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THE UK: Subject Guides

UCLan launches new medical programme for international students

UCLan tell us all about their new medical programme designed for international students

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The University of Central Lanacashire (UCLan) has launched an exciting new medical programme for international students. The Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) offers unrivalled facilities and work experience and is taught at the main university in Preston, North West England. Read on to find out more.


Why was the Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) created?

The MBBS is a programme that offers a UK medical degree to international students who may lack those opportunities at home and have limited access to UK educational courses. Medical undergraduate programmes are unique in their integration of biomedical and social sciences within healthcare. The university wanted to build on its existing expertise in biomedicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, physiotherapy and other allied health professions to offer medicine within a multidisciplinary teaching environment.

How is this programme different from other medical-related programmes (offered by UCLan or elsewhere)? 

UCLan’s MBBS for self-funded and sponsored international students is an innovative approach to medical education, with state-of-the-art curriculum co-designed with local patients and NHS leaders. The programme is exclusively for international students who will be taught in a small, supportive, multicultural cohort. Patient and service users have been engaged in curriculum planning and design, admissions process and will be involved in our teaching programme. The UCLan MBBS curriculum has been aligned to United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) to assist those students who may want to go onto practice in the USA.



What are the key qualities of this course which international students would be attracted by?

Innovative curriculum; co-designed with local patients, which incorporates academic science and clinical skills, facilitates interprofessional learning, and allows a smooth transition to clinical practice.


Small class sizes which aid learning by ensuring every individual student has access to adequate support from both peers and tutors. As we are recruiting a small cohort of international students, we can ensure a warm and supportive learning environment in which students are treated as individuals. They will get to know fellow students, lecturers and facilitators personally, working together to achieve their goals.


State-of-the-art facilities; UCLan students will enjoy a new purpose-built facility, housing the new Human Anatomy Resource and Learning Centre, problem-based learning base rooms, teaching rooms and lecture theatre. Additionally, the five Clinical Skills Laboratories house a vast range of equipment – including a number of high fidelity clinical human simulators – to help students develop clinical skills in realistic hospital, home and GP surgery environments.


Early patient contact from year 1. UCLan students will complete placements at some of the busiest hospitals in the North West of England, including the Royal Blackburn Hospital and Burnley General Hospital as well as community placements throughout the region, which have large inpatient and outpatient departments, first-class medical facilities and a purpose-built learning centre.


As the MBBS sits within the UCLan College of Clinical Sciences and Biomedicine, students will benefit from  interprofessional learning opportunities, alongside dentists, pharmacists and biomedics as well as nurses and allied health professionals around the university

High calibre staff team comprising clinicians and scientists. UCLan has evolved over the years to become a world-class institution, recognised with its inclusion in the QS World University Rankings.  The university was recently awarded the full five QS Stars rating for its approach to ‘internationalisation’, and in 2014 UCLan received five out of five QS Stars for demonstrating excellence in teaching.

Excellent clinical placement opportunities in both primary and secondary care. One of the benefits of studying a medical degree in the UK is the opportunity to train within the world-renowned NHS. Medical education in the UK has a long history of excellence and of offering training to overseas doctors; leaders in medicine throughout the world trained in the UK. Our hospitals and other clinical settings are renowned for the quality of their teaching and their influential medical research, and the NHS is envied across the world for its ethos of providing healthcare “free for everyone at the point of access”, stemming back to 1948.


UCLan’s student doctors will take up their placements within several NHS Trusts in the North West of England. Within these facilities, students will have the opportunity to observe a wide variety of activities, interacting with patients from different backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of illnesses. Students will become part of a team of professionals and non-medical staff delivering care to the highest standards in the NHS.


Intercalation opportunities. At the end of Year 4, UCLan students have the option to take an intercalated degree at Masters level to widen their skills and improve their career progression.


Currency of qualification. The UCLan MBBS Programme has been designed for international students to ensure that they are trained to the highest UK standards and to enable them to become safe, effective and knowledgeable practitioners wherever they may choose to practise throughout the world.


Quality assurance. The MBBS programme has been developed in line with General Medical Council (GMC) quality assurance processes. The GMC recognises bodies to award primary medical qualifications and plans have started to quality assure UCLan and its first undergraduate medicine programme. This takes the form of a year by year review following the first cohort to graduation. Only during the final year of the programme will the GMC be able to approve UCLan and add it to its list of bodies that can award primary medical qualifications. There can be no guarantee that this will be the outcome of the review and UCLan has contingency arrangements in place with the University of Liverpool, so that students enrolled in the programme will be able to complete their studies.


Preston offers a safe, multicultural environment in which to study. Preston is also within easy reach of not only the major cities of Manchester and Liverpool, but transport networks mean you can be in London or Edinburgh in a little over 2 hours. The stunning Lake District national park is on our doorstop and we can boast 6 major football teams close to our campus.


What will students get out of this programme? 

  • A training which will develop those students into caring, knowledgeable, safe, global doctors
  • A GMC approved medical qualification which will allow them to enter postgraduate medical  training and a career in medicine
  • Real world clinical experience


Want to find out more? Get info on UCLan, or visit the MBBS webpage.

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