TCM Master Study Programme

Curriculum – TCM Master Study Programme

The scientific model on which our TCM master study programme is based is the first which was acknowledged by the Chinese government. According to them it is „the future model to integrate Chinese Medicine in Western health care systems and research”.

With the modules of the study programme which you can do in Porto and the world-renowned university city of Heidelberg you always also obtain so-called Credit Points. These are acknowledged by universities throughout Europe and also by universities in the USA.

In the 1st semester you learn the basics of the phases as a regulatory system (link to video). This course takes up essential theories of the Yellow Emperor’s classic of internal diseases (Huangdi neijing) and explains their scientific significance. This gives you a clear and comprehensible understanding of Chinese Medicine as a model of system biology right from the beginning.

In the 2nd semester you get to know another fundamental classic of Chinese Medicine. You will be introduced to the contents of the textbook on cold-induced diseases, the Shang Han Lun, as a theoretically well-founded basis of therapy which is of utmost efficiency in clinical practice.

Indispensable for all who work in the field of pain management and chronic diseases.

In the 3rd semester the focus is on the fundamentals of pharmacology and dietetics as well as the specific vector theory of the vegetative directions. This section essentially is based on the Bencao, an important classic of Chinese pharmacology.

In parallel to these theory modules which logically build up on each other, you learn the practice of the therapy methods and their application in clinical courses which are performed in the sense of bedside teaching.

After having completed these three semesters, you can finalize with postgraduation.

If you decide to do so, postgraduation will be followed by another semester with a master thesis. This 4th semester is prepared in a structured way in parallel to the first three semesters. Already at the beginning of your studies you learn the fundamentals of scientific work and deal with the selection of a topic for the master thesis. Personal interests of the student play a particular role in that.

Venue of the course – TCM Master Study

The master study takes place at the University of Porto which also awards the master in Chinese Medicine. However, the modules of the curriculum can also be done in Heidelberg. In addition, some courses take place in the first teaching herb garden for Chinese Medicine of Europe in Provence.


Porto is a beautiful and traditional university city where the famous port wine comes from.  It is situated in the north of Portugal on the river Douro close to its estuary to the Atlantic Ocean. Together with its neighboring city Vila Nova de Gaia it is Portugal’s  second largest city after Lisbon. We maintain intensive contacts to our partner university there. It is an old custom to entertain the guest with a serenade of “Tuna” by an impressive student association.


With its scenic beauty, the harmonious ensemble of castle, old town and river in the middle of the mountains, Heidelberg is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Millions of tourists visit it every year to be enchanted by the “Heidelberg myth”.

Heidelberg is also one of the oldest university cities in Europe, along with Bologna and Prague. The Ruprecht Karl University, founded in 1386, was a spiritual center in humanism and after the Reformation (Heidelberg catechism, the most important evangelical scripture of principle after Luther’s Small Catechism). After its refoundation in 1803, it achieved world fame. It has had a special cultural position since the Romantic period and has even been a university of excellence since 2006.

Structure of the Curriculum

Scientific block courses

The systematic learning of the scientific foundations of Chinese medicine at DGTCM is unique in Europe.
In the first block course, you learn theoretical parts that derive from the Huangdi Neijing and the I-Ging, two particularly important classics of Chinese specialist literature. These contain technical models of Chinese Medicine, which, in their demythized form freed from some ballast, provide a logical understanding of the entire apparatus of Chinese Medicine.

In the second block course, this knowledge is systematically built on. The theory of cold damage (algor laedens theory from the classic Shan Han Lun) is an important focus here. It is indispensable when it comes to chronic pain, aging, old-age diseases, rheumatism and the systematic understanding of defense processes in general. This is why you will have a solid theoretical knowledge from the 3rd semester on at the latest, which is usually not available outside of this course. Chinese faculties are also interested in our programme and have integrated parts of it into their teaching.

Because diagnosis in medicine always is tantamount to an instruction how to act, we act according to the motto that there are three important things in Chinese Medicine:

1st Diagnosis, 2nd Diagnosis and 3rd Diagnosis.

This particular focus on diagnosis can only be achieved on the basis of Chinese medical theory. Here you gain a solid basis for a solid professional future.

Practice of therapy methods

In the first part of the study, the didactic concept primarily deals with the reliable learning of effective acupuncture strategies. The most important thing is the individualization of therapy according to the initial individual functional status of the patient. This status is precisely determined in Chinese diagnostics. On this basis, concrete and effective acupuncture strategies are learned and the basics of this therapy and its effectiveness are documented fully and in a time-saving manner.

Patients are therefore presented in parallel, between and during the scientific block courses, in order to deepen your theoretical knowledge based on practical examples, depending on practical availability.

What is particularly important here is the observation of objectively given clinical signs and their systematic allocation in a systematic decision matrix. In addition to the postgraduate and master study programme, the therapy methods also include courses in pharmacology, Chinese Manual Therapy (Tuina), preventive and therapeutic qigong, auriculomedicine, Korean hand acupuncture, Heidelberg scalp acupuncture, dietetics and music medicine.

Clinical courses and bedside teaching

The clinical courses and bedside teaching are listed under the categories “Clinical Strategies” and “Instruction and Supervised Clinical Practice” in the study programme. All major specialties of Western medicine come into play here. The already existing theoretical background is deepened by an elaborate order of the courses. First, the teachings of the Huangdi Neijing, the phases and the inherent teaching of regulation are deepened, later more emphasis is laid on the special models of the teaching of the six stages. Finally, pharmacological approaches are also included to a greater extent, presenting special highlights of TCM.

Open access to TCM master study

We ensure open access to this master study programme, also for participants who have never taken a course with us. You can get the cheapest version of the course by enrolling directly at the University of Porto. Here, thanks to state subsidies, the total costs of participation in the study programme are € 3,000 for the postgraduate programme and € 3,500 for the master programme.

You can also take the courses in Germany. The prices are in the middle of German acupuncture providers. More information at +49 (0) 6221 – 37 45 46. Ms. Bauer will advise you.

Continuing education & expert courses

Continuing education beyond this course is important given the number of hours specified by the Bologna criteria. We therefore also offer further trainings such as the five-year full education in Chinese Medicine and expert courses.

Expert courses
Chinese pharmacotherapy (600-hour pharmacology course plus diagnostic courses), one-year or two-year Tuina full education, education in TCM psychotherapy (two years), Chinese dietetics, etc. For more information and advice call +49-6221-37 45 46.

You can download a summary of the master study programme here as a pdf file.

Objectives Master Program