Edinburgh Medical School

What you will study

The Medicine (MBChB) degree simply explained.

Two students from the Edinburgh Medical School

The Medicine (MBChB) degree programme is designed to prepare you for the contemporary challenges of medical practice.

Our graduates are caring, competent and confident - and able to function at the highest level in academic, hospital or community settings.  You will leave Edinburgh Medical School prepared for complex and uncertain situations, equipped for ongoing personal development, and trained for high professional achievement and leadership.

 

Years 1 and 2

In your first two years, you will study the biomedical and clinical sciences such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology and micro-biology, along with social and ethical aspects of clinical practice.

You will learn practical clinical skills such as resuscitation and interviewing patients, developing your clinical reasoning and decision-making skills. These skills will be advanced through workshops, community projects, GP-based teaching and student-selected components or projects on a range of topics from the clinical to the non-medical.

 

Year 3 (intercalated degree)

In Year 3, you’ll take on a whole new challenge, beginning an academic year of full-time, research-based study, leading to a Bachelor of Medical Sciences Honours degree. This means, upon graduation, you will receive both a MBChB and your research-based BMedSci (Hons) degree.

Known as an “intercalated” degree, the programmes on offer include biochemistry, neuroscience, pharmacology, psychology, sports science medicine, zoology and many more. 

 

Years 4, 5 and 6

In Year 4, you will study all aspects of clinical medicine and healthcare. You will also develop your practical experience through placements in hospital and general practice. 

In Year 5, you will move around a number of specialities, working on hospital wards and as part of a team. As well as further clinical placements, you will complete an individual research project in partnership with a clinical tutor. 

In your final year, you will apply your learning from previous years, with an emphasis on developing practical skills and knowledge of general and acute medicine,  emergency medicine, surgery, anaesthetics and intensive care. You will have the opportunity to assist a junior doctor and, under supervision, undertake some of the duties of a Foundation Year 1 doctor.

 

Elective - study abroad

After your final exams, there is also a six week ‘elective’ period, where you will have the opportunity to study outside the UK. Students are normally attached to a hospital.  

Popular destinations are Africa (Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa), Australia, the Caribbean, India, Samoa, the United States and occasionally South America.

 

Undergraduate degree finder: the programme in more detail

 

Modules and themes

The MBChB programme is composed of core and option courses and is built around 12 major outcome themes:

 

Biomedical sciences Psychological aspects of medicine Social sciences and public health
Evidence-based medicine and research The consultation Presentation, diagnosis and management
Clinical communication Emergency care, clinical and resuscitation skills Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Medical informatics Legal and professional responsibilities Personal professional development

By the end of your degree, you will be competent in a number of roles: as a scholar and scientist, as a practitioner, and as a medical professional. 

 

Related links

Degree finder - the MBChB programme in more detail

Intercalated honours programme

Edinburgh Medical School MBChB curriculum flyer  

Learning and Teaching strategy (PDF)

BMedSci in a nutshell - videos about the Year 3 intercalated degree programme