Ranked first in the Complete University Guide ranking for Medicine, Dundee’s five-year programme has a spiral curriculum that enables students to build knowledge year-on-year, meaning you will not have to learn everything in an area and remember it forever.

The degree starts with an eight-week block that explores the basics of the science that underpins Medicine in order to encourage clinical thinking skills. In the first three years, body systems and understanding normal and abnormal systems are taught before diving into clinical cases. Anatomy is also taught by dissection – Dundee uses Thiel-embalmed cadavers which mean that life-like tissue is retained. This allows students to get as close to experiencing the anatomy of living tissue as possible.

After the pre-clinical years, students have the opportunity to intercalate and gain a BMSc in various subjects. In years four and five, you transition into clinical training, which involves various placements that provide varied experience in different clinical areas and also allows you to put your training into practice.

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Case Study

Year of Study:
3rd Year

What are the best things about your medical school?

  1. The integrated nature of the course exposes you to patient contact early on. Your knowledge from teaching is put into practice immediately and you become more confident in taking histories and performing examinations on patients which is important.
  2. Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification is amongst the best in the UK. Anatomy is taught through dissection which is a dying art amongst medical schools, with technology replacing much of the teaching. The medical school use a unique embalming technique called the thiel soft-fix method, this preserves the cadavers with life-like flexibility and tissue quality.
  3. The medical school is situated within Ninewells hospital, which is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe. This gives students privileged access to wards, consultants and various learning opportunities to shadow/observe and get involved in projects and research.

What are the hardest things about your course?

  1. There is a vast amount of content, and it’s impossible to learn everything. Medicine is a constant learning process. At school, you may have sat exams in a modules or units, at medical school it is one big online exam with all the topics mixed in together. I found adapting and revising for this style of assessment challenging.
  2. Making the jump from school to University. You will have to learn how to become an independent learner. It is important you begin using resources outside of lectures to better your understanding of key concepts. Adapting to this style of learning can take time.
  3. Some people find living away from home easier than others, other experience homesickness. With medicine being an intense five-year course, it is important you visit the city and see whether you will like it there. Once you have a social circle and support, settling into university life becomes easier but it can take others a bit more time.

What’s the social side of your medical school like?

Dundee is small city but has a lot to offer in terms of nightlife, bars, pubs and restaurants. The medical school has its own society called DUMS who organise a range of events throughout the year including a Freshers Ball. You also have a number of other university societies ranging from politics to sports, so there is something for everyone to get involved in.

What tips would you give to somebody applying to your medical school?

  1. Get yourself experience dealing with people. This doesn’t have to be in the usual care home/hospital environment. It could be a retail job or just volunteering at a food bank. The MMI circuit tests communication and empathy skills so the more practice you have at this the better.
  2. Do your research – the Dundee medical school website has lots of information about various aspects of studying Medicine at Dundee. If you’re lucky enough to be invited to interview make sure you know the reasons why you would be suited to Dundee and why Dundee would suit you.
  3. Whilst grades and UCAT scores are important, it’s important you can show you are a well-rounded individual. Make sure you balance your academic work with some hobbies and extra-curricular activities which you can talk about at interview – and particularly the skills you have been able to hone whilst doing these, for example teamwork and leadership.

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