Course Guide: University of Nottingham
In this guide, our student volunteers Monisha and Ira have written about the Medicine course at Nottingham University, its entry requirements, and what it’s like to study there.
At Nottingham University, the 5-year A100 course provides medical students with 2 degrees: the BMedSci, and the BSMS (which qualifies you as a doctor). There is also the option of a 6 year course, with the 1st year being a foundation year. The course at Nottingham is one of few which teaches through full body dissection.
A100 (Standard Entry, 5 years)
- BMedSci + BSMS degrees awarded
- AAA At A-level including Biology and Chemistry (both required)
- IB: at least 36, with 6,6,6, at Higher Level including Biology and Chemistry
- At Least 6 GCSEs with 7/A grades, including Biology and Chemistry, at least a 6/B in Maths and English
- UCAT entrance exam, interview, and DBS check
- English Proficiency score for international students
A108 (Widening Access course, 6 years)
- BBC at A-level including Biology and Chemistry
- IB: at least 28, with 5,5,5, at higher level including Biology and Chemistry
- 5 GCSEs at level 6/B including Maths, English, Chemistry, Biology
- UCAT entrance exam, interview, DBS check
Medicine at Nottingham
Studying medicine at Nottingham is definitely an enjoyable experience. There are several opportunities to explore various pathways in medicine through workshops, seminars, clubs, societies and just by speaking to the staff! The city of Nottingham is very student-friendly and is easy to get around. While the medicine society has various clubs to join, the university also offers thousands of organisations for you to explore your interests and try new things!
Course content: A100
The first 3 years are more lecture based, while the last 2 years are very clinical and placement based. In the third year, students undertake a research project and complete a dissertation, which then leads to a graduation with the BMedSci degree.
- Medicine 1: an introduction to the medicine course, covers biochemistry and the basic foundation to medicine and sciences.
- Medicine 2: the module is split into an exploration of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, cancer biology, the musculoskeletal system and the basis of haematology.
- Biomedical skills 1: the basics of anatomy is covered, with explorations into the anatomy of the upper and lower limbs, thorax and neck (in line with diseases covered in integrated medicine and systems covered in medicine 2); clinical measurements are also taught.
- Integrated medicine 1: each week a case study incorporating the anatomy and the system covered in the other modules is looked at, and students have to use the information provided to diagnose patients.
Semester 1: Each week a different topic is taught, with several lectures related to the topic on each day.
Semester 2: Each week a different disease is focused on, with several lectures, workshops and seminars related to the disease, its pathophysiology, symptoms, anatomy (with full-body dissections for learning!) and pharmacology are explored. A case study is provided each week to allow students to explore the disease in depth, and the understanding from the week’s lectures is expected to be used in the case study to diagnose the patient.
Aside from this, there are clinical skill workshops, seminars in smaller groups to discuss ethical topics, GP visits and hospital visits year-round to provide hands on and real-life experiences to students. There are 4 exams at the end of the year, 2 of them are multiple choice (medicine 1 and 2), 2 of them are multiple choice and short answer and unidirectional (biomedical skills 1 and integrated medicine 1).
- Medicine 3: the module is split mainly into an exploration of gastrointestinal and reproductive systems.
- Medicine 4: this module covers the central nervous system and everything related to it–anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and psychology.
- Biomedical skills 2: further anatomy, with a focus on the abdominal region, the back, reproductive organs, brain and eyes is covered, alongside further clinical measurements.
- Integrated medicine 2: each week a case study incorporating the anatomy and the system covered in the other modules is looked at, and students have to use the information provided to diagnose patients.
Optional: there are several optional modules provided as an option for students to undertake in the spring and summer semesters. Some examples are: complementary and alternative medicines, defects in development, hearing healthcare, history of anatomy and medicine, neuron connectivity and brain function, and more.
Same as first year, where a case study is provided each week that works alongside the lectures for students to solve and discuss. There are also clinical skills sessions (for example, abdominal exams), smaller seminars for ethical scenarios, hospital visits and GP visits to gain more real-life experience in the healthcare field.
Clinical Years: Years 3-5
In third year you are allocated a research project (September-February). You complete a 10,000 word dissertation and poster, and additional modules.
This dissertation counts towards your Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree. After your dissertation is complete, you will do a weeklong GP placement and some primary care work.
After this, you start FFP (Foundations for Practice) which is when you are on full time clinical placement in hospital/GP. You have five 6-week block rotations in Psychiatry, GP, Junior Medicine, Junior Surgery, Specials (ENT, Dermatology and Ophthalmology), before you sit your FFP exams (made up of multiple-choice papers and OSCEs, which are practical exams). You do get holidays during these, however during clinical years you do get reduced length holiday times.
You then have more optional modules, and an assistantship where you get to follow a Junior Dr closely. After this, you begin AP (Advanced Practice), where you have further blocks of placement in Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Healthcare of Later Life, GP, Senior Medicine, Senior Surgery and some other specialties.
You sit your final 5th year exams in March (ish!) which will be made up of multiple-choice papers and OSCEs. You also sit additional exams that test your prescribing skills and ethical skills.
Once final exams are completed, you get another assistantship where you shadow a junior doctor to prepare you, as you will be working as a doctor very soon. You also get an opportunity to do an elective where you can undertake medical placement anywhere around the world, if you wish to do so. These are good opportunities to travel abroad and see how other healthcare systems work.
As discussed above, the University of Nottingham provides several opportunities for students to further their interests and develop new ones! Within medicine as well, the medicine society at Nottingham has several societies, including volunteering, sports, arts and performance, careers and speciality and several more. There’s something for everyone at Nottingham!