Skip to Content

Year 4 - GP Specialty/CCTV

Year 4

General Practice

What is Year 4 GP?

Y4 GP has a long history as the traditional ‘core’ GP module within the QUB curriculum.  It remains the longest continuous block of time medical students spend in a GP setting throughout their medical course at QUB.  The main purpose of the Y4 GP attachment remains enabling students to develop clinical skills, attitudes and behaviours fundamental to the competent and compassionate delivery of clinical care in General Practice.  It builds on students’ earlier experiences and sets them up for the further time they will spend in GP across Y5. Students consistently rate this course highly and value the unique learning opportunities; in many cases it has also been a stimulus for students deciding to pursue a GP career.  

What will it involve for me as a tutor?

The Y4 module runs 6 times per year, with each tutor hosting one or two students in their practice for a 3 week clinical attachment, which the students commence after a week of QUB facilitated core GP teaching activities.  Fridays of weeks 1 and 3, and some further Wednesday PM sessions are also QUB delivered; so students have a maximum of 13 days attached to your practice.  We recognise that opportunities and challenges vary across individual practice settings. During the 13 days we ask that each Y4 GP tutor supports their student(s) to experience and participate in as much GP work as possible.  

A key aspect is learning about different members of the MDT; students are encouraged to spend some sessions alongside, for example, your practice based pharmacist, treatment room and administrative teams. Beyond that what students benefit from most is learning from observation and participation in clinical encounters.  Towards the start of the attachments, students might observe GPs consulting, progressing to more independent ‘hotseating’ where the student might take the lead in elements of the consultation.  We ask that you formally observe and feedback on two such encounters as ‘mini-CEX’ workplace based assessments (WBPAs).  Students are also asked to share a 10 minute teaching presentation during their attachment time.  There is comprehensive detail about these WBPAs within both the tutor guide and the students’ Elogbooks which are their responsibility for completing.  

Students are well supported throughout their GP attachment by a range of online and self-directed learning activities; there is absolutely no expectation or requirement for any formal ‘teaching sessions’ while they are in practice. It is clinical experiences that students value and learn most from.  

GP Tutor and Student Guides will be available here for 22-23


We welcome your feedback on having medical students in the practice. Here is a quote from a GP tutor...

"We're used to adapting to challenges. It was actually a real lift for the team to have students back.  Everyone from the cleaner to the receptionists love to see and chat to them.  And patients love it too.  They love having a part to play in the development of a new generation of doctors."

The students highly value their time on GP placement. We are delighted that for academic year 2021-22 all practices who took year 4 medical students will receive an email providing anonymised feedback from their students. We hope you will find this useful, and a source of encouragement during these challenging times in General Practice.

Dr Helen Reid PhD MPhil MRCGP | Clinical Lecturer (General Practice) 
Centre for Medical Education | Queen’s University Belfast
Email: | Usual academic hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday| Clinical Practice: Tuesday, Thursday

Year 4


We hope that CCTV will take on a "new look" for academic year 2022-23.

More information will be availble here as soon as it is available

What is CCTV?


CCTV has been a fantastic experience for our medical students to date. Active patient involvement allows students to develop and enhance effective consulting skills, interviewing skills and clinical reasoning skills. This rich learning opportunity allows students to appreciate and understand the principles of chronic disease management in the community setting. The student also gets to consider how the patient should be managed e.g. health promotion, investigations and the writing of prescriptions.

Scope of CCTV

Before the Covid pandemic began, students were allocated in groups of 2-3 to General Practitioners in the Greater Belfast Area. Due to advances and opportunities in technology, this has now been extended to include all GP Tutors across NI.