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 a good herbalist for their friends, family and extended circle, 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 ability to commit their time to the process as well as their speed in absorbing new ideas and information. The broad estimates below are based on an assumption that the student will be continuing to work to at least some degree and that their study time will be in addition to this.

Time for study includes watching videos, listening to audios, reading books, completing assignments and engaging in experiential learning. Some students, especially if they can commit a lot more time to their study, will be able to complete our courses faster. Some students, because of their work or other commitments, will take longer to complete our courses. It is no problem either way.

Certificate in Herbal Medicine

6 to 18 months. 

Diploma of Medical Herbalism

18 months to 4 years. More details on the Diploma Curriculum can be found here

Herbal Medicine dispensary tincture bottles and shelves

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 making equipment, this is a hydrometer to determine alcohol content for making tinctures
SIMH herbal texts for study

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 Courses
  3. Recommended Reading 
  4. Experiential learning

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 Courses

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) Recommended Reading

With great care, we have selected a number of excellent 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. 

4) Experiential Learning 

From the first lessons in the Certificate in Herbal Medicine, and all the way through the Diploma, there is a strong emphasis on the importance of personal, experiential learning. Getting to know the plants through spending time with them, understanding the healing force of nature by personal observations, engaging with health and healing in a way that makes sense at an experiential level, will be of much help when it comes time to put knowledge into practice. 

In-Person Workshops

SIMH hosted our first immersive workshop in Christchurch in April 2021. The workshop went for four days and was designed with the intention to help develop confidence in those clinical skills that are best learned by practice. Those attending were students deeply passionate and committed to the path of Herbal Medicine with the great majority already doing, or going on to do the SIMH Diploma. The feedback we received highlighted that the time was well spent and the knowledge, community and sharing was highly valuable and appreciated. We look forward to holding more workshops in the future!

Future Events

The next workshop, to be held in September 2021, is now fully booked, but we plan to run a workshop at least once or twice a year. These workshops are highly valuable for all those SIMH students whom have a deep commitment to the path of herbal medicine with an intent to complete the Diploma program and go on to become medical herbalists within their communities.

Image of students having a cup of tea, SIMH encourages support networks between students, as well as personal support and mentoring for students.
Echinacea purpurea flower with a bee on it, growing in New Zealand


Certificate students only need to complete the comprehensive assignment work in each of the three coursebooks in order to achieve their Certificate of Herbal Medicine

Diploma students also have comprehensive assignment work to complete. They will also receive assessment via research projects, written exams, case-studies and personal mentoring. Again, more details are in the Diploma Curriculum found here


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. Danielle also runs a regular, live and informal student gathering through a free, online video platform that all students are welcome to participate in. 


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, safe and effective herbalist.

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

Image of students having a cup of tea, SIMH encourages support networks between students, as well as personal support and mentoring for students.
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