The Licentiate is designed to prepare the student for clinical practice as a Medical Herbalist in the tradition of Master Herbalism. As such it covers the subject of herbal medicine in depth with a particular emphasis on the use of Irish herbs.
There is a growing demand for this kind of professional service as people return to safer, more effective and less invasive forms of healing. While the primary emphasis of this course is on herbalism, natural healing protocols, vitalist nutrition and detoxification regimes are also covered. Master Herbalists use Iridology as the health assessment tool and students become qualified in this modality during the first two years of the course. Iridology is a natural non invasive diagnostic tool. It is used to suggest a particular healing regime for each patient. This assessment tool points to the key areas of the emotional and physical health of a person that may need attention and suggests specific methods of treatment.
Most people who take part in this course are mature and often in full time employment, raising a family or both. With this in mind the academic content of the course is delivered entirely through on-line learning allowing for the face-to-face experiences of the student to be entirely dedicated to clinical training.
The college places great emphasis on clinical training and the course is essentially built around the apprenticeship model. Clinical training is provided by the college at its busy herbal clinic at the Old Rectory in Portlaoise and also in Maynooth University Conference Centre.
"Clinical training is by far the most important component of any professional training in medicine or natural healing. It allows the student to experience the reality of working in a clinic and dispensing herbal medicines"
Apart from the required subjects such as plant chemistry, botany and human and clinical sciences, vitalist nutritional principles or the belief that plant based and living food is optimal for health is central to the teaching of Master Herbalism.
On completion of the first two years of the Herbal Medicine Programme, students can be awarded the Vitalist Nutrition Diploma allowing them to start practicing as a Nutritionist and Iridologist. This means that they can also use the herbal knowledge they have gained to recommend their patients to use herbal products available in health food stores, alongside specific dietary and lifestyle advice. In order to be qualified to dispense and to practice as a Master Herbalist, students must complete the full four year programme.
Extra Curricular Activity
Extra curricular activities such as herb identification trips are organised each year. In the past the College has offered many trips to Tuscany in Italy to see the largest museum of herbal medicine in Europe. Students also visit an organic herb preparation facility which has eighteen hundred acres of herb growing.
The Master Herbalist Programme is part-time in terms of attendance. In terms of study however, it is equivalent in commitment to a full time course. The academic content of the course is entirely delivered on-line. The course is designed with the maximum use of on-line resources including: podcasts, videos and discussion forums. Students are assigned a personal tutor who is in charge of moderating student groups and online activities and is always available to deal with students queries.
Because of the on-line nature of the course delivery attendance at the school’s clinic and at the conference centre in Maynooth is dedicated to the completion of the 600 clinical training hours required by the programme. Each academic year a student is required to attend an average of twelve days in the School’s clinic in Portlaoise and three weekends in Maynooth University Conference and Accommodation Centre.
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On successful completion of the course, the examination and clinical training, students will receive a Licentiate in Master Herbalism from the Irish School of Herbal Medicine. Graduates can join The Irish Association of Master Medical Herbalists.
Study fees are €3,250 per year. This includes full clinical training each year. An optional payment plan is available on request.
To register for a place on the course applicants should first arrange an interview with the Course Director. Places are allocated based on this interview/discussion during which students can also have further questions answered. To progress this process, please fill the application form at the end of this page.
Questions and Answers
Here are some common answers
How many days of clinical training must I attend yearly?
I am not living in Ireland. Will it be possible for me to complete the programme?
Are there any extra classes that are compulsory?
What is the nature of the online learning?
How are my studies assessed?
What is the nature of the qualification I will be awarded at the end of the programme and what does it allow me to do?
Can I use my qualification to practise abroad?