Queen’s University Belfast Medicine

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Queen’s University Belfast Medicine

Our Medicine degree enables students to apply for provisional registration with the General Medical Council and on successful completion of Foundation Training to practise medicine in its various specialities.

Queen’s is an exciting place to study medicine with our students experiencing clinical practice in a variety of hospitals, general practices and healthcare settings throughout Northern Ireland from first year onwards.

The School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences has close bonds with the N Ireland community as part of its educational, research and outreach programmes. Our ‘Patients as Partners’ make a valuable contribution to the education of medical students, through their participation in the selection of medical students to the programme, teaching sessions, as well as assessments.

Queen’s is the only medical school in Northern Ireland and students are welcomed in all of the hospitals within the region and in approximately 150 general practices. Students comment on the ease of access to high quality clinical teaching.

Course Structure

Intercalated Degrees
At the end of second or third year, students may apply to take a year out of their medical degree to study for an intercalated degree. This extra research focused year will lead to either a qualification at Bachelor or Master’s level.
Queen’s medical degree is a five year course with an initial systems-based approach. It is one of the few medical schools in the UK to teach students anatomy through cadaveric dissection and does so in an exciting new Dissection Suite.Students are introduced to clinical work from the onset and by third year almost all teaching is in the clinical setting. Good communication and examination skills training is undertaken in the Clinical Skills Education Centre with our ‘Patients as Partners’ before students move to actual patient contact in the healthcare environment.

Students are supported to undertake an additional year of study should they wish to undertake an intercalated degree.

During the second semester of final year all students undertake an Assistantship module which aims to ensure that graduates have a smooth transition into their first Foundation post.

Year 3
The third year begins to take greater clinical focus. Classroom-based and clinical teaching takes place in each of the medical and surgical disciplines, which is integrated with therapeutic, pathological and microbiological principles relevant to clinical medical practice.
Years 1 and 2
During the first two years of the degree you learn about the scientific basis of medical practice. You gain knowledge about each body system, focusing on the mechanisms of cellular structure and function. You also study pathology, microbiology, therapeutics and genetics. Teaching of basic science subjects is integrated with clinical skills training which you acquire through clinical simulation and practice with patients.
Years 4 and 5
During the fourth and fifth years you gain further experience in a range of surgical and medical disciplines. Training in a range of specialities offers an opportunity for you to consolidate and advance your clinical skills and enhance your clinical and related knowledge. In fifth year you have the opportunity to undertake an assistantship, during which you complete the range of tasks undertaken by a Foundation Doctor. Teaching and learning in ethics, communication, teamwork, and related behavioural science is embedded throughout the curriculum.

Learning and Teaching

Queen’s University medical school has a long tradition of excellent medical education which is constantly updated in response to developments in medical science and practice. We aim to deliver a high quality course utilising innovative teaching methods and best practice to create a supportive environment designed to enable students to achieve their personal and academic potential. Queen’s lays particular emphasis on the development of clinical skills. Students are introduced to patients and their problems from the beginning of the course.

Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course include:

Clinical Placements

Students undertake placements from year one and at the early stage of the course these are usually located in the greater Belfast area. From year three students will have opportunities to undertake placements in hospitals and general practices throughout Northern Ireland.

E-Learning technologies

Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and a designated medical education portal. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree. In years three, four and five, learning in the clinical environment is supported by on-line lectures and DVDs. An extensive suite of on-line clinical and communication skills training resources is also available. Interactive learning is supported by the use of audience response systems during lectures.


Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide students with opportunities to ask questions and gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).

Personal Tutor

Medical students are allocated a portfolio tutor for all years. The portfolio tutor supports students in the completion of the annual Personal and Professional Development Portfolio, mentors students during their undergraduate career and can signpost to the QUB support network for advice on academic, financial and wellbeing issues. Students are also assigned an Advisor of Study and there is a Student Support Lead for each year group.

Placement Abroad

Currently, as part of the medical degree there are opportunities for students to take a clinical module in a European institution participating in the ERASMUS programme. Students may also opt to travel to other counties as part of the final year Elective module.


There are practical classes throughout years one and two – these are designed to support learning in the basic sciences. Students will have the opportunity to undertake cadaveric dissection during the Anatomy components of the course.

Self-directed study

This is an essential part of life as a medical student when important directed reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date, research and preparation work for assignments are carried out. The development of reflective skills is supported through the use of portfolios.


Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in groups (typically 8-40 students). These provide the opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. Students should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

All applicants will be ranked on cognitive performance, and a proportion selected for interview. Interviews will take place between January and March in Belfast for home and EU applicants. Staff from the Medical School visit South East Asia in late January/February to interview and international applicants from other countries are encouraged to travel to Belfast for interview, as they will benefit from a tour of the Medical School and the University.

All applicants are required to sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) and the results achieved will be used as part of the selection process prior to interview.

A level requirements
AAA at A-level + A in a fourth AS-level subject including A-level Chemistry plus at least one other A-level from Biology/Human Biology, Mathematics or Physics. If not offered at A-level then Biology/Human Biology grade A as a 4th AS-level or grade B as a 5th AS-level. GCSE Mathematics minimum grade C and either GCSE Physics minimum grade C or GCSE Double Award Science minimum grades CC are required if not offered at AS-level or A-level.

Grade A in the EPQ or Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate or a grade B in a 4th A-level will be acceptable in lieu of the 4th AS-level.

A maximum of either one Applied A-level or one Applied AS-level will be counted. Please also note that only one Mathematics subject will be counted at A-level (the other would be acceptable as the fourth AS-level). A-level Critical Thinking and General Studies at both A-level and AS-level are not acceptable.

In considering applications, GCSE performance in the best 9 subjects will be scored with 4 points awarded for an A* (grades 8 and 9 on the new 9-1 grading scale) and 3 for an A (grade 7). UKCAT will be scored and used in conjunction with the GCSE score to rank for interview. AS-level performance, additional GCSE A grades and other factors may also be taken into account in borderline cases.

Evidence of commitment to medicine, motivation, communication skills and initiative are important.

Irish leaving certificate requirements
H1H1H1H1H2H2 including Higher Level grade H1 in Biology and Chemistry + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O3 in Mathematics. Students not offering Physics as part of their Leaving Certificate must have an A grade in Junior Certificate Science.

Applications from graduates or those in the final year of their degree are considered and the full academic background is taken into account. The minimum A-level threshold (or equivalent in other qualifications) is ABB at first attempt, ie prior to commencing degree studies, or BBB for those with a First Class Honours degree or PhD. Averaging out to these grades is not permitted. Applicants must have an appropriate science background at GCSE and AS-level/A-level or equivalent (see below) and at least a 2.1 Honours classification in their primary (first) degree, which can be from a wide range of different subjects. A-level Chemistry and at least one from A-level Biology/Human Biology, Mathematics or Physics, plus, if not offered at A-level, then Biology/ Human Biology to at least AS-level (or equivalent) are required. In addition, GCSE Mathematics minimum grade C and either GCSE Physics minimum grade C or GCSE Double Award Science minimum grades CC are required if not offered at AS-level or A-level. Graduate applicants who fulfil these criteria are then scored with their UKCAT. Graduate applicants from a non-science background but who fulfil the conditions in terms of grades achieved at the first attempt (ie in their original choice of A-level subjects) and degree performance will be considered if they undertake the appropriate Science qualifications on completion of their degree.

Transfers from other Medical Schools
Applications will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and all normal entry requirements must be satisfied.

All applicants
1. All students admitted to this degree will be required to complete a Hepatitis B vaccination programme at the Occupational Health Service of the University.

2. Medicine welcomes applications from people with disabilities. All applications will be treated on an individual case basis to ensure that the applicant has the potential to fulfil the demands of professional fitness to practise. Disability will not be considered as part of the selection process, however, it is strongly advised that applicants disclose their disability on their UCAS form and contact the School to obtain further advice. Applicants may also be required to provide relevant information which will be treated in the strictest of confidence. It is important that the University has an understanding of your support requirements to implement reasonable adjustments.

3. As a result of current legislative requirements any offer made will be conditional on a satisfactory criminal history check (Access NI Enhanced Disclosure Check). To enable the University to request this check you will be required to provide some personal information which will be treated in the strictest of confidence and in line with Data Protection Principles. The current cost of an Enhanced Disclosure Check is £33. At the time of printing changes are due to be implemented and relevant procedures and/or costs may change. Applicants will be advised of the relevant requirements at the appropriate time. For international students, a Certificate of Good Conduct or equivalent will be required in lieu of an Access NI check.

4. The degree is subject to the University’s regulations on Fitness to Practise.

5. Applicants will be required to give permission for a check against the Excluded Student Database prior to offers being made. This is a national database which records those who have previously been excluded from professional programmes because of fitness to practise concerns.

6. Selection criteria for Medicine are reviewed annually and therefore you should read the selection procedures which are available at http://go.qub.ac.uk/ugstudy, under ‘Entrance Requirements and Selection Criteria’ for further details and up-to-date information, prior to applying. This includes a pdf entitled ‘How We Choose Our Students’.

More detailed information on applying to Medicine at Queen’s is also available from the School website at www.qub.ac.uk/schools/mdbs/

Please note for 2018 entry the deadline for applications to this degree is 6.00 pm on 15 October 2017 and arrangements should be made to undertake UKCAT in advance of this.

Selection Criteria

In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on ‘How we choose our students’ prior to submitting your UCAS application. The information relates to 2017 entry and will be updated for 2018 entry as soon as possible.


For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

An IELTS score of 7.5 overall, with a minimum of 7.0 in Speaking and Listening and 6.5 in Reading and Writing, or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2018-19 will be based on 2017-18 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,030
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
Other (non-UK) EU £4,030
International £35,900

Year 1 & 2 £19,000 (preclinical years), Year 3, 4 and 5 are Clinical years. Clinical fee for 2017-18 is £35,900.

Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

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