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Chiropractor: Entry requirements

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The title chiropractor is protected under law and all UK-based chiropractors must be registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) , the statutory body responsible for regulating the practice of chiropractic in the UK.

The GCC sets the standard of education in chiropractic and all chiropractors must have graduated from a degree programme recognised by the GCC before being accepted onto the GCC register.

There are currently four GCC-recognised courses in the UK:

  • AECC Chiropractic College  in Bournemouth offers an MSc Chiropractic - a five-year programme based on the European model of three years plus two, with a BSc Human Sciences forming the first three years followed by the two-year MSc.
  • McTimoney College of Chiropractic , based in Oxfordshire, offers two recognised programmes - a four-year and a five-year Integrated Masters in Chiropractic (MChiro) programme validated by BPP University College.
  • The Welsh Institute of Chiropractic  at the University of Glamorgan offers a four-year undergraduate integrated Master of Chiropractic (MChiro) degree.

The courses cover subjects such as anatomy, biomechanics, pathology, physiology, orthopaedics and diagnosis, as well as practical training in adjustment and supervised clinical training. All programmes have a final clinic year.

Entry requirements are usually three A-levels, two of which should be in sciences, particularly biology or biological sciences, or a relevant higher qualification. In addition to having some knowledge of basic science, you should have experienced a chiropractic treatment. Entry requirements may vary between institutions. Check individual courses for full details.

Some colleges provide one-year foundation programmes for applicants without the usual entry qualifications. Successful completion of the foundation year provides a route for entry to the degree qualification.

You may find it useful to spend time observing in a clinical chiropractic setting before applying.

Candidates will need to show evidence of the following:

  • a real interest in chiropractic;
  • the ability to cope with the intellectual and physical demands of the training and the profession;
  • strong communication and interpersonal skills;
  • good listening skills;
  • an enquiring and critical mind;
  • a logical approach to problem-solving;
  • sensitivity, empathy and discretion.

A driving licence is also useful for travel between practices.

If you are self-employed you will also need commercial and marketing skills in order to build your business.

Those wishing to enter the GCC register following successful completion of a recognised degree programme must satisfy the GCC that they are of good character; chiropractic is a notifiable occupation, which means that candidates are required to provide a criminal record disclosure. They must also satisfy the GCC that they are physically and mentally fit and have professional indemnity insurance cover of at least £3million.

For more information, see work experience and internships and search courses and research.

Written by AGCAS editors
February 2013

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