Developing Practice in Complementary Therapies BSc (Hons) Top Up

This course is validated by: University of Cumbria

Course Information


Our BSc (Hons) Developing Practice in Complementary Therapies (Top Up) is ideal for those students seeking professional accreditation and wishing to increase their professionalism within this growing industry. This is a one year full-time top-up degree developed in conjunction with the University of Cumbria. The course is also available part-time over two years.

If you have completed University Centre at Blackburn College’s FdSc Complementary Therapies programme (with a 50% pass mark) or have received any other related degree such as a foundation degree in Spa Management, Complementary Medicine, Sports Science, Homeopathy, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Midwifery or Osteopathy from another institution, with a merit, you can top up your qualification by studying this degree validated by the University of Cumbria.

Students on the programme study a core set of modules but are able to specialise in either Sports Therapy  or negotiated learning. Accreditation is available for Sports Therapy at an additional cost. 

If you are a nurse, health visitor, herbalist or physiotherapist, or from other allied health occupations and you receive NHS funded degree level education you may still be able to join the programme and study for an additional year by taking out a student loan. If you have done a Foundation Degree in Complementary Medicine or Complementary Therapy elsewhere you may still be able to join this one year top-up programme.



What will I study?

You will need to complete 5 modules to complete the course successfully. There are 4 compulsory module and one optional module. The dissertation is a double module that stretches throughout the duration of the course. You will be able to specialise in an area of interest to research once you have submitted your research proposal and an ethics proposal.

Practical sessions run throughout the course (dependant on your choice of optional module). This will include case work with members of the public along with the treatment of a wide range of conditions.

Modules include:

  • Dissertation
  • Pain Management
  • Mentoring and Supervision
  • Professional Practice in Context

Optional Modules

  • Negotiated Learning
  • Sports Therapy

Download the Programme Specification for BSc (Hons) Developing Practice in Complementary Therapies (Top Up). The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

Entry Requirements

You’ll need to have successfully gained University Centre at Blackburn College’s FdSc Complementary Therapies programme with a 50% pass mark, or have received any other related degree such as a foundation degree in Spa Management, Complementary Therapy, Sports Science, Homeopathy, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Midwifery or Osteopathy from another institution, with a merit. You will require a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check to join the programme which costs around £46. 

You will be required to purchase a Uniform (approximately £60) and take up Student Membership with a professional body (approximately £25) throughout the programme. 

How will I be assessed?

Various assessment methods are used on the course. Practical treatments will be assessed in clinic, but coursework, assignments, portfolio building and individual presentations all form part of the course. There are two written examinations. The dissertation consists of a submission of 8,000 words as well as the research and ethics proposals.

Formative and summative assessments enable lecturers or tutors to monitor the learning that has/is taking place. Summative assessment is not always noticeable by the student as it is a continuous process; lecturers or assessors may observe participation and responses to class discussions and group work, a student’s response to question and answer sessions, participation in workshop practical and engagement with demonstrations. Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.

Students receive both formal and informal feedback. Formal feedback is through assessments, is usually in writing and given within 3 weeks following the submission date. However, some lecturers will provide group feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

What can I do next?

Typical jobs that graduates from the course have gone into include: self-employed complementary therapists, work in clinic settings, beauty settings as well as in the leisure industry or other sport related areas within football clubs and rugby clubs. Further study is also encouraged. Graduates have progressed onto Master studies in Occupational Therapy at the University of Cumbria and other opportunities include Masters studies in Integrated Healthcare.

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"I was fortunate enough to be invited by the staff, to a Complementary Medicine conference at a local Hospice in Blackburn, where the students demonstrated a wide range of knowledge and skills in the form of posters and presentations. It is clear that some students will go on to achieve success in very specialised areas of practice and will hopefully secure full-time employment in areas like palliative care and tertiary care environments."

External Examiners Report 2014/15
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