Undergraduate Study

BMBS Medicine

UCAS code A100
Duration 5 years
Entry year 2020
Contact

Web: Enquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725500

Entry requirements

A levels: AAA
IB: 36
BTEC: DDD
GCSE: Grade C English Language

View full entry requirements

Campus

St Luke’s and Truro

Discipline Medicine

Overview

  • You will have clinical experience from the first month of the programme in a variety of locations; hospitals, General Practice and the wider health community
  • You’ll learn in small groups of 8-9 using real life clinical examples
  • You will gain an excellent understanding of the basic and clinical sciences necessary to be a doctor
  • You’ll be studying in a world-leading, internationally-recognised, research-rich environment
  • You’ll have the opportunity to obtain an intercalated degree at either Bachelors or Masters level

Top 10 for Medicine in the Complete University Guide 2020

Clinical experience within the first month

Opportunity for international placements

Entry requirements

Qualification Required grades Required subjects
A-Level AAA GCE AL Biology and Chemistry at grade A
IB 36 IB Biology and Chemistry at HL6
BTEC DDD Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma will also require GCE AL Biology and Chemistry grade A.
Contextual Offer

A-Level: ABB
IB: 32
BTEC: DDM

Specific requirements must still be achieved, therefore where a grade A is required, offers will be ABC or ACC. Find out more about contextual offers.

International equivalences

View EU and international equivalences

NB General Studies is not included in any offer.

All applicants are required to have taken either the UCAT Test or the GAMSAT Test.

Completing your application form

All applications for full-time study must be made through UCAS. The deadline for applications to UCAS is 15 October. No more than four choices should be used for clinical programmes. Please note meeting the typical offer range does not guarantee being shortlisted for an interview. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview between December and March.

Additional entry requirements

UCAT - Candidates applying with predicted or achieved A levels will also be required to sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). Applications will then be sorted according to academic profile and UCAT overall score in order to determine which applicants will receive an offer of an interview. Watch the UCAT Preparation plan video.

GAMSAT - Candidates applying with an existing degree, or if it will be more than two full academic years (September to August) since you completed your A levels or equivalent qualifications when you enter the BMBS programme, will be required to sit the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). Applications will be sorted according to the GAMSAT overall score.

Offers/interviews

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview between December and March. The interview style will be Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). The day will also include tours and presentations and a short period for discussion with a member of staff.

Assistance for travel is available to those who meet certain eligibility criteria.

All applications are considered on an individual basis and offers will be made by the end of March.

Health assessments and DBS

All successful applicants after interview will be required to complete a health questionnaire and those accepting an offer will be screened by our Occupational Health Department.

The College of Medicine and Health requires all medical students to be immunised against certain infectious diseases to meet health and safety standards required to work with patients. We will require students to provide evidence of two MMR jabs, and in addition undergo tests to determine their Hepatitis B surface antigen, TB and HIV status.

Enrolled medical students will be unable to undertake their studies without evidence of completion of the vaccination process.

Offers for this programme will be conditional on a completed Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Selection process

Please see the  BMBS Medicine Policy (pdf) for full details on our BMBS Medicine admissions selection process.

If you have any questions relating to submitting an application for the BMBS programme we recommend that you review our frequently asked questions document  prior to contacting us via telephone or e-mail.

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Course content

The five-year Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS) programme draws on the strength of our partnership with the NHS in Devon and Cornwall to provide a unique learning experience in healthcare. It develops skills for lifelong learning and the professional attitudes that you will need throughout your medical career. The importance of a multi-professional perspective is a key component.

The curriculum provides a clinical focus that is patient-centred, forward-thinking and meets the needs of students who want to work as doctors in an increasingly integrated, internationalised health environment. It also includes the whole health community, not just hospitals. This recognises the community role in chronic illness and prevention and provides the social context, giving you a wider perspective and understanding.

Clinical placements

You will gain placement experience throughout your studies. In the later years of the programme you will be immersed in the clinical environment with extensive opportunities for learning from patients as you move through the pathways of the patient care programme.

The community placements provide experience of the multi-professional nature of medicine and the importance of the healthcare team.

Intercalation between years 4 and 5  

An intercalated degree provides the opportunity to explore another discipline at degree level, bringing added breadth and depth to your study. You may have the opportunity to intercalate and study 120 credits from another Bachelor’s degree (usually the final year) or a one-year Masters degree from a wide range of options available at the University of Exeter.

Although intercalation means an extra year of study, it can enhance the undergraduate experience by providing additional specialist knowledge and transferable skills which can be a real asset in your future professional life.

Electives

The electives form a very important part of the curriculum, enabling you to experience medicine in an entirely new environment, both socially and culturally. Electives may involve clinical or research placements, or a combination of both. Many students take this opportunity to see the practice of medicine in another part of the world, for example, by exploring the delivery of clinical care in developing countries, through placements in mission or government hospitals. Other students arrange elective placements within the South West or other parts of the UK. There are few restrictions on what you might wish to do, provided this is clearly set out in the context of agreed learning objectives.

Foundation Year

At the end of the undergraduate programme you will receive your BMBS degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). This entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council. Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work. To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate degree through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis.

For your first year, you will be based at the St Luke’s Campus, Exeter and experience university life to the full. You will learn core biomedical and psychosocial concepts within clinical context, alongside clinical placement experiences and clinical skills training.

In the second year you will further develop your core biomedical, psychological, sociological and population health knowledge on one of our main medical school campuses, in a more integrated and further contextualised manner, increasing your range of clinical skills and placements.

In the third year, you will commence Clinical Pathways 1 at one of our secondary care NHS Trust sites. Your learning will be patient-centred and you will rotate through a series of hospital and community placements across either Devon or Cornwall.

Clinical Pathways 2 is undertaken in your fourth year and will provide extensive experience of a wide range of clinical settings throughout either Devon or Cornwall, further increasing your clinical knowledge and skills particularly through an increasing range of clinical specialities.

In your final year, you will learn the job of medicine and start to develop your own clinical practice in preparation for graduation. You’ll undertake a series of apprenticeship attachments in NHS hospitals across the South West. At this stage you will have developed the personal and learning skills required to analyse and evaluate patients’ conditions and to suggest forms of clinical management. You’ll also take a Student-Selected Elective which may involve clinical or research placements, or a combination of both. Many students take this opportunity to see the practice of medicine in another part of the world.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2020 entry

UK and EU students: £9,250 per year
International students: £35,750 per year

Please note that these figures may be subject to change.

Find out more about tuition fees and funding

Learning and teaching

Our learning and teaching are based around a patient-centred education and a culture that is sensitive to the needs of our students. A patient-centred education means that you will become a clinically skilled graduate with a strong knowledge of contemporary science, an awareness of research and excellent professional behaviour. You will benefit from structured small group learning and an intensively supported learning environment and be taught to challenge, stretch, reward and empower yourself.

On graduation you will be able to approach clinical problems holistically, have excellent communication skills, be empathetic and a good listener. You will be confident working in multi-professional teams, be able to seek and appraise the best evidence to inform your practice and be capable of meeting the health care needs of society.

Time for independent study is built into the timetable, enabling you to take advantage of the wide array of resources available to support your learning. You will have access to excellent amenities; at the University and NHS sites there are extensive library and learning facilities. State-of-the-art IT and e-learning resources are a key tool to help support your learning.

In the later years of the programme your learning occurs predominantly within the clinical environment with extensive opportunities for learning from patients as you move through the pathways of the patient care programme.

Small group learning

The first two years of the curriculum are centred around small group learning. In groups of 8 to 10, you’ll work through a series of clinical cases, each lasting two weeks. Each tutor guided group meets weekly during the three week study unit to discuss the case(s) provided and then you’ll report back your individual research findings. Between meetings, you’ll undertake research and independent study on all aspects of the case from the biomedical, public health, human science and professional points of view.

Lectures

All students in your year will come together for large group teaching sessions. These lectures focus on specific subjects relevant to the cases you are studying and often involve external experts.

The Life Sciences Resource Centre

The Life Sciences Resource Centre (LSRC) on the St Luke’s Campus develops your knowledge of the structure and function of the human body. Your understanding of anatomy develops through using medical imaging, including x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound, coupled with the study of plastinates, models, living anatomy and virtual multimedia methods. Relevant clinical anatomy is taught using the knowledge and experience of clinicians.

The Clinical Skills Resource Centre

You’ll learn clinical and communication skills in a safe environment within the Clinical Skills Resource Centre (CSRC), based at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, before using them in a real clinical setting. The CSRC contains state-of-the-art electronic patient simulators, mock NHS wards and emergency departments. You will learn to gather information, carry out physical examinations, conduct patient and family interviews, develop your diagnostic skills and perform a variety of practical procedures including injections, venepuncture and basic life support. You’ll also develop the ability to interact with patients in a variety of situations. Learning and improving communication skills enables you to understand the needs of individual patients, physically and psychologically.

Clinical placements

Extensive exposure to real patients in clinical settings underpins the development of your clinical skills. This experience will help you become an expert in the clinical environment. In your clinical placements during the first two years, you’ll experience how healthcare is delivered in both the community and hospital. You will normally meet your first patient within the first few weeks of your first year. During your placements, you’ll also learn from patients about the breadth of diseases and health problems in a community and the effect of social and environmental factors on disease. This will help you to understand the multi-professional nature of medicine and the importance of the wider healthcare team.

Integrated clinical learning

This part of the programme is divided into ‘pathways of care’. In your third year you will study pathways in medicine, surgery, general practice and other hospital specialities. In year four, these continue with a focus on acute care, the complexities of chronic care, and palliative care/oncology. These pathways emphasise the importance of continuing to acquire knowledge in biomedical science, psychology, sociology and population health, while also refining and building on the clinical and communication skills you developed in your first two years.

Integrated science learning

Your knowledge of biomedical, clinical and human science is developed during placements, through meeting patients at home, in general practice, in acute and community hospitals and through interaction with healthcare professionals in their working environment. You’ll experience how the NHS works as a team to deliver patient care.

Your learning during each pathway is supported by an academic programme, which develops your knowledge of common medical conditions and professional issues. One day each week is devoted to lectures, tutorials, clinical skills sessions, workshops and professional development groups which build on your previous learning and help to integrate your scientific and clinical knowledge. The emphasis on teaching and learning in small groups continues helping you understand the key concepts and knowledge that relate to each pathway.

Special study units

Special study units involve working with staff from the NHS, the University and the community in a wide range of disciplines to study areas of particular interest to you. With more than 200 options, the units provide a challenging and stimulating way to develop your critical thinking, scientific and analytical skills. During the first two years, each SSU takes place over a three-week block. Subject matters include opportunities to consider how the study of the humanities offers insights into the lived experience of people experiencing lives very different from our own, as well as a wide variety of biomedical science and healthcare placements.

In your third and fourth years, you’ll continue to study in a clinical environment and learn how multi-professional teams and management deliver and improve healthcare. In addition to the wide variety of clinical options available, you will also have the opportunity to learn more about the research process, through a longer attachment to one of our research teams, and to study an area of medical humanities of interest to you.

You’ll be able to develop your teaching and learning skills through another special study unit, ‘Doctor as Teacher’. The overall aim of this unit is to enable you to acquire the professional attitudes, knowledge and skills of a competent teacher and to prepare for the transition from medical student to doctor.

Internationalisation

As part of an exciting new development, and in line with the University of Exeter Internationalisation Strategy, you will have the opportunity to have clinical placements overseas with partner organisations such as Wollega Medical School in Ethiopia, the University of South Florida, and partners in China, Malaysia, and more.

This will give you a wider global view of how health and education systems operate, and equip you to be part of the international medical world.

The international placements programme will also complement and enhance your elective experience after Year 4.

Academic tutor

All students are allocated an academic tutor who oversees your academic progress and personal and professional development. Your tutor is the first point of contact for academic support for the duration of the programme. You will change tutors each year.

Assessment

Assessment is an important part of the learning process: it demonstrates the standard you are achieving as well as that to which you are working.

Your progress is assessed in relation to your knowledge and your work in clinical practice and you will be provided with continuous feedback, enabling you to identify strengths as well as areas for improvement.

The Applied Medical Knowledge Progress Test is one of the key features of our approach to assessment. The Progress Test, which is delivered in a multiple-choice question format, is designed to assess long-term and functional knowledge rather than detailed and easily forgotten ‘facts’. It is a measure of how much you are learning, not how good you are at revision, cramming or rote memorisation. Following every test that you take, four per year in total, you will receive your grade and percentage score as well as the mean percentage of each test.

Academic review

Your performance in assessment is formally reviewed each term to ensure that any problems that you may be experiencing with your learning can be identified early. We seek to support students whose performance may be a cause for concern. If you need support you will be referred to trained staff and receive a confidential report containing recommendations on how changes to individual learning styles, techniques, assessment strategies and attitude to work may improve performance.

In addition, at the end of the academic year all aspects of your performance are reviewed to ensure you are ready to move onto the next year of study or receive your primary medical qualification at the end of year five. If you are not ready to progress, you might be asked to repeat a year, but we never ask students to leave the programme on academic grounds without giving them plenty of opportunity to reflect on, review and remediate their performance.

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Your future

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the regulatory body for all doctors and medical students in the UK. Like all the medical schools in the UK, we have to demonstrate that our course and assessments reach the standard that the GMC expects, so they are able to reassure the public that our graduates are safe to practice medicine.

With this in mind, the GMC is introducing the Medical Licencing Assessment (MLA) which all students in UK medical schools will have to take and pass to enable them to graduate and practice as doctors from the academic year 2022/23.

Potentially, this exam could form part of a medical school’s regular final exams, so for many medical schools, it will be a matter of demonstrating clearly to the GMC that their finals are of an appropriate standard.

The MLA is still at the development stage. We know that there will be an applied medical knowledge (AKT) test, our regular exams here at Exeter and a clinical exam – again similar to our regular exams. We are working with the GMC to ensure that our students at Exeter are very well prepared for the MLA in their final years.

At the end of the undergraduate programme, which will be subject to General Medical Council (GMC) approval, you will receive your BMBS degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the GMC. Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work.

To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate degree through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis. So far, all suitably qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme, but this cannot be guaranteed, for instance if there were to be an excessive number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates.

Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You need full registration with a licence to practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.

To find out about registration information for the General Medical Council (GMC), please read our Information regarding registration with the GMC document.

There is a broad spectrum of careers within clinical practice across medical, surgical and other specialities. Whilst many of these have historically been hospital-based, healthcare is moving towards a more community-centred model of delivery and consequently doctors will be increasingly expected to deliver healthcare in a range of settings.

The range of placement opportunities throughout the programme will help to develop your skills and experience of working in different healthcare settings and enable you to understand how organisations operate.

This, alongside tailored careers advisory sessions and events provided in partnership with the Health Education South West (formerly the South West Peninsula Deanery) will also help you to make informed career choices.

International students and GMC recognition

GMC accredited Medical degrees are recognised in many countries around the world. International students are encouraged to check with their local Medical Councils on the recognition of our BMBS programme as different legislation may apply. The College doesn't guarantee registration in other countries that we are not currently registered in.

Postgraduate foundation training and beyond

At the end of the undergraduate programme you will receive your MBBS (or equivalent) degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council, subject only to its acceptance that there are no Fitness to Practise concerns that need consideration. Provisional registration is time limited to a maximum of three years and 30 days (1125 days in total). After this time period your provisional registration will normally expire.

Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work. To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate programme through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis. All suitably qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme, but this cannot be guaranteed, for instance if there were to be an increased number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates.

Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You need full registration with a licence to practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.
Although this information is currently correct, students need to be aware that regulations in this area may change from time to time.

There is some discussion about whether to remove provisional registration for newly qualified doctors. If this happens then UK graduates will receive full registration as soon as they have successfully completed an MBBS (or equivalent) degree. It should be noted that it is very likely that UK graduates will still need to apply for a training programme similar to the current Foundation Programme and that places on this programme may not be guaranteed for every UK graduate.

The GMC is currently considering the introduction of a formal assessment that UK medical graduates would need to pass in order to be granted registration with a licence to practise. Although no final decision has been taken as to whether or when such an exam will be introduced applicants should be aware that the GMC envisages that future cohorts of medical students may need to pass parts of a medical licensing assessment scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis. All suitably qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme, but this cannot be guaranteed, for instance if there were to be an increased number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates.

Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You need full registration with a licence to practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.
Although this information is currently correct, students need to be aware that regulations in this area may change from time to time.

There is some discussion about whether to remove provisional registration for newly qualified doctors. If this happens then UK graduates will receive full registration as soon as they have successfully completed an MBBS (or equivalent) degree. It should be noted that it is very likely that UK graduates will still need to apply for a training programme similar to the current Foundation Programme and that places on this programme may not be guaranteed for every UK graduate.
The GMC is currently considering the introduction of a formal assessment that UK medical graduates would need to pass in order to be granted registration with a licence to practise. Although no final decision has been taken as to whether or when such an exam will be introduced applicants should be aware that the GMC envisages that future cohorts of medical students may need to pass parts of a medical licensing assessment before the GMC will grant them registration with a licence to practise.

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"The highlights for me have been the fantastic placements which I have been able to experience from the first week at Exeter. It has allowed me to grow and develop into a future doctor, not just a medical student."

Kayleigh

BMBS Medicine

Accreditations

General Medical Council 

Intercalation

During an intercalated year students take a one-year interlude in the Medicine programme to study a subject of their choice at either Bachelor’s or Master’s degree level. This optional opportunity enables selected students to pursue a subject of their choice in depth supplementing the vigorous education that they receive as part of the Medicine programme. An intercalated degree may be particularly beneficial to those considering a career in research or academic medicine.

When can students undertake an intercalated degree?

Currently, the University of Exeter offers students the opportunity to undertake an intercalated degree between years 4 & 5 of the Medicine programme.

Can external students apply to intercalate at the University of Exeter?

Yes - The University of Exeter welcomes applications from medical, veterinary and dental students from across the UK who have completed at least two years of their course (or three years for applications to Master’s level programmes), who have permission to undertake an intercalated degree from their home institution and will return to their home institution upon completion of the course.

If you are an external student interested in pursuing an intercalated degree at the University of Exeter, please visit the External Intercalations Applicants page or contact: ICD@exeter.ac.uk.

What intercalated programmes are available at the University of Exeter?

Bachelor’s Degree programmes

The University of Exeter offers a number of different intercalated Bachelor’s degree programmes. Unless stated otherwise these courses are taught at the Exeter-based campuses.

Intercalated BSc:

  • Biosciences
  • Conservation Biology (Cornwall Campus)
  • Evolutionary Biology (Cornwall Campus)
  • Exercise & Sports Science
  • Human Biosciences
  • Infectious Disease
  • Medical Sciences (including specialisms)
  • Molecular & Cellular Science
  • Psychological Studies
  • Zoology (Cornwall Campus)

Intercalated BA (via the flexible combined honours programme):

  • Medical Humanities (Internal students only)

All programmes listed are subject to availability.

Flexible Combined Honours Programme (internal students only)

The University of Exeter also offers flexibility in its Bachelor’s degree courses through the Flexible Combined Honours programme, which enables students to combine modules from different subjects e.g. Biosciences and Archaeology, to form their own bespoke degree programme, provided module pre-requites are met

Master’s Degree programmes

The University of Exeter offers numerous different Master’s degree programmes (both taught and/or research based). These are listed below - For further details click on the name of the course.

  • MSc Applied Health Services Research
  • MSc Bioarchaeology
  • MSc (by research) Biosciences
  • MSc Environment & Human Health
  • MRes Health and Wellbeing
  • MSc (by research) Medical Imaging
  • MSc (by research) Medical Studies
  • MSc Paediatric Exercise and Health
  • MSc Sports & Health Sciences
  • MSc (by research) Sport and Health Sciences

For further information, or if you are an external student interested in pursuing an intercalated degree at the University of Exeter, please contact: ICD@exeter.ac.uk.

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