Structure 2018-05-30T19:31:13+00:00

Certificate & Diploma Herbal Medicine Courses NZ

Herbal Medicine Course Structure

Through multi-platform, immersive online herbal education courses, with careful assessment and strong support, we have created clinically relevant learning journeys to help the student achieve their goals, whether that be learning how to be an effective medicine-woman or medicine-man for their family and people, all the way up to learning how to become a good, safe and effective medical herbalist for their wider community.

Estimated Time

The estimated time required for study is going to vary a great deal, because it depends on the student’s speed and ease in absorbing new ideas and information. This estimate includes time for watching videos, listening to audios, reading books, completing assignments, as well as equally important time for reflection, personal experimenting and practicing the work.

Certificate of Herbal Medicine

12 hours a week over 6 months (Distance learning)

Diploma in Medical Herbalism

12-18 hours a week over approximately 2 years (Distance learning)

Diploma in Clinical Herbalism 

Immersive workshops & Case studies over approximately 1 year (Blended learning, includes face-to-face workshops)


The Diploma is achieved through 4 key learning streams

  1. Educational Videos
  2. Paul Bergner’s lectures
  3. Guided study of specified texts
  4. Experiential workshops

There are three ways in which Diploma students will be assessed

  1. Assignments
  2. Exams
  3. Case-studies

Students are further supported in two key ways

  1. The forum
  2. Mentoring

Herbal Medicine Courses – the 4 streams of learning

The Certificates and the Diplomas are achieved through 4 key learning streams

  1. Educational Videos
  2. Paul Bergner’s lectures
  3. Guided study of specified texts
  4. Immersive workshops

1) Educational videos

Richard Whelan presents a series of educational videos on numerous, clinically relevant and diverse topics. A great deal of valuable knowledge can be clearly conveyed in this method and the material can be easily revised if and when needed.

2) Paul Bergner’s lectures

We are delighted to be closely collaborating with world-renowned herbalist and educator, Paul Bergner, for the presentation of our Diploma. As well as being active on our faculty and forum, all of Paul’s lectures, personal writings and vast library of classic texts are included in our course and may be listened to, read and revised whenever it suits.

3) Guided study of specified texts

With great care, we have selected a number of excellent herbals and health-science books to begin a core library for the future medical herbalist. We want our students to develop familiarity and understanding of these books, but we are not expecting rote learning or mass memorisation. A medical herbalist is a student for life, learning how to learn and knowing the right questions is more important than having all the answers. The required texts are available on application to the course.

4) Immersive workshops

If and when a student has completed the certificate and is at least well on their way to working through the Diploma in Medical Herbalism, they will be eligible to attend in-person immersive workshops held in Christchurch, New Zealand to learn skills and develop experience towards getting their Diploma in Clinical Herbalism.


Certificate of Herbal Medicine students only need to complete their assignment work in order to pass their course.

Diploma students will be assessed in three ways

  1. Assignments
  2. Exams
  3. Case-studies

1) Assignments

The course material includes assignments from the Certificate level onwards. As the student progresses into the Diploma level, personalised learning assignments are given to meet the individual student’s needs to increase their knowledge or experience in certain areas.

2) Exams

There will be two written exams during the Diploma of Medical Herbalism. One in the middle of the course and one at the end.

Exams will be organised via invigilation and ‘honesty contracts’ at the home of a person known to the student. Common themes will be, for example

  1. Describe the actions, doses, indications, cautions and combinations for the following herbs…
  2. Discuss and describe how you would investigate and treat a person with the following presentation…
  3. Questions to demonstrate understanding of the herbals and allied texts

3) Case-Studies

Students of the Diploma of Medical Herbalism will need to complete at least 12 case studies, each having at least one follow up visit.

Students of the Diploma of Clinical Herbalism students will need to complete at least a further 20 case studies, each having at least one follow-up visit. As well as comprehensive notes to support their process with the case-studies, a video recording of a minimum of 2 new patient intakes will be required in the Clinical Herbalism course so that we can assess the student’s competency to practice in as unobtrusive but live a setting as possible.


Students are supported in two key ways

  1. Forum
  2. Mentoring


The forum is an open, friendly place to ask questions and share experiences, resources and case studies. The teachers will regularly come on to the forum to participate and students are also encouraged to share their points of view and to learn from each other.


No two practitioners of natural medicine are ever the same. Likewise, it is understood that each student will have their own unique path to becoming a good herbalist.

Individual mentoring is a vital part of the Diploma courses and, as the journey progresses, students will be directed towards further learning assignments in the areas that they and we identify as needing more attention. 

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