Overview of the Medical School

  • In 1965 The University receives its charter and achieves full University status, organised into four faculties: Arts, Science, Social Studies and Law. Then in in 1962 the Postgraduate Medical School was established and until 2000 The Peninsula Medical School was established on August 1st in partnership with the University of Plymouth and the NHS in Devon and Cornwall. Its creation followed a successful bid to the Government, as part of a national expansion of medical student numbers in the UK.
  • At Exeter Medical School, they are focus in four key areas for research: Diabetes, Cardiovascular Risk and Ageing, Environment and Human Health, Health Services Research, Neuroscience and Mental Health. The NHS in Devon and Cornwall has worked with the school to ensure that its services and facilities offer the right environment to support the way doctors are trained in line with the General Medical Council’s guidance. They work with the following NHS Trusts to deliver medical education:
    • Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
    • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
    • Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
    • South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Campus and Facilities:

  • Campus:
    • Streatham
    • St Luke’s
  • Facilities:
    • Library
    • IT facilities and support
    • Seminar rooms and lecture theatres.
    • The Life Sciences Resource Centre
    • Telematic lecture theatre
    • Clinical Skills Resource Centres.
  • National and International Rankings
    • Complete University Guide ranking for medicine: rank 15 (2016)
    • Guardian University ranking for medicine: rank 11 (2016)
    • QS World ranking for medicine: rank 251-300 (2016)
    • Times Higher Education for medicine: NA

MBBS Programme Information

General overview:

  • The key features of the BMBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) are:
    • Clinical experience from the first month of the programme
    • A broad-based curriculum
    • Opportunity to obtain an intercalated degree at either Bachelor’s or Master’s level
  • Throughout your degree programme you will study in a variety of clinical locations across the South West: in hospitals, general practice and the wider health community.
  • The core curriculum allows you a degree of freedom in choosing a wide range of Student Selected Special Study Units that amount to approximately one-third of the programme.

Number of students on this course:

130 entrants with 10 available places to international students.

Course Structure and Length:

  • This five-year degree programme leads to the award of Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS).
  • The programme integrates medical science and clinical skills so that your academic learning is applied to clinical practice throughout the five years.
    • Years 1 and 2: based on the human life-cycle, with emphasis on acquiring core knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours, and relating this to patients.
    • Years 3 and 4: rotations through hospitals and communities. Learning is centred on patients and will continue to develop your problem solving skills and increase your experience with the widest possible array of clinical scenarios.
    • Year 5: you will learn the job of medicine and start to develop your understanding of principles of practice in the NHS. And you’ll undertake a series of apprenticeship attachments in hospitals across the South West.
    • The BMBS course structure allows students to develop a biomedical science, anatomy and physiology foundation in Years 1 and 2

 Course Content:

  • Year 1:
    • Work across four integrated themes:
      • Medical Knowledge: covering the principles, method and knowledge of biomedical, psychological, sociological and population health sciences
      • Clinical and Communication Skills: patient-centred communication, core clinical skills such as history-taking and examination, and professional and ethical behaviours.
      • Personal Development and Professionalism
      • Special Study Units.
  • Year 2:
    • Work across four integrated themes:
      • Medical Knowledge:
      • Clinical and Communication Skills: four clinical competencies with real patients. undertake an Integrated Structured Clinical Examination which requires you to receive a history from the patient/simulated patient, complete an examination, and perform a skill.
      • Personal Development and Professionalism
      • Special Study Units: complete two summatives 
  • Year 3: clinical environment
    • Medical Knowledge of the medical sciences (biomedical, psychological, sociological, population health) that underpin medical practice, building on the knowledge gained in the first two years of your programme.
    • Clinical and Professional Development you will continue to acquire the core clinical skills and professional behaviours that underpin modern patient centred clinical practice.
    • Undertake in vitro and in vivo clinical skills competencies and you will be exposed to real patients during the latter.
    • Undertake four SSUs of two to three weeks in length in the areas of Working Together for Patients, Special Environments 1 & 2, and Health Service Management.
  • Year 4:
    • Rotate through a series of hospital and community placements in six pathways of care.
    • Learning is centred on patients and will continue to develop your problem solving skills and increase your experience with the widest possible array of clinical scenarios.
  • Year 5:
    • Learn the job of medicine and start to develop your understanding of principles of practice in the NHS.
    • Apprenticeship attachments in hospitals across the South West.
    • Student-Selected Elective which may involve clinical or research placements, or a combination of both.

Teaching locations:

  • St Luke’s (Exeter) Campus
  • Clinical locations across the South West (Exeter, Truro Barnstaple and Torbay)

Integrated BSc opportunities (courses on offer):

  • During an intercalated year students take a one-year interlude in the Medicine programme to study a subject of their choice at either Bachelor’s or Master’s degree level
  • Take the opportunity between years 4 and 5 of the Medicine programme.
  • Courses:
    • Biosciences
    • Conservation Biology (Cornwall Campus)
    • Evolutionary Biology (Cornwall Campus)
    • Exercise & Sports Science
    • Human Biosciences
    • Infectious Disease
    • Medical Sciences
    • Medical Sciences – Environment and Human Health (Cornwall Campus)
    • Medical Sciences – Human Genomics
    • Medical Sciences – Neuroscience
    • Medical Sciences – Pharmacology & Therapeutics
    • Molecular & Cellular Science
    • Psychological Studies
    • Zoology (Cornwall Campus)
  • Intercalated BA (via the flexible combined honours programme):
    • Bioarchaeology
    • Medical Humanities

Open day dates:

  • Penryn Campus Open Day on 24th September
  • Exeter Campuses Open Day on 1st October

Term dates:

  • Autumn Term: 19 Sep 2016 – 16 Dec 2016
  • Spring Term: 09 Jan 2017 – 07 Apr 2017
  • Summer Term: 24 Apr 2017 – 16 Jun 2017


Extra Postgraduate MBBS Programme Information

  • The School of Medicine offers the following postgraduate courses:
    • MSc Applied Health Services Research
    • MSc Environment & Human Health
    • MSc Extreme Medicine
    • MSc Genomic Medicine
    • MSc Medical Imaging
    • PgCert Clinical Education
    • PgCert Health Services Improvement
    • MSc by Research in Medical Imaging
  • The Medical School offers both MPhil and PhD research degrees, which involves an extensive investigation of a particular topic.
  • The research is focused around four themes:
    • Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Ageing
    • Neuroscience and Mental Health
    • Environment and Human Health
    • Health Services Research and Service Delivery

MBBS Admissions

Application process:

  • Meet entry requirements
  • Ensure that you have sat the UCAT for undergraduates
  • Submit the UCAS application
  • Attend the interview (if applicable)

Entry requirements:

A100 programme:

  • Typical Offer: A*AA-AAA
  • International Baccalaureate (IB): 38-36 points
  • Required subjects: GCE AL Biology and Chemistry at grade A or IB Biology and Chemistry at HL6. General Studies is not included in any offer.

Candidate Selection:

  • The main criteria for selection will be your academic performance, whether achieved or predicted.
  • Predicted or achieved A level (or equivalent) results in conjunction with the total UCAT score to determine the number of students called for interview.
  • The University of Exeter may also take into account additional information provided within the application such as contextual factors which may have affected performance as well as school performance.
  • When selecting candidates they will also take into account information provided within the personal statement and reference, particularly where this reveals extenuating or mitigating circumstances which may have affected academic performance. A rank or score is not applied.

Interview procedure:

  • The interview is in a MMI (multiple mini interview) format.
  • Examples of the assessment are:
    • Good communication skills
    • Evidence of empathy
    • Evidence of reflectiveness.
  • The interview will consist of seven or eight stations and will include face-to face interviews and role play with actor.
  • There are no group assessments.
  • Each candidate is awarded a Yes / No judgement at each station based on the assessor’s judgement of whether the candidate has the necessary personal qualities and attributes to be a medical student at UEMS.
  • These individual judgements are then used to allow us to decide whether the candidate should receive an offer or not.
  • Under some circumstances, for example if all other attributes are the same, then it is possible that the UCAT could be applied as a ‘tie breaker’.

Extra important information for candidates:

  • Because the University of Exeter uses contextual information about an applicant to assist in this process, this may mean that students with the potential to succeed are invited to interview with lower UCAT scores or A level (or equivalent) predictions/achievement.
  • The official offer and specific conditions will be communicated to you by UCAS.
  • You can receive a summary of why your application was deemed unsuccessful via the UCAS online system but it is not possible for us to provide detailed feedback to every applicant.

Admissions contacts:

Extra important information on Specialty Programmes for medical students


  • Intercalated year is available. Students may choose between a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree level.
  • Another specialty programmes available in the Medical School are:
    • BSc Medical Imaging
    • BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences
    • BSc Sports & Exercise Medical Sciences


Other MBBS extras relevant to UK medical students: NA

Check out our Crash Courses:

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UCAT Course
Interview Course
2021-07-27T10:10:57+00:00Medical Schools|Comments Off on Exeter

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!