Edinburgh Medical School

What you will study

The HCP-Med programme simply explained.

Students at the clinical centre

The HCP-Med degree programme is designed to prepare you for the contemporary challenges of medical practice.  The programme mirrors the main MBChB programme but with a greater emphasis on community-based learning.  HCP-Med is a new programme, and some details may change while the programme evolves.

Online learning will involve pre-recorded lectures, live tutorials and discussion forums.  You will learn collaboratively with your healthcare professional peers who will have complementary knowledge and skills.

Years 1 to 3 of the programme are part-time, while you remain part-time in your current employment. Each year, there are three residential weeks in Edinburgh.

Upon graduation, you will have learnt the values, behaviour, professional skills and knowledge required for a newly-qualified doctor.  These outcomes meet the standards of good medical practice outlined in the General Medical Council’s  Outcomes for Graduates, 2018.


Years 1 and 2

In your first two years, you will study clinical sciences such as anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, as well as social and ethical aspects of medicine. You will learn practical clinical skills such as resuscitation and interviewing patients, developing your clinical reasoning and decision-making skills.

Our ‘Knowledge to Clinical Practice’ course will ensure linkage between clinical sciences and clinical practice.

In your general practice (GP) attachment, you will learn history-taking and examination and gain an understanding of how GPs assess and manage patients.  Teaching will emphasise the importance of patient-centred medicine and continuity of care.

Please note that in both years 1 and 2, HCP-Med has a longer academic year than the main MBChB, running for up to 40 weeks. Students will be informed of the exact dates no later than one month before the beginning of each academic year.

Year 3

In Year 3, one day per week will be spent in a clinical attachment (hospital and general practice).  You will study core specialities such as respiratory medicine and cardiology. The clinical attachments will be supported by online learning and by three residential weeks in Edinburgh.


Years 4 and 5

For your final two years, you will join the main programme full-time. Years 4 and 5 of HCP-Med equates to years 5 and 6 of the main MBChB programme, because all students in the main programme undertake an additional BSc in their year 3.


Related links

The standard MBChB programme

Outcomes for graduates - General Medical Council