As a student at Birmingham Medical School, you will learn from passionate researchers, academics and clinicians in world-class settings to support you throughout your studies.
Your learning will take place in a variety of forms: lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals, bedside demonstrations, clinical experience and a small component of problem-based learning (PBL). We adapt our methods to the subject matter, for example, offering role-play and video feedback on patient–doctor communication.
Much of the student selected component uses enquiry-based learning, a form of active, student-led, learning which asks you to find answers to problems through your own research rather than being given information and memorising facts. This learning style is supported by group work which develops your skills in team-work and will provide you with the vital skills required to practice as a doctor in a lifelong learning environment.
A significant part of your learning experience will take place on clinical placements. These are structured to allow you the maximum number of contact hours with patients as this experience is vital to your learning. You will have regular time with your Senior Academy Tutors (clinical tutors) as part of your placement experience where feedback on the development of your clinical skills and knowledge base is given in small groups. This form of learning is in addition to your formal structured teaching sessions.
Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. We aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services.
A typical week in year one might involve:
- A period of self-directed learning
- Presentations to the group on the results from the previous week’s problem and discussion on the problem for the next week
- Group work in anatomy, clinical skills and basic science
- Time for meeting experts and meeting your group tutor
- Lectures covering the context and concepts that underpin the themes of the blocks
- Time in primary care with direct patient contact to obtain the necessary communication and clinical skills
A typical week in year two might involve:
- Small-group clinical teaching sessions
- Clinic sessions
- One day in primary care
- Attendance with the on-call medical or surgical team
- A period of self-directed learning
After your first clinical year, you have the same knowledge and skills – having achieved the same learning objectives – as students who have completed the third year of the five-year MBChB course. From this stage both routes share an identical course.
Find out more about learning at Birmingham Medical School and see example timetables
You’ll have access to excellent physical facilities and technologies and will also benefit from the considerable learning resources of the Medical School, including our extensive library (electronic and physical) and information technology-based material.
Learn more about our facilities
At Birmingham Medical School you'll learn a hands-on approach delivered by our passionate researchers, academics and clinicians. During your placements, you will be taught by senior clinicians and dedicated Clinical Teaching Fellows (junior doctors) to ensure you receive excellent training in each speciality. You’ll also work with Senior Academy Tutors who will be a senior doctor, to ensure that you are fully supported in your learning.
For more information about staff in the school, their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest, visit the Birmingham Medical School key staff page.
We work hard to support you through good times and bad through our welfare services. You’ll have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors, mentoring programmes, welfare tutors and wellbeing officers who can help with both academic and welfare issues. If there are particular areas where you need support, rest assured that we will be here for you.
Discover more about the support available at Birmingham Medical School
As a Medicine and Surgery student, you will be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. These assessment methods may include:
- Single Best Answer Multiple Choice Questions (SBA MCQ)
- Short Answer Questions (SAQ)
- Written Examinations
- Oral Examinations
- Clinical Competency Examinations
- Appraisal of Professional Behaviour and Attitudes
- Conference Poster presentations
- Teaching session and report
At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular area of study. You will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You’ll also be given feedback on any exams that you take. Should you fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to you, enabling you to learn for the future.
Throughout the course there will be opportunities to meet with your personal tutor to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support.