Dundee School of Medicine has around 160 medical students in each academic study year, making it one of the smaller medical schools. The size and structure of the medical school helps you get to know your peers and the academics and clinicians teaching you. You’ll feel part of the community from the start – especially as you’ll be interacting with real patients from early in the course.

The medical school is fully integrated with Ninewells Hospital in Dundee’s west end, which is one of Europe’s largest teaching hospitals and boasts internationally renowned research facilities. The University of Dundee has also invested around £11 million on upgrading the learning and teaching facilities.

Most of the facilities have been recently refurbished to a very high standard. Dundee employs a range of teaching methods in close compliance with the General Medical Council’s recommendations, including small group work, e-learning, simulation and student selected components. Dundee also offers degrees in Dentistry and Nursing.

From early in the first year, students get to meet patients – on wards, in out patient clinics, in General Practice and in their homes. This allows students to understand the patient in context, from an acute presentation on a hospital ward, to a chronic health condition which is being managed in the community. It also offers students the opportunity to practice the examination and history taking skills which they have learned in clinical skills on real patients.

Dundee’s spiral curriculum helps you built on knowledge in relevant areas year-on-year, so you won’t be expected to learn everything in one block and then remember it forever. You’ll revisit topics to help your knowledge become second nature.

After your pre-clinical years, you’ll have the option to intercalate and gain a BMSc in a range of subjects, but whether you decide to do this or not, in Levels 4 and 5, you move into clinical training.

This is a series of placements that will give you a well-rounded experience in a number of clinical areas, and enable you to put your training into practice at the point of care for real patients in real healthcare settings.

Dundee medical graduates are consistently rated first among newly qualified doctors in their preparedness for their new clinical posts, according to the General Medical Council National Training Surveys.

Course structure:

5 years, using a variety of teaching methods. The first 3 years are pre-clinical, moving on to clinical placements in years 4 and 5. Intercalated courses are offered after the 2rd year, but places are very limited.

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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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