Welcome to our UK Medical School Review series. In this series, we work with current students to produce an in-depth overview of each UK Medical School, covering what it is like to study there, how the course looks and what you need to get in.
Today, we will be reviewing Hull York Medical School, a young Medical School that opened as a part of the British Government’s attempts to train more doctors. Vigneshwar, a 4th year Hull York Medic, shares his experiences and insights as a current student.
Let’s look at the history of Hull York Medical School…
Overview Of Hull York Medical School
Hull York Medical School History
The early history of medical education in Hull and York goes back to the three following institutions: Hull Medical School (1831), York Medical Society (1832), and the York Medical School (1834), but unfortunately, neither of them survived the changes wrought by the Medical Acts and the foundation of the General Medical Council in 1858 so they closed. It wasn’t until the University of Hull had aspirations for a new Medical School from the mid-1970s, combined with the British Government’s desire to train more Doctors, that 4 new Medical Schools opened in the UK, with Hull York, the combination of the strengths of both Hull and York, being one.
The Medical School opened in 2003 and nowadays offers 231 spaces on a 5-year Undergraduate Medicine programme and 30 spaces on a 6-year Gateway to Medicine Undergraduate course, both leading to a BMBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree. There is no Graduate Medicine programme.
Notable doctors associated with Hull York Medical School (HYMS) include John Hughlings Jackson, Daniel Hack Tuke, Thomas Laycock (physiologist), James Atkinson (surgeon), and Sir Jonathan Hutchinson.
Hull York Medical School
Why did you choose to study at Hull York?
“I chose Hull York Medical School due to its unique structure and curriculum. The curriculum is PBL based with supporting lectures. This allowed me to learn collaboratively with fellow peers and colleagues. As someone who can’t learn purely from sitting in one place and listening to lectures, I found group-based learning very useful, and we all supported each other’s learning by sharing resources and notes.
I also chose this Medical School due to it being under both universities of Hull and York. This allowed me to avail the resources and facilities of both universities as I was a student of both. Moreover, being placed in different cities allowed me to see such a large and diverse patient population that I may not have experienced in other Medical Schools.”
What is the best thing and worst thing about your Medical School?
“The best thing about the Medical School is its unique educational structure such as a PBL based curriculum, having resources from two universities, and the large footprint it has in the region in terms of placement.
The worst thing is that due to the large geography and the different sites students can be placed in, constantly moving around every 8-16 weeks can be tedious. Moreover, some of the smaller placement sites may not have much of a student life. However, students are only placed outside of Hull and York in full-time clinical placements after 2nd year. Until 2nd year, students are placed in one site for the 2 years, either York or Hull, and that will be their base site. Accommodation in all sites other than their base site is provided by the Medical School.”
Looking at the Complete University Guide Medicine League Table, you can see that Hull York Medical School takes 23rd position with an overall score of 97%:
The table also highlights 99% graduate prospects for Hull York Medics so there’s little to worry about once you graduate!
Rankings will, of course, differ between other tables; the Guardian includes different aspects to the Complete University Guide. When making your own decision on which table to look at, think about what you place more importance on, such as spending per student or career prospects. Keep in mind that all Medical Schools are highly ranked with excellent ratings across the board.
Fees And Financial Support
Yearly tuition fees at Hull York Medical School are £9,250 for home students for both programmes. For international students, it is £38,500 a year. Tuition fee loans are offered to all UK students by the Government and cover the course fees in full. Fees do not have to be paid upfront.
Hull York Medical School offers a bursary to students with a residual household income of £25,000 or less. Other bursaries are on offer, including the Realising Opportunities and Next Step York Progression bursaries.
What are the living costs like?
“Living costs vary depending on whether you are placed in Hull or York. Hull is generally cheaper than York.
- Living costs: £90 – £200 per week (prices increase based on additional amenities such as a larger bed, larger room size and ensuite).
- Groceries/meals: £25-£40 per week a, pint – £2 – £5
- Transportation costs: £2 -£4 on the bus (termly and annual bus passes with student prices are available in both cities).
Free transport is available within the campus at the University of York. The University of Hull provides a bicycle loaning service). Takeouts and meals in both cities are£10 – £25 per person and club entry is £5 (subsidised or free on student nights).”
What Is Studying Like?
Medicine at Hull York takes a blended learning approach with clinician-led problem-based learning defining a significant portion of the teaching. This is supported by lectures, prosection anatomy sessions, clinical and communication skills sessions, workshops, clinical placements, and Scholarship and Special Interest Programmes (SSIPs). This allows close student support from peers, educational facilitators, and clinical learning tutors. Teaching is balanced across all parts of the health service including both primary and secondary care.
In the first 2 years, you will be allocated to either the University of Hull or the University of York campus. Students receive an identical curriculum and teaching regardless of location. From 3rd year onwards, full-time clinical placements begin and students are dispersed all over the region including Grimsby, Northallerton, Scarborough and Scunthorpe. Clinical rotations are across a diverse range of healthcare settings.
What is a week in first year like at Hull York Medical School?
“All weeks start and end with a problem-based learning session, hence the week may start on a Thursday and end on Tuesday. For example, Thursday- PBL session 1 (discuss 2 patient cases, and based on these cases, set out learning outcomes to cover for the week). Friday- Lectures (the lectures support the cases covered, for example, if the case is about a patient suffering from asthma, the lectures will be based around the respiratory system).
Monday- placement in hospital/GP (alternate on a weekly basis). Tuesday morning- anatomy session (anatomy session will support the cases covered, for example, if the case is about a patient suffering with asthma, the anatomy session will be based around the respirator system). Tuesday afternoon- PBL session 2 (the group will go through and discuss all the learning outcomes set out in the first session using all the resources throughout the week such as the lectures, placement, and anatomy session, along with their own reading). The exact dates and activities for each day may vary but the broad structure based around the PBL sessions will be the same.”
The five-year course is divided into three phases: Phase I covers the first 2 years, Phase II is Years 3 and 4 and Phase III is the 5th and final year. 4 themes are woven through the curriculum: applied life sciences, clinical skills, and reasoning, health and society, and professionalism, which is structured around 6 groups of body systems. It is a spiral curriculum in which you keep returning to these body systems and exploring the same themes to refresh and deepen your understanding of every topic as the course progresses.
In Phase I, students also undertake research-related study as part of the SSIPs which provide the opportunity to concentrate on subjects that particularly interest you and work on small projects to study them further.
Hull York offers optional intercalation after Year 2, to study an undergraduate program, or Year 3, to study a specially designed intercalated BSc, Masters or PhD. A variety of degrees are offered including clinical anatomy, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, public health, and health education. You can choose to study at Hull York or elsewhere.
In the final year, students can go on a 6-week elective either within the UK or abroad. This is the opportunity to work in a specialist service of interest and prepare you for your Foundation posts.
Summary of the curriculum:
Phase I: Years 1 and 2
- Based at either the University of Hull or the University of York.
- Based on problem-based learning (PBL) sessions.
- Working in groups of eight or nine, alongside an experienced clinical tutor. The PBL sessions are supported by lectures, resource sessions and workshops.
- In the 1st year, you’ll spend half a day each week on clinical placement, alternating between general practice and hospital sites.
- In the 2nd year, you’ll spend a full day on placement each week.
- Attend clinical skills sessions twice a week, on the same afternoon as your PBL sessions.
Phase II: Years 3 and 4
- 5 locality sites in Hull, York, Grimsby, Scarborough, and Scunthorpe.
- Full exposure to clinical medicine.
- You’ll work each week both in general practice, where new and existing patients first make contact and on the hospital wards.
- Practice your examination, history-taking and problem-solving skills on real patients.
- Essential clinical skills such as taking blood, inserting intravenous cannulas and bladder catherisation.
- Formal teaching sessions in pharmacology, therapeutics, evidence-based medicine, illness, and communication masterclasses.
Phase III: Year 5
- 6-week Elective period.
- Assistant intern of a medical team.
- Rotate through general medicine, general surgery and general practice.
- Surgical attachments: opportunity to take part in pre-operative and post-operative care.
This 6-year programme allows students from widening access backgrounds, particularly those in the Hull York Medical School area, who achieved lower grades than those required to study Medicine. The Gateway forms the 1st academic year that facilitates the transition from school to University focussing on scientific knowledge, study skills, professionalism and the NHS. Students will still visit GP and hospital settings for early patient contact.
On successful completion of the year, these students will join Year 1 students on the 5-year Undergraduate course.
What Makes Hull York Medical School Unique?
What makes your Medical School unique?
“Hull York Medical School is a medical school that is under both Universities of Hull and York. This allows students of Hull York Medical School to be registered with both Universities and as such, use the facilities, online resources and libraries of both universities equally. Moreover, the Medical School provides placements in different places other than Hull and York, such as Scarborough, Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Northallerton. This provides medical students with a broad and diverse experience in the types of hospitals and the types of patient demographics in different cities.
Hull York Medical School places special emphasis on patient-centred care and how healthcare impacts society. As placements start from the first year itself, students are very confident in patient communication. With a specialised curriculum that teaches health and society (ethics, healthcare law, epidemiology, statistics, public health) in parallel to Medicine itself, the Medical School provides students with a more holistic outlook of Medicine.”
Hull York Medicine Selection Process
Stage 1: applicants screened against academic entry requirements and eligibility criteria.
Stage 2: applicants scored and ranked depending on GCSE results (30 points), UCAT score (40 points), UCAT SJT (15 points), contextual data (15 points).
Stage 3: top scorers invited for interview.
Stage 4: applicants attend MMI interview.
Stage 5: scores out of 100 from interview compiled and ranked, highest scorers offered a place.
Hull York Medical School Entry Requirements
|GCSEs||6 GCSEs at 9/A*-4/C including English Language and Mathematics at grade 6/B or above|
|A-levels||AAA including Biology and Chemistry|
|IB||36 points with 6, 6, 5 in 3 Higher Level subjects including Biology and Chemistry|
|Exam||Gateway to Medicine|
|GCSEs||5 GCSEs at level 9-4/grade A*-C including English Language and Mathematics|
|A-levels||BBC including B in Biology and Chemistry|
|IB||29 points with 14 at Higher Level including Biology and Chemistry at grade 5|
What To Include In A Personal Statement
Hull York do not score the personal statement, however, they reserve the right to take them into consideration in selection decisions. Therefore, it is important that everything you put into your statement is factual and something you could easily talk about should you be asked to.
They want to know why you are applying to do Medicine to recognise your motivation. Any future ambitions you have are relevant as they want to understand how this degree will help with achieving your goals. Why are you suitable for the course, and what relevant background experience do you have that supports that?
Hull York advise that applicants have a range of experiences either voluntary or paid in both healthcare settings and areas that require people interaction – clinical work experience is not essential. Anything that demonstrates an understanding of the skills and abilities required to be a Doctor is key. Lastly, tell them about your interests and achievements and what completes your character outside of Medicine.
Hull York Medical School Admissions Tests
Hull York place heavy emphasis on the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). In their selection procedure, they award a number of points based upon your total UCAT score once the results are released. The maximum available is 40. Points are also allocated depending on the SJT Band you achieve which must be either 1, 2 or 3. The maximum here is 15. The higher you score, the higher the likelihood you will be invited for interview.
The average UCAT score for applicants who were selected for interviews is around 2500-2600 but this will vary year to year. The BMAT is not required.
Interviewing at Hull York
MMI Interview Style
Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) are the choice of interview format for Hull York, typically held in December and January
Each station’s assessors include either healthcare professionals, academic staff and senior medical students or people from outside the medical profession. There will be 3 mini interviews that focus on your understanding of current issues in Medicine, your insight into and motivation for a medical career, and finally your critical thinking skills. These are out of a total of 15 points.
There will be a station with a group work scenario, also out of 15 points. Here they are gaining an insight into how you work within a team and into personal qualities such as empathy, tolerance of ambiguity and resilience, all vital for being a Doctor. 10 points are available in an individual scenario where you are given a theoretical situation and asked how you would respond to it in real life.
Finally, there is a student station, out of 10 points, that gives you the opportunity to explore why you want to be a Doctor. The whole process is therefore out of 80 points. This is added to an additional 20 points available for SJT result and contextual data to give a maximum score of 100. Top scorers out of 100 will be given an offer.
Hull York Interview Questions and Scenarios
- What are your views on euthanasia? (Discuss in a group).
- Why have you chosen Medicine?
- Your friend has just received very sad news. Go and have a conversation with her to support her.
- How do you maintain a good work-life balance?
- What do you do outside of your studies?
- How do you think the Covid-19 pandemic will affect the NHS?
- You have caught your friend at Medical School cheating on their exams. How do you react to the situation?
What Is Life Like Outside Of Studying?
Outside of study time, what do most people get up to?
“The Medical School and the Universities have many student societies that can be joined. For example, within the Medical School, there is a netball and football society. With a Hull team and a York team, there is a varsity that happens twice a year which is a date for the diaries. Besides this, there are hundreds of societies at the Universities such as sports, gaming, cultural societies, debate societies etc. Outside of this, both Universities have cafes and eateries on campus that are fun places to hang out with friends. Both cities have lively student nights organised by the university student unions.
There are places to visit in the cities as well. For York: city walls, York castle museum, York dungeons, museum gardens, York ghost tours and the railway museum. For Hull: The Humber Bridge, the deep aquarium, princes quay, St Stephens square, Hull marina, MKM stadium. Restaurants to visit in York include Little Italy, Spark York CIC, cosy club and Betty’s cafe tea rooms. The York Christmas market is a must-visit, it is very lively and beautiful with a large collection of amazing food, drinks and things to buy during Christmas time. For Hull, Tapasya by the Marina, Roots rum shack, craft and dough and there are many good restaurants down Newland Avenue.”
What is the Hull York accommodation like?
“I was in York for two years living at Halifax college. The University of York is a collegiate University, which means that students apply to live at one out of the 11 colleges on campus. You will be a part of your college throughout your studies, whereas at the University of Hull, you simply apply to stay at residence halls such as the courtyard or Westfield court.
On both campuses, the distance between the accommodation halls and the lecture halls is 5-20 minutes depending on where you choose to stay. On both campuses, you live in a shared flat, where amenities such as the kitchen and toilets are shared. For a higher price, ensuite facilities are available on both campuses. For example, in Goodricke, Derwent, Langwith and Constantine colleges in the University of York, larger beds and ensuites are provided and the prices range from £150 – £200 a week.”
Hull York Medical School Contact
Postal address (University of Hull):
Hull York Medical School
Allam Medical Building
University of Hull
Postal address (University of York):
Hull York Medical School
University of York
Final Advice For Studying At Hull York
What advice would you give to a first-year student starting at your Medical School?
“As a 1st-year Medical Student, you will go through a learning curve especially if you are directly from high school as University is largely self-directed learning. You will have to set timetables and deadlines for yourself and motivate yourself to keep on top of your work. You will also need to figure out what type of learning works best for you (i.e. taking notes, using textbooks, using online resources). The thing to keep in mind is not to compare yourself to others, as everyone has different ways of learning and keeping on top of things. Everyone is exploring what works best for them.
Secondly, just have fun. If you have gotten into Medical School, you have crossed one of the hardest barriers, and you are more than capable of getting through it. In 1st year, don’t stress too much about work and focus on making friends and enjoying new experiences. The friends you make in University will stay with you for life.”
Check out our other UK Medical School Reviews:
Hull York Medical School is an exceptional place to study, and we’ll help you get there.
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By Phoebe Baker