Start date: October 2017

Duration: 6 years full-time

Locations: Distance Learning


The science of understanding, diagnosing, preventing and curing illness and damage to the human body and mind.


Our six-year Medicine degree is designed for those who do not yet have a first degree in a biological science subject, and leads to the award of both a BSc and an MBBS qualification.


*See Teaching and Assessment below for information on placement locations



Our Faculty of Medicine is among the largest in Europe, with a wide range of partners including NHS trusts, hospitals and clinics, both inside and outside of London.


This dual award degree is delivered through a range of innovative and traditional teaching methods, including lectures, computer workshops, laboratory classes and problem-based learning. You gain clinical experience from the very beginning of your degree, giving you direct contact with a large and diverse patient population, and ensuring a broad and balanced experience throughout your studies.


Those who successfully complete the course will graduate with:


Bachelor of Science (BSc)

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)

The Bachelor of Science component of the course allows you to develop research skills, and the award title will reflect one of our intercalated options. The MBBS component of the course is the qualification required to become eligible to practice as a doctor.


There is a strong scientific emphasis throughout the degree, allowing you to develop skills in research techniques and methodology and an ability to apply evidence-based medicine wherever you practise.


Our course is accredited by the General Medical Council, and is aimed at those who do not already have a first degree. Those who already have a first degree in a relevant discipline and achieved at least a 2:1 can apply to MBBS Graduate Medicine (A109).


The curriculum of this course reflects the values of the NHS Constitution: “Working together for patients, respect and dignity, everyone counts, commitment to quality of care, compassion and improving lives”. Further research of NHS Values, the NHS Constitution and how you might organise some relevant work experience are essential to making a strong application.


Your first two years are spent forming a scientific basis for medicine and covering the foundations of clinical practice.


In the third year you can expect three 10-week clinical attachments with any of the healthcare providers associated with NU.


The fourth year is the BSc year, where you will take up one of the Intercalated BSc options (see 'Structure' below).


In the fifth year there is a dedicated pathology module, as well as the opportunity to select six clinical specialisms. You will complete your studies in the sixth year through a range of clinical attachments, professional work experience courses, specialised study modules and an elective period. The elective period lasts for eight weeks and can take place in the UK or overseas.


Graduates with an MBBS degree have a primary medical qualification (PMQ), which is what you will need to continue your training in medicine.


For more information on how to train to become a doctor, see the ‘What our graduates do’ section below.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.


Years 1 and 2

During the first two weeks you will undertake an introduction and orientation to the undergraduate medical course and to the School of Medicine. This includes study skills and information technology sessions, and introductory sessions in the scientific basis of medicine and clinical practice.


You will undertake an integrated programme covering the three main elements of the core course: Scientific Basis of Medicine; Doctor and Patient; and Clinical Experience.


Molecules, Cells and Disease includes molecular and cell biology, genetics, blood and blood-forming tissues, metabolism, infection, immunity, cell pathology, and cancer.

Life Support Systems includes the skin, cardiovascular, respiratory, alimentary and urinary systems, and the anatomy of the thorax, abdomen, pelvis and perineum.

Life Cycle And Regulatory Systems includes the human life cycle, neuroscience and mental health, the endocrine and musculoskeletal systems, the anatomy of the head, neck, spine and limbs, as well as pharmacology and therapeutics.

Foundations of Clinical Practice includes communication skills, sociology, ethics, epidemiology in practice, and information technology. The initial element of clinical experience (the Patient Contact course) is also managed as part of this theme.

Science and the Patient integrates your learning from the first two years with the teaching of generic skills that will be particularly useful in your BSc e.g. critical appraisal and data analysis.

Teaching comprises lectures, clinical demonstrations, tutorials, seminars, computer workshops, laboratory practical and clinical skills classes, and some problem-based learning.



Doctor and Patient includes problem-based learning and personal and professional development and is taught in small groups throughout the first and second years.



Clinical experience in the first year is provided by the First Clinical Attachment. During the module, students will pay a number of visits to a patient in their home environment and in a clinic setting, in order to explore the module topics: illness, health and disease; the experience of health and social care; and living with a long term condition. Patient visits are supplemented by small group work with practising GPs or hospital consultants.


In the second year you progress to your first hospital-based clinical attachment where you begin to apply your knowledge and skills to the care of patients.


Year 3

This year consists of three 10-week clinical attachments, which may be at any of the hospitals associated with the School.


You also continue to study the systems and topics component of the course via a programme of live lectures and interactive online learning delivered alongside the clinical attachments.


The emphasis throughout is on the acquisition of core skills and knowledge in general medicine (including cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, neurology, oncology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, haematology, rheumatology and medicine for the elderly), general surgery (including gastrointestinal, breast and vascular surgery, and urology), anaesthetics, and clinical pharmacology and therapeutics.



Medical or surgical takes

GP teaching: basic clinical skills/methods in general practice

Patient clerking: to clerk (take the history and examine) at least two patients each week and write up these case histories – students are assessed on two of these written clerkings during each attachment, separate from the case



·      Consultant teaching: key cases relating to the attachment – you will be expected to present patients during these sessions and this forms part of your assessment

·      Problem-based learning

·      Lecture module: a continuation of systems and topics teaching

·      Other teaching: this will depend on the nature of the clinical programme of the attachment, but should include outpatient clinic teaching, theatre sessions, endoscopy sessions, and anaesthetics sessions

·      Reading and electronic resources

·      You will also undertake the three-week Doctor, Patient and Disease module which will integrate all your clinical learning and introduce some pathology

Year 4



You will spend this year working towards the BSc by undertaking a series of modules and a supervised research project or specialist module in an area of particular scientific/medical interest, leading to one of the degrees below.



'Medical Science with' one of:


·      Cardiovascular Science

·      Endocrinology

·      Gastroenterology and Hepatology

·      Global Health

·      Haematology

·      Immunity and Infection

·      Management

·      Neurosciences and Mental Health

·      Pharmacology

·      Reproductive and Developmental Science

·      Respiratory Science

·      Surgery and Anaesthesia


Year 5

There is a dedicated Pathology unit at the start of the fifth year which covers essential clinical pathology followed by ten clinical specialties:


·      Obstetrics and Gynaecology

·      Paediatrics

·      Psychiatry

·      Oncology and Palliative Care

·      General Practice and Primary Health Care

·      Radiology

·      Infectious Diseases/GUM/HIV

·      Dermatology

·      Rheumatology

·      Orthopaedics/Musculoskeletal Medicine

·      Critical care

·      Teaching skills


Year 6

The final year consists of:


Seven three-week clinical attachments in:

·      Emergency Medicine

·      General Practice Student Assistantship

·      Cardiology

·      Neurology

·      Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT)

·      Ophthalmology

·      Renal Medicine

·      Two professional work experience attachments (one in medicine and one in surgery)

·      One specialty choice module

·      An eight-week elective period which may be spent in the UK or overseas

·      Five weeks of private study

·      A practical medicine course

·      An integrated course in Medicine, Surgery and Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics



Student agreement

Due to the unique nature of Medicine courses, which emphasise clinical placements, all students will be asked to sign an agreement upon entry which sets out the responsibilities of both the College and the student.


The agreement complements the College’s current policies and procedures, promoting a coherent understanding between students and the Faculty as to what is expected from each and improving the student’s learning experience.


Teaching and learning

Our course is traditional in nature for the first and second years. You will spend most of your time in lectures, tutorials and the laboratory, and also use problem-based learning. You cover the fundamentals during this time, focusing on science in a clinical context.


Patient contact begins as early as the first term, and there is an emphasis on communication skills, which are key to becoming an effective practitioner. As you progress to the third year, you will turn your focus to clinical attachments, general medicine and surgery, and building up essential clinical skills.


Your clinical attachments will take place at teaching hospitals, district general hospitals and in primary care. The essential clinical skills are history taking from patients, physical examination and ward procedures.


Your fourth year is the BSc year, where you study graded modules while working toward a separate and additional award of BSc Medical Science. Following successful completion of the year, including examinations, you receive the BSc award in your chosen area.


You will spend the fifth and sixth years on clinical placement, including the opportunity to undertake ‘speciality rotations’, which are a variety of specialised placements aimed at widening knowledge of different areas of medicine. There is also a block of pathology clinical attachments, where your focus will be diagnosis of disease from organs, tissues and bodily fluids.



Your performance will be assessed in all years. This is done through a combination of formal written and clinical examinations and continuous assessment.


Assessments contributing to the MBBS element of the programme will be pass/fail, while those which contribute to the BSc will be graded. In-course assessments and examinations relating to the science modules in Year 4 also contribute to the final classification for honours for the BSc element of the MBBS/BSc degree.


Placements and location of study

You complete a number of placements and clinical attachments throughout your degree.


The location of study will be our South Kensington campus, and your studies will take you off campus at various points in each academic year.


The fifth year clinical specialities, as well as other opportunities to specialise, may be located at other NU campuses.



The main clinical attachments or training away from Campus are in the third, fifth and sixth years:


Year 3 – three 10 week clinical attachments

Year 5 – dedicated pathology course and six clinical specialities

Year 6 – range of clinical attachments, work experience and elective period

Key Information Set (KIS)


Additional details about how this course is taught and assessed are provided in the KIS (Key Information Set).


The KIS is a set of statistics which all universities use to describe how their courses are taught and assessed. This allows students to compare similar courses at different institutions.


The KIS describes the percentage of time which students typically spend in timetabled activity and in independent study for each year of their course as well the percentage of assessment which is exams, coursework or practical. An overview of the KIS is shown in the widget at the bottom of the page and further detail (including a year-by-year breakdown) is available via unistats.


Entry Requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis. If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page, which gives the minimum entry requirements for a range of international qualifications.


The minimum entry requirements for this course are AAA overall, to be achieved in the same sitting and to include:

·                A in Chemistry

·                A in Biology

·                A in any third subject (excluding vocational subjects, General Studies and   Critical Thinking)



Please note that a standard offer is likely to be A*AA.

EPQ:  Please note that an EPQ cannot be used as part of the AS and A2 Level entry requirements.

Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT)

All candidates applying to the six-year course must take the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) in the year of application in order to be considered for interview.

You are required to register with BMAT assessment centres prior to the test. Please refer to the Admissions Testing Service for key dates and additional information. Candidates who would like extenuating circumstances considered for their performance in BMAT must adhere to the procedure found here.

For 2016 entry, the minimum scores required were:

·       a score of 4.5 in section 1

·       a score of 4.5 in section 2

·       a score of 2.5 and grade B in section 3


Other qualifications


We no longer have a GCSE requirement for this course.


You must offer three Principal Subjects to include Biology and Chemistry; the third subject may be an additional science or mathematics, at grades of D2, D3, D3 or higher

If you are taking a combination of Pre-U and A-level subjects you should contact the medicine admissions team for advice on the grades you will be required to achieve: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We require 38 points overall, including 6 in Biology and 6 in Chemistry at higher level with English, grade 5 at Standard level.


Candidates must offer Chemistry and Biology. Minimum grades of 9.0 are required in each of these two options and a grade of 85 per cent is required overall, with a minimum of 6.5 in English.


Scottish Highers are not accepted alone. You must offer Scottish Highers, or AS-Level and Advanced Highers, or A-Levels.

You must offer:

AAA grades in Advanced Highers or A-Levels, including Chemistry and Biology and one science or mathematics subject, and one additional subject at Scottish Higher or AS-Level


Advanced placement candidates must have a minimum of 3 AP tests, with the following grades: 5 in Chemistry, 5 in Biology, and 5 in Mathematics or any other science subject.

The School of Medicine accepts various other international qualifications for admission to medicine. For further information please contact the admissions team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.


We do not currently consider any foundation/access courses for entry to Medicine.

Deferred entry

The School of Medicine welcomes applications from school leavers who wish to take a gap year. You must state in your personal statement how you propose to spend your time. Deferred entry applications from overseas applicants are not normally accepted.

Overseas students

We accept a small number of overseas students into the Medicine course each year. If you are offering academic qualifications other than those listed above you must supply full details direct to our Admissions Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Supplementary information should not be sent to us

You are required to offer an accepted English Language qualification, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants for a list of acceptable qualifications.

Graduate students

Graduate students with a 2.1 or higher in an appropriate science degree should apply for the five-year Graduate Medicine MBBS, which does not include a BSc Year.

Graduate applicants will be required to commit to financing themselves for the duration of their study. See details of current fees.

Graduates not fulfilling the above entry criteria are invited to apply for the six-year course. Such graduate students will not be exempt from any section of the MBBS/BSc course or examinations, including the BSc Year (Year 4). Such candidates are required to obtain at least upper second class honours in their first degree.

Candidate selection

Admission to medicine at NU is highly competitive. We receive well over 2,000 applications for entry and interview about 750 candidates. We make approximately 480 offers.

We use a range of criteria to assess candidates. Candidates must meet the minimum academic requirements outlined in the section on entrance requirements and have high marks for the three sections of BMAT. No offers are made without applicants attending for competitive interview.

Candidates must:

·       have obtained or be predicted to obtain grades in A and AS-levels, International or European Baccalaureate, or other acceptable qualifications that satisfy the School of Medicine’s academic criteria (see Entry requirements section, above)

·       sit the BMAT examination

·       apply by the deadline

If a candidate fulfils the minimum entry requirements and has scores in the top rankings for all three sections of BMAT, his or her application form will be passed to an experienced member of the selection panel.

The selection panel comprises teachers in undergraduate education with experience in the admissions process, who will decide whether to offer the candidate an interview. These decisions are ratified by one of the admissions tutors. The panel members look at the following criteria when assessing applications:

·       A/AS-level or equivalent predicted (or achieved) grades

·       BMAT scores

·       Evidence of commitment to the values of the NHS constitution

·       Motivation and understanding of medicine as a career

·       Community activities

·       Leadership and teamwork

·       Extracurricular interests

·       Referee’s report



If selected, you will be required to attend a 15-minute interview. This will take place at the South Kensington Campus between December and March. The interview includes time for the panel to make its decision.

Normally interview panels consist of a chairperson, two other members of the selection panel, a senior medical student and frequently a lay observer. Before your interview you will have a chance to take a tour of the South Kensington Campus organised by medical students.

The interview is not intended to be an intimidating experience and staff will try to put candidates at ease while evaluating the following:

·       Motivation and realistic approach to medicine as a career

·       Capacity to deal with stressful situations

·       Evidence of commitment to the values of the NHS constitution

·       Evidence of working as both a leader and a team member

·       Ability to multitask

·       Likely contribution to university life

·       Communication skills and maturity of character

There will be three possible outcomes from the interview:

·       An offer – conditional upon obtaining relevant qualifications

·       Reserve list – meaning that if you remain unplaced at any other medical school, we may be able to reconsider you later in the admissions cycle should a vacancy occur

·       Rejection

Following the interview candidates should normally receive a written response from the School of Medicine within two weeks of interview. The formal notification of the decision will be communicated to Admission Centre at the same time.

Candidates who are rejected cannot be reconsidered for entry within the same cycle but may reapply the following year (if they obtain the relevant qualifications at the first attempt) without prejudice to the new application.

Applications should be made through the Common Application Scheme.


Additional Requirements

Health requirements

All candidates offered a place must complete a health assessment with the College’s Occupational Health Service. You will be sent a confidential health questionnaire along with your offer. You should complete this and return it to the Occupational Health Service as soon as possible.

The primary aim of the assessment is to learn about any health problems or disabilities you may have which may require special support, so that we can plan for this before you begin your course.

We are also required by the General Medical Council (GMC) to ensure that you are not affected by a condition that would make it impossible for you to acquire the skills necessary to qualify and work safely as a doctor before accepting you onto the course.

You can read the GMC requirements in their booklet Tomorrow’s Doctors.

The School of Medicine welcomes applications from candidates with disabilities and, wherever possible, seeks to provide any extra support that may be necessary. Most disabilities or health problems, even if substantial, can be accommodated.

If you have a disability or health problem that you think may affect your fitness to practise, or which you think may be difficult to accommodate, then you can contact the College Occupational Health Physician for advice, in confidence, before applying.


If you are offered a place, you will need to be immunised against a range of infections to meet health and safety standards necessary for work with patients. You will be sent details of the vaccination programme along with your offer. As soon as you receive this information you should arrange with your doctor or a health clinic to begin this programme, as it can take eight months to complete.


Chronic viral infections that are carried in the blood can be transmitted during surgery to patients from an infected healthcare worker. When you come to NU, in order to comply with NHS requirements, you will be offered blood tests to check that you are not infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C and/or HIV, before you can be cleared for hands-on surgical experience.

If you are infected, you will be allowed to continue your course but not allowed to assist with or undertake surgery or other ‘exposure-prone’ procedures on patients. It will not prevent you from qualifying or practising as a doctor, except for the restriction on exposure-prone procedures.

Criminal record/disclosure and barring service check

Admission is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) Section 4(2) (Exemption) Order 1975 and DHSS Circular HC(88)9 guidelines regarding child protection and police checks.

As a condition of acceptance, all applicants will be required to have completed an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check by the given deadline. When you are offered a place you will be advised of the procedures as part of the admissions process.


All MBBS degrees based at NU are professionally accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (WF).

What our graduates do

Graduates from the School of Medicine enter a wide and diverse range of careers, including medical practice, biomedical research, the pharmaceutical industry, scientific journalism and healthcare management.

Achieving an MBBS degree from NU provides you with a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) and license to practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts, subject only to acceptance by the GMC that there are no fitness to practise concerns that need consideration.

You will need to apply for a Foundation Year 1 post during the final year of your undergraduate course through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts 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.

On successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme you will be eligible to apply for full registration with the GMC before entering Foundation Year 2. Doctors need full registration with a license to practise for unsupervised medical practise in the NHS or UK private practice.*

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