Keele University School of Medicine is based at the Keele Campus near Newcastle, and operates at several clinical locations including hospitals in Staffordshire, Shropshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Shrewsbury. Keele was rated in the top five most beautiful universities in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2018 league tables.
The spiral curriculum at Keele allows students to revisit key information at different stages with increasing depth and focus. The course is highly integrated from day 1, with PBL, practical sessions, clinical work and lectures featuring alongside each other.
Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on feedback to help you improve your knowledge, understanding and performance of medical practice. The modern, spiral, highly-integrated medical curriculum combines a range of learning strategies, including:
- Early clinical experience
- Integrated communication and clinical skills teaching
- Practical sessions, including dissection
- Problem-based Learning (PBL), lectures, and seminars.
You will have extensive experience of clinical placements in both primary and secondary care settings and in the community sector. Inter-professional learning and student interests are fostered throughout the programme.
Further opportunities for diversity are encouraged through intercalation. Opportunities for intercalation to pursue an additional qualification in a medicine-related subject are available, and include studying at bachelor’s level after the second year or master’s level after the fourth year.
Intercalation is a year out of your undergraduate medical studies in order to study a subject area in greater depth before returning to complete the medical course. An intercalated degree provides you with:
- An opportunity to pursue an additional qualification in a medicine-related subject that interests you
- The opportunity to acquire a better understanding of basic biomedical sciences, medical humanities and research methodologies
- The opportunity to publish scientific papers and present at conferences.
Formative assessment is a key, integrated component of the course and there is regularly updated web-based material on which you can assess your understanding of a subject. These assessments will reinforce what you need to know, reassure those students who are on track, and highlight areas which require improvement.
They will also help to guide your professional development. All the different methods of testing will be met in this formative way before the same method is encountered in a summative examination.
In the final year of the course (Year 5), most of the assessments will usually involve real and simulated patient examinations of your clinical performance. This will help the medical school know that you are ready to take on the role of a Foundation Year doctor.
The overall structure of the course comprises five compulsory modules taken over five years, divided into three Phases.
Integrated Spiral Curriculum — Year 1 and 2 pre-clinical, Year 3-5 clinical. Option to intercalate after 2nd or 4th year.
Please visit our Comparison Tool to view Keele Medicine Entry Requirements.
- Website URL:
- +44 (0)1782 733937
- Natasha Roberts
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What are the best things about your Medical School?
- Its size; Keele medical school is fairly small compared to other ones with year groups of around 120 students, and because of this you get to know everyone pretty quickly which helps with settling in! Also I found that this enabled the Lecturers and Tutors to be able to offer 1:1 sessions readily which is really helpful when you need a little extra help, or to catch up when you have had time off due to illness.
- The curriculum isn’t solely just lecture-based but is integrated weekly with PBL, Anatomy and many Lab sessions. This makes everything you get taught a lot more interesting as you can discuss cases and ideas with one another and learn to carry out clinical examinations and tests early on. I find sitting through lectures to pretty tiresome so really enjoy the hands on style of learning you get at Keele. Anatomy is an added bonus. We get to do dissections every week. too. This is only offered at a few medical schools and I would definitely recommend applying to one that offers it!!
- You get to go on placements pretty early on in the course which is great!! It definitely reminds you why you’ve chosen medicine, as at first when you start and get overwhelmed with all the new knowledge you need to know, you can start to lose sight of this.
What are the hardest things about your course?
- As Iâ€™m sure any other med student would say — the workload! Freshers week isn’t the best when most other people get to chill out, and you want to enjoy nights out and then have to face a 9-5 day at med school! It’s a huge change from A-Levels, the amount of new info you need to learn and understand is pretty huge, but this gets a lot easier when you learn how to best manage your time and balance it between work, sport and socializing. It took me a while to get this balance right but once you do everything seems a lot easier and more manageable.
- Maintaining consistency in PBL learning, you have to gel well as a group for PBL to be worthwhile and for everyone to get the best out of it!!
- Anatomy is an added bonus at Keele, it’s one of my favorite things about the course, but trying to understand and retain the information whilst dissecting the cadavers took a bit of getting used to. Revising the info from a text book is completely different to when you are learning it in the dissecting room, but the anatomy society put on really useful revision sessions which help a lot with this!
What’s the social side of your Medical School like?
Keele itself is a village with the nearest town being Newcastle Under Lyme. There’s definitely not as much to do here as in big cities.
Obviously this isn’t an impressive night out when opposed to other Unis, like Manchester or Birmingham. But the Med Society plans fab socials and some of these nights out have been the highlights of my first year. (On another note, the Med School itself is super friendly both staff and other students)
What tips would you give to someone applying to your Medical School?
- Understand the ranking process each medical school uses for interview selection, and apply to your strengths! Some will cut you out of the selection process if your UCAT isn’t high enough, or they rank you on your grades before deciding if they will read your personal statement. In my circumstances I had taken a gap year due to not getting in when I applied in sixth form; therefore I had been travelling and had done teaching and volunteer work in other countries and had plenty of work experience as a HCA. I applied to the medical schools that valued your personal statement and experiences more than how many A*s you’d got at school. (I already had 3 A’s at A level, but my GCSEs weren’t outstanding and my UCAT was pretty average).
- Most medical schools want to have applicants who have managed to get some work experience at some stage. I found it very difficult where I lived to be allowed to gain work experience in hospitals, but worked as a HCA in a nursing home, which was completely invaluable. Although this doesn’t sound as impressive as a week shadowing a surgeon or doctor, if you cant get work experience that doesn’t sound glamorous don’t worry – I really think its how you reflect on what you have learnt from your interactions with patients and roles you have performed that have involved levels of responsibility that the medical schools value most.
- If you have got a strong application the 3 things I would say to look at when selecting which medical schools you want to apply to are: size, the way the course is taught and the location!