Foundation

Foundation

The Heartwood Foundation Course

The Heartwood Foundation Course is made up of 12 online Units offering a broad introduction to the field of Herbal Medicine, with emphasis on the practical use of herbs to deal with common ailments.
The course is assessed using a variety of methods including online quizzes and project tasks, and an award certificate and online badge are given to those that complete all 12 Units. Learners who successfully finish all tasks, quizzes and assignments are able to apply for a place on the Heartwood Professional Course.

Video presentations are augmented by real-time monthly webinars, comprehensive PDF guides, and a variety of other learning materials (including a booklet on “Herbal Medicine and First Aid”).

You can find dates and fees for the course under Practical information below

Curriculum outline:

FC1

Introduction – the history, scope and philosophy of plant-based medicine

This unit touches on many different approaches to the art, and includes consideration of -

  • the safety and effectiveness of herbal medicine
  • how it is regulated and overseen
  • the extent to which it could be said to be ‘evidence-based’

FC2

Plant science

  • introduction to plant classification
  • introduction to plant anatomy
  • introduction to the basic pharmacology of the main plant families

FC3

Human science 1 (anatomy and physiology)

A systematic review of the structure and function of the human body.

FC4

Herbal Medicine 1

The first of three Materia Medica units, each of which includes consideration of 5 common medicinal plants. In this Unit we consider -

  • Fennel
  • Chamomile
  • Elder
  • Lemon Balm
  • Meadowsweet

FC5

Human Science 2 (physiology and comparative nutrition)

A review of the main nutrient classes (carbohydrate, fat, protein, water soluble vitamins, fat soluble vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and essential fatty acids) and their relevance to human health. This unit does not present any specific approach to diet, but includes general reference to widely accepted principles of healthy eating.

FC6

Herbal Medicine 2

  • Hawthorn
  • Marigold
  • Lime Blossom
  • Lavender
  • Nettle

FC7

Human science 3 (introduction to pathophysiology)

A systematic review of the changes that occur in healthy tissue when the body is exposed to factors that provoke illness, and how various body systems, organs and tissues combine to mount a healing response.

FC8

Herbal Medicine 3

  • Thyme
  • Marshmallow
  • Yarrow
  • Cleavers
  • Dandelion

FC9

Taking an in-depth look at commonly seen conditions by the medical herbalist and other primary Health Care workers.

In unit 9, you will:

  • Learn the broad concepts of conventional pathophysiology, of URTI's, sinusitis and gastro-oesophageal reflux.
  • Learn about each condition from a Western herbal medicine viewpoint, and how herbal medicines are not applied to the patient as if they are natural versions of conventional drugs.
  • Learn what you can do for yourself in terms of changes to diet and lifestyle, and the role of domestic medicine.
  • Have the opportunity to make a medicinal compound, and test your understanding of the actions of the 15 herbs we have studied in this Foundation Course.

FC10

Taking an in-depth look at commonly seen conditions by the medical herbalist and other primary Health Care workers.

In unit 10, you will:

  • Learn the broad concepts of conventional pathophysiology, of osteorarthritis and insomnia.
  • Learn about each condition from a Western herbal medicine viewpoint, and how herbal medicines are not applied to the patient as if they are natural versions of conventional drugs.
  • Learn what you can do for yourself in terms of changes to diet and lifestyle, and the role of domestic medicine.
  • Have the opportunity to make a medicinal compound, and test your understanding of the actions of the 15 herbs we have studied in this Foundation Course.

FC11

Taking an in-depth look at commonly seen conditions by the medical herbalist and other primary Health Care workers.

In unit 11, you will:

  • Learn the broad concepts of conventional pathophysiology, of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and commonly encountered skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
  • Learn about each condition from a Western herbal medicine viewpoint, and how herbal medicines are not applied to the patient as if they are natural versions of conventional drugs.
  • Learn what you can do for yourself in terms of changes to diet and lifestyle, and the role of domestic medicine.
  • Have the opportunity to make a medicinal compound, and test your understanding of the actions of the 15 herbs we have studied in this Foundation Course.

FC12

In this final unit we draw together ideas and concepts from the previous units and unite them into a cohesive whole.

You will:

  • Have the opportunity to complete your personal plant project.
  • Be introduced to further concepts underpinning herbal medicine suchs as how our co-evolution with plants has altered our genome, making herbal medicine a safe option for most people.

Study methods:

The delivery of this course takes place through a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) called Moodle.

A range of learning and teaching activities take place via this online delivery platform including -

  • Detailed monthly lessons, embedded into the delivery platform, featuring filmed tuition by expert practitioners and underpinned by text, graphics and other additional files and links
  • Signpost sessions comprising film and text guidance on progression through the course, assessment (where applicable), and the timing of feedback
  • Monthly real-time webinars offering guidance on all matters relating to the course
  • Bespoke filmed interviews with internationally renowned practitioners, supporting the learning aims of the course
  • Opportunity for students to collaborate on line via BigBlueButton, our high-quality, open source web-conferencing system.

All video materials are accompanied by downloadable slide presentations, notes and other break-out materials, including photos, public domain audio and video snippets, and relevant 3rd-party links

Foundation Course – Practical Information

Aspect Detail
Start date Every 3 months, in March, June, September and December.
Duration One year
Entry criteria Open to all
Enrolment To register your interest please visit https://heartwood-uk.net/home/fc/step1 and fill in the online form.
Number of Units 12
Study hours 120
Assessment methods Online quizzes and written assignments. Students are also expected to complete a variety of additional online tasks (see 'completion' including the creation of a final herbal monograph
Completion criteria • Quizzes – 75% average across all quizzes (10 attempts allowed, highest score logged)
• Webinars – participate in or view 10 webinars
• Make regular contributions to a botanical/medical glossary
• Produce written assignments
• Tasting and reporting (organoleptic analysis)
• Forum tasks
Price per Unit (course consists of 12 Units) £30
Discounted price (when whole course purchased in advance) £300
Award Certificate of Completion and online badges.
Opportunities for further study Learners who successfully complete all tasks, quizzes and assignments will be able to apply for a place on the Professional Course. Applicants for the Professional Course will normally have 4 GCSE passes at Grade A-C, or equivalent, but each application is considered on an individual basis.

Course FAQs

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How much are the fees?

The fees are £300 if prepaid in full, or £30 per month per unit (12 units in total).

Can I complete it in less than a year?

No, a unit is released each month for 12 months.

What equipment do I need?

A small hand lens and tea making equipment.

Do I need a garden?

No, herb samples may be purchased online to assist with course content.

Is it all online?

Yes, all lessons are delivered and assignments submitted via our online Learning Management System. You may from time to time receive invitations to attend one-day events at the Heartwood Physic Garden in East Sussex covering a variety of topics of special interest, but attendance at these events is not compulsory and they do not form part of the Foundation Course curriculum.

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What is assessed / not assessed?

Students looking to proceed to study on the Heartwood Professional Course, and those wanting detailed feedback on their assignments, follow an assessed pathway involving various tasks and quizzes.

Successful assessed completion of the Foundation Course involves A) attending (or viewing a recording of) a minimum of 10 out of the 12 monthly live webinars and B) completing and submitting all Unit assignments for grading. Some students choose to opt out of all assignments and webinars, and thus their work is not assessed.

Will I be able to sell my own products legally?

It depends on what your products are.

You cannot make any medicinal claims about products that you sell unless you have followed specific procedures.

For further guidance, see: 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/872742/GN8_FINAL_10_03_2020__combined_.pdf and

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-traditional-herbal-registration-thr

Will I learn how to grow/forage plants?

Not directly, but you may from time to time receive invitations to attend one-day events at the Heartwood Physic Garden in East Sussex covering a variety of topics of special interest.

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Do I have to attend every webinar?

All webinars are recorded and archived and are available to view at any time during the course. When you view a recorded webinar, that fact that you have watched it is logged on the Learning Management System and counts as attendance for assessment purposes.

Will I be able to prescribe herbs once I complete the course?

It is Heartwood’s strict policy that only qualified and insured medical herbalists who have completed a full professional training in herbal medicine - and who belong to a recognised professional practitioner organisation - should prescribe herbal medicines.

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Once completed will I definitely be able to join the Professional Course?

Entry criteria for the Professional Course are as follows:

A) Successful completion of all 12 Units of the Heartwood Foundation Course (or equivalent)

B) 4 GCSEs at grades A-C / grade 4 or above (including English, Maths and a Science); or BTEC Level 2/First Diploma (in a relevant subject with merit or distinction); or NVQ Level 2; or equivalent Level 2 qualification.

C) Those without GCSE English at grade C / grade 4 or above need to offer proof of proficiency in English, for example:

  • Cambridge Advanced Certificate (CAE) / Cambridge C1 Advanced - 185 overall with a minimum of 176 in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) / Cambridge C2 Proficiency - 185 overall with a minimum of 176 in each skill
  • IELTS (Academic) - 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in each skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - 69 overall with a minimum of 62 in each communicative skill
  • TOEFL iBT Institution code: 0394 - 100 overall with a minimum of 25 in writing and 23 in each of the other skills
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE) - Level III (ISEIII) with merit in each skill

Note: Applications from those over 21 with an existing qualification and/or experience in another therapeutic discipline are considered for course entry on a case-by-case basis.

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Will I receive a certificate?

Yes, a certificate of completion will be awarded at the end of the course.

 

Foundation Course leader Anita Ralph says:

"I am excited about being involved in the Heartwood Foundation Course as it is a wonderful way to reach out to people who are interested in exploring concepts and ideas within herbal medicine, but do not know where to access high quality, professionally authored content. Open to all, whether for professional or personal reasons, the course is egalitarian, interactive, informative and hopefully extremely interesting! Herbal medicine is unique in its diversity, and plants with the capacity for healing have had strong cultural significance for all peoples at all times in history. They have colour, fragrance and beauty, and often feature at landmark moments in our lives. They also fuel our scientific fascination for understanding plant-derived chemicals and their potential positive impact on our health and our environment.”

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ANITA RALPH MSc MNIMH MCPP

Senior Tutor Mary Tassell comments:

“For me, herbal medicine represents the inherent right of everyone to care for and provide healing for themselves and those they love. From the simplest herbal home remedy to the most complex and scientifically researched bespoke prescription, the practice of herbal medicine offers us the opportunity to connect with the environment in which we live with both insight and intelligence. I am very happy to have the chance to be involved in Heartwood, and to ensure that access to such a fundamental form of medicine continues to be made available to all at a high standard.”

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MARY TASSELL MSc, MNIMH

Visit our online clinic

Heartwood Professional Course in Herbal Medicine

Online Student Clinic

Originally conceived to provide quality clinical training for our final year students during the Covid-19 restrictions, Heartwood Education are now able to offer appointments in our online student clinic to all.

Consultations are taken by final year students, but each session and all treatment is overseen throughout by an experienced qualified herbalist.

Consultations take place via a secure video call (rather like Zoom or Skype), and access to the consultation is restricted to Heartwood students, Heartwood herbalists and you. You will only see the supervising herbalist and the student practitioner involved in taking your case, and it is very helpful if you also use your webcam so that they can see you too.

To book, or find out more, visit https://10to8.com/book/heartwoodonline/

Accessing your online clinic sessions

On the day of your appointment, you will be emailed a secure private link to the online session 10-15 minutes before your appointment time to enable you to access the online Clinic room. We find that Chrome or Firefox web browsers work best - Safari and Internet Explorer don’t seem to work very well, and sometimes not at all.

The consultation part of your appointment takes up to an hour and a half, and you will be asked to return to the clinic session again - approximately two hours after the end of your appointment - for the clinical student and the supervising herbalist to explain your treatment plan, and to organise how you will receive your herbal medicines.

If you live outside of the UK, the supervising herbalist will explain how you can obtain the required herbal medicines locally.


Costs

There is a non-refundable £10.00 booking fee for each consultation, but no charge for the consultation itself. Any medicines prescribed are dispensed by the professional herbalist overseeing your consultation. The cost of medicines is usually between £5 and £25 per week, with an average of about £12 per week (excluding postage and packing). A course of treatment usually lasts between 6 and 12 weeks. The practitioner will always seek to reduce the cost of medicines in cases of financial hardship.Medicines will be posted to you directly, and payments can be made online.

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