about TCM. Having since completed the Lic.TCM Acupuncture Training from the ICTCM, I now have the privilege of helping others through my own clinic which I run from home. 

If this sounds like something you would like to learn more about, please visit the ICTCM website where you can find the updated 2024 Lic.TCM course prospectus pack. Applications are now being made for an early October start.