Becoming a complementary therapy practitioner is an exciting career path with plenty of opportunities in the UK. However, with minimal regulation, it’s tricky to know which complementary therapy courses to trust for the best training.
Today, we’ll explore trusted complementary and alternative therapies courses in the UK.
Why should I consider a complementary therapy course?
Studying complementary therapy might be right for you if you have a passion for health and wellness.
Becoming a complementary therapy practitioner allows you to work alongside conventional healthcare practitioners as part of a holistic healing team. In addition, a complementary therapy career offers flexibility, allowing you to fit your work around your family and life commitments.
What are the minimum entry requirements for complementary and alternative therapies courses?
The minimum entry requirements for complementary therapy courses depend on the course.
Some courses have no minimum entry requirements besides a good grasp of English. Others may require you to have five A-levels (including English, maths, and a science subject).
Finding an accredited complementary therapy course in the UK
Most holistic, complementary, and alternative therapies have no laws to stipulate the level of training needed to practice. This makes it confusing when choosing a route for training.
Here are some tips for finding a course that prepares you to become a qualified complementary therapy practitioner:
Chiropractic is one of the few complementary therapies regulated by law in the UK. This means you must complete a training course accredited by the General Chiropractic Council.
There are five approved chiropractic degree courses in the UK offered by the following institutions:
- AECC University College
- London South Bank University
- McTimoney College of Chiropractic
- Teesside University
- University of South Wales (The Welsh Institute of Chiropractic)
You can find out more here.
The following institutions offer osteopathy degrees accredited by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC):
- The British College of Osteopathic Medicine
- The College of Osteopaths
- The European School of Osteopathy
- The London School of Osteopathy
- Swansea University
- University College of Osteopathy
- The University of St Mark and St John
- The London College of Osteopathic Medicine (for medical doctors only)
You can find out more about these training courses here.
Homeopathy isn’t regulated in the UK. We suggest looking for a homoeopathy course accredited by the Society of Homeopaths.
They support rigorous training over three-four years, which allows you to join the UK’s largest register of professional homeopaths.
You can find a list of courses here.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine courses
Those interested in studying acupuncture and other Chinese medicine modalities should enrol in a course accredited by The British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB).
BAAB-approved courses offer grounding in both Chinese medicine and western medical science. They ensure you can join professional associations for practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, such as:
- The British Acupuncture Council
- The Acupuncture Society
- The Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine
- The British Medical Acupuncture Society
Other complementary therapy courses
Other popular complementary therapies in the UK are massage therapy, reflexology, reiki aromatherapy, kinesiology, Bowen therapy, the Alexander Technique, craniosacral therapy, and nutritional therapy. However, the requirements to practice vary according to each complementary therapy.
The following regulatory bodies typically list complementary therapist courses that meet their standards for practice:
We also suggest contacting the university, college, or training facility you want to enrol with and asking for a course prospectus. If necessary, ask the following questions:
- Is this qualification recognised in the UK?
- Is the course accredited by a professional body?
- What qualifications do the teachers on the course have?
- Will this qualification give me the tools and knowledge to practice in the UK?
How do I know if a complementary therapy course is accredited by a professional body?
Joining a professional regulatory body has significant benefits for practitioners and patients. But each organisation has its own entry requirements.
Check with the relevant professional body if your complementary therapy course is accredited.
How do I find a complementary therapy job after I finish the course?
Most complementary therapists are self-employed, working from home or renting a room in a shared practice. Others may work in NHS hospitals, community clinics, hospices, private hospitals, spas, or on cruise ships.
For more information on complementary therapy jobs, read this article.
DISCLAIMER: The Site cannot and does not contain medical / health advice. The medical / health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before seeking any form of medical advice, diagnoses or treatment based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with your GP or other qualified health practitioner. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something mentioned on this Site. The use or reliance of any information contained on the site is solely at your own risk.