Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC)
13 15 Parkwood Road
Bournemouth BH5 2DF, United Kingdom
01202 436 200
In September 1965 AECC opened its doors to students for the first time. In fact the College was not the first teaching establishment that had purported to teach chiropractic in the United Kingdom. As early as the 1920s schools existed that included ‘chiropractic’ within their curricula. What was different about AECC was that it was the first chiropractic school in Britain, indeed within Europe, to be recognised and supported by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) and by the international chiropractic community. Fundamental to the establishment of the college was the work of two British chiropractors, Robert Beech and Donald Bennett.
Records suggest that fourteen students enrolled in the first class at AECC in the autumn of 1965, but only one of these went onto graduate in 1969. He was joined by an additional student who started his education in America. Many of the first students to attend the college became disheartened as a result of teething problems at the school. In January 1967 the dismissal of a lecturer resulted in a vote of no confidence in the College Council by the Student Union and a student revolt ensued. Despite early difficulties, not the least of which was the financial burden of the project that has been taken on, the AECC overcame barriers to its development. In 1966 the school had purchased a second building in Cavendish Road in order to run a teaching clinic, but by the mid-1970s the two buildings owned by the school were becoming insufficient to effectively meet the requirements of the growing number of students. New premises were needed.
At the beginning of the 1980s chiropractors rallied in support of an attempt to buy the premises of Boscombe Convent following a merger of local Catholic schools. The Dean of the AECC at the time was Arne Christensen. He played a central role in planning the potential move, as did George Walker, a Plymouth-based chiropractor. Following a successful bid, Boscombe Convent was purchased and AECC moved to its present location. The official opening of the AECC in Boscombe took place on 21st May 1982.
The period since 1982 has seen AECC rise to become one of the most successful chiropractic colleges in the world. In 1991 it received Royal Patronage from Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales. Today it provides a gold standard in chiropractic education and research, and boasts a teaching clinic with a throughput of approximately 50,000 outpatient visits a year. The premises in Parkwood Road have proved invaluable to its development.
Graduates of AECC in the years between 1969 and 1990 received a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) qualification, based on the typical North American chiropractic qualification. In 1988 the Council for National Academic Awards validated the undergraduate programme at AECC and the college became the first school in the field of complementary / alternative medicine in the United Kingdom to offer a validated degree. Since that time standards of education at AECC have continued to rise. Today chiropractic graduates leave with a Masters degree validated by Bournemouth University and the college provides a number of programmes leading to higher degrees.