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The Professional Essential Oils Therapy Diploma (PEOT)

The IFA is introducing this new qualification to further the development of advanced studies in Aromatherapy and essential oils. This is also to meet expectations from other healthcare professionals and complementary medicine practitioners who seek to learn about the therapeutic properties and uses of essential oils to incorporate in their practice.

The PEOT syllabus is the result of five years planning and has been compiled by IFA experts, including senior Aromatherapists, professional educators, trainers and scientific advisors. It offers an in-depth study program which encompasses all existing standards of practice, as well as the underpinning science and knowledge of essential oils and Aromatherapy; but includes new modules, an extended list of essential oils as well as different methods of delivery and more.

Aimed at

The PEOT course is aimed at general medicine practitioners, practitioners of complementary medicine who intend to use essential oils in their practice or for practising Aromatherapists who want to further their knowledge of essential oils and receive an additional recognised qualification.


  • It does not include the study of massage or any form of bodywork, as the main mode of delivery is through essential oils. Practitioners who want to use massage should already hold a recognised qualification and must have been practising professionally.
  • The oil therapy section revolves entirely around the therapeutic properties and benefits of treatments from essential oils.
  • The PEOT Diploma ensures that practitioners are qualified to a high standard so that they can efficiently and safely include essential oils in their practice.
  • For researchers it can provide essential information that may help establish one or more of an essential oils properties. 

Course Outline

 In brief, during the course students will understand

  • Essential oil therapy in context - historical development and pioneers, philosophy and holistic principles
  • The sense of smell and the limbic system; odor characteristics and preferences; essential oils and psycho-emotional benefits and as an aid to cognition; in the recovery from head injury, to improve memory and alertness (e.g. Alzheimer's), to help rebalance mood swings and encourage the release of endorphins  
  • Research - methodology, skills to carry out and write up research, understanding the relationship and differences between traditional medicine and research based clinical studies
  • The science of essential oils - botany, extraction and production, chemistry, potential hazards and toxicity
  • The Therapeutic and energetic properties of 80 essential oils and their applications
  • The art of the perfumer - essential oils odour classification, volatility and the notes systems, blending ratio and dosage
  • Method of delivery 
  • Aromatherapeutic - formulation and natural remedies for the clinic; study of hydrolats and over 30 carrier/vegetable oils and other carriers; natural raw ingredients suitable for the essential oil therapy practice
  • Using essential oils in the therapeutic context including treatment design for the individual client; understanding a therapeutic relationship and how this affects the outcome of a treatment and assessing the efficacy of treatments
  • Professionalism and professional requirement  
  • Reflective practice
  • Business studies to name a few

Assessment and Examination

On completion of the course curriculum students are required to illustrate their knowledge by sitting the IFA external examinations, as a kite mark of professionalism. There are three parts to the IFA examinations, students will be tested in Aromatherapy Theory, Anatomy and Physiology (if not previously studied and can provide certification) ; students will also be assessed on compulsory assignments i.e. portfolio, journals, projects and demonstration of practical skills in making Aromatherapeutic remedies.

Compulsory Assignments

  • Case Studies - students will provide case studies as instructed by their tutor, as evidence of learning
  • Research Project -  students will provide evidence they are aware of the means available to monitor and audit the efficacy of aromatherapy
  • Reflective practice - in the form of a journal to ensure awareness of the scope and limitations of the aromatherapy practice and of the importance of reviewing their work
  • Business Studies - The Business project provides evidence of the students’ ability to research, cost, prepare and present a business plan, demonstrating their understanding of what it takes to set up a successful complementary therapy business.


On completion you will hold an internationally recognised qualification, the equivalent to a level 4-5 university credit standard (APEL). This incorporates all the UK professional standards for the practice of aromatherapy, the National Occupational Standards (NOS), Open College Network Standards and the National Qualification Framework (NQF) requirements, as well as the professional standards specially laid down for IFA professionals. Students are then granted access to IFA full PEOT membership and add the initials MIFA-EOT after their name and qualification (Dip).

Methods of Delivery

The methods of teaching and the number of training and study hours required by our syllabus are laid down to ensure Aromatherapists are confident, caring, competent and enthusiastic about their profession. The method of delivery allows for both in-class study and distance learning. Please contact a course provider directly for the terms times and related costs etc. 

Duration of Course

Minimum 9 months (1 academic year), Maximum 24 months (2 years)


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