Salford to shut complementary medicine BSc

January 15, 2009

The University of Salford is to stop offering undergraduate degrees in acupuncture and complementary medicine because they are no longer considered "a sound academic fit".

The university said it planned to reposition the School of Community Health Sciences and Social Care as "a social science academic base" with strong public-health provision.

Managers concluded last year that the BSc traditional Chinese medicine and other degrees with a complementary medicine element "cannot really be held to be a good fit with the strategic direction of the school, and resource and energy would be better directed elsewhere".

There are more than 70 students registered on the Chinese medicine degree course.

The university will continue to offer these subjects at postgraduate level, as short courses and as part of continuing professional development programmes. Traditional Chinese medicine work will also be linked to the university's allied health professions courses.

The University and College Union said it was against the closures. John Dobson, president of the union's Salford branch, said of the Chinese medicine degree: "It's tragic that they are closing down a profitable course for spurious reasons related to it not having a social-science methodology."

A university spokeswoman said: "The university plans to run out the undergraduate programme in traditional Chinese medicine for financial and strategic reasons. However, the faculty of health and social care continues to maintain a complete commitment to students, and it will be some years before the course ceases to exist."

The cuts are taking place alongside the university's three-year, £12.5 million cost-saving drive, dubbed "Project Headroom", which aims to create a surplus for investment in the university's estate, new academic programmes and Salford's new Media City site.

Up to 150 jobs may be lost - representing about 6 per cent of total staff - and Salford has set up a redundancy committee to deal with any compulsory severances.

The university spokeswoman said that in the first of two phases, the required reduction of 62 positions was likely to be achieved without any compulsory redundancies.

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