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Medicine MBChB students at Manchester Medical School

Medicine (MBChB) (six years)

This MBChB course includes a foundation year for students without a science background.

Medicine (6 years including foundation year) [MBChB] Course details

Year of entry: 2016

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Course details

Course description

The Manchester medicine programme educates, trains and prepares students for practice in the healthcare systems of today and the future. Upon graduation, you will be able to apply knowledge, intellectual and practical skills to understand and manage the complex healthcare needs of individuals and society, while developing the resilience to meet the demands of changing healthcare environments. We are the largest medical school in the UK with over 2200 undergraduate medical students.

The one-year foundation course, taught at Manchester Medical School and Xaverian College , is specifically designed to prepare you for entry to the five-year MBChB Medicine degree. We aim to recruit from a broad range of the community and encourage applications from able students from all backgrounds. Automatic entry into the standard five-year MBChB Medicine course is granted upon satisfactory completion of the foundation year.

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods are used on the MBChB Medicine but the key Manchester approach is the study of themed case discussions in small groups. This is supported throughout the course by lectures, practical classes (including anatomy dissection) and clinical experience. The course integrates science and clinical learning so you are able to apply scientific knowledge and concepts to your clinical practice.

Graduates of the MBChB Medicine meet the core requirements for junior doctors and successful completion entitles graduates to apply for provisional registration with the General Medical Council and apply for Foundation Year 1 posts.  Please see the careers tab for full details.

Foundation year

Students on the foundation year are full-time students at the University of Manchester, the learning and teaching is delivered at Manchester Medical School and Xaverian College . The College is a long-term partner of the University of Manchester and has an enviable reputation as a provider of innovative and effective Foundation Programmes to different faculties within the University.

Five-year MBChB Medicine:

Further information on what to expect on the five-year MBChB can be found in the course details

Special features

  • Clinical hospital and community-based experience
  • International reputation for excellence in teaching and research including close links with the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre - the only accredited Centre in the North of England
  • Clinical case-based learning in small groups and whole body cadavers used in anatomy
  • Flexibility to create a bespoke education

Additional course information

Clinical Placement Travel Costs

Although there are currently small bursaries available to help students with the travel costs associated with clinical placements, this may not cover the full cost of your travel expenses to and from your clinical placements.

Teaching and learning

Foundation year

Self-directed learning, group-working, laboratory skills and a student selected component are used, in addition to lectures on the relevant sciences, to prepare you for entry onto the five-year MBChB.

Five-year MBChB Medicine:

  • Clinical case-based learning

    Different learning methods are used but the key Manchester approach is the study of themed case discussions through facilitated group activities to emphasise enquiry, discussion, self-education, and the development of critical faculties and communication skills; all essential skills for doctors.

  • Anatomy

    Learning anatomy is fundamental to becoming a good doctor. The School uses whole body cadavers and dissection to teach anatomy. A completely different way of learning from solely studying text books and attending lectures, the practical experience offered by using cadavers and dissection will teach you how the human body works and how systems of the body work together. If you find this approach challenging, support is available, but most students find it an excellent way of learning and the experience gained is invaluable in clinical practice. View our video: learning anatomy through dissection .

  • Clinical learning

    In Years 1 and 2, you will learn the basic skills essential for conducting a consultation with patients (including communication skills, history taking and physical examination) in the Consultation Skills Learning Centre . You will be able to apply these skills as you meet patients early in general practice and in hospitals.

From Year 3 onwards, you are assigned to a Health Education Zone centred around a major teaching hospital. This is where you will gain most of your clinical experience. You will be based at one of four partner teaching hospitals, and their associated district general hospitals and community placements, across the North West region.

The course is fully integrated across all four Zones; all successful students graduate with a University of Manchester degree. Successful applicants who firmly accept our offer of a place will be allocated to one of the four Zones. There is no guarantee of an allocation to a particular Zone but the School will take your preference into account where possible. See `Application and Selection¿ for further details.

Community placements

The course includes learning opportunities within diverse community settings, such as general practice surgeries, pharmacies, hospices, opticians and nursing homes, enabling you to work with a diverse range of health professionals. The School has over 700 community placements geographically spread from Blackpool to Crewe including central Manchester, Lancashire and Wigan and you will be expected to travel to these locations. Although there are currently small bursaries available to help students with travel costs this may not cover the full cost of your travel expenses to and from your clinical placements.

Coursework and assessment

Foundation year

The foundation year is assessed by short answer and multiple choice questions, written reports on laboratory-based skills, and a student selected component. You will be given feedback on your performance in assessments as well as general feedback on your overall performance on the course.

Five-year MBChB Medicine

Methods of assessment include both summative exams (which demonstrate you have reached the required standards to progress to the next phase of the course) and formative tests (which tell you how you are performing on the course and how you can improve).

Your assessments will include: written examinations; objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs); workplace-based assessments; reflective portfolio work; written reports to assess personalised modules; and assessment of professional behaviour.

Summative assessment will normally happen at the end of each year with formative assessments occurring at regular intervals throughout the course. Assessments closely reflect the course content, with assessment of knowledge and skills in the initial phase, moving on to clinical assessments and application of knowledge including in complex situations by the end of the final phase.

You will receive feedback on your performance in assessments from your academic and clinical advisors in addition to generalised feedback about your cohort's performance. Feedback on performance is integral to all learning activities.

Course content for year 1

During phase one you will be based mostly on the University of Manchester's Oxford Road campus, with visits to centres of excellence, community settings and teaching hospitals across the North West. At the start of the course you are introduced to the learning processes necessary for successful study at university and you will learn the communication skills needed to equip you for early clinical experiences.

Phase one is divided into four modules, the content of which relate to the overall curriculum themes of doctor as scientist and scholar, doctor as practitioner and doctor as professional, as stipulated by the General Medical Council. Each module is divided into a series of topics that can take the form of one or more cases. The cases contextualise learning to prepare you for the way that doctors meet patient problems. The approach to learning around cases will develop your skills in collaborative group working and in independent learning.

Phase one places an emphasis on practical work, including anatomy dissection, physiology and pharmacology practical classes, clinical experience and personal development activities that are designed to introduce you to the skills and attitudes necessary to become a successful junior doctor.

You will learn about the body through detailed studies of molecules, cells, tissues and organs and the systems that control their activities. The modules are partially system-based. In the Life Cycle module you will study the cellular and molecular processes that underlie reproduction, development and growth. In addition, you will explore the immune system and the pathophysiology of genetic disease and cancer. The Cardiorespiratory Fitness module focuses on the chest and the function of the heart, lungs and blood.

There are also opportunities for you to begin developing a Personal Excellence Path for your special interests in medicine. These support literature appraisal, academic writing, team-working and presentation skills.

Course content for year 2

Phase one continues for another year with two more modules. The first is Mind and Movement where you will explore the brain and the nervous system connections to the muscles that move the skeleton. The focus is on neuroscience but the concepts in this module prepare you for concepts applied in clinical medicine, including mental health.

The final module, Nutrition, Metabolism and Excretion, introduces you to the gastrointestinal system, the kidneys and the key hormonal mechanisms involved in regulating these systems.

Course content for year 3

During phase two, you will be primarily taught in Health Education Zones that comprise four base hospitals and their associated teaching hospitals and community placements. You will have a base hospital where you will spend a greater proportion of your time, with time at the four Health Education Zones according to areas of specialty and expertise. Limited time is spent on the University campus.

The focus is on developing basic clinical competence whilst reinforcing and meeting new principles of medical science. As you progress through phase two there will be an emphasis on the development and acquisition of diagnostic skills and applying principles of medical science in the clinical environment. Towards the end of phase two you will have experienced a wide range of clinical specialities, be able to appraise evidence-based practice and be able to demonstrate your developing professional skills and attitudes.

In year 3 there are two modules; Heart, Lungs and Blood, and Nutrition, Metabolism and Excretion - the content from phase one is developed to cover a larger number of diseases, pathophysiological processes and clinical treatment and management. The Quality and Evidence Personal Excellence Path includes two modules allowing translation of scientific knowledge into the clinical environment.

Course content for year 4

Phase two continues for another year with two more modules: Families and Children, and Mind and Movement. Clinical learning is developed further in the Health Education Zones and an Applied Personal Excellence Path allows you to select, direct and design a project.

Course content for year 5

In phase three, you are expected to evaluate and respond to increasingly complex and uncertain clinical situations, learning predominantly from real patients. You are given the opportunity to choose your placements and to set many of your own learning objectives. You are required to undertake a number of clinical placements that enable you to apply the skills, knowledge and attitudes you have learnt from the previous two phases and prepare to become a foundation doctor.

Placements in phase three:

  • A Subject to Endorsement Placement/Elective (StEP) gives you the opportunity to explore a field of medical practice of particular interest to you in an unfamiliar setting where the scientific, social, economic or cultural standards are different, often abroad or outside the North West.
  • On Community Placements you will work as part of a clinical team based in general practice, community paediatrics or community psychiatry. You will set your own learning objectives but a key element of the community placement is to run your own consulting sessions and see patients independently.
  • You will gain further hospital experience in Teaching Hospital Placements and in their linked hospitals, affording you the opportunity to focus on personal interests while continuing to develop your skills in clinical teams. You will work alongside foundation doctors within clinical teams and you are expected to work as full team members, assuming responsibility for patients appropriate to your level of skills and knowledge.
  • On your Student Assistantship Placement, whilst appropriately supervised and integrated into a clinical unit, you will undertake most of the duties of a newly qualified doctor, including shift-working and being `on-call'.

Scholarships and bursaries

5th Year of Study Onwards

Currently the NHS Business Services Authority pays the cost of undergraduate medicine tuition fees, and a means-tested amount of funding to help with day to day living expenses, to eligible students who are in their fifth year of study onwards and who are ordinarily resident in England. If you move to England from Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland primarily for the purpose of undertaking a full-time course of education, you will not normally be classed as being ordinarily resident in England for NHS Bursary purposes.

If you reside in Wales , Scotland or Northern Ireland , broadly comparable arrangements will apply, but you will need to consult the relevant national authority for details as NHS Student Bursaries will not be able to administer your funding.

Visit our Student Finance pages to find out about the financial support that may be available to you.


During the Foundation Year, you will work in small groups for enquiry-based Learning, have weekly skills sessions in well-equipped laboratories and attend lectures on specialist subjects. You will also attend lectures on Chemistry and Biology at Xaverian College, given by highly qualified and experienced lecturers.

Five-year MBChB Medicine course:

During Years 1 and 2 you will be based mostly in the Stopford Building on the University of Manchester's Oxford Road campus. The Stopford Building contains facilities such as the anatomy dissection room, the Consultation Skills Learning Centre, and IT clusters and a dedicated library for medical students.

Consultation Skills Learning Centre

The Centre is a purpose-built facility designed to teach medical students core skills. The Centre houses 24 dedicated consultation rooms designed to replicate hospital outpatient departments and GP surgeries. The consultation rooms contain basic medical equipment for practical skills sessions which can be filmed by built-in cameras so you can watch yourself in action for personal reflection and to allow observation by tutors for feedback. The aim is to provide as realistic environment as possible to allow you to develop communication skills, learn how to take medical histories and undertake simple physical examinations of simulated patients.

Stopford Library

The main collection of books on medicine is housed within in the University's Main Library, which houses an extensive collection of printed and online material. However, books for Year 1 medical students are also located in the Stopford Library.

Health Education Zones

During Years 3 to 5 you will spend your time learning in clinical placements in the Health Education Zones

  • Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust

Innovative learning

The School embraces the move towards mobile learning and was the first medical school in Europe to provide its third year students with iPads as an aid to learning. We have also been awarded Distinguished Programme Status by Apple.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Support Office