Herbal Medicine MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Herbal Medicine MSc/PGDip/PGCert

School of Community Health and Midwifery


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Part-time: Usually three or four years. Students usually study three modules in Year 1, three modules in Year 2 and undertake the dissertation in Year 3.

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    eLearning, Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

MSc Herbal Medicine brings together professional practitioners of herbal medicine in the investigation and systematic appraisal of the knowledge base and clinical practice of herbal medicine.

This Master’s course creatively and critically explores contemporary practice in the light of emerging conceptual frameworks and other influences on the current development of herbal medicine. A broad approach will be taken to clarify the relationship between the concept of health and the benefits of herbal practice.

This learning will be contextualised within the wider provision of integrated medicine in the local, national and global environments of the students. Use of developing concepts in research in practitioner settings will be made to encourage students to develop the skills and personal qualities needed to be active researchers.

The goal is for students and tutors to both interpret knowledge judiciously and to solve clinical problems in a creative way, and, in so doing, play our part in the development of an epistemology of herbal medicine.

Entry Requirements

  • Current membership of an approved herbal register
  • A recognised British honours degree of 2.2 or above, or its equivalent
  • English language and writing skills at GCSE English or IELTS 6.5

Applicants with clinical experience and non-degree level qualifications will be seriously considered and are advised to contact the Admission tutor direct to discuss this.

Programme at a Glance

Year 1

Three compulsory modules:

  • Deconstructing practice
  • Developing Practice
  • Introduction to Postgraduate Research

Year 2

Core module:

  • Creative Prescribing in Herbal Medicine

In addition two modules will be taken from the following six options: 

  • Therapeutic Relationships
  • Inspiring Education
  • Research, ethics and governance
  • Student Initiated Module
  • Applying Methods in Health Research

Year 3

  • Dissertation

Postgraduate Advice Event

The date of the next UCLan Postgraduate Advice Event will be confirmed soon, in the meantime please contact Course Enquiries with any queries regarding postgraduate study and research.

Further Information

Contact in the first instance should be made with Alison Denham, email:, who can discuss entry requirements with you.

The course comprises 4 core modules, 2 further modules out of a choice of 6, plus a triple module dissertation.

Year 1

Three compulsory modules:

Deconstructing practice
This module seeks to develop students’ cognitive skills and knowledge base in relation to the rhetoric and reality of the structures that influence their personal and professional beliefs. It aims to facilitate an exploration of myths and ‘sacred cows’ in contemporary healthcare through a critical consideration of issues, tensions and challenges from different philosophical perspectives.

Developing Practice
The module aims to engage the students in critically evaluating the underpinning philosophies of practice and their application to practice. It acknowledges the wealth of experience of the practitioner students and encourages the sharing of expertise towards the common goal of the advancement of practice. Students will work in e-groups to identify knowledge gaps for further exploration and debate.

Introduction to Postgraduate Research
The module presents a broad overview of the principles of research beginning with ethical, epistemological and theoretical perspectives, and moving through qualitative and quantitative research designs, analysis and synthesis. Students will focus on the evidence relevant to one particular topic in their speciality, exploring the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of this evidence and the impact of research design on knowledge generated.

Year 2

Core module:

Creative Prescribing in Herbal Medicine
This module aims to engage students in a critical evaluation of the concepts and evidence for the clinical practice of herbal medicine. The intention of this debate is to develop a higher level of reasoning in the composition of prescriptions. The emphasis is on the evaluation of the traditional knowledge base for prescribing and treatment strategies in Western herbal medicine. Students will also engage with current evidence on the effectiveness, efficacy, quality and safety of herbal medicines.

In addition two modules will be taken from the following six options:

Therapeutic Relationships
This module aims to engage students in a critical evaluation of the conceptual and evidence-based framework of the ‘therapeutic relationship’ in order to critically reflect on the current status of this within their own professional practice. Students will investigate the dynamic tension between ‘self’ and ‘the self as practitioner’ in order to better understand their role in patient health outcomes.

Inspiring Education
The first aim of the module is to provide the intending and existing teacher in a professional context with a forum to debate and discuss the contemporary issues, policy and initiatives which are constantly emerging both nationally and internationally. The second aim of the module is to facilitate teachers in a professional context to develop essential skills required for effective teaching at Higher Education level. This will include the widening of expertise and experience, the understanding of adult learners and their needs, and the formation of critical self-appraisal and reflection and evaluation.

Research, ethics and governance
This module aims to facilitate progression from theory to practice in research within a clear ethical framework. It acts as a bridging module between the theoretical study of research and governance to the conduct of an approved empirical research project. It aims to familiarise students with meta-ethical theories and with practical ethical issues surrounding different forms of research and with the principles of research governance. It will help students develop a real research proposal and to analyse potential ethical challenges in their research.

Student Initiated Module
To give an opportunity to students to extend their knowledge and analytical skills around a topic of their own choosing and to further develop their capacity to work independently. 

Applying Methods in Health Research
This module aims to build upon knowledge and skills obtained in NU4040 (Introduction to Postgraduate Research) to focus in an in-depth manner on methods specifically used in health and health service research. Through examination of the practical application of research methods in this field it aims to support students in the development of the necessary skills for undertaking an independent piece of qualitative or quantitative research. 

NB It may not be possible to offer the full range of option modules in any particular year. Personal tutors will discuss your second year options with you during the first year so that the choice of options can be planned in good time.

Year 3

The aim of this module is to facilitate the student in the synthesis of prior knowledge and professional and clinical experience, which will be channelled into the production of a dissertation grounded in the student’s professional and clinical context and academic needs. The dissertation will be in the form of a research study or scholarly work which reflects standard research procedure, and which is required to be independently completed with guidance from a nominated supervisor.

How to Apply

You can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).

Course Specification and Handbook

For a concise summary of the main features of this course, see our course specification.
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2017/18

Full-time: N/A
Part-time: £880 per 20 credits Studied (first 120 credits)

Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated and may be subject to increase annually in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rate

Further information:

For 2016/17 fees please refer to our fees page.

Industry Links

National Institute of Medical Herbalists in UK; National Herbalists Association of Australia; New Zealand Association of Herbalists; American Herbalists Guild; Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations

Professional Accreditation

This postgraduate course has been awarded a number of accreditations, including: National Institute of Medical Herbalists in UK, National Herbalists Association of Australia, New Zealand Association of Herbalists, American Herbalists Guild and Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations.

Learning Environment and Assessment

Each module will include learning material provided on eLearn, the UCLan web interface, which supports structured directed study, debate and discussion with other students using online eLearn discussion tools. Face-to-face seminars use Breeze online technology. The range of learning activities is supported by online personal tutorials, and students have access to journals via the online UCLan library. Each module has a series of workshops. Each workshop includes questions that have provided the main focus for study and for discussion. This will enable consideration of relevant theoretical perspectives and their application to professional practice.

All modules are assessed by assignments and there are no examinations. The assessments have been carefully selected to give a variety of strategies for learning and to enable students to explore conventional as well as innovative ways of expressing their conceptual, cognitive and practical development. The pass mark for assignments is 40 per cent. For a Master’s degree an average mark (from all nine modules) of 60-69 per cent is granted award with Merit and over 70 per cent is award with Distinction.