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MBChB Medicine (6 years including foundation year) / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Our Medicine MBChB with Foundation Year course enables students without the appropriate science qualifications to prepare for their medical degree.
You will spend your foundation year at the University and Xaverian College , and will start the five-year MBChB course upon successful completion of the foundation course.
The five-year MBChB course educates, trains and prepares students for practice in the healthcare systems of today and the future. We are the largest medical school in the UK, with over 2,200 undergraduate medical students.
We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods to ensure you benefit from the best attributes of traditional and novel teaching methods.
The key Manchester approach is the study of themed case discussions in small groups, where students are proactive learners. This is supported throughout the course by lectures, practical classes (including anatomy dissection) and clinical experience.
Our course integrates science and clinical learning so you are able to apply scientific knowledge and concepts to your clinical practice.
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. You will also develop the resilience to meet the demands of changing healthcare environments.
Successful completion of the course will enable you to meet the core requirements for junior doctors and entitles you to apply for provisional registration with the General Medical Council and apply for Foundation Year 1 posts. See the Careers tab for more details.
Possible changes to course content
Although the information on this course page is currently correct, the MBChB is under review. This means that there may be changes to the structure of the course across any or all years, and/or to the relevant assessments and regulations. Offer holders will be notified of any changes before the course begins, but as medicine is an evolving subject area, the course may also change after you begin your studies. Because of this, we update the programme handbooks for each year of study annually, and we notify students of the following year's content in advance.
Extensive clinical experience
You will gain clinical experience in both hospital and community settings throughout the five years of the course. Year 1 and 2 community placements are an opportunity to experience delivery of care in a General Practice setting.
Further placement opportunities are offered in Year 4 and 5. Within these placements you will work closely with the GP and primary care team to observe, develop and refine skills in community medicine.
Read a blog post by one of our Year 1 students about her first GP placement.
We have an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, including close links with the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre - the only academic health science centre outside of the south-east.
You will learn about the intricacies of the human body through dissection activities in our anatomy facilities.
Our course offers the flexibility to create a bespoke education through the Personal Excellence Path .
Intercalate for a year to complete a BSc or master's degree in a subject of interest.
Teaching and learning
The course uses mixed learning methods, 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.
You will also learn through anatomy sessions involving dissection, lessons in the Consultation Skills Learning Centre, and clinical and community placements.
Find out more on our teaching and learning page.
Coursework and assessment
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;
- Clinical Competency Assessments (CCAs), formerly known as OSCEs;
- workplace-based assessments;
- reflective portfolio work;
- written reports to assess personalised modules;
- 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 Years 1 and 2, you will be mostly based on The University of Manchester's Oxford Road campus, with visits to centres of excellence for clinical medicine, community settings and teaching hospitals across the north north-west.
At the start of the course, you are introduced to the learning processes necessary for successful study at university level, and you will learn the consultation skills needed to equip you for early clinical experiences.
Years 1 and 2 are 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 themed cases. The cases contextualise learning to prepare you for the way in which doctors meet patient problems. The approach to learning around the themed case discussions will develop your skills in collaborative group working and independent learning.
There is 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 Year 1 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 second module of Year 1, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, focuses on the chest and the function of the heart, lungs and blood.
Course content for year 2
Year 2 continues 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 to 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.
There are also opportunities for you to begin developing a Personal Excellence Path for your special interests in medicine. The activities in Years 1 and 2 support literature appraisal, academic writing, team-working and presentation skills.
Course content for year 3
From the beginning of Year 3 until the end of your final year, you will learn primarily though clinical placements organised around our Clinical Education Campuses that comprise four base hospitals and their associated teaching hospitals and community placements. Limited time is spent on the University campus.
Years 3 and 4 are underpinned by blended learning. This means your clinical practice will be supported online cases and face to face themed cased discussions to develop your clinical knowledge, communication and decision-making skills. You will now spend the majority of your week learning from real patients, applying the basic scientific knowledge and clinical skills you acquired in the earlier years. You will rotate through 5 clinical placements starting with a 4-week `Introduction to Clinical Learning followed by experience in medical and surgical settings. Your clinical placements will afford the opportunity to not only learn to assess patients but understand how a health service work and practice clinical procedures necessary as a junior doctor.
Towards the end of the year, you will undertake the Applied Personal Excellence Pathway (APEP). This will give you the opportunity to carry out an original project involving, for example, basic or applied research, service evaluation, or educational development, supervised by a subject expert from the University or the NHS.
The final activity of the year will enable you to select a 4-week student selected clinical placement in an area of your clinical interest from within our Clinical Education Campuses. The placement will give you the time and opportunity to reflect on your future career choices within medicine.
Course content for year 4
Year 4 is structured to broaden your clinical learning and practice across 14 specialties, offering immersion in new clinical placements with supervision and teaching by expert clinicians.
There will be clinical placements in:
- general practice and clinical public health;
- mental health, neurology and special senses;
- musculoskeletal health;
- ageing and complex health;
- women's health;
- child health;
- oncology and breast health;
- dermatology and infectious diseases.
The year will end with a student elective placement, commonly an overseas experience of medical practice in an unfamiliar healthcare environment.
Course content for year 5
The final year of the course is focussed on preparing you for your final university exams, national assessments such as the Prescribing Safety Assessment, Medical Licencing Assessment and, for your role as a foundation year doctor in the NHS; this year is your preparation for practice.
Clinical placements will include further general medical and surgical placements, general practice and acute medicine. As a final year medical student, you will be appropriately supervised and integrated into a clinical department while you undertake most of the duties of a newly qualified doctor, including shift-working and being on-call.
You will also undertake a Quality and Evidence PEP to understand clinical audit and governance in healthcare and another opportunity to explore career choices through a second Student-Selected Clinical Placement.
Scholarships and bursaries
Year 5 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.
What our students say
Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .
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 Medicine MBChB
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 Year 1 and 2 medical students.
Health Education Zones
During Years 3 to 5, you will spend your time learning in clinical placements in these Health Education Zones:
- Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
- Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- The Northern Care Alliance NHC Foundation Trust (formerly known as Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust)
See the facilities page for more information.