Frequently asked questions

Why do an intercalated degree?

Students do intercalated years for many different reasons:

  • To spend a year doing a high quality research project
  • To improve their CV
  • To take the first step in a career in academic medicine
  • To gain a better knowledge of one medical specialty
  • To work closely with leading and internationally renown research academics and consultant staff
  • To gain skills in oral presentations, poster writing and writing for publication

What is clear from student evaluations is that the majority of students who do an intercalated year enjoy the experience. In fact many go on to present papers and posters at major international conferences and to get work published.

Will doing an intercalated degree count on my MTAS application?

Yes, the current information is that an intercalated degree will be worth several points in the MTAS application process depending on the student’s degree classification:

Number of Points Degree Category
0 Primary Medical Qualification only
1 Honours degree 3rd class*, unclassified or ordinary degree
1 Any intercalated degree that did not entail an extra year of study
2 Honours degree* 2.2 class
3 Honour Degree* 2.1 class
4 Masters degree, Honours degree* 1st class, Bachelor of Dental Science (BDS), B Vet Med
5 Doctoral degree (PhD, DPhil, etc)

*Honours degree includes the intercalated medical sciences research degree

Additional points will be available if the student has achieved a publication with a PubMed ID for their work (up to 2 points); and/or received a national educational prize (up to 2 points).

What is the course content of the Sheffield medical sciences research degree?

The medical sciences research degree comprises:

A research component (making up 70% of the final mark):

  • Research project – to be written up as a dissertation

A taught component (making up 30% of the final mark), comprising:

  • Ethics Module - a series of lectures, small group teaching and interactive sessions on clinical and medical ethics and application of these principles in the research process - assessed via a piece of group work.
  • 8-week course on Statistics delivered by Dr Steven Julious from ScHARR – one piece of coursework.
  • Special taught experience in the discipline hosting the student (organised by Head of Unit/department or supervisor)
Who is responsible for organizing the medical sciences research degree taught component?

The medical sciences research degree administrator organises the mandatory short course, the Ethics teaching and the Statistics Course – these are compulsory elements of the course. The head of the department/section of the BMedSci student’s supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the regulations are followed and that arrangements are made for appropriate taught experience which relates to the area that the student is working in.

What sorts of experience can be regarded as the taught component of the medical sciences research degree?

Because of the diversity of disciplines in which medical sciences research degree students are based, quite a wide range of experiences will satisfy the taught component requirement. Possibilities include: informal tutorials, attending postgraduate meetings or courses, relevant undergraduate taught modules from the University Directory of Modules, ward or clinic-based sessions, computer-based learning packages, etc.

How long does the dissertation need to be?

The dissertation is expected to be between 20,000 – 35,000 words long.

How much holiday does a medical sciences research degree student have during the year?

The regulations for the BMedSci year require attendance for 48 weeks. Students therefore have 4 weeks annual leave to be taken with agreement between the student and their supervisor.

Can I intercalate onto a Masters Degree instead of the medical sciences research degree?

Yes, in Phase 3a or Phase 3b (not Phase 2b) you can come out to intercalate on one of several masters courses offered in the University.

What is the difference between an MSc and an MRes Masters course?

MSc courses are predominantly structured around a number of taught modules, each of which will be examined at the end of semester by an assessment such as an assignment or invigilated examination. There will be one module, usually running for 15 weeks, in which the student completes a research project and dissertation. In an MRes masters, there is a much smaller taught component and students will then complete a much longer research component, lasting up to 28 weeks during which they will also complete a research dissertation.

Are the fees different for masters degrees?

Please note that the fee for masters courses is higher than that of the BMedSci and students cannot apply for SLC Tuition Fee Loans for masters courses as these are considered postgraduate level qualifications. At the time of writing, students intercalating to a masters course during Phase 3b, who have had no previous repeat years or intercalating years, can apply for NHS Student Grant Unit for funding for the year – please check that this still applies at the point at which you make an application. However, NHS SGU funding will be at undergraduate course tuition fee rates and will need to be topped up by the student. The Medical School does not provide bursaries to students intercalating to masters courses in the University.

Student intercalating at year 4 of the Medical Programme to a Masters course can apply for SFE Postgraduate funding, they may need to additionally top up the amount received to meet the course fee and to cover their maintenance costs for the year.

Where do I apply to if I want to do an intercalated masters?

Students wishing to intercalate to a masters programme must apply via the relevant department and not via the medical sciences research degree administrator.