A-Z Policies and Regulations


UCL MBBS regulations require students to attend for not less than 56 months of full-time study (excluding the iBSc) with 104 weeks in clinical placements[1]. EU requirements are that all undergraduate medicine courses are for a minimum of 5,500 hours of theoretical and practical studies.[2]

To achieve this level of attendance MBBS students are expected to attend between 9-00am – 5.00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, between 9.00am and 12.55 on Wednesdays and to attend occasional teaching events starting at 8.00am or finishing at 6.00pm. Students are also expected to spend a minimum of ten hours per week in additional study outside the prescribed course.

Students are expected to attend ALL timetabled activities in all years and, in years 4-6, are expected to be in attendance in clinical settings (wards, clinics, emergency departments, theatres etc.) when there are no other fixed timetabled activities during these hours. The total additional time spent in patient facing activities should be no less than six hours per week. Furthermore, during Years 4-6, there may be occasions when students are also expected to attend in the evening, early morning and at weekends. 

Any leave requested during term time is therefore exceptional and requires approval in advance through the procedures set out for requesting Authorised Absence. This includes requests for leave from students who wish to observe multiple religious festivals within a module or within a clinical attachment.

Any student who needs regular appointments for a prolonged course of medical treatment or other reason should discuss their needs with a Student Support Tutor and request a student support card to present to teachers and clinical educational supervisors in advance to explain their absence.

Whilst the Medical School acknowledges there will be times when absence is unavoidable, such as illness or emergencies, we expect absences to be kept to a minimum and reported in accordance with the School’s procedures for absence reporting by students.

We expect students to take a professional approach to attendance and engagement. Ensuring adequate attendance is the responsibility of the student and we reserve the right to ask students to provide evidence of compliance with the above.  The GMC requires Medical Schools to monitor attendance and engagement and to treat repeated non-attendance and poor engagement as a Fitness to Practise issue.

Repeated, unexplained or unauthorised absence may:

  1. lead to a Concern over Attendance and Engagement report which may trigger a compulsory appointment with a Student Support Tutor to investigate potential supportive measures and interventions;
  2. lead to a Concern over Attendance and Engagement report which may contribute to a [Concerns over Professional Behaviour]report for consideration by MBBS Examination Boards when determining examination results;
  3. constitute a fitness to practise issue for investigation through formal Fitness to Practise procedures;
  4. lead to barring from examinations, suspension or termination of studies for academic insufficiency

[1] http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/general-information/1516-MBBS-Regulations.pdf

[2] European Directive 93/16



Authorised Absence for specific events of more than one day which cannot be arranged outside term time excluding holidays and including multiple religious festivals within a module or placement must be requested in advance following the guidance on the Authorised Absence request form for your year of study.

Any intended absence from individual teaching sessions should be reported in advance with an explanation for the absence to the person from whose teaching session you will be absent:

  • during Introduction and Orientation Modules, to the relevant Year Lead
  • during Module Core Teaching Weeks, to the relevant Module Lead and copied to the Module Co-ordinator
  • during module teaching in Years 1 and 2, to the teacher for the individual session(s) affected
  • during CPP teaching, to the relevant CPP tutor
  • during SSC teaching, to the relevant SSC teacher
  • during clinical placements in Years 4 and 5, to the relevant placement lead or educational supervisor for the session(s) affected OR follow local instructions given when you join the module 
  • during clinical placements in Year 6, to the relevant placement lead or educational supervisor for the session(s) affected OR follow local instructions given when you join the placement AND Submit a Year 6 sickness absence form to medsch.year6@ucl.ac.uk.
  • during GP teaching, to the relevant GP tutor and the relevant GP Administrator
  • during DGH placements, to the relevant DGH Undergraduate Tutor and DGH Undergraduate Administrator
  • during Year 3 IBSc teaching, to your IBSc supervisor and copied to medsch.mbbsy3@ucl.ac.uk

Sickness absence should be reported as above as early as possible on the first day of absence.

  • Additionally, sickness absence for periods of more than 1 day should be reported to your MBBS Year Management Team via the generic year email address, by internal post to the Medical Student Office (Years 1-3) or Medical Student Office (Years 4-6), Medical School Building, 74 Huntley Street, or by post to the Medical Student Office (Years 1-3) or Medical Student Office (Years 4-6), UCL Medical School, UCL, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT. Fit notes (Med 3) must be submitted for sickness absence of more than 7 consecutive days. Sickness absence of more than 1 day is entered into your student record as a legitimate reason for absence, repeated sickness absence of more than 1 day and absences of more than 7 days are referred to Student Support for investigation into potential supportive measures and interventions and so that follow up appointments with Student Support can be arranged if helpful.

  • Students who are absent through ill health must ensure that they cover the material and clinical experience they have missed by accessing on-line materials and reading all handouts and course materials, and by using all opportunities possible during clinical attachments to obtain equivalent clinical experience. The Medical School encourages placement providers to be flexible where possible but cannot guarantee that core activities can be re-scheduled.



Single incidents of unexplained absence should be addressed by the lead teacher or clinical educational supervisor with the student concerned in the first instance.

Repeated incidents of unexplained absence and patterns of poor attendance should be reported to the appropriate MBBS Year Team/CPP Team as a Concern over Attendance and Engagement (CoAE).

Teachers and clinical educational supervisors are asked to complete a CoAE following two or more unexplained absences or poor engagement with the programme. The CoAE should give as much information as possible to inform an investigation by the Divisional Tutor including: dates of absence; steps taken locally to address the absences/poor engagement with the student; and any mitigation that the student has put forward for absence or for failure to explain absence.

The following reasons for absence should not generate a CoAE, although failure to notify teachers of the reason for absence is a legitimate and reportable concern:

  • leave authorised through the Divisional Tutor or Student Support System
  • attendance at personal tutor meetings
  • attendance at compulsory Faculty, Divisional and student support tutor meetings
  • attendance at fitness to practise appointments
  • attendance at occupational health appointments
  • attendance at a medical appointment (any student who needs regular appointments for a prolonged course of treatment or other reason should have requested and be able to present a Student Support card)
  • observance of religious holidays (any student who wishes to observe multiple religious holidays within a module or placement should have requested Authorised Absence)

The CoAE should be sent to the generic year/CPP email address shown on the form, or by internal post to the Medical Student Office (Years 1-3) or Medical Student Office (Years 4-6), Medical School Building, 74 Huntley Street, or by post to the Medical Student Office (Years 1-3) or Medical Student Office (Years 4-6), UCL Medical School, UCL, Gower Street, WC1E 6 BT


See UCL Guide for Students (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/) - Access Hardship Funds and Bursaries


Students are advised that modest consumption of alcohol during social occasions is acceptable, but drinking alcohol during working hours is discouraged and is strictly prohibited when work involves patient contact or care. Students should be aware that the abuse of alcohol or other drugs may result in referral to the Medical School Assessment Committee for Fitness to Practise Medicine.

See also: Substance Use and Misuse


Students who wish to travel in ambulances during their clinical attachments need to be aware that they will be travelling at their own risk unless the ambulance service agrees to insure them.   Students must not sign any insurance disclaimers requested by the Ambulance Service as UCL is not able to offer indemnity for travelling in ambulances.



Authorised absence may be requested for specific events excluding holidays which cannot be arranged outside term time.  Authorised absence is only granted in exceptional circumstances and requires prior permission from both the Medical School and from the academic lead (year lead/module lead/ supervising consultant/GP Tutor) from whose sessions the student is requesting absence:- for Introductory and Orientation Modules, permission is needed from Year Leads, for core teaching weeks, permission is needed from the Module Lead; for clinical placements and clinical SSCs, permission is needed from the Consultant/Educational Supervisor; for GP teaching and placements, permission is needed from the GP Tutor. 

Permission to take authorised absence must be obtained from the appropriate signatories before a student makes any travel, or other, arrangements.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that permission is obtained in good time and failure to do so may result in requests being declined.  If in doubt about the process, students are advised to take advice well in advance from the Medical Student Offices, a Student Support Tutor or the Divisional Tutor.    

All potentially complex or extensive leave requests should be directed in the first instance to a Student Support Tutor or the Divisional Tutor for advice by email or in person before submitting a request for authorised absence.

Students who are granted authorised absence must ensure that they cover the material and clinical experience they have missed by accessing on-line materials and reading all handouts and course materials, and by using all opportunities possible during clinical attachments to obtain equivalent clinical experience.

Requests for authorised absence should be made in advance following the instructions on the request form for the relevant year of study:  

Authorised absence must:

  • be no more than 1 week in duration (n.b. more than 2 days will not normally be granted during 1wk attachments)
  • not clash with specific events e.g. introductory days, core teaching weeks, examinations etc, except in very exceptional and unavoidable circumstances
  • be for clear and well-founded reasons
  • be requested at least 2 weeks prior to the event (for non emergencies)
  • in Years 1 and 2: be approved first by the Year Lead and secondly by the Divisional Tutor or a Student Support Tutor*
  • in Years 4 and 5: be approved first by the Consultant/Educational supervisor/GP Tutor from whose placement the student will be absent and secondly by the Divisional Tutor or a Student Support Tutor
  • in Year 6: be approved first by the Divisional Tutor or a Student Support Tutor and secondly by the Consultant/Educational supervisor/GP Tutor from whose placement the student will be absent

*Teachers and supervisors are advised to refer students to Student Support in the first instance should they have any concern about the requested absence, or would value medical school advice before feeling able to decide on a particular request.




Attendance at core teaching, compulsory clinical teaching, Clinical and Professional Practice sessions and student selected components is compulsory and is monitored through logbooks, portfolios, firm reports and feedback from firm leads and educational supervisors.

Entry to MBBS examinations is conditional on satisfactory completion of the course.  Students whose attendance is persistently poor, who do not engage in the course, who do not attend compulsory components, who take unauthorised absence, or who fail to report and document illness may be barred from examinations or receive a

Concerns over Professional Behaviour(s) Form which will be taken into account by MBBS Examination Boards in determining examination results.  

The Divisional Tutor and Medical School Support will review records of attendance throughout the year and those students whose attendance is inadequate will be warned by email that unless their attendance improves they risk being barred from examinations.

Absence due to appropriately documented illness, or with prior permission, from the Divisional Tutor or Medical School Support Tutors is, obviously, not grounds for barring from examinations. However, prolonged absence due to ill-health or adverse personal circumstances should be discussed with the Divisional Tutor or Medical School Support Tutor with a view to suspension of studies until the next academic session when the problems have been resolved.

The Divisional Tutor will monitor the attendance of students who have been warned about inadequate attendance and, if their attendance does not improve, will interview them with a view to barring them from examinations. Students who are barred from examinations will be notified in writing of the decision.

For UCL’s policy, please see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/part-3/barring-students-examinations


Students should update any change of address details through Portico at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/portico using your UCL ID and password. (N.B. if you have forgotten your password or need any further information about access you need to contact the IS Helpdesk at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/is/helpdesk).



References, elective letters, verification of degree etc  First 5 copies free, then 50p per copy
Interim academic transcripts issued during the course £1 per copy
Bar code labels £1 per sheet
Notification of exam results £1 per copy
Prize Certificates
£5 per certificate 


Each of the central teaching sites has a Clinical Skills Centre which offers scheduled teaching on practical procedures.

Whittington CSC: 1st Floor Whittington Hospital, Whittington Campus.
Bloomsbury CSC: 1st Floor of the Rockefeller Building, University Street.
Royal Free CSC: Lower Ground Floor of Medical School (access via the stairs adjacent to the squash courts).

Please see the Skills Centres website for more information: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/cpsc


With around 380 students in each year of the medical course it is important that the School has a mechanism for identifying, monitoring and supporting those students who are in particular need or who are believed to be at high risk of academic failure.   The School operates a Close Supervision system  through the Medical Student Support Services and the policy and procedures may be found here:Close Supervision Policy.  



See External Courses



The Medical School seeks to develop and employ effective communication methods to underpin the academic demands and complex logistics of the MBBS programme. This guidance is provided for both staff and students with the aim of engendering a professional approach to communications and effective use of the technologies available at UCL.

The methods of communication used are:

Staff involving in teaching and managing the MBBS programme are advised that:

  • all communications should be professional, clear and succinct
  • communications should be restricted to information directly related to the MBBS course and MBBS programme management
  • communications should refer to standard information and policies on the MBBS website wherever possible, rather than re-stating published information available elsewhere
  • UCLMS service standards allow up to 5 days to respond as this allows for workload and email volume at busy periods, but the normal response time should be quicker
  • course/module -related communications should normally be sent via Moodle
  • emails should kept to a minimum to assist students in managing the volume of information and:

    • group emails must be blind copied to avoid revealing individual and class email addresses
    • care must be taken to ensure that personal or sensitive information about individual students is never distributed
    • multiple attachments should be avoided wherever possible, with required documentation being made available through web/moodle downloads
    • reminder emails should be targeted to individual students who have failed to respond
  • communications not directly related to the MBBS course and MBBS programme management should be forwarded to RUMS for consideration for inclusion in their e-bulletin

MBBS Students are asked to:

  • check the MBBS staff:student website and module moodle sites for information before directing emails to individual members of staff
  • address communications to generic email addresses or a single named contact as provided in year guides, study guides, modules guides. MBBS Management contacts are listed on the MBBS staff student website at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/mbbs-contacts
  • keep emails to a minimum to assist staff in managing the volume of email traffic received
  • avoid emailing the same query to multiple members of staff
  • allow up to 5 days for a response before following up or contacting another member of staff
  • check and retain information to minimise the need for staff to send duplicate emails
  • reply promptly and to stated deadlines, again to minimise the need for staff to send duplicate emails and reminders
  • check their email inboxes for medical school communications every 24 hours as outlined in the student agreement



Concerns over Attendance and Engagement (CoAE) are the Medical School’s mechanism for reporting repeated, unexplained or unauthorised absence from teaching and patterns of poor attendance and/or poor engagement.

CoAE may:

  1. lead to a Concern over Attendance and Engagement report which may trigger a compulsory appointment with a Student Support Tutor to investigate potential supportive measures and interventions;
  2. lead to a Concern over Attendance and Engagement report which may contribute to a Concerns over Professional Behaviour report for consideration by MBBS Examination Boards when determining examination results;
  3. constitute a fitness to practise issue for investigation through formal Fitness to Practise procedures;
  4. lead to barring from examinations, suspension or termination of studies for academic insufficiency

CoAEs are:

  • issued by teachers/education supervisors in accordance with the Attendance and Engagement policy and guidelines for absence reporting by staff
  • recorded by MBBS Year Management Teams in locally held Engagement Monitoring Records which are submitted to Year Leads (monthly after each engagement monitoring point) and to Year Teaching Committees (termly under reserved business)
  • copied to the MBBS Student Support Team for submission to the Divisional Tutor
  • recorded by the MBBS Student Support Team in CoAE/CoPB records which are submitted to the Student Support/Divisional EC Panel meetings (monthly) and to the Student Support Committee (termly under reserved business)



An assessment of professionalism and fitness to practice underlies all parts of the MBBS course and assessments. CoPBs are the School's formal mechanism for reporting and monitoring incidents and patterns of poor behaviour(s) which raise concerns about a student's professionalism, such as poor engagement, inappropriate attitude and fitness to practise issues. Under the MBBS Schemes of Award, candidates with CoPBs may fail the examinations and awards of merit or distinction are rescinded.

CoPBs may be put forward by teachers, educational supervisors, personal tutors, CPP tutors, IBSc tutors and professional services staff at any point during the year and by examiners at clinical assessments.

In Years 1,2,4,5 and 6:

CoPBs reported during the course are referred to the Divisional Tutor for investigation and used within the student support system to monitor behaviour(s) and to make appropriate interventions, which may include placing a student on close supervision. CoPBs which are upheld by the divisional tutor during the course and CoPBs which are issued by examiners at clinical assessments are reviewed at pre-examination boards and, except where the panel has reason to discount an examiner’s concern (for example where a concern at an OSCE examination has already been addressed in the station mark scheme), are reported to Examination Boards as set out in the schemes of award for these years of the programme.

In Year 3:

CoPBs reported during the course are referred in the first instance to the Year 3/IBSc Lead, who may issue a formal warning. Failure to heed a formal warning will lead to a CoPB being issued and a referral to the divisional tutor to make appropriate interventions, which may include placing a student on close supervision. Whilst IBSc students must maintain the appropriate standards, attendance and professional behaviour throughout year 3, CoPBs do not form part of IBSc mark schemes and do not affect the IBSc degree classification.

Although concerns over professional behaviour(s) are an important part of the Medical School’s internal monitoring of students’ professionalism and behaviour, they do not constitute formal “Fitness to Practise proceedings” and as such they do not need to be disclosed to the GMC at provisional registration or on Transfer of Information forms for Foundation Schools unless directed to do so by the Divisional Tutor or a Student Support Tutor.

Examples of concerns over professional behaviour(s) which should be reported during the course include:

  • significant unexplained absence or lateness
  • repeated or unexplained absence from scheduled clinical activity or teaching
  • disruptive behaviour or damage to property
  • rudeness
  • lack of probity
  • failure to submit a grade report form or required coursework
  • failure to obtain approval before leaving on elective or returning late from elective
  • plagiarism
  • patient safety issues
  • failure to pay financial charges and/or fines
  • unprofessional behaviour as set out by the GMC in Good Medical Practice

Examples of concerns over professional behaviour(s) which should be reported during clinical assessments include:

  • roughness with a patient
  • rudeness to either the patient or examiner
  • lack of professionalism
  • dangerous practice e.g. inappropriate disposal of sharps
  • patient safety issues

CoPBs reported during the programme of study for Years 1,2,4,5,6 should be directed to the Divisional Tutor c/o Alison Crook, Policy and Planning Officer for Student Support, MBBS Management, 74 Huntley Street. (a.crook@ucl.ac.uk)

CoPBs reported during the programme of study for Year 3/IBSc should be directed to the Year 3/IBSc Academic Lead (medsch.mbbsy3@ucl.ac.uk)

CoPBs reported at clinical assessments should be returned to MBBS Management Year Managers with all other examination documentation.

CoPB monitoring records are held by Student Support and:

  • submitted to each Student Support/Divisional EC Meeting (monthly)
  • submitted to Student Support Committee (reserved business) (termly)


See UCL Guide for Students (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/)


See UCL Guide for Students (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/)


The Medical School has a designated Departmental Equal Opportunities Liaison Officer for students. The role of DEOLO is set out on the UCL website at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/equalities/depts/role.php/.  The DEOLO for MBBS students is Alison Crook, Medical Student Admin, Medical School Building, 74 Huntley Street, Email: a.crook@ucl.ac.uk


Please see entries under Special Assessment Arrangements and Student Support Cards


In order to gain and maintain the trust and confidence of patients, there are certain rules of behaviour that a doctor or medical student must observe. Obviously you must never appear in front of a patient (or indeed in any other teaching situation in College) the worse for drink or drugs, or even smelling of drink. Remember that abuse of drugs implies that you are not to be trusted with drugs and medicines, and a conviction for a drugs-related offence may mean that we cannot certify you as fit to practise.

You should regard the clinical aspects of the course as an apprenticeship for your professional career as a doctor. Certain standards of appearance are necessary, both in your own interests and, most importantly, for the well-being of patients. Please remember that patients come from all sections of society and that people who are ill or worried may more easily become anxious about small details. Many of them will regard you in the same way they will a fully-trained doctor. If your standards of dress and behaviour are professional and reasonably conservative you will be unlikely to cause offence or anxiety to your patients, and you will find that your relationships with them and with hospital staff will be easier.

Students should be smartly dressed in an appropriate and professional manner and in compliance with NHS infection control policies whilst on hospitals wards, at GP surgeries, at clinical skills sessions with patients or simulated patients and at OSCEs.  

  • bare below the elbow (short sleeves or sleeves neatly folded)

    • where required by local policy - most Trusts but not all GP surgeries
  • no white coats
  • no denim, no low cut tops, no bare midriffs, no visible underwear
  • appropriate length skirts or dresses (just above knee or longer) in order that underwear is not visible when the student bends over
  • no sheer, tight, or figure-hugging tops/blouses unless camisoles or other additional layer worn underneath
  • no trainers, no stilettos
  • no wrist watches, bracelets or charity wrist bands
  • no jewellery except:

    • rings – one single metal band, no stones
    • earrings – small studs only
    • necklaces – a simple chain if tucked inside clothing
  • no piercings (other than earrings)
  • face visible
  • religious head coverings permitted
  • ties secured inside shirts unless asked by an individual consultant to remove them
  • hair kept neat and tidy, long hair tied back, modest hair colouring/highlights only
  • fingernails short and clean, no false nails
  • identification visible at all times - except during OSCE examinations when badges showing candidate numbers will be issued

Please note that local Trust policies take precedence, in particular regarding white coats and ties.

Please note that at UCLH students are required to provide their own theatre shoes.

If this code is not adhered to by students they may be asked to leave that clinical session and asked to see the Divisional Tutor. 



An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required on entry to Medical School and Medical Students are required to  declare any subsequent cautions/reprimands or convictions incurred during the MBBS course.

See Medical School policy and procedures

Guidance on completing DBS applications can be found at:



Guidance issued by the General Medical Council, the body that oversees the medical profession and ensures standards of practice and medical education in Great Britain, applies to medical students as well as to qualified doctors in practice.  The guidance is summarised below and can be found on the GMC website: http://www.gmc-uk.org/

Patients must be able to trust doctors with their lives and health.  To justify that trust you must show respect for human life and make sure your practice meets the standards expected of you in four domains.

Knowledge, skills and performance

  • Make the care of your patient your first concern.
  • Provide a good standard of practice and care. 
  • Keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date.
  • Recognise and work within the limits of your competence. 

Safety and quality

  • Take prompt action if you think that patient safety, dignity or comfort is being compromised.
  • Protect and promote the health of patients and the public.

Communication, partnership and teamwork

  • Treat patients as individuals and respect their dignity.
  • Treat patients politely and considerately. 
  • Respect patients' right to confidentiality.
  • Work in partnership with patients.
  • Listen to, and respond to, their concerns and preferences.
  • Give patients the information they want or need in a way they can understand. 
  • Respect patients' right to reach decisions with you about their treatment and care. 
  • Support patients in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their health.
  • Work with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients' interests.

Maintaining trust

  • Be honest and open and act with integrity.
  • Never discriminate unfairly against patients or colleagues.
  • Never abuse your patients' trust in you or the public's trust in the profession.

You are personally accountable for your professional practice and must always be prepared to justify your decisions and actions.

(Taken from ‘Duties of a doctor – guidance from the General Medical Council’ 2013)


Please see entries under Special Assessment Arrangements and Student Support


See the MBBS Year 6 Course Information Moodle site for information about internal and external bursaries available to help with the costs of electives.


Medical School policy is to communicate via UCL email addresses only.



Engagement monitoring is: 1) a UCL requirement to ensure that students are engaging with their studies; to identify problems as early as possible to ensure that action can be taken to advise and/or assist the students; and to meet the requirements set by the UK Border Agency for students with Tier 4 visas; 2) a Medical School requirement to ensure that students have satisfied the regulatory requirements to enter qualifying examinations; and 3) a GMC fitness to practice requirement.

Each year of the programme has defined points of engagement which are disseminated via the relevant Year Teams. Engagement monitoring fulfils the requirement for 11 points of contact for overseas students studying in the UK with Tier 4 visas and works in conjunction with the Medical School attendance policy which is applicable to all students.

Engagement monitoring records are held locally by MBBS Year Management Teams and are:

  • submitted to Year Leads after each engagement monitoring point (monthly)
  • submitted to Year Teaching Committees as reserved business (termly)


Throughout the clinical course, students are periodically invited to submit extenuating circumstances which might affect allocation to clinical placements.  The email will include the closing date for submissions. Extenuating circumstances are considered by the Medical School Support and taken into account by the administrators when allocating attachments. 

The allocations are then finalised and signed off by the Academic Lead.   Late submissions cannot be accommodated.  New extenuating circumstances which arise after the allocations have been finalised may be discussed with the Divisional Tutor who will, if the circumstances are sufficient, ask the administrator to seek an alternative placement.  Students may then liaise directly with the administrator responsible for making the placements, but should be aware that clinical placement places are limited and we cannot guarantee that it will be possible to accommodate the request. 



Extenuating circumstances for candidates for with short-term, sudden and unforeseen extenuating circumstances

Students with long-term, chronic conditions and disabilities are expected to follow the UCL’s procedures for Special Assessment Arrangements and are not expected to submit claims for Extenuating Circumstances in order to be considered for Special Assessment Arrangements. Extenuating circumstances processes provide an additional mechanism to support students with short-term, sudden and unforeseen extenuating circumstances who may nevertheless be able to sit an examination if Special Assessment Arrangements can be put in place.  Details may be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/academic-manual/c4/extenuating-circumstances/short-term-conditions.  EC claims are considered by the MBBS Extenuating Circumstances Panel.

For MBBS examinations in Years 1,2,4,5 and 6, submissions and required documentary evidence are considered by the MBBS Divisional Extenuating Circumstances Panel.  Forms for notifying extenuating circumstances can be downloaded, Extenuating Circumstances (EC) Claim Form, and from the MBBS Year Assessment pages at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/assessments

In Years 1 and 2, completed  forms and required documentary evidence should be handed into Medical Student Support Services, Years 4-6 Office, 74 Huntley Street or emailed to: medsch.support1-3@ucl.ac.uk.

In Years 4,5 and 6, completed  forms and required documentary evidence should be handed into Medical Student Support Services, Years 4-6 Office, 74 Huntley Street or emailed to: medsch.support4-6@ucl.ac.uk.

Year 3 (IBSc)

For IBSc examinations in Year 3, submissions and required documentary evidence are considered by the Faculty of Medical Sciences Extenuating Circumstances Panel.  Forms for notifying extenuating circumstances can be downloaded, Year 3 Extenuating Circumstances (EC) Claim Form, from the MBBS Year Assessment pages at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/assessments .  Completed forms and required documentary evidence should be submitted to the Year 3 Coordinator, Years 1-3 Office, 74 Huntley Street or emailed to: medsch.mbbsy3@ucl.ac.uk.

Sometimes students are reluctant to advise the medical school, at the appropriate time, of extenuating circumstances (particularly related to health) in the mistaken belief that this will compromise their future career. Please be reminded that a failure to acknowledge difficulties, notify the medical school and seek recommended help raises concerns about Fitness to Practise and may present more of an issue than the problem itself.

Late requests for Special Assessment Arrangements at written examinations

In exceptional circumstances, for example where a decision has to be made on the morning of an examination, UCL processes allow the SAA Panel to exercise its discretion to receive an EC Claim directly from the student and to put Special Assessment Arrangements in place, where it believes the EC claim to be valid.

If the SAA Panel is unable to support the student, or is unable or unwilling to accept the EC Claim, the student retains the right to submit a second EC Claim for consideration by the Faculty/ Departmental EC Panel.

Late requests for Special Assessment Arrangements at clinical examinations

For clinical examinations, students should submit their EC claim to the appropriate MBBS Year Manager on the morning of their OSCE.



The Medical School does not endorse courses offered free or commercially by Foundation trainees or by UCL graduates or by other non-UCL staff as these courses are outside the School’s academic processes and may undermine the proper training and preparation within the MBBS curriculum for Medical School examinations. 

The use of UCL or Medical School premises for any such courses is discouraged and UCL staff are advised not to endorse these courses. Foundation trainees wishing to contribute to medical education to gain accreditation for CMT Specialist training applications are advised to refer to the Medical School's Guidance for FY Teachers are advised to contact Dr Deborah Gill for guidance on how to achieve this within the clinical setting. 

Revision courses and cramming, even if done “professionally”, may be enjoyable for students, but may not be the best way to learn medicine. The workload for FY1's would no doubt compromise the time available to them for preparing the teaching itself.  Regular evening sessions at the students’ site offers the best compromise, provides very valued peer learning, and a rewarding challenge for juniors.

Foundation trainees and UCL students and graduates are advised that all examination materials are UCL copyright and any unauthorised use or disclosure of examination materials to a third party, including the transcription of verbal reports from examination candidates, whether for commercial gain or otherwise, are regarded as a breach of copyright and intellectual property rights.

If bookings for external or commercial courses are accepted on UCL premises, the following conditions apply:            

  • users must be made aware of UCL's policy on external bookings and courses which clearly prohibits such courses from claiming any connection or affiliation with the College
  • the costs of using UCL resources including UCL support staff must be met
  • advertising is not permitted through the Medical School
  • courses must be available to all students



Students who wish to obtain additional clinical experience related to their placement at weekends or evenings when the team is on take for emergency admissions, or for revision purposes, must personally ensure that they have taken steps to ensure adequate supervision including:

  • for out-of-hours patient contact during a placement, notify your clinical placement supervisor or module lead a minimum of 48 hours before your intended patient contact (1) (2)
  • for revision purposes outside of formal placement time, notify the Site Sub Dean or Undergraduate Tutor at your preferred clinical site by email a minimum of 48 hours before your intended patient contact (see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/mbbs-contacts for contact details) (1)
  • request permission on arrival from a suitable supervisor, who would normally be the attending registrar or equivalent
  • focus on improving skills in assessing patients, in particular detecting and interpreting signs, do not undertake any clinical procedures without direct supervision

(1) Student notification to supervisors/Site Sub Deans/Undergraduate Tutors is a requirement for local records, but no reply to students is required

(2) Please refer to the Attendance and Engagement Policy above for guidance about required attendance during placements which takes precedence over voluntary placement-related attendance


Students who wish to arrange additional placements at external institutions outside of the MBBS course requirements and outside of Medical School term dates should set out their intentions in an email to medsch.support1-3@ucl.ac.uk  or medsch.support4-6@ucl.ac.uk for approval by the Divisional Tutor who may be required to verify your status as a medical student in good standing at UCLMS.  

Students should note that any such attachment is not an MBBS course requirement and therefore:

  • cannot be undertaken as ‘a UCL Medical Student’ as the attachment is organised independently of the Medical School
  • is not covered by UCL insurance and so alternative cover (personal health and travel insurance and professional indemnity insurance which can be obtained through the MDU/MPS) must be put in place before you start the attachment.  Additionally, you must notify the host institution that there is no UCL insurance cover for the placement.



Each year a small number of students will have an individual close to them who suffers from a serious illness or who dies. Those students may need additional support when they experience similar conditions during their training. Whilst there are many possible examples mental illness and cancer diagnoses may illustrate the issues best.

The Schools policy is to ensure that students will be able to treat and manage these patients in the future whilst minimising the anxiety and distress caused to the student.

Hence whilst the student should complete all aspects of the course without exception the Medical Student Support team would be keen to offer advice and support to individual students in this position.

During the Year 4 IOM and on the website students will be informed of the school policy. Those who identify a need at this stage will be advised to make an appointment in a welfare clinic during the IOM. If circumstances change during years 4-6 then rapid access to the Medical Student Support system would be strongly advised.

At the Medical Student Support appointment advice on coping strategies will be explored and where appropriate onward referral to counselling services made.


The School relies on student feedback as an essential element of its quality assurance procedures and feedback is collected from students on all modules/placements. Most feedback is collected via an on-line system and students are strongly encouraged to complete on-line questionnaires as the feedback is reviewed on a regular basis and action taken in response to it. Feedback is co-ordinated through the MBBS Quality Assurance Unit: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/quality



Patients must be able to trust and respect their doctors. Society rightly expects doctors to behave in an appropriate manner. They are expected to have high moral values and to work within a code of practise determined by the profession itself and by the law.

The Medical School has a duty to ensure that its graduates are fit to enter the medical profession. It fulfils this duty by enabling students to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills and attitudes appropriate to their future role as doctors and the vast majority of students achieve this.

However, occasionally the School must act when a student appears to have problems or exhibits behaviour which is not compatible with their future role. In common with other medical schools and in line with GMC guidance, the School has therefore set up a procedure which will be followed when a student’s health and /or behaviour is causing concern. Students should be aware that the outcome of Fitness to Practice procedures may not necessarily be punitive and that these procedures can be beneficial for students both in monitoring problems and in identifying the need for support.

Fitness to Practise Guidance for Students can be found at: Fitness to Practice Guidance

SLMS' Fitness to Practice Policy and Procedures can be found at:


A chart outlining the Fitness to Practice referral processes can be found at: Fitness to Practice Referral Chart

Attendance at Fitness to Practise appointments takes priority over all teaching activities.



The GMC documents Tomorrow’s Doctors, The New Doctor, Good Medical Practice and the Foundation Programme Curriculum all outline the need for junior doctors to develop their teaching skills. Foundation year doctors are extremely well placed to take on the role of clinical teachers. They are able to identify important teaching areas because they remember skills and competencies which may have caused them anxiety during their own revision and can provide relevance to learning by drawing on their own experiences. 

For these reasons the Medical School recognises and welcomes the role of junior doctors in undergraduate education and encourages them to be involved in planning and running patient based informal bedside teaching.

The Medical School Guidance for Foundation Years Doctors’ contribution to the MBBS Programme is provided to help foundation doctors deliver good quality workplace based teaching and learning activities within the undergraduate programme.

Foundation Doctors are encouraged to read this guidance if they are planning any undergraduate teaching or interested in getting involved.

Please also see the MBBS Teaching Portal at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/teaching-portal/


FREEDOM OF INFORMATION - responsible use of FoI legislation

Students seeking information about the MBBS programme at UCL or other Medical Schools for research or other purposes should first seek advice from an appropriate contact within the Medical School to ensure that their request represents an appropriate use of FoI legislation.

In particular, students are advised that:

  • It may be inappropriate to use FoI legislation to coerce an institution into participating in education research.
  • FoI used inappropriately may act to avoid the British Education Research Association’s ethical framework, which requires ethical approval and informed consent for participation in research. A peer review journal editor would expect evidence of this.
  • Ethically, any report that emerges from such data would need to declare that the response rate is the result of an FoI request and thus the data produced may be unreliable.  
  • Medical Schools need not give permission for any data beyond that which is in the public domain to be used in any research publication arising from such a request for data.
  • UCL Medical students have access to course information via local intranets (but its use is subject to normal safeguards of intellectual property).
  • Such FoI requests may well be refused as the logistical complexity of MBBS programmes means that data gathering is often likely to take more than 18 hours of time to satisfy the request.



The Medical School support and upholds College procedures for dealing with student harassment and bullying which can be found at:  http://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/part-5/harassment-bullying

1.         What is Harassment?

  • When a person’s behaviour interferes with another person’s work or social life or creates an intimidating or hostile environment
  • Harassment can be based on:

    • Sex/gender  
    • Race
    • Disability
    • Religion/Belief
    • Sexual Orientation
    • Age

What is Bullying?

  • Bullying is the exercise of power over another person through negative acts or behaviour that undermine that person personally and/or academically
  • Bullying is to be distinguished from vigorous academic debate

2.         Who should I talk to?

  • Designated harassment advisor (student & staff)
  • Personal Tutor
  • Medical Student Support
  • DGH Undergraduate Tutor
  • UCL Students’ Union Rights & Advice Centre

3.         Formal Complaints

  • A formal complaint must be registered in writing as soon as possible after the unsatisfactory conclusion of the informal complaint, with the Faculty Tutor
  • Formal complaints involving academic members of staff or other students may be referred to the Dean of the Students according to UCL policy on Student Harassment and Bullying
  • Formal complaints about clinicians may be referred to NHS Trusts

Key Points

  • Harassment and bullying of students by other students or by members of staff is not conducive to learning and is not acceptable
  • Allegation or concerns of harassment or bullying must be taken seriously, addressed speedily and where possible, in confidence
  • Students who perceive that they are being harassed or bullied should talk informally with someone in the Medical School (see above)
  • Ideally the problem should be dealt with informally
  • If the informal approach is unsuccessful or not appropriate a student should make a formal complaint to the Divisional Tutor

See Harassment Chart


See UCL website for details of College hardship funds.

The Medical School has a small number of student hardship funds which are administered by the Divisional Tutor through the Medical Student Support Clinics.  Support is usually in the form of an interest-free loan, repayable within one year of qualification. The Christopher Whiteside Fund enables small grants (up to £50) to be made to allow students to make additional trips home, usually for compassionate reasons.


See also Immunisation status and BBVs

Students are advised to register with a GP and a dentist and may do so with the NHS general practice and dental surgery in the UCL Health Centre at 3 Gower Place, WCI (tel 0207 679 2803). Non-NHS registered students may consult the Gower Street Practice for medical advice on a day-to-day basis but cannot receive NHS prescriptions, except in emergencies.

In an emergency, students may consult the Accident and Emergency Department on any site.

Health and safety guidance is taught at appropriate points during the MBBS programme.



All medical students must complete health screening before participating in patient contact sessions in order to comply with GMC and Department of Health standards for medical training designed to ensure patient and personal safety.  Prospective medical students are required to complete a health questionnaire prior to enrolment as a condition of their offer.  Year 1 students are required to obtain health clearance during Year 1 Term 1 and full EPP clearance by Year 1 Term 2 Week 8.   Occupational Health services for UCLMS students are provided by UCL Occupational Health. OH appointments in Year 1 take priority over all teaching activities.



Holiday may not be taken during Medical School term time but students may request authorised absence for specific events excluding holidays which cannot be arranged outside term time. Leave is only granted in exceptional circumstances and with the prior permission of i) the Divisional Tutor or Medical School Support Tutor and ii) the Academic Lead or Supervising Consultant or GP Tutor from whose teaching or clinical attachment the student is requesting absence. A form for requesting Authorised Absence form may be downloaded from the Course Information Year webpages. 

 See Authorised Absence for further information.


The General Medical Council (see GMC DUTIES OF A DOCTOR) regards the honesty of doctors as fundamental to the public standing of the profession. Cheating in assessments or plagiarism in coursework is unacceptable behaviour and will be reported through College disciplinary procedures. Students must not aid and abet other students in dishonest behaviour, e.g. they should not sign absent friends into teaching sessions when attendance is being monitored. See Plagiarism entry in A-Z index.



The application procedure and the application form for honorary appointments for teaching may be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/vacancies/

Applications from staff at UCL’s main provider Trusts are submitted via Site Sub Deans:

Site Sub Dean UCLH:  
Dr Gavin Johnson
Site Sub Dean Royal Free: Dr Paul Dilworth p.dilworth@ucl.ac.uk
Site Sub Dean Whittington: Dr Caroline Fertleman c.fertleman@ucl.ac.uk
Site Sub Dean Community: Dr Joe Rosenthal 

Applications from staff at UCL’s associated provider Trusts are submitted via local Undergraduate Tutors to:

Sub Dean (DGH Liaison)   
Dr Aroon Lal a.lal@ucl.ac.uk

Applications put forward by Site Sub Deans are approved by the Director of UCL Medical School and held in UCL Medical School

 An annual review and update of honorary contracts at associated Trusts is undertaken by: the UCLMS Staffing Office:

UCLMS Staffing Office Vicky Cooper



UCL ID cards must be visible at all times when students are on-site for clinical attachments, and must be presented at examinations as proof of identity.

ID cards must indicate “medical student” status, and, to avoid any ambiguity, the title “Dr” must not be used by students with PhDs.

Medical School lanyards are available from the Student Offices at Bloomsbury, the Royal Free and the Whittington. Trust lanyards must not be worn. Students should use a safety pin to attach the end of the lanyard to fixed clothing, to stop the name badges dipping into dirty areas. The importance of the lanyards is that they remind patients who you are and clinical teachers and other professionals that UCLH is a teaching hospital, and that you are there and ready to learn.

Information about obtaining and/or replacing UCL ID cards can be found on the UCL website.


Students are screened on entry to Medical School and for BBVs such as Hep C and HIV at appropriate stages in the MBBS programme. Students should ensure that their immunisations, including boosters, are up-to-date and also ensure that they can produce immunisation and immunity records if asked, as some Trusts ask students to produce immunisation and immunity records before allowing them to take up clinical attachments.  If students have any concerns about their immunisation status they should contact Occupational Health before commencing clinical attachments.

Students who are not cleared for EPP’s must carry a card to present to their educational supervisor and must not perform invasive clinical procedures. 

Medical students are at special risk of infection with the blood-borne viruses, HBV, HCV and HIV, from injuries with blood-contaminated sharp instruments. Needles used for venepuncture, injections or suturing constitute the principal risk to students. Though the HIV infection incidence per needle stick exposure is 0.3% only between 0.1 and 0.5%, the outcome is potentially fatal.

Please note that students are not allowed to take blood from, give injections to, or suture patients in the categories below. These tasks must only be carried out by qualified staff.

  • Patients with diseases likely to be due to HIV, HBV or HCV
  • Patients in high-risk groups who have not been shown to be uninfected by these viruses: including IV drug abusers, jaundiced patients with possible viral hepatitis, men who have sex with men and patients from areas where these infections are common such as the Far East or Tropical Africa.

While the exclusion of these groups safeguards students to some extent, some patients infected with blood-borne viruses either do not fall into these risk groups or are not known to belong to them. All needles and sharps should be regarded as hazardous, handled with care and disposed of correctly. Used needles must not be re-sheathed but placed immediately into the yellow plastic ‘sharps’ disposal boxes on the wards. A ‘sharps accident’ is a penetrating injury with an instrument contaminated with any body fluid, or a splash of blood into the eye, or an open cut.

If an injury occurs
Wash the wound with copious water and encourage bleeding. If the eye is involved wash with copious saline or water and report to immediate superior or senior member of staff present (e.g. nursing sister on a ward). The senior staff member should check from the notes whether the patient has had a recent test for hepatitis B, HCV or HIV. Arrange for informed medical advice and for the collection of 5ml clotted blood samples from both the patient and the student and send to a Virology laboratory. Ensure that a staff accident/incident form is completed. If the patient is known, or thought to be, HIV positive, the student must take immediate action to get advice on the need for HIV PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).


5-10% of patients admitted to hospital acquire an infection during their stay. Some of these are endogenous and are usually precipitated by some invasive procedure. Others are exogenous and arise from the environment and many troublesome bacteria with varying degrees of resistance to antibiotics colonise the infected patients, especially in high risk situations such as intensive care units and post-surgery. Some may also arise from health care workers, including medical students.

Some patients have infections, which are considered to be a particular risk to others. These include highly infectious diseases in patients admitted from the community (such as chicken pox or influenza), whilst others acquire multiple-resistant organisms in hospital. These patients are nursed in isolation and a set of instructions is posted on the door. These must be followed rigorously, whether or not the individual concerned feels they are worthwhile. It is the responsibility of the senior nurses on a ward to ensure that isolation precautions are followed.

Most importantly, hospital organisms are transferred from one patient to another on the hands of the carers. This includes doctors and medical students who are sometimes careless about simple hygiene. The most important aspect of hygiene is to wash your hands properly, preferably using a hand disinfectant, before touching any patient. It is important, when performing a clinical handwash, to remove wristwatches and bracelets. When examining any patient known to have an infection, which may be transmitted to others, special care must be taken. White coats should be removed, and the sleeves rolled above the elbows before washing, and a plastic apron and gloves must be worn.

Some patients are particularly at risk of certain infections. Patients undergoing transplantation, young patients in paediatric wards and pregnant women, where the risk is to the unborn child, are examples of clinical areas where extreme care is necessary. Even the symptoms of a respiratory tract infection can indicate the potential for transmitting normally trivial infections to transplant patients. This can have devastating effects both on the patients and on the running of transplant units. Students who feel unwell, particularly when they are about to come into contact with patients in the sensitive areas outlined above, must not put patients at risk by working. They should seek medical advice from the appropriate practitioners.

Information about infection control is in the Control of Infection policy manuals, which should be available on every ward and unit.




UCL’s public liability policy includes legal liability of any registered student of the college whilst on college business anywhere in the world in respect of death, injury, illness or disease to third parties &/or loss of or damage to third party property.


For students registered on the MBBS programme, College business is taken to mean supervised attachments which are part of the MBBS programme. Placement providers become liable if attachments are not supervised. 

Students must not sign any statements or waivers by which UCL may become liable for damage to property, personal injury or death caused during a placement except where this has been cleared by the College’s insurance brokers (e.g. waiver forms requested by the London Ambulance Service from students wishing to accompany ambulances).


UCL does not insure students, either individually or as a group, for personal accident or illness or for loss or damage to personal effects which might occur while students are on College premises or on approved attachments.  Students are advised to take out their own personal insurance.


The following additional personal insurance is required for the elective period: 

  • Personal travel insurance
  • Occupational Health insurance for exposure to BBVs including cover for emergency repatriation in the event of HIV exposure
  • Student medical malpractice insurance is recommended for all destinations and required for some destinations, including all electives in the USA.  Student medical malpractice insurance for the elective period is available from the MDU and MPS. 

Full information is given on the electives webpage and students are required to provide evidence of insurance as part of the electives approval process. 


UCL’s indemnity does not cover negligence on the part of the student.  Students are advised to join either the MDU or the MPS who offer free student membership and who will provide advice (but NOT indemnity) to members in the event of a student acting negligently or against supervision or against instruction.


Standards for IT provision for medical students at NHS sites were reviewed in April 2015 and should be read alongside those within individual Trust LDAs.  


Medical students are, unfortunately, no longer exempt from Jury Service. However, jury service can be deferred, on one occasion, to avoid missing examinations or other activities that cannot be rescheduled.

If students receive a request to undertake Jury Service during assessment periods, they are advised to contact the appropriate Year Manager at either the Bloomsbury or Royal Free campus to request a letter supporting a deferment.



In Years 1 and 2, lockers may be rented in the Cruciform Building.  Keys are issued by the Years 1-3 team in the Medical Student Officer (Years 1-3), Medical School Building, 74 Huntley Street and there is an online application/payment process under the Faculty of Medical Sciences at: http://onlinestore.ucl.ac.uk.

In Year 4, lockers are available at the clinical sites at which placements are being undertaken and information is provided locally at induction.



Medsin exchanges are student-led.  The steps to be completed by outgoing UCL students and incoming exchange students are:

UCL students:

  1. apply for your chosen SSC in the normal way and secure your allocation (See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/course-information/ssc)
  2. seek approval in principle from the divisional tutor and Year 6 lead to take your SSC abroad (by making a case via jane.rowles@ucl.ac.uk)
  3. complete the same approval process as for an elective, including submitting all required documentation and attending an elective approval appointment if required (See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/course-information/year-6/electives, Email contact: medsch.elective-approval@ucl.ac.uk)
  4. negotiate and agree all arrangements for the exchange between yourself and the incoming student (i.e. medical student administrators are, unfortunately, not in a position to help with this)
  5. liaise with the incoming student to ensure that s/he understands the process, completes an application through the visiting electives scheme and submits all required documentation in time for his/her place to be confirmed and a tier 4 visa issued (See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/undergraduate/electives)
  6. take up your UK SSC and reject your overseas SSC if the exchange arrangements are not finalised in time for the incoming student to confirm acceptance of the UCL placement and receipt of his/her tier 4 visa where this is required (4 weeks before the start date) (Please liaise via medsch.visitingelectives@ucl.ac.uk to ensure that incoming students have completed all the requirements and paid their fee and with jane.rowles@ucl.ac.uk to confirm that all the requirements are satisfied for the exchange to go ahead in time for Jane to notify the SSC provider)

Incoming exchange students

  1. agree directly with an outgoing UCL student to take the student's place on their allocated SSC at the same site and on the same dates
  2. apply for a place through the visiting electives scheme, indicating that the application is for a MedSin exchange and giving the name of the UCL student and details of the agreed SSC and dates (See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/undergraduate/electives)
  3. provide all required documentation including health and CRB information and comply with all application requirements for a place to be confirmed and for a visa to be issued in accordance with the timescales set out in the VE scheme (via medsch.visitingelectives@ucl.ac.uk)
  4. pay the registration fee (via Jelena Baburina at medsch.visitingelectives@ucl.ac.uk)



UCL Medical School has a proud tradition of peer support and peer tutoring.

With a 10 year history of peer tutoring we have developed a culture amongst students and alumni of supporting and encouraging the learning of others.

Our graduates also leave with the foundation skills of medical teachers and an orientation to the lifelong commitments of the doctor as a teacher (GMC 2009).

There are a range of formal and informal peer tutoring and supplemental instruction activities. Some are led by the medical school, others are supported student led initiatives, and some are organised through RUMS: the student union body. All of the activities below have the support and guidance of medical school faculty to ensure the quality of the teaching: both with regard the content and the skills of the teacher:

  • PALS  - a popular 6th year SSC provided by the Academic Centre for Medical Students http://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=1133Lead Dr Deborah Gill (d.gill@ucl.ac.uk)                     
  • Near peer tutoring in the dissecting room – an initiative led by the dissecting room staff to provide more 'blue coats in the dissection room to support student learning. Mainly undertaken by students in their IBSc year who can fit near peer tutor activities around their timetables.  Lead Dr Christopher Dean (chris.dean@ucl.ac.uk)
  • PASS - a student led programme of Twilight tutorials for Year 1 and Year 2 students. These are carried out by senior students in the evenings. (http://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=12087)Lead: PASS Team (pass.students@gmail.com)

Why should I become a peer tutor?

'To teach is to learn twice' Annis 1983. There is a large body of empirical evidence of the efficacy of peer assisted learning. Cross-year peer tutoring ( the kind of peer tutoring we tend to do at UCLMS) has been shown to be effective for tutor and tutee alike in non-medical and medical settings. Providing opportunities for students to teach each other may be one of the most important services a teacher can render' Whitman 1988 so we in the medical school are

particularly keen for you to develop these skills and the GMC, in Tomorrow's Doctor's has outlined the requirement of all medical schools to equip their graduates with the skills for teaching. While PALS SSCs are carried out as formal activities within MBBS timetables

most are undertaken outside timetabled MBBS teaching or clinical attachment time, It is important that peer tutors see this as an additional activity and that their own studies must always come first.

How do I become a peer tutor?

The best thing to do is get involved in one of the existing projects.  This ensures you get some training  and that you get some official recognition for your efforts. The SSCs get booked up really quickly so make sure you make PALS your first choice. If you want to set up a peer tutoring project of your own think very carefully about the amount of work involved in getting a programme up and running and all the staff development and administration that goes with it. Speak to one of the existing student lead. If you are still keen and think you can offer something unique contain Dr Gill in the first instance to discuss your plans.



NHS bursaries are available for students in their fifth and sixth years of study. NHS bursaries are non re-payable bursaries, assessed against the income of the student and, where appropriate, their families. Travel expenses for clinical attachments may also be claimed.

For further details, please see:

Medical School guidance at:


Quick guide for students in their 6th Year of study or above Department of Health guidance on the NHS Bursaries website at: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students.aspx


Whittington: On-call rooms are available strictly overnight only. Please obtain a room key and the code to the digital lock to the entrance of Ely House from staff in the Reception Office. Keys must be collected from the Reception Office between 10.00am and 4.00pm, and must be returned by 10.30am the following morning. There is a fine of £20 per night for late returns.

Royal Free: Call the Accommodation Services Department, 13th Fl, RFH on Ext. 35390 / 34716 no later than 2.00pm on the day the room is required to book. Keys will be left at the Porters Reception, Lower Ground Floor of the Hospital for collection and must be returned, by 10:00 am on the following day, to Homewood Housing Association’s Accommodation Office, 2nd Fl, Anne Bryans House. Failure to do so will result in a charge of £20 per night. Any queries contact the Accommodation Services Dept, 13th Fl, Anne Bryans House on Ext 33490 / 35390 or DL 020 7830 2921 or Homewood Housing Association on ext 33282.


All information about patients is strictly confidential, including clinical notes, x-rays and the results of laboratory investigations. Students will come into contact with patients and with documents and materials related to patients, such as clinical notes, X-rays, and the results of laboratory investigations during their course. It must be appreciated that such information is as highly confidential as the medical details of patients who are being looked after by the doctors. In particular, since much teaching these days is computerised and available on various computer networks, it is most important that such material is not made available to a wider audience.

Patients should not be discussed in public areas - the lifts, visitors’ canteen and areas where patients’ relatives may gather. The case history notes should not carry patient names but can carry sex, age and hospital number.



As part of the Year 4 Introduction and Orientation Module, students are required to complete 3 NHS Information Governance online training modules:

  1. Introduction to Information Governance
  2. The importance of good clinical record keeping
  3. Record keeping standards for hospital inpatients


PATIENTS IN MEDICAL EDUCATION: Rights and Consent - Guidelines for Students

Whenever you are involved with patients for educational purposes, the patient’s permission must always be obtained.

  • You must always be identified as a medical student and must not identify yourself as a doctor.
  • The patient’s consent must be fully informed and given voluntarily.  No pressure of any kind must be applied.  If the patient refuses, this must be accepted immediately and without any expression of disapproval or disappointment.  They should be reassured that their refusal will not affect their treatment in any way.
  • If you are asked to carry out a rectal or vaginal examination on a patient under general anaesthetic, the patient must be asked for their permission and a signed consent form should be placed in the notes (Please see Patient consent for internal examination under anaesthetic by a medical student).
  • Usually only the student who has clerked the patient should carry out the examination and they must be supervised by a clinician.  Consent should be obtained by the responsible clinician or by the student after discussion with the clinician.
  • In the case of non-competent patients the following guidelines apply:

    • Children: If the parents or legal guardian are present, their consent should be sought for all children under the age of 16 years.  In addition, the assent of all children beyond infancy (i.e. older than 12 months) should be sought using approaches adapted to their developmental maturity.
    • Adults with dementia or moderate/severe learning disability: Permission for students to interview the patient should be obtained from relatives by the responsible clinician.  However if this is not possible the clinician should balance the learning needs of the students with the need to ask permission of relatives.
    • Severely ill and unconscious patients: The responsible clinician should balance students’ learning needs with the need to ask permission of relatives.  Practical procedures on such patients by students must always be supervised by a clinician. 
  • In all other cases a patient should be assumed to be competent to give consent unless the clinician instructs you otherwise.
  • Students are bound by a professional duty of confidentiality:  You are expected to pass relevant personal information to the responsible clinician, but no further.  If a patient seems to be talking to you in confidence, you should make it clear that you are normally expected to pass on information relevant to the treatment of the patient.
  • If a clinical teacher asks or expects you to behave in ways contrary to these guidelines, you should discuss this with one of the Divisional Tutor or one of the Student Support Tutors.
  • The Medical School will monitor adherence to this policy and this will include asking you for feedback. 


PATIENTS IN MEDICAL EDUCATION – Form for consent for internal examination under anaesthetic


UCL requires that all HEFCE funded teaching staff are peer reviewed once in each academic year.  The aim of peer observation of teaching (PoT) is to enhance teaching quality by encouraging reflection on practice. It is intended to help maintain and improve standards by spreading good practice, exchanging views and innovations and providing opportunities for staff to learn about new or different teaching approaches, thus ensuring consistency of teaching standards in departments and across UCL.

UCL’s policy and guidelines may be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/part-e/e18

Guidance from CALT (UCL’s Centre for the advancement of learning and teaching) on conducting peer review may be found at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/calt/support/peerobservation

A sample form and checklist may be found at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/calt/support/documents/potform

Each Division is required to keep records of PoT sessions and:    

  1. To return a single list of all HEFCE funded teachers in the Division indicating all programmes on which they teach to their Divisional Teaching Committee as a standing item on their agenda and to be forwarded to the Faculty Teaching Committee c/o s.beesley@ucl.ac.uk
  2. To return an annual  statement from the Chair of the Divisional Teaching Committee to both the Faculty Graduate Teaching Committee and the Faculty Undergraduate Teaching Committee confirming that all HEFCE funded teachers have been peer reviewed in the last 12 months, but if peer review hasn’t been completed then the statement should set out how many have been peer reviewed and the plans for ensuring that it happens next session
  3. To note that in the Medical School it would be considered good practice to include all teachers on all taught programmes, although at present there is no requirement beyond the UCL minimum of HEFCEt funded staff.  However, since many of the firm leads for the MBBS are drawn from the NHS, it is requested that firm leads are included in peer review. 
  4. To note that the Divisional record of PoT sessions should include:
  • Name of teacher
  • Date of Peer observation
  • Name of observer
  • Courses on which the teacher participates (Graduate/MBBS/IBSc/BSc)
  • Type of teaching observed (a short drop down list)
  • Department
  • Faculty


Students are asked to refer to the GMC website for guidance on personal beliefs and medical practice for doctors and medical students:


Footnote 9 notes “This guidance is intended for registered doctors, but the issue has also been raised in relation to medical students, and we have taken the same view”. 



Medical students are allocated a personal tutor for Years 1-3 and for Years 4-6.  For details see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/welfare.  Personal Tutor appointments take priority over teaching activities.


Students are required to examine physically patients of both sexes (which includes touching and intimate examinations) in order to establish a clinical diagnosis, irrespective of the gender, culture, beliefs, disability, or disease of the patient.  In order to qualify as a doctor in the UK, it is required that the practitioner is willing to examine any patient as fully and as intimately as is clinically necessary.

Students may be asked to act as models for the demonstration of physical examinations or to practise physical examinations with their peers during teaching sessions. This offers a valuable educational experience and an opportunity for students to acquire and practise their skills.  All sessions involving student demonstration or peer examination will be supervised or chaperoned. Sessions will not involve intimate or invasive procedures, and students will not be asked to disrobe.  Participation is voluntary and pressure should not be put on students to take part. Students should not be treated unfavourably if they decline to participate.


Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of another person’s thoughts, words, artefacts or software as though they are your own. Any quotation from the published or unpublished work of another person must, therefore, be clearly identified as such by being placed in quotation marks, and you should identify the source as accurately and fully as possible.

A series of short quotations from several different sources, if not clearly identified as such, constitutes plagiarism just as much as does a single unacknowledged quotation from a single source.

If you summarise another person’s ideas, judgements, figures, software or diagrams, you must make a reference in the text to that person, and the work referred to must be identified, e.g. in a bibliography. There are standard systems for citing your references correctly and guidance on how to do this systematically will be given by library staff at appropriate times in the course.

Recourse to the services of ‘ghost writing’ agencies (for example in the preparation of essays or reports) or of internet essay providing services, or of outside word-processing agencies which offer correction / improvement of English is strictly forbidden, and students who make use of the services of such agencies render themselves liable to an academic penalty.

All course work, essays and reports that you submit must be your own work, and you may be required to sign a statement to the effect that the work you have submitted is your own unaided work. Submission of plagiarised work, or of work prepared by another person in the pretence that it is your own work, is a serious offence, and you render yourself liable to an academic penalty.

When work you submit is the result of collaborative work with fellow students, you must note who else was involved in the preparation of the work you are submitting as your own. You must not plagiarise yourself – work that has been submitted once must not be recycled and resubmitted as part of another assignment.

The Medical School uses Turn-It-In to scan submitted coursework for plagiarism and in most cases students are required to submit coursework through Turn-It-In via Moodle.

The penalties for plagiarism are severe.
Sometimes marks are subtracted; sometimes a mark of zero may be given. All cases of suspected plagiarism will be reported to the Faculty Tutor for disciplinary action to be taken as appropriate.

There are severe penalties for serious offences.

Failure to observe any of the provisions of the College policy on plagiarism (see the UCL Students’ Handbook) or of approved Medical School guidelines constitutes an examination offence under the regulations for proceedings in respect of examination irregularities. Under these regulations students found to have committed an offence may be excluded from all further examinations of the University of London or of University College London, or of both.


Details of all Medical School prizes can be found on the web site at (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/assessments/prizes/)

The majority of the prizes are awarded on the basis of performance in assessments, but some are awarded on the basis of voluntary essays, case studies, SSCs or projects and students should check the website for deadlines/information about how to apply.


Teaching and learning standards are monitored through the MBBS quality assurance unit which administers student feedback questionnaires and co-ordinates responses to issues raised.  Details of the Unit’s work and progress can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/quality



References for elective placements and bursary applications should be requested from the Divisional Tutor or Medical School Support Tutors by completing a request form available from Medical Student Administration.

Academic references for job applications should be requested from Personal Tutors in the first instance. Students are advised to provide their Personal Tutor with an up-to-date CV, refer them to the Guide to Student References on the Student Support website (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/current-students/welfare/), and ask them to forward copies of any references provided to the relevant MBBS Year Management Team for inclusion in student files


Please see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/part-5/religion-belief-equality for UCL’s policy on religion and belief equality.

In accordance with UCL’s policy, the Medical School encourages flexibility where possible in accommodating requests to observe religious holidays, but cannot guarantee that core activities can be re-scheduled and cannot re-allocate students on clinical attachments to different clinical sites to accommodate religious arrangements.

Written examinations

The Medical School seeks to ensure that written summative assessments do not coincide with major religious festivals where work is prohibited.   

Clinical Examinations

Clinical examinations may be timetabled over a number of days which may include religious festivals, in which case students may request to take their examination on a non-festival day to enable them to observe major religious holidays where work is prohibited.  

Timetabled Teaching and Learning activities

Some timetabled teaching and learning activities including lectures, small group teaching, formative assessments etc may coincide with religious festivals.  Students who wish to observe 1 day major religious festivals should notify relevant small group teachers, firm leads, educational supervisors, DGH UG Tutors & DGH UG Administrators of the sessions they will be missing. Students wishing to observe major religious festivals lasting more than 1 day or multiple festivals within an individual attachment must request authorised absence for these occasions.   

Clinical Attachments

Some clinical teaching and learning activities including revision opportunities and clinical examination practice sessions may coincide with religious festivals.  In these cases, the Medical School encourages students to liaise with their educational supervisors or local teaching administrators to see if alternative arrangements can be made at the site at which they are undertaking their clinical attachment, but cannot re-allocate students to different clinical sites if requests cannot be accommodated locally.  Students who wish to observe religious festivals should request Authorised Absence in the normal way. 


Medical students at UCL may be invited to participate in research projects as volunteers. The medical school encourages students to engage in research projects provided these do not interfere with academic progress and are safe. This is inherent in the pastoral responsibilities that UCL has to its students.

Researchers use posters displayed around the campus, or occasionally use email to invite students to volunteer. Students participate as research subjects out of a sense of altruism or curiosity about research, and there is often a small financial token on offer to recompense students for their time and travel costs. All research at UCL and its associated hospitals will have been reviewed by a Research Ethics Committee, and a volunteer information leaflet will be provided by investigators.

Most of the research that takes place at UCL will be very low risk. The sorts of studies that fall into this category include questionnaire-based projects, projects that involve investigators making simple measurements (e.g. blood pressure or heart rate), studies requiring simple blood test, change in diet or lifestyle etc. As long as drugs are not being administered to student volunteers, UCL relies on the Research Ethics Committees to safeguard volunteers.

Drug studies

Projects where substances are administered to student volunteers require special consideration. The substance might be a naturally occurring mediator, a developmental drug or a licensed drug, any of which can cause adverse effects. Students who wish to volunteer for such a trial should consider making a Student Support Clinic appointment. This will enable the students to receive an opinion on the safety of the trial, including the nature of the risks incurred, and the value of the new knowledge expected from the research. The student should forward a copy of the Information Leaflet and Consent Form to Medical Student Support, MBBS Management, Medical School Building, 74 Huntley Street, in advance of the appointment.

Information for Medical Student Support Tutors

The investigator in charge of the trial must request permission from the Director of UCL Medical School (or nominee) for a student to participate in the trial. Approval may be withheld if it is felt that the academic performance of a student may suffer as a result of taking part. Permission must be obtained in advance and investigators must provide evidence that they are satisfied that the procedures, including any contract or consent form, have been approved by an NHS Research Ethics Committee or the UCL Ethics Committee as appropriate.


Please see Extra/optional clinical experience or revision at Central and Associated Trusts


Sickness absence should be reported as early as possible and documented appropriately.

See ABSENCE DURING TERM TIME for instructions.


UCLH, the Whittington and Royal Free Hospitals all operate a no smoking policy. Please note that this also applies to any Medical School buildings/offices located within those hospital sites. When completing DGH attachments students must ensure that they comply with the appropriate local policy.



Social media has become a powerful part of the web in recent years and has changed the way we communicate and collaborate online.1 Many organisations, such as the GMC2,3 and the BMA4, politicians and medical journals are actively using social media and discussions of various aspects of the professional lives of doctors are increasingly seen on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Students and doctors are finding and creating new ways to learn together, using these powerful tools. quclms.com is an example of this, run by staff at UCL Medical School, and we encourage our students to use new media to complement other forms of education. Patients are also online, seeking medical information, and increasingly doctors and students need to balance their personal and professional identities.

Don’t get caught out

In the past students and doctors have run into problems when the standards of behaviour they have displayed online have not met the expectations of the public and the profession (REFS). The same rules and guidelines on professionalism apply online as offline. It is important to think about the implications of what you write and consider your professional as well as your personal identity.

Privacy and anonymity

Twitter is completely open to the public so anyone can read anything that is tweeted. Some users choose to have an anonymous account to separate their personal and professional personas. However, GMC guidance is that those who self-identify as doctors in the content of their tweets should not be anonymous.

It is important to understand that anonymity and privacy is impossible to guarantee online. Even if you have adjusted your privacy settings for your social media accounts, you need to be careful what you are publishing and be aware that Facebook may not be as closed as you think. Check your privacy settings and use the limits that are available but be aware that the default is open access. Also remember that anything on the internet exists forever! Even if you delete a tweet or post it may still exist, due to copying or cacheing, and be found by future friends, employers and patients.

Patient confidentiality

You need to think particularly carefully about patient confidentiality. Even if a single tweet could not breach confidentiality, if you wrote a series of tweets that disclosed where you were, what day you saw a patient, and details of their age and condition this may make them identifiable. The safest policy is not to post anything that relates to real patients in order to maintain respect for their privacy.

Respect for colleagues

It may be tempting to vent your frustration about fellow students, clinicians or staff on social media, but since it is not guaranteed to be private you need to think carefully about how they might feel if they read your post. Part of being professional is using the appropriate avenues to give feedback about things you are dissatisfied with, and at all times respecting those you learn and work with.

These are our top tips for being professional online:

  • Remember that social media is a “private conversation in a public place” so don’t say anything on social media you wouldn’t say out loud in front of staff and patients
  • Be extremely careful posting anything that might breach confidentiality
  • Respect others’ privacy – this includes fellow students and teachers as well as patients and carers
  • Be honest and show integrity
  • Avoid any discriminatory language and consider how jokes or ‘harmless comments’ may be interpreted out of context
  • Think carefully about whether to be anonymous or identifiable. Consider why you have made that decision and how it may affect what you post
  • Think about what image your posts project of you: do you want the public, your future patients and employers, to know about your night out, your hangover or your dislike of a particular public figure?
  • Always be courteous, even when you don’t feel like it. Discussion and debate are positive aspects of social media, but should be conducted courteously and professionally.
  • Look at your facebook privacy settings and think about whether you need to restrict them. Those Rugby tour photos may not be suitable for general viewing!
  • Remember that Twitter is completely open to the public. If you wouldn’t shout something in the middle of Kings Cross, don’t say it on Twitter
  • If you’re not sure whether to write something ask yourself: what if your mates read it? What if your Mum read it? What if Prof Gill read it? What if the GMC read it?

We really hope you make the most of these great new tools so please share the resources you are using by tweeting us a link to @ACMEatUCL.

Further reading on guidelines available for doctors and students:

  1. UCL Social Media - http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/staff/staff-news/09082011-socialmedia
  2. GMC Information for Medical Students – Social Media – What does it mean for you http://www.gmc-uk.org/information_for_you
  3. GMC Information for Doctors – Doctors’ Use of Social Media 2013 http://www.gmc-uk.org/Doctors__use_of_social_media.pdf_51448306.pdf
  4. BMA guidance “Social media use: practical and ethical guidance for students and doctors”
  5. Australian Medical Association Council of Doctors in-Training, New Zealand Medical Association Doctors-in-Training Council, New Zealand Medical Students’ Association, Australian Medical Students’ Association (2010) - Social Media and the Medical Profession – A Guide to online professionalism for medical practitioners and medical students https://ama.com.au/article/social-media-and-medical-profession
  6. Royal College of General Practitioners Social Media Highway Code
  7. The Medical Protection Society “Tweeting into Trouble”



Please see entries under Special Assessment Arrangements and Student Support Cards



SAA at written examinations for candidates with long-term, chronic conditions and disabilities

If you have a disability, dyslexia or health issue which may affect your examinations you may be entitled to extra time in an examination, an alternative venue, rest breaks, specialist equipment such as an adjustable chair at the written papers and for reasonable adjustment at the clinical examinations.  All applications for special assessment arrangements must be made through UCL not through the Medical School and details of the application process may be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/disability/special-examination-arrangements.  Please note that arrangements need to be put into place well in advance. Applications should be submitted as early in the academic year as possible, and not later than six weeks before the start of your first examination.  Students with long-term, chronic conditions and disabilities are not expected to submit claims for Extenuating Circumstances in order to be considered for Special Assessment Arrangements.

SAA at clinical examinations for candidates with long-term, chronic conditions and disabilities

If you have a disability, dyslexia or health issue which may affect your clinical examinations, you may additionally apply for a [student support card as link] through the Medical School which you may then present at individual OSCE stations should you wish examiners to be made aware of the information on the card.  Students should first seek special assessment arrangements through UCL which will be used to inform the arrangements granted at clinical examinations. Please refer to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/general-information/a-z/#support-cards and make an appointment as soon as possible to see a Medical Student Support Tutor for advice. An application form may be downloaded at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/assessmentsAgain, arrangements need to be put in place well in advance and you should make an appointment with Student Support as early in the academic year as possible, and not later than six weeks before your OSCE. 

Students with disabilities or health issues will need to re-apply for a student support card prior to each OSCE. Students with dyslexia do not need to re-apply as a standard student support card will be issued on each occasion.


The Medical School does not allocate curriculum time to commercial organisations or support commercial activities for the follow reasons:   

  • The Medical School cannot be seen to endorse any products
  • A number of students have articulated very clear objections to their learning or personal time being taken up inappropriately for commercial purposes without notice and without the possibility of opting out
  • Some commercial organisations have behaved unprofessionally in the recent past showing disrespect to staff and students

The only exception is for the defence organisations as membership is of relevance to 100% of students.



UCL  Medical School seeks to provide the highest standard of clinical education. The Medical School realises that it will do that by forming effective partnerships with trusts, their clinical directors, their clinical teachers and this document aims to communicate our aspirations in delivering excellent medical teaching. This guidance aims to set out the roles and responsibilities of those involved in teaching UCL medical students.  It aims to provide an up-to-date guidance about the standards required for good practice in medical education, which is in alignment with the standards set by higher education institutions, the professional bodies and funders, on which decisions about UCL’s quality of medical education will be judged.


When travelling to attachments, at home sites, DGHs or in the Community, you may visit areas you do not know and experience new situations. It is important that you apply common sense during your placement to minimise any risk of attack. It is always important that someone knows where you are and when to expect you back and this is particularly important if you are visiting a patient in their home.

Know where you are going and plan your journey to ensure you avoid any ‘risky’ areas. Do not take shortcuts, stick to main roads and the directions you have been given. If you are worried speak to someone who has been to the place you are visiting to clarify the instructions.

If travelling on public transport don’t wait at deserted stations or stops, and know the times of your trains or buses to avoid waiting. Sit in a compartment with other people or near the driver.

Be alert. Look confident without appearing arrogant and do not wear a personal stereo.
Remember to carry some form of identity — other people are entitled to know you are a genuine medical student, especially if you are visiting a patient at home.

Personal alarms are available from the Union Shop.

If you experience any form of attack — verbal or physical — or feel threatened at any point during your placement make sure you inform the DGH/practice and the relevant MBBS Year Management Team. This will help to protect students in the future and alert the School to possible dangers.


Students are not permitted to take assistantships in Year 5. In Year 6, assistantships can only be undertaken during the DGH medicine and surgery attachments. This assistantship must be at the host DGH, and with the full agreement of the Consultant on that firm. The length of the assistantship should be a maximum of one week. Assistantships cannot be undertaken during the A&E or SSM attachments.

Students must complete an assistantship form prior to any assistantship; the form is available from the MSA offices at the Royal Free or Bloomsbury campuses as well as from the Medical School website. Students must obtain the signatures of the consultant from whose firm they will be absent, the consultant who will be supervising the assistantship and from the Divisional Tutor. The form should then be returned to the School Office.



Student–led SSCCs for Years 1 and 2 and Years 4-6 are held according to UCL guidelines and terms of reference . It is a UCL requirement that minutes are reported to UCL Joint Staff Student Consultative Committee and to UCL Academic Committee, and that minutes are taken by member of administrative staff. In the Medical School, minutes are reported to the MBBS Teaching Committee and are taken by:

Years 1-2 a.houghton@ucl.ac.uk

Years 4-6 m.lavender-rose@ucl.ac.uk

Further information is available from RUMS and student representatives.


The Medical School is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and positive attitudes towards disabled people.  A number of measures are in place both within UCL and within the Medical School to provide support and to minimize the impact of a student’s disability on performance during the course and at written and OSCE assessments

1)  UCL support during the course

Tuition in study skills:  https://www.ucl.ac.uk/disability/services/spld

Students with dyslexia often have difficulty with particular study skills, such as note-taking, planning and structuring written assignments, revision and exam techniques.  Specialist individual tuition, usually funded through the Disabled Students' Allowance, is offered to students who feel they would benefit from this support.  Appointments should be made through the Student Disability Services.

Student Disability Services provide an assessment service for all UCL students who have reason to believe they have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia.

2)  UCL support at written examinations: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/disability/special-examination-arrangements

A Sub-Committee of the UCL College Board of Examiners monitors requests for special examination arrangements on grounds of disability, including dyslexia, to ensure a consistent and fair approach.

An assessment from the UCL Student Disability Services (SDS) provides essential evidence for the awarding of any special examination arrangements such as extra time. If you have a full or supplementary assessment through SDS that recommends special arrangements, this will be forwarded automatically to the UCL Examinations Section.

UCL Examinations Section is responsible for making arrangements for special provision at examinations in Years 1-3 and will notify individual students of their arrangements and exam venues.

The Medical School is responsible for making arrangements for special provision at examinations in Years 4-6 and MSA Year Leads will notify individual students of their arrangements and exam venues.

3)  Medical School support during clinical attachments and at OSCE examinations

Student Support Cards

Students who wish educational supervisors and/or examiners to be made aware of health or personal circumstances which might affect their performance on clinical attachments or at OSCE examinations may request a Student Support Card which they can present to educational supervisors or to individual OSCE examiners as they feel appropriate. Student Support Cards are used to request “reasonable adjustment” and to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by long-term or temporary disability.

To request a Student Support Card, students are asked to:

The Divisional and Medical School Support Tutors are responsible for determining appropriate provision within the following guidelines:

  1. The purpose of special provision is to facilitate equality of access for students who may be disadvantaged when assessed under time constraints.
  2. Students with a disability should not be given greater advantage over other students.
  3. The requirements for competent performance as a doctor as laid down by the General Medical Council may require a certain level of performance irrespective of any disability and the School reserves the right to not make compensatory allowances in such cases.
  4. OSCE examinations are designed to assess student performance of practical skills in a simulated real-time clinical setting; some stations are time-critical and failure to undertake the activity in the time available is a potential threat to patient safety.
  5. No adjustments may be made to overall station timing, but other mitigation may be offered.

The MBBS Board of Examiners is responsible for ensuring good practise in the design of OSCE stations including:

  1. Candidate instructions should be concise and capable of being delivered verbally by the examiner
  2. Reading or writing elements in non-time-critical stations should not normally exceed 20% of the total station time
  3. Reading time allowed in overall station timing at Long Station OSCEs

Examples of special provision detailed offered include:

  1. a reader (normally the examiner) for dyslexic students where the scenario and instructions exceed 20% of the overall station time
  2. the ability to repeat one station at the end of the circuit if the special provision card specifies that the candidate has a health condition which carries a risk of an acute episode disrupting a station  
  3. permission to perform tasks seated rather than standing
  4. permission to use an electronic stethoscope
  5. permission to use an ophthalmoscope with the same eye
  6. request to examiners to face the student when speaking and ensure that the candidate has understood all verbal communications
  7. notification to examiners of physical conditions or constraints with request for sympathetic approach


See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/welfare/


The Medical School works within UCL’s policy on substance use and misuse which is set out at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/part-5/substance 

Additionally for medical students substance misuse constitutes a fitness to practise issue under the Medical School’s fitness to practise policy and procedures.

A key priority for both UCL and the Medical School is to provide students with appropriate support and advice. UCL works in association with the UCL Union to provide relevant information and advice for students about health and other risks that may result from the misuse of drugs and alcohol, and to ensure that information about support and treatment services are made readily available: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/support-pages/sources-of-support

The Medical School offers help and advice through the Medical Student Support System and medical students are required to seek advice through this system because of the fitness to practise considerations: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/welfare/welfare-support



Throughout the course of the year, UCL Medical School students are given the opportunity to nominate teachers who were particularly helpful or inspiring to them during the course of their studies. In addition to Top Teachers awards, students are also invited to nominate administrators whom they found particularly helpful and supportive. Outstanding teachers and administrators are normally awarded Top Teachers and Top Administrators Awards at the end of the academic session.

As an organisation committed to teaching and learning, the UCL Medical School also identifies and rewards those making an outstanding commitment to students and their education. These Excellence in Medical Education Awards (EMEAs) are open to anyone involved in undergraduate education.  Their purpose is to provide a tangible means of recognition of exceptional contribution to education in any phase of the MBBS programme.

All these awards are administered through the MBBS Quality Assurance Unit and full details are on the Quality website at:  http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/quality/teaching-awards



For students in Years 1-4, details of the financial help available from Local Authorities for extra travel costs may be found in the Guide to Financial Support for Higher Education Students at: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance

For students in Year 4 who are placed at Barnet General Hospital for Cardiology placements, travel expenses may be claimed from the Trust.  Travel receipts/Oyster printouts should be retained and information about the application process will be given during the induction session at Barnet.

For students in Years 5 and 6, details of the financial help available from the NHS Bursaries office for extra travel costs may be found at http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students/4032.aspx . Home students who are in receipt of a full NHS bursary or part travel disregard are eligible to claim travel expenses from the NHS Bursaries Office.

The appropriate form can be downloaded from the NHS site and should be submitted together with receipts to Year 5 Administration, Medical Student Office (Years 4-6), Medical School Building, 74 Huntley Street, and WC1 for authorisation.

The School can offer limited assistance with travel costs from Hardship Funds for students who are suffering severe financial hardship. Students are advised to make an appointment to see one of the Medical School Support Tutors at a Student Support clinic, and should be aware that receipts will be needed for journeys claimed.

A fund set up in memory of Christopher Whiteside, who was a student at UCH School of Medicine, is available to help students with the cost of extra journeys home which they might otherwise not be able to make.



This guide describes the medical student societies, their structures and their roles, and is designed to help students and faculty access the framework.   The medical student societies come broadly under RUMS (Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Students union) and the UCL Union Medical Society (Medsoc), with both under the governance and auspices of UCL Union (UCLU).


UCL has a policy of keeping Wednesday afternoons free of teaching from 12.55pm, except during exam terms, so that every student has an opportunity to engage in some sporting, cultural or voluntary activity.

The medical school adheres to this policy. Teachers are informed that they should not schedule compulsory teaching activities on Wednesday afternoons. Some clinical activities will inevitably take place on Wednesday afternoons and teachers are instructed that attendance at these sessions can only be voluntary and non-attendance should not be penalised.

However, many of our teachers are not UCL staff but work for the NHS and are committed to putting their patients first, and NHS Trusts are unable to cancel significant amounts of clinical service to allow for UCL Wednesday afternoons.

As a result, there will be occasional clinical activities on a Wednesday afternoon which do not happen at other times and which are an important part of the learning experience for our students. Similarly, there may be clinical assessments which occur on Wednesday afternoons. Whenever possible, we will let the students know about these in advance and offer an alternative time.



The word ‘Whistleblowing’ normally refers to the disclosure by individuals of genuine concerns of malpractice as well as unethical or illegal acts or omissions at work. A whistleblowing policy should allow individuals to raise concerns within or external to an organisation without putting the whistleblower at risk of negative repercussions. UCL encourages its students and staff to raise matters of concern relating to students, patients and/or staff.

Medical students should do this through the dedicated UCL Medical School website and reporting portal through which they can raise their concerns about any aspect of their training. More information about this can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/quality/raising_student_concerns.


The Christopher Whiteside fund provides assistance of up to £50 for additional trips home which students might otherwise not be able to make, and in particular where there are compassionate reasons.  Christopher Whiteside was a UCLH student who died during his pre-registration year and the family takes a special interest in the monies given.  An application form may be downloaded from the medical school website.



The Medical School regrets that it is not in a position to offer work experience or to assist with arranging work experience in associated Trusts. Year 1 and 2 students and prospective students who are seeking work experience are advised to contact Trust HR departments.