Foundation Course


About the Foundation Course 

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These introductory courses last four days (two weekends, 3 or 4 weeks apart) making up 24 training hours. We run occasional weekday foundation courses.  See below for dates.                                                       

The Foundation Course is a mixture of lectures and practical group sessions. Group sizes are kept to a maximum of 12. In the initial stages of training the emphasis is on safety and all attendees will be observed by an experienced demonstrator to ensure a safe needling technique.  

Lecturing teams are made up of experienced medical acupuncturists. The performance of lecturers and group leaders is critically assessed to maintain a high standard. Teaching on the Foundation Course is based on scientific explanations of acupuncture as far as possible, but it also involves some traditional Chinese concepts.

The normal course fee includes tuition, a set of detailed course notes, 100 needles, lunches and daytime refreshments throughout the two weekends. Courses are non-residential but a list of local hotels and guest houses can be supplied on request.  In order to maximise the training and educational value of the course we recommend that you use these pre-course revision notes to guide you in doing a little preparation.

External CPD is usually applied for from the Royal College of Physicians for all Foundation and Intermediate courses.

UK & Ireland medical students (4th and 5th year) and final-year UK & Ireland students of professions eligible for membership (undergraduates undertaking their first degree) can attend our Foundation Course. Student places are currently limited to two per course (subject to conditions) however the cap on numbers will be removed on 1 Jan 2020.  There is a generous student discount of £200 (based on the London course fee)

Partcipants who complete the BMAS Foundation Course are entitled to reduced rate membership of the Society for their first two years.

This is a practical course and is subject to proof of Hepatitis B immunisation showing antibody level or results of a recent blood screen for Hep B surface antigens.  Please read this policy before proceeding:  HEPATITIS B POLICY.
Ladies: There is no evidence that acupuncture is harmful in pregnancy. If you are or suspect you may be pregnant, however, you should bring this to the attention of the teaching staff as it may affect how much needling you receive in the practical sessions.

On completion of the course we would expect the student to be equipped to start to practice medical acupuncture, and to be committed to completing the BMAS Certificate in Medical Acupuncture within 12 months of the course.  On achieving this award BMAS would consider the student to have reached a satisfactory standard for the use of medical acupuncture within their existing scope of professional practice.


The Foundation Course programme

Days 1 & 2

   9am - 5.30pm

  • Overview & brief history

  • Safety brief

  • Lecture & practicals on neck, shoulder & arm

  • Trigger points

  • Safety questionnaire

   9am - 5pm

  • Lecture & practicals on lower back & leg

  • Neurophysiology

  • Clinical aspects

  • Clinical cases for discussion

  • Safety & side effects


Days 3 & 4

   9am - 5pm

  • Face & abdomen - lecture & practical

  • Segmental Acupuncture

  • Gynaecology & gastrointestinal disorders

  • ENT & respiratory

  • Dermatology

   9am - 5pm

  • Electroacupuncture - lecture & practical

  • Neurology & psychology

  • Ear acupuncture & addictions

  • Running a clinic

  • Quiz

  • Case presentations


Foundation Course dates and venues

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Course Fees 2020

4 day (two weekends) course - £620
All London courses (4 days) - £650 


Dates and Venues 2020

PLEASE NOTE:  During the COVID-19 pandemic it may be necessary to cancel/postpone these courses due to government guidelines.  We are working to provide an on line module version of this course.  We will endeavour to keep you up dated at all times.

Four weekdays:  6 - 9 April 2020

NORTHWICH Cheshire: BMAS House, Northwich CW8 1AQ
30/31 May & 27/28 June 2020

DUBLIN: Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Dublin
17-20 July 2020 CANCELLED

Four weekdays:  14 - 17 September 2020

Foundation Course for Nurses
NORTHWICH Cheshire: BMAS House, Northwich CW8 1AQ
Long weekend: 11 - 14 September 2020

NORTHWICH Cheshire: BMAS House, Northwich CW8 1AQ
10/11 October & 07/08 November 2020

31 October/1 November & 5/6 December 2020

GLASGOW: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital
5/6 September & 3/4 October 2020

Six months after finishing your Foundation course please complete this questionnaire to help the BMAS assess the effectiveness of our Foundation Course in promoting the use of acupuncture.