A close up of a lecture hand-out

Course details

The MBChB Medicine and Surgery degree equips you with the valuable attributes and attitudes required for modern medical practice and your future clinical career.

Year 1: Foundation of medicine

Overview

In Year 1, you will be based primarily at the University.

Through 11 two-week PBL modules, you will be introduced to key concepts in biomedical and social science, and learn about normal structure and function of the human body.

You will attend weekly anatomy teaching sessions to explore human anatomy. You will receive a thorough grounding in basic clinical skills (examinations, procedures and techniques) through weekly training sessions in the Clinical Skills Centre and you will undertake extensive communication skills training to prepare you for patient contact in Years two to five. 

Special Study Module 1 (SSM1)

You will also complete a Study Skills Module that will prepare you for future coursework assignments.

Over the course of four weeks, you will explore subject areas beyond the normal core curriculum, developing key skills in information retrieval, critical appraisal of information sources and report-writing.

You will work closely with academic staff who will guide and support you through SSM1.

Community Attachment

In Year 1, you will experience early patient contact in primary care when you visit several local GP practices.

Under the supervision of GP tutors, you will meet expert patients to discuss their experiences of healthcare, considering the implications of multimorbidity and chronic disease in the community, and deepening your understanding from previous learning in PBL sessions.

Each PBL module spans a two week period and a typical timetable for each PBL module looks like this: 

  MonTuesWedThursFri
Week 1 Lecture
PBL
Self-study
Lecture
CALC
Self-study
Lectures
Self-study
Lecture
Clinical Skills
Self-study
Lecture
CMP
Self-study
Week 2 Lecture
PBL
Self-study
Lecture
CALC
Self-study
Lectures
Self-study
Lecture
Clinical Skills
Self-study
Lecture
PBL
Self-study

PBL: Problem Based Learning

CALC: Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre

CMP: Communication for Medical Practice

Year 2: Learning to diagnose and manage illness

Overview

In Year 2, you will be on campus Monday and Friday, and spend two days per week on hospital placement. You will also engage in community-related activities, including several days in GP placements , community clinical teaching (CCT) sessions with GP tutors and two community-related assessments.

There are fifteen PBL modules in Year 2, in which you will begin to think about the body in disease. You will build on the knowledge acquired in Year 1, learning about common disease conditions, their pathology and management (through drugs, surgery and lifestyle interventions).

Special Study Module 2 (SSM2)

In Year 2, you will build on the skills developed during the SSM1.

You will explore a subject area in depth, sourcing and critically appraising relevant information, and presenting your results as a written report.

Many students choose clinical SSM topics in Year 2 and work with a consultant in their chosen field, who provides guidance and support.

  MonTuesWedThursFri
Week 1 Lectures
PBL
Hospital Hospital

Community
Self-Study

Lectures
Anatomy
Week 2 Lectures
PBL
Hospital Hospital Community
Self-Study
Lectures
PBL

During your hospital placements, you will be involved in various learning activities: taking patient histories; preparing case presentations; engaging in key clinical experiences. Your learning will be guided by the clinical logbook, which sets clear expectations that you must fulfil and functions as a record of your achievement, allowing staff to monitor your progress.

Year 3: Learning to diagnose and manage illness

Overview

Year 3 comprises five rotations, each of which includes patient contact, clinical teaching, PBL and other teaching activities such as tutorials and lectures:

  • Women and Children
  • Care of the Elderly
  • Managing Long-Term Conditions (a GP placement)
  • Therapeutics and Sexual Health
  • Community Mental Health

In PBL, you will start to use real clinical cases, rather than exploring a written scenario. For some of your PBL modules, you will present information from your own patient histories and use this information as the stimulus for developing your learning objectives.

Professional Practice, Values and Ethics Case Analysis

In Year 3, you will complete the PPVE Case Analysis coursework.

You will draw on your own experiences and observations whilst on rotations, to identify an experience that raises professional, moral or ethical dilemmas for the healthcare professionals involved.

You will then analyse this experience or incident, using an ethical tool such as the Four Principles or Four Quadrant method to frame your discussion, and present your analysis in a written report.

The Case Analysis is designed to develop your decision-making skills, and prepare you for medical practice.

Health, Culture and Society (HCS) Coursework

The HCS coursework will allow you to apply your understanding of various psychological and medical sociology concepts to your experiences on clinical placement. You will be able to choose from a range of topics, for instance medicalisation, patient safety or health inequalities, and then explore why the concept is important, who might benefit from a deeper understanding and how it might influence future medical practice.

Year 4: Learning to diagnose and manage illness

Overview

In Year 4, you will spend a minimum of three days a week in a hospital setting, in two 15-week blocks, and will complete a Primary Care placement.

You will complete each of these 15-week blocks which will include patient contact, clinical teaching, PBL and other teaching activities, such as lectures or tutorials.

As in Year 3, for some of your PBL cases, you will use real clinical cases, rather than exploring a written scenario.

Block 1:

Acute adult care

The block comprises four clinical placements as follows:

  • Acute medicine
  • Medical specialties
  • General surgery
  • Surgical specialties

Block 2:

The specialties

The block comprises four clinical placements as follows:

  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Psychiatry
  • Paediatrics
  • Palliative care

Primary care placement

You will divide your time between a GP practice and Community Clinical teaching, with an expert GP tutor.

You will improve your history taking, clinical and communication skills through interacting with patients in a variety of clinical settings. You will develop your diagnostic skills and implement shared decision-making with your patients.

By the end of year four, you will be able to consult with patients on your own and formulate simple management plans, under the guidance and supervision of your clinical supervisor.

During your primary care placement, you will complete a quality improvement project and submit a written report. You will study in depth a clinical topic of personal interest and relevance, analyse data and make evidence-based recommendations for changes that can be implemented to improve care.

You will sit your final examinations at the end of Year 4, allowing you to focus on preparation for clinical practice in the apprenticeship-style Year 5.

After completing your final examinations, you will spend four weeks on elective placement. You will arrange the elective yourself, with advice and guidance from Lancaster Medical School. The elective is an opportunity to broaden your clinical experience and learn about healthcare delivery in another setting. You may choose to spend your elective abroad, observing differences in healthcare delivery in another country, or you may choose to spend your elective exploring a specialty of particular interest to you.

Between Years 4 and 5 of the MBChB programme, you will have the option to take a year out from your studies to complete an intercalated degree. Intercalation provides you with an opportunity to study a subject related to medicine at greater depth or engage in academic research for a year.

If you decide to complete an intercalated degree, you will suspend studies on the MBChB programme for a period of twelve months whilst you undertake studies for a BSc, an MSc, an MRes or an MPhil degree. You will then return to the MBChB programme at the beginning of Year 5.

Year 5: Apprenticeship-style, intensive clinical experience

Clinical attachments

In Year 5, you will undertake five clinical attachments, two of which are Selectives in Advanced Medical Practice (SAMPs):

  • Acute Care
  • Community Placement
  • SAMP1
  • SAMP2
  • Ward placement, where you will have the opportunity to shadow an FY1 trainee doctor

You can choose to follow SAMPs in a wide variety of different clinical specialties, providing the opportunity to explore different potential medical careers during the course of your undergraduate degree.

Each attachment consists of seven weeks of intensive clinical experience. A portfolio is used to guide and assess your learning. You will take responsibility for your own learning and engage in reflective practice to prepare you for Foundation training and life-long learning.

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