Medicine MBChB

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Study an innovative, highly-integrated medical curriculum in partnership with Keele University School of Medicine. Gain the knowledge, skills and professionalism that you will require as a new doctor embarking on further training. Graduate ready to maximise your career progression and improve lives. 

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The MBChB honours degree is designed to ensure you meet the necessary standards in terms of knowledge, skills and professionalism that all new doctors should have as they embark on further training. You will study alongside pharmacists, nurses, paramedics, biomedical, sport and physiological scientists offering opportunities for inter-disciplinary working.

You will be taught mainly in small class sizes and learning groups but will also experience a range of other learning methods including lectures, seminars and self-directed learning. You’ll develop your intellectual, personal and professional skills through independent thinking, creative problem solving, and constructive communication. You’ll also gain a deep understanding of the social, environmental and global implications of your studies as well as how to make a positive contribution in a complex and rapidly changing world.

Our programme is modern and forward thinking, using Problem Based Learning in a spiral curriculum that builds complexity year-on-year. Our culture is supportive and inclusive with a large network of academic and clinical tutors and mentors. If you have the skills, passion and ambition and want to be part of a welcoming community, Sunderland is the place to be.

Download our MBChB Medicine course brochure.

Why us?

  • The University of Sunderland has been providing higher education since 1901, including science and areas related to medicine, and we continue to be at the forefront of teaching, learning and research
  • As a new School of Medicine, our MBChB course is subject to successful progress through the General Medical Council’s (GMC) rigorous quality assurance programme
  • We have 'world-leading' research in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy according to the latest Research Excellence Framework
  • Our teaching excellence is demonstrated in our ‘Silver’ Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) award meaning you will be taught by experts who are also internationally research-active academics

  • We have an excellent track record of attracting and supporting students from the least advantaged socio-economic groups
  • We are partnered with 4 hospital trusts, 2 mental health trusts, community services and 63 GP practices
  • We are working in partnership with Keele University School of Medicine to implement our new medical curriculum with a significant general practice focus. Keele have been delivering the MBChB honours degree for over 15 years and were ranked 4th in The Guardian University league tables 2017 for Medicine.
  • Opportunities to collaborate in an interprofessional learning capacity with other healthcare courses including nursing, paramedic science and pharmacy.

Course structure

Studying medicine relies on methods that are clinically realistic. You will be taught via scheduled learning and teaching activities, anatomy teaching based in the Anatomy Lab, problem-based/case-based learning, extensive clinical placements in hospital and community settings and guided independent study.

Our course is designed to help you maximise your career progression and leadership potential through opportunities to study a range of complementary subjects drawn from the University, including the humanities. We make learning enjoyable through small class sizes, small group learning, early clinical experience and helping you to develop into a highly competent and self-aware professional.

You will be assessed by in-year written work, written information management skills assessments, written knowledge examinations, reflective assignments and practical examinations.

You’ll have regular feedback and one-on-one tutor sessions, which will help you improve your performance and address any difficulties you might be having.

The curriculum has three phases delivered at the University and in primary and secondary care settings. Years 1 and 2 are based predominantly at City Campus. The majority of clinical placements in Years 3–5 are based in Sunderland and South Tyneside with a proportion in adjoining counties. 

Phase 1: Years 1 and 2:

Overview with early clinical exposure. You will learn the fundamentals of biomedical, behavioural and social science with a focus on sciences, research, study and communication skills, basic clinical skills and professionalism.

Phase 2: Years 3 and 4:

You get a second run through of many aspects of biomedical, behavioural and social science with an increased emphasis on complexity and pathology, combined with learning fundamental clinical skills and knowledge. Immersion in clinical placements building on the foundations of clinical knowledge and skills developed in the preceding years.

Phase 3: Preparation for Professional Practice: Year 5:

Very extensive student assistantships to prepare you for practice as a Foundation Year 1 doctor. 

Year 1: FHEQ Level 4

  • The Doctor as a Scholar and a Scientist (120 credits)

You will learn through integrated units such as Health and Disease, Immunology and Infection, Emergencies, Life Course, Scholarship, Brain and Mind, Pregnancy and Lifestyle, with longitudinal GP and hospital placements.


Year 2: FHEQ Level 5

  • The Doctor as a Scholar and a Scientist (120 credits)

A second run through of many aspects of biomedical, behavioural and social science with an increased emphasis on complexity and pathology. You will learn through integrated units such as Mechanism of Disease, Inputs and Outputs, Movement and Trauma, Circulation, Scholarship, Breath of Life, Integrated systems, longitudinal GP and hospital placements and a 3rd sector community placement.


Year 3: FHEQ Level 6

  • The Doctor as a Practitioner (120 credits)

Learning through integrated units such as Medicine, Surgery, Elderly Care, Mental Health, Paediatrics, General Practice and a Student-Selected Component. 


Year 4: FHEQ Level 6

  • The Doctor as a Practitioner (120 credits)

Learning through integrated units such as Medicine, Surgery, Womens Health, Mental Health, Paediatrics, Neurology/musculoskeletal and then a General Practice and a Student-Selected Component.


Year 5: FHEQ Level 6

  • The Doctor as a Professional (120 credits)

Learning through integrated units such as Medicine, Surgery, Elderly Care, Mental Health, Paediatrics, General Practice and a Student-Selected Component.

  • Our anatomy laboratory is equipped to deliver contemporary anatomy teaching and learning including gross and living anatomy as well as osteology and clinical imaging. Anatomy learning resources we provide include:

    • A comprehensive collection of Adam Rouilly anatomical models representing all body systems
    • An Anatomage Table which provides a touch-screen ‘operating table’ to deliver virtual cadaveric dissection alongside radiology, pathology, embryology and histology learning resources and clinical content 
    • Portable ultrasound equipment to support our delivery of living anatomy and to prepare you for future clinical practice
    • Touch screen operated computers which provide the best in anatomy e-learning resources including: Virtual Human Dissector Software which allows you to interact with correlated 3D and cross-sectional views of over 2,000 anatomical structures through identification, dissection, assembly and rotation and helps you to understand the complex three-dimensional structure of the human body
    • Complete Anatomy software which provides detailed 3D accurate anatomy models for self-study and revisions

    By 2021, the Sunderland Royal Infirmary site will also include cadaveric dissection.

    Anatomy provision
  • Our highly technical apparatus will help you gain a better understanding of the effects of drugs on specific receptors located throughout the human body and related physiological effects.

    In addition to equipment for standard pharmacopoeial tests, such as dissolution testing, friability and disintegration, we also have highly sophisticated test methods. These include rheometry, thermal analysis (differential scanning calorimetry and hot stage microscopy), tests for powder flow, laser diffraction, photon correlation spectroscopy, image analysis and laser confocal microscopy.

    We also have equipment for wet granulation, spray drying, capsule filling, tablet making, mixing inhalation, film coating and freeze drying.

    Facilities for pharmaceutics and pharmacology
  • We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on pharmaceutical and biomedical science, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.
    Some of the most important sources for your studies include:

    • Embase: A complex database covering drug research, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology, clinical and experimental human medicine, health policy and management, public health, occupational health, environmental health, drug dependence and abuse, psychiatry, forensic medicine and biomedical engineering/instrumentation
    • PsycARTICLES: Includes information about the psychological aspects of medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, pharmacology and physiology
    • PubMed: Contains life science journals, online books and abstracts that cover fields such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine and health care
    • Science Direct: Offers more than 2,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
    • Web of Science: Covers a broad range of science areas
    Library Services - sciences
  • The Living Lab at the University of Sunderland was opened by Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Chief Nurse of Health Education England in 2016, following significant investment and major redevelopment of the ground floor of Fleming Building in the Sciences Complex. Our aim is to provide a state-of-the-art venue for all forms of healthcare related simulation based education.

    The Living Lab boasts the region’s only immersive simulation room allowing participants to experience events in simulated environments. An adjacent task trainer room which can be used flexibly can aid with the development of clinical and non-technical skills. Integral cameras enable participants to view live or recorded footage in our dedicated debrief room. The Lab also has a 7 bedded ward and Point of Care Testing (POCT) facility along with an OSCE suite and seminar rooms.

    The facility currently has 2 SimMan 3Gs, a SimNewB, a SimMom birthing simulator and 2 TraumaFX simbodies. A range of other clinical equipment and part task trainers as well as a pop-up ambulance are available to complement the facilities.

    The Living Lab
  • These labs feature industry specified equipment and resources used for the study of human physiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, histopathology and related biosciences. The resources range from microscopes for histology work, to biochemical equipment and facilities for biological investigations, computerised spirometry and ECG recording.

    Three multi user laboratories
  • Map and directions


Our Sciences Complex offers one of the best student experiences for those studying the sciences, including industry-standard research and teaching laboratories and testing equipment in pharmacy, pharmaceutical, biomedical, environmental and sports sciences. The non-clinical components of the course are based here.

Entry requirements

For a full list of the subjects we accept, please see our entry requirements.

A Level

A Levels in three subjects at grades AAA are required, including Biology or Chemistry plus another designated science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths/Further Maths/Statistics) and a third academic subject. Any science A Level (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) completed in England from 2017 must include a pass in the practical endorsement; without this the qualification will be judged to have been failed, regardless of the headline grade. Please note, some subjects are not accepted. Only one subject from a combination of Maths or Further Maths or Statistics will be considered within the three A Levels.

The primary admissions criteria which is being considered (eg A Levels) must have been completed within the past five years.


We also require five passes at GCSE grade A (numerical grade 7) with a minimum of grade B (numerical grade 6) in Maths, English Language, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Graduate route

If you already hold a degree, please see our standard entry graduate route

Access to Higher Education

Please note, we do not accept Access to Higher Education/Access to Medicine courses.


All applicants must take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) during the year in which they apply. Scores must be within top 8 deciles of the cohort and situational judgement test (SJT) must be within bands 1-3. See our Help and Advice articles on the UCAT.

Roles and Responsibilities form

All applicants who meet the minimum academic requirements will be issued with a Roles and Responsibilities form which must be completed and returned by the deadline stated in the accompanying email. For further information and an example form, see our Help and Advice articles on the Roles and Responsibilities form.


Shortlisting for interview is based on academic requirements, the Roles and Responsibilities form and UCAT score. Our interviews take the form of multiple mini-interviews (MMIs) and a mathematics test. Please see our Help and Advice articles on the interview process.

Additional information

As well as achievement in formal examinations, we look for other indicators of potential and capacity. We welcome applications from those with non-traditional backgrounds including (but not limited to) those from families new to higher education, care leavers and estranged students.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is £9,250.

We are only considering applications from home (UK) fee-paying students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

Use our scholarships calculator to see what you may be entitled to.

Scholarships calculator

This information was correct at the time of publication.

City Campus by night


This course will enable you to develop your intellectual, personal and professional capabilities. These attributes include independent thinking, synthesizing information, creative problem solving, communicating clearly, and appreciating the social, environmental and global implications of your studies and activities. Our course and clinical learning environment are designed to help you to become a well-rounded graduate who aspires to make a positive and valued contribution in a complex and rapidly changing world, whichever spheres of life you engage in after your studies are completed.

Career options

Medicine is a very diverse profession with an expanding range of career options. You will be taught in some of the best performing hospital Trusts in England. We will ensure that you graduate with a strong grounding in the general and social sciences alongside a high level of patient contact in both hospital and general practice settings. You will gain insight into the health needs of our population, the needs of our patients and their experiences of the NHS. We train excellent and innovative clinicians, well prepared for future practice and the globalisation of health care.

Postgraduate foundation training and beyond

At the end of the undergraduate programme you’ll receive your degree. The General Medical Council (GMC) approves your university’s degree as a primary medical qualification (PMQ). This is important because, provided there are no concerns about your fitness to practise, a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the GMC for a licence to practise medicine in the UK.

The GMC is introducing a Medical Licensing Assessment – the MLA. The MLA will create a demonstration that anyone obtaining registration with a licence to practise medicine in the UK has met a common threshold for safe practice. To obtain a PMQ, graduates from 2024 onwards will need to have a degree that includes a pass in both parts of the MLA. Find out more about the Medical Licensing Assessment (.pdf).

Meet the students

  • The facilities are excellent, and the staff and students are all extremely friendly.
    Christian Hilling - Case Study Square Image

    Christian Hilling

  • The financial support offered by the University is incredible.
    Francesca Cockell - Case Study Square Image

    Francesca Cockell

  • By studying at the University of Sunderland, I will be able to give back to the community I live in.
    Laura Giles - Case Study Square Image

    Laura Giles

Meet the team

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