Overview

Queen’s is an exciting place to study medicine with our students experiencing clinical practice in a variety of hospitals, general practices and healthcare settings throughout Northern Ireland from first year onwards.

The School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences has close bonds with the N Ireland community as part of its educational, research and outreach programmes. Our ‘Patients as Partners’ make a valuable contribution to the education of medical students, through their participation in the selection of medical students to the programme, teaching sessions, as well as assessments.

Queen’s is the only medical school in Northern Ireland and students are welcomed in all of the hospitals within the region and in approximately 150 general practices. Students comment on the ease of access to high quality clinical teaching.

Medicine Degree highlights

Queen’s is the only medical school in Northern Ireland and students are welcomed in all of the hospitals within the region and in approximately 150 general practices. Students comment on the ease of access to high quality clinical teaching.

Global Opportunities

  • Students undertake an Elective module at the start of Year 5. Many students take this opportunity to travel abroad to work in a different medical environment. Students often choose destinations in Australia, India, Canada, and several countries in Africa.

Professional Accreditations

  • The award of the MB BCh BAO degree means that you are eligible to apply for provisional registration with the General Medical Council.

World Class Facilities

  • Medical students at Queen’s have access to excellent teaching facilities and a dedicated medical library. Two of the city’s teaching hospitals and several University Research Centres are located close to the University’s Health Sciences Campus.

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • Many of our former graduates have risen to the top of their fields and include many famous figures – one particularly notable graduate of Queen’s medical school was Professor Frank Pantridge, dubbed the ‘father of emergency medicine’ and inventor of the portable defibrillator.

Student Experience

  • 96% of students were happy with their teaching (NSS survey, 2016). Many students are involved in the several medical based societies at Queen’s, including BMSA, Scrubs, Medsin and SWOT. In addition, the University has over 190 clubs and societies run by students, offering the opportunity to medical students to develop their interests and explore new activities.
 
“Studying medicine at Queen’s is so interesting and rewarding. The teaching staff are excellent and the facilities, such as the Clinical Skills Education Centre, are exceptional. I particularly enjoy my GP and hospital attachments, engaging with patients and putting theory into practice..” Anna Cullen, Belfast, Northern Ireland 4th year Medicine student

Course content

Course Structure

Intercalated Degrees
At the end of second or third year, students may apply to take a year out of their medical degree to study for an intercalated degree. This extra research focused year will lead to either a qualification at Bachelor or Master’s level.
Introduction
Queen’s medical degree is a five year course with an initial systems-based approach. It is one of the few medical schools in the UK to teach students anatomy through cadaveric dissection and does so in an exciting new Dissection Suite.

Students are introduced to clinical work from the onset and by third year almost all teaching is in the clinical setting. Good communication and examination skills training is undertaken in the Clinical Skills Education Centre with our ‘Patients as Partners’ before students move to actual patient contact in the healthcare environment.

Students are supported to undertake an additional year of study should they wish to undertake an intercalated degree.

During the second semester of final year all students undertake an Assistantship module which aims to ensure that graduates have a smooth transition into their first Foundation post.
Year 1 and 2
During the first two years of the degree you learn about the scientific basis of medical practice. You gain knowledge about each body system, focusing on the mechanisms of cellular structure and function. You also study pathology, microbiology, therapeutics and genetics. Teaching of basic science subjects is integrated with clinical skills training which you acquire through clinical simulation and practice with patients.
Year 3
The third year begins to take greater clinical focus. Classroom-based and clinical teaching takes place in each of the medical and surgical disciplines, which is integrated with therapeutic, pathological and microbiological principles relevant to clinical medical practice.
Years 4 and 5
During the fourth and fifth years you gain further experience in a range of surgical and medical disciplines. Training in a range of specialities offers an opportunity for you to consolidate and advance your clinical skills and enhance your clinical and related knowledge. In fifth year you have the opportunity to undertake an assistantship, during which you complete the range of tasks undertaken by a Foundation Doctor. Teaching and learning in ethics, communication, teamwork, and related behavioural science is embedded throughout the curriculum.

Learning and Teaching

Queen's University medical school has a long tradition of excellent medical education which is constantly updated in response to developments in medical science and practice. We aim to deliver a high quality course utilising innovative teaching methods and best practice to create a supportive environment designed to enable students to achieve their personal and academic potential. Queen's lays particular emphasis on the development of clinical skills. Students are introduced to patients and their problems from the beginning of the course.

Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course include:

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Clinical Placements

Students undertake placements from year one and at the early stage of the course these are usually located in the greater Belfast area. From year three students will have opportunities to undertake placements in hospitals and general practices throughout Northern Ireland.

E-Learning technologies

Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and a designated medical education portal. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree. In years three, four and five, learning in the clinical environment is supported by on-line lectures and DVDs. An extensive suite of on-line clinical and communication skills training resources is also available. Interactive learning is supported by the use of audience response systems during lectures.

Lectures

Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide students with opportunities to ask questions and gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).

Personal Tutor

Medical students are allocated a portfolio tutor for all years. The portfolio tutor supports students in the completion of the annual Personal and Professional Development Portfolio, mentors students during their undergraduate career and can signpost to the QUB support network for advice on academic, financial and wellbeing issues. Students are also assigned an Advisor of Study and there is a Student Support Lead for each year group.

Placement Abroad

Currently, as part of the medical degree there are opportunities for students to take a clinical module in a European institution participating in the ERASMUS programme. Students may also opt to travel to other counties as part of the final year Elective module.

Practicals

There are practical classes throughout years one and two – these are designed to support learning in the basic sciences. Students will have the opportunity to undertake cadaveric dissection during the Anatomy components of the course.

Self-directed study

This is an essential part of life as a medical student when important directed reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date, research and preparation work for assignments are carried out. The development of reflective skills is supported through the use of portfolios.

Seminars/tutorials

Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in groups (typically 8-40 students). These provide the opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. Students should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.

Assessment

The ways in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning Outcomes of each module. Details of how each module is assessed are outlined in the Study Guides which are provided to all students at the beginning of the academic year.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is currently developing proposals for the introduction of a Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA), designed to create a common threshold for entry on to the UK medical register.

In June 2015, the GMC Council gave its approval for the project to continue, agreeing that policy should be further developed and that the views of key partners and outside experts should be sought in order to produce detailed proposals for a future consultation.

The GMC currently envisage that development and piloting would run from 2018 to 2021 and that the MLA would be fully implemented from 2022. More information on the MLA is available at this GMC webpage: http://www.gmc-uk.org/education/29034.asp#11

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Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.

Others are assessed through a combination of coursework as well as ‘in-course’ and end-of-year examinations, which may include OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examinations).

Feedback

As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources, including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. Medical students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:

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Formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.

Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.

Feedback comment from Clinical Supervisors when you are on clinical placement.

Online or emailed comments.

General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.

Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.

Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.

Comments and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services, such as Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

Interview
All applicants will be ranked on cognitive performance, and a proportion selected for interview. Interviews will take place between January and March in Belfast for home and EU applicants. Staff from the Medical School visit South East Asia in late January/February to interview and international applicants from other countries are encouraged to travel to Belfast for interview, as they will benefit from a tour of the Medical School and the University.

UKCAT
All applicants are required to sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) and the results achieved will be used as part of the selection process prior to interview.

A level requirements
AAA at A-level + A in a fourth AS-level subject including A-level Chemistry plus at least one other A-level from Biology/Human Biology, Mathematics or Physics. If not offered at A-level then Biology/Human Biology grade A as a 4th AS-level or grade B as a 5th AS-level. GCSE Mathematics minimum grade C and either GCSE Physics minimum grade C or GCSE Double Award Science minimum grades CC are required if not offered at AS-level or A-level.

Grade A in the EPQ or Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate or a grade B in a 4th A-level will be acceptable in lieu of the 4th AS-level.

A maximum of either one Applied A-level or one Applied AS-level will be counted. Please also note that only one Mathematics subject will be counted at A-level (the other would be acceptable as the fourth AS-level). A-level Critical Thinking and General Studies at both A-level and AS-level are not acceptable.

In considering applications, GCSE performance in the best 9 subjects will be scored with 4 points awarded for an A* (grades 8 and 9 on the new 9-1 grading scale) and 3 for an A (grade 7). UKCAT will be scored and used in conjunction with the GCSE score to rank for interview. AS-level performance, additional GCSE A grades and other factors may also be taken into account in borderline cases.

Evidence of commitment to medicine, motivation, communication skills and initiative are important.

Irish leaving certificate requirements
H1H1H1H1H2H2 including Higher Level grade H1 in Biology and Chemistry + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O3 in Mathematics. Students not offering Physics as part of their Leaving Certificate must have an A grade in Junior Certificate Science.

Graduate
Applications from graduates or those in the final year of their degree are considered and the full academic background is taken into account. The minimum A-level threshold (or equivalent in other qualifications) is ABB at first attempt, ie prior to commencing degree studies, or BBB for those with a First Class Honours degree or PhD. Averaging out to these grades is not permitted. Applicants must have an appropriate science background at GCSE and AS-level/A-level or equivalent (see below) and at least a 2.1 Honours classification in their primary (first) degree, which can be from a wide range of different subjects. A-level Chemistry and at least one from A-level Biology/Human Biology, Mathematics or Physics, plus, if not offered at A-level, then Biology/ Human Biology to at least AS-level (or equivalent) are required. In addition, GCSE Mathematics minimum grade C and either GCSE Physics minimum grade C or GCSE Double Award Science minimum grades CC are required if not offered at AS-level or A-level. Graduate applicants who fulfil these criteria are then scored with their UKCAT. Graduate applicants from a non-science background but who fulfil the conditions in terms of grades achieved at the first attempt (ie in their original choice of A-level subjects) and degree performance will be considered if they undertake the appropriate Science qualifications on completion of their degree.

Transfers from other Medical Schools
Applications will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and all normal entry requirements must be satisfied.

All applicants
1. All students admitted to this degree will be required to complete a Hepatitis B vaccination programme at the Occupational Health Service of the University.

2. Medicine welcomes applications from people with disabilities. All applications will be treated on an individual case basis to ensure that the applicant has the potential to fulfil the demands of professional fitness to practise. Disability will not be considered as part of the selection process, however, it is strongly advised that applicants disclose their disability on their UCAS form and contact the School to obtain further advice. Applicants may also be required to provide relevant information which will be treated in the strictest of confidence. It is important that the University has an understanding of your support requirements to implement reasonable adjustments.

3. As a result of current legislative requirements any offer made will be conditional on a satisfactory criminal history check (Access NI Enhanced Disclosure Check). To enable the University to request this check you will be required to provide some personal information which will be treated in the strictest of confidence and in line with Data Protection Principles. The current cost of an Enhanced Disclosure Check is £33. At the time of printing changes are due to be implemented and relevant procedures and/or costs may change. Applicants will be advised of the relevant requirements at the appropriate time. For international students, a Certificate of Good Conduct or equivalent will be required in lieu of an Access NI check.

4. The degree is subject to the University’s regulations on Fitness to Practise.

5. Applicants will be required to give permission for a check against the Excluded Student Database prior to offers being made. This is a national database which records those who have previously been excluded from professional programmes because of fitness to practise concerns.

6. Selection criteria for Medicine are reviewed annually and therefore you should read the selection procedures which are available at http://go.qub.ac.uk/ugstudy, under ‘Entrance Requirements and Selection Criteria’ for further details and up-to-date information, prior to applying. This includes a pdf entitled ‘How We Choose Our Students’.

More detailed information on applying to Medicine at Queen’s is also available from the School website at www.qub.ac.uk/schools/mdbs/

Please note for 2018 entry the deadline for applications to this degree is 6.00 pm on 15 October 2017 and arrangements should be made to undertake UKCAT in advance of this.

Selection Criteria

In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.

How we choose our students

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

An IELTS score of 7.5 overall, with a minimum of 7.0 in Speaking and Listening and 6.5 in Reading and Writing, or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • English for University Study: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - FOUNDATION AND INTERNATIONAL YEAR ONE PROGRAMMES

INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Careers

Career Prospects

Introduction
At the end of the undergraduate course you will receive your MB ChB BAO degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to apply for provisional registration with the General Medical Council. Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work.

On successful completion of the first year of this training period you become a fully registered doctor; however, whichever branch of medicine you intend to pursue, you will be required to undertake further training. For example, to enter General Practice you will require a further three years‘ training. To become a hospital consultant you may require a further seven years of specialty training. Further information about postgraduate training is available from the General Medical Council website: www.gmc-uk.org

Career outcomes include:

• Consultant working in a hospital (eg Surgery, General Medicine, Pathology, Biochemistry, Dermatology, Microbiology, ENT, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Anaesthetics and Oncology)
• General Practitioner
• Academic Clinician
• Consultant in Public Health Medicine

The NI Medical and Dental Training Agency has close links with the School and provides guidance on careers and the Foundation Programme Application System.

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2018-19 will be based on 2017-18 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,030
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
Other (non-UK) EU £4,030
International £35,900

Year 1 & 2 £19,000 (preclinical years), Year 3, 4 and 5 are Clinical years. Clinical fee for 2017-18 is £35,900.

Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

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Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.

If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Medicine costs

All students entering Medicine are required to undergo an enhanced disclosure check with Access NI which costs £33. International students must provide a certificate of good conduct. It is recommended that students purchase a good quality basic stethoscope (approximately £60) and students are required to purchase a laboratory coat for practical classes in years 1 and 2 (£10). Medical textbooks are generally more expensive than those for other courses. Clinical Skills Attachment Placement: students in years 1 and 2 will be required to attend clinical skills attachments in either GP practices or hospitals once per week. Students are responsible for travel costs to and from the practice/hospital which will vary depending on the location. Student Selected Component Placement: students in years 1 - 3 are required to complete 5 Student Selected Components (SSC) in total and students will incur travel, accommodation and subsistence costs depending on the availability of SSC choices. Accommodation and subsistence costs for clinical SSCs can be reclaimed. Hospital Placement Costs: students in years 3 - 5 may, if they choose to, stay in hospital accommodation, free of charge, whilst on hospital based placements. A (refundable) deposit is normally payable. GP Placement Costs: students in years 4 and 5 may need to stay accommodation during GP attachments, depending on the location of the practice. Accommodation costs can be reclaimed up to a threshold (currently £33.75 per night). Final Year Clinical Elective: students are required to undertake a 6 week clinical elective during July/August. Students are responsible for arranging this elective themselves. Some students choose to travel overseas for this placement and some choose to travel with a commercial elective provider. It is not mandatory to undertake the clinical elective overseas. All students will incur some travel, accommodation and subsistence costs ranging from an estimated £100 - £5,000 depending on destination and whether or not a commercial elective provider is used. There are a range of competitive travel awards/scholarships available within Queen's which students undertaking electives can apply for. Students returning to the UK from a country with high prevalence TB will be required to have a chest x-ray and complete an Occupational Health questionnaire (approximately £35). Upon successful completion of the medical degree graduands must become provisionally registered with the GMC in order to take up a Foundation post in the UK. The cost of provisional registration is £90.

How do I fund my study?

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.

Scholarships

Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

* information shown is for 2017-18 and should be used as a guide until 2018-19 scholarships are confirmed.

How and When to Apply

1. How to Apply

Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at:
www.ucas.com/apply

2. When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2018 from 1 September 2017.
Advisory closing date for Medicine: 15 October 2017 (18:00).
Applications received after this date will not be considered.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code for Queen’s is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at:
www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/

3. Terms and Conditions

After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions

4. International (Non- EU) Students

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL (NON-EU) STUDENTS
Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/Applying/Agents-and-partner-information


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