MBBS Medicine

Review Breakdown

Course / Module Content
Teaching Quality
Learning Resources
Assessments & Feedback
Academic Support
Enjoyment Factor
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Medicine isn’t quite like other degrees, so forget two hours of contact time per week and one essay per term. Learning begins at the atomic level – about the biophysics and chemistry in year one, and ends with the macroscopic – a real person who is sick and needs treatment, stat. A medical student's head is filled with dogma from the start - that you cannot and will not be judged by the standards of others – whether that be academic endeavor, constraints on your time, or professional behaviour.The first three years were spent with formaldehyde-filled anatomy lessons, cell biology and pathology labs (what happens when the body goes wrong) and lectures. As a student at UCL I also had tutorials with the college as well as the med school teaching. This included one essay per week for each of the three or four tutors looking after us.Whatever you have heard about UCL and Cambridge is probably true. I became accustomed to having 'tutes' in my professor’s rooms at college, an oak-panelled boudoir complete with mauve chaise-longue. We would debate the pharmacokinetic properties of the perfect medication, or discuss the topic of an essay 'why is the heart genius'. At one end of the room was a stuffed puffer-fish, while the mantelpiece opposite was home to an enlarged model of the drosophilia fruit fly. And sometimes we would just play chess.Notwithstanding the perks of academia at an institution such as UCL, there was also plenty of time to enjoy the idiosyncracies that UCL has to offer besides your degree; grand halls and balls, quirky societies, sport at Iffley road and punting on the Cherwell.The aim of the first three years is to gain a good foundation in the basic sciences. Doctors trained from the more academic-leaning institutions are expected to reason their way out of a difficult spot when at four in the morning, when a patient has just had a crash and no one seems to understand why! I think that most medical graduates in the UK are fairly similar in capability, but each university certainly has a very different educational ethos.As a clinical student, your timetable dramatically changes. Ragged hair dos, stubble and trainers are no longer tolerated as you will spend every day with patients as a functioning part of the hospital’s innards. On average, four weeks is spent rotating around each of the different specialties across the three years including surgery, medicine, dermatology, gynaecology, neurology and many more.I moved to UCL in London for clinics, and some of my most memorable experiences included delivering babies, visiting a prison psychiatric ward of (surprising amenable) convicted criminals, my medical elective in Sao Paulo doing ophthalmology and plastics and the frightfully common occurrence of being grilled by eminent but gnarled old consultants who still haunt the wards 20 years post retirement. Oh, and the exams. I have to mention the exams. And there will be many throughout your career. For four weeks you work hard, stop having fun, do the exams, and then there's another four weeks...


The course has been amazing so far and I'm loving it. I'm in my first year and all of us were eased in well and integrated into the course with no complaints. The course has been well structured and enjoyable throughout. Everyone is paired with members of the year above to be able to talk to them, ask questions and share your worries. Having these 'Medic parents' really helped ease my mind and put everything into perspective as well as understanding what to expect from the course which can be difficult to find out before you start. There are multiple libraries available to all members of UCL so a wide range of resources are available if and when necessary. The teaching quality is of a very high standard, we are talk by those at the forfront of research or who are clinicians in their respective fields. The only complaint I have is that there aren't many assessments and feedback as you progress through the year so it can be difficult to know how you're doing and whether you are taking the information on board. However, support is always there when needed and everyone is always willing to help where necessary.


I love the course and structure so far. I feel it has been taught very well so far and I have very few complaints on the style of teaching. Occasionally the lecturer is difficult to understand or talks too quickly which makes it very difficult to concentrate during the lecture and learn the content. I would also prefer more tutorials to consolidate my learning however I understand UCL is including more and more as the course continues due to previous feedback. I am really enjoying my time at UCL and have very few complaints about the course.