King’s College London

King’s College London’s MBBS course has an integrated curriculum that intends to support and help students train to be medical professionals. Students will be able to learn from global leaders in the fields of life sciences and medical research and experience the hospital settings of Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ hospitals.

The programme has three stages, with an intercalation year between stage two and three. The first stage focuses on the foundation of Medicine, biomedical and population sciences. This is supplemented with knowledge of the skills needed for clinical practice.

Stage two brings clinical practice and science in blocks that are organised and split into common pathological processes and the human life-cycle. The emphasis is on the care of patients with common conditions in numerous clinical settings. Students will follow patients and learn about the delivery of whole-person care.

Stage three is geared towards future practise and includes opportunities for students to take on an elective study abroad. Quality improvement projects are also conducted by students in this phase, and skills are developed so that patient and population health, both locally and beyond, are transformed. Realistic simulations and inter-professional training are a fundamental part of the curriculum at this point as well.

Assessments are both formative and summative, with the former occurring throughout the programme. Early formative assessments occur in stage one to help identify students who may need additional support. Stage three will consist of two external assessments that will aid F1 training too.

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Case Study

Riley Botelle
Year of Study:
2nd Year

What are the best things about your medical school?

  1. King’s is a massive university. Boasting the largest healthcare student body in Europe, it really feels like a hub of innovation and learning. The campus is beautiful and the placement in central London is ideal. The very environment of the university is motivating.
  2. There’s no shortage of research to get involved with. With Guy’s hospital literally on the doorstep of the campus, there are hundreds of options for SSCs, summer work, publications, or even poking your head into interesting cases and ward rounds if you manage to get friendly with the staff. Intercalating options are really wide and varied, and you can also apply for intercalate elsewhere easily.
  3. I will talk about this more when discussing the social aspect, however, the massive variety of social clubs, societies and sports teams really cannot be oversold. They are a fantastic opportunity to get to know other students, and allow you to pursue literally any interest you might have.

What are the hardest things about your course?

  1. OSCEs and written exams. It sounds obvious, but you do need to keep on top of things. Nobody wants to be cramming material at the last minute, but every year lots of people end up in exactly this position. Not falling into that trap will make your life so much easier.
  2. Remembering to take time for yourself. Broaden your interests, take up opportunities, and do a bit of extra work in the first couple of years. It will make all the difference to your experience and happiness at university. Despite the advice about exams, I do wish someone had told me to find the balance between working and enjoying myself earlier on.
  3. The changeover between the old curriculum and the new (2020) curriculum has left some people confused. However, we are reassured it should be far simpler and smoother for new students, as they will be heading straight into the new curriculum. If anybody on open day feels upset about the communication between the staff and students, this might be why! When there are over 300 students in your year group, it can be hard to feel like you have a voice, but members of the staff do care and many will be willing to sit down and talk with you about your opinions.

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

The social side is one of the best factors. King’s has a massive medical school community, with societies for all specialities from Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to Sexual and Reproductive Health. There are societies for volunteering, sports, music, politics, campaigning, faith and more! If you have a niche interest, be it robotics or battle rap, there’s probably a society that would love to have you. The only downside is that the wide variety and the sheer number of students means it can be easy to feel lost and isolated. However, throughout your time you will always be meeting students you haven’t met before, and if you use the opportunities available you will avoid this pitfall.

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

  1. Definitely understand that your curriculum is going to be different from current students (of 2nd year and above). I’d really recommend doing your research and learning about the curriculum so that you know you are hearing the right information. For instance, the opportunities for early patient contact have massively expanded compared to the old curriculum.
  2. Try and get some work experience or volunteering that you are passionate about, rather than what you think is going to look good. If you love the stuff you do, it will shine through, and that makes you stand out.
  3. Do extracurricular activities that you enjoy, and then think about how the skills from them are transferable to medicine. The ability to have a life outside of medicine is important!

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