Why do an intercalated degree?

Students do intercalated years for many different reasons:

  1. To spend a year doing a high quality research project
  2. To improve their CV
  3. To take the first step in a career in academic medicine
  4. To gain a better knowledge of one medical specialty
  5. To work closely with leading and internationally renown research academics and consultant staff
  6. 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 BMedSci count on my MTAS application

Yes, the current information is that a BMedSci 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 BMedSci

Additional points will be available if the student has presented at a national or international level (up to 2 points) at a medical conference (does not include those organised by students); and/or 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?

The BMedSci in Medicine 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:

  • Mandatory Short Course on generic aspects of research (organized by the BMedSci Co-ordinator) – one piece of coursework on ethics.
  • 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 taught component?

The BMedSci 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 BMedSci?

Because of the diversity of disciplines in which BMedSci 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 much time should be spent on the taught component?

The BMedSci course is primarily a research year. Just because 30% of the final mark is derived from assessment of the taught component, does not mean that 30% of the BMedSci year should be devoted to taught experience. The head of department/section in which the student is based should make a judgment about the most appropriate apportionment of time. In practice, it will be significantly less than 30%.

Can modules of other courses (e.g. Masters courses) be used as

the taught component?

Yes. BMedSci students should ‘sit in’ on the educational experience subject to the agreement of the course organizer. No fee transfers to the Masters course.

If modules of other course (e.g. Master’s courses) are used,

how many credits are needed?

Credits’ are irrelevant to the BMedSci course but it is suggested that more than 30 credits in a year would be excessive.

Is the taught component examined?

No. Because of the diversity of disciplines in which BMedSci students are based it is impossible to standardise the examination of the taught programme and therefore the assignments set for the Mandatory Short Course will constitute the assessment for the 30% of marks given for the non-research part of the BMedSci Degree.

How long does the dissertation need to be?

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

Do I need to lodge a copy of my dissertation with the School?

You will need to submit an electronic copy of your dissertation which will be held on an electronic archive.

Who organises the viva?

The student’s Academic Cluster Leader will organise the viva. The viva should be held during the last few weeks of the student’s BMedSci year after the External Examiner has had the opportunity to read the dissertation and consider the student’s examination performance.

Can I resit the BMedSci if I fail?

No, this is not permitted by the regulations.

How much holiday does a BMedSci 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 his/her supervisor.

Can I intercalate onto a Masters Degree instead of the BMedSci?

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

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.

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 BMedSci administrator.