Outcome of the course
At the end of the undergraduate course you will receive your MB ChB degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council, subject only to its acceptance that there are no Fitness to Practise concerns that need consideration. Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work.
To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate course through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates 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, for instance if there were to be an increased number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You need full registration with a licence to practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.
Although this information is currently correct, students need to be aware that regulations in this area may change from time to time.
First year - Phase 1 Clinical Orientation
This phase begins with a programme covering biological sciences, anatomy and medicine in society, since you will have covered little of these in comparison with your knowledge of other life science subjects. You’ll work on problem-based case studies as part of a tutor-supervised group of about eight students, with each of you covering all aspects of the case studies. The problems are grouped into four six-week themed blocks covering basic science, anatomy (including prosection), ethics, medicine in society and behavioural science, with all these aspects integrated into each of the case studies.
Second year - Phase 2 Clinical Experience
Your will be based in the same Teaching Hospital Trusts that currently teach the third-year course for students on the five-year MBChB, spending the first semester in one teaching Trust and rotating to another in the second. You’ll also join our five-year MBChB students in their clinical science lectures, pharmacology teaching and special study modules in public health and epidemiology. In addition, as a GEC student you’ll continue with a small component of case-based learning to further your basic and behavioural science training.
Third and fourth years
You will now move onto clinical attachments with attachments in medical, surgical and other speciality subjects, such as Cardiology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Bone and Joint Disease, Oncology, Ear, Nose and Throat and Peri-Operative Care. You will also do attachments in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics and General Practice. During the final year, you will be able to bring all of your learning and skills together through the Acutely Ill Patient attachment, as you prepare to become a medical practitioner.
Each year we receive many applications for every place available and it takes a long time to study these applications carefully. You should not be concerned if you do not hear anything from us until some months after you have submitted your UCAS form.
In deciding who to interview, academic excellence is not the only criterion. It is equally important to be able to demonstrate that you are well-motivated towards a career in medicine especially through volunteering and/or work experience. In addition, we want to ensure that you possess other qualities required of a potential doctor. Therefore, extracurricular involvement is important in addition to the work experience. Evidence of on-going activities involving significant interactions with a broad range of people in a responsible capacity is a relevant aspect.
From those who apply, approximately 100 candidates are invited to come for interview. This selection is based on the information provided on the UCAS application. Interviews take place during the 2nd semester.
Interviews are organised in a multiple mini-interview format. You will participate in four separate, short interviews, lasting 6mins each. This will allow you to start afresh at each mini-interview. A range of your personal attributes relevant to studying medicine will be assessed by means of different tasks. Interview stations are designed to assess aspects such as: motivation for medicine; communication; self-insight; ethical reasoning; scientific understanding and interpretation.
The four stations will be:
Data Interpretation: You will be presented with the findings of a study and asked to interpret and discuss these.
Motivation and Insight into Medicine: You will be asked to discuss specific aspects of your work experience.
Dealing with personal and ethical challenges: Through thinking about your own experiences and an ethical problem, you have the opportunity to demonstrate personal qualities important for coping in a demanding career.
Interactive Task: This is a role-play station. You will be expected to achieve a task through negotiation with the role-player (who will be a medicine student).
Preparation for interview and indeed for study on a medicine programme is aided by engaging in frequent discussions with friends and family about medical issues appearing in the news and media. You should also use your time on work experience effectively by gaining insight into the demands placed on staff, the problems they encounter and the strategies that they employ to handle difficult situations as well as the benefits they obtain from caring for people and working in teams. Again, opportunities to engage in discussion of these issues must be taken.
Review of Admissions Decisions
If you wish to question the decision that has been made, please refer to Section 6 of the Code of Practice for Admission of Students to the University of Birmingham.
With five-and-a-half million people in the West Midlands area, you’ll be studying in the country’s largest health region. By choosing Birmingham, you will also benefit from an interdisciplinary programme taught by renowned academics whose expertise spans the full breadth of medicine. You will find excellent learning resources and a student-centred, participatory style of learning, together with the opportunity to focus your study on your chosen interests and career goals.
The Medicine and Surgery programme benefits greatly from the very active research environment at Birmingham. The College of Medical and Dental Sciences, of which the Medical School is part, has a research income in excess of £50 million per annum, with several major centres focusing on areas that are at the forefront of medical science, including cancer, diabetes, stem cell biology, immunity and inflammatory disease, infection, cardiovascular science and ageing.
In the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) much of this research was rated as internationally excellent and world leading, with most of the remainder being internationally recognised. Notably, Birmingham has the first Cancer Research UK Centre, and was named as the leading cancer studies centre outside London, second only to the Institute of Cancer Research (RAE 2008).
The following must be taken:
Basic Life Support (credits 0)
Cells and Cancer (Integrated Case Based Learning 1) (credits 20)
Clinical Competencies (credits 20)
Complex Issues (credits 0)
Fuel (Integrated Case Based Learning 3) (credits 20)
Loss and Renewal (Integrated Case Based Learning 5) (credits 20)
Supply and Demand (Integrated Case Based Learning 4) (credits 20)
Thinking and Doing (Integrated Case Based Learning 6) (credits 20)
Threats and Defence (Integrated Case Based Learning 2) (credits 20)
Year 2 Hospital Preparation Course (credits 0)
The following must be taken:
Epidemiological Methods (credits 10)
Public Health and Epidemiology Project SSM2 (credits 10)
Clinical Sciences 1 (credits 20)
Community Based Medicine III (credits 10)
Integrated Case-Based Learning 7 (credits 20)
Integrated Medicine and Surgery (credits 80)
The following must be taken:
Clinical Core 3 (130 credits)
Conference Poster Presentation (10 credits)
LH Elective Preparation (0 credits)
Learning and Teaching (10 credits)
Year 4 Career Exploration (0 credits)
The following must be taken:
Clinical Skills Passport (0 credits)
Ethical/Legal Issues in Practice (10 credits)
Immediate Life Support (0 credits)
LH Clinical Core 4 (120 credits)
LH Elective & Report (0 credits)
Learning Priorities (0 credits)
Management of Life Threatening Illness (0 credits)
Patient Information Leaflet (SSM) (10 credits)
Prescriber's Licence (0 credits)
Year 5 SSA Project (0 credits)
This is the module list for 2012, but the programme continues to evolve and you should check the website regularly for any changes for next year.
We will consider, normally, those applicants who have completed a life science degree at the time of application. We will rank applicants according to the quality of their degree result, giving preference to those with a 1st class mark, but we expect also to consider those who have achieved a result at the upper end of the 2:1 range.
Secondary school qualifications are used to discriminate between applicants. In particular, we expect very good results in Science, English and Mathematics. As a guide our A level threshold requirements are BBB, though these grades may be raised through competition. A sound knowledge base in Chemistryis essential, either from A levels or other pre-university examinations, or from the content of the degree programme. Where the highest qualification in English or Maths is at GCSE, grade A is normally required.
See also general entry requirements.
We want our students to start the course with a good knowledge of biological processes, cell functions and cell interactions. The degrees we regard as generally suitable are:
Many other degrees may be suitable, but variations between different degree programmes will require each programme to be looked at individually (i.e. syllabus assessed). These include:
Most Biological Sciences degrees
Sports Science/Sports Studies
MBChB Programme for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Applicants
We offer approximately five or six places on a three year training course for qualified Dentists who wish to pursue a career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and who have achieved or are expected to achieve MJDF or MFDS. Unlike for the full graduate-entry course, international applicants can be considered but preference will be given to applicants who offer substantial evidence of clinical practice in the UK post graduation. It is important to demonstrate commitment to a career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Applicants must apply for Year 2 entry on the Graduate-entry course (A101), which must be indicated on the UCAS application. The number of places on this programme will depend on the availability of clinical placements.
We do not use any additional admissions test such as UKCAT or GAMSAT.
Candidates who are undertaking higher degrees are expected to have submitted their dissertations or theses before starting the course. A higher degree does not supersede the above requirements. Applicants should enter details of all their qualifications on the relevant section of the UCAS form. Incomplete applications may not be considered.
Preference will be given to applicants who offer a degree from a UK-based institution because of the uncertainty in assessing the equivalence of degrees from overseas institutions.
In consideration for an offer, academic excellence is not the only requirement. Candidates must also provide evidence of being well-motivated to a career in medicine, and have significant non-academic interests and appropriate personal qualities.
All candidates who receive offers will have been interviewed.
Non-academic offer requirements
All accepted candidates will be required to complete a health declaration form, and some may be contacted by an Occupational Health Physician where appropriate.
The UK Government Health Authorities require that all medical students must be screened to ensure that they are not carriers of the hepatitis B virus. All applicants who accept an offer must:
Undertake a screening blood test for Hepatitis B.
If negative, they must start a course of immunisation.
Thereafter provide certified evidence of these.
Prospective students are strongly advised to take the blood test in good time.
The UK Government Health Authorities recommend that all medical students should be offered screening for a number of blood-borne viruses (Hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus as well as Hepatitis B). You should be advised that any health care worker who is infected with any of these viruses (or who cannot prove that they are not infected) is not able to undertake exposure prone procedures when qualified (which are defined as ‘those invasive procedures where there is a risk that injury to the worker may result in the exposure of the patient’s open tissues to the blood of the worker.’). The MBChB Course at Birmingham is a non-Exposure-Prone Procedure course, so students with Hep C and/or HIV will not reflect any risk to patients during the course. Therefore, students who are positive or decline the offer of a blood test will still be permitted to continue on the programme. Although, medical students may engage in exposure-prone procedures on a voluntary basis (for example, during their elective). If this is the case, students are required to be screened.
For further information about these requirements, please see: Medical and Dental Students: Health clearance for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and Tuberculosis.
The College of Medical and Dental Sciences will reimburse students with financial hardship for up to £200 of the cost of their vaccinations. If you are eligible for an award under the National Scholarship Programme (i.e. qualify for at least one of the state benefits associated with Free School Meals entitlement, classed as a Care Leaver or with a household income of £16,190 or less), you are advised to obtain receipts for any health checks that you have had to pay for. Once you commence study at the University of Birmingham, you may then apply for reimbursement from the College, up to the cost of £200.
Students will be required to complete a successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before admission to the programme.
All students are required to sign the Fitness to Practise Code of Conduct prior to entry, details of which will be forwarded with an offer letter.
Medical students are expected to attend the entire course, which includes some evening and weekend work.
Opportunities for candidates with disabilities
We take a positive view of what candidates with disabilities can achieve as future medical professionals and take seriously our obligation to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that all students with disabilities can successfully complete their studies. All applicants will be assessed up to and including the interview on the basis of the criteria outlined above regardless of any disability. All students, including those with disabilities, have to be able to meet the competency thresholds set by the GMC. If you declare a disability we will invite you to work with us to explore how best we can support your studies.
This full 4-year course is open to home/EU students only.
Applicants must have excellent written and spoken English. In line with the requirements for applicants from the UK, normally we expect grade A in English at GCSE (or equivalent). Please note that the university’s Standard English language requirements are minimum standards, which are likely to be raised through competition.
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full or part time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.
From September 2012 all KIS information will be published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you will be able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.
The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) forms part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. It will give you access to robust, reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.
The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.