Medicine

Achieve your MBBS qualification in five years through this course designed for biological science graduates.

Key information

Award

MBBS

Duration

5 years

full-time

Minimum entry

2:1 BSc or PhD

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

7.3 : 1

Based on 2015 application data

Professionally accredited

Read about this course's accreditation

  • UCAS course code: A109
  • ECTS: n/a
  • Start date: October 2018

Overview

Imperial’s Faculty of Medicine is one of the largest in Europe, with medical campuses across north and west London and partnerships with a wide range of NHS Trusts, hospitals and clinics.

This access to a very large and diverse patient population enables you to gain clinical experience from your very first term, with placements carefully selected to give you a broad and balanced clinical learning experience.

Our teaching is enriched by our internationally competitive research and clinical expertise, so you’ll be learning at the very cutting edge of the subject. We deliver the course through a range of innovative and traditional teaching methods, including lectures, computer workshops, laboratory classes and problem-based learning.

This course is designed for those who already have at least a 2:1 in an appropriate biological science degree, and enables you to achieve the MBBS qualification in five years by exempting you from the BSc Honours year. Tailored opportunities to pursue research and scholarship will also be provided.

The first two years of the degree focus on the scientific basis of medicine and the foundations of clinical practice.

Your third year will consist of three 10-week clinical attachments, which may be at any of the hospitals or Teaching General Practices associated with Imperial. You continue to study the systems and topics component of the course via a programme of live lectures and interactive online learning delivered alongside the clinical attachments.

Year four includes a dedicated pathology course followed by a variety of clinical specialties, while your final year will include a range of clinical attachments and work experience alongside specialised study modules and an elective period.

Exceptional students may be offered the opportunity to include a PhD as part of their course.

You will graduate with a primary medical qualification, which entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council and license to practice in approved Foundation Year 1 posts (see Careers below).

Structure

Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for 2018 entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

Years 1 and 2

You will study an integrated programme covering the main elements of the core course: Scientific Basis of Medicine, and Clinical Experience.

  • Molecules, Cells and Disease includes molecular and cell biology, genetics, blood and blood-forming tissues, metabolism, infection, immunity, cell pathology, and cancer.
  • Life Support Systems includes the cardiovascular, respiratory, alimentary and urinary systems, and the anatomy of the thorax, abdomen, pelvis and perineum.
  • Life Cycle and Regulatory Systems includes reproduction, development and ageing, neuroscience and mental health, the endocrine and musculoskeletal systems, the anatomy of the head, neck, spine and limbs, as well as pharmacology and therapeutics.
  • Foundations of Clinical Practice includes communication skills, society and health, medical ethics and law and epidemiology in practice. The initial element of clinical experience (the First Clinical Attachment), plus problem-based learning and personal and professional development, is also part of this theme and are taught in small groups.
  • Clinical Research and Innovation integrates your learning from the first two years with the development of research skills e.g. statistics, critical appraisal and data analysis. During this Theme you will undertake a research experience, collecting data that will be presented as a poster in a Festival of Science at the end of Year 2. Problem based learning is also part of this theme and taught in small groups in Year 1.

Graduate Medicine students will be cohorted together for small group teaching sessions as much as possible. Lecture programme attendance will be tailored to individual needs after discussion with the Head of Graduate Medicine.

Clinical Experience

Clinical experience in the first year is provided by the First Clinical Attachment. During this module, you will pay a number of visits to a patient in their home environment and in a clinical setting, in order to explore the module topics:

  • Illness, health and disease;
  • The experience of health and social care; and
  • Living with a long term condition.

Patient visits are supplemented by small group work with practising GP’s or hospital consultants.

In the second year you will have your first hospital-based clinical attachment (Second Clinical Attachment). This will allow you to apply your knowledge and skills to the care of patients, focusing on the multidisciplinary team.

In addition to the core learning associated with Years 1 and 2, you will be offered learning opportunities generated specifically for Imperial Graduate Medicine MBBS programme.

Clinical Research Experience

During Year 1 we will meet with you to discuss, one to one, your research aims. You will be offered research projects that can be conducted in your free time across Year 1 and 2, and during the 8-week block in Year 2 as part of the Clinical Research and Innovation Theme.

Educational Training

During Year 1, you will receive specific teaching on "how students learn" and "appropriate methods for teaching, learning and assessing in medicine".

During Year 2, you will have the opportunity to act as Graduate Teaching Assistants within the Undergraduate programmes in the School of Medicine.

Those students wishing to obtain the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Associate Fellowship will need to produce an Account of Professional Practice (APP) for submission to HEA. 

Year 3

  • Three 10-week clinical placements

We emphasise the acquisition of core skills and knowledge in general medicine (including cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, neurology, oncology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, haematology, rheumatology and medicine for the elderly), general surgery (including gastrointestinal, breast and vascular surgery, and urology), anaesthetics, and clinical pharmacology and therapeutics.

Core learning

  • Medical or surgical takes
  • GP teaching: basic clinical skills/methods in general practice
  • Patient clerking: to clerk (take the history and examine) at least two patients each week and write up these case histories – students are assessed on two of these written clerkings during each attachment, separate from the case project
  • Consultant teaching: key cases relating to the attachment – you will be expected to present patients during these sessions and this forms part of your assessment Problem-based learning
  • Lecture module: a continuation of systems and topics teaching
  • Other teaching: this will depend on the nature of the clinical attachment, but should include outpatient clinic teaching, theatre sessions, endoscopy sessions, and anaesthetics sessions
  • Reading and electronic resources
  • Background to Clinical Specialties module: three-week introduction to different clinical specialties

Year 4

There is a dedicated Pathology module at the start of the fourth year, which covers essential clinical pathology followed by a variety of clinical specialties:

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Oncology and Palliative Care
  • General Practice and Primary Health Care
  • Radiology
  • Infectious Diseases/GUM/HIV
  • Dermatology
  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopaedics/Musculoskeletal Medicine
  • Critical care
  • Teaching skills

Year 5

  • Seven three-week clinical attachments in:
    • Emergency Medicine
    • General Practice Student Assistantship
    • Cardiology
    • Neurology
    • Ears, Nose and Throat
    • Ophthalmology
    • Renal Medicine
  • Two senior placements (one in medicine and one in surgery)
  • One specialty choice module
  • An eight-week elective period which may be spent in the UK or overseas
  • An integrated module in Medicine, Surgery and Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • A revision module for the finals examinations
  • A transition to Foundation module

Professional accreditation

This degree is professionally accredited by the General Medical Council.


Associateship

As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the Imperial College School of Medicine (AICSM).

Find out more about Associateships.

Teaching and assessment

Student agreement

Due to the unique nature of Medicine courses, which emphasise clinical placements, all students will be asked to sign an agreement upon entry which sets out the responsibilities of both the College and the student.

The agreement complements the College’s current policies and procedures, promoting a coherent understanding between students and the Faculty as to what is expected from each and improving the student’s learning experience.

Find out more: Faculty of Medicine and Medical Undergraduate Agreement [pdf]

Teaching

Our course is traditional in nature for the first and second years. You will spend most of your time in lectures, tutorials and the laboratory, and also use problem-based learning. You cover the fundamentals during this time, focusing on science in a clinical context.

Patient contact begins as early as the first term, and there is an emphasis on communication skills, which are key to becoming an effective practitioner. As you progress to the third year, you will turn your focus to clinical attachments, general medicine and surgery, and building up essential clinical skills.

Your clinical attachments will take place at teaching hospitals, district general hospitals and in primary care. The essential clinical skills are history taking from patients, physical examination and ward procedures.

You will spend the fourth and fifth years on clinical placement, including the opportunity to undertake ‘speciality rotations’, which are a variety of specialised placements aimed at widening knowledge of different areas of medicine. There is also a block of pathology clinical attachments, where your focus will be diagnosis of disease from organs, tissues and bodily fluids.

Assessment

Your performance will be assessed in all years. This is done through a combination of formal written and clinical examinations and continuous assessment.

Assessments contributing to the MBBS element of the programme will be pass/fail.

Placements and location of study

You complete a number of placements and clinical attachments throughout your degree.

The location of study will be our South Kensington campus, and your studies will take you off campus at various points in each academic year.

The fourth year clinical specialities, as well as other opportunities to specialise, may be located at other Imperial campuses.

You can expect to complete attachments at the below list of teaching hospitals, provided as a guide:

  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
  • London North West Healthcare NHS Trust – Ealing Hospital
  • Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – Charing Cross, Hammersmith, St Mary's and Western Eye Hospitals
  • London North West Healthcare NHS Trust – Northwick Park
  • Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust
  • West Middlesex University Hospital

Imperial has partnership agreements with a number of healthcare providers inside and outside of London, and the list above is given as a guide and is not intended to be exhaustive.

The main clinical attachments or training away from South Kensington are in the third, fourth and fifth years:

  • Year 3 – three 10 week clinical attachments
  • Year 4 – dedicated pathology course and six clinical specialities
  • Year 5 – range of clinical attachments, work experience self-selected specialty choice module and elective period

Staff expertise

At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats Key Information Set (KIS).

The KIS consists of official data which we provide about all of our undergraduate courses that have a UCAS code. This information is published by the Higher Education Funding Council on the Unistats website to help you compare similar courses at different institutions.

Because Unistats only collects data on undergraduate courses, this course does not have its own KIS. However, there is a high degree of overlap with the main degree in this Department so we encourage you to use the KIS data for that degree for information on areas such as the proportion of time spent in timetabled teaching and independent study, how the course is assessed, student satisfaction and what our graduates are doing six months after completing the course.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

Academic requirement

The minimum entry requirement for this course is a 2:1 in a BSc, or a PhD in a biological subject, which contains significant knowledge of the basic physiology and biochemistry of mammalian cells and organs.

Some examples of relevant biological subjects are:

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Science
  • Pharmacology

The above list is not intended to be exhaustive because degrees around the world vary and there are many relevant degrees that we are not able to list, as these degrees change too frequently.

If you are invited for an interview, you will need to provide details of your previous degree course. However, in order to understand what we are looking for, you should complete the checklist of the features of your degree.

If you find your degree does meet our requirements and you are subsequently invited for an interview, you will be required to produce a copy of this checklist validated by a tutor on the course you took. Candidates whose degrees do not satisfy the checklist requirements will not be eligible for entry to the course.

If you are yet to graduate at the time of application you will be expected to provide a letter from your course supervisor that contains a prediction of your expected degree class.

Admissions test (all applicants)

All candidates applying to this course must take the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) in the year of application in order to be considered for interview.

You are required to register with BMAT assessment centres prior to the test. Please refer to Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing for key dates and additional information.

Please note that for 2018 entry, there will be two test dates, one in September and one in November. Details for both dates can be found at Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing – September date and November date

Candidates who would like extenuating circumstances considered for their performance in BMAT must adhere to the procedure found here.

Invitations to an interview will be based on:

  • the content of your UCAS application
  • your performance in all three sections of BMAT

BMAT cut-off scores are calculated each year, as a result of ranked candidate BMAT scores versus number of expected interview sessions. As a result, the absolute BMAT cut-off changes each year. However, the BMAT cut-off scores from previous admissions cycles may be used as a guide.

For 2017 entry, the minimum scores required were:

  • a score of 4.5 in section 1
  • a score of 4.6 in section 2
  • a score of 2.5 and grade B in section 3

Selection process

Assessing your application

Admission to medicine at Imperial is highly competitive. We receive well over 600 applications for entry and interview about 90 candidates. We make approximately 45 offers.

We use a range of criteria to assess candidates. Candidates must meet the minimum academic requirements outlined in the section on entrance requirements and BMAT. Candidates are expected to be available for competitive interviews. Candidates who are unable to attend an interview will not be made an offer.

Candidates must:

  • have obtained or be predicted to obtain a degree of adequate class, in an acceptable biological subject, to satisfy the School of Medicine’s academic criteria
  • have sat the BMAT examination in the academic year prior to the year of admission
  • submit their application on time

Candidates who do not fulfil the above requirements will be rejected immediately. If a candidate fulfils the minimum entry requirements his or her application form will be passed to an experienced member of the selection panel.

Selection panel

The selection panel comprises teachers in undergraduate education with experience in the admissions process, who will decide whether to offer the candidate an interview. These decisions are ratified by one of the admissions tutors. The panel members look at the following criteria when assessing applications:

  • Grade(s) and content of previous degree(s)
  • BMAT scores
  • Evidence of commitment to the values of the NHS constitution
  • Motivation and understanding of medicine as a career
  • Community activities
  • Leadership and teamwork interests
  • Referee’s report

Interview

If selected, you will be required to attend a 15-minute interview. This will take place at the South Kensington Campus between November and March. The interview includes time for the panel to make its decision.

Normally interview panels consist of a chairperson, two other members of the selection panel, a senior medical student and frequently a lay observer. Before your interview you will have a chance to take a tour of the South Kensington Campus organised by medical students.

The interview is not intended to be an intimidating experience and staff will try to put candidates at ease while evaluating the following:

  • Motivation and realistic approach to medicine as a career
  • Capacity to deal with stressful situations
  • Evidence of commitment to the values of the NHS constitution
  • Evidence of working as both a leader and a team member
  • Ability to multitask
  • Likely contribution to university life
  • Communication skills and maturity of character

There will be two possible outcomes from the interview:

  • An offer – conditional upon obtaining relevant qualifications
  • Rejection

Following the interview candidates should normally receive notification through UCAS track of the outcome of their application within two weeks of interview, although in some cases this can take longer.

Candidates who are rejected cannot be reconsidered for entry within the same cycle but may reapply the following year (if they obtain the relevant qualifications at the first attempt) without prejudice to the new application.

Deferred entry and transfers

Deferred entry

If you wish to apply for deferred entry to the course, you must state in your UCAS personal statement how you propose to spend your time. Deferred entry applications from overseas applicants are not normally accepted.

Transfers

Students will not be accepted for transfer into this course from other Imperial courses or institutions.

Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating circumstances are unforeseen, unpreventable circumstances that significantly disrupt your academic performance, such as an illness or bereavement. If you feel you have mitigating circumstances that should be taken into consideration when we make decisions about your exam results, please contact us by Friday 14 July, ideally through your school or GP.

You must provide appropriate, supportive and independent evidence, not a letter from a family member or friend. The evidence must explain:

  • what the circumstance is
  • exactly how it affected you in relation to your studies/assessment
  • precisely when it occurred (i.e. identifying which assessments were affected)

It is essential that you apply for mitigating circumstances as soon as you are aware of the problem. Late claims will not be considered without clear supporting evidence of why an application was not made on or before the deadline.

Health requirements (all applicants)

All candidates offered a place must complete a health assessment with the College’s Occupational Health Service. You will be sent a confidential health questionnaire along with your offer. You should complete this and return it to the Occupational Health Service as soon as possible.

The primary aim of the assessment is to learn about any health problems or disabilities you may have which may require special support, so that we can plan for this before you begin your course.

We are also required by the General Medical Council (GMC) to ensure that you are not affected by a condition that would make it impossible for you to acquire the skills necessary to qualify and work safely as a doctor before accepting you onto the course.

You can read the GMC requirements in their booklet Tomorrow’s Doctors.

The School of Medicine welcomes applications from candidates with disabilities and, wherever possible, seeks to provide any extra support that may be necessary. Most disabilities or health problems, even if substantial, can be accommodated.

If you have a disability or health problem that you think may affect your fitness to practise, or which you think may be difficult to accommodate, then you can contact the College Occupational Health Physician for advice, in confidence, before applying.

Vaccinations for medical school

If you are offered a place, you will need to be immunised against a range of infections to meet health and safety standards necessary for work with patients. You will be sent details of the vaccination programme along with your offer. As soon as you receive this information you should arrange with your doctor or a health clinic to begin this programme, as it can take eight months to complete.

Blood-borne infections

Chronic viral infections that are carried in the blood can be transmitted during surgery to patients from an infected healthcare worker. When you come to Imperial, in order to comply with NHS requirements, you will be offered blood tests to check that you are not infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C and/or HIV, before you can be cleared for hands-on surgical experience.

If you are infected, you will be allowed to continue your course but not allowed to assist with or undertake surgery or other ‘exposure-prone’ procedures on patients. It will not prevent you from qualifying or practising as a doctor, except for the restriction on exposure-prone procedures.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

You will need to successfully obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate before you can study the course and go out to placements.

The DBS is designed to ensure candidates are suited to working with vulnerable groups including children.

You will need to have completed an enhanced DBS check, and will be notified of the procedures should you receive an offer of a place on the course.

Faculty of Medicine's Disclosure and Barring Certification policy [pdf]

Faculty of Medicine's Policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders [pdf]

Overseas students

We accept a small number of overseas students into the Medicine course each year. If you are offering academic qualifications other than those listed above you must supply full details direct to our Admissions Team at medicine.ug.admissions@imperial.ac.uk.

Supplementary information should not be sent to UCAS.

You must be available for interview at the School of Medicine between January and April.

You are required to offer an accepted English Language qualification, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants for a list of acceptable qualifications.

English language qualifications (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students who apply for this course.

For more information about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), please see the International Student Support website.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2017 entry
£9,250 per year

The above fee applies to the academic year 2017–18 only. This is the maximum rate of tuition chargeable by institutions that achieved a ‘meet expectations’ award under the first year of the UK government’s new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

In its TEF: Year Two specification guidance document, the government confirmed that all institutions achieving a Bronze rating or higher in Year Two will be able to charge the maximum capped amount. These ratings will be announced in spring 2017.

You should expect the fee to increase for each year that your course lasts, subject to UK government regulations on fee increases.

We expect EU students will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition as long as the UK remains in the EU, and for the duration of their course, provided this remains lawful.

Funding for Graduate Medicine

Our MBBS Graduate Medicine degree is not eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government. Graduate Medicine students self-fund their tuition fees in years 1 – 4.

There are various part-funding arrangements based on where you reside in the UK, including government maintenance loan and/or NHS bursaries. Read more on NHS funding for medical students.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2017 entry
£38,500 per year

The above fee applies to the academic year 2017–18 only. The fee for the 2018–19 academic fee has not yet been set by the College. We will update this page as soon as this fee information is available so please check back before submitting an application for 2018 entry.

Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Over 90 per cent of Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Careers

Graduates from the School of Medicine enter a wide and diverse range of careers, including medical practice, biomedical research, the pharmaceutical industry, scientific journalism and healthcare management.

Achieving an MBBS degree from Imperial provides you with a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) and license to practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts, subject only to acceptance by the GMC that there are no fitness to practise concerns that need consideration.

You will need to apply for a Foundation Year 1 post during the final year of your undergraduate course through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts 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.

On successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme you will be eligible to apply for full registration with the GMC before entering Foundation Year 2. Doctors need full registration with a license to practise for unsupervised medical practise in the NHS or UK private practice*.

* This information is correct as of December 2016 but please be aware that regulations in this area are subject to change.

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: A109
  • UCAS institution code: I50

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Application deadlines

All applications which include choices for medicine at Imperial must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2017 for entry in October 2018.

The deadline for other courses starting in 2018 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2018.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us

Medical student

Got a question?

Admissions Team
T: +44 (0)20 7594 7259
E: medicine.ug.admissions@imperial.ac.uk

Read more about our medicine courses on the School of Medicine.

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