Diploma in Herbal Medicine


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Diploma in Herbal Medicine

Why Oxford Learning College


Herbal medicine has been used throughout human traditions to treat both humans and their animals, and is as applicable today as in the past. Many cultures today remain far removed from access to a Doctor, or even if one is present prefer to take locally available remedies rather than man-made alternatives. Today, many medicines and scientific development of treatment are based on these past remedies or their derivatives, and herbal medicine has become more scientific. This course aims to provide an overview of the principles involved in the practice of herbal medicine today. What plants are used and how are they classified, so phytochemistry (the chemicals inside plants used in treatment) – plant terminology and its metabolism is widely covered.


Unit 1: The Principle and Practice of Herbal Medicine


The principles and practices in herbal medicine are based on a historic perspective, and include exploration of origins and philosophical contexts in which herbal medicine sits today. How did the use of herbs and holism develop, how are plants classified in botany and for use (many have tens, even hundreds of common names!) and the scientific perspective. Phytochemistry will be introduced and explored to explain how the use of plant products has developed and grown. Key and useful terminology useful in this field are introduced.


Unit 2: Molecules, metabolites and substances


Plants are unique in that they are primary producers – they can directly harness energy from the sun and are able to absorb nutrients from the soil or produce their own. Plant biology forms the basis therapeutic herbal use. The phytochemistry of plants is expanded in this module by introducing the structure and function of carbohydrates, lipids, terpenes and polyphenols. Plants are living things that contain groups of chemicals and methods for self-protections, and these qualities are often exactly what makes them ideal for use in herbal medicines.


Unit 3: Pharmacology, toxicity and contra-indications


Plants can be as toxic as they can be useful. Much of their use was discovered by trial and error, at times with disastrous consequences. Today we are able to understand more about drugs and compounds work; most react or affect the inside of the body. This unit explores the principles of pharmacology related to herbal medicine and uses examples to demonstrate pharmacological actions and contra-indications for use. This involves discussion about the safety – how and how much to use, and storage of herbal medicine, toxicity of certain substances and drug-herb interactions.



Unit 4: Formulation and preparation


The routes of administration and dosage depend on extraction methods and draws comparisons between different methods as well as exploring incompatibilities. Plants are used as a whole or in part in defined formula, and are obtained by maceration, percolation, infusion, water-based preparations, decocting, alcohol use, concentrations of herbs, and fluid extracts. They are administered as e.g. syrups and elixirs, emulsions, dry preparations. This will equip a practitioner with skills to select, prepare and administer the correct dose.


Unit 5: Treatment approaches and herbal actions


In order to prescribe plants in treatment, how they work, what they do and in what amounts is essential knowledge. A client assessment procedure is developed. Opportunity is provided to learn about the protocols in herbal medicine practice, how to select the correct therapeutic remedy through investigation of criteria, assessment of the impact of the herbs on individual clients, and what kinds of influencing factors need to be considered. Specific actions of herbs and how to apply models/ approaches of herbal medicine to therapeutic contexts is explored. Dosage, dose adjustments, formulation and prescribing are learned with units of measurement. This unit will also present information about the herbal actions (most have several impact and action) related to alterative, anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, bitter and other relevant remedies.


Unit 6: Body systems part 1 - Cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal


The structure, basic physiology and function of each of these anatomical systems is studied in order to identify common disorders and ailments that affect each, e.g. asthma, respiration and lung functions, . This learning can then be applied to help the herbal practitioner. It is not expected that every detail of this module is memorised, as one becomes more experienced, one will be able to prescribe and make recommendations naturally, confidently and easily.


Unit 7: Body systems part 2 - Digestive, immune, endocrine


The aim of this module is exactly the same as the previous and next module. Also immunity is covered in detail. Common illnesses range from stomach ache, indigestion, ulcers to irritable bowel syndrome to Diabetes and other hormone-related illnesses/ disorders.


Unit 8: Body systems part 3 - Central nervous, urinary, reproductive, skin


This module looks at the internal and external environment of the body. Once these system are studied and their associated disorders met, Herbal medicine can be used to treat anything from haemorrhages, to nerve damage, epilepsy, Dementia, Herpes, Impetigo, Eczema, acne, hypertension, renal failure, and a host of disorders and diseases related to Inheritance and the reproductive system.


Unit 9: Special groups


For any application there are special groups in society for whom the ‘norm’ does not apply. These are generally the elderly and the young. Here specific conditions such as childhood illnesses, diseases of the elderly are explored and considered in relation to herbal medicine practice such as doses and associated difficulties in use as, for example the skin is more sensitive. Therefore issue like ageing are considered and how they affect treatment. Also the most common disorders affecting these special groups will be addressed.


Unit 10: Materia Medica


The key knowledge of a learner and a practitioner is understand the best and safest use of plants in all their forms. Materia Medica forms the fundamental resource for herbal medicine practitioners. The Materia Medica covers the most commonly used plants, where they are found, a brief description of them and, their actions and preparation and dosages. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Practitioners will normally add to a Materia Medica and cross-link to those prepared by others as they become more experienced practitioners and it comprises a dynamic and on-going knowledge base and record of remedies used and their origins and actions.

CMA Registered

CMA Registered

Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above.

Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit

Assessment Method

Final online multiple choice examination.

Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.


Diploma in Herbal Medicine

This course is Quality Assured by the Quality Licence Scheme
Quality Assured by QLS

At the end of this course successful learners will receive an e-Certificate from Oxford Learning College. There is also the option to purchase an Embossed Certificate and also a certificate from ABC Awards for the qualification.

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners' and/or employers' requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers. Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

How can I progress

For more information on how to progress after completing this course, please click here

Additional Information

You will receive a certificate from the College. A digital version is included in the price and will be emailed to you within 5 days of taking your online exam.

Should you require an embossed hard copy of your certificate to be sent to you by Special Delivery post, you can order this separately after taking your exam.

The course can be enrolled upon by students Internationally. There are no deadlines for enrolments.

To view the differences between our qualifications, please click HERE

What's Included

Online study materials to enable the student to successfully complete the Diploma. Support is provided by the tutor department for the duration of the course (1 year). Certification upon completion. All examination fees.

Course Fee


Payment by Instalments

Students are able to pay course fees in monthly instalments. Click here to download our instalment plan.

Further Information

The Quality Assured Diploma is a Level 3 equivalent on the National Qualifications Framework. The Diploma is a 1 year course which is self study and is examined by online examination. The Diploma is awarded by Oxford College. Upon completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College.

The Level 3 Diplomas require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order to for students to manage study and the assumed knowledge within course content.

They provide an ability to gain and apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding in a specific subject at a detailed level. Level 3 qualifications such as A levels, NVQ3, BTEC Diplomas etc. are appropriate if you plan to progress to university study.

Level 3 Diploma courses can assist you in career development, continued professional development, personal development, and provision of a basis for further study.

Progression from Level 3 is to specialist learning and detailed analysis of a higher level of information (for example university level study, Diploma Level 5 study).

Your course is delivered online via the Oxford Learning On Campus website.

This is a flexible learning course, so the more time you have to commit to your studies, the sooner you are able to complete.

In the student 'On Campus' you are also able to take part in the student chat room and forums as part of our online student community.

After enrolling online you will receive your username and password to access the On Campus area within 3 working days.

Materials and support provided by Oxford Learning. Oxford Learning

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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 26 August, 2011.

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