About Us

The College has a rich reputation for celebrating and supporting the individual whatever their background or experience, a feature and strength that is still at the heart of our ethos. We are justly proud of its historical emergence and the active role it has played in shaping the development of the osteopathic profession.

The College of Osteopaths is a registered charity, established to promote for the public benefit the prevention and relief of sickness by advancing the theory and practice of osteopathy (and other natural therapeutic methods ancillary to osteopathy) and the treatment, training, education and research  (with a view to disseminating the useful results of such research) in those subjects.

The College is committed to widening access to osteopathic practice so that talented individuals of all ages can fulfil their potential, and our unique 100% part-time pathways into the profession reflects the long history of innovation and inclusiveness on which the College has built its reputation.

Our current Principal, Pat Hamilton, a graduate of the London School of Osteopathy, brings her expertise in science education and social science research together with valuable experience of partnership work in the higher education sector. Pat has steered the College’s curriculum to the cutting edge of professional developments by introducing a strong business and employability strand, and extending the focus on research skills to all levels of the programme.

The development of recognised qualifications started back in 1961 with a two-year Diploma course introduced for students already working in the medical field, the professional body was later established and became known as The College of Osteopaths.

The College continued to thrive and in 1978 Joseph Goodman, a graduate of the BCNO, was appointed Dean of the College and the Diploma in Osteopathy qualification was fully established. Osteopathy continued to grow in popularity with some key milestones:

  • 1988 – A full report on osteopathic education prepared by the British Accreditation Council
  • 1989 -1991 – President of the College, Jane Langer, became involved with the King’s Fund Working Party on Osteopathy, helped develop the Osteopaths Act and the formation of the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) in which Jane Langer remained active until 2006.
  • 1997 – The Diploma course offered by the College was validated by Middlesex University as a five-year BSc(Hons) programme of study.
  • 2001 – Under the guidance of the then Principal, Caroline Stone, the course gained Recognised Qualification (RQ) status.
  • 2002-2003 – The College provided an RQ programme of training for those who had been unable to enter the GOsC’s register of practitioners. Graduates were awarded a Certificate in Osteopathic Competence and were subsequently able to register.
  • 2005 – The Principal, Mark Lawrence, launched a pioneering programme in Staffordshire – the only one of its kind in the northern half of England. The BSc (Hons) programme was successfully validated by Keele University in 2005 and gained RQ status in 2008.
  • 2010-2011 – The innovative part-time M.Ost programme, validated by Middlesex University and praised by peer reviewers, was introduced for the London-based (2010) students then Staffordshire students (2011)
  • 2015 students (pre-2019) are enrolled onto the M.Ost/B.Ost programme which is validated by Staffordshire University.  This particular course is no longer recruiting.
  • 2019 the College has, based on student feedback, developed a new and shorter B.Ost course, which will be delivered from January 2020.  This course is validated by the College’s new partner, the University of Derby.

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