ACME is an active research centre within the UCL Medical School.


ACME has academic and research staff from a variety of disciplines including medicine (rheumatology, paediatrics, general practice, endocrinology, sexual health), education, social science, psychology, philosophy and medical ethics and computing.

Research informs teaching, and teaching informs research

As well as being research-active, ACME’s academic and research staff are also involved in the day-to-day delivery of the UCL Medical School curriculum and a large number of postgraduate educational and professional training courses. We ensure that our teaching is informed by our research, and that our research informs our teaching.

Variety in research methodologies

The multi-disciplinary nature of ACME’s academic and research staff is reflected in the diversity of the research methodologies employed to conduct original research and to develop and evaluate innovative teaching techniques and materials. These include qualitative (interview, focus group, observation) and quantitative methods (questionnaires, randomised controlled trials).


ACME has strong collaborative links with a number of other academic departments and institutions. These include the Centre for Health Informatics and Multi-professional Education (CHIME) and the Open Learning Unit, both within the UCL Division of Population Health; Imperial College School of Medicine; and Bart’s and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (Queen Mary, University of London) and the Royal Veterinary College London.


ACME currently holds a £1.5 million grant for the GMC’s Fitness to Practise Procedures Project. Other current and previous sources of funding for ACME research include The Royal College of Physicians, ESCILTA, London Deanery, Department of Health, Arthritis Research Campaign, Cancer Research UK, and UCL Development Grants.

Research areas

Fitness to Practise:

  • Assessment & characteristics of doctors in the General Medical Council’s (GMC) Fitness to Practise Procedures


  • Development of assessmnets: Final Medical School assessments; PLAB; Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (UK) clinical assessments; Fitness to Practise Procedures for the GMC
  • Procedures for the selection of doctors into Core Medical Training
  • Workplace-based assessment in UK doctors (paediatrics)

Peer assisted learning, E-learning, and preparation for practice:

  • The effects of taking part in Peer Assisted Learning
  • Sexpression (medical students teaching sex education in schools)
  • Evaluation of AnswersIn (Computer Aided Learning, Royal Free Hospital)
  • Exploring students’ use of Moodle Medicine (virtual learning environment)
  • Development and evaluation of innovative web and video-based techniques for teaching child protection “Safeguarding Children”
  • Target Medicine (medical students encouraging school children from non-traditional backgrounds to study medicine)
  • The contribution of e-learning to preparation for practice (ethics and law for final year medical students)
  • Junior doctors preparedness for practice (including looking after patients with cancer)

Diversity and equality in medical education

  • Ethnicity and medical student underperformance
  • Evaluation of disability cards
  • Target Medicine (medical students encouraging school children from non-traditional backgrounds to study medicine)

Ethics and communication skills training

  • Effects of professional skills training on medical students’ basic interviewing skills
  • Communication of difficult news
  • Using children in teaching communication skills
  • Junior doctors learning to deal with ethically challenging situations
  • Can tolerance be taught?
  • The morality of abortion

Postgraduate medical training:

  • Development of leadership skills
  • Education in early GP Careers
  • Educational supervision in clinical environments
  • Non-technical skills in endoscopy
  • Maximising learning opportunities within handover

Personal and Professional Development (PPD)

  • Critical enquiry of the curriculum to address PPD
  • Get Presenting (helping medical students and doctors with presentation anxiety manage their fears)

Other research projects

  • Factors influencing students’ choice of Special Study Module

<Back to Top>