MBChB Medicine (A100)

Medicine is the study of diseases affecting people. Its scope is vast, encompassing the causes, the nature and the treatment of disease.

An undergraduate medical student making notes in a lecture

There are many attributes required to be a successful doctor. Perhaps the main ones are motivation and compassion but others include enthusiasm, stamina, tenacity, initiative, courage, loyalty, excellence, resilience, ability to work in a team and a sense of humour. You need to have the capacity to deal with frustrations, uncertainty and disappointments and to be able to deal with a career that may have many highs and lows and on occasions be extremely stressful. You need the ability to be able to wind down and relax and to have hobbies and pastimes that will allow you to do so.

The medical course at Sheffield offers a broadly based but extensive education and training incorporating the recommendations of the General Medical Council's report Outcomes for Graduates. The course leads to the professional qualification of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB).

Our MBChB programme has been designed to educate and train you so that you will become a doctor equipped with the clinical abilities, knowledge, attitudes and professional behaviours needed to become a junior hospital doctor. This preparation will also prepare you for your continued professional development after graduation.

Course aims and philosophy

Course aims

Our medical course aims:

  • to equip students with the essential personal and professional skills required throughout the rest of their course and in their future careers
  • to integrate the basic and clinical sciences throughout the course
  • to cultivate in students an attitude of curiosity and a desire for intellectual exploration and critical evaluation.
A patient-centred approach

The underlying philosophy of the curriculum is that all learning and teaching should be thought of from the perspective of the patient. A medical curriculum should include what a student needs to know, understand and be able to do in response to the problems presented by patients in a range of health care settings. To achieve this the Sheffield medical course is designed around answering the following questions:

  • How should I talk to this patient?
  • What affects and guides our relationship?
  • Why do they think they're ill?
  • Why is the patient ill?
  • Is the illness part of a pattern?
  • How do I know my advice is the best?

To answer these successfully, students must develop skills and understanding in:

  • Communication and interpersonal relationships
  • Patients' perceptions
  • Biology of disease
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Evidence-based medicine

Developing clinical skills 

Clinically led learning

The medical course in Sheffield is clinically-led and gives students opportunities to start developing their clinical skills from the very start. It is designed around the common and important clinical conditions and uses an integrated learning and teaching approach that relates clinical medicine to the underlying medical sciences.

Course themes

The two main themes that run throughout the course, Clinical Competencies and Medical Sciences are linked together by Integrated Learning Activities where students work in teams, and later in the course by themselves, to solve clinical problems. A combination of teaching approaches, including clinical teaching on the wards in hospitals, in clinics both in general practice and hospitals, lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work, dissection, together with professionalism and patient safety training supported by experienced tutors and personal mentors helps ensure that graduates are well prepared for work in the National Health Service.

Accreditation and obtaining your license

Primary medical qualification (PMQ)

At the end of the undergraduate programme you'll receive your degree. The General Medical Council (GMC) approves your university's degree as a primary medical qualification (PMQ). This is important because, provided there are no concerns about your fitness to practise, a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the GMC for a licence to practise medicine in the UK.

Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA)

The GMC is introducing a Medical Licensing Assessment. The MLA will create a demonstration that anyone obtaining registration with a licence to practice medicine in the UK has met a common threshold for safe practice.  To obtain a PMQ, graduates from 2024 onwards will need to have a degree that includes a pass in both parts of the MLA. One part will be a test of applied knowledge (the AKT), set by the GMC and held at your medical school.  The other will be an assessment of your clinical and professional skills delivered by your medical school (the CPSA). Each School's CPSA must meet GMC-set quality assurance requirements. The MLA will test what doctors are likely to encounter in early practice and what's essential for safe practice. It intentionally will not cover the whole of a medical school curriculum. So, you will also need to meet your university's degree requirements. You can find out more about the MLA for UK students at www.gmc-uk.org/mla.

Foundation Year One

Provisional registration is time limited to a maximum of three years and 30 days (1125 days in total).  After this time period your provisional registration will normally expire. Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year One posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work.  To obtain a Foundation Year One post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate programme through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive bases. All suitably qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year One programme, but this cannot be guaranteed, for instance if there were to be an increased number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates.

Full Registration

Successful completion of the Foundation Year One programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You need full registration with a licence to practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.

There is some discussion about whether to remove provisional registration for newly qualified doctors. If this happens then UK graduates will receive full registration as soon as they have successfully completed an MBChB (or equivalent) degree. It should be noted that it is very likely that UK graduates will still need to apply for a training programme similar to the current Foundation Programme and that places on this programme may not be guaranteed for every UK graduate.

Entry requirements

Please note that these requirements are the minimum required in order to be considered for entry to the Medicine - MBChB programme. For 2021 entry we have a total of 273 places for Home/EU students and 18 for International Students. For 2020 entry we received 2412 applications for 291 places. 

The majority of applicants in 2019-20 met the minimum academic and University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) requirements. Those applications that did not meet the minimum entry criteria were deemed unsuccessful.

As our selection procedure takes into account academic achievements, applicants will be assessed on the results (achieved and/or predicted) of all of their qualifications. Due to the competitive nature of applying for the course most candidates selected to attend a multiple mini-interview usually far exceed our minimum requirements. Please note that meeting the minimum academic and UCAT entry requirements does not guarantee an invitation to interview or the offer of a place.

University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)

Everyone applying to study Medicine at the University of Sheffield will need to undertake the University Clinical Aptitude Test for Medicine and Dentistry (UCAT) in order to be eligible for admission.

The test must be taken prior to your application in the year of application. Details of test dates and how to register can be found on the UCAT website. Please note that test results are only valid for the current admissions cycle: if you re-apply to this Medical School you will need to sit the test again.

In addition to the academic requirements, all applicants must have achieved a score of 2420/3600 or more to be given further consideration. Applicants must meet BOTH the academic entry requirements AND the UCAT entry requirements.

The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) component is only considered for those applicants who are invited to attend a Multiple Mini-Interview. UCAT have produced a guidance video to help you prepare for the test, and you can view that here:

Please note:

Applicants who meet or exceed both the minimum academic requirements and the minimum UCAT requirement will be ranked based on their UCAT score after the application deadline to determine which of these applicants are invited to attend a Multiple Mini-Interview.

GCSE Requirements

Applicants for the A100 programme must meet the following GCSE minimum requirements:

  • You should have at least five grade 7 (grade A) GCSE subjects;
  • GCSE passes at grade 6 (grade B) or above in Mathematics, English Language and at least one science subject (which may be dual awards);
  • The five grade 7s may include Mathematics, English Language and/or a science subject;
  • Acceptable science GCSEs include: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology, Sciences (dual awards).

Please note:

  • The GCSE requirements should have been met by the point of application;
  • The relevant GCSEs should have been studied for no longer than two years;
  • The relevant GCSEs do not have to be obtained in the same sitting or year;
  • We accept GCSE resits.  Any and all GCSE resits must be taken in the same sitting (unlike first sittings), and only one resit per GCSE is permitted.  Only those GCSEs that do not meet the above entry requirements need to be retaken;
  • A combination of numerically and alphabetically graded GCSEs is acceptable;
  • Non-GCSE qualifications (such as Level 2 OCR qualifications) taken alongside GCSEs are not considered as equivalent and do not count towards meeting the GCSE requirement. If you have not studied GCSEs but have studied an equivalent international qualification, please contact the Medical Admissions Office for information about the acceptability of the qualifications and required levels of achievement. 
  • GCSE Short Courses are not considered.
English Language Requirements

The required grade for GCSE English Language varies depending on whether you are applying as a UK/EU applicant or as International applicant:

  • Home/EU applicants must hold a Grade 6 (Grade B) or higher at GCSE English Language. Home/EU applicants holding iGCSE English as a Second Language or Edexcel iGCSE English Language B are required to hold a Grade 6 (Grade B) or higher;
  • For International applicants, the grade required depends on the qualifications taken and the examining body. For more information, please see the University Guidance (see the third table at the link below, titled "UK Qualifications") for details of the required grades for various GCSE and iGCSE English Language Qualifications.

A range of other qualifications will satisfy the School's English language requirements, details of these are available on the central University webpage.  Applicants completing a qualification with variable requirements should achieve an equivalent of IELTS 7.5 overall with no less than 7.0 in each component.

We are not able to consider certain English Language qualifications for entry to our Medicine course, details of these can be found here.

AS Level Requirements

There are no AS requirements for the A100 programme. Where an applicant holds AS Levels, they will not be considered as part of the application.

A Level Requirements

Our offer for subjects taken at A Level is AAA to include Chemistry or Biology and one other science (Maths, Physics, Biology/Human Biology or Psychology). 

The combination of Chemistry and Biology is acceptable. 

Applicants who do not yet hold A Levels at the time of application must have predicted grades of at least AAA. Please note the following:

  • The requirement for AAA at A Level means an A grade in each of the three A Levels;
  • The three A Levels should be studied for no longer than two years and must all be taken in the same first sitting;
  • We accept A Level resits.  Any and all A Level resits must be taken in the same sitting and only one resit per A Level is permitted.  Only those A Levels that do not meet the above entry requirements need to be retaken;
  • We are unable to consider A Levels that have been taken early;
  • Please note that A Level Critical Thinking and A Level General Studies do not count towards meeting our A Level requirement;
  • We do not accept A Level Further Mathematics.
  • For applicants who take four A Levels in a two year period (typically years 12 and 13 at school) including Mathematics and Further Mathematics, we will accept the Mathematics A Level, even if it is taken in Year 12, and irrespective of whether the A Level is certificated in Year 12 or 13.  It is expected that Chemistry or Biology and another subject (that is not Critical Thinking, Further Mathematics or General Studies) will be taken in Year 13.
Applicants offering A Levels and an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

Our offer for applicants offering an EPQ taken alongside A Levels is AAB at A Level plus an A grade or above in your EPQ. Please note the following:

  • The same subject requirements for A Levels that apply to applicants without an EPQ (see above) apply to applicants offering an EPQ;
  • Equivalent grades (for example, A*AC) will not be considered to meet the A Level requirement;
  • A grade A is required in the mandatory science A Level (Chemistry or Biology);
  • A level 3 extended project qualification is required and this must have been taken alongside A Levels.  (Typically this is in Year 12 or 13 at school);
  • The EPQ can be in any subject;
  • Level 3 EPQs taken alongside GCSEs, Level 2 EPQs, BTECs, City and Guilds Level 3, Level 3 NVQs and OCR Nationals are not accepted;
  • No adjustment is made to the GCSE entry requirements for applicants offering an EPQ;
  • Where an applicant is taking an EPQ alongside A Levels and is predicted to attain a Grade A or A*, predicted A Level grades of AAB are acceptable;
  • Where an applicant is taking an EPQ alongside A Levels but is predicted to attain less than a grade A in their EPQ, they will be required to be predicted to attain AAA at A Level.
  • Where an applicant has taken an EPQ but is resitting one or more A Levels, no adjustment to the standard requirement for AAA grades at A Level will be made, irrespective of the grade attained in the EPQ. Such applicants therefore need to resit sufficient A Levels to reach the AAA grade A Level requirement.
Other Qualifications

Our usual offer for other qualifications is:

  • Cambridge Pre-U Certificate - grades D3, D3, D3 in Chemistry or Biology and another science subject;
  • Scottish Highers - AAAAB plus Advanced Highers grades AA in Chemistry or Biology and another science subject;
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma - grade A, plus grades AA in two A Levels.  Subjects must include Chemistry or Biology and another science subject (Biology, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology);
  • Irish Leaving Certificate – H1,H1,H2,H2,H2,H2 with H1 in Chemistry or Biology and another science subject. Applicants offering Irish Leaving Certificates will also need to have at least grades of O2 in English Language and Mathematics Irish Ordinary Level Certificates. (Alternatively, we will consider grades of H4 in these subjects in the Irish Leaving Certificates to meet our equivalent GCSE requirements.);
  • International Baccalaureate - 36 points overall with 6s in Higher Level subjects (to include Chemistry or Biology and another science subject) and no less than 4 in each of the Standard level subjects;
  • Higher Level Qualifications - Please see the tab below.

We are not able to consider the following qualifications for entry to our Medicine course:

  • Access courses
  • Bedales Examinations
  • BTECs
  • HE Diplomas
  • International Certificate of Christian Education
  • Masters degrees (Bachelors Degrees are considered under Higher Level Qualifications)
  • PhDs
Higher Level Qualifications

Graduates will be expected to hold at least a 2:1 (Upper Second Class) Bachelors degree in any subject. In addition, graduate applicants must have grades of at least BBB at A Level, one of which must be Chemistry or Biology.

Please note:

  • Graduate applicants must meet both the requirements for both A Levels and their degree;
  • The requirement for BBB at A Level means at least a B grade in each of the three A Levels;
  • All three A Levels must have been taken in the same sitting;
  • We accept A Level resits.  Any and all A Level resits must be taken in one sitting, and only one resit per A Level is permitted.  Only those A Levels that do not meet the above entry requirements need to be retaken;
  • A Levels in Further Mathematics, Critical Thinking and General Studies are not accepted for the A100 programme;
  • Where a graduate applicant with a 2:1 Bachelor's degree in any subject has BBB or better at A Level but the pre-degree A Levels do not include Chemistry or Biology, we will consider the application if the candidates has taken A Level Chemistry or Biology during or after their Bachelor's degree and achieved (or is predicted to achieve) a Grade B or higher;
  • There are no exemptions from any part of the Medicine course for graduates who hold a science or biomedical science degree;
  • Dental Graduates must have the BDS (BChD) or be due to obtain the MFDS or FDS. There are no exemptions from any part of the Medicine course for dental graduates.
International Qualifications

You should write to the Medical Admissions Office with full details of your qualifications, enclosing copies of certificates/transcripts. Normally, International applicants will be expected to hold an acceptable English Language Qualification. If taking the IELTS we require a score of 7.5 overall with no less than 7.0 in each component.

Disrupted Studies

If you have experienced issues of a personal, social or domestic nature that have affected either your post-16 studies, or any GCSE Qualifications that are cited in our course entry requirements, you can let us know by completing our Disrupted Studies form. Details of the Medical School's Admissions Policy on Disrupted Studies is available here, and you are encouraged to read this carefully before submitting a Disrupted Studies form.  You can find more information via the following link: Disrupted Studies 

Course Structure

      (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
      • Multi Professional Experience (a 2-week hospital-based placement)
      • Early Years General Practice Placement (10 half-days through year 1)
      • 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, Professionalism and Patient Safety and Student Selected Components. Much of the teaching takes place in the Medical School which is sited next to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. 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 a two-week hospital-based Multi Professional Experience (MPE), which introduces you to working on the ward with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Students also have ten regular placements in a General Practice throughout the first year, starting in week 2 of 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 (including embryology and histology), 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 with a Public Health/Population Health Sciences module that runs longitudinally throughout the year. Learning is by practical classes (including dissection of the human body), lectures, flipped classrooms, 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.

      Students complete summative pieces of coursework during Phase 1, which develops generic graduate skills.  These student selected components focus on the history of medicine, critical analysis and communicating health information.  The first of these is launched in the first week.

      Formal assessment in Phase 1 consists of a written examination paper (multiple- choice and clinically related 'scenario-based short answer' 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.

      (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 ten half-day 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 undertake a 12* week longitudinal integrated clinical placement (LICP1) in one of the hospitals in or around Sheffield.  (*14 weeks duration with a 2 week holiday at the start of August).  LICP1 is designed to provide you with the opportunity to develop the skills that are fundamental to clinical practice (history and physical examination.  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 will attend and participate in many of the everyday activities of the team, such as ward rounds, surgical operation, pathology meetings, and outpatient clinics.  In addition you will gain broader experience in other departments in the hospital and develop your knowledge and understanding of clinical medicine in regular classes in the medical education departments in the hospitals.

      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 simulated and 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.

      (Jan Year 3 - August 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 just under 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.  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.

      (Year 5)

      Final preparation for clinical practice

      • Final preparation for becoming a Junior Doctor
      • LICP2 and LICP3
      • Student assistantship

      The final year of the course will provide you with the opportunity to prepare for clinical practice after graduation. The year begins with a series of lectures that will allow you to consolidate and further develop your knowledge over a wide area of clinical medicine.

      You will then undertake the two longitudinal integrated placements (LICP2 and LICP3) which will be in a different hospital and clinical area from LICP1. The structure of LICP2 will be similar to LICP1 (attached to a clinical team, defined role and responsibilities, additional experiences in other departments and regular classes) but will reflect your increased experience and competence. After the Christmas break, you will continue to develop your competence in LICP3 in another hospital and clinical area.

      Most graduates continue their medical training in postgraduate foundation programmes. The student assistantship will provide you with six weeks of experience in the post you will take up in August (this can only be guaranteed for students who will be staying in the local area).

      The confidence of the University in you will be demonstrated when it awards you the degree of MBChB after you have been successful in the clinical examination in May. Phase 4 is an exhilarating, exacting and rewarding time and will prepare you well for your duties as a junior hospital doctor.


      Admissions Policy 2021 Entry

      Disrupted Studies Policy 2020+ Entry

      The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

      Information last updated: 18 May 2020

      Results and Clearing 2020

      Clearing and Adjustment

      We have places available on some courses for additional high achieving students through Clearing and Adjustment.