Lancaster Medical School is part of Lancaster University – a high-ranking, forward-looking university. We have been training medics since 2006, initially in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and independently since 2012.
Lancaster University is consistently ranked in the top ten in national league tables, including 8th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, joint 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2020 and 8th in The Complete University Guide 2021.
We are proud to remain one of the UK’s smaller medical schools, even after the recent increase in the number of MBChB places available. Our size allows us to offer you a student-focused learning environment within a highly supportive community. In the 2019 National Student Survey, Lancaster Medical School came top in the North West of England for students’ overall satisfaction with their medicine degree.
Being a medical student can present many challenges, both academic and personal. We have a comprehensive network of formal and informal mechanisms in place to provide support and guidance, to help you cope with the transition to university, and throughout your clinical training.
Our MBChB is delivered through problem-based learning, lectures and clinical anatomy teaching. Problem-based learning is a form of small group learning. In groups of usually 7 or 8, you will explore realistic patient-based scenarios that resemble the clinical situations you may face in the future as a doctor. Your group will identify what you need to learn in relation to the scenario, and then you will independently research the topics, drawing on resource lists, seeking information and critically appraising its worth. An experienced tutor facilitates group discussions and feedback meetings to ensure that you learn the appropriate breadth and depth of material. In later years, in some instances, you will use real patients as a stimulus for your learning in place of written scenarios, but using the same problem-based learning process. Problem-based learning is an excellent method of developing and applying your medical knowledge, preparing you for your first day as a junior doctor and beyond.
Your first clinical contact happens in year one when you will meet patients, under the supervision of a tutor, and discuss their experiences of healthcare and chronic illness. In year two, you will spend two days per week on hospital placement; you will also engage in a variety of community-related activities. Early patient contact allows you to practise your history-taking and examination skills, whilst providing a real-life context for your learning.
In years three to five, the majority of your time will be spent on clinical placements, rotating through a variety of hospital and community settings to gain experience of different specialities. Your clinical placements will be in the acute hospitals and primary care settings of north and east Lancashire, and south Cumbria.
A modern medical school, Lancaster utilises new technologies in its anatomy teaching, including an Anatomage table for virtual dissection. The School’s Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre has also invested significantly in ultrasound teaching, enabling you to learn anatomy, ultrasonography and clinical interpretation together.
During your clinical skills training, you will learn the practical procedures and examinations required for clinical practice. In year one, clinical skills training takes place in the Clinical Skills Centre at Lancaster University. In years two to five, you will learn to perform clinical skills on patients whilst on clinical placements, supervised by senior medical staff.
Doctors need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and their families in difficult times, to be their advocate and help inform their choices. In year one, you will study the evidence base around effective communication and start to develop your communication skills in a safe environment, through interaction with simulated patients (actors). From year two onwards, you will develop your communication skills further through interaction with real patients in hospitals and GP practices.
In addition to the core curriculum, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue your own areas of interest in more depth through Selectives in Advanced Medical Practice and coursework assignments. You can also choose to study abroad during your Elective or take a year out from the course (between years 4 and 5) to study a medicine-related topic at BSc, MSc or MPhil level.