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Course content

Course content

Newcastle University offer the MBBS as the standard five-year programme. We also provide a four-year accelerated programme for graduates of any discipline.

Developing Your Skills, Knowledge and Professional Identity

In a vibrant learning environment, the Newcastle MBBS programme develops doctors with a local, national and global outlook with the skills to work in any specialty anywhere in the world, in both the clinical and academic arena. Wherever you come from, our MBBS programme will get you where you want to go. Our programme has a global outreach, meaning we are international in our viewpoint whilst rooted in our community. We offer you the freedom to grow and will support you when you need it. We deliver a medical programme with breadth and with student choice.

Our continually evolving programme is dynamic and exciting. You will be part of a learning community sharing a common goal and will experience placements and apprenticeships in hospitals, General Practice and community settings around our geographically diverse regional medical school.

The programme is supported by a purpose-built online ‘Medical Learning Environment’ known as the MLE, which provides a one-stop and fully comprehensive place to find all your learning materials and other supporting information, crucial to delivery of the course.

Your opinions and feedback on the course are central to what we do. We work closely with students to develop and make improvements to the course.

Learning Environment & Placements

The standard and Accelerated programmes teach to common learning outcomes. The quality of education experience and training is excellent in both, but academic and clinical teachers continuously strive to make improvements based on student feedback and in response to changes in the profession.

You will spend time in Primary, Secondary and Community placements in Year 1 and 2, to provide context to the core knowledge and skills you are acquiring.

In Year 3, 4 and 5 you will be based in one of three zones for each year; one of which will mean you are likely to move away from Newcastle city. You will be made aware of your zonal allocation early in Year 1, to allow you to make plans.

A three-week block at the end of Year 2 is designed to support your transition to clinical practice in Year 3 and assistantships in Year 5 to prepare you for Foundation Programme training.

Case-led Learning

The early years of our programme are delivered through a series of 25 cases that cover a wide and comprehensive range of patient centred clinical scenarios – this means that there will always be clinical relevance to what you are taught and using our excellent and modern teaching facilities, each case will be taught using a dynamic range of methods. This will include clinicals skills tuition, hospital and GP visits, anatomy practicals, small group seminars, communication skill seminars and lectures.

After completion of the cases, you will have covered the normal and abnormal function of every major body system. You will also have developed a broad range of clinical and communication skills and you will understand the practical and ethical principles underpinning medicine. Most importantly, you begin to develop a broad understanding of patients from a clinical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and financial perspective.

Clinical & Communication Skills

Clinical and communication skills are the very foundation of clinical practice and you build on your existing skills in Year 1. We teach clinical skills in the safety of our purpose-built Clinical Skills Laboratory, which has recently been extensively refurbished to support our students with their learning.

In addition, the new Dame Margaret Barbour Building, a new teaching facility which includes rooms to support clinical skills delivery, is a short walk from the Medical School.

Without excellent communication skills, clinicians would struggle to take a history from their patients, determine the diagnosis and formulate (and communicate) a management plan. Newcastle graduates frequently refer to their excellent communication skills in supporting their preparation for practice.  Trust between the patient and doctor is one of the main cornerstones of being a successful practitioner and this requires you to be a skilful communicator.

Student Choice

The Newcastle course provides you with several opportunities for student choice: a four-week block in Year 3 and another in Year 4.

Following successful completion of assessment at the end of Year 4, you will have the opportunity to undertake an eight-week elective period. This offers the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world, under FCO advice to gain hands-on experience and to make a significant impact in remote and rural communities if this is what you choose.

30% of our students remain in the UK too, where they can also make an impact in a range of community settings.

We believe this is an important part of our course, which allows you to explore a topic in more depth you may already have studied, or to study a topic or specialty which is not part of the core curriculum.

Examples of topics our students have chosen to study:

  • Care of Newborn Babies
  • Accident and Emergency Care Medicine
  • Wilderness Medicine
  • Global Health
  • Tropical Diseases
  • Paramedic and Air Ambulance Attachments

Additionally, we support students if they wish to undertake an exchange with our branch campus in Malaysia. It is hoped we’ll be able to resume the exchange programme for Year 2 students in academic year 2022-23.

Another aspect of Student Choice is an eight-week period of elective study.

This offers you the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world, under FCO advice. You'll gain hands-on experience and to make a significant impact in remote and rural communities.