BMBS Medicine

UCAS codeA100
Duration5 Years
Typical offerA*AA-AAA; IB:38-36; BTEC D*DD-DDD
Discipline
  • Medicine
LocationTaught in Exeter
  • St Luke's (Exeter)
  • and clinical locations across the South West (Exeter, Truro Barnstaple and Torbay)

Overview

  • A bold and innovative approach to clinical education
  • Clinical experience from the first month of the programme
  • Graduates who are among the best prepared for safe and effective patient care
  • A broad-based curriculum
  • Study in a world-leading, internationally recognised research-rich environment
  • Opportunity to obtain an intercalated degree at either Bachelor’s or Master’s level

This five-year degree programme leads to the award of Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS)* and draws on the strength of our partnership with the NHS in Devon and Cornwall to provide what we believe to be the most exciting and innovative medical undergraduate degree programme available today, delivering a unique learning experience in healthcare.

Our Medicine degree develops skills for lifelong learning and the professional attitudes that you will need throughout your medical career. The programme has been designed to include the importance of a multi-professional perspective, so that you learn from, with and about other healthcare professionals. We work throughout your studies to ensure that you are properly advised on career development, making sure that learning experiences enable you to be competitive in any medical employment market. The degree programme is carefully structured to ensure that you will graduate with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for safe practice and entry into your first clinical job.

Our teaching ensures that you’ll become a clinically skilled graduate with a strong knowledge of contemporary science, an awareness of research and excellent professional behaviour. Our use of small groups for teaching provides an intensively supported learning environment where you’ll be taught to challenge, stretch, reward and empower yourself. This small group approach also means you’ll be prepared for working in a multi-professional clinical team in the NHS.

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 facilities at the University and in the NHS.

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

On graduation you’ll be able to approach clinical problems holistically, have excellent communication skills, be empathetic and a good listener. You’ll be able to work well 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.

*subject to the approval of the General Medical Council.

Numbers

Entrants: 130 (with 10 places available to international students)
Applicants: 1643 (for 2016 entry)

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.

Information regarding registration with the GMC

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

Open Days

Join us at one of our Open Days .

The University of Exeter Medical School was an obvious choice for me as I knew that I would work best in interactive small-group sessions like PBL and clinical skills, rather than on a lecture-based course. The opportunity to go on community placements from day one is something I really value, as it gives real-life applications to what I'm learning and the opportunity to meet a wide variety of patients.

Sophie, studying BMBS Medicine.

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Throughout your degree programme you will study in a variety of clinical locations across the South West: in hospitals, general practice and the wider health community.

The core curriculum delivers the essential knowledge and skills for your role as a newly qualified doctor, whilst allowing you a degree of freedom in choosing a wide range of Student Selected Special Study Units that amount to approximately one-third of the programme. Exposure to the clinical environment begins in your first week and hands-on community experience increases throughout the degree. The programme integrates medical science and clinical skills so that your academic learning is applied to clinical practice throughout the five years.

Years 1 and 2 For your first two years you will be based at the St Luke’s Campus, Exeter, and you will experience university life to the full. The curriculum in the first two years is based on integrated system-based patient cases with emphasis on acquiring core knowledge of biomedical, psychological, sociological and population health aspects of medicine, and relating this to medical scenarios.

These two years lay the scientific foundations for study in subsequent years, ensuring that you learn within a clinical context. The programme reflects our belief that doctors need to adopt a socially accountable approach to their work and to understand the human and societal impact of disease, as well as the community-wide context of contemporary healthcare provision.

Years 3 and 4 The third and fourth years of the curriculum are delivered in locations across the South West. You’ll be based at either the Wonford site at the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust in Exeter or at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. You will rotate through a series of hospital and community placements which provide extensive experience of a wide range of clinical settings. Your learning is centred on patients and will continue to develop your problem solving skills and increase your experience with the widest possible array of clinical scenarios.

Year 5 In your fifth year, you will learn the job of medicine and start to develop your understanding of principles of practice in the NHS. You’ll undertake a series of apprenticeship attachments in hospitals across the South West, including Exeter, Truro, Barnstaple and Torbay as well as in General Practice.

The emphasis is on the practical implementation of what you have learnt and is your final preparation for medical practice. You’ll experience working as part of a healthcare team in the clinical environment. Your independent learning is supplemented by a portfolio of ‘indicative presentations’, which encourages you to continue integrating your scientific and clinical knowledge. These presentations expand and deepen the knowledge and skills you developed in years three and four. Receiving histories from patients and performing clinical examinations will by now be very familiar to you. You will also be developing your analytical skills in interpreting diagnostic tests and initiating management plans

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.

Intercalated Degree

An intercalated degree provides the opportunity to explore another discipline at degree level, bringing added breadth and depth to your study. The opportunity to intercalate is offered to the highest performing students based on assessments during the third year.

Successful applicants join the final year of an existing BA or BSc degree at the University of Exeter; some postgraduate programmes are also available. A wide range of potential options are available including: Applied Health Services Research, Medical Sciences, Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Human Genomics, Environment and Human Health, Biosciences, Genomic Medicine, Clinical Education, Medical Humanities, Bioarchaeology, Psychology, Sport and Exercise Science, and Flexible Honours.

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.

For further information please visit: www.exeter.ac.uk/medicine

Year 1

The first year of the programme is based on the human life-cycle, with emphasis on acquiring core knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours, and relating this to patients.

You will be based at the St Luke's Campus in Exeter.

Compulsory modules

CodeModuleCredits
MDC1000BMBS Year One 120

Year 2

Year two builds further on the knowledge you learn in year one related to the human life-cycle.

You will be based at the St Luke's Campus in Exeter.

Compulsory modules

CodeModuleCredits
MDC2000BMBS Year Two 120

Year 3

The third and fourth years of the programme are delivered in locations across the South West. You will rotate through a series of hospital and community placements in six pathways of care, which provide extensive experience of a wide range of clinical settings.  Your learning is centred on patients and will continue to develop your problem solving skills and increase your experience with the widest possible array of clinical scenarios.

Compulsory modules

CodeModuleCredits
MDC3000BMBS Year Three 120

Year 4

The third and fourth years of the programme are delivered in locations across the South West. You will rotate through a series of hospital and community placements in six pathways of care, which provide extensive experience of a wide range of clinical settings.  Your learning is centred on patients and will continue to develop your problem solving skills and increase your experience with the widest possible array of clinical scenarios.

Compulsory modules

CodeModuleCredits
MDC4000BMBS Year Four 120

Year 5

In your fifth year, you will learn the job of medicine and start to develop your understanding of principles of practice in the NHS. You’ll undertake a series of apprenticeship attachments in 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.

Compulsory modules

CodeModuleCredits
MDC5000BMBS Year Five 120

“The highlight for me has 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, studying BMBS Medicine.

Entry requirements 2019

Typical offer

A*AA-AAA; IB:38-36; BTEC D*DD-DDD

Required subjects

GCE AL Biology and Chemistry at grade A or IB Biology and Chemistry at HL6. General Studies is not included in any offer.

Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma will also require GCE AL Biology and Chemistry grade A.

Completing your application form

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.

Additional entry requirements

All applicants are required to have taken either the UKCAT OR GAMSAT Test.

UKCAT - Those who will enter the BMBS programme no more than two full academic years after completing their level 3 (A level or equivalent) studies. UKCAT scores are valid for one year.

GAMSAT - Those for whom it will be more than two full academic years from the time they completed their level 3 (A level or equivalent) studies. This includes all graduate applicants. GAMSAT scores are valid for two years.

Selection process

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

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

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.

Most of your learning will take place in small groups which will prepare you for working in a multi-professional clinical team in the NHS. 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.

In the early part of the programme you will study in a very well supported environment which includes expert tutor-facilitated sessions in the Life Sciences Resource Centre on the St Luke’s Campus, and the Clinical Skills Resource Centre at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital site, community placements, case based small group tutorials, reflective/feedback small group sessions and workshops, all allowing for group interaction, discussion and feedback.

Our curriculum includes the whole health community not just hospitals. This recognises the community role in chronic illness and prevention whilst providing the social context, giving you a wider perspective and understanding. The community placements provide experience of the multi-professional nature of medicine and the importance of the healthcare team.

State-of-the-art IT and e-learning resources are a key tool to help support your learning. You will also have a small number of large group sessions (in which a year group is brought together for teaching sessions). 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), which is 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 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.

Outcome of the programme

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.

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.

Careers

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.

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 before the GMC will grant them registration with a licence to practise.

Clinical placements

The Horizon centre 

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.

Our curriculum 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.

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

Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

At the Torbay Trust you will experience a range of patient care across the new integrated care organisation (ICO). You will gain insight into a variety of clinical specialties including acute medicine and surgery, emergency medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, cardiology, trauma and orthopaedics, anaesthetics, and mental health. You will work alongside multi-professional teams in an organisation that is continually rated highly by trainee doctors*. * Rated first in the peninsula for trainee doctor overall satisfaction in the national GMC survey

The Horizon centre – A centre for Education, Research and Innovation

The Horizon centre is a state of the art educational facility based on site at Torbay Hospital, bringing together education, Innovation and research. The Medical Education team at Torbay manages both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for more seamless support and transition from student to trainee.

Contact us

WebEnquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725500

Website: Visit the Medical School website

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.

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.