About This Course
"This programme will create great doctors because they're made to feel part of a team" Dr Esyllt Llwyd, GP Tutor.
From September 2024, Bangor University will be launching its first medicine programme where students will be able to complete their entire medical degree programme in North Wales.
Working in close collaboration with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Primary Care providers across North Wales, our new programme will replace the current Cardiff University School of Medicine C21 North Wales curriculum. Innovative changes were introduced into the C21 North Wales curriculum to maximise the opportunities from our diverse clinical settings, rural and urban. The Welsh language and cultural context of North Wales Communities have been embraced and considered to help to prepare you for your future medical practice.
Whilst our independent medical school is newly formed, we have a successful track record of training medical students. Since 2018 we have been successfully delivering the Cardiff University C21 North Wales Medicine programme for Year 3 students, from 2019 for Year 2 to 5 graduate entry students, and from 2020 with Cardiff Year 1 students transferring to Bangor to complete their programme in North Wales. On 17 July 2023 at Cardiff University, the first cohort of medical students who studied in North Wales graduated. Based on this strong foundation, our newly established medical school will build on the success of the C21 North Wales programme in delivering first-class medical education.
The North Wales Medical School curriculum has been academically validated by the Quality and Validation unit of Bangor University through a process involving external medical educational expertise. All UK medical schools are regularly reviewed by the General Medical Council (GMC), the professional regulator for Medicine responsible for ensuring high standards for medical education detailed in their document “Promoting excellence: standards for medical education and training”. In addition, all new medical schools are subject to rigorous scrutiny by the GMC. The North Wales Medical School is progressing through the GMC approval process to award a Primary Medical Qualification. GMC accreditation is only completed when the first intake of students is due to graduate. To protect students, new medical schools must work with a ‘contingency’ partner, an established medical school able to provide support and willing, if GMC quality standards are not met for any reason, for students to transfer and graduate from the contingency school. The contingency partner school for the North Wales Medical School is Cardiff University School of Medicine. The 2024 commencement date for the North Wales Medical School Medicine programme has been agreed with the GMC.
You will experience a rich learning environment with greater emphasis on learning in Primary Care and at the heart of local communities, in keeping with the Welsh Government’s plan “A Healthier Wales.”
The curriculum focuses on community medicine through a range of clinical placements in varied environments including:
- a full year at a GP Surgery
- large teaching hospitals
- mountain medicine
- rural environments
We will train you to be an excellent doctor for Wales and beyond by providing high quality teaching, and an inspiring learning experience based around increased clinical contact and award-winning clinical teaching at the University Health Board. You will graduate as a skilled clinician who understands people and the environment in which we live.
Why choose Bangor University for this course?
- We appreciate that starting a Medicine programme is a major step for our new students, and acknowledge that it is the longest and one of the most demanding academic programmes.
- The University places a high priority on caring for and supporting students so that they can thrive in all aspects of their time at Bangor, so from Welcome Week onwards, you'll be given as much help and support as needed over health and welfare as well as your academic work.
- Services offered include money advice, health and welfare support, advice on private housing, dyslexia support and counselling and study skills.
- We pride ourselves on providing personalised support for our students, and from Day 1 you will be allocated a Personal Tutor, an academic staff member from the school who will act as your mentor and guide throughout the entire programme.
- The University has a peer-guide scheme and the School’s own senior medical students are linked to more junior students so that they can share their experience.
- Our learner-centred approach includes small group teaching and learning so you’ll benefit from more contact time with your lecturers.
- The Year 1 & 2 curriculum is based on small group teaching, including Case Based learning which links your scientific learning to real-life patient stories and places the patient at the centre of your studies.
- Case Based Learning takes in groups of 10 to 12 students with a trained academic facilitator who guides students through each case.
- We employ a large variety of teaching methods but have very few traditional lectures although we do hold ‘plenaries’ (interactive sessions where students receive information from expert scientists or clinicians).
- There are also specialist seminars, interactive tutorials and workshops, practical skills and simulation and VR training.
- We encourage supported self-directed learning to help you to develop your own problem solving and communication skills, both essential for a future doctor.
- The use of varied methods of teaching, learning and assessment helps you to widen your own learning style and promotes lifelong learning, a vital part of your career as a future doctor.
- Anatomy teaching takes advantage of modern technology, including the ‘Anatomage’ electronic dissecting table, glassless 3D Video screens and mobile apps.
- There is a dedicated Anatomy teaching room with high-fidelity plastic models of all body components.
- Practical clinical skills and interventions can be practised electronically and in simulators including a VR room.
- Refresher Anatomy and Self-Directed Learning sessions are available at the start of Year 4 & 5 speciality placements.
- We provide interprofessional education opportunities to mirror the world of clinical work, where a wide range of healthcare professionals work together for the benefit of patients within clinical teams.
- "Interprofessional Education (IPE) occurs when two or more professionals learn, from and about each other to improve collaboration and the quality of care” Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE), 2002.
- We are passionate about promoting and delivering IPE and there will be multiple opportunities for this throughout your time at Bangor.
- There are many opportunities during the Year 3 LIC and across Year 4 and 5 placements to gain experience of remote, rural and mountain medicine in the stunningly beautiful North Wales geographic setting.
- The programme includes a unique Rural Health simulation day ‘in the field’, delivered in partnership with voluntary services including Mountain Rescue, Welsh Ambulance Service, North Wales Fire & Rescue Service, RNLI and specialist University and Health Board staff.
- We prepare you for Early Patient Contact sessions by teaching basic clinical skills in our state-of-the-art Simulation and Skills Training and VR Centre.
- You will also learn to listen intensively and speak to patients using professional actors and expert patient volunteers, with teaching delivered bilingually.
- Early patient contact sessions help to inspire your medical science learning in the early stages of the programme.
- They are preceded by preparation sessions and take place in carefully chosen medical facilities, so our students are not overwhelmed by their first clinical experience.
- Early patient contact builds over the first two years of the programme, exposing our students to progressively more complex clinical environments.
- Our Simulation and Skills Centre is equipped with SIMman 3G simulators and SMOTS video recording and playback facilities.
- All students receive training and certification in Life Support techniques and patient safety prior to undertaking clinical training.
- A VR room provides immersive scenario training allowing students to become competent at dealing with clinical problems that occur rarely but require immediate recognition and action.
- Student midwives and Year 4 Obstetric students undertake interprofessional education training together.
- In Year 3 you will undertake a Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC), a yearlong first clinical placement.
- The LIC placement is primarily in a GP practice under the supervision of an expert GP Tutor, with the opportunity to follow your patients' journeys through primary and hospital care facilities for investigations and treatment.
- You will gain experience of the work of other members of the multidisciplinary primary health care team including Community Midwives, Community Psychiatric Nurses, Health Visitors, Social workers and others. Alongside this, you will also gain experience in Dermatology, ENT, Rheumatology and General Medicine.
- LICs are a relatively new model for medical education currently being evaluated around the world, whereby students follow a range of patients for longer periods and develop a close relationship with a mentor who closely guides their learning.
- Longitudinal placements have been shown to enhance students’ understanding of patient-centeredness, the importance of a whole of life perspective, family dynamics and the social context of a patient’s presentation.
- The LIC experience helps to develop a more holistic understanding of patient care, enhancing your clinical skills, communication abilities, and empathy.
- You will see a wide range of conditions, consulting directly with patients, and will receive 1:1 teaching from your GP tutor supplemented by a day of campus teaching each week supplemented by exposure to hospital practice.
- Spending your first clinical year mainly in the specialty of General Practice is an excellent preparation for hospital speciality placements that follow in Years 4 and 5.
- The School is a participating member of the international Consortium for Integrated Clerkships (CLIC).
- Hospital placements take place across the three acute hospitals of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board: Ysbyty Gwynedd (Bangor), Ysbyty Glan Clwyd (Rhyl) and Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
- This is supplemented by experience in 22 Community hospitals across North Wales, many of which serve small, remote communities.
- All major specialities required for undergraduate medical training are available within North Wales, but a Final Year elective can be carried out at any medical facility in the world that is approved for undergraduate medical training.
- Studying medicine in Wales, a bilingual country, helps you to develop valuable communications skills. The ability to feel confident to treat patients whose first language is not your own will equip you to work anywhere in the world, and you will frequently consult with interpreters working across the UK.
- As a Welsh speaker you can opt for a significant part of your course, and for some assessments, to be in Welsh and may be eligible to apply for a Coleg Cenedlaethol Cymraeg Scholarship. A Welsh speaking personal tutor will be made available to those electing to study part of their course in Welsh. As part of our widening access agenda, Welsh speakers are also eligible to secure a contextual offer.
- Bangor University is committed to supporting Welsh speakers and learners and bilingualism is embedded within all aspects of the student experience. There are many opportunities for absolute beginners to learn the language, existing speakers to build their confidence or for fluent Welsh speakers to access specialist resources.
- North Wales is home to a significant number of Welsh speakers, this provides many opportunities to use the language whilst on placement, be that as a learner or a fluent speaker.
You can also study:
Teaching and Learning
You will learn through Case Based Learning (CBL) which helps you to make sense of your new knowledge and skills. Working in small groups on a case study or scenario, you will develop solutions under the guidance of your facilitator. In the early stages of your course CBL will explore the most common cases a doctor sees (e.g. a sports injury, mental health issues, abdominal pain etc). With each case you will look at the anatomy, physiology and social aspects, develop practical skills and get relevant clinical experience through short placements. This process will allow you to understand how each relates to the other, giving you an overall perspective.
You are responsible for your own learning, supported by plenary and small group sessions, anatomy centre teaching, lab-based practicals and clinical placements. A plenary is an interactive session where large numbers of students receive information from an expert scientist or doctor. It's an opportunity for students to learn from experienced professionals and gain a broad understanding of the subject matter. In small group sessions with approximately 10 students and a facilitator, the focus is on discussing the topics covered in the week's plenaries and associated readings. These sessions provide an opportunity for you to engage in interactive discussions, share your understanding of the material, ask questions, and explore different perspectives.
Apart from these structured sessions, there will be dedicated time for independent learning on your timetable. During this time, you won't have any formal sessions scheduled, and it is expected that you take responsibility for arranging your own discussion groups, conducting library-based research and reading around a subject.
To start, you will learn how basic science fits into a clinical setting, preparing you for your early patient contact. You will also learn vital skills – how to communicate effectively, how to perform practical procedures and how to elicit relevant information from people, books and online resources – and you will practice these on your clinical placements. You will learn how to apply what you have learned to real people and how to work as a professional in a medical team.
You will continue to accumulate knowledge and practise your skills throughout the course, as you will learn what is normal and not normal in different medical scenarios. You will have many opportunities to choose what you learn, when you look more in-depth at specific subjects and learn to research and write in a scholarly way.
The priority in Year 1 is to provide you with a strong foundation in basic sciences, clinical skills, communication, and professionalism.
Here's a breakdown of the key components:
First 12 Weeks (Introduction):
- Your introductory weeks will focus on developing your core knowledge in anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, cell and molecular biology, immunology, microbiology, and pathology.
- An emphasis is placed on developing fundamental communication, clinical skills, and the professionalism required of a doctor.
Remainder of Year 1:
The remainder of the year will integrate the basic sciences with common clinical conditions through a series of clinical scenarios.
- Learning to address medical problems from first principles and developing scientific reasoning skills.
- Small group sessions, lectures, and seminars will be supported by access to life science and clinical skills resources.
- Regular patient interaction in hospitals, general practices, and other community-based services in North Wales
- Early clinical experience opportunities to meet case-appropriate patients and NHS staff will complement your case-based learning.
- Progression from normal structure and function to more complex clinical presentations focusing on abnormal structure and function.
Overall, the curriculum aims to provide a comprehensive education that combines theoretical knowledge with practical clinical experience. You will learn the foundations of medical sciences and develop the skills necessary to become competent doctors. The programme also emphasizes early patient exposure to enhance learning and understanding of real-world medical scenarios.
During Year 2, you will engage in various learning activities and experiences, including:
Community-Based Learning: The Community Clinical Learning programme emphasises the importance of understanding patients within their own communities. This programme builds upon the Case Based Learning approach and involves task-oriented learning. You will have placements where you interact with patients, allowing you to develop a portfolio of clinical learning experiences. This program aims to help you connect with real people, develop professional attitudes, understand health service delivery, and foster leadership skills. One notable highlight is the Rural Health Simulation, which exposes you to the challenges of healthcare delivery in rural settings compared to urban areas. You will practice clinical and communication skills while responding to a simulated emergency alongside doctors and paramedics.
The Student Selected Components (SSC) provides four distinct learning opportunities:
- Two Experience Projects: These projects expose you to a wide range of settings and topics. You will have the chance to develop research skills at an advanced level. Some projects will also allow you to explore areas beyond traditional medicine, such as social work, complementary medicine, and professions allied to medicine.
- Journalistic Article: The journalistic article component enables you to demonstrate critical academic skills, including literature searching and appraisal of complex scientific evidence-based material. You will be challenged to convey your message in an engaging and stimulating manner.
- Year 2/Year 5 Conference: This unique conference brings together Year 2 and Year 5 students. It includes plenary sessions with invited keynote speakers covering various themes related to thriving and surviving in medical school and medical ethics. Small groups of Year 2 students will prepare poster presentations based on their first SSC experience project, and Year 5 students will provide feedback and serve as judges for the posters. This conference offers a valuable opportunity to attend and present at a scientific/medical conference and engage with older peers.
In Year 3 of your course you will undertake a Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC). During this clinical placement you will be embedded within a local community and its GP practice for an entire year. This will enable you to follow the full patient journey both in primary and secondary care, observing the impact that medical conditions and the treatment of these conditions have on patients.
More than 90% of healthcare is managed in primary care, which means that this experience provides a sound preparation for hospital specialities and for a further final year GP attachment.
Largely based in primary care, this placement is valuable to both those who see their future in General practice, and to those who wish to follow a career in other specialities. It allows students to see patients presenting with a wide range of conditions, and so allows them to have a broader knowledge base than possibly the traditional modular courses allow preparing them well for their F1 and F2 years.
It is generally accepted that students who follow an LIC have a higher clinical thinking by the end of this attachment, due to the one to one relationship with the tutor for the whole academic year-something they will not gain at any other time on a medical course.
Their academic results in progress tests and exams in those following an LIC are as good as those who have followed the traditional courses.
LICs promote a more patient centred approach, encouraging you to become an advocate for the patients. It also allows you to experience a range of primary and secondary clinical settings and treatments, providing you with a better awareness of the healthcare system.
The LIC placement will take place in North Wales. Based in a GP surgery you will become part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team, developing valuable teambuilding skills which will serve you well in your future career.
In Year 4 of the program, you will focus on increasingly specialist cases and apply the core skills you learned in Year 3 in different clinical settings. The year is divided into multiple learning opportunities, including specialist clinical placements and a Student Selected Component.
Women, Children, and Family Placement
This placement aims to develop your skills in assessing and caring for women, children, and families. You will spend time with obstetricians and paediatricians throughout Wales, gaining insight into multidisciplinary collaboration in community and secondary care settings. The focus will be on the patient, and you will have the chance to interact with women, children, and parents accessing the healthcare system.
Psychiatry, Clinical Neuroscience and Ophthalmology
You will experience more specialized practice in clinical neuroscience and understand how a strong foundation in generic skills supports clinical and diagnostic reasoning. You will also have the opportunity to observe patients with psychiatric illnesses and gain an understanding of the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in the population. Additionally, you will spend a dedicated week in ophthalmology, expanding your knowledge of eye-related pathology, examination skills, and patient management.
Hospital Front Door
This placement will allow students to be based in the Emergency Department in one of the three District General Hospitals in North Wales. It will allow them to experience dealing with acute emergency presentations, trauma (road accidents/mountain accidents etc) as well as follow the patient through the various stages of their investigations and onwards treatment in the hospital eg Surgical and Medical Assessment Unit, ITU and Anaesthetic Department.
Year 5 is designed to integrate and prepare medical students for the Foundation Programme and your future careers as doctors in the National Health Service (NHS) or further postgraduate studies. Here are the key features and components of the year:
- Increased Responsibility for Patient Care: Throughout the final year of study, students' integration within clinical teams and responsibility for patient care will progressively increase.
- Assessment and Management of Clinical Presentations: The focus of the final year is on the assessment and management of both acute and chronic clinical presentations. Students will gain increasing responsibility in this regard as they progress through the year.
- Clinical Placements: There will be two eight-week clinical placements, one in a hospital setting and the other in a community-based setting (general practice). Under supervision, students are expected to contribute to patient care during these placements.
- Workplace-based Learning: Most of the learning during the final year will take place in the workplace, allowing students to gain practical experience. Additionally, there will be sessions in a simulation skills centre and small group sessions to refine clinical thinking and decision-making skills.
- Student Elective: Following the clinical placements, students will have an eight-week elective period where they can choose to study aspects of Medicine that capture their interest. This can take place almost anywhere in the world.
- Senior Student Assistantship: A seven-week Senior Student Assistantship, where students work as part of a clinical team and directly manage patients under supervision. This experience takes place in the hospital where students undertake their first foundation job, if in Wales or in North Wales if the foundation job is elsewhere.
The final year of the course aims to consolidate students' skills and knowledge, ensuring they are well-prepared for their careers in medicine and capable of performing at a high level within the NHS.
Our course focuses on community medicine through a range of experiences. You will have the opportunity to undertake placements in a variety of settings including coastal and seasonal holiday destinations, small towns and rural villages, suburban areas, vibrant cities, areas of deprivation, post-industrial communities, and hospitals across North Wales. The breadth of placements will give you the opportunity to explore different specialties and will ensure that you are well equipped to deal with a wide range of patients and clinical scenarios, building your adaptability and resilience, qualities that are vital for a career in medicine.
Placements form a significant part of your learning, enabling you from Year 1 to put into context what you have learnt and ensuring that you develop a patient -centred approach to healthcare. You will have the opportunity to engage with patients from the beginning of your studies, this is crucial for providing effective and empathetic care to individuals from diverse backgrounds.
As your placements will be based in a range of locations across North Wales, your home campus of study may change from your third year onwards to facilitate easier travel to your place of study. This will be communicated to you in line with your placement allocation.
Student Selected Components
Student Selected Components (SSCs) form 15% of the undergraduate medical curriculum delivered at Bangor University. SSCs provide the opportunity for you to choose areas you study and acquire knowledge through your own effort. The degree of choice increases as the course progresses, e.g., in Year 1, you may choose the topic for your literature review, whereas in Year 5, you can spend 8 weeks almost anywhere in the world pursuing a topic of your choice. SSCs complement core BMBS teaching, introduce research skills and encourage analytical and critical thought. SSCs comprise largely stand-alone modules within dedicated blocks of time. Many university departments, primary care, community-based services, and some outside institutions, support the SSC programme. The final year Elective SSC is supported by medical and scientific centres across the globe.
Our assessments follow a non-modular structure, where you learn to apply knowledge rather than just learning facts. For example, instead of learning about anatomy and then sitting an exam on anatomy, then learning about pain and sitting an exam on pain you will learn about anatomy and pain and how they relate to each other in real life. Both will be tested in the same exam, possibly in the same question.
You will be assessed throughout the year using reflective writing, essays, regular contact with doctors and academics, completion of logs of clinical skills and written exams. For all of these you will receive extensive feedback.
During Years 2, 3 and 4 you will sit progress tests. These written exams, held three times a year, serve as important milestones to assess your knowledge and monitor your learning progress over time. By having the same test questions for all students, you can benchmark your performance against your peers and evaluate your relative strengths and weaknesses. This type of comparative assessment not only provides valuable feedback but can motivate you to strive for continuous improvement.
We place a high priority on caring and supporting our students and are well placed to do so due to the smaller teaching groups. As well as the support you will receive from your academic team, the university’s student services department offers a range of assistance to ensure that you thrive during your time with us.
We will ensure that you are provided with specific support in areas such as study skills, numeracy and literacy, research skills and time management throughout your studies. When you begin your course you will be allocated a personal tutor who you will meet with regularly throughout your studies. Offering guidance and support they can assist with any specific concerns or challenges you may face, provide feedback on your progress, and help you access additional resources if needed.
- we are currently not accepting international students for this programme
- we do not accept qualification resits.
A Levels - AAA required. This must include Biology and an additional science from the list below:
- Maths / Further Maths / Statistics
You will need to pass the science practical element of the A-Level if this is part of your programme of study.
Other non-standard subjects may not be accepted.
A contextual offer of AAB may be made to first language Welsh speakers or those who meet our contextual offer requirements. Please note that if you are a first language Welsh speaker, your application must demonstrate having gained a Welsh (First Language) GCSE.
36 overall (excluding Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay) including 19 at Higher Level. Must include grade 6 in Biology and Chemistry. Grade 7 in SL Biology or Chemistry can be taken in place of Higher Level Biology or Chemistry if you also have grade 6 in HL Maths, Physics or Statistics.
Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (Level 3)
This qualification will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
If you are a graduate applicant, you must have or be working towards a 2:1 (Hons) in your degree and have BBB/ABC at A-level (or equivalent), including subject requirements and meet the minimum GCSE requirements (or equivalent qualifications). If you have completed an MSc / PhD, the minimum A-Level requirement is BBC and all other criteria listed for graduates must be met.
Additional Entry Requirements
- English Language or Welsh Language at grade B/6 and,
- Double Science at grades BB/66 (or grades B/6 in both Biology and Chemistry) and,
- Maths grade B/6 and,
- Five other GCSEs at grade B/6
You must also demonstrate an awareness of the healthcare system in the UK and the nature of the medical training in your personal statement. If you are a first language Welsh speaker then please make this clear within your personal statement.
Please note: We do not accept BTEC or T Levels for this programme.
We also do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We carefully consider your contextual data (the circumstances in which you've been studying) upon application. We will be considering this in the offers that are made, which may be lower than advertised. Further details about contextual offers can be found here.
A complete application must be submitted to UCAS by the deadline. We may not consider supplementary information received by the University after this deadline.
You must achieve UCAT prior to submitting your application. You must sit the UCAT in the year of application. We do not have a minimum threshold score; however, we will use UCAT scores as part of our selection process.
Should you be selected, you will be invited to attend an interview. We use the multiple mini interview (MMI) format, which is a series of short, carefully timed interview stations that you will rotate around in turn. All applicants must attend for interview if invited.
Before starting the course, all successful applicants will be required to undergo a health check, including screening for blood-borne viruses and tuberculosis, by our Occupational Health Service. If you are non-immune to Hepatitis B, you will need to complete a full immunisation programme before taking part in clinical procedures. Having a blood-borne virus or other infectious diseases won’t prevent you from completing this course and obtaining General Medical Council registration, but some specialities won’t be open to you during training or in your career. If you have a health issue that you think might have an impact on your ability to study or practise, please contact us before applying.
While it is not mandatory, we would encourage all applicants to be vaccinated against Covid-19 for their own protection and that of colleagues and patients.
If your application is successful, you will be required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) before admission to the course.
If you have a relevant criminal conviction, this will be stated in the check and may affect your ability to enrol on the course. Applicants who are on the barred list should be aware that applying to this course is likely to be considered a criminal offence.
Our course is professionally accredited by the General Medical Council, which means that your degree is approved as a primary medical qualification (PMQ).
Following graduation you will enter the two-year NHS Foundation Training Programme. During F1 Year you will be provisionally registered with a license to practice medicine in the UK. Full registration is awarded when you have successfully completed F1 Year one.
In order to gain entry to the Foundation Training Programme, in addition to your medical degree you will be required to pass national exams including the Situational Judgement Test and the Medical Licensing Assessment.
The skills that you will develop during your studies will mean that you are well placed to pursue a diverse range of career options from GP to hospital doctor, forensic pathologist or roles in public health.