Chinese Herbal Medicine Training


Postgraduate Diploma in Chinese Herbal Medicine


Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) is one of the treatment modalities of TCM.

We offer full Chinese Herbal Medicine training as a postgraduate Diploma Course, for Acupuncturists or other TCM professionals wishing to add CHM to their treatment options.

The postgraduate Diploma in Chinese Herbal Medicine (Dip.CHM) is a part-time programme, run at our college in Dublin, which provides theoretical, practical and clinical training in CHM for professional Acupuncture practitioners, enabling them to augment their TCM therapeutic options with the addition of what, for many ordinary Chinese people, represents “Real” Chinese Medicine – the use of Chinese Medical Herbs and Prescriptions.

Course Aim

At the end of the course the successful participant will be able to safely and effectively prescribe and dispense a range of Chinese Herbal Prescriptions from each of the Categories of Prescription listed in the syllabus. They will also be able to modify each herbal prescription to better match the presenting condition of the patient by the addition, subtraction or modification of individual herbal ingredients and to make up their own “prepared” medicines for their clients.

Course schedule and dates

  • This is a part time course, with a total of 40 training days (including distanced-learning modules) spread over 2 calendar years.
  • Attendance at the college is required for approximately 3 days (usually Friday to Sunday inclusive) every 3 months or so.
  • Additional workshop, assignment, clinical and tutorial support will be provided as required.
  • In 2017 the ICTCM was pleased to offer this 2 year part-time post-graduate course in Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) for the fifth time.
  • The current Dip.CHM commenced in January 2018 and is due to be completed in early 2020.
  • Subject to staff availability the next Dip.CHM is scheduled to begin in 2021.

Herbal Medicine Teacher and Clinical Supervisor


The course is normally taught by Mary Plunkett, based on the information provided to her as a student of Chinese Herbal Medicine with Dr. Ted Kaptchuk and on her many years of clinical experience as a CHM practitioner.

If you wish you can go directly to the Dip.CHM Syllabus.

Or you can find out more about the relationship between Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine and TCM on our TCM and its Branches pages.

Teaching Methods

The course is taught in small groups by Seminar and group participation methods. Students will be expected to complete designated assignments between sessions and to undertake home study using the required text books. Students will be given a list of essential texts and other materials which they will need to purchase.

Some parts of the programme will be taught as Distance Learning modules. Students will be provided with materials and given guidance on the work that must be completed before the next taught session. This reduced the number of face-to-face taught sessions and will make the programme more accessible to those living a long way from Dublin.

Teaching location

The practical components of the programme will be held in a location where we have access to suitable facilities for the preparation of prescriptions and cooking of decoctions while the theory will be taught in the College in Dublin (and by Open Learning methods).

The Clinical component will take place in the Teaching Clinic facilities in ICTCM House. Students will each provide a detailed case history and diagnosis of a requisite number of clients who may benefit from Herbal Treatment. The student will provide a detailed rational for the choice of the prescription and, as they gain experience, for the modification of that prescription.Some of these clients will be seen in the Teaching Clinic. Others may be prescribed the appropriate herbal prescription under the auspices of the Herbal Medicine Teacher/Clinical supervisor and their progress will be reviewed as part of the Clinical training.

Assessment Methods

Student progress will be assessed via course work, assignments, project work, case histories, practical exams and clinical assessment. There will be a series of written examinations some of which permit the use of textbooks and Student Notes as reference materials. Students are NOT required to memorise ALL the individual herbs and prescriptions.

Students will only gain the Diploma in CHM after successful completion of the assignments, projects and examinations and successful completion of all the practical and clinical components of the Course.

Qualification Entitlements

On completion of the Chinese Herbal Medicine examinations, successful candidates will be awarded the qualification of Diploma in Chinese Herbal Medicine and receive the corresponding certification, and will be entitled to use the designatory letters Dip.CHM. They will also be able to use the title Practitioner of Chinese Herbal Medicine on a Business Card.

In addition they may apply for membership of the Professional Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (PRCHM), a sister organisation of the PRTCM. Members of the PRTCM who hold a Diploma in CHM from the ICTCM are NOT charged an additional membership fee for their membership of the PRCHM. On graduation from the Diploma programme those who are members of the Professional Register of TCM will, then, also have insurance cover for their practice of CHM.

The course has been designed to meet the curriculum standards set out by the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA), and to meet the requirements for entry to :

  • The Professional Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine in Ireland and
  • The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine in the UK.

Clinical Training in China
We are pleased to announce that, if there is sufficient interest at the end of the Diploma course, it may be possible to organise an optional clinical training period in a leading TCM University in China.

Go directly to the Dip.CHM Application pack