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What does the School of Natural Medicine offer?

The School offers 5-year training programs in four disciplines of natural medicine:

  • Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
  • Naturopathy
  • Phytotherapy (Western Herbal Medicine)
  • Unani Tibb Medicine
The study of these disciplines is currently divided into two separate degrees. The first degree is a Bachelor of Science in Complementary Health Sciences, completed over three (3) years. This can be followed by Bachelor of Complementary Medicine (BCM) within your chosen discipline (listed above), completed over two (2) years.

What can be done with my BCM degree?

On successful completion of the course requirements, you will be able to register with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) as a Doctor within your studied discipline (e.g. Doctor of Phytotherapy). You can also register with the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) to obtain a practice number.

Registration with AHPCSA and BHF will allow you to enter private practice, and to earn a living from consultations and treatments of patients within your specific scope of practice as outlined by the AHPCSA and Department of Health. This will allow you the ability to take a medically relevant history, do a clinical examination, request special investigations (e.g. blood tests; X-rays), make a diagnosis and advise and treat the patient according to your specific discipline (scope of practice). You would be expected to legally and ethically appropriately manage disease process of patients within the private healthcare system.

Other opportunities may be the furthering your studies in the field of research and academics or obtaining work in the health-related industry where available.

Mission Statement of the School of Natural Medicine

The School of Natural Medicine at the University of the Western Cape aims to:

  • Provide training for the Natural Health Professions comparable with international standards which will enable graduates to meet the requirements for registration with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa.
  • Equip graduates with the skills to meet the primary health care needs in South Africa.
  • Prepare graduates to interact and work within a team of other health care practitioners in a responsible and professional manner.
  • Provide a foundation for continuous lifelong learning in the natural health professions, and the skills to pursue research within chosen professions.