#CoursesGalore: Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) (Also Traditional Chinese Medicine, Alternative Medicine)

If you're interested in pursuing your education in Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) (Also Traditional Chinese Medicine, Alternative Medicine), here are some essential tips about this course that you should know!

What is it?

Traditional and complementary medical (TCM) treatment is based on theory, beliefs and experiences that are indigenous to different cultures. Treatments include the use of herbal medicines, spiritual therapies like meditation, and manual techniques such as massage, chiropractic and yoga. 

What will you study?

You will study basic medical sciences and various TCM techniques based on your area of specialisation. You will also be trained in the fundamentals of allopathic (conventional) medicine and to use evidence-based knowledge. Courses will also include a practical training component. 

Core subjects 

Biochemistry; cell biology; chemistry; comparative diagnostics; comparative therapeutics; ethics; anatomy; internal medicine; microbiology; nutrition; pathology; pharmacology; physiology; phytochemistry; phytomedicines; psychology; toxicology. 

Depending on your area of specialisation, you will also study acupuncture and massage techniques, ayurvedic medicine and homeopathic principles as part of your core curriculum. 

Typical course duration

Most TCM degree course take about three years to complete. Degrees in chiropractic take four years, and graduates must complete one year of internship before they may practise as chiropractors.


You must have studied a science-based foundation or pre-university course. 

What do graduates do? 

Qualified TCM practitioners can work in various areas, including public hospitals and institutions of higher learning with TCM courses as tutors or lecturers. They can also open their own private practices.

At this time, graduates of TCM courses are not considered to be medical doctors. 

More information

Traditional & Complementary Medicine Division, Ministry of Health, Malaysia