Brighton & Sussex

Innovative and distinctive, Brighton & Sussex five-year Medicine course is awarded jointly by the Universities of Brighton and Sussex. The course helps students develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be a successful doctor. Assessment varies from single best answer questions to case presentations to practical assessments. Formal assessment happens throughout the course and tests clinical experience as well as an understanding of the foundations of biomedical, social and clinical sciences. This will involve reports from family studies, research projects and patient portfolios.

In the first two years, through systems-based learning, students learn about the normal and abnormal functions of the human body. There are integrated modules that will cover the fundamentals of biomedical and psychosocial sciences. Anatomy study will involve looking closely at the human body and how it is relevant to clinical practice, which includes prosection and dissection. Students will develop clinical skills in physical examinations, history taking, diagnosis and effective patient communication through primary secondary and third sector placements. An example of this in year one may be spending time with a family looking after a newborn.

In year three students undertake ward-based attachments that include Emergency Medicine, Orthopaedics and Urology and Elderly Medicine and Psychiatry. Clinical experience is consolidated with weekly teaching centred on the scientific basis of Medicine. Additional experience in safe drug prescribing is gained, and students will also have regular meetings with a tutor to support development.

In year four students experience more specialised clinical areas through rotations that will include Paediatrics, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The clinical focus of this year is to enable students to understand integrated care and how primary, secondary and community structures work together for the patient. Students also complete an individual research project, supervised by a university or hospital.

In the final year, it’s all about preparing students for foundation years through developing clinical skills through direct patient contact and by utilising simulators and clinical skill laboratories. Learning in this year is based on close involvement with clinical cases and becoming part of the clinical team, elderly medicine, general practice, psychiatry and emergency medicine. Your learning will be based on close involvement with routine clinical cases, acting as a member of the clinical team in medicine, emergency medicine, elderly medicine, surgery, general practice and psychiatry. Central to your study will be the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients in these different areas of practice.

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Case Study

Jake Bush
Year of Study:
Intercalating (Year 3 — 4)

What are the best things about your Medical School?

You get lots of early clinical exposure — an early opportunity to integrate scientific learning into practice.  Cadaveric dissection is an interesting aspect of the course and having a small year group means each student gets a lot of attention.

What are the hardest things about your course?

  1. Balancing work and social life
  2. Need to be fully prepared for every teaching session (e.g. seminar, clinic)
  3. Need to develop academic skills (e.g. effective information gathering) early on in course

What’s the social side of your Medical School like?

The social side of BSMS is fantastic — there is normally a social event organised every week during term time. These socials are not just club nights — there’s also quizzes, talent shows, movie nights, fun-runs, plays and other more formal events such as conferences and dances. BSMS has its own sports team for most major sports. Because the year group is small, it’s fairly easy to meet new people in your year and other year groups at all these events.

What tips would you give to someone applying to your Medical School?

  1. Look at the course — if you think you would enjoy cadaveric dissection and primarily lecture-based teaching early on, then you will probably enjoy studying Medicine at BSMS
  2. Read and be up-to-date with the Tomorrow’s Doctors publication by the GMC — this outlines the expectations of all newly qualified doctors and forms a central part of the focus for training at medical schools, including BSMS
  3. There is plenty of time to have a social life outside of studies on the course — just make sure you are able to manage study time effectively


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