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Keele

About The Course

Keele runs a modern, integrated course that incorporates Problem Based Learning (PBL) and a spiral curriculum. They offer early clinical contact, integrated professional skills teaching, lectures, seminars, and practical skills including dissection.

Their course incorporates an impressive range of inter-professional learning with other health students including nursing, midwifery, paramedic science, physiotherapy and radiography, allowing students to experience a multi-disciplinary team as they learn.


Keele’s course is split into three, with the first two years focused on integrated teaching covering biomedical, behavioural, and social science. 

Keele has a special focus on general practice and community care: years one and two incorporate community placements, and 20% of years three, four and five is taken up by GP and community placements. 

Keele also offers a Foundation Year course to support under-represented students whose academic achievement has been limited by their circumstances to study medicine.

This article focuses on the A100 standard undergraduate entry course, but Foundation Year students will join the A100 cohort after successfully completing the Foundation Year.

Structure Of The Course

Year 1

Year 1 includes a range of units including health and disease, the body’s defence, emergencies, life course, brain and mind, pregnancy, and lifestyle.

Students will be based at Keele, with some short clinical placements, throughout Year 1.

Placements begin in Year 1 and students learn the skills needed to get the best out of placement opportunities prior to their occurrence. The emphasis throughout the course is firmly on student-led and self-directed learning.

Problem-based learning (PBL) is one major component of the Keele MBChB curriculum in Years 1 and 2. Students work in small groups to study written descriptions of clinical situations. Using a specific set of study skills, students use scenarios to guide them towards relevant theoretical and practical learning. Normally, each scenario is the focus for learning for a week, with two tutorials devoted to it.

Year 2

In Year 2, students revisit many aspects of biomedical, behavioural and social science, with an increasing emphasis on complexity and pathology. Students learn through integrated units such as mechanisms of disease, inputs and outputs, movement and trauma, circulation, breath of life and sensorimotor systems.

You will still be based at Keele, with more clinical placements in the community and regular clinical skills sessions at the Royal Stoke University Hospital (RSUH) in Year 2.

Year 3

From Year 3 onwards, PBL develops into case-based and case-illustrated learning, where the written scenarios are augmented using discussions of patients encountered by students in their clinical placements.

Year 3 enables you to build on the foundations of clinical knowledge and skills through immersion in clinical placements while continuing to develop and apply biomedical, behavioural and social science knowledge. Within Year 3 you will cover topics such as: medicine, surgery, elderly care, mental health and paediatrics, and complete a general practice clinical placement. 

You will spend most of Year 3 at RSUH with some placements in other local hospitals, one day a week at Keele and a four-week placement in general practice.

Year 4

In Year 4, students revisit and consolidate Year 3 content in Year 4 but will also cover women’s health, neurology and musculoskeletal systems.

Students spend either Year 4 or Year 5 based in Shropshire (Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Princess Royal Hospital Telford, Redlands Centre Shrewsbury and a GP practice) and the other year in Staffordshire (RSUH, other local specialist hospitals and a GP practice).

Year 5

The final year of the MBChB prepares you for professional practice as a Foundation Year 1 doctor. Students undertake extensive student assistantships including out-of-hours evening and weekend working, general practice, acute and critical care (including emergency medicine, intensive care and anaesthesia), medicine and surgery.


Academic Requirements

GCSEs: Five GCSEs at grade 7/A including a minimum of grade 6/B in English Language, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics. GCSE combined science (6/6) and IGCSE co-ordinated sciences (double award, 66 or BB) are accepted. Biology and Chemistry without Physics will not be accepted. English Language and Maths GCSEs at 6/B are essential. GAMSAT may be offered in lieu of the other GCSEs listed above. GCSE requirements must be met before applying.

A-levels: A*AA or AAA + EPQ grade A. Subjects must include one of Biology or Chemistry, and a further one of Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Maths/Further Maths/Statistics (only one from a combination will be accepted), Physics, or Psychology, and a third subject that is not a pre-reform A level such as General Studies, Critical Thinking or Citizenship Studies. Applicants may apply with achieved grades of A*AA with only one first or second designated subject if they are currently taking further A Levels to complete the subject requirements.

Scottish Higher: AAAAA To include Chemistry/Biology plus a second science (Chemistry/Biology/Physics) both at A, to be achieved by the end of S5 (i.e. before applying).

Scottish Advanced Higher: AB A minimum of AB from two subjects (both sciences: Chemistry/Biology/Physics) sat in S6 - any additional subject sat at Higher level in S6 must be achieved at grade B or higher. Any science subject not being offered at Higher or Advanced Higher level must have been passed at National 5 grade B.

International Baccalaureate: 37 points To include 7 or 6 in Higher Level Biology or Chemistry and 7 or 6 at Higher Level in one of Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Maths (any), Physics or Psychology.
OR
766 in three Higher Level subjects including Biology or Chemistry plus one from Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Maths (any), Physics or Psychology.
Any science not taken at the higher level must be offered at Standard Level grade 5 or GCSE grade 6 (or equivalent).

IELTs (International applicants only): Band 7.0 overall with a minimum of 7.0 in each section. Also accepts a range of other English language qualifications.

Bachelor's Degree (Graduates only): Keele doesn’t appear to have a degree grade requirement, but they require BBB in the same A levels as standard entry and have the same GCSE requirements. Graduates can take the GAMSAT if they don’t meet these criteria, needing: an overall score of 55 or more with a section III score of 58 or more supported by a score of 50 or more in all other section OR an overall score of 58 or more with a section III score of 55 or more supported by a score of 50 or more in all other sections



Further Entry Requirements

Work experience: Keele does not expect students to have any formal work experience or shadowing. They recognise that applicants may be less able to access work experience due to personal circumstances or responsibilities, and also that overseas placements or shadowing may be more accessible to privileged applicants. They ask for evidence of working in a caring role and helping people, which can be evidenced through volunteering, a part time job, or responsibilities at school or college. They do expect an understanding of working in medicine, which can be shown via discussions with healthcare professionals, reading, or virtual work experience for example.

Personal statement: Personal statements are scored from 0 to 15 according to Keele’s person specification for a Keele medical student and used as the main weighting in shortlisting for interview. The essential characteristics in their person specification are: a) Awareness of the roles of a doctor within the healthcare team, community and society b) Ability to engage meaningfully with people who have some need of care, support and/or help c) Ability to communicate effectively with a variety of people d) Willingness to take on responsibility and fulfill it to the best of your ability e) Ability to maintain one or more significant activities alongside your academic studies over a prolonged period f) Evidence of having made a positive difference to another person’s life


Admissions Process

Keele first checks that all applications meet their academic requirements. They then score the personal statement from 0 to 15 and the UCAT from 0 to 10, to give a total score used to rank students for interview.

Admissions Tests:

UCAT
Keele ranks UCAT scores based on deciles. As such, the first decile receives 5 points while the 4th decile received 2 points. Situational Judgement test is ranked 1-3 points based on the quantile (only the first three get points). A further 3 points are available for students in receipt of the UCAT bursary (+1), meeting contextual offer criteria (+1) and attending school in the Keele region (+1) Keele has recently changed their scoring system for 2024 entry, so we don’t have historic data around cutoffs. It's also hard to estimate how they will score the Personal Statement.

Interview Type: MMI

Interview Topics: The interview will address the attributes listed in the person specification, with additional emphasis on the broader roles and responsibilities of doctors. Candidates will be expected to read a section of the GMC Good Practice guide before one interview and discuss it, and a short case before the other.

You can find out more about Keele’s interview process in our guide.


Admissions Statistics

Total number of applicants: 2452
Total number of places: 164
Total number of entrants: 164
Acceptance rate: 6.69%

Fees

Home students: £9.250 pa
Rest of UK: TBC
International students: £45.100 pa

Teaching Methods

Teaching style: Keele has small class sizes, small group learning and early clinical experience, and supports students to develop into highly competent and self-aware medical professionals. They offer students varied learning opportunities including:

  • Clinical placements
  • Problem/case-based learning
  • Lectures
  • Anatomy and laboratory practicals
  • Experiential learning

Intercalation mode: Keele offers intercalated BSc and MSc degrees, as well as allowing students to apply to intercalate at other universities.

They offer a BSc in Medical Humanities and a BSc in Natural Sciences with Biochemistry, Neuroscience or Biomedical Sciences. Their MScs span a range of subjects from life science to education, ethics, and law.


Graduate Prospects

About 99% of all graduates from Keele’s Medicine course go on to work and/or continue their studies within 15 months after the end of the course. The average earnings are initially £34,000, rising to £52,000 after 5 years.

Overall, 100% of graduates are using what they learned during their studies in their current work and 96% are employed as medical practitioners.


FAQs

Is Keele Medical School hard to get into?

Keele is a very competitive medical school to get into, with around 7.5% of home applicants securing a place on the course. At the same time, by being aware of the admissions criteria, you can boost your chances: Keele considers the personal statement very strongly, so it will be important to tailor your PS to Keele. They also strongly prefer local and widening participation students.

What is the UCAT cutoff score for Keele?

Keele does not use a UCAT cutoff. It ranks the UCAT by quintile, with the top 20% of scores getting 5 points and the bottom 20% of scores getting 1 point. Band 1 SJT adds 2 points and Band 2 1 point. 3 additional UCAT points are available for contextual applicants.

The UCAT makes up 10 out of 25 scoring points, so a poor UCAT may be compensated for with a strong PS (15 points). However, this is not guaranteed: if the interview cutoff is above 16 (the maximum score one can achieve with the lowest UCAT score + highest PS score), a UCAT score above the minimum may be needed.

What is Keele University Medical School ranked?

The Guardian’s 2024 league table ranks Keele 6th in the UK for medicine. However, it is always important to check how they have made that ranking and whether it fits your concerns.

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