Distance Education Course | Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences

Search Courses

Online Course: Introduction To

Chinese Medicinal Substances


Course Information Outline [PDF Version]

Application Form OnlineCourse

Course Outline

In Winter 2009, we launched the first online course based upon the renowned comprehensive curriculum at the Academy.  Course content for our online course relates directly to the course delivered on campus and have been converted to an online platform that students will find extremely user friendly.

We use the Moodle platform to deliver our course. Moodle is an open source course management system that helps educators create online courses with opportunities for rich interaction.  Moodle is developed by a worldwide effort of over 75,000 students, faculty, and staff at over 6,500 institutions around the world, coordinated by the main site at Moodle.org.

Introduction to Chinese Medicinal Substances is the first course we offer in the distance education format. This rich and informative 15-hour course (completed in 15 weeks/4 months) in basic Chinese herbology will be suitable for anyone 16 years of age or older with Grade 11 education.  Individuals 18 years of age and older may apply as a Mature Student.

Meet our instructor

Jennifer Gawne, R.TCM. H, a licensed herbalist with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA) has instructed at the Academy for over 10 years and has a private practice in Nelson.  Read more about Jennifer in the Instructor Profile of the Course Outline.

What your course fee includes:


Your course fee of $365.00 will include a herb sample kit (of 15 herbs), a textbook and course handout which will be mailed to you once you are enrolled.

Who would be interested in taking this course?

  • Those who have an interest in traditional Chinese medicine
  • Anyone who has an interest in herbology or natural health
  • Patients of Chinese medicine practitioners
  • Prospective students who plan to enroll at ACOS
  • Health care professionals
  • Health conscious individuals
  • High School and College students
  • Medical Students


What will it be like taking the course, how many hours of study?

You are expected to complete at least one lesson per week for 15 weeks.  Deadlines for assignments, quizzes and projects are provided at the beginning of the course.

We estimate 1-2 hours of study time to complete each lesson including assignments and quizzes. Your marks will be made available to you either online or via email.

There will be weekly forums and your instructor is always available via email and will set office hours for responding to questions.



Online Learning – Is it for you?

Online learning is unlike the traditional classroom setting. With the freedom and flexibility of the online environment comes responsibility. The online process takes a real commitment and discipline to keep up with the flow of the process. To find out if online learning is for you, we encourage you to visit the following resource sites:

Is online learning for you? from www.OnlineLearning.net




Technical Requirements

We are aware that the capabilities of the average home computer varies greatly and have set out the minimum requirements to access our online courses below:

Any PC computer with reliable access to the internet with either Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher or Netscape Navigator 4.0 or higher Web Browser installed.


Any Macintosh computer with reliable access to the internet with either Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher or Netscape Navigator 4.0 or higher Web Browser installed.







Courses begin in September , January and May.

NOTE: Spring 2014 will see this course beginning the first week of June.

Application Deadline is on September 5th, December 21st or June 5thth.


Apply Now


Application Form – Distance Education


Application Process

  • Complete Application Form, print off and mail together with application fee of $50.00 in cheque, or money order payable to ACOS (email transfers or credit card payments possible, please call us, if you choose this payment method)
    • If you are a Mature Student (18 years of age or more) you are not required to submit transcripts, but must supply a photocopy of government issued identification.
    • If you are 16 years of age and have completed Grade 11 please submit an Official Transcript (or have your institution send one directly to us) as proof you have completed Grade 11.
  • Once you are accepted, you will be forwarded a Student Contract via email.
  • Return by mail the signed Student Contract together with the course fee payment of $365.00.  Once the contract and payment is received, your course materials and herb kit will be sent out to you.


The online course will be delivered in English only and require basic proficiency in the English language.

Credential provided upon completion

You will be mailed an official transcript and Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of the course.

Transfer credits to ACOS full time programs

If you are planning to enroll in studies at the Academy, we will provide you with full credit for our online courses towards your diploma.




A: 83-100% B+: 75-82.9% B: 70-74.9%
C+: 65-69.9% F: 0-64.9%

The minimum passing grade is C+/ 65%

Chapter Assignments 68%
Quizzes (3) 30%
Forum Participation   2%
Total 100%

Complete grasp of the following:

Origins of Chinese herbology
General botany applied to herbs
Habitat, collection, cultivation techniques
Processing of herbs
Herbal properties: four qi, five tastes, channel tropism, etc.
Methods of consumption
Dosage and toxicity
Combining of herbs