Course at a glance

CMA Registered


This diploma is designed for those who are interested in herbal medicines. You will review 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.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will have an opportunity to review the practice of herbal medicine.
  • Explore what ingredients are used to make medicines
  • What the medicines treat
  • How the medicines help the body to heal.

This course consists of TEN units and is a qualification awarded by Oxford Learning College, in its own right; with the quality assurance of a leading awarding body (CIE Global) that hallmarks this professional qualification.

Assessment Objectives (AO)

AO: 1

Students must select and demonstrate clearly relevant knowledge and understanding through the use of evidence, examples and correct language and terminology appropriate to the course of study. This assessment, involves two written assignments: one halfway through the course and following the final unit. Both are assessed and graded by the assigned tutor, according to college procedures. The grading procedure if Pass or Fail. If you Fail an assessment you have the opportunity to amend where your tutor has highlighted and resubmit.

AO: 2

Students must critically evaluate and justify a point of view through the use of evidence and reasoned argument. Students can include evidence in different formats to support their written work such as documentation or images to support their course remembering Confidentiality and Data Protection.

Quality of Written Communication (QWC)

In addition, OLC require students’ to produce written material in English, candidates must: ensure that text is legible and that spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPG) are accurate so that meaning is clear; select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to studying a complex subject matter; organise information clearly and coherently, using specialist vocabulary when appropriate and Harvard referencing of citation and sources. In this Specification, SPG will be assessed in all tutor marked assignments (TMAs)

To ensure that we maintain quality standards; all our students written assignments are subject to our plagiarism policy and procedure.

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma Entry Requirement

Entry to this Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.


The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations.

Study Hours

Approximately: 200 hours of personal study time for the entire course is recommended. All of which is supported by the OLC Course Tutor, who we greatly encourage students to access support from throughout their course.

Quality Assurance

This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. It is also part of the College’s validated level three Diplomas’, recognised internationally, as verified and moderated Centre for Interactive Education (CIE Global). Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma Course Length

1 Year.

Awarding Body


Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma Course Content

The whole level three diploma has TEN (10) specific units of study, which are sub-divided into topic areas these are:

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma Unit 1: The Principle and Practice of Herbal Medicine

The first unit introduces 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.

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma 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.

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma 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.

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma 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.

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma 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.

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma 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.

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma 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.

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma 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.

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma 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.

Accredited Level 3 Herbal Medicine Diploma 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.


This course can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.