Doctor of Medicine and Surgery


Start date: October 2017
Duration: 5-6 years full-time

Location: Distance Learning

The Doctor of Medicine and Surgery (MD) is an QCF Level 9 Extended qualification. It is a comprehensive and varied four year course for graduate students looking to enter the rewarding field of medicine as professional medical practitioners. It aims to produce graduates who are committed to compassionate, ethical health care and the expansion of medical knowledge.


The MD is underpinned by four themes. Medical sciences covers a vast scope of ever changing and expanding knowledge that forms the basis of modern medicine. Clinical skills ensures the acquisition of knowledge is accompanied by communication skills, the ability to examine patients and critically appraise information. Population health addresses the relationship between humans, their society and environment. Professionalism and leadership develops these vital skills of a good doctor.


The curriculum is built on important frameworks that explore the social foundations of medicine, develop understanding of the indigenous health context in UK, and provide insights and experience in health care in rural and/or remote UK settings.


Consistent with the research intensive nature of UNC, our program also develops the research skills of our students.


Career Options


Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of our MD program you will be prepared to work safely and effectively as an intern delivering quality care as a member of the health professional team in hospital, general practice and rural settings, conversant with issues in Public health and wellbeing, and with an understanding of the social foundations of medicine.


You will be equipped scientifically

You will have an excellent understanding of the medical sciences and how they underpin our knowledge of the complexity of health, disease and illness. You will understand the relation between individual and population health. You will understand how knowledge of medical sciences and population health are crucial bases for clinical competence.



You will have a clear focus on patient-centred care, with the necessary knowledge, skills and professional behaviours to safely assess and manage a wide range of clinical problems. You will apply the principles of evidence-based medicine in your practice, drawing on relevant legal, ethical, behavioural, and sociological understandings and be equipped to contribute to patient-centred decision-making in circumstances of uncertainty.


and professionally

You will demonstrate commitment to professional behaviour and be highly skilled at working in teams. You will be aware of, and committed to, the importance of initiatives that enhance the safety and quality of health care. You will be mindful of your own wellbeing, including the importance of this to high quality practice, and know how to maintain your own mental and physical health.


with a strong sense of global connection

Drawing on the UNC's strong global connections, you will be able to discuss the potential impacts of international health, human rights and globalisation on health and health care and justify why respect for cultural, religious and sexual differences are fundamental to health care.


in a research intensive environment at the UNC

Through your association with UK’s premier research university you will have a sound understanding of the importance of, and a commitment to high quality research for advancing clinical practice. You will have practical experience in undertaking research and gain insight into different research methodologies.



with a commitment to life-long learning

You will be able to identify your learning needs for ongoing professional development and have well developed strategies for meeting these needs. You will have had experience of being a teacher and have a well-developed understanding of the importance of sound educational practice underpinning lifelong learning.


you are on a path to a successful medical career.

You will be aware of the range of career pathways open to you and have a developing clarity of your intended career path, including sound knowledge of the admission, education and training requirements. You will understand how the outcomes of the MD articulate with the skills required of a junior doctor.

This programme, designed for those who already have at least a 2:1 in an appropriate science degree, allows you to achieve the MD qualification in five to six years.

A key aim of the Newcastle Graduate Medicine programme is to identify and train the academic clinicians of tomorrow, and as such is particularly suited to those students interested in pursuing a career in academic medicine.

The first two years of the course focus on science and foundation clinical skills, with tailored opportunities to pursue research and scholarship. Years 3 to 5 follow years 3, 5 and 6 of the six-year programme, with students exempted from the BSc Honours year.

The programme is delivered through an innovative combination of classroom-based study and practical (including clinical) experience.


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


Students are not permitted to progress to the next year of the course unless satisfactory attendance and academic performance are maintained. Further details of progression rules can be found under procedures and regulations.



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.

Following the introductory sessions, you will begin an integrated programme consisting of themes covering the main elements of the core course: Scientific Basis of Medicine 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 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, Society and Health Medical ethics and Law, epidemiology in practice, and Digital Literacy The initial element of clinical experience (the Patient Contact course) is also managed as part of this theme

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

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

Graduate Medicine students will be cohorted together for small group teaching sessions as much as possible. Lecture programme attendance will be tailored to individual needs after discussion with the Head of Graduate Medicine.


Clinical experience in the first year is provided by the Patient Contact module. During the module, you will pay a number of visits to a patient or a family 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.

In addition to the core learning associated with Years 1 and 2, you will be offered learning opportunities generated specifically to meet a key aim of the Imperial Graduate Medicine MBBS programme – to identify and train the academic clinicians of tomorrow.


During Year 1, research supervisors will be assigned. You will be able to undertake these research projects during free time across Years 1 and 2, although a specific eight-week block will be assigned for completion of these projects during Year 2 as part of the Science and Patient Course.


During Year 1, you will receive specific teaching on ‘how students learn’ and ‘appropriate methods for teaching, learning and assessing in medicine’.

During Year 2, you will have the opportunity to act as Graduate Teaching Assistants within the Undergraduate Medical programme.

Those students wishing to obtain the Higher Education Academy Associate Fellowship will need to produce an Account of Professional Practice (APP) for submission to the HEA.

Year 3

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

You also continue to study the systems and topics component of the programme, begun in the first and second years, 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 project

·       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 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 Background to Clinical Specialties module, which acts as an introduction to many different clinical specialties

Year 4

There is a dedicated Pathology module at the start of the fourth year, which covers essential clinical pathology followed by 10 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 5

The final year consists of:

Seven three-week clinical attachments in:

·       Emergency Medicine

·       General Practice Student Assistantship

·       Cardiology

·       Neurology

·       Ears, Nose and Throat

·       Ophthalmology

·       Renal Medicine

·       Two senior placements (one in medicine and one in surgery)

·       One specialty choice module

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

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

·       A revision module for the finals examinations

·       A transition to Foundation module






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