BSc (Honours) Medicine Course Details
BSc (Hons) Medicine (3 years) at St Andrews leading to MB ChB (3 years) at Partner Medical School (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester or Barts)
All students studying Medicine at St Andrews, whether they are on the A100 pathway or the A990 pathway, will follow exactly the same programme at St Andrews. For those on the A100, the course is designed to prepare you, ultimately, for progression to the NHS two year Foundation Programme in the United Kingdom. The medical course has a long established reputation as providing an excellent scientific basis for clinical training and includes the opportunity to observe human structure directly by dissection of the entire body. Clinical training begins the day students enter the School of Medicine at St Andrews. Clinical knowledge, skills and professional behaviours, including all aspects of patient safety, are key components of our curriculum.
Year 1 Foundations of Medicine 1 and 2
The first year of the degree programme comprises two modules, Foundations of Medicine 1 and 2. The first semester module provides a broad overview of the structure, function and behaviour of cells, tissues, and systems within the human body. The second semester module uses the musculoskeletal system to provide the integrated theme which mirrors the framework of the modules taught in subsequent years. Year 1 modules cover introductory overviews of the clinical sciences including pathology, microbiology, health psychology, public health medicine and key aspects of medical ethics and law. You will discover the basics of medicine on an individual and population level.
It is not only vital to understand the scientific basis of health and disease, but also how to develop professional thinking, effective communication and problem solving skills. These are developed in case-based clinical scenarios and interviews with patients. Basic clinical skills are taught and these include basic life support, measuring and recording vital signs, clinical communication and patient safety.
Years 2 and 3 - Honours Programme
The Honours programme comprises a series of modules that revisit and build upon the knowledge base that was established in Foundations of Medicine 1 and 2. The normal and abnormal structure and function of each of the body systems (e.g. cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal and neurological and endocrine) will be studied in depth and you will examine the scientific basis of important disease mechanisms and therapeutic treatment in each of the body systems.
During the Honours years a deeper understanding of clinical communication, medical ethics, professionalism, public health, health psychology and the practice of medicine is fostered. Critical thinking, reflective practice and decision-making skills are enhanced through the use of published literature and video presentations. There is ample opportunity to consolidate clinical skills and patient examination techniques and take your first steps in the diagnosis and management of patients.
Student-Selected Component - Honours Dissertation
The final semester of Year 3 has a strong emphasis on independent learning and includes the student-selected research dissertation. Students choose a laboratory research, data handling, medical education or critical review project in order to pursue an area of their own particular interest over a 10-12 week period.
Building on the frameworks developed in Year 1, Year 2 and semester 1 of Year 3 integrates the scientific systems-based approach with appropriate consultation skills. Students learn to take a history, perform examinations relating to each system and interpret results of investigations in order to further prepare students for patient contact. As an integral part of clinical training students use advanced video recording facilities to provide evidence of their competence in clinical examination.
Students not only have contact with simulated patients in the Medical School but also participate in regular primary care attachments in local hospitals. In Year 3, ward skills and practice of clinical and communication skills are developed in 10 sessions arranged in Fife teaching hospitals. These sessions ensure that students have the confidence to make best use of future clinical attachments when continuing at Partner Medical Schools. Hospital consultants are actively involved in teaching both in the Medical School and on placements.
During the summer vacation between 2nd and 3rd year, students may elect to consolidate their learning by spending a residential week in a wide range of primary or secondary clinical care placements.
Our aim is to ensure that by the time a student graduates from St Andrews they will have the knowledge, skills and experience to take a full patient history, to record their findings accurately and to be able to discuss further patient management in any clinical setting.