Sheffield University, School of Medicine
Degree Type & Length: 5 Years
UCAS Code: A100
University Code: S18
Is UKCAT needed? If so, how is it assessed? Yes
Applicants: 2000
Interviews: 518
Offers: 409
Places: 237
Academic entry requirement:

Our offer for subjects taken at A Level is AAA to include Chemistry and one other science (Maths, Physics, Biology or Psychology).  Applicants who do not yet hold A Levels at the time of application must have predicted grades of at least AAA.

GCSE passes at grade C or above in Mathematics, English and the Sciences (which may be dual awards).

You should have at least six A grades in GCSE subjects.

The six A grades may include Mathematics, English and the sciences.

Acceptable science GCSEs include: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Sciences (dual awards)

Medical School Website:
Medical School Contact Information: The Medical School
The University of Sheffield
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX
General Enquiries: +44 (0)114 222 5522
Key attribute of medical institute: The Medical School was set up in 1828 and became part of the University of Sheffield in 1905. So we've been around long enough to know our stuff. In 2011 we were named Times Higher EducationUniversity of the Year. We're also placed in the UK's top ten universities and the world's top 100 by some of the most authoritative international rankings.
Course Structure:

Phase 1 (Sept Year 1 - June Year 1)
Introductory Clinical Competency

  • Introduction to Medical Studies and Medical Sciences
  • Introductory clinical competencies
  • Systems based learning and teaching (Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Gastrointestinal and Liver, Musculo-skeletal, Skin, Nervous, Genitourinary, Endocrine, Reproductive, Haematology, Immunology)
  • Integrated Clinical Demonstrations
  • Intensive Clinical Experience
  • Early Years General Practice Placement
  • Community Attachment Scheme
  • Public Health and Population Health Science
  • Medical Ethics
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Student Selected Components (SSCs)

The structure of Phase 1 follows the General Medical Council's (GMC) Guidelines and is largely 'systems-based'. Information is presented in a series of modules which cover the basic systems of the body and also involves Public Health and Population Health Science, Medical Ethics, Personal and Professional Development and Student Selected Components. Each of these takes place not only in the Medical School which is sited next to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, but a significant part of Phase 1 involves working outside the main campus, for example at the clinical skills units at the Northern General Hospital and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, on the wards of nearby hospitals or within a community setting including general practice and some social service locations. Phase 1 includes two weeks of Intensive Clinical Experience (ICE), which introduces you to working on the ward with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.  Students have regular placements in a General Practice throughout the first year, starting in the first term.

Phase 1 focuses on the normal structure and function of the human body.  Whilst it is obviously important to cover subject disciplines such as Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, these are presented in an integrated way within the relevant body system under study. For example, in the cardiovascular system module, the structure, function and metabolism of the heart will be studied. In addition, aspects of Public Health, Ethics and other relevant topics are integrated into the course through the Public Health/Population Health Sciences module. Learning is by practical classes (including dissection of the human body), lectures, tutorials and self-directed study. Computer-based learning is used routinely within Phase 1 and student evaluations of these packages show that they are very well received.

Formal assessment in Phase 1 consists of a written examination paper (multiple- choice and clinically related 'scenario' questions) and a practical examination. The whole examination must be passed before progression to the next stage. However if a student fails there is an opportunity to resit the examination during the summer vacation period.

Phase 2 (September Year 2 - Dec Year 3)
Basic Clinical Competencies

  • Research Project
  • Early Years General Practice Placement
  • Clinical Attachments 
  • SSCs
  • Clinical Medical Sciences
  • Clinical Skills

Phase 2a of the course lasts for one academic year and starts with a six-week research project.  Students are attached to researchers within the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health and have an opportunity to develop their research skills.

Medical Sciences feature strongly in Phase 2a.  Your knowledge and understanding will be developed through both lectures and clinical experience in general practice placements.  You will build on the knowledge that you gained in Phase 1 by learning about the clinical presentation of disease (symptoms and signs), pathology, microbiology, immunology, the investigations that are used in diagnosis and the way that specific diseases are treated (pharmacology and therapeutics).  Medical sciences are assessed in written examinations (multiple choice and clinically-related scenario short answer questions) at the end of Phase 2a.

In Phase 2a, you will also receive training in a large number of procedural clinical skills in simulation (e.g. obtaining a 'blood sample' from a manikin arm).  Your ability to perform these procedures safely will be assessed in simulation during Phase 2a, so that you are ready to perform them under supervision in clinical practice for the remainder of the course.

Phase 2b commences in June of the second academic year and is the stage of the course where students really begin to feel like trainee doctors.  You will spend most of your time in hospital wards, operating theatres and outpatient clinics, learning the skills that you will need to join the medical profession.

At the start of Phase 2b, you will receive a three-week introduction to basic clinical skills.  You will receive training from specialists in history taking and physical examination of all of the major body systems.  This teaching is delivered to students in small groups, at the bedside, with the assistance of real patients who volunteer to assist with your training.  This introductory course will equip you with the basic skills that you need before you start your clinical attachments.

You will then attend four 3-week clinical placements, during which you will be attached to consultants working in hospitals in Sheffield and the surrounding districts.  This will give you further experience in history-taking and clinical examination, with real patients in hospitals.  You will be encouraged to use the information that you have already gained to formulate diagnoses.  You will become part of the clinical team and are encouraged to attend and observe many of the everyday activities of the team, such as ward rounds, surgical operation, pathology meetings, and outpatient clinics.  During this time, you will also continue to develop the professional attributes that are essential to becoming a successful practicing doctor.  You will also complete an SSC in medical ethics and law, based on a real case that you have seen in clinical practice and the ethical issues this case raised (e.g. end of life care).

Phase 2b will give you a firm foundation for all future clinical Phases of the course.  By the end of Phase 2b, you will have gained a knowledge and understanding of disease and a set of clinical skills (history-taking, physical examination, procedural skills in clinical practice) that you will continue to use throughout your career.  The assessment at the end of Phase 2b is an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) in which you will demonstrate your clinical learning by taking histories and performing physical examinations on real patients.

Students who pass the Phase 2b OSCE at the first sitting will complete an SSC in social accountability in which they will complete some voluntary work with patient or community groups in Sheffield or the surrounding area and through this, will increase their understanding on health inequity and the role of medicine in society.

Phase 3 (Jan Year 3 - Dec Year 4)
Extended Clinical Competencies

  • Clinical Team Attachments
  • Child Health
  • Women's Health
  • Mental Health
  • SSCs (including Community-based and an Elective)
  • Medical Sciences
  • Acute Clinical Care
  • Continuing Clinical Care
  • Community and Public Health
  • Specialty Clinical Attachments
  • Further SSCs including Medical Audit

Phase 3 lasts two years and is clinically based. It is a period of study and clinical experience taking students into both primary and secondary care of the patient with an emphasis on 'hands-on' medicine.

The primary care element involves community placements centred on General Practice.

The secondary care of patients covers mainly hospital work in sub-speciality subjects including child health (Paediatrics), women's health (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), mental health (Psychiatry) and General Practice. It also provides teaching and experience in many medical and surgical sub-specialities including ophthalmology, cardiology, rheumatology, accident and emergency medicine, orthopaedics, dermatology, urology and consolidates earlier experience in general medicine and surgery. Students rotate in small groups through these disciplines and receive various forms of back up including small group work, seminars, tutorials and lectures.

The emphasis is on evidence-based learning and you are encouraged to learn by investigation and teamwork. The speciality teaching includes projects and team presentations. You also have an opportunity to study areas of particular interest to you in the Student Selected Components elements of the course.

Phase 4 (Jan Year 5 - June year 5)
Advanced Clinical Competencies

  • Final Preparation for becoming a Junior Doctor
  • A four week SSC period
  • Clinical Team Attachments
  • F1 Shadowing

From January till June of the final year, you will be immersed in clinical medicine. The written part of the final examination will be behind you and you will be able to concentrate on furthering your clinical skills and on preparing yourself for becoming an F1 doctor. Through a series of clinical attachments, you will develop advanced clinical competencies. You will shadow junior doctors in a manner that will allow you to develop the skills you require to become a Foundation Year 1 doctor. Increasingly 'hands-on', you will become confident in your ability to be a junior doctor. The confidence of the University in you will be when it awards you the degree of MBChB after you have been successful in the clinical examination in May. Phase 4 s an exhilarating, exacting and rewarding time and will prepare you well for your duties as a junior hospital doctor.

Sheffield University, School of Medicine