To Degree or not to Degree – That is the question.

Acupuncture Degree or Non Degree?
There are a wide range of acupuncture courses out on the market. Some of these are short courses or CPD (continued professional development) courses and are aimed at existing non acupuncture therapists or acupuncturists wanting to add or refresh on additional skills. These are not included in this discussion as they are not really offering a full understanding of acupuncture and although these often can teach safe skills for use within a limited scope of practice they will not include essential clinical core training and diagnostics skills which will take time to learn and practice.

Longer courses of 12-24 months offer an alternative to degree courses and are usually much more accessible to individuals who do not have the time or resources to pursue a full degree program. Non-degree courses are generally less expensive than full degree programs. This makes them a more affordable option for those who want to gain good core knowledge and skills in acupuncture without investing heavily in a long-term educational commitment. Courses are often practical and skill-oriented approach which often suits people who do not want to be overloaded with non-functional theoretical material or who do not learn well in an academic environment. These courses often focus on teaching the fundamental techniques and principles of acupuncture, providing hands-on training and experience. Non-degree courses can serve as continuing education opportunities for therapists and healthcare professionals who want to expand their skill set or integrate acupuncture into their existing practice. These courses offer specialized knowledge in acupuncture without requiring a full degree program and do not cause any limitations to your scope of practice, licensing or insurance. Degree courses may leave less room for customization or specialisation compared to non-degree courses, which often offer more flexibility in selecting specific topics or areas of focus.

Acupuncture Degree Courses:

Degree courses offer a comprehensive and in-depth education in the field although some of the theoretical information you may learn may not be functional or applicable in clinic, often like, when driving, knowing how the exhaust works does not make you a better driver. Acupuncture degree programs do often fulfil the needs of students who excel in an academic environment. They also provide a wide range of opportunities for research and scholarly activities. This can be beneficial for those interested in academia or pursuing advanced studies especially research programs. Degrees are monitored and so usually have specific university pass rates making sure student exams are well ratified, however they do often have low pass rates of 40% plus for third class degrees, which some practitioners believe are too low to allow people to be working with clients. Degree programs generally follow a structured curriculum with specific course requirement with a broad range of subjects.

Ultimately, the choice between acupuncture non-degree courses and degree programs depends on an individual’s goals, resources, and career aspirations.

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