Our history

Since we opened our doors to students in 1965, we have been global leaders in musculoskeletal healthcare; providing the world with professionals who are enthusiastic, equipped and ready to make a difference.

Helping you to help others

Since we opened our doors to students in 1965, we have been global leaders in musculoskeletal healthcare; providing the world with professionals who are enthusiastic, equipped and ready to make a difference.As the first chiropractic college in Europe our success is built on a commitment to excellence. 

Becoming a University College and gaining Taught Degree Awarding Powers is a credit to our continuous drive in innovation and growth. It is our pioneering spirit, collaborative approach and care for our students, staff and community that allows us to continue to challenge and shape the future of health sciences.

September 1, 1965
The College opens its doors

Definite steps to set up a European chiropractic school were taken in 1960 when the Anglo-European College of Chiropractice was registered as a limited company. Three chiropractors, Robert Beech, Donald Bennett and Elizabeth Bennett were vital to the venture. Following the purchase of a property in Bournemouth, the AECC opened in September 1965.

September 1, 1966
Introducing a four-year programme of study

By the end of the first term there were eighteen students studying at the AECC: ten from Britain, three from Denmark, three from France, one from Belgium and one from New Zealand. In 1966 the College purchased a second building in Cavendish Road. The programme was four years in length and required full-time attendance. It was modelled on courses offered by North American chiropractic schools. On successful completion of their training students were to receive a diploma from the School and a ‘Doctor of Chiropractic’ award, a qualification which was understood within the chiropractic community, but which was not recognised by the British university system.

September 1, 1972
A change in name

The AECC University College was initially named the Anglo-European College of Chiropractice, rather than as the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, because the word ‘chiropractice’ was thought to be more English. In 1969 the ‘e’ was dropped from ‘chiropractice’ in the title of the School, in line with the preferred nomenclature of the British Chiropractors’ Association. There were ten graduates from the AECC in 1970, twelve in 1971, and eighteen in 1972. Increasingly the AECC was to become the main centre for the training of European chiropractors, attracting students from across the continent. Strong links with the BCA and with the ECU helped to raise the profile of the School.

September 1, 1982
New buildings and a new home

By the mid-1970s the AECC was running out of space for development in its buildings at Cavendish Road. New buildings were needed. Various options were explored before a successful bid was made for the purchase of Boscombe Convent following a merger of local Catholic schools. Chiropractors rallied behind the move and helped to provide financial support for it. Buildings can influence an observer’s opinion of an organisation. The new buildings at Parkwood Road were a significant improvement on what had gone before. The stone construction of the main building, dating from 1888, looked impressive and presented a positive image for the School. The new premises were officially opened in 1982.

September 1, 1986
Education, research and clinical care

With newly acquired buildings and room for expansion, the curriculum and the resources that supported it were developed. The library came to be housed in what had previously been a chapel and the teaching clinic in what had once been a noviciates’ house. Undergraduate students studying at the AECC had always been expected to carry out a research project as part of their training, but in 1986 a research department was established to support and develop post-graduate research. Education, research and clinical care were, and remain to this day, the main focuses of activity at the AECC University College.