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Subject area:    Complementary Health / Wellness Studies Bachelor, Master, Doctorate   


Awarding body:            Calamus International University.  For further details of CIU please see the about page.


Status of course:          The degrees are non-UK qualifications. For status of CIU please see the status page.  CIU is accredited by the International Association for Distance Learning.  


Entry requirements:       Bachelor - by accelerated entry - approx. 50% credit from previous studies and/or experience needed for entry.
                                    Master -  a suitable bachelor's degree or professional qualifications are normally required.
                                    Doctorate -  a Bachelor's degree (and preferably a Master's) plus professional qualifications are normally required.


Method of study:            Distance learning ( taught course units are textbook-based)  Textbooks are not included in tuition fees. 


Start date:                         Any time of year (subject to availability)


Duration:                           The standard period of registration for an accelerated (advanced-entry) Bachelor's degree, a Master's degree or a Doctorate is a maximum of 18 months, after which registration lapses unless continuing registration fees are paid.  This plan ensures that students can (a) complete as soon as academic requirements are fulfilled and (b) do not have to pay for long compulsory registration periods of several years before the final requirements can be met.  In some cases, where the student needs to meet additional requirements, the agreed initial registration period will be up to 24 months.




This brochure should be read together with the Calamus general prospectus (catalogue) and Course Unit List.  Calamus International University degrees are not UK degrees and do not have government accreditation.  

Complementary Health / Wellness Studies

Entry requirements

To enter one of these degree courses you should normally be a qualified practitioner in one or more complementary health disciplines, or to have a health-relevant qualification such as nursing, paramedic, medical social worker, etc. Alternatively, you need to be able to show previous study of complementary health or wellness fields, or concurrent enrolment on a local or distance learning practitioner training course.  If you do not meet these requirements but have a strong interest in enrolling, for example out of personal interest, you are welcome to contact us with your CV/resume for further discussion.

Subject areas

Your syllabus will be built around the course units we offer in fields such as anatomy/physiology for complementary therapists, overviews of various therapies such as aromatherapy / massage / reflexology / nutrition, theory of vibrational or energetic medicine, energy psychology, counselling, stress management, hypnotherapy, NLP, healing studies, Reiki, spirituality, consciousness, biology of belief, and courses to help the complementary practitioner understand various conventional topics including awareness of psychiatric drugs and of various conditions.


The actual course units you will take are subject to individual negotiation according to your interests and the subjects covered by your previous credit. It is possible for the degree study plan to include some independent study, and for additional units to be created (subject to approval) in your areas of interest.  

Bachelor’s degrees

The distance degree Bachelor’s programmes in Complementary Health Studies, Healing Studies or Wellness Studies validated by Calamus International University (non-UK degrees) are meant for students who already have a significant amount of credit (from other courses, studies and experience) to put towards the degree; this allows the degree to be completed within reasonable time, usually about 18 to 24 months, though people with extensive credit could complete in less time.

Since we do not adhere to a traditional academic year, it is possible to enrol and start your course at any time.

A certain amount of general credit towards the degree may be allowed for further and adult education especially that related to complementary health and wellness, as well as practitioner experience. If you would like an estimate of your credit towards a Bachelor’s degree, please let us have your curriculum vitae or resume with full details of all courses/trainings taken including number of contact hours/hours of study per course.


The Bachelor’s degree may be taken for professional development or for personal interest.  However, it is not in itself a qualification to practise any field of complementary medicine, although the principles and theory of various types of complementary medicine may be taught.  The Bachelor’s degree is not meant to enable you to set up in private practice: for this you need practical training and certifications in the fields that interest you.  You will need to take such practical training with suitable professional schools, and not with us. Our non-UK degree programmes are primarily for those who are already qualified and practising, who would like a degree to add to their qualifications.


CIU degrees are not in themselves intended to satisfy the membership criteria of  professional organisations in the field of complementary medicine. If you are seeking membership of a professional organisation, it should normally be on the strength of the practitioner certificates or diplomas you have obtained, with CIU degree(s) mentioned as supplementary or professional development qualifications.  It is possible to take the BSc in parallel with any practical training you are going, and to get credit for such training.


If you do not have a portfolio of credit or existing qualifications, you could start by doing both of the above diplomas, and then transfer into a Bachelor’s degree by advanced entry.  However, such a programme would cost more overall than the accelerated Bachelor’s degree.


If you are not qualified in any complementary therapy but are considering entering the field and unsure what therapy to specialise in, the Bachelor's programme can afford an opportunity to learn about the background to complementary therapies as well as to become informed about various therapeutic approaches. This knowledge may help you decide upon the direction of your professional training(s).

Master’s degrees

On completion of the Bachelor’s in Complementary Health Studies/ Wellness Studies/ Healing Studies you will be entitled to apply for a suitable Master’s degree with Calamus.  Master’s degrees you could go on to include Wellness Studies, Hypnotherapy (if you are a qualified hypnotherapist), Stress Management, Healing Studies, Personal Development and Counselling Psychology. We also welcome Master's applications from people with Bachelor's degrees from other colleges.

Doctoral Degrees

CIU does not award Doctoral degrees in Naturopathy because these might be confused with American N.D. degrees.  However, there is a Doctor of Holistic Studies degree available, and also a Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy. Those degrees are not practitioner trainings in themselves, but are advanced degrees for those who are already practising in relevant disciplines.


The degree of Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) is available by research and dissertation, subject to the availability of a supervisor or mentor for your area of study.


We are able to offer Ph.D. research programmes (by research and dissertation only) in Homeopathy, Medical Herbalism, Energy Medicine, and Oriental Medicine, for suitably qualified and experienced practitioners. Ph.D. research in related areas might be available subject to availability of supervision.


Finally we have introduced the degrees of Doctor of Alternative Medicine (A.M.D.) and Doctor of Oriental Medicine (O.M.D.) by research and dissertation. These degrees are for highly qualified and experienced practitioners only who will already have at least a Master's degree and preferably an existing doctorate. UK and EU candidates for the A.M.D. or O.M.D. must have an accredited medical degree or equivalent and such candidates will usually be medical doctors, fully licensed to practice medicine, who have or are considering taking up a wholly complementary, Oriental or naturopathic practice. Such candidates should also have professional training in complementary disciplines.

Combined degrees (Bachelor/Master or Master/Doctorate)

Suitable candidates who would normally have extensive prior qualifications and/or transfer credit are welcome to discuss applying for a combined degree programme which could have the benefit of significant savings in tuition fees and some saving in completion time.  The typical combined degree candidate has almost completed the equivalent of the first level of the degree plan that they are seeking.


Use of titles


It is important not to use any doctoral degree (whether from Calamus International University or elsewhere) in a way that suggests you might be a medical doctor. We suggest that all "alternative" or "complementary" doctoral graduates from any university of health studies make the nature of their degrees clear by having statements such as "I am not a medical doctor - I have an alternative doctoral degree in X from Y university".  Also, "Dr." should not be put before your name for the purpose of advertising health services or treating clients. We also urge all practitioners to follow the guidelines of their professional associations on this matter, and to abide by any relevant laws or regulations. The better professional associations are usually able to advise on the correct etiquette for presenting educational qualifications. 



If the student does not have enough credit for an accelerated route, we can give specialized advice regarding a route to the Calamus International University non-UK Bachelor’s degree upon seeing your resume or CV. For further advice on eligibility and credit transfer, please let us have your CV or resume.


Likewise, it might be possible to enter the Master's degree directly, without a Bachelor's, or in highly exceptional circumstances, to enter a doctoral degree directly or with some preparatory courses.



Credit requirements


Bachelor -  120 credits including transfer credits.

Master -  45 credits including any transfer credits if the degree includes a thesis, or 48 credits without a thesis.

Doctorate (taught or research) - minimum 60 credits including any transfer credits if the degree includes a dissertation, or 70 credits without a dissertation.  The Ph.D. must include a dissertation.  A research doctorate will normally incorporate postgraduate transfer credits or credits from professional trainings.  If insufficient transfer credit is available then some CIU taught course modules may need to be taken in addition to the research programme and dissertation.


One credit is nominally equivalent to one semester hour as in the typical American degree programme. The average course unit taken with CIU has a value of 3 credits or 3 semester hours.




Further advice


This brochure cannot cover everything, and further advice is available on enquiry. For best advice, please send us a copy of your curriculum vitae or resume with details of all relevant trainings you have done.

To see our prospectus and course unit list, and also to download an application form, please go to our downloads page

To see our tuition fees on-line please go to our tuition fees page

Calamus International University which awards the degrees is not a UK or US university - for status details click here.

If you have any queries please contact us, preferably by email on

Page updated 21 April 2011

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