Overview of the Medical School

  • In 2008, the University of Birmingham Medical School had a departmental restructure, the school became an entity within The College of Medical and Dental Sciences. Birmingham Medical School was founded in 1825 by William Sands Cox, who began by teaching medical students in his father’s house in Birmingham. A rival medical school, Syndenham College opened in Birmingham in 1851. This merged with Queen’s College in 1868 to form a new combined institution, and later merged with Mason Science College. In 1897, the Mason University College Act was passed which made Mason Science College (incorporating Queen’s College) into a university college, and this, in turn, became Birmingham University in 1900, and MB ChB degrees were able to be awarded by the new university.
  • The College of Medical and Dental Sciences work in collaboration with NHS partners, including Birmingham Health Partners (BHP), a collaborative platform between the University, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Among its notable alumni are: Leon Abrams, with Ray Lightwood developed and implanted the first variable rate pacemaker in 1960, Sir Leonard Parsons, Professor of Paediatrics, dean of Birmingham Medical School; he was the first to use synthetic vitamin C to treat scurvy in children in 1933, John L. Wallace, medical scientist and inaugural director of the Farncombe Institute at McMaster University and Peter Weissberg, Medical Director British Heart Foundation overseeing funding for more than half the cardiovascular research undertaken in UK universities.

Campus and Facilities

  • Campus: University of Birmingham
  • Facilities:
    • Barnes library
    • Wolfson Centre for Medical Education
    • Lecture theatre
    • Computer Cluster
    • Medical Science Laboratory 
  • National and International Rankings
    • Complete University Guide ranking for medicine: rank 14 (2016)
    • Guardian University ranking for medicine: rank 21 (2016)
    • QS World ranking for medicine: rank 51-100 (2016)
    • Times Higher Education for medicine: 94 (2016)

MBBS Programme Information

General overview

  • For studying medicine you can apply for the five year A100-standard course or the Graduate Entry A101 course.
  • Learning opportunities will take a variety of forms: lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory work, practicals, bedside demonstrations, clinical experience and a small component of problem based learning (PBL). And adapting our methods to the subject matter, for example, role-play and video feedback on patient–doctor communication.

Number of students on this course:

334 (Up to 306 Home/EU places available and 28 for Overseas candidates) and 40 for the A101 programme

Course Structure and Length:

  • The course duration is 5 years.
  • Integrated modular based programme.
  • The programme is divided into the following modules:
    • Years 1 and 2: structure and function of the human body
    • Year 3: based in a partner Teaching Hospital Trusts to further develop basic clinical skills
    • Years 4 and 5: clinical attachments in medical, surgical and other specialties
  • The A101 programme is a four-year programme for graduates with a first degree in a life science. Also, there is a three-year training programme for qualified dentists wishing to pursue a career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Course Content:

  • Years 1 and 2: Structure and function of the human body
    • Learn how each system is controlled and is able to respond to the demands of everyday life
    • How they are affected by disease and medical treatments.
    • Anatomy is learned in small-group sessions, including substantial experience of prosection.
    • Learn about the psychology and sociology of health and illness
    • Health of whole populations
    • Individual patients are assessed.
    • Introduction to key issues in biomedical ethics, for example genetic engineering.
    • In each year, you will spend ten days in the community with GPs and patients
  • Year 3: Basic Clinical Skills
    • Based in a partner Teaching Hospital Trusts to further develop your basic clinical skills:
      • Taking a good clinical history
      • Examining patients
      • Studying the communication skills
      • Learn about common diseases and how to diagnose and manage them
      • Theoretical work on:
        • Pathology
        • Pharmacology
        • Public health
  • Years 4 and 5: Clinical attachments
    • Clinical attachments in medical, surgical and other specialities such as:
      • Cardiology
      • Neurology
      • Psychiatry
      • Bone and Joint Disease
      • Oncology
      • Ear, Nose and Throat
      • Peri-Operative Care.
      • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
      • Paediatrics
      • General Practice.

Graduate Entry Programme:

  • Phase 1 – year 1: Clinical Orientation
    • Covers biological sciences, anatomy and medicine in society
    • Work on problem-based case studies as part of a tutor-supervised group of about eight students.
    • The problems are grouped into four six-week themed blocks covering basic science, anatomy (including prosection), ethics, medicine in society and behavioural science.
  • Phase 2 – year 2: Clinical Experience
    • Join the five-year MBChB students in Teaching Hospital Trusts and in their clinical science lectures, pharmacology teaching and special study modules in public health and epidemiology.
    • In addition, as a GEC student you’ll continue with a small component of case-based learning to further your basic and behavioural science training.
    • Students on the Maxillofacial Surgery training programme will commence their studies at this stage.
  • Phase 3 – year 3 and 4: Clinical attachments in medical, surgical and other speciality subjects.
    • Join students of the five-year programme in their year 4 and 5.

Teaching locations:

  • Medical School Building at the University of Birmingham
  • Teaching hospitals such as: Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, located next door to the Medical School.

Integrated BSc opportunities (courses on offer):

  • Provide the opportunity for engaging in novel research work in either basic or applied medical research.
  • This can happen after your second, third or fourth year of study.
  • Programmes available involve either laboratory- or community-based research.
  • You will learn to analyse and interpret medical research data and, undertake your own novel and substantial research project.
  • Intercalated programmes:
    • Clinical Science BMedSc
    • Health Management and Leadership
    • Healthcare Ethics and Law BMedSc
    • History of Medicine BMedSc
    • International Health BMedSc
    • Medical Sciences BMedSc
    • Psychological Medicine BMedSc
    • Public Health & Population Sciences BMedSc

Open day dates:

To attend an open day, you should book by completing the online form.

  • Friday 24 June 2016
  • Saturday 25 June 2016
  • Saturday 10 September 2016
  • Saturday 15 October 2016

Term dates:

  • Autumn Term: 26 Sep 2016 – 09 Dec 2016
  • Spring Term: 09 Jan 2017 – 24 Mar 2017
  • Summer Term: 24 April 2017 – 16 Jun 2017


Extra Postgraduate MBBS Programme Information

  • They offer postgraduate education opportunities including research, taught and combined programmes.
  • Opportunities are available on a full or part time basis leading to the qualifications of MD, PhD, MPhil, MRes, MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate.
  • Continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities are also available as short study programmes.

MBBS Admissions

Application process:

  • Meet entry requirements
  • Ensure that you have sat the UCAT
    • As a guideline, for 2015 applications the lowest score was 2,310.
  • Submit the UCAS application:
    • Course code: A100
  • Attend the interview (if applicable)

Entry requirements:

  • A-levels: A*AA
    • Chemistry and Biology (or Human Biology) required
  • Cambridge Pre-University Diploma: D3, D3, D2 from three subjects, including Biology and Chemistry
  • Scottish Certificate of Education
    • Highers: Five subjects at grade A including, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and English.
    • Advanced Highers: Three subjects including Chemistry and Biology must be offered (grade requirements: AAB)
  • Graduate Entry: GCSE – minimum of grade A/B in Science, English and Mathematics; A Levels – minimum of AAA (including, normally, Biology and Chemistry).
    • Life Science graduates may be eligible for our graduate-entry course.

Candidate Selection:

  • Meet the academic standards required and also show evidence in personal statement that you will be able to acquire the values of the NHS:
    • Working together for patients
    • Respect and dignity
    • Compassion
    • Commitment to quality of care
    • Resilience
  • An application will receive an overall score, which is the sum of weighted scores for each of the academic and UCAT components. The weightings will be: academic – 70%; UCAT – 30%. Applicants will be ranked according to this score.
  • After interview, offers are made based on interview performance:
    • The scores from each interview station are used to calculate an overall interview score, which is used to rank all applicants.
    • If interview score is within 5% of the cut-off score, we will review your Band score for the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) component of the UCAT. You will receive an offer if you achieve a Band score above 4 (minimum) as well as an interview score above the cut-off.
    • We will set a minimum performance standard for each station. An applicant who does not reach this standard for one station and who achieves a SJT Band score of 4 may not receive an offer irrespective of the overall interview score.
    • If you achieve an overall interview score 5% or more above the cut-off and no station score below the minimum, we will not consider your UCAT SJT Banding.

Interview procedure

  • Approximately 1,000 candidates are invited to attend for an interview
  • Interviews take place between November and March
  • Are organised in a multiple mini-interview format.
  • There are six separate, short interviews, lasting 6 minutes each.
  • There will be an additional interview station at which you will be asked to undertake some basic calculations but no interviewer will be present while you complete this task.
  • Interview stations are designed to assess aspects such as:
    • Motivation for medicine
    • Communication
    • Self-insight
    • Ethical reasoning
    • Data interpretation
    • Ability to evaluate information
    • Identify relevant aspects
  • Candidates who are interviewed are offered a conducted tour of the Medical School by current medical students

Extra important information for candidates:

  • There is expected to make about 650 offers and these applicants will be identified, initially, according to the rank order of the overall interview score.
  • Final decisions are made before the end of March
  • Decisions:
    • Applicants with a mean score in the top 50% (approximately) will receive an offer.
    • Those with mean scores in the bottom 20% (approximately) will be advised that their applications are unsuccessful.
    • The remainder of the interview candidates will be informed of our decision in mid to late March following analysis of all interview data when the precise threshold overall score can be defined.

Admissions contacts:

Extra important information on Specialty Programmes for medical students


  • Offers a one-year intercalated BSc degree
  • Provide the opportunity for engaging in novel research work in either basic or applied medical research.
  • These are taken after second, third or fourth year of study.
  • Programmes available involve either laboratory- or community-based research.


Other MBBS extras relevant to UK medical students – NA

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2021-07-27T10:09:22+00:00Medical Schools|Comments Off on Birmingham

About the Author:

I'm a medical student at Cambridge University, and one of the co-founders of 6med. I created the BMAT Crash Course and Interview Crash Course, and helped code BMAT Ninja and UKCAT Ninja. If you need a hand with anything, feel free to give me a shout!