Herbal medicine is the traditional use of plants and plant extracts to treat a range of health concerns and improve general well being. Our degree, taught by leading practitioners in the field, offers some of the best training facilities in the UK. In addition, we're no.1 in London for student satisfaction.
Why study BSc Herbal Medicine at Middlesex?
“I hope to set up my own private practice after I graduate although I will also look at further research and academic work too.”
Katherine Rouse, BSc Herbal Medicine student
Our degree is supported by some of the best facilities in the UK (which include brand new dedicated complementary health laboratories) placing us at the forefront of training for herbal medicine internationally. Clinical training takes place in our herbal clinic on campus, and you will build your knowledge of individual herbs in the University medicinal garden, on field trips, in the laboratory and clinic dispensary and also learn from practising medical herbalists. You will graduate with an expert knowledge of the medicinal use of herbs and be prepared to practise independently (to the standards set by the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association).
- Our course is professionally accredited by the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association
- We offer some of the best range of facilities for complementary health study in the UK, including brand new dedicated complementary health laboratories
- No.1 in London for student satisfaction for complementary medicine (National Student Survey, 2013)
- 90% of graduates from this course gain employment six months after completing their degree
- Our course was rated in the top 10 (nationally) for Complementary Medicine (Complete University Guide)
- Year 1
- Herbal Practice 1 (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module provides the opportunity to observe professional practice in herbal medicine and patient care in a range of healthcare environments. Students will gain familiarity with the clinical setting through their clinical observation at the archway clinic, and in placements in various health contexts. During the first year students will be developing skills in dispensing, communication, observation and patient care that are fundamental to herbal practice.
- Herbal Sciences (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module provides an introduction to the study of herbal medicine through consideration of a number of aspects of herbs as medicines. Students will encounter plants in theory and in practice from the microscopic to the whole plant level. Overall this module aims to deliver the basic knowledge needed for the understanding of plant biology and chemistry and includes elements of phytochemistry, botany, horticulture, biodiversity as well as, regulation of plant medicines and introductory Materia Medica. These aspects of herbal sciences will be the foundation of training as a professional in herbal medicine.
- Human Sciences (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module aims to provide students with the knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology required to underpin their future learning in the fields of complementary medicine. The unifying theme of homeostasis is used to show how a healthy structure and function are maintained and how failures of homeostasis can result in disease.
- Introduction to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module aims to provide students with fundamental knowledge of Complementary and Alternative medicines in the UK. It considers a number of therapies in terms of the treatment they provide, their internal coherence and claims to safety and efficacy. Ethical, legal and professional issues will be discussed. In addition, this module aims to provide a coherent introduction to the study and practice of Western Herbal Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, particularly within the context of the UK. Students will also undertake literature searching to review the ways that CAM effectiveness can be evaluated.
- Professional Skills Development (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- The module aims to give students the skills required to become an autonomous lifelong learner and to provide them with an introduction to communication skills and case history taking. It also provides a foundation from which the identified skills can be developed throughout the course of their complementary health science programme. Developing a successful therapeutic relationship between patient and practitioner depends on the ability to communicate both verbally and non-verbally. These skills are also essential in order to take an accurate case history. Non-verbal communication skills and the principle of physical examination will be supported by introducing students to the skills of therapeutic massage, which will be taught by an appropriately qualified professional teacher.
- Year 2
- Approaches to Health and Social Care Research (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- To introduce students of health and social care related subjects to the process of health and social care research. It is a professional requirement for those working in health and social care related disciplines to underpin their knowledge with research and evidence-based practice. Professionals need to be able to access research findings, and through an understanding of the research process and methodology, be able to critique research and apply this knowledge to practice. The aim of this module is to develop the students awareness the research process and to equip them with the skills required in the subject area appropriate to their target award and to offer some preparation for the final year project/dissertation.
- Clinical Sciences (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- A thorough knowledge and understanding of the normal and abnormal structure and functions of the tissues, organs and systems of body and the general principles of orthodox medical treatment are essential for safe and effective complementary medicine practice. This module offers students an opportunity to study the causes, mechanisms and general pathological changes underpinning disease and to integrate this knowledge with that of normal form and function learnt in the study of human sciences. Also included is an overview of the general mechanisms of drug action, drug categories and principles of infection control that need to be taken into account by the CAM practitioner. This module emphasises causes and mechanisms of systemic diseases and the pharmacological basis of management, rather than the details of clinical presentation and diagnosis, both of which are comprehensively covered in the Diagnostic Skills module.
- Diagnostic Skills (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- The module builds on the students knowledge of the causes and mechanisms of disease and will relate to the knowledge and skills that students have acquired of the therapeutic relationship. It will provide a thorough understanding of the practical assessment of the cardiovascular, respiratory, abdominal, musculoskeletal and neurological systems and will also include the interpretation of important physical signs and theoretical material on the clinical presentations of diseases related to these body systems. Students will be able to provide a differential diagnosis for common presentations and identify conditions requiring further investigation and referral.
- Herbal Materia Medica and Pharmacy (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- The aim of the module is to give students a firm basis for the development of the herbal practitioner. It includes a thorough overview of medicinal plants incorporating knowledge and understanding of their constituents, mode of action and key actions. The range of preparations of herbal medicines will be extended as well as practical skills in herbal pharmacy and a familiarity with techniques of quality control and legal requirements in the manufacture of herbal products. Students will learn in detail about the range of plant constituents with understanding of herbal pharmacology. On completion of this module students will have the ability to use herbs appropriately in conditions affecting a number of the main body systems and skills in formulating a herbal prescription.
- Herbal Practice 2 (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module provides for the development of the students competence in case history taking and patient management in the context of herbal medicine consultations. During the year the students will be developing the ability to take a thorough, systematic and confident case history, and they will be consolidating clinical examination skills to the point where they are able to evaluate the patient s state of health. The students will also develop further herbal medicine dispensary skills.
- Year 3
- Dissertation (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module aims to synthesise learning from the students undergraduate programme providing an opportunity for students to study independently and investigate a topic in depth. It fosters academic curiosity, an inquiry based approach, the employment and application of research skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. Students will select a topic of personal interest they wish to study further and will manage their own learning during this module, with the support of an allocated supervisor for this period of independent study.
- Herbal Practice 3 (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module develops the students ability to independently assess a clinical presentation, evaluate findings and produce an appropriate and detailed herbal treatment plan. The students will fully develop a management plan and herbal prescription and tailor it to the individual patient s need. The students will learn to discuss treatment recommendations with the patient, so that the patient is clearly and properly informed of all aspects of treatment and is fully involved in drawing up a viable and effective action plant. Students will be introduced to the use of audit procedures for monitoring treatment progress and continue to reflect on their personal and professional development.
- Herbal Therapeutics (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module extends students knowledge of materia medica and herbal therapeutics to the point where they are able to develop an appropriate individual treatment plan. It covers the therapeutic limitations of herbal treatment, potential for herbal medicines to produce adverse events and to interact with conventional medicines. A professional and systematic approach to herbal therapeutics will underpin all aspects of this module. An integrated style of treatment using knowledge of the interaction of body systems will be explored in detail.
- Nutrition and Lifestyle Management (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to nutrients, individual nutrient needs, dietary assessment and the use of food to promote health from a nutritional therapy point of view. Students will gain an understanding of how a functional approach to nutritional assessment and dietary advice can be integrated into different CAM therapy approaches, and how nutritional advice fits within the broader context of lifestyle management. This integrated approach also considers the effect of emotional status and physical activity upon physiology and health.
- Professional Practice Management (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module provides opportunities for gaining relevant knowledge and skills for contributing to the establishment of a professional practice in complementary medicine. It aims to broaden and deepen the students understanding of, and encourage critical and reflective thought, on business development and management, ethical, regulatory and legal aspects of professional conduct, and psychological aspects of the therapeutic relationship. The module also includes first aid training, now a requirement of a number of professional bodies and workplaces.
What will you study?
You will learn a holistic approach to patient care throughout the course, which includes diet and lifestyle in addition to herbal therapeutics. Unlike orthodox medicine, in which many preparations are based on a single molecule, herbal medicine is based on the use of whole plant extracts containing the full spectrum of plant constituents, of which you will gain an expert understanding. Upon successful completion of the degree, you will be armed with the knowledge and skills to provide safe, effective and professional herbal care and you will be recognised as a medical herbalist.
What will you gain?
You will graduate as a competent, safe and caring practitioner in herbal medicine.
You can find more information about this course in the programme specification.
Teaching and learning
Clinical placements are a major part of the course. You will complete a total of 510 hours’ clinical training over the three years (including the summer holidays). During the first year, you will be observing and developing skills; in the second year you will be able to take case histories, apply the skills you have learned, and manage patients under supervision. The emphasis is on learning by observation and demonstration, and then by practising yourself, and getting feedback on your work.
You will also attend lectures, workshops and seminars, and work on problem-solving exercises, case studies, group work and practical assignments. You will supplement all this with your own independent study.
You will be assessed through exams, clinical assessments and laboratory simulations, as well as coursework, which will include a dissertation, a portfolio, reports and reflective diaries.
International Entry Requirements
We accept the equivalent of the above from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the requirements from your country, see further information under support in your country. For details of other equivalent requirements that Middlesex accepts see entry requirements.
English language requirements for international students
You must have competence in English language and we normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. The most common English Language requirements for international students are IELTS 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in all four components) or TOEFL internet based 72 (with at least 17 in listening & writing, 20 in speaking and 18 in reading).
Middlesex also offers an Intensive Academic English course (Pre-Sessional) that ranges from 5-17 weeks depending on your level of English. Successful completion of this course would meet English language entry requirements.
What are the career options with a BSc Herbal Medicine degree?
Successful graduates will be able to practice as a medical herbalist. As a herbal practitioner you may set up your own business as a sole trader or link up with other therapists in a complementary health clinic.
Further opportunities may be available in other health contexts and the NHS. Including careers within research, journalism, teaching, retail, horticulture and manufacturing processes. 90% of our graduates are in employment six months after completing their degree.
What about work placements?
Each year of the course includes a practice module, ensuring you have the skills to practise professionally upon graduation, and providing valuable experience.
What about professional accreditation?
This course is professionally accredited by the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association
What support is available?
Our Employability Service can help you to develop your employability skills and get some valuable work experience. We provide workshops, events and one-to-one support with job hunting, CVs, covering letters, interviews, networking and so on. We also support you in securing part-time work, placements, internships, and volunteering opportunities, and offer an enterprise support service for those looking to start their own business. Find out more here.
What our students say:
BSc Herbal Medicine
“The course has been an enjoyable one, mainly because of the wide scope of the syllabus; the excellent grounding in research methods and the attention to detail in making sure you have the knowledge to really understand the research available. Whilst a strong clinical foundation is given, you still retain the heart of the subject, which is not purely academic.”
“The Business Planning module offered as part of the course is an excellent focusing tool which we can practically use. I hope to set up my own private practice after I graduate although I will also look at further research and academic work too.”
BSc Herbal Medicine
“This course has offered the opportunity for in depth scientific study of herbs and their actions, together with their practical application in a wide range of medical conditions. Included was medical diagnosis techniques as used by doctors, and clinical training provided by a team of expert herbalists who possessed many years experience in the field. The course effectively offered all of the components necessary to ensure access to all available knowledge to equip me in a safe and effective medical herbal practice, and provide the grounding from which to confidently start practicing soon after graduation.”
“I think the important thing when considering university is to find the right course for you, which has access to good research facilities and a reputation for excellence within its field. As such I would definitely recommend studying Herbal Medicine at Middlesex University.”