Cardiff’s five-year Medicine programme centres around case-based learning, which involves more patient contact, small group settings and earlier finals. There is an opportunity for students to study abroad, select their own components and intercalate. In addition, there is also research studentships that consist of short and long term projects, for those who are involved with the Cardiff University Research Society.

The five-year degree has an integrated spiral curriculum, allowing for students to continuously deepen their knowledge whilst building their clinical and professional skills. Through lectures, practical classes and a virtual learning environment, students will build knowledge in clinical environments such as hospital and community settings.

In year one and two, students are supported by facilitators in small group settings. In this period, students will learn the basic and clinical science through the themes of the ‘Chronological Life Course’. Every unit of study lasts about two weeks and involves a series of patient cases.

In year three and four, the knowledge built in the first two years is built upon through increased time in hospitals and GP series. Learning is focused on the patient experience as you observe patients along the care pathway from community to hospital settings and back into the community setting. Alongside placements, students will revisit scientific knowledge taught in earlier years and build upon it, with an increased focus on diagnostic methods, management and treatment of common diseases and pathophysiology.

In the final year, students take on a more active role within the clinical teams, with a focus on consolidating knowledge and skills needed so that the transition to becoming a Foundation doctor is smooth.

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Case Study

Roshini Joseph
Year of Study:

What are the best things about your Medical School?

  1. Patient contact right from the first year which helps to link science with real patient cases.
  2. Clinical skills teaching on simulated and real patients from the first year and 1 day a week placements in various hubs across South Wales (Bridgend, Newport, Merthyr and Cardiff) in the first 2 years.
  3. Case based learning in small groups means that this is not just a time to learn science within a clinical context but also a time to make new friends.

What are the hardest things about your course?

  1. Case based learning involves a significant amount of independent learning and this requires good organizational skills and motivation.
  2. Not having all the information handed to you can initially be a shock to the system.

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

The MedSoc runs a variety of socials through the year. Some of the highlights in the past academic year involved the 1920’s social, pre-clinical ball and halfway ball.

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

  1. Read about the course structure and what C21 entails.
  2. Attend the open days and if possible, talk to current students. In addition, the Cardiff Insider Blogs might be a useful place to gain an insight into the day to day life of medical students here at Cardiff.
  3. Practice talking about current affairs especially those involving the healthcare system with family and friends as this will definitely help to articulate your ideas and thoughts on the interview day.


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