UCL Medical School


Clinical and Professional Practice

Clinical and Professional Practice is all about helping you to become a great UCL doctor. It's delivered in all years of the MBBS programme and makes up around 20% of the curriculum and its assessment

Clinical and Professional Practice (CPP) learning take place in several ways: lectures, small group work, placements, reflection, and online. As you move through the years from 1 to 6 CPP is increasingly integrated into the wider curriculum as it's all about how to:

  • Communicate well with patients and colleagues.
  • Use evidence and data wisely. 
  • Behave ethically, legally, and with kindness.
  • Consider how patients feel when they are ill.
  • Learn how our body is structured, do procedures well, and interpret imaging.
  • Reflect on your own behaviour and experiences.
  • Think about the 'big picture' of society, mental health, and keeping patients safe. 

The 16 CPP modules are organised into three groupings:

  • Integrated Clinical and Professional Practice (Anatomy and Imaging; Clinical Skills and Practical Procedures; Doctor as Data Scientist; Pathological Sciences; Use of Medicines).
  • Overarching Themes (Clinical Communication; Ethics and Law; Mental Health; Patient Safety and Patient Experience; Professionalism; Social Determinants of Health).
  • Student-Centred Learning, Person-Centred Learning (the Patient Pathways; the Portfolio).

The Individual Clinical and Professional Practice modules

This contains a brief overview of the 16 CPP modules.

The synopses and Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) of these modules can be viewed on the MBBS Curriculum Map.

Integrated Clinical and Professional Practice

The five modules in the Integrated CPP grouping address factual knowledge connecting science and clinical medicine with core skills and competencies.

Anatomy and Imaging

Working knowledge of normal and abnormal human structure and function with an ability to interpret using modern medical imaging.

Clinical Skills and Practical Procedures

Ensure you are competent and confident to perform the skills and procedures listed in the General Medical Council’s Outcomes for Graduates 2018 document.

Doctor as Data Scientist

Skills to access, understand and evaluate research evidence to use it in decision making and clinical practice and to introduce the concepts of digital health and data-driven technology.

Pathological Sciences

An understanding of the theory and application of pathological sciences to clinical diagnosis and treatment.

Use of Medicines

Knowledge of how to use the right drug, at the right dose and duration, for the right patient, whilst understanding competing aspects of pharmacology, including economic factors.

Overarching Themes

Overall Themes represent themes that either pervade all elements of practice, or are central aspects of learning in all modules.

Clinical Communication

Effective communication. Recognise workplace based teaching around real patient encounters as a process of integrative thinking.

Ethics and Law

Develop core skills and an orientation for effective communication, ethical practice, and working within the framework of the law and professional guidance.

Mental Health

Enables you to gain a better understanding of mental health and be more able to help those with mental health needs, regardless of which specialty you ultimately pursue.

Patient Safety and Patient Experience

Examine the co-ordinated efforts to prevent harm to patients within healthcare. Through openness and transparency, communication and empathy, we aim to deliver a safe, patient-centred clinician.


Understand contemporary thinking and frameworks about what constitutes professionalism and professional practice.

Social Determinants of Health

Discuss the powerful effects of the social environment and social processes on health and illness. This is studied in relation to economic and public health policies and also at an individual level through access to, and delivery of, healthcare in local communities.

Patient Centred Learning, Student Centred Learning

This grouping focuses on making sense of learning, both learning over the entire programme and patient-based learning. The patient pathways also create opportunities to understand the experience of illness from the patient perspective.


Encourages you to take responsibility and reflect on learning and experience in order to prepare for higher training and revalidation.

Cancer Patient Pathway (Year 4)

Gaining understanding of the diagnosis and management of cancer patients, exposure to the patients’ experience of their cancer journey, and practice in forming relationships with patients.

Cardiometabolic Illness Patient Pathway (Year 2)

Meeting patients with either cardiovascular or diabetic disease. Develop skills in eliciting a history from a patient and consider investigations used in diagnosis. It also explores the impact of illness on patients and their families. 

Integrated and Community Care Patient Pathway (Years 1 & 2)

Provides you with opportunities to learn from members of the public, as well as a range of health and social care providers, by sending you into the community and by bringing the community into the Medical School.

Develop your understanding of your own and of other people’s lives and to aid contemplation of the influences on and effects of health and illness, including the social and economic context of health and wellbeing or ill health and vulnerability.

Person-Centred Care Patient Pathway (Year 5)

Designed to allow you to gain insight into the patient perspective of navigating encounters with different health professionals and different healthcare settings.

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