Doctoral Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Program Description

Doctoral Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Doctoral Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Doctor of Chinese Medicine specialising in:

  • Acupuncture
  • Medical Qigong or
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine


As stated in the Agreement between Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine:

  • To promote the development of Higher Education in the field of Chinese Medicine
  • To provide quality TCM medical services, to people in many different localities, by educating senior TCM professionals to Masters or Doctoral degree level

The course is designed to enable TCM professionals to gain a fully-recognised Masters or Doctoral Degree from a leading Chinese Medicine University in China while mainly working and living in Ireland/Europe during the majority of the post-graduate degree programmes.

This is a rare opportunity to undertake high level post-graduate study in Chinese Medicine from a European base with only a minimum number of requisite visits to Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine in China.

On successful completion of all aspects of the programme, GUCM will issue graduation certificates and academic Masters or Doctoral Degree certificates recognised by the Ministry of Education in the People's Republic of China and thus recognised by all countries having a Mutual recognition of Degree qualifications agreement with the People's Republic of China.


  • 3 years
  • Part-time - for trained professional practitioners of TCM working and living in Europe
  • Leading to a Doctor of Chinese Medicine degree awarded by Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and the Chinese Department of Education
  • Students will be registered with both Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine (GUCM) and the Irish College of TCM, the affiliated TCM College of GUCM in Ireland.
  • In the first year students will study the requisite number of compulsory taught modules (approximately 6).
  • Students will go to Guangzhou at the beginning of the first year to enrol on the programme with Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, and to register with the Department of Education in China.
  • They will complete 2 or 3 of the taught modules during this visit to Guangzhou.
  • The remaining modules will mainly be taught at the Irish College of TCM (ICTCM) in Dublin by academic staff from GUCM or during the next visit to Guangzhou in the second year.
  • Each student will have a specialist thesis supervisor from GUCM
  • Students will propose the topic of their thesis and conduct a literature review.
  • The second and third years will be mainly devoted to textual, clinical or laboratory-based research on the basis of which the thesis/dissertation will be written.
  • Students may conduct their research in Ireland (or other neighbouring European countries if appropriate) at clinical or research establishments approved by GUCM.
  • Alternatively they may go to Guangzhou, if they wish, during the second year and/or third year and conduct their research there.
  • All Students will defend their thesis in Guangzhou at the end of the final year.
  • The course will be taught in English. (On some occasions it may be taught in Chinese with English translation.) All technical TCM terminology is taught in Chinese Pinyin.

Taught Courses

The exact taught courses which a student will undertake will be dependent on their TCM specialism. However, the Courses will normally be drawn from:

  • Courses in scientific research methodology including Medical Statistics, Medical Computer Applications, and Literature Retrieval and Utilization
  • Courses in the foundations of TCM including: Clinical Foundations of TCM, TCM Emergencies, TCM Oncology (on-trial), Clinical Diagnostics (on-trial), and Basic and Clinical Research on Acupuncture and Moxibustion
  • Courses for both Doctor and Master programme: Internal Classic (Nei Jing), Canon of Difficult Issues (Nan Jing), Study of Febrile Diseases (Wen Bing), Introduction to Medical Cases from Different TCM Schools, and Research Progress of TCM Diagnostics.
  • Courses in the chosen specialism of either Acupuncture Moxibustion, Medical Qigong or Chinese Herbal Medicine, as required by the clinical supervisor.

Research and Thesis/Dissertation

Detailed information about the Research component and the Dissertation requirements will be provided to students, by GUCM, once their application has been approved.

The dissertation or thesis will be written in English and students are responsible for translating the abstracts into Chinese and paying the resulting translation fees where applicable.

Who can apply

Applicants must hold a Masters Degree in Chinese Medicine, Western Medicine or other related disciplines.

As the Doctoral Degree in Chinese Medicine is specifically designed for those who are already qualified and practising in the field of TCM, the applicant must normally already be trained in their specialist Chinese Medical field. Thus:

  • Those wishing to choose Acupuncture Moxibustion as their specialism will need to be fully trained professionals of Acupuncture TCM with a Masters Degree or Masters Degree -equivalent in the subject.
  • Those wishing to chose Medical Qigong as their specialism will need to have a relevant scientific, medical or TCM-related degree with skills in Medical Qigong equivalent to, or similar to the Post-graduate Certificate in MQG.
  • Those wishing to chose Chinese Herbal Medicine as their specialism will need to have a relevant TCM, scientific, medical or Chinese Herbal Medicine degree with clinical skills and under-pinning knowledge of Chinese Herbal Medicine equivalent to at least the first year of the Post-graduate Diploma in CHM.

Applicants with a Masters Degree in Western Medicine or other related disciplines, who are not trained professionals in the TCM field, must show that they will be able to conduct effective research within the field of Chinese Medicine.

Part time students will be expected to normally reside in Ireland or other parts of Europe for the majority of the post-graduate programme. Study visas for full time students are not available for this part-time programme.

How to apply

Applicants wishing to apply for the Doctoral programme must complete a Post-graduate Application form obtainable from The College Secretary or online as a pdf file. This must be completed and sent, with a covering letter, copies of prior qualifications and a passport-sized photograph, to the College Registrar of the ICTCM. An application fee, if required, must be enclosed with your application.

Academic references will be taken up for all applicants and proof of prior qualifications and experience will be required.

A good standard of both spoken and written English is an essential requirement for all candidates. An English language examination, or an interview in English, must be undertaken if demanded.

GUCM requires all applicants to sit its Entrance examination prior to starting the programme. Applicants from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan will be required to sit the Entrance examination in Guangzhou at the normal designated time of year (approximately March/April each year), and their applications must, therefore be received by October of the preceding year .

A fee will be charged for the GUCM examination (and for any additionally-stipulated English language examination).

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated November 16, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
3 years
Part time
China - Guangzhou
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Ireland - Dublin
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date July 17, 2020
Sept. 2018
Ireland - Dublin
Application deadline Request Info
End date July 17, 2020
China - Guangzhou
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info