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.

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.

Sciences Complex,
City Campus,


  • Anatomical models, surface anatomy and computer-aided learning materials will all be available in this outstanding, brand new facility. 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


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

A Levels in three subjects at grades of 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.

We accept the following Scottish qualifications:

  • National 5: a minimum of 5 subjects at grade A with a minimum of grade B in Maths, English, Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • Higher: minimum of AAAAB, including Chemistry/Biology plus a second science both at A, to be achieved by the end of S5 (i.e. before applying)
  • Advanced Higher: minimum of AB from two subjects (both sciences) 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 Standard/National 5 grade B/2

For the Scottish Baccalaureate (Science), grades of AA are required in 2 Advanced Highers (including Chemistry or Biology) plus AA in an interdisciplinary project unit and 1 higher. Chemistry or Biology must be offered at Advanced Higher grade A. Standard Grade/National 5 requirements must also be met.

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.

To be considered for the course you must currently be studying A Levels/IB or have achieved your A level grades within five years of September 2019.

All applicants must take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) during the year in which they apply.

Roles and Responsibilities form

Upon submission of your UCAS application you will be sent a link to complete our Roles and Responsibilities form. This must be submitted within 14 days of receipt.

This is one of the methods that we use to prioritise candidates for interview.

Please note BTEC qualifications are not accepted for this course.

For more detailed entry requirements, please see our Help and Advice article.

Applications for September 2019 entry are now closed. Applications for 2020 entry will open in September 2019.

Fees and finance

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

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.

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.

Meet our academics

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