Newcastle MBChB is a degree where heritage meets ground-breaking innovation: we create the knowledge and we deliver it. We teach you the practical, theoretical and communication skills needed to become a safe, compassionate and ethical doctor of the future.
At Newcastle Medical School you will learn from passionate researchers, academics and clinicians in world-class settings with a focus on hand-on, apprentice-style experience. You’ll learn alongside other health professions for the most comprehensive, real life, learning experience and have the unique opportunity to see a vast range of illness, learning from a diverse population of over five million people. Newcastle is also home to some of the UK’s leading hospitals, including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital right next door, offering outstanding placement opportunities to many of our students.
With a strong community feel and award winning student medical society at its heart, at Newcastle Medical School we support you throughout your studies. Benefitting from some of the best clinical education settings in Europe, you will graduate as a smart, practical, compassionate, safe and ethical doctor, renowned for your professionalism and communication skills and excelling at making a difference to other people’s lives.
We know that constant change and innovation are crucial to stay relevant and meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving NHS and that’s why Newcastle Medical School is proud to produce the doctors of the future.
Years 1 and 2
During your first two years on the course you will learn about the structure and function of the human body. You’ll learn how each body system is controlled and is able to respond to the demands of everyday life, including the effects of disease and medical treatments. Anatomy will be learned in small group teaching sessions, including experience of prosection. Please note that students do not dissect cadavers at Newcastle .
You’ll learn about the psychology and sociology of health and illness and how the health of whole populations, as well as individual patients, is assessed. We will also introduce you to some of the key issues in biomedical ethics, for example genetic engineering.
All medical students can expect plenty of patient contact, but in Newcastle you’ll start this from as early as week 2 to quickly build up your skills and confidence when communicating with patients.
In each year you will spend eight days in the community with GPs and patients, linking biological and behavioural theoretical learning to clinical situations with real patients. You will visit GP surgeries throughout your studies at a mix of inner city, suburban and some rural settings to gain maximum exposure to a range of patients and conditions. You’ll also have the opportunity to pursue topics that interest you through student-selected components.
From your third year onwards, most of your teaching will take place in our partner Teaching Hospital Trusts. Teaching in hospitals and general practices takes place within a highly organised academy structure with senior clinicians and dedicated Clinical Teaching Fellows (junior doctors). This ensures that you receive excellent training in each speciality.
Through placements, you will have access to a diverse regional population of over five million, including one million children. This means you will see a vast range of illness in people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, genders, sexualities, socio-economic statuses, and ages, helping you to relate, empathize and identify with these people on a professional and personal level.
You will further develop your basic clinical skills in taking a good clinical history and examining patients, as well as studying the communication skills needed to deliver effective consultations. You’ll also learn about common medical and surgical diseases and how to diagnose and manage them as well as continuing your theoretical work.
Years 4 and 5
During your final two years on the course you will undertake clinical attachments in a wide range of specialities such as cardiology, neurology, psychiatry, rheumatology, orthopaedic surgery, oncology, ear, nose and throat surgery and anaesthetics. Further attachments in obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics and general practice as well as a composite attachment in emergency medicine, intensive care, general hospital medicine and surgery will prepare you for the range of problems that you will encounter as a Foundation Doctor.
In years 3-5 you will also work with a Senior Academy Tutor in each placement, who will be a senior doctor, to ensure that you are fully supported in your learning.
During your fourth year, you will spend one month full-time on an elective placement where you can choose what you study and where. This could involve undertaking your own clinical research either at Newcastle Medical School, another centre in the UK or abroad, in a clinical setting (primary or secondary care), other healthcare setting or in a laboratory. Many of our students choose to undertake their elective abroad to experience a healthcare system in a different cultural context.
If you attain a good standard in examinations you may wish to take advantage of the excellent breadth of internationally competitive research within Newcastle Medical School through an in-depth study of chosen topics for one year, leading to the award of a Batchelor’s degree. We offer a wide variety of intercalating programmes, which provide you with the opportunity to engage in novel work in either basic or applied medical research. This can happen after your second, third or fourth year of study.
Programmes available involve either laboratory or community-based research. You will learn to analyse and interpret medical research data and, importantly, undertake your own novel and substantial research project. The skills that you will acquire will allow you to contribute to the development of evidence-based clinical practice. You then return to complete the MBChB programme.
As a doctor you will be expected to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in medicine but we need clinicians to take a lead role in bringing these about. This course gives you the opportunity to learn research skills that you can use in your career to enhance and develop clinical practice. You can develop these skills in substantial depth during an intercalated programme.
Medicine and Surgery MBChB
Undergraduate, Single Honours
How long it takes:
Undergraduate (5 years)
Distance learning/ Campus
Find out more about
Newcastle Law School
Modules in the first year
First and second years: your first two years are largely taken up with modules on the structure and function of the human body. You will learn how each system is controlled and is able to respond to the demands of everyday life and how they are affected by disease and medical treatments. Much of the anatomy is learned in small-group sessions, including substantial experience of prosection.
- 10 credits – Community Based Medicine 1 (GP placement)
- 40 credits – Foundations of Medical Science and Practice 1: Cell Science, Endocrinology, Neurones and Society
- 40 credits – Foundations of Medical Science and Practice 2: Health Behaviours, Musculoskeletal, Respiratory and Digestive Systems
- 20 credits – Professional and Academic Skills 1
- 10 credits – Regional Anatomy 1
- Non-credit bearing – Group Poster Project
- Non-credit bearing – Research Taster
Modules in the second year
- 10 credits – Community Based Medicine 2
- 40 credits – Foundations of Medical Science and Practice 3: Immunology, Health Care Provision, Cardiovascular and Renal Science
- 40 credits – Foundations of Medical Science and Practice 4: Brain, Decision Making, Reproduction and Cancer
- 20 credits – Professional and Academic Skills 2
- 10 credits – Regional Anatomy 2
- Non-credit bearing – Hospital Preparation Course
Modules in the third year
You will be based in our partner Teaching Hospital Trusts to further develop your basic clinical skills in taking a good clinical history and examining patients, as well as studying the communication skills needed for effective patient-doctor relations.
- 110 credits – Clinical Core 2: Hospital Based Medicine and Surgery and Community Based Medicine
- 10 credits – Evidence Based Medicine and Research Methods
- 10 credits – Health Improvement Evidence Review Project: a group project that reviews the evidence for a treatment chosen by the group
- Non-credit bearing – Clinical Procedural Skills: in each year students have a set of skills they need to become competent in performing
- Non-credit bearing – Year 3 Professional Development Activities
Modules in the fourth year
Fourth and fifth years: you will now move onto clinical attachments in a range of specialities such as Cardiology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Bone and Joint Disease, Oncology, Ear, Nose and Throat and Peri-Operative Care.
- 130 credits – Clinical Core 3: anaesthetics, cardiology, community based medicine, dermatology, diabetes, ENT, endocrinology, gastroenterology, genito-urinary medicine, geriatrics, hepatology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, palliative medicine, psychiatry, radiology, respiratory, rheumatology, urology.
- 10 credits – Conference Poster Presentation: you present the findings of a quality improvement project you have undertaken
- 10 credits – Learning and Teaching project: you learn how to teach your peers
- Non-credit bearing – Clinical Procedural Skills
- Non-credit bearing – Elective Preparation
Modules in the fifth year
During the Final year, you will be able to bring all of your learning and skills together through the Acutely Ill Patient attachment which prepares you to deal with patients’ problems as they present to Foundation doctors.
- 120 credits – Clinical Core 4: medicine and surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, general practice
- Non-credit bearing – Clinical Procedural Skills
- 10 credits – Ethics and Law in Clinical Practice: based on a case you have seen which raised ethical or legal difficulties
- Non-credit bearing – Immediate Life Support
- Non-credit bearing – Selected Career Experience: three weeks to explore a specialty that you are interested in
- Non-credit bearing – Student Assistantship: after the final examinations an opportunity to polish up skills prior to starting work as a Foundation Year 1 doctor
- Non-credit bearing – Written Professional Communication: a group project looking at the various ways in which doctors communicate in writing
- Non-credit bearing – Prescribing Safety Assessment: a national exam to ensure graduates are safe to prescribe
- Non-credit bearing – Elective and Report
Applicants should normally have one of the following:
- A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a UK university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
- A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
- An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level
If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.
If you intend to become a Solicitor
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements, see the SRA website. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. If you think you may have a character or suitability issue, you may wish to clarify with the SRA before proceeding with the GDL.
See further details of our English Language requirement
USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)
International students starting 2019/20 (per year)
You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.
All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.
As a Newcastle Medical School graduate, you will thrive in the workplace as you to apply your knowledge and skills to ensure that patients are cared for safely, effectively and with compassion.
Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Newcastle degree, Newcastle Medical School and our outstanding Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.
After graduating from Newcastle Medical School and completing two foundation years, you’ll be in a position to apply for posts in your chosen speciality. For most of our graduates, these are hospital and primary care posts in the NHS, however there are also opportunities in laboratory-based disciplines, research and commercial fields such as the pharmaceutical industry, politics and medical journalism and the media.
At the end of your undergraduate course you will receive your MBChB degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council, subject to its acceptance that there are no Fitness to Practise concerns that need consideration.
The GMC has introduced a Medical Licensing Assessment – the MLA – for all students graduating from 2024 onwards to demonstrate that those who obtain registration with a licence to practise medicine in the UK meet a common threshold for safe practice. Applicants should be aware that to obtain registration with a licence to practise, medical students will need to pass both parts of the MLA, pass university finals and demonstrate their fitness to practise.
An advantage you will have as a Newcastle student is access to our unique careers guidance service where we help you to develop your career from the moment you arrive. Working closely with academics, alumni, Royal Colleges and the NHS, Careers Network focus on providing you with advice and guidance on the recruitment process for both the Foundation and Academic Foundation Programmes, including support with applications and interview preparation.
In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
Our graduates are entitled to provisional registration with the General Medical Council, with a licence to practise, subject to demonstrating to the GMC that their fitness to practise is not impaired.