School of Medical Education

Student Support

Student Support


Our students receive outstanding academic and pastoral guidance. This is provided by both the School of Medical Education and the University's specialist support services.

A network of support is available to medical students and students are free to seek information and advice from a variety of sources.

Medical Student Office

The Medical Student Office is staffed by core teachers on the MBBS programme and curriculum officers who manage all aspects of the course.

Students are encouraged to contact the office with all queries and concerns. The friendly staff are well equipped to assist.

Throughout the programme you will receive academic guidance and individual tutorial support, backed up by the University’s specialist academic and welfare services.

Virtual learning

Your study will be supported by materials and resources available to you on the interactive Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Through the VLE you are provided with:

  • learning outcomes
  • details of the programme of study
  • guidance to support self-study, including self-assessment

Pastoral support

Pastoral support is provided via a network of individuals and teams, including:

  • the Senior Pastoral Tutor and academic mentors based in the School of Medical Education
  • regional educational base unit teams
  • for first year students, a peer mentoring system

Student input

The programme continually evolves and is enhanced by our much-valued student input into curriculum development.

The student voice is heard through:

  • course evaluation
  • student-staff committees
  • student representation on the Board of Medical Studies
  • other curriculum development groups

During the programme, there are many opportunities to receive and seek careers advice in relation to your postgraduate training, for example foundation and specialty training.

Academic Support

Newcastle University has an excellent infrastructure of academic support services, available to all students.

Study support

Some students experience difficulties in adapting to the learning environment in the Medical School as opposed to that experienced in school. What worked for A-levels may no longer be effective.

The Medical School provides in-house study skills support and one-to-one sessions can be booked with the Study Skills Adviser.

For students with dyslexia or learning difficulties, specialist study skills support is also available.

English as a second language

If English is not your first language, you may wish to access additional support to improve your spoken and written English.

INTO Newcastle University offers English language support for non-native speaker students. 

English Language Materials Online (ELMO)

ELMO provides online multimedia, self-study English language activities to help you improve your English for Academic Purposes (EAP). It’s free to Newcastle University students.

Maths support

Maths-Aid provides a free and confidential service to all students of Newcastle University, providing professional assistance and advice on all aspects of mathematics and statistics.

Academic writing skills

The Writing Development Centre offers a free service to help students to develop their academic writing skills in a supportive environment.

Key priorities are to support students in the transition from secondary to higher education and from undergraduate to postgraduate study.

Pastoral Support

The University has a network of support services, available to all students.

Personal tutors

At the beginning of your first year, you'll be allocated a personal tutor within the Medical School. Usually, this person will act as your personal tutor throughout your time at Newcastle University.

You're asked to meet with your personal tutor at least twice per year during Early Years. Their role is to provide an initial point of contact for any concerns you may have.

Depending on the nature of your discussion, they may refer you to other sources of support within the Medical School or the University.

It’s important you maintain contact with your personal tutor even if you don’t experience any difficulties, because they will be available to you as a referee for vacation jobs, etc.

Senior Pastoral Tutor

Based in the Medical Student Office, the Senior Pastoral Tutor is available to all students and staff as a source of advice and information relating to student wellbeing.

Base unit staff

During the clinical years of the programme, when students are attached to an educational base unit within a group of hospitals, local support is provided via the base unit.

Each base unit has an education manager and a clinical sub-dean, whose responsibilities include managing all aspects of the student experience.

Student Wellbeing Service

The University’s Student Wellbeing Service provides a confidential source of information, advice and guidance.

This covers a wide range of student support issues to enable all students to maximise their potential while at University.

The Student Wellbeing Service offers specialist advice to students on all aspects of financial management, including:

  • student loans
  • NHS bursaries
  • a range of discretionary funds

Further information and contact details are available.

Careers Service

Traditionally, many doctors have taken a rather passive approach to career management. For many this works out fine.

But there is evidence that lack of good careers advice and planning can result in doctors ending up in areas that they are unhappy with.

There is a careers 'theme' that runs through the Newcastle medical curriculum, which aims to help inform and skill you to be able to make good career decisions.

There is a member of staff within the Medical School who can provide careers advice on a one-to-one basis. There is a University Careers Adviser with special responsibility for medicine.

The University Careers Service offers careers guidance and advice throughout your studies and up to three years after graduation.

Student travel

Most medical students now need to travel during the course of their study to maximise and make the most of the clinical learning opportunities which exist.

In recognition of this, the University provides a financial contribution to the cost of student travel and some students may be entitled to extra support from the NHS Bursary Scheme.

Online Support

Our students have access to a bespoke website, designed especially to support them through their studies. It's particularly useful for those who are travelling around the region.

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) provides online access to a range of resources. These include:

  • study guides and handbooks
  • timetables
  • electronic portfolios
  • student forum
  • assessment information 
  • learning resources provided by teachers
  • recorded lectures

Our students use the website on a daily basis, as it supports and enhances learning.

Extra-Curricular Activities

We recognise the importance of establishing a balanced approach to study. There are plenty of opportunities for our students to engage in extra-curricular activities.

Many medical students choose to volunteer for Nightline. This is a University listening service for students, run by students. Many also help the local community by raising money for things like playground equipment.
The ‘Medics’ also have their own sports teams, and are valued members of University and Elite teams.
The MedEd Society runs revision and advice sessions to support junior colleagues with aspects of the course.
The Academic Medicine Society, which enjoys support from key research staff, helps medical students to identify and engage in research opportunities. 
There are many social opportunities for medical students.