Diploma in Integrative Healthcare
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Invest in your career and broaden your understanding of Integrative Medicine
NCIM’s Diploma in Integrative Healthcare is a world class qualification that combines clinical, business and leadership elements into one two-year programme.
The master’s Level 7, accredited Diploma is for healthcare professionals* wanting to broaden their understanding of Integrative Medicine and build confidence to work and flourish in this growing field (*see application criteria below).
The Diploma will lead learners into a sound knowledge of Integrative Medicine, and they will be empowered to treat patients in a new, more holistic and collaborative way.
On graduation learners become a Fellow of NCIM and join a network of practitioners with a knowledge of practice-based research.
The Diploma is an affordable way to train in Integrative Medicine and it’s something that could really transform your career.
Diploma Aims & Objectives
The aims of this programme are to develop the theoretical and practical knowledge, the critical and analytic abilities and the professional and reflective practice of healthcare professionals.
The objective is to help healthcare professionals transform healthcare into a more effective and compassionate practice that respects the individual as a whole person.
A detailed description of the intended course outcomes is included in the Diploma Prospectus – linked above.
The Diploma in Integrative Healthcare will support you to:
- Connect to your purpose and values
- Strengthen your leadership skills
- Talk confidently about Integrative Medicine
- Fire up your job satisfaction
- Fine tune your skills in holistic assessment
- Discover a wider range of therapeutic interventions
- Develop a critical and enquiring approach
- Build personal and professional resilience
- Widen your professional network
- Empower your clients and patients
NCIM’s Diploma in Integrative Healthcare is accredited by Crossfields Institute
What our learners say
“For a long time I felt very inadequate in the way I dealt with patients with long term conditions. I felt that whilst conventional medicine is very good for lots of acute medical problems, it was very limited in what it could do or offer to patients with long term conditions. I was looking for ways to bridge that gap and the Diploma seemed to have all those elements.”
“The NCIM diploma is what I would call life-changing, both personally and professionally.
It started with a lingering suspicion that there was more to health than my medical school knowledge. Soon after starting, it opened my eyes to a world of new approaches to health and healing. Not only did I find my health improving, as I put into my practice what I learnt, but my job satisfaction also went through the roof.”
“I wanted to do this course to gain a well-rounded understanding of the future of medicine and I wanted to better leverage how I serve others. I like that the course continues to develop how it serves and supports its students, year on year. I’m only in the first year but am already abundant with ideas for developing the future care that I will give.”
How the Diploma in Integrative Healthcare can transform your clinical practice
Dr Elizabeth Thompson on why it offers an excellent programme of education for healthcare professionals who want to connect to a broader vision of healthcare.
Diploma Content and structure: learn more and meet the tutor team (January 2023)
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible to apply for the Diploma?
We welcome a wide variety of healthcare practitioners onto the Diploma course each year.
- Candidates must be registerable healthcare professionals (in the country where you practise) with a BSc or equivalent qualification in a health-related area.
- Within the last five years, you must have been registered, or have been eligible for registration, in the country where you work.
Admission will also be considered if the candidate is a Complementary Medicine (CM) Practitioner, who:
- Holds a Degree / A Level 4 Diploma in their field of CM provision
- Has two years clinical practice in their chosen CM field
- Is a member of a professional association
- Has a commitment to working within an IM model.
[We will also consider applicants with equivalent qualifications, at the discretion of the Core Education Team]
- Candidates will be expected to be seeing patients on a regular basis throughout the Diploma.
- Candidates for whom English is not their first language will require evidence of proficiency in English. For example an IELTS score of 6.5 or above, or a Cambridge English Scale Score of 176 or above.
- Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) arrangements are possible. For example, candidates could enter the course in the second year if they had studied a PGCert or equivalent in Integrative Medicine which could be mapped to the learning outcomes of the first year.
What topics will I study on the Diploma ?
There are eight modules that make up the Diploma:
- Philosophy, history and changing times in medicine (100 hours)
- IM approaches and management of conditions (1) (300 hours)
- Holistic assessment: the therapeutic relationship, motivational interviewing & clinical decision making in integrative medicine (100 hours)
- Critical appraisal of medicine and IM research (100 hours)
- Holistic management: social prescribing, a community approach in integrative medicine (100 hours)
- Managing a dynamic IM practice and developing leadership skills (100 hours)
- IM approaches and management of conditions (2) (300 hours)
- Independent study on innovation in Integrative Medicine (100 hours)
For a full description of each module, please see the prospectus (linked at the top of the page).
How is the learning programme structured?
The Diploma is designed to be undertaken part-time and delivered via a blended learning platform.
- Three 3-day, online or face-to-face intensives are timetabled each year of the two-year Diploma (September/ February/May). These are a vital part of the course, which learners must attend and comprise two teaching days and one day Integrative Healthcare Forum (lectures and interactive workshops with experts in the field of Integrative Medicine offering an opportunity to network with other conventional, lifestyle and CAM practitioners)
- Weekly (term time) evening online tutorials with experts in the field of Integrative Medicine
- Regular assignments to deepen knowledge through further study
- In Year 2 learners will have the opportunity to sit in IM practices to gain clinical experience of this emerging field of work
- Please note this Master’s Level Diploma requires up to 10 hours of home study, using the LMS, studying relevant scientific papers and IM textbooks
- Learners will also be encouraged to take advantage of a range of IM related CPD events throughout the academic year
- Learners will have access to the online Learning Management System (LMS)
For a full description of the course architecture and assessment model please download the Diploma Prospectus – linked above at the top of the page.
Where and when are the 'Intensives'?
The three-day Intensives will be delivered online via Zoom on the following dates, including the opportunity to meet in person for at least one Intensive per year:
- 21, 22 (IHF) and 23 September 2023 (online)
- 22, 23 (IHF) and 24 February 2024 (online)
- 9, 10 (IHF) and 11 May 2024 (in-person and online)
- 10, 11 (IHF), 12 October 2024 (in-person and online)
- 20, 21 (IHF), 22 February 2025 (online)
- 15, 16 (IHF), 17 May 2025 (in-person and online)
Please email email@example.com if you have any specific questions about the online delivery of the Diploma.
What is the learning environment like?
We aim to provide a learning environment that inspires collaboration, dialogue and appropriate social responsibility.
Learners should find a welcoming space that honours their individuality and their truggles yet still encourages personal and collective responsibility.
Our conviction is that learning experiences can be gained in many different forms and in a range of environments, including virtual learning forums, and is not limited to lecture halls, seminar rooms or classrooms.
NCIM has designed the Diploma to provide a supportive learning environment and our Education Team works hard to support your needs during the course.
You will meet and learn from a wide network of Integrative Medicine specialists and build a supportive community of peers within your year group.
Learners who experience study or learning difficulties may require additional support to successfully complete their subjects. Tutors will provide additional learning support in such circumstances, and tutoring assistance can be accessed through the Academic Team who will arrange appropriate support.
Will I be qualified in Functional Medicine?
>> Will I be qualified in functional medicine once I’ve completed the Diploma in Integrative Healthcare? <<
NCIM’s Diploma in Integrative Healthcare broadens your knowledge of Integrative Medicine and how to integrate this into your daily practice. It also provides a platform for you to interact with many elites within the medical fields, build connections and allow you to potentially set up your own practice.
It offers you the certification of a diploma, and although it does not qualify you to become an Integrative Medicine doctor or give you a qualification in a particular modality of Integrative Medicine, for example Functional Medicine, it will allow you to use a wide range of Integrative Healthcare knowledge in your daily practice.
Functional Medicine is one of many different modalities of healthcare that comes under the umbrella term ‘Integrative Healthcare/Medicine’. Functional Medicine gives you excellent tools for consultation and enquiry and brings a focus to the biochemical / biomechanical. It is a specific approach to health and wellbeing that uses testing and supplementation.
Integrative Medicine as a model of healthcare is prepared to seek solutions from a wider array of interventions, perhaps even in combination with each other – such as acupuncture, green care, herbal medicine, yoga, ayurveda, massage. It’s truly holistic in its appreciation of the patient and looks at the whole person to determine what will help them to feel well again.
The course includes an introduction to Functional Medicine but does not give you a qualification in it. Some of our learners already have a background in Functional Medicine and are looking for the wider model of healthcare that Integrative Medicine offers. It gives them and their clients deeper appreciation of human health and wellbeing and more a creative and personalised responses to the issues at hand.
The Prospectus gives you much more detail on the full content of the Diploma – see link at top of the page.
How can I use the Diploma in day to day practice?
>>As a GP, how can I use my Diploma in Integrative Healthcare in my day to day practice? What if Integrative Medicine still feels taboo within the NHS and I’m not allowed to recommend anything beyond NICE guidelines?<<
Our core tutor group includes GPs and the best answer of course comes from one of the Core Education Team:
“As a GP, it can sometimes feel as if you’re not allowed to recommend anything beyond NICE Guidelines. However, in my practice as a GP I find that I’m able to safely include plenty of Integrative approaches, for example lifestyle interventions: dietary advice which is far more in-depth than the Eatwell Plate; physical activity advice tailored to the needs of the patient and going well beyond the simple NICE recommendations; stress-management advice including a wide-range of interventions including but not limited to breathwork, hypnosis, Creativity-based interventions…and so on.
“I also make frequent mention of the benefits of and safe ways of using: meditation/mindfulness advice/awareness, nature-based interventions, acupuncture, various kinds of bodywork, or herbal remedies.
“I also feel much more comfortable giving people advice on how they might make sure that the approaches that they’re seeking, which may lie well beyond the scope of orthodox western medicine, can be as helpful to them as possible and what risks to be aware of and how to minimise those risks.
“The most typical questions from patients arise regarding Eastern Complementary Approaches (eg Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga) and Complementary Western Approaches (eg Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Western Herbal Medicine, Functional Medicine).
“I have learnt how to incorporate this kind of material into my standard NHS GP sessions – not every consultation but certainly a little bit in every day.”
Who are the core tutors and support team?
The team that has developed the diploma includes experts from the fields of mainstream and complementary medicine, as well as those with educational and academic expertise.
The NCIM Education Team delivers this course with a range of interventions from associate tutors, each specialists in different conventional, lifestyle and holistic healthcare practices.
Diploma Core Education Team:
Dr Elizabeth Thompson
Dr Duncan Still
Dr Alastair Gray
Dr Sally Moorcroft
Dr Nikki Chatfield
Bridget Collingwood (Education Programme Co-ordinator)
Click here to see the NCIM Clinical, Education, and Core teams and read their biographies
How much does the Diploma cost?
2023 Diploma Fees
Enrolment fee: £250 (non-refundable)
Annual Diploma fee: £5,500
(£11,000 for two years)
A payment plan may be available, please ask.
Each year NCIM aims to make a few bursaries available to help support students in their learning journey.
The deadline for bursary applications is usuaally early summer before the Academic Year starts in September.
To enquire about bursaries please email our Education Programme Co-ordinator:
How do I apply to do the Diploma?
Applications for the Diploma are welcome at any time throughout the academic year which starts in September. The timing of your application will determine which year’s cohort you will be considered for.
To register your interest, enquire about bursaries or apply for the Diploma, please email our Education Programme Co-ordinator:
Once you’ve submitted and application form we’ll contact you to arrange a telephone/Zoom meeting with one of our Core Tutors to discuss your application and review the suitability of the course for you.
For general queries, please use the online form below.
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