UCL Medical School


A-Z of Policies and FAQs

Our A-Z sets out policies and procedures for students and staff students relating to regulatory issues; outlines our expectations of medical students in terms of conduct and professionalism; addresses frequently asked questions; and signposts UCL and UCLMS information which we feel may be helpful to students and staff.
Our expectations of medical students are further set out in the Medical Student Code of Conduct.


Academic Insufficiency

UCL’s Student Casework Framework Section 3 sets out Procedure for Academic Insufficiency which includes Learning Agreements, Barring from Assessments, Suspensions and Termination of Study. 

In UCLMS, the Fitness to Practise Lead is responsible for managing Learning Agreements. The Divisional Tutor is responsible for manages Barring from Assessments, Suspensions and Termination of Study.



Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity means being honest in your academic work, and making sure that you formally recognise and reference the existing knowledge and ideas on which your work is based.

If you do not acknowledge the work or ideas of others, you could be penalised for Academic Misconduct, which is defined as any action or attempted action that may result in you obtaining an unfair academic advantage.



Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct is defined as any action or attempted action that may result in you obtaining an unfair academic advantage. 

UCL’s Academic Misconduct Procedure, which applies to all summative and formative assessments, may be found below:

Additional UCLMS guidance about cheating and plagiarism, which draws on GMC guidance, may be found under Cheating and Plagiarism




Achieving Good Medical Practice

The General Medical Council’s guidance for medical students on achieving good medical practice can be found on the GMC website:




AI in your Education and Assessment

UCL’s Generative AI Hub brings together information, resources and guidance for staff and students on using Artificial Intelligence in education. The hub includes detailed information about:

•    the use of AI tools in assessment and preserving academic integrity.
•    UCL policy and guidance on acknowledging the use of AI and referencing AI

UCL’s Engaging with AI in your education and assessment  provides guidance on how students might engage with AI in assessed essays.  

Please see UCL’s policy on the use of AI in your education and assessment:

Also, UCL Library Services guidance on acknowledging the use of AI and referencing AI:



Assessment Feedback

UCL’s framework for feedback to students is set out at the Academic Manual Chapter 4 Section 8.  These service standards require that marks and feedback are provided to students within 4 weeks of the deadline for submission (including weekends and vacations).  Departments are encouraged to provide this in a shorter timeframe if possible and MBBS students have asked if feedback could be provided within 3 weeks wherever possible. 

In accordance with UCL requirements, if a department cannot ensure that the one calendar month week deadline is met (or for the MBBS the 3 week deadline),  then they must indicate, by direct contact with students, when the feedback will be provided and it is expected that the extra time will not exceed 1 week.



Assessment Regulations and Guidance


Attendance and Engagement Policy

The MBBS is a professionally regulated programme; all teaching is core with a 100% attendance requirement.

All timetabled activities must be attended either in person or online except where absence is justified by sickness absence reported on the day or pre-authorised leave. A student whose attendance falls below this requirement may be issued a Concern over Attendance and Engagement, given a support to study plan or placed on a learning agreement, and may become ineligible to enter summative assessments [1].  

Attendance at small group teaching sessions and practical's delivered onsite or online will be monitored by teachers and teaching administrators; attendance will be recorded in RegisterUCL [2] manually or gathered via UCL’s student attendance card readers where these are installed; engagement with other teaching and learning will be monitored by the MBBS Management Team through periodic reports drawn from Moodle; absence and on-engagement will be reported to the Divisional Tutor by the teacher/tutor leading the session or the relevant MBBS administrator.

To fulfil the required number of hours to complete the MBBS programme and qualify as a doctor, students are expected to regularly attend between 9-00am – 5.00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, between 9.00am and 12.55pm on Wednesdays and to attend occasional teaching events starting at 8.00am or finishing at 6.00pm during UCL and medical school term time.

Students are expected to attend ALL timetabled activities in all year, arriving punctually and staying for the duration of the activity. 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. During years 4-6 there will be occasions when students are also expected to attend in the evening, early morning, overnight and at weekends.  Medical students are expected to spend a minimum of 10 hours per week in additional study outside the prescribed course.  Finally, students are also expected to attend Occupational Health and Student Support Tutor appointments or to cancel at least 48 hours ahead to free up the slot for other students.

Whilst the UCLMS acknowledges there will be times when absence is unavoidable, we expect absences to be kept to a minimum with sickness absence reported on the day and pre-planned absences requested in advance using a simple on-line Absence Report and Leave Request form

Absences are monitored by the Divisional Tutor's Team and concerns about poor attendance and engagement may be shared with Personal Tutors.  

Where overnight attendance is required, Year 4 placement administrators should avoid Wednesday nights and Year 5 placement administrators should avoid Thursday nights to prevent disruption to timetabled CPP teaching the following morning. Where it’s not possible to avoid night shifts prior to timetabled teaching, students are able to leave at any time from midnight onwards, at their discretion, to ensure that they can attend the next day’s timetabled sessions.

Engagement monitoring for students studying in the UK on Student Visas follows UCL’s policy and processes [3] to comply with UK Border Agency requirements.



Absence Reporting by Teachers 

UCL requires all teachers and tutors to monitor student attendance. The university’s mechanism for gathering data is RegisterUCL and teaching staff who have access to this system are asked to ensure that they follow UCL’s instructions for recording and monitoring attendance. The UCLMS has an additional mechanism to enable the Divisional Tutor’s Team to monitor attendance and engagement across the programme as a whole, including clinical placements, and to provide support and interventions for students who are failing to meet attendance requirements. All teachers and clinicians who contribute to MBBS teaching are therefore asked to report unexplained absences via the Medical School’s Curriculum Map/Academic Support Record (ASR).

Please note that:

  • Absence reports should not be submitted where staff have received notification from the Office of the Divisional Tutor that a student has been granted authorised absence or has self-notified absence for a health or other legitimate reason from the examples listed below.
  • Students who have 3 or more unexplained or unauthorised absence reports confirmed will be issued a Concern over Attendance and Engagement (CoAE).  
  • Students who have 3 CoAEs may be issued a Concern over Professional Behaviour(s) (CoPB).


Absence Reporting by MBBS Managers and Professional Services Staff

Professional Services staff who contribute to the MBBS programme are asked to work with their academic leads and clinical colleagues to support and facilitate absence reporting, particularly during clinical placements where access to the Curriculum Map/ASR may be more difficult for clinicians. 

To assist the Divisional Tutor’s Team in monitoring attendance and engagement across the programme:

  • CPP and Year Teams, Horizontal and CPP Module Managers and Placement Administrators are asked to follow UCL’s instructions to ensure that attendance at face-to-face and synchronous sessions is captured in RegisterUCL.
  • Year and CPP Managers, Horizontal and CPP Module Managers and Placement Administrators are asked to liaise with academic and clinical leads to ensure that unexplained absence reports are submitted to the Divisional Tutor's Team via Curriculum Map/Academic Support Record (ASR).
  • MBBS Year Teams are asked to monitor RegisterUCL data for students on Study Visas to ensure that attendance records fulfil the requirements for visa compliance monitoring. 
  • CPP and Year Teams are asked to run periodic reports from Moodle to monitor engagement with other teaching and learning and to report non-engagement similarly.

Guidance for accessing and viewing Absence records in ASR




Absence Reporting by Students   

To comply with the UCLMS' Attendance and Engagement Policy, students are expected to report all unavoidable absences via Curriculum Map/Academic Support Record (ASR).

This includes absence for:

  • ill health which must be reported as early as possible on the first morning and by 2pm at the latest and followed up with a Fit Note from your doctor if prolonged for more than 7 days.
    • please note that prolonged absence will trigger a student support appointment to discuss any support that might be helpful for you.
    • if you need regular appointments for prolonged treatment or other reason, you should discuss this with a Medical Student Support Tutor and request a Student Support card to present to teachers and clinical educational supervisors to explain your absences
  • emergencies outside your control which must be reported as soon as possible on the day.
  • medical/dental appointments which should be reported in advance.
  • other events which take precedence over timetabled activities which should also be notified at minimum 24 hours in advance:    
    • compulsory Divisional Tutor/MBBS Tutor meetings (NB if you need to re-arrange a compulsory appointment, you should contact medsch.mbbstutors@ucl.ac.uk at minimum 2 working days before the appointment to free up the slot).
    • occupational health appointments (NB if you need to re-arrange a compulsory appointment, you should contact UCL Workplace Health directly at minimum 2 working days before the appointment to free up the slot for another student).
    • fitness to practise appointments (these may not be re-arranged).
    • personal tutor meetings which cannot be arranged at a different time.

This is all you need to do, because reporting your absence will generate an email notification to your teacher(s) and/or module or placement administrator(s) so that they know not to report your absence as unexplained. These emails notify your teachers of the absence date(s) but do not include details or sensitive information. 


Authorised Absence/Planned Leave Requests by Students  

To comply with the UCLMS' Attendance and Engagement Policy, students must request authorised absence via Curriculum Map/Academic Support Record (ASR) for planned events of any duration that are not part of the MBBS programme of study and cannot be arranged outside of term time. Planned absence during term time requires prior approval from the Divisional Tutor’s Team and must be requested at least 2 weeks in advance. 

If your request is granted, you and your teachers and placement administrators will be notified by email.

Types of activities that may be authorised include:

  • presenting at conferences.
  • teaching or other activities outside the school.
  • observance of religious holidays.
  • personal matters. 

Please note that authorised absence will only be granted:

  • for clear and well-founded reasons.
  • up to a maximum of 3 days per request or 20% of the module/placement duration, whichever is the lesser. 
  • for up to 5 days in very exceptional and unavoidable circumstances on condition that the student arranges to make up absence in excess of 3 days during their own time and to document and verify this using the Additional Clinical Credit form in ePortfolio.
  • where the dates do not clash with specific events, such as introductory days, core teaching weeks and assessments, again except in very exceptional and unavoidable circumstances.
  • or religious holidays with the expectation that missed time is made up.




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 under UCL's Procedure for the Assessment of Fitness to Practise. 

See also: Substance Use and Misuse



Ambulance Service Insurance

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.




Branding - student use of UCL and UCLMS name/logo

Students are reminded that they must not use UCL or UCLMS branding without permission or claim a connection or affiliation with UCL or UCLMS for self-organised courses and other activities. 



Change of Address

Students should update any change of address details through 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 ISD Service Desk).


Cheating, Collusion and Plagiarism

Please see UCL’s regulations relating to Academic Misconduct 

Within the framework of UCL policy and regulations, this policy draws additionally on General Medical Council guidance to set out information specific to medical students and their fitness to practise.

Honesty and integrity are central components of Good Medical Practice and deliberate dishonesty or fraudulent behaviour raises concerns about students’ “honesty, trustworthiness or character,” and may call into question their fitness to practise.[1] Any attempt to influence academic  decisions by presenting a dishonest representation of completion of required course work, passing off the work of others as your own or attempting to gain an unfair advantage in summative assessments has the potential to put patient safety at risk and may undermine public trust in the medical profession.

In line with General Medical Council guidance, UCLMS considers the following dishonest behaviours as misconduct: cheating in examinations; plagiarism; ‘ghost-writing’; signing peers into taught sessions from which they are absent; passing off the work of others as your own; sharing with fellow students or others, details of tasks in questions from exams you have taken; forging a supervisor’s signature or feedback on assessments, logbooks or portfolios.

UCLMS takes misconduct very seriously and investigations and ultimately sanctions for cheating will be pursued through UCL’s Disciplinary and Fitness to Practise Procedures for students in the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Inadvertent cheating or lack of knowledge about what constitutes cheating are not considered mitigation in such cases.

Cheating in Examinations

Medical Schools have a responsibility to create a fair examination system, and to ensure all students have gained sufficient knowledge to be entrusted with the care of patients. Medical Schools are also expected to create an environment in which behaviour such as cheating is not acceptable [2]. Based on GMC guidance UCLMS considers cheating as “sharing with fellow students or others, details of questions or tasks from exams you have taken.” We also consider sharing information about assessments you have not yet taken and receiving information and using that to gain an unfair advantage as cheating. UCLMS is particularly concerned by systematic attempts by individuals or groups to acquire and/or distribute any information or materials concerning medical school assessments past or present that have not been distributed by the UCLMS' Assessment Unit.  This is not to discourage you from devising and sharing your own self-created resources, or formative questions in the public domain, but only to indicate that circulating memorised or copied real exam questions not released for unrestricted use, or storing them within the MBBS Curriculum Map, is considered cheating.

Students must also adhere to all published requirements concerning conduct in written, practical and clinical examinations, including requirements of sequestration in practical and clinical examinations.  Examination regulations and requirements are set out in UCL’s Academic Manual on the UCL website; UCL’s Candidate Guide issued by UCL Examinations; UCLMS’ Instructions for Candidates on the MBBS website; and as sent to you by MBBS Assessment Managers with your examination reporting instructions.

Dishonest representation of attendance, course work or assessments

Required course work, including logbooks and portfolios, are an important assessment of a students’ readiness to progress safely to the next year of study and ultimately, to qualify. All work presented as required course work must be the students own work (unless the required work is purposefully designed as group work). All signatures of ‘sign off’ of procedures, clinical skills, or other competencies and session that require a record of attendance must be genuine.  Please also be aware that forging a doctor’s signature is a criminal offence. Students must not sign-in fellow students into sessions from which they are absent.


Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of another person's thoughts or words or artefacts or software as though they were your own. Any quotation from the published or unpublished works of other persons must, therefore, be clearly identified as such by being placed inside quotation marks, and you should identify your sources as accurately and fully as possible. Please see UCL’s guidelines on Plagiarism:  for UCL’s policy, detection system, definition and penalties for plagiarism, which are severe. In line with GMC guidance plagiarism may also constitute a fitness to practise offence for medical students.

Your responsibility if you discover cheating

Working with other students to revise for exams, including working with past examination papers, and sharing general experiences of assessment is an important part of working with, and learning from, others. UCLMS provides resources to support this. However, at times medical students can be put into difficult positions by their peers: if information or resources have been obtained illicitly this is problem for both the provider of the resources and the receiver in terms of honesty and integrity. The General Medical Council guidance on medical student values and fitness to practise notes that “students should be honest, genuine, and original in their academic work, and take effective action if they have concerns about the honesty of others”.

If you are offered information or resources that could be used to gain an unfair advantage or you should refuse immediately. You should also warn the individual offering such resources about the consequences of their actions. If you uncover a systematic attempt to cheat or undermine the assessment system you should raise the issue with your personal tutor or a student support tutor.

[1] General Medical Council, Medical Schools Council. Professional behaviour and fitness to practise: guidance for medical schools and their students 

[2] General Medical Council, Medical Schools Council. Achieving good medical practice: guidance for medical students


Claiming prize and bursary money

Prize and bursary money is issued through UCL’s MyFinance iExpenses system. Instructions for using iExpenses are set out in UCL's Digital Student Expenses Guide and our Medical School FAQ which share information that medical students who have used the system have found helpful. 


Clinical Skills Centres

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 

Please see the Skills Centres website for more information




Code of Conduct

UCLMS'  Medical Student Code of Conduct supplements UCL’s Student Code of Conduct and draws on the GMC’s Achieving Good Medical Practice guidance for medical students. 



Commercial Courses

See External Courses







Communications Policy

The Medical School encourages clear and concise communication with staff and students so as to support them effectively, demonstrate inclusivity, and to underpin the demanding academic schedule and diverse needs of the MBBS programme. 

All policy-related communications, notifications from the Curriculum Map/Academic Support Record (ASR) and other communications intended for students in all years should be presented to the MBBS Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to monitor tone, inclusivity, accuracy, regulatory and policy compliance and to approve the distribution list.  The SLT requests that curriculum and assessment management-related communications intended for a whole year group are similarly reviewed by Leads, Deputy Leads and Professional Services staff.  
This guidance is provided for both staff and students with the aim of promoting a professional and inclusive approach to communications and effective use of the technologies available at UCL. 

Methods of communication are: 

  • Email to UCL addresses – for programme-related messages to individuals
  • MBBS Moodle – for programme, module and placements-related messages to groups or cohorts of students
  • MBBS Current Student website for governance and regulatory information 
  • RUMS e-bulletin – for dissemination of information of interest to students not related to the UCL MBBS programme or programme management - rums@ucl.ac.uk

Teaching and Professional Staff are asked to ensure that:

  • communications are professional, kind and restricted to information directly related to the MBBS course and programme management; 
  • communications link to or quote directly from governance, regulatory and policy information published on the MBBS website, to ensure consistency with information which has been approved and published by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT);
  • communications should seek expert input such as from the UCLMS EDI Committee, where indicated;
  • response time complies with service standards set out below, allowing for workload and email volume at busy periods;
  • communications, especially emails, are kept to a minimum to assist students in managing the volume of information;
  • care is taken to ensure:
    • personal or sensitive information is never distributed
    • group email addresses are not released
    • communications are batched together where possible to reduce email traffic
    • follow-up emails should be sent to individual students who have failed to respond, avoiding unnecessary emails to those who have responded
    • associated documentation is presented in Moodle or the website wherever possible, avoiding multiple attachments
    • non-MBBS programme related communications should be forwarded to RUMS for consideration in their e-bulletin. 

Students are asked to: 

  • first check the MBBS Current Student website and Moodle sites for information or answers to queries before emailing staff;
  • check your email inbox for medical school communications each day;
  • address emails to the generic email addresses listed on the website and Moodle to enable timely responses, whilst keeping emails to a minimum and 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
  • keep copies of communications in folders to minimise the need for staff to resend information; 
  • reply promptly and to the stated deadlines, to minimise the need to resend information and follow-up emails.

Service Standards and Timeline Guidance for Staff

These guidelines are to support staff in enabling consistent programme-related communications and high-quality student experience across the programme.  

Contact details

  • Clearly signposted in Moodle Courses and pro-actively notified to students as they move through the modules and placements


  • In compliance with the communications policy above
  • Using generic inboxes to provide cross-cover and continuity
  • Subject lines providing clear indication that MBBS programme/assessment/module/placements/teaching/quality assurance related
  • Standard email signature including UCLMS, EASE role title, additional information indicating Team/Year/Site etc 

Face to face availability

  • Rockefeller Building and Huntley Street Medical Student Offices, Site Placements Offices and UG Centres - opening hours 9am-5pm with 2 members of staff onsite each day to ensure each office is open
  • When working remotely, all staff available in MS Teams during 9am-5pm office opening hours


  • Following standard MBBS house style (as set out in separate Guide)
  • Presenting core teaching and in-placement learning materials 2 weeks before the date of teaching wherever possible to allow students to prepare, and at minimum within UCL’s deadline of 48 hours prior to the teaching event
  • For all course/module related email communications (and only Moodle, no duplication by email)


  • ASR calendars for core teaching events, including remote sessions in Zoom and asynchronous CPP teaching events
  • Curriculum Map/ASR calendars for ward-based and placement-specific teaching events, including remote sessions in MS Teams/Zoom and synchronous CPP teaching events 
  • Published at minimum 2 weeks before the start of each week’s events
  • Minimum content to be published by this 2 week deadline is: 
    • Day 1 reporting instructions
    • Any days on which students need to travel to travel to a different site
    • Any evening or weekend attendance requirements
  • Late changes to timetables to be communicated to students via Moodle/ASR calendars up to 48 hours before the date of teaching, by email within 48 hours, and by 5.00pm on the previous day at the very latest

Turnaround time:

  • immediate on-the-day notification of unforeseen changes to teaching/cancellations, with an explanation and details of replacement sessions/remediation
  • 48 hour turnaround for emails relating to placement cohorts (i.e. volume of email up to 40 students per administrator)
  • 2-3 day turnaround for responses relating to module cohorts (i.e. volume of email up to 120-130 students per module manager)
  • 3-5 day turnaround for emails relating to year cohorts (i.e. volume of email up to 350 students per year manager
  • on-the-day response to urgent emails to medical student support
  • 3-5 day turnaround for non-urgent medical student support services


Concerns over Attendance and Engagement (CoAE)

Concerns over Attendance and Engagement (CoAE) are the UCLMS' mechanism for monitoring unexplained, unauthorised or repeated absence from, or failure to engage with, teaching and learning.

CoAEs are issued when 3 unexplained absence reports are upheld and for failure to submit required coursework. CoAEs may also be raised by teachers and professional services staff for failure to attend compulsory events such as appointments with the Divisional Tutor's Team and Occupational Health appointments or failure to engage with asynchronous teaching events. Upheld CoAEs are held on your medical student record.

  • 1st CoAE is reviewed by the Deputy Divisional Tutor to investigate potential supportive measures and to confirm that the CoAE has been issued correctly and is to be upheld
  • 2nd CoAE is reviewed at a compulsory appointment with the Deputy Divisional Tutor to consider other potential interventions
  • 3rd CoAE is reviewed at a compulsory appointment with the Deputy Divisional Tutor to consider required interventions such as Support Plans and Learning Agreements

3 upheld CoAEs are reviewed by the Deputy Divisional Tutor and trigger a Concern over Professional Behaviour which is reviewed by the Lead for Fitness to Practise and:

  • may lead to a student being given a Support Plan or a Learning Agreement.
  • may lead to barring from examinations, suspension or termination of studies under UCL’s Academic Regulations.
  • may constitute a fitness to practise issue for investigation through UCL’s Fitness to Practise procedures.

CoAE Guidance for Students

What are CoAEs and why do you receive them?

  • CoAEs (Concerns over Attendance and Engagement) are issued when you miss 3 or more teaching sessions or appointments without properly reporting your absence in advance.
  • This includes missing a single occupational health appointment due to their importance and limited availability.
  • They are part of the Medical School’s Attendance and Engagement policy, where absences are tracked through the Academic Student Record (ASR).

Important things to remember about CoAEs:

  • They are not punitive: They have no disciplinary consequences unless repeated (3 CoAEs in a year lead to a "Concern over Professional Behaviour").
  • Impact: They are kept on record but don’t affect academic results, reputation, or assessments.
  • Reminder: They serve as a nudge to report absences properly and meet attendance requirements.

What to do if you receive a CoAE:

  • Reflect: Consider why you received it and how to avoid future occurrences.
  • Learn: Understand how to submit absence/leave requests.
  • Report correctly: Always report absences reliably and on time in the future.
  • No disputes: There is no point in contesting the CoAE; its purpose is to remind you for future improvement.

Professional responsibility:

  • Reporting absences correctly and on time is crucial, just like in any future career. Not doing so can lead to disciplinary actions.
  • Reporting takes minimal time (less than a minute online) and should not be hindered by the reason for your absence.

Reporting guidelines:

  • Health-related absence: Submit an absence form on the same day, by 2 pm for morning absences and 5 pm for afternoon absences.
  • Non-health absence request: Submit a leave request at least 2 weeks before the planned absence, or in the case of emergency, by the first day of your absence.  Please include full details of your request.
  • Timeliness is key: Reporting late is as unacceptable as not reporting at all.
  • Deadlines matter: Always meet deadlines for coursework or requests for deferrals. Don't ignore them.

How to avoid an unjustified CoAE:

  • Report absences immediately or on the first day.
  • Use the correct forms and fill them out completely.
  • Explain the reason for absence with sufficient detail to allow a decision to be made without disclosing sensitive or confidential details.
  • Submit extension forms if your absence needs to be prolonged.
  • Inform administrators if you're late for a session to avoid being marked absent.
  • Attend and confirm rescheduling of occupational health appointments.

Remember: This information aims to help you understand CoAEs and avoid receiving them unnecessarily. Take responsibility for your attendance and reporting to ensure a smooth medical school experience.


Concerns over Professional Behaviour(s) (CoPB)

An assessment of professionalism and fitness to practise underlies all parts of the MBBS course and assessments.

Under GMC Fitness to Practise guidance, medical schools are required to monitor behaviours which fall short of the professional standards required. There is an obligation to ensure that students are fit to practise at the point of qualification. Under GMC rules for registration, all fitness to practise concerns must have been considered under University Fitness to Practise (FTP) procedures and a determination reached before a student can graduate with a Primary Medical Qualification. 

CoPBs are one of UCLMS’ mechanisms for monitoring professional behaviours. These enable supportive interventions for students to achieve required academic and behavioural standards and to fulfil UCL’s obligation to ensure that degrees are only awarded to students who are fit to practise. CoPBs may be issued during the course for professional and behavioural issues such as poor attendance and engagement, and during assessments for behavioural and patient safety issues. CoPBs are reviewed by the MBBS Fitness to Practise Lead and the possible outcomes are listed below. Students who receive three CoPBs cumulatively at any point during the programme are referred to an initial FTP Panel for consideration. 

Although CoPBs are an important part of UCLMS' internal monitoring of students’ professionalism and behaviour, they do not in themselves constitute formal ‘Fitness to Practise proceedings’ and as such, they do not require disclosure to the GMC at provisional registration or on Transfer of Information forms for Foundation Schools unless directed to do so by the Fitness to Practise Lead.

CoPBs issued during the course

Issuing of a CoPB is indicated by MBBS academic and clinical teachers and professional services staff (UCLMS-ASR) if aspects of a student’s behaviour during the course give cause for concern.

Examples of concerns for which CoPBs are issued include, but are not limited to:    

  • three upheld Concerns over Attendance and Engagement (CoAE)
  • failure to submit a grade report form or required coursework
  • failure to obtain stage 4 final approval before leaving on elective
  • leaving a UCL placement early to travel to an elective destination
  • leaving an elective placement early without completing the full six weeks, unless approved in advance by the Elective Lead
  • returning from an elective after the start of the next placement
  • failure to submit required module sign-offs or required coursework
  • failure to complete the required number of procedures by the deadlines given
  • failure to pay financial charges and/or fines 
  • a prolonged period of unexplained absence e.g.from scheduled clinical activity or teaching
  • disruptive behaviour or damage to property
  • lack of probity
  • rudeness
  • plagiarism or other academic integrity issue
  • patient safety issues
  • unprofessional behaviour as set out by the GMC in Good Medical Practice

Concerns which fall outside these categories are submitted to the Fitness to Practise Lead to investigate and determine if the CoPB will be upheld. The investigation will normally include a compulsory appointment with the Fitness to Practise Lead.

CoPBs issued during assessments

MBBS examiners are expected to raise a CoPB during Clinical and Professional Skills Assessments (CPSA) if a candidate demonstrates unprofessional behaviours or patient safety issues not captured in the station mark scheme.

CoPBs are raised via the link on the examiner’s iPad. CoPBs are reviewed by Pre-Boards of Examiners to confirm they have been appropriately issued, and referred to the Fitness to Practise Lead. 

Examples of concerns include:

  • lack of probity
  • rudeness
  • unsafe practice which puts patients, colleagues or self in danger
    • putting patient health in jeopardy
    • putting colleagues in danger
    • putting self in danger


The Fitness to Practise Lead determines the outcome of upheld CoPBs in collaboration with the Divisional Tutor team. Outcomes for CoPBs are:

  • supportive conversation
  • supportive interventions such as a Support to Study Plan or Learning Agreement
  • referral to an Initial Panel under UCL’s Fitness to Practise Procedures

Right of Appeal

Students who wish to appeal against an upheld CoPB must write to the Chair of the Initial Fitness to Practise Panel within 21 days of issue setting out their reasons for appeal in full. The Chair of the Initial Panel will seek a statement from the Fitness to Practise Lead within seven days to enable them to review and determine the case. Where additional investigation is required, the student will be invited, with a minimum of seven days’ notice, to appear before the next scheduled meeting of the Initial Panel.

Outcomes open to the Initial Panel are:

  • uphold the CoPB and the action applied
  • revoke the CoPB and the action applied
  • instigate formal investigation through an Initial Panel should they consider the CoPB sufficiently serious to warrant this

The decision of the Panel will be notified to the student, the Fitness to Practise Lead and the Divisional Tutor.




Conference funding

The Medical School has some funds available to assist with the costs of presenting at conferences - up to 50% of the fees and travel to a maximum of £250. You can receive funding once during the MBBS course. If conferences are during term time, you must obtain permission to be absent from the course before applying for funding. Please apply via Moodle (MBBS Bursaries) at any time during the year.


Council Tax

Please see UCL's students and council webpage or visit UCL’s Student Centre



Conscientious Objection

Please see Personal Beliefs


Coursework Requirements, Mark Scheme, Deadlines and Feedback

MBBS coursework includes written items, reflective writing and portfolio items. Submission deadlines are determined and published by the respective year or module teams. 

UCL’s standard deadline is 5pm on the day of submission and MBBS teachers are expected to comply with UCL’s standard. 

UCL’s service standards require that marks and feedback are provided within 4 weeks of the deadline for submission (including weekends and vacations). MBBS teachers and assessors are encouraged to provide this in a shorter timeframe and MBBS students have asked if feedback could be provided within 3 weeks wherever possible. If teachers and assessors cannot ensure that the one calendar month deadline is met (or for the MBBS the 3 week deadline), they must comply with UCL’s requirement to indicate, by direct contact with students, when the feedback will be provided and it is expected that the extra time will not exceed 1 week.

Under the MBBS regulations, submission of required coursework is a requirement for progression to the next year of the programme. Grades for the items listed below are entered into UCL’s records in Portico and appear on transcripts of medical study. Numeric marks are converted to their grade equivalent for entry into University records and Medical School transcripts.

MBBS Grade Scheme for Modules/Clinical Placements

MBBS YearClinical Placements
Year 1
Year 2
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6

A=Well above level expected  
B=Above level expected 
C=At level expected 
D=Below level expected 
E=Well below level expected

F – Fail (used only in instances of non-engagement, triggers appointment with DT)

MBBS Grade/Mark Scheme for required items including Year 1 and 2 Student Selected Components, UCLMS Toolkit, Cardio-Metabolic Patient Pathway


Equivalent range of marks (%)

Guidance notes


Well above level expected

70 – 100

Clear distinction level work; virtually everything relevant covered. Well argued, to the point with no errors (slight errors can be forgiven if the work is otherwise excellent).


Above level expected

60 – 69

A well organised piece of work which shows that the student clearly understood what was needed; a good number of correct facts with no major errors. 


At level expected

50 – 59

Undoubtedly a pass but not enough detail and/or not sufficiently well argued to be considered for a higher grade.  Potential for a higher grade but with one or two detracting errors.



Below level expected

40 – 49

Just satisfactory although below the level expected at this stage; the minimum amount of work completed without important errors.


Well below level expected

< 39

Inadequate detail or some errors. No balance in respect of important and trivial information.

Resubmission under a learning agreement required for a student to be eligible to progress to the next year of the programme. Resubmissions are capped at Grade D.

F – Fail


Used in instances of failure to engage with the course and/or no meaningful attempt in submitted work. This triggers an automatic appointment with the Divisional Tutor as attendance or coursework do not fulfil the requirements

Criteria Components


Fail ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------>  Good Pass 

Structure & Presentation



Essay format: No introduction or summary, difficult to follow discussion.


Essay format: Clear structure with introduction, main discussion and summary.


Inappropriate language or frequent use of slang.


Use of language is professional and appropriate for a university student.


Illegible font or sentence structure.


Readable font and sentence structure.

Word Count

Fails to meet or exceeds word count by more than 10%.


Within 10% of required word count.




Attitudes expressed

Attitudes expressed are at odds with GMC’s ethical framework.

Attitudes expressed are appropriate for a health care professional.



Evidence of plagiarism.

Student’s own writing.


Relevant domains inadequately addressed, irrelevant material introduced.


The information and arguments outlined adequately address the questions.

Coherence/ logical argument

Fragmented or contradictory arguments.


Arguments are linked logically, and lead to the conclusions drawn.

Reference to evidence

Opinions/arguments not justified.

References absent or inadequate.

Opinions/arguments justified.

Any evidence quoted is referenced appropriately.


Reflection on topic

Little or no evidence of reflection, work is purely descriptive

Work shows topic has been considered, reflection and data interpreted.

The following scale is used for some required Reflective Writing and Portfolio items for which marks do not form part of the formal UCL Portico record or Medical School transcript of medical studies:  

Reflective Writing and Portfolio coursework identified as applying this scale
4 – excellent
3 - good
2 -satisfactory
1 -unsatisfactory


A higher grade will be awarded for:

Critical analysis and discussion of issues

A lower mark will be awarded if the writing: 

Lacks a clear structure e.g. introduction, main text and conclusions
Lacks critical engagement
Has significant omissions
Lacks appropriate referencing


Late submission of coursework

Unless Extenuating Circumstances have been approved, late (more than one week) submission of coursework triggers a Concern over Attendance and Engagement procedure and failure to submit coursework triggers a Concern over Professional Behaviour(s) procedure and a meeting with the Fitness to Practise Lead. MBBS administrators are asked to submit these reports via the online reporting system.

Students with Statements of Reasonable Adjustments (SORAs) may request a one week extension to written coursework deadlines. These need to be requested in advance via email to the relevant MBBS team.

Graded written course work will be capped at ‘pass’ if submitted late without prior approval. 

UCL regulations for component marks/grades of 40.00-100.00% / A-D

  • Up to 2 working days late: Deduction of 10 percentage points or 1 Letter Grade or 1 number grade (1-4), but no lower than 40.00% / Grade D
  • 2-5 working days late: Mark capped at 40.00% / Grade D / 3
  • More than 5 working days late: Mark of 1.00% / Grade E / 4

Resubmission of coursework

Where a resubmission process is available, marks are capped at the ‘pass’ grade. Students have one week to resubmit work from the point that their original grade is released (ie the resubmission process cannot be used to improve a grade).

Coursework requirements for students who repeat a year of the programme

Students who are repeating a year of study must complete all coursework requirements without drawing on previous submissions.

Coursework requirements for students who return from an interruption of study  

Students who are returning from an interruption of study can draw on coursework completed prior to their interruption to complete the coursework requirements for the year.




Curriculum Map/Academic Support Record (ASR)

UCLMS’ Curriculum Map/ASR provides a single portal for students and staff to access curriculum information, teaching materials, timetables, portfolios and individual student records.

The Curriculum Map is a guide to underpin your learning through teaching, personal study and clinical experience. It can also be used to help prepare for assessments. Medicine is vast and complex; no map can be exhaustive. UCLMS takes all reasonable care to ensure that the content is up to date.

ASR contains academic and pastoral records, including notes from interviews with the Divisional Tutor’s Team (only visible to individual students and members of this team) and notes from Personal Tutors (only visible to Personal Tutors).  

If you have any questions or comments about the Map, please contact the Curriculum Mapping Team at medsch-curriculum@ucl.ac.uk

If you have any queries about your ASR record, please contact the Divisional Tutor’s Team at medsch.mbbstutors@ucl.ac.uk.


Data Protection Act and Student Confidential Information

Please see the links below for UCL’s guidance about data protection and student confidential information which is the framework within which the UCLMS operates:

Please also see the MBBS Privacy Notice and Medical Student Code of Conduct for specific detail about the information shared by the UCLMS.




Degree Certificates

Degree certificates are issued by UCL and all queries should be directed to the contacts listed by UCL.   

Please note that degree certificates are sent by UCL to the student home address registered in Portico at the time of sending and we advise you to update your contact address well in advance of leaving UCL to ensure that your official documents are sent to the correct address.  

A standard UCL transcript summarizing your degree award and assessments is issued with your degree certificate. UCLMS can provide a full transcript of your medical students. Please see Transcripts.  



Disabilities - reasonable adjustments during clinical placements and CPSA assessments

Please see entries under Examination Adjustments and Student Support Cards


Dress code for MBBS Students

This guidance on how to dress on clinical placements has been produced with input from a number of sources including students, and is designed to help you comply with NHS infection control requirements and to dress professionally, whilst allowing students some self-expression.

Please note that local Trust policies take precedence and may differ from this guidance, so we advise you to familiarise yourself with the local policy before you start each clinical placement.  To comply with local guidance, students must ensure that clothing is not offensive, i.e. the wearing of clothing with political or religious statements or slogans must be avoided.

Patients expect their doctors and future doctors to dress professionally, whilst being comfortable. You should be appropriately dressed 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 CPSA examinations (see NHS guidance).


  • Always be bare below the elbow (short sleeves or sleeves neatly folded) in patient-facing environments. 
    • As an alternative, (e.g. for religious reasons) students may wear ¾-length sleeves or disposable sleeves if they are in contact with patients, or full-length sleeves when not involved in direct patient care.
  • Shorts, skirts and dresses should come to just above the knee or longer.      


  • Wear shoes that are smart, flat and comfortable (and cover your toes) as you will be on your feet all day. 
  • When entering theatre, you are required to wear designated theatre shoes (which you must provide yourself) or to wear plastic shoe covers. (Please note that plastic shoe covers may not be available at all sites). Failure to adhere to this part of the code may result in you being asked to leave theatre.


  • Bare below the elbow means that rings, watches or bracelets should not be worn (unless there is a religious justification but only if they can be taped up above the elbow).
  • A single plain metal ring is allowed.
  • Necklaces should be tucked into clothing to ensure that they do not risk introducing infection and cannot be grabbed.
  • A single facial piercing and ear piercings are permitted provided they do not pose a risk of being caught or grabbed, and for this reason studs are preferred.


  • Visible tattoos are discouraged. Cover any tattoos/branding that may be inappropriate or offensive to others.

Religious clothing

  • Ensure your face is visible, in line with UCL’s policy on Religious Dress, in situations where this is necessary for identification purposes or important for communication with another person, in learning environments where facial cues are needed to understand a student’s contribution, and in clinical areas in line with NHS guidance and local Trust policies (except where face coverings are required for infection control). 

    This applies:
    • in all clinical areas
    • in small group settings
    • when participating in examination
    • for identification purposes including entry to examinations and libraries
    • in secure areas (i.e., in any area managed by access control, such as the anatomy dissection room).
  • Religious head coverings are permitted.
  • Full cloth head coverings can normally be worn in clinical environments, including theatres, without the use of an overlying surgical cap. Students may choose to use disposable garments as an alternative.


  • Long hair should be tied back to prevent transmission of infection.
  • Hair colouring is permitted but should appear professional.
  • Facial hair should be shaved to ensure an FFP3 facemask can be worn safely.
  • For students who cannot shave for religious reasons, Trusts may be able to provide alternative respiratory protective equipment.


  • Identification should be visible at all times, except during CPSA examinations when badges showing candidate numbers will be issued.
  • Fingernails should be kept short and unpainted to prevent transmission of infection. Fake nails are not permitted.


UCLMS understands how important and affirming it is to present yourself in an authentic way, and we encourage you to do so, within the scope of your local Trust dress code and this guidance. 

Any criticism of your dress with respect to this guidance will be reviewed by the Divisional Tutor’s Office and could also result in local action by the Trust concerned.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this dress code or wish to seek individual advice, please book an appointment with an MBBS Tutor.


Disclosure and Barring Service and Police Checks

See DBS Checks - Information for Students




Discrimination and Consequences

UCL was founded on the basis of equal opportunity, being the first English university to admit students irrespective of their faith and cultural background.

UCL’s Code of Conduct defines standards of good conduct which include: 

  • Recognising the diversity of the UCL community and not discriminating against others on the basis of their age, ethnic origin, race, nationality, membership of a national minority, culture, language, religious faith or affiliation or lack thereof, political affiliation or opinions or lack thereof, sex, gender, gender identity, sexuality, sexual orientation, marital status, caring or parental responsibilities, illness, ability or disability, mental health status, medical condition, physical appearance, genetic features, parentage, descent, full or part-time student status, socio-economic background, employment status, trade union affiliation, spent or irrelevant criminal convictions or any other irrelevant distinction. 

UCLMS expects the highest standards of conduct and professionalism of its students at all times. Students who incite or express racist or misogynistic views, or who express discriminatory views against people with protected characteristics, will be taken through UCL's Fitness to Practise Procedures. Similarly, staff who express such views will face disciplinary action. UCLMS has zero tolerance to discrimination.




Duties of a doctor and student ethics

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

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)


Dyslexia and specific learning difficulties - reasonable adjustments during clinical placements and clinical assessments

Please see entries under Examination Adjustments and Student Support Cards




Elective Bursaries

See the MBBS elective bursary moodle page for information about internal and external bursaries available to help with the costs of electives.


Examination Adjustments

Please see UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) guidance on Summaries of Reasonable Adjustment for information about how to apply for examination adjustments. 

SSW grant SoRAs for examinations which specify adjustments granted at written assessments. Students who need adjustments at MBBS clinical and practical assessments must first obtain a SoRA from SSW and then make an appointment with an MBBS Course Tutor to discuss the adjustments which can be offered at your CPSA. 

SSW’s deadline for application for examination adjustments through a SoRA is 6 weeks’ prior to the start of UCL’s main examination period (mid March). Students in years 1,2,4 and 5 should work to this deadline. Year 6 students taking finals in February/March are asked to apply 6 weeks prior to finals to allow the Medical School time to put arrangements in place for you:  spaces in special venues for written papers are limited and we cannot guarantee optimal arrangements for students who apply for a SoRA later than 6 weeks ahead of the exam date; and OSCE timetables are prepared 6 weeks before the exam date which means we cannot guarantee being able to accommodate adjustments to circuit allocations after this date. 

Students who develop a need for a SoRA within 6 weeks of finals are asked to make an appointment with an MBBS Tutor immediately so that we can plan while your SoRA application is being processed by SSW.   

Examination adjustments for CPSA assessments are enabled via a Medical Student Support card which you can present  at individual stations to notify the examiner of adjustments which have been approved for you by the Divisional Tutor's Team. Please refer to our policy on Student Support Cards and make an appointment to see an MBBS Tutor as soon as possible for advice.

Students who are granted Examination Adjustments for the duration of the programme and who are additionally granted a Medical Student Support card need not re-apply at subsequent CPSAs as a card will be issued by the Divisional Tutor's Team on each occasion. However please email medsch.mbbstutors@ucl.ac.uk if you have any concerns or would like confirmation that a card will be available for you. 

The Divisional Tutors' Team are responsible for determining reasonable adjustments at clinical assessments 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. CPSA 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 Assessment and Feedback Unit is responsible for ensuring good practice in the design of CPSA 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

Examples of special arrangements that can be offered include:

  1. allocation to a specified circuit within the established pattern of circuit/sequestering rotations, for example the earliest circuit possible
  2. a reader (normally the examiner) for dyslexic students where the scenario and instructions exceed 20% of the overall station time
  3. the ability to repeat one station at the end of the circuit if one or more stations are disrupted by an acute episode of a documented health condition
  4. permission to perform tasks seated rather than standing
  5. permission to use an electronic stethoscope
  6. permission to use an ophthalmoscope with the same eye
  7. request to examiners to face the student when speaking and ensure that the candidate has understood all verbal communications
  8. notification to examiners of physical conditions or constraints with request for sympathetic approach
  9. the ability to arrange, where possible, for students who present medical evidence of severe anxiety/panic attacks to be placed on the last AM circuit to minimise sequestering time and to allow, in the event of an attack disrupting one or more stations, a candidate to repeat 1 disrupted station or 1 missed station at the end of the last morning circuit.  Please note that such requests must be made at least 6 weeks prior to the examination date as specific timing can only be accommodated before CPSA circuit timetables have been finalised.   Please also note that there is no provision for candidates to defer or restart a clinical examination in a later circuit.

Extenuating Circumstances Potentially Affecting Coursework Submission or Examinations

UCL’s Extenuating Circumstances processes provide a mechanism to support students in the event of any circumstances which are sudden, unexpected, significantly disruptive and beyond the student's control and which may affect their performance at assessment, such as a serious illness or the death of a close relative, and to enable alternative arrangements to be put in place. The application process asks you to indicate what form of mitigation you are seeking and lists the possible outcomes of an application. 

Please refer to Chapter 2 of UCL’s Academic Manual for the regulations governing consideration of extenuating circumstances and for guidance on UCL’s online application process.

Please note that the integrated nature of the MBBS programme and assessments means that:

  1. UCL’s standard potential outcome of ‘exclusion from module/progression/classification requirements’ is not applicable under the MBBS mark scheme. Medical students may be offered a ‘deferral’, which is the opportunity to sit/submit an assessment as if for the first time and without penalty at the next scheduled occasion;
  2.  UCL’s online form links only to modules which are formally registered in Portico. These include the UCLMS Toolkit in Year 1, Cardiometabolic Patient Pathway in Year 2, Student Selected Components in Years 1 and 2, Module Grades in Years 4 and 5.
  3.  UCL’s paper form is needed for all other MBBS coursework, including portfolio items, module grades in Year 6 and Case of the Month. The form should be emailed to medsch.mbbstutors@ucl.ac.uk. These marks are required to fulfil the programme requirements; late submission is a professionalism concern. The Office of the Divisional Tutor will notify academic leads of the outcome to avoid triggering CoAEs or CoPBs. 

We realise that sometimes students are reluctant to advise UCLMS of extenuating circumstances at the appropriate time, particularly where their circumstances relate to health, in the mistaken belief that this will compromise their academic record or future career.

Please be re-assured that UCLMS seeks first and foremost to provide support for students and our greater concern is that failure to acknowledge difficulties, notify the Divisional Tutor's Team and seek recommended help raises concerns about Fitness to Practise which may present more of an issue than the health condition itself.  

Extenuating circumstances applications should be submitted as soon as possible and no later than one week after an acute circumstance has taken place.

Notification of an outcome to your EC application will be made within 10 working days (unless you are submitting your evidence late). If there is a good reason why an outcome to your claim can not be made within this timescale, then you will be informed of this within the 10 working day period. 

The membership of the panel comprises:

  • Divisional Tutor and Chair (Dr W Coppola)
  • MBBS Tutors

Please refer to Examination Adjustments and Student Support Cards for other support mechanisms. 



External Events and Courses

UCLMS does not endorse events or courses offered free or commercially by medical students, 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 UCLMS examinations.  Medical student societies and individual students who wish to be involved in admissions or revision events involving potential applicants or external students must seek advice from UCLMS before participating; please request an appointment with the Divisional Tutor through medsch.mbbstutors@ucl.ac.uk

The use of UCL or UCLMS 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 UCLMS Guidance for FY Teachers are advised to contact Professor Faye Gishen 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 UCLMS
  • courses must be available to all students



Extra/Optional Clinical Experience, Placements or Revision at UCL Trusts, DGHs and External Institutions

Students who wish to undertake additional, voluntary courses or clinical placements at external institutions, or UCL placement providers other than their timetabled placement site, should note that UCL medical student status does not apply to any course or placement which is outside of UCL’s MBBS course requirements.

Voluntary courses must only be taken outside of medical school term dates and students must make clear to course providers that they have no UCL insurance cover for any such course and no cover or clearance for patient contact.  Voluntary placements or research should only be undertaken at the site at which a student is placed and for the duration of the placement.

Students who are asked to provide confirmation of UCL medical student status or confirmation of MBBS studies should set out the dates and details of the course or clinical placement in an email to medsch.mbbstutors@ucl.ac.uk, who can provide a standard letter on behalf of the Divisional Tutor.  The letter will include the following details:

  • Confirmation of status as a medical student at UCLMS (University College London)
  • Student name and student number
  • Course name: Medicine MBBS; Course type: Full-time undergraduate degree programme; Start date; Expected end date
  • Confirmation that student is in good standing and suitable to undertake shadowing activities with responsibility only at a level of a medical student in Year [1,2,4,5,6]
  • A statement that any course or clinical placement which is not a formal requirement of the UCL MBBS programme:

    • cannot be undertaken as ‘a UCL Medical Student’ as the course is organised independently of UCLMS
    • is not therefore covered by any UCL insurance policies and the student has no insurance cover or clearance for patient contact
    • that the student is responsible for putting in place alternative insurance cover before taking up the course/placement, including personal health insurance, travel insurance and professional indemnity insurance if the course includes patient contact (NB this can be obtained through the MDU/MPS)
    • the course provider is responsible for putting in place public liability insurance and, for clinical placements, clinical negligence cover for the placement supervisor
  • Signature of UCLMS authorised signatory and UCLMS stamp



Family Illness

Each year a small number of students will have an individual close to them who suffers from a serious illness or who dies. These 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.

UCLMS’ 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 Divisional Tutor’s  Team is keen to offer advice and support to individual students in this position.

This issue becomes particularly important during Year 4 and students are advised to make an MBBS tutor appointment during the IOM. If circumstances change during years 4-6 then rapid access to the MBBS Tutor  system is strongly advised.

MBBS Tutors will explore coping strategies and whether appropriate onward referral to counselling services should be made.



Feedback on Teaching

UCLMS 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 and Enhancement Unit

Staff who contribute to MBBS teaching are reminded that, whilst staff development is valued, sending out additional module or personal feedback forms is not permitted unless authorised by the MBBS QAEU. 



Financial Assistance

See UCL website for details of Financial Assistance Fund.

See the Medical Student Support website for information about UCLMS funds and application processes.


Fitness to Practise Procedure and Guidance

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 practice determined by the profession itself and by the law. 

Universities and Medical Schools have a duty to ensure that graduates are fit to enter the medical profession and may not award a primary medical qualification to a student who has unresolved fitness to practise issues. This duty is fulfilled by enabling students to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills and attitudes appropriate to their future role as doctors; and by seeking to ensure that any fitness to practise concerns during the course are investigated and outcomes achieved prior to finals and the deadline for applications for provisional registration.

The vast majority of students achieve this without intervention; in the small number of cases where intervention becomes necessary because of health or behavioural issues which may not be compatible with their future role, the Medical School’s first priority is to support students through the fitness to practise process to help them to obtain provisional registration.  The Medical School’s Fitness to Practise Lead coordinates support and interventions and students may seek advice at any point by emailing uclms.mbbs-ftp@ucl.ac.uk.

The GMC publishes guidance on student professionalism and fitness to practise and provides materials which have been developed in collaboration with Medical Schools Council and medical students through the GMC’s Student Voice Group, including a series of case studies, FAQs, ‘ thought pieces’, teaching resources and myth busters on student fitness to practise.   Myth busters in particular seeks to dispel myths such as students should not tell their schools about a health concern or that students often get expelled through student fitness to practise procedures. 

Medical School Codes of Conduct include a requirement for students to report issues that might affect their fitness to practise and students need to be aware that failure to report health concerns or other issues is in itself a fitness to practice issue. As an example of supportive interventions, students with health conditions may be invited to develop a Support Plan to identify adjustments and monitor and document engagement with treatment, or a Learning Agreement to support academic progress, as evidence of engagement with supportive interventions may be required by the GMC at the point of registration. 

UCL’s Procedure for the Assessment of Fitness to Practise in the Faculty of Medical Sciences can be found at: Fitness to Practise Procedure 

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

The types of behaviours which may make a student unfit to practise medicine are set out in UCL’s Procedure. 

The formal procedure has three stages:

  • ‘Initial’ fitness to practise which is managed within the Medical School by our Fitness to Practise Lead and Medical School Initial Fitness to Practise Panel.
    • Health, behavioural and other professionalism concerns are referred to the Fitness to Practise Lead.
    • If the Fitness to Practise Lead feels that the reported behaviour does not reach the threshold for referral under the formal Procedure but that additional support might be beneficial, the Fitness to Practise Lead may recommend a Support Plan under UCL’s Student Support Framework or a Learning Agreement under UCL’s Academic Insufficiency Procedure
    • If a student’s behaviour is defined as academic misconduct as set out in UCL’s Academic Misconduct Procedure or a disciplinary offence as set out in UCL’s Disciplinary Code and Procedure in Respect of Students, the Fitness to Practise Lead will make a referral under these University Procedures. The outcomes will be reported to the Medical School for submission to an Initial Fitness to Practise panel to consider the implications for Fitness to Practise.  
    • If the Fitness to Practise Lead determines that a student’s behaviour does not come under UCL’s above Procedures but falls short of the professional standards required of a medical student, a referral will be made to an Initial Fitness to Practise Panel to consider the implications for a student on a professional programme and to determine if a referral to a full Fitness to Practise Panel is required.
  • 'Full’ Fitness to Practise which is managed by a panel in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.
  •  Appeals against Full Panel decisions which are managed by UCL’s Regulations and Casework Team.

Key points: 

  • Seek Help
    • If you develop a problem be prepared to acknowledge it early.
    • Do not ignore warning signs. 
  • Accept Help
    • It is the Medical School’s top priority to provide student’ with appropriate support, but you will have to work with us. 
  • Be aware
    • Failure to work with the Medical School in trying to solve your problem may result in a Fitness to Practise issue and a referral to an Initial Fitness to Practise Panel, with the potential outcomes set out in the Fitness to Practise Procedure.
    • The GMC requires Medical Schools to report Fitness to Practise outcomes as part of the GMC provisional registration process.
    • Information about Fitness to Practise issues and outcomes may be shared with other bodies (e.g. Placement Providers, UK Foundation Programme Office, Health Education England, other employers) in the public interest and within the provisions of data protection legislation, as set out in the Medical School’s Privacy Notice. In such instances, decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and students are informed.  




Freedom of Information - Responsible use of FoI Legislation

The Freedom of Information Act (2000) created a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. To assist UCL medical students in using this legislation effectively, [UCLMS FoI guidance] should be read in conjunction with the UCL FoI website.

Any queries about this guidance should be directed to the Divisional Tutor at medsch.divisional-tutor@ucl.ac.uk



GMC Good Medical Practice, Professional Behaviour and Fitness to Practise - GMC Guidance and Case Studies


The GMC and Medical Schools Council have published joint guidance on student professionalism and fitness to practise and developed a series of case studies, FAQs, ‘thought pieces’, teaching resources and myth busters on student fitness to practise.  The resources have been developed in collaboration with medical students through the GMC’s Student Voice Group and are intended to help to demonstrate what is expected of medical students and also what medical schools need to do to support students through any professionalism issues they may have.  Case studies include: :

  • Social media use: a post from a private chat between medical students gets published on social media
  • Personal health: how a student is supported with their health and wellbeing when they suffer from stress
  • Serious misconduct: a medical student on a night out obstructs a paramedic called to help their friend
  • Working in isolated environments: a medical student on a remote placement is asked to help with a procedure they are not familiar with and has to deal with challenging questions about a patient’s condition
  • Persistent low level concerns: a first year medical student struggles to adapt to university life and the demands of their course



Harassment and Bullying

UCLMS support and upholds College procedures for dealing with student harassment and 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
  • MBBS Tutor
  • Site Senior 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 their personal tutor or a member of the Divisional Tutor’s Team (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



Hardship Funds and Loans

See UCL website for details of College hardship funds.

The UCLMS has a small number of student hardship funds which are administered by the Deputy Divisional Tutor. Students should discuss their financial situation with their Personal Tutor who will liaise with the Deputy Deputy Tutor to see if funds can be made available. Applications for emergency funds can be submitted directly.


Health And Safety


See also Immunisation status and BBVs

Students are advised to register with a GP and a dentist following UCL's advice at UCL Health Care

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.



Health Clearance

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 UCL medical students are provided by UCL's Workplace Health. OH appointments in Year 1 take priority over all teaching activities.


Honesty and Probity

The General Medical Council (see GMC Duties of a Doctor) regards the honesty of doctors as fundamental to the public standing of the profession. Academic Misconduct including cheating, collusion and plagiarism is unacceptable behaviour and will be reported through College disciplinary procedures and may also be referred to Fitness to Practise. 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 Academic Misconduct and Cheating, Collusion and Plagiarism.



Honorary Titles for Teaching

The application procedure and the application form for honorary appointments for teaching may be found at the UCLMS honoraries webpage

Applications from staff at UCL’s main provider Trusts are submitted via the Trust Directors or Undergraduate Medical Education ::

UCLH Trust Director of UG Medical Education:Dr Gavin Johnsongavin.johnson@uclh.nhs.uk
Royal Free Trust Director of UG Medical Education:Dr Paul Dilworthp.dilworth@ucl.ac.uk
Whittington Trust Director of UG Medical Education:Dr Johnny Swartj.swart@ucl.ac.uk
Director of UG Medical Education (Community):Professor Sophie Parksophie.park@ucl.ac.uk

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

Director of UG Medical Education (DGH Liaison): Dr Zaheer Mangerazaheer.mangera@ucl.ac.uk

Applications put forward by Directors or Undergraduate Medical Education are approved by the Director of UCLMS and held in the Division. 

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

UCLMS Staffing Officeuclms.honorary@ucl.ac.uk 



Identity Cards and Name Badges

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

UCLMS 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.



Immunisations and BBVs

Students are screened on entry to UCLMS 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 UCL Workplace 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).



Inclusion Leads

Inclusion Leads provide support and assistance for students and staff about issues relating to equalities and diversity. UCLMS has a staff Inclusion Lead appointed to the Division and a dedicated Inclusion Lead for MBBS students: Alison Crook, Head of MBBS Student Support, a.crook@ucl.ac.uk



Induction Guidelines for Clinical Placements

As part of the Placements Agreements between our NHS Providers and UCLMS our students must have an NHS site induction in keeping with that of any staff that are patient facing and working or regularly attending the site. Sites should liaise with the relevant year teams to ensure topics in the IOM and site inductions are neither duplicated nor omitted. Students who miss an induction session should be reported to the Medical School as absent and an alternative slot offered wherever possible. Students who fail to attend the catch up session should again be reported as absent and should not take up a clinical placement until all induction requirements have been completed. 

Please ensure that the contents of the induction are known to the clinical, administrative and nursing teams working where students will be present.

This list is not exhaustive but highlights areas that should be covered at every site as a minimum:

  • Physical safety
    • Both generic and local fire safety training student should receive appropriate local fire training at each site or location they attend (consider additional sites such as education centres, alternative sites and community buildings)
    • Radiation safety during exposure to portable Xray units
    • Laser safety if applicable.
    • Use of personal pinpoint alarm systems if applicable (e.g. acute psychiatric wards and other areas where staff have alarms).
  • Student support
    • Confirm absence policy and contacts.
    • Confirm student support tutors and how to contact them.
    • Confirm identity of the site undergraduate team and their contact details.
    • Confirm process and contacts for local resolution of any problems in the first instance, on the understanding that if problems cannot be resolved locally students may wish to escalate to the year team, then the QAEU or using the raising concerns process. Who to contact if there are other problems including reminder about general raising concerns process.
  • Logistical support:
    • Processes for gaining ID badges and appropriate access to different areas
    • Confirm the location of the teaching areas – wards, theatres, outpatients and conduct a tour if required (mostly appropriate when teaching is not at a main site)
    • Confirm the location of lockers, non-clinical work areas, library, rest areas, canteens etc.
    • Confirm details of Electronic Patients Record systems and other local notes arrangements or IT requirements (and who to contact with problems).
    •  Accommodation details if applicable.

Additionally at the beginning of each individual placement there should be an induction to review the support available and educational objectives as well as any physical safety issues. Again, this list is not exhaustive but rather highlights areas that should be covered at every placement as a minimum:

  • Confirm identity of placement leads and their contact details.
  • Confirm the teaching timetable and how it is accessed and if there are any alterations to the week ahead
  • Confirm objectives of the placement as per MBBS Curriculum map including any requirements for shift work outside normal working hours
  • Consider re-iterating specifically relevant personal safety issues such as:
    • local fire safety training if placement includes additional sites not covered at the initial base site at the beginning of the academic year
    • Radiation safety during exposure to portable Xray units
    • Laser safety if applicable.
    • Use of personal pinpoint alarm systems if applicable.
  • Explain details of specific placement requirements including but not limited to:
    • Process to confirm consent for intimate examination of patients
    • Requirement to attend morning briefing if entering theatre that day
    • Where scrubs/theatre shoes must be worn
  • Explain feedback will be sought and how recent feedback from students has influenced changes.

In order to ensure student induction across all sites meets the minimum standard expected the QAEU will periodically review these processes by:

  • Including induction as a standard agenda item during site visits
  • Keeping a copy of our site induction timetables on file, updated at the 2 yearly site visits
  • Including induction questions in the annual Medical Education Providers Annual Return (MEPAR)



Infection Control

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 hand wash, 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 (subject to limitations or exclusions in certain circumstances).

For students registered on the MBBS programme, College business means supervised placements which are a required component of the MBBS programme of study.  Providers have an obligation to have in place appropriate insurance for placements and the supervision of undergraduate medical students (such as employers’ liability, public liability, clinical negligence and professional indemnity).   

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.


Please see the elective approval webpage for information about insurance for this placement. 

UCL’s insurance provides public liability cover for fully registered medical students during supervised clinical electives which have been approved by the UCLMS, within and outside the UK.

Students are eligible to apply for UCL travel insurance which provides cover for the duration of the elective block within the same country as the elective destination.  

Personal travel insurance should be taken out for travel outside the elective block or to other destinations and for high risk activities which are not covered by UCL’s policy.

Some destinations require students to provide evidence of medical malpractice insurance and our recommendation is that all students take out this insurance, which is available from the MDU and MPS


Students are advised to join either the MDU or the MPS who offer free student membership and who will provide advice in the event of incidents potentially involving a student acting negligently or against supervision or against instruction.


Interruption of Study

Interruption of Study is for students who wish to take a break from their studies and return at a later date. Any student who is considering an interruption of study should discuss this with an MBBS Tutor in the first instance and then follow UCL’s online application process in Portico.  


IT Standards at NHS Sites

Standards for IT provision for medical students at NHS sites are set out in Health Education England’s Education Contract and Tripartite Agreement for UG medicine in Placement Agreements between UCL and our clinical providers.  


Jury Service

Medical students are not 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 an assessment period, they are advised to contact the Divisional Tutor’s team.


Learning Agreements, Barring, Suspensions and Termination of Study


UCL’s Academic Manual Chapter 6 Section 4 sets out UCL’s Student Casework Framework. Section 3 sets out Procedure for Academic Insufficiency which includes Learning Agreements, Barring from Assessments, Suspensions and Termination of Study. 

The Fitness to Practise Lead is responsible for managing Learning Agreements for medical students. The Divisional Tutor manages Barring from Assessments, Suspensions and Termination of Study. 


MBPhD Programme

UCL offers the opportunity for medical students to obtain a PhD in addition to their integrated BSc and MBBS degrees. The MBPhD programme  is designed  as a  9 or 10 year programme comprising:

  • Year 1 – MBBS Year 1
  • Year 2 – MBBS Year 2
  • Year 3 – MBBS Year 3 / integrated BSc
  • Year 4 – MBBS Year 4 
  • Year 5 – Interruption of MBBS Study - PhD Research
  • Year 6 – Interruption of MBBS Study - PhD Research
  • Year 7 – Interruption of MBBS Study - PhD Research
  • Year 8 – Interruption of MBBS Study - Continuing Research Status (where the PhD thesis has not been submitted before the MBBS Year 4 pre-exam board meeting in the July prior to the start of the MBBS term)
  • Year 9 – MBBS Year 5
  • Year 10 – MBBS Year 6

Selection takes place during Year 3 of the MBBS programme. Return to the MBBS is conditional on the PhD thesis having been submitted and examiners appointed before the MBBS Year 4 pre-exam board meeting, which is usually in the fourth week of July, in the academic year prior to return. 

The regulations for registration on the MBPhD programme are set out in:

  1. PhD - Chapter 5: Research Degrees Framework 
  2. MBBS - Chapter 3: Registration Framework for Taught Programmes including Dual Registration, which precludes students from being registered on more than one degree programme at the same time. Registration on the MBBS programme is therefore 'interrupted' during the research period and students are registered solely on their PhD programme. 
  3. Interruption of Study - Chapter 2, Section 6 Student Support Framework, including Returning from Interruption

Under the regulations for returning from an interruption of study, return to the MBBS must be confirmed no later than one month before the start of your MBBS registration. The Year 4 Board of Examiners which is responsible for finalising the list of students entering Year 5 meets in the last week of July.  MBBS registration begins on the first day of the Year 5 term at the end of August. Students cannot  attend Year 5 activities until re-registered on the MBBS, as this registration triggers the insurance and indemnity cover needed for medical students to take up clinical placements.  

For the Medical School to meet UCL's timelines for re-instating MBBS registration, students must have submitted their PhD thesis and have examiners appointed by the date of the Year 4 Board of Examiners in the last week in July prior to return. If this condition is not met, students may seek a further period of interruption up to a maximum of 5 years, after which, if the thesis has not been submitted and examiners appointed by the July deadline, they may either withdraw from the MBPhD programme and complete their programme of study as an MBBS student or seek permission to defer completion/submission of their PhD until after graduating from the MBBS programme.




Medical Student Code of Conduct

The Medical Student Code of Conduct sets out responsibilities and standards of behaviour for medical students in addition to UCL’s Student Code of Conduct. 




Near Peer Tutoring

UCLMS 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 2020).

There are a range of formal and informal peer tutoring and supplemental instruction activities. Some are led by MBBS academic leads and teachers, others are supported student led initiatives, and some are organised through RUMS, the medical student union body. The activities have the support and guidance of UCLMS faculty to ensure the quality of the teaching, both with regard to the content and the skills of the teacher. Examples of MBBS led activities normally offered are below,           

  • Near peer tutoring in the Anatomy Lab – an initiative led by the Anatomy staff to provide more 'blue coats in the Anatomy Lab to support student learning. Mainly undertaken by students in their IBSc year who can fit near peer tutor activities around their timetables.  Lead Dr Wendy Birch
  • Near peer tutoring in Neurosciences. Selected from students taking an IBSc in Neurosciences. Lead: Professor Chris Yeo  

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 UCLMS are particularly keen for you to develop these skills and the GMC's Tomorrow's Doctors has outlined the requirement of all medical schools to equip their graduates with the skills for teaching.  Most activities are undertaken outside timetabled MBBS teaching or clinical placement time, often by students in their IBSc year, and 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. MBBS leads will circulate information when they’re looking to recruit.  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 leads. If you are still keen and think you can offer something unique, contact Dr Bennett or Dr Aroon Lal in the first instance to discuss your plans.



NHS Bursaries

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:




Mandatory Training and Clearances for Clinical Placements

Students are required to complete the following mandatory training and clearances prior to taking up a clinical placement.

Year 1:          

  • Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (by end of Term 1)
  • Occupational Health clearance - Fit for Course clearance by end of Term 1, with completion of vaccinations required for Exposure Prone Procedures by the end of Term 2

Year 4: During the IOM, completion checked by the MBBS Professional Services Team 

  • Basic Life Support – in-person delivered by Clinical Skills Nurses (90 minutes)
  • Manual Handling – in-person delivered by Clinical Skills Nurses (90 minutes)
  • Ionising Radiation Safety- Online Articulate Rise module (30 minutes)
  • Data Security Awareness  - Level 1 – NHS ehealth online training
  • Introduction to Safeguarding Adults - (Level 1) - NHS ehealth online training
  • Safeguarding Children - (Level 2) - NHS ehealth online training

Instructions for registering with e-LfH

  • You do not need an OpenAthens login. You register with a 'work email' address; i.e. your UCL email address, and set up a personal account.
  • Follow the link e-LfH, Click on ‘Register’, and enter your @ucl.ac.uk email address. Complete the registration with the following details as appropriate:
  • Job role: Medical Student (Students)
  • Grade: UG Year 
  • Place of work: University College London
  • Next you will receive an email from e-LfH confirming your username and a web link to set a new password.
  • Once you have changed your password you will be able to log in directly at e-Learning for Healthcare Hub. The first time you log in you will be asked to accept T&Cs and confirm your details, then you will be taken to your home area where you can access and record your e-learning.
  • You should then enrol on the required courses. Once enrolled you can start the course at any time.
  • Once completed you can download a certificate and submit them using the Certificate Upload section. 



Occupational Health

Occupational Health services for UCLMS students are provided by UCL Workplace Health' at 123 Gray's Inn Road, WC1X 8TU.  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.  

UCL Workplace Health also offers appointments, advice and immunisations for UCL students preparing for electives overseas.  The costs of elective-related appointments and prescriptions are payable by the student.  These services are offered at non-profit prices at an approximate cost of £37 per half hour appointment for travel advice and immunisations.  For PEP, a 1 hour appointment is required to meet national OH guidelines, at a cost of approximately £75.   Student may approach the GP or other providers if they wish, but neither UCL OH nor UCLMS can offer advice or prices as we do not hold this information.   

Visiting elective students are required to undergo OH screening as part of their admissions process and to attend an OH appointment on the first morning of their placement before participating in any patient contact sessions. 

Cancellation fees are incurred for failure to attend an appointment unless notice is given on a working day at minimum 24 hours’ before the scheduled appointment time, and failure to pay charges issued by UCL Workplace Health within the timeframe given by them will result in a referral to the Medical School and the issue of a Concern over Professional Behaviour form.



Outcomes for Graduates

The GMC's Outcomes for Graduates can be found at: Outcomes for Graduates in 2018 


Patient Confidentiality

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.



Patients In Medical Education: Information Governance and mandatory training for medical students

As part of the Year 4 Introduction and Orientation Module (IOM), all medical students are required to complete an online eLearning for Health (e-LfH) module about Information Governance before joining their first clinical placement.  

  1. Register for elearning for health. To do this go to https://portal.e-lfh.org.uk/ and register using your Open Athens account. If you do not have or know your Open Athens details, please look at the Royal Free Library page here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/medical-school/rfhmedlib/using-library/nhs-openath....
  2. Log in to ePortfolio, and allow eLearning for Health automatically to upload any certificates that you are awarded. To do this, click on the e-learning menu at the top, and then click on the "verify your eLearning for Healthcare login details", then press authenticate, and you will be asked for your e-LFH login details.
  3. Complete the Module: Data Security Awareness - Level 1. You can search for this, or click on the heading Statutory and Mandatory training. You should complete the module, and the take the assessment, for which you need to score 80% to pass. Once you have passed, your certificate will be uploaded to your ePortfolio automatically within 24 hours. You can go back and check it if you wish.

UCLMS is required to verify completion and will run a report towards the end of the IOM to ensure that students have fulfilled this requirement.





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 to determine to what extent a student may be involved in their care as set out in the GMC’s guidance ‘Consent: patients and doctors making decisions together’.

  1. You must be on a formal placement with a named supervisor or have been invited back to a clinical venue by a named clinician who has accepted supervisory responsibility for your activity.  (‘Direct’ supervision is not required where these conditions are fulfilled.)
  2. You must always be identified as a medical student and must not identify yourself as a doctor.
  3. 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.
  4. Usually only the student who has taken the patient’s history 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.
  5. In the case of patients without capacity to consent to examination the following guidelines apply:
    1. 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 permission of all children beyond infancy (i.e. older than 12 months) should be sought using approaches adapted to their developmental maturity.
    2. Adults with dementia or moderate/severe learning disability: Permission for students to interview the patient should be obtained from relatives by the responsible clinician.  In addition, the permission of patients should be sought, using appropriate support to maximise their decision-making capacity. However, if this is not possible the clinician should balance the learning needs of the students with the need to ask permission of relatives.
    3. 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. 
  6. In all other cases a patient should be assumed to have the capacity to give consent unless the clinician instructs you otherwise.
  7. For patients who will be anaesthetised it is important that consent is obtained in advance for a medical student to be present and to participate in their care in theatre under appropriate supervision. This can be done verbally or in writing before the procedure by any appropriate mechanism approved by the Trust, but patients must be given the ability to decline, and for it not to affect the quality of their care. It is not normally necessary to specify the exact procedures in which the student will be involved.
  8. 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.
  9. If a clinical teacher asks or expects you to behave in ways contrary to these guidelines, please refer the clinician to this guidance and speak to your Module Lead. Please also report the incident to UCLMS through the Raising Concerns portal on the UCLMS website. 

Consent for intimate examination under anaesthetic (EUA)

It is clear from GMC, BMA and other guidance that all medical student participation in patients’ care requires permission from the patient. For patients who have capacity and are awake this consent is straightforward to obtain and will already be being achieved.
For patients who will be anaesthetised it is important that consent is obtained in advance for a medical student to be present and to participate in their care in theatre under appropriate supervision. This can be done verbally or in writing before the procedure by any appropriate mechanism approved by the Trust, but patients must be given the ability to decline, and for it not to affect the quality of their care. It is not normally necessary to specify the exact procedures in which the student will be involved.

Intimate examinations include vaginal and rectal examination (and may include genital and breast), and will normally only be performed by one (or exceptionally two) students on any single patient.

It is the supervising clinician’s responsibility to ensure that consent has been obtained for medical student EUAs under supervision, and this should be documented by the supervising clinician according to the local Trust guidelines. Trusts may record this on the consent form or clinical notes, and the name of the student(s) may be recorded on the theatre record for good governance.

It is strongly recommended that students introduce themselves to any patient they wish to examine in this manner, prior to the procedure. This may require attending an early ward round or pre-operative assessment. This is in line with good practice  and etiquette.

If there is any concern that appropriate consent has not been obtained, the student should not proceed with the examination.




Peer Dialogue Scheme for MBBS Teachers

Information about UCL’s Peer Dialogue Scheme 

Peer Dialogue Schemes are managed by academic divisions.  The MBBS has no direct responsibility for operating a Peer Dialogue Scheme as MBBS teaching draws on staff from across UCL who participate their own divisional schemes.  MBBS academic leads and teachers in the Division of UCLMS participate through the UCLMS divisional scheme.



Personal Beliefs

UCLMS follows the principles set out in the GMC’s Ethical Guidance with regard to conscientious objection/personal beliefs and medical practice and applies the policy that students cannot opt-out of teaching that equips them to meet the core competencies required at graduation. Students may, however, opt out of optional or non-core activities for reasons of conscience.

Students are advised to refer to the GMC website for further details, noting Footnote 9 which states “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”.



Personal Tutors

Please see Personal Tutoring and Support for information about the personal tutoring scheme for medical students.  



Physical Examination of Patients and Peers

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.




Details of all UCLMS prizes can be found on our Prize webpage

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.

Prize money is claimed through UCL’s Digital Student Expenses system which requires two steps:

1) MBBS staff add your details to UCL’s MyFinance system and
2) students submit a claim following the guidance on page 6 of UCL’s Student Guide

MBBS staff will notify new claimants when their details have been set up in MyFinance.  Students who have claimed previously can simply go ahead and submit their claim using the account codes provided with their notification of award, referring to our FAQs for further guidance if needed.

Please note that the webpage shows all prizes awarded by the Medical School. These prizes are entered into Portico records and shown on medical student academic transcripts. Under UKFPO rules, 1st prizes can be included in Foundation Programme applications. Any prizes awarded by departments or modules which are not shown on our website cannot be certified for UKFPO applications. 





Quality Assurance, Enhancement and Monitoring of Teaching

Teaching and learning standards are monitored through the MBBS quality assurance and enhancement unit which administers student feedback questionnaires and co-ordinates responses to issues raised. 




Radiation Safety Whilst in Clinical Environments - Medical School Guidance

Trusts are responsible for providing radiation safety guidance as part of their inductions and for ensuring that safety requirements are followed during placements. Local guidance takes precedence and should be followed at all times. We have provided some general guidance below for information purposes but it does not replace direct safety training from your Trust.   

Anyone observing procedures that involve fluoroscopy, screening or the use of portable imaging equipment should follow the advice of the radiographer present. The radiographer present is responsible for the safe use of equipment and anyone present during its use.

Students should follow the principles for minimising radiation exposure 'time, distance and shielding' which include:

  • The operator (usually the radiographer but maybe a clinician) is responsible for using the minimum radiation possible to get the information required (time) so for flouroscopy only screening when necessary.   
  • Staying as far away as is possible from the screening unit but which allows them to learn whatever is being demonstrated. If you are 2 metres away or more the dose is negligible. (distance) - and this is relevant for portable x rays, but for fluoroscopy you may need to be closer to see the image intensifier screen or what is being done to the patient. 
  • Wearing appropriate protective clothing e.g. a lead coat, in situations where it is necessary to be present during radiation exposures (Shielding). 


How do I know how far away is safe?

For portable X-rays (such as a CXR) 2m is sufficient. The further away the better. For fluoroscopy and screening (such as during endoscopy or surgical procedures) distance may not be sufficient for those observing procedures and protective clothing is likely to be required (see below) – students should follow the radiographers guidance.

Do I need to wear a thyroid shield?

Whilst watching procedures, such as screening or fluoroscopy, where protective equipment is required, students should remain away from the primary beam (which is aimed at the patient) and wear lead coats. The radiographer in the room will provide any additional guidance required.

If you are more than one metre from the primary beam/x ray machine you do not need a thyroid shield. If a student is e.g assisting which puts them close to the primary beam focused on the patient they will need a thyroid shield.  Staff who are regularly exposed to radiation e.g. the radiographer may wear a thyroid shield even if not closer than 1 metre. Dose is cumulative (i.e. adds up over time) - which is why the operator and radiographers are expected to wear thyroid shields . The amount of radiation exposure is very small - even the radiographers who do this regularly (multiple times a month) almost never have anything register on their badges (they are monitored) and so they will not have received any significant dose of radiation to cause any harm. However we aim to reduce radiation exposure as much as possible. 

Is the guidance different if I am pregnant?

If you are or think you might be pregnant you should inform your clinical supervisor and year team as soon as possible so they can perform a risk assessment and adjust your clinical placement if required.   There will be local rules for pregnant staff in each area where there is possible radiation exposure. Local radiation protection supervisors will know what they are. Avoid all 'controlled' areas of radiation exposure until the risk assessment has been performed. 

If you have followed the standard safety procedures listed above you should not have been exposed to significant amounts of radiation (whether pregnant or not) and should still be within the acceptable exposure limits for pregnant or breastfeeding staff. Ongoing exposure should be minimised. 

More information can be found on the national Health and Safety Executive website

Where can I get more information on radiation exposure for specific imaging modalities?

This website has information for patients with common procedures involving radiation and how they compare to background radiation and students are encouraged to visit it for a deeper understanding of radiation exposure both for themselves and their patients and to review the dedicated module on the Imaging Moodle page where there are links to other resources.




Raising Concerns 

UCLMS encourages all students to raise any concerns on unethical or illegal practices, including patient safety issues.

There are several options for how this can be done,



Reasonable Adjustment

Please refer to UCL’s regulations, guidance and application processes with respect to:

UCLMS works to GMC guidance, set out in ‘Gateways to the Professions’, in determining policies relating to reasonable adjustment during clinical placements and at clinical examinations.

For information specific to medical students, please refer to Examination Adjustments and Student Support Cards.   




References for elective placements and bursary applications should be requested from the Divisional Tutor or MBBS Tutors by emailing medsch.mbbstutors@ucl.ac.uk

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, and ask them to forward copies of any references provided to the relevant MBBS Year Team for inclusion in student files



Religious Holidays

Please see UCL’s policy on religion and belief equality.

In accordance with UCL’s policy, UCLMS encourages flexibility where possible in accommodating requests to observe religious holidays. In the MBBS, however, we cannot guarantee that core activities can be re-scheduled and we cannot re-allocate students on clinical placements to different clinical sites to accommodate religious arrangements. Equally we cannot approve special circumstances to allocate students to a particular site, rotation or elective block for religious reasons. To do so would give priority over other students who have different, but to them equally compelling, reasons for their choices. To choose between students on the basis of personal preferences in an objectively fair and equitable manner would not be possible.

Similarly it is not possible in Medicine to accommodate regular religious observance where it interferes with compulsory student teaching. While of course we are happy for students to request options that make it easier for their religious observance, we do not permit regular absence for example, to observe Sabbath, or for prayers, and students are expected to attend their teaching in these situations.

For the elective period, there is a ~50% chance that any given student will be allocated to a given block. If this is not your preferred option, you will be permitted to swap with another student if you can find someone happy to do so. If not, you will need to consider what impact this may have on your choice of elective and your observance. This will be entirely up to you but, as for all other UCL medical students, you will have to complete your 6 week hands-on placement. It will rest with you to discuss how your observance can be accommodated by your host. This said, many students are able to undertake their religious observance and have successful overseas electives, and for some it may even be easier or more stimulating than celebrating/observing in the UK. 





Remote Consultations – Guidance 



Research and Quality Improvement Projects –Voluntary Contribution by Medical Students as Researchers and IBSc access to NHS sites and record systems

Research experience is provided as part of SSCs and IBSc’s to enable students to develop the skills and understanding to become clinical scientists, which is a key aim of the MBBS programme at UCL. 

Voluntary Research

Students in the later years (4,5,6) are welcome to participate in voluntary research activities and are encouraged to do so at their placement site. This includes taking part in NHS quality improvement projects, under the supervision of UCL researchers and NHS clinicians. Students in these years have completed all the pre-placement requirements including DBS and OH clearances and mandatory training in Information Governance, which all students must complete at the start of Year 4 during the Introductory and Orientation Module (online eLearning for Health (e-LfH) Information Governance module). This allows students in Year 4-6 to be able to participate in projects in the NHS. Student contribution to research in the NHS under a named Research Supervisor is covered under UCL’s MBBS Placement Agreements with each of our MBBS Placement Providers.
Voluntary research often follows on from an IBSc project or is supported by a clinician encountered during placements in these years of study. Research participation must be under the supervision of a named Research Supervisor who is responsible for the student contribution including access to patient records, and for ensuring appropriate ethics approval has been sought, through UCL for university-based projects or through local Trust processes for NHS-based projects. Good supervision is key to good research conduct as well as meaningful outcomes. Students should be mindful of their position as medical students at all times and, if necessary, remind their supervisor of this. This may include highlighting the limitations of your ability or knowledge to ensure your fitness to practise is not compromised, or explaining your need to concentrate on full participation in the MBBS programme.  
In the earlier years, medical students are encouraged to focus on their MBBS and IBSc study. Participation in voluntary research is not covered by UCL’s MBBS Placement Agreements as fulfilment of NHS pre-placement requirements is not complete at this stage. Any participation in voluntary research during year 1 or year 2 or outside the formal IBSc project in year 3 requires a UCL Research Passport1. If access to UCLH’s electronic patient record system is required, the Research Supervisor must apply to UCLH for the student to be added via the Additional Workers route, with the Research Supervisor named as the line-manager.

IBSc Research Projects and Clinical Placements

IBSc Programme Leads and Administrators are responsible for ensuring that correct permissions are in place for students to take up IBSc clinical placements and research projects, including OH and DBS checks as appropriate, ethics approval, named Research Supervisors, and permission to access NHS sites and patient record systems where needed.

The normal mechanism for students to be granted access to NHS sites (other than UCLH) is a UCL Research Passport. Details are provided on UCL’s HR website. Notes to help UCL medical students complete the application form are given below (1).  
UCLH has a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with UCL which replaces the need for a Research Passport for UCL medical students and other named UG and PGT programmes which have confirmed to their Faculty Tutor that the equivalent of NHS pre-employment checks are undertaken as a condition of admission to the programme. Research project approval is subject to UCLH research protocols. Your Programme Lead or Administrator will be able to advise if your programme is covered by this Agreement.
Where access to UCLH’s electronic patient record system (EPIC) is required, the named Research Supervisor must email andrea.cavalcanti@nhs.net in the Education Team at UCLH to formally request this, ensuring that the Programme Lead is copied in. Research Supervisors must provide: Student Surname and Forenames, Gender, DoB, UCL email address, National Insurance number, placement/project start date, placement/project end date. Students are added to UCLH’s ESR via the Additional Workers route with the Research Supervisor named as the line-manager. The registration process takes 4 weeks to complete.
Notes for Programme Leads and Administrators about compliance with the SLA are given below (2).

(1) Research Passport – Notes for UCL medical students

Students should visit UCL’s HR website to read the guidance and to download a UCL Research Passport Form.  

When completing the form, please note that:

  • Sections 1-3 (questions 1-6) are for completion by the student
  • Section 4 (question 7) is for completion by the project/placement supervisor  
  • Section 5.1 (question 8) DBS clearance is for completion by UCL’s Compliance Team accessed via UCL Student Centre (the Medical School cannot help with this). Please note that some NHS providers may require a DBS check dated within 12 months of your project/placement start date, in which case the DBS clearance obtained on entry to the MBBS will not be valid and a new check will need to be arranged through the Compliance Team which will extend the time needed for the research passport to be issued. Costs associated with the new check are charged to the IBSc department. 
  • Section 5.2 (question 9) OH clearance is for completion by UCL Workplace Health and students are responsible for the costs of this service
  • Section 5.3 (question 10) ID checks for students taking voluntary research or QI projects during the MBBS years is for completion by any member of the Medical Student Support Team at G15, Rockefeller Building, 21 University Street; ID checks for students taking IBSc projects or placements is for completion by their IBSc programme administrator.
  • Section 6 is for completion by the student
  • Section 7 is for completion by the relevant Trust’s Research and Development Office 
    • UCLH and the Royal Free Trusts  have a Joint Research Office which is based on the 1st Floor of Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7DN

(2) UCLH SLA – Notes for Programme Leads and Research Project Supervisors

Under the terms of the SLA, Programme Leads are required to check the items below and send a list of students allocated to UCLH for placements or research projects to andrea.cavalcanti@nhs.net, providing the information set out in the table below.  Where access to EPIC is required, the named Research Supervisor must also email to formally request this, ensuring that the Programme Lead is copied in. 

  • Students must be issued with or made aware of: 
  • Students must complete the NHS online module in Information Governance: 
    • Register for elearning for health. To do this go to HEE elfh Hub and register using your Open Athens account. If you do not have or know your Open Athens details, please look at the Royal Free Library information
    • Log in to ePortfolio, and allow eLearning for Health automatically to upload any certificates that you are awarded. To do this, click on the e-learning menu at the top, and then click on the "verify your eLearning for Healthcare login details", then press authenticate, and you will be asked for your e-LFH login details.
    • Complete the Module: Data Security Awareness - Level 1. You can search for this, or click on the heading Statutory and Mandatory training. You should complete the module, and the take the assessment, for which you need to score 80% to pass. Once you have passed, your certificate will be uploaded to your ePortfolio automatically within 24 hours. You can go back and check it if you wish.
  • Programme Leads must provide curriculum information, learning outcomes and assessment requirements, assessment forms/mark schemes to Trust teachers/educational supervisors/research supervisors.
  • Programme Leads must submit to the Placement and/or Research Project Provider’s Deputy Director of Education and Medical Workforce Team (c/o andrea.cavalcanti@nhs.net) the details of students undertaking Placements or Research Projects at UCLH in the following format:
Name of StudentDegree title and qualification (MBBS/MBPhD/iBSc/PGT)Placement or ProjectResearch SupervisorOH/DBS clearance and IG training confirmed




Research Projects and Drug Studies – Voluntary Participation by Medical Students as Subjects

Medical students may be invited to participate in research projects as volunteers. UCLMS 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 an appointment with an MBBS Tutor to discuss this. 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 the Office of the Divisional Tutor UCLMS,  Medical School Building, 74 Huntley Street, in advance of the appointment.

Information for MBBS Tutors

The investigator in charge of the trial must request permission from the Director of UCL (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.

Information for Medical Students conducting Research

We encourage students in Years 4,5 and 6 to work with UCL and associated NHS Trust staff to undertake research that will help them to develop the skills and understanding to become clinical scientists. Much of this research experience will be an integral part of the programme: either as part of an SSC or the iBSc. Other research, including quality improvement projects, may be undertaken outside of these times; usually following on from iBSc year work or supported by clinicians encountered during the programme. Good supervision is key to good research conduct as well as meaningful outcomes. Students should be mindful of their position as medical students at all times and, if necessary, remind their supervisor of this. This may include highlighting the limitations of your ability or knowledge to ensure your fitness to practise is not compromised, or explaining your need to concentrate on full participation in the MBBS programme.  

Medical students involved in research involving patients or patient data (including the patient clinical notes) during MBBS Years 4,5 and 6 are covered for this activity at their placement site by UCL’s MBBS contracts with clinical providers providing they have a named supervisor who has taken responsibility for their activity. Medical students should not undertake projects of this type during Year 1 and Year 2 or their iBSc year, as there is no provision for this in the legal contracts. IBSc Programme Leads will advise on the requirements for your IBSc research project. The normal mechanism is a Research Passport, which is the NHS mechanism for obtaining an honorary research contract, except at UCLH where some specific IBSc’s are covered by an agreement with the Trust.  

Students should visit UCL’s HR website to read the guidance and to download a UCL Research Passport Form.  During their iBSc year, students should follow guidance issued by their programme lead for permission to undertake research projects. 

When completing the form, please note that:

  • Sections 1-3 (questions 1-6) are for completion by the student
  • Section 4 (question 7) is for completion by your academic supervisor  
  • Section 5.1 (question 8) is for completion by UCL Student Centre
  • Section 5.2 (question 9) is for completion by UCL OHS who charge for this service
  • Section 5.3 (question 10) is for completion by UCL Medical Student Support Services at the Rockefeller Building, 21 University Street
  • Section 6 is for completion by the student
  • Section 7 is for completion by the relevant Trust’s Research and Development Office 
    • UCLH and the Royal Free Trusts  have a Joint Research Office which is based on the 1st Floor of Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7DN



Research Project Recruitment – Guidance for Researchers wishing to recruit UCLMS staff or MBBS students 

All researchers who wish to recruit UCLMS staff or MBBS students are required to first seek permission to do so through the following process. This permission process is to ensure that the research is of the same ethical standards as that carried out by UCLMS staff and students and that our staff and students are not overwhelmed by excessive demands on their time.  Obviously, this does not constitute ethical approval, nor will UCLMS or UCL undertake an ethical review of the research.

Initially, your proposal requires approval from the MBBS Academic Lead for Quality Assurance.  To submit a request please complete our online form:

If you have any queries email medsch.qaeu@ucl.ac.uk

Once approved by UCLMS, you must submit your request to the UCL Research Ethics Co-ordinator (ethics@ucl.ac.uk ) along with the following information:

  • A justification for why UCL staff/MBBS students need to be recruited for the research.
  • A copy of the ethical approval letter.
  • A copy of the ethical application form.
  • Details of the recruitment methods to be used and copies of recruitment documents such as information sheets, consent forms, posters, etc.
  • Evidence that permission has been granted from the area/s you wish to recruit through (in this instance, evidence of approval from the Quality Assurance Lead).
  • Assurance that suitable insurance arrangements are in place for the study as UCL would not be liable for the research.

If your proposal has been approved by Medical Schools Council Ethics and Law Advisory Group, please provide confirmation of this in your email.

If you get granted ethical clearance you should let the Quality Assurance team know and they will advise about how to recruit participants.

The above documentation will then be reviewed and you will receive a response as soon as possible.

Please note that due to Data Protection we are not able to provide you with a list of students, nor are we permitted to send advertising to students. However, pending approval of your study, we can publish details and a link to your survey for students to access.  



Revision at DGHs

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




Room Bookings for Student Use

UCL does not permit teaching space to be booked for student use other than by the presidents of UCLU clubs and societies after UCL’s timetabling has been completed in the autumn term. 

Student learning space is available at each of the 3 campuses:

  1. UCL Cruciform Student Hub:  rooms for small group study/revision purposes may be booked online or in person.
  2. Royal Student Hub:  24 hour student access for personal and informal small group study. 
  3. Whittington Student Hub:  24 hour student access for personal and informal small group study.  Students may also use, but not book, the teaching/seminar rooms in the UG Centre outside of teaching hours (8.00am to 6.00pm) and, on an informal basis, when not in use during teaching hours.  Under Whittington Trust policies, no room bookings may be made by or for students at the WEC or other Trust bookable spaces.
  4. Clinical Skills Centres: students may request room bookings outside of teaching hours (8.00am-6.00pm) and at weekends for formal CPSA revision sessions organised through MedSoc.  Requests should be directed to Skills Centre staff and bookings are conditional on compliance with UCL and UCLU rules and policies relating to safety and responsible use of space, as well as with any local requirements specified by Skills Centre staff.  

Room booking requests for external events/courses must follow the UCL instructions




Room Booking Hierarchy for Staff


Summative Assessments

  • have 1st priority

    • the majority are timetabled outside of teaching time and so do not affect room bookings for teaching
    • the main impact on room bookings for teaching is during March finals

Lectures for whole year cohorts

  • Year 1 and Year 2 have priority for Cruciform Lecture Theatre 1 during UCL term time.

Small group teaching rooms

  • CPP and SSCs have priority on Thursdays and Fridays 

Introduction and Orientation Modules (IOM) and Core Teaching Weeks (CTW)

  • Each year has priority for lecture theatres and small group teaching rooms during its IOM and core teaching weeks and for small group teaching on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays of its IOM and core teaching weeks.

    • Y1 and Y2 have priority for lecture theatres during UCL term time at the Bloomsbury Campus; the majority of IOM and CTW in the later years fall outside UCL term time.
    • Y4 has priority for lecture theatres (Mon-Fri), small group teaching rooms and Clinical Skills Centres (Mon-Weds) during Wk 1 and Wk 3 of the Y4 IOM; Y5 IOM sessions are timetabled to fit in with Year 4 requirements.
    • Y5 has priority for lecture theatres (Mon-Fri), small group teaching rooms and Clinical Skills Centre (Mon-Weds) during the Y5 Module CTW; the first CTW takes place in Wk 2 of the Y4 IOM when the students are on the wards and any Y4 sessions needing lecture theatres/tutorial rooms/Clinical Skills Centres are timetabled to fit in with the Y5 timetables.
    • Y5 Modules each have priority at one campus but module managers may agree changes between themselves to facilitate timetabling: Y5A CFHD – Bloomsbury, Y5B WHMH – Royal Free, Y5C HOPE – Whittington.

Clinical and Professional Practice

  • is taught at each of the 3 campuses during term time excluding IOM and CTW
  • has priority on Thursdays and Fridays
  • each Campus/Trust undertook to provide 6 rooms in close proximity, using the same rooms each week in-so-far-as possible
  • at the Whittington Campus, rooms are booked first into UG Centre space, library space, clinical skills centre (when not required for Skills Centre teaching) followed by WEC

    • Y1 CPP (whole year cohort) has 1st priority on Thursday mornings (9am-1pm)
    • Y2 CPP (whole year cohort) has 1st priority on Friday mornings (9am-1pm)
    • Y4 CPP (whole year cohort) has 1st priority on Thursday afternoons (2-5.15pm)
    • Y5 CPP (integrated into modules) has 2nd priority on Friday mornings and afternoons

Student Selected Components

  • are taught predominantly at the Bloomsbury Campus with some at the Royal Free and the Whittington

    • Y1 SSC teaching has 2nd priority on Thursday afternoons (after CPP)
    • Y2 SSC and Year 2 Cardiovascular Patient Pathway have 1st priority on Friday afternoons



Sickness Absence

Please see Absence requests and absence reporting by students




Social Media

In recent years social media has evolved to be one of the most innovative and main forms of communication within the profession and includes networking, blogging, video and photo sharing sites. Professional integrity and how we choose to conduct ourselves in public also extends to our virtual presence and what we decide to publish online.  Therefore, it is crucial that a number of aspects are taken into consideration when using social media; 

Photos and Filming

You need to be aware that filming inside any clinical environment is not acceptable for confidentiality reasons, and also that filming actual teaching sessions, either lectures, or any other type of teaching, in UCL or NHS premises, is also not permitted. All teaching material is subject to copyright which is usually owned by the university or the teacher, and so posting it publicly would be in breach of this. In addition some small group teaching also guarantees students confidentiality.

Patient Confidentiality

There are a variety of ways patient confidentiality can be breeched, such as sharing of handover lists or sharing details about patient’s management plan that can make them identifiable. With the risk of information spreading beyond the sphere for which it was intended, the judicious use of social networking sites is critical to ensuring continued confidence and trust in the profession.

Venting your grievances

The GMC’s ‘Good medical practice’ on treating colleagues fairly and with respect extends to any postings made online. Social media should not be used to post comments that would be considered discourteous, in poor taste, or to attack individuals and make claims that are unsubstantiated.

Professional Integrity

With most people using video and photo sharing sites, it is important to remember that these can be accessed by members of the public. While privacy settings can be adjusted to reduce access, care should still be taken to ensure on any content that is published, as these can still be accessed due to copyright and cacheing. The GMC also advise that for any doctors who publish material then they should be identified by name, to ensure continued trust in the profession.  Furthermore, social media platforms should also not be used for contacting patients or for giving medical advice, instead they should be directed to the appropriate channels for doing so.

We should not underestimate how powerful social media has been in opening up access to information from experts and in enabling cross collaboration between different users from all over the World. However, as with any tool, being aware of what constitutes good media

 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 reads it? What if the Head of UCLMS read it? What if the GMC read it?

Further reading on guidelines available for doctors and medical students:



Special Circumstances Potentially Affecting Placement Allocations

Students with special circumstances who wish them to be taken into account for any MBBS placement or allocation should submit an online application via by the published submission deadline for the Year/Placement concerned. This will normally be at least 4 weeks before the start of the placement. Students will normally receive a decision on their request within 2 weeks, and the relevant placement administrator will be notified of the result.

Evidence will normally be required to support your request and you will be asked to submit relevant documentation with your online application. 

This will normally be notes from an MBBS Tutor appointment or medical letter, report or fit note.

Circumstances likely to justify special consideration include:

Medical conditions

  • Requiring on-going attendance at a specific hospital
  • Affecting ability to travel

Financial hardship

  • Students funding their studies through approved out of hours work
  • Students needing continuous residential accommodation

Personal circumstances

  • Family circumstances affecting ability to travel or necessitating proximity to home
  • Primary carer duties (child care, care of a relative, care of a sibling)

Circumstances unlikely to justify special placement include:

  • Research activities outside the MBBS requirements
  • Sporting activities
  • Charity work
  • Wishing to be placed with friends





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

  • UCLMS 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.



Standards for Clinical Teachers

UCLMS seeks to provide the highest standard of clinical education. We realise that is achieved 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.




Staying Safe

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.

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.


Student-Led Events and Courses

Whilst we encourage our students to be innovative and supportive of their peers in revision activities or by providing their experiences or guidance about studying medicine, any courses for external students or potential students need careful consideration and may need to include a risk assessment by UCL. If you are considering putting on any courses, free or otherwise, that invites external students onto campus, these must be discussed with the Divisional Tutor's Team before any event is booked and advertised. 



Student: Staff Consultative Committee

Student–led SSCCs for Years 1 and 2, Year 3 and Years 4-6 are held according to UCL guidelines and terms of reference. Meetings are facilitated by MBBS Management Year teams and minutes are reported via MBBS Teaching Committees to UCL Academic Committee.  

Further information is available from RUMS and student representatives.



Student Support Cards

UCLMS is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and positive attitudes towards disabled people and to supporting students whose performance may be affected by health or personal issues at any stage in the course. The Divisional Tutor's Team is on hand to give advice and to implement measures designed to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by long-term or temporary disability during clinical placements and clinical assessments.

Student Support Cards supplement UCL’s Statements of Reasonable Adjustment (SORA’s) as a mechanism to request reasonable adjustment during clinical placements and clinical assessments where students are taught or examined by a wide range of NHS staff outside the university. Student Support Cards may also be requested by any student whose health or personal circumstances mean that temporary support or adjustments may be appropriate. Students can choose to present their card to their educational supervisor, clinical teachers or examiners to notify them of adjustments approved in advance by a member of the Divisional Tutor’s Team.

Students who are issued a Statement of Reasonable Adjustment (SORA) by UCL’s Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing Team are offered an appointment with an MBBS  Tutor as soon as UCLMS receives notification that a SORA has been issued.  

Other students may make a Student Support appointment at any time and should complete a Student Support Card request form

Please see ‘Examination Adjustments’ for information about applying for Examination Adjustments at clinical examinations.





Student Support Services

Please see MBBS Student Support for details of UCLMS' services.




Student Trusted Contact Guidance

UCL’s protocol for appropriate use of student trusted contact information can be found here:



Substance Use And Misuse

Substance misuse may constitute a disciplinary offence under UCL’s Student Disciplinary Procedure.

Examples of major offences include but are not limited to:

  • …Use, possession, buying or selling of illegal drugs
  • Excessive use of alcohol that is likely to endanger the health and safety of others

For medical students, substance misuse additionally constitutes a Fitness to Practise . Under UCL’s Fitness to Practise Procedure, an investigation by the Medical School’s Initial Fitness to Practise Panel may lead to a referral to a Full Panel which has authority to seek drug and alcohol testing.  Such tests will be arranged via UCL Workplace Health in accordance with national OH guidelines.

A key priority for both UCL and UCLMS is to provide students with appropriate support and advice. UCL works in association with the Students' Union to provide relevant information and advice for students about health and other risks, and to ensure that information about support are made readily available: 

UCLMS offers help and advice through the Divisional Tutor's Team and medical students are required to seek advice because of the fitness to practise considerations


Summaries of Reasonable Adjustment 

Please see student support cards for reasonable adjustments in placements and MBBS exams 



Support to Study and Support Plans

UCL’s Student Support Framework includes Support to Study for students who have already engaged with UCL’s standard support processes (such as Extenuating Circumstances, Summaries of Reasonable Adjustments etc.) but these are not providing the right level of support.

Support to Study has provisions for Support Plans for students who are having significant, persistent or long-term difficulties.

MBBS Support to Study

The ODT will provide support to UCL medical students under the Support to Study process as outlined by the University procedure outlined in Chapter 2 Section 7 of the UCL Academic Manual.

Students will be referred to this service by their Personal Tutor, or Senior site tutor through the Academic Student Record (ASR) on the basis of needing additional support and possible further review(s) to support their study.

Upon referral, students will meet with one of the MBBS tutors for consideration of their individual needs, and this will include assessment of a range options available including but not limited to:

  • Extenuating circumstances: current and previous
  • Statements of reasonable adjustments (SORA): current and previous, and whether a review of the SORA is required
  • Exam adjustments (e.g. special equipment, permitted modifications to procedures, extra time, rest breaks, sitting a written exam in a specific venue where this has been granted by UCL Disabilities Office, student support card for CPSAs where this has been granted by the Medical School)
  • Academic adjustments; (e.g. catching up on missed teaching, timetable adjustments, asynchronous attendance)
  • Interruption of study
  • Referral and engagement with UCL Occupational Health services.
  • Establishing whether contact has been made with UCL’s Psychological and Counselling services 
  • Engagement with UCL’s Disability, Mental health and Wellbeing team
  • Engagement with appropriate medical services
  • Pastoral support from Personal Tutor, Senior Site tutor or MBBS tutor.

The reasons for referral for support to study will usually be because of difficulties with one or more of the following.

  • Attendance and Engagement with teaching
  • Completion of formative assessments, or coursework
  • Being unable to study at the level and intensity required by the programme
  • Underlying health conditions that result in the above difficulties

At your first meeting, assessment of the above will result in the formulation of a support plan with which you will need to be happy and will consist of any of the options listed above, together with an agreement on an appropriate regular review to ensure that the plan is working for you. This will normally be between 4 and 8 weeks after your first meeting. Depending on the outcome of the review meeting there may be agreement that no further review meetings are required, that regular reviews are recommended, that regular support from your personal tutor or senior site tutor be appropriate, or that referral to another service may be required.

In some circumstances, review of your progress may continue into subsequent years of the programme, by mutual agreement between you and your MBBS tutor or the Divisional tutor or deputy.

Referral onward could include:

  1. Referral for a learning agreement to formally agree minimum attendance and engagement if this remains a problem despite a support to study agreement
  2. Referral to the MBBS fitness to practise procedures if sufficient concerns remain about health or professionalism
  3. Referral to a university Support to Study panel. This is less likely to be relevant given the support available within the Division, and the particular requirements of the MBBS programme but may be appropriate in some circumstances

You will be kept updated on all stages of the support to study process, and apart from onward referral, you will be invited to agree with the plans for your support.


  1. It is anticipated that all MBBS tutors will be involved in negotiating support to study agreements apart from the FTP lead, who will receive onward referrals for Learning agreements and FTP procedures.
  2. Students will usually be allocated to MBBS tutors with the relevant expertise, but all MBBS tutors are able to support our students and so it is possible that a student may be allocated to any of the tutors available. 
  3. The MBBS support to study policy will be kept under regular review and may be adjusted as needed to best support MBBS students and the requirement of their programme. It will also be informed by any changes to the University support to study procedures.



Teaching Awards


Throughout the course of the year, 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 UCLMS 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




Teaching Portal for Clinical Teachers

UCLMS welcomes the contribution of healthcare professionals at all levels of MBBS education and training.

Please see the MBBS Teaching Portal (coming soon) for details of how you can contribute. 



Transport Strikes

In the event of train or tube strikes during term time affecting the ability of teaching staff to travel to sites, the Medical School and Placement Providers will make every effort to avoid changes to timetables. The contingencies below will be applied depending on the level of disruption.  

In all cases, students who are unable to travel to in-person sessions should submit an absence form in ASR before the scheduled teaching to avoid an unauthorised absence being recorded.


1.     If the lecturer cannot come in, sessions will move to remote delivery

Tutorials and other taught sessions: 

2.     Tutorials:

  1. If the tutor cannot come in, sessions will move to remote delivery

3.     Clinical Skills:

  1. Train Strike: will be rearranged to another date if possible
  2. Tube Strike: will remain in person as timetabled

4.     Clinical Communication (which cannot be delivered remotely):

  1. If 1 tutor is unable to come in, the groups will double up with the other tutor on the same site
  2. If both tutors at a site are unable to come in: 
    1. Students will be split across other sessions later in the term where asynchronous teaching time can be drawn on to enable this
    2. If there are no remaining sessions, students will be asked to access the materials available in Moodle and practise with their peers


5.     placements continue and providers are asked to minimise changes to timetables as far as possible
6.     cancelled teaching events cannot be rescheduled
7.     students should be prepared for some disruption to timetables
8.     students are encouraged to look for other opportunities to gain any missed experiences




UCL issues a university transcript to all students with their degree certificate which confirms degree awards, dates of study and summative examination results. Information about UCL transcripts can be found at UCL Transcripts. UCL transcripts are accompanied by a Transcript Rubric which provides information about the content of the transcript

Some medical students and medical graduates will require a full transcript of their MBBS programme of study with names and dates of modules and including clinical placement dates, overall module results, summative examination results (all attempts), prizes, merits and distinctions.  These transcripts are managed by the Medical School

Current students can generate a full MBBS transcript themselves from Portico at any stage to support, for example, applications for bursaries or elective placements which simply ask for a copy of your transcript (as opposed to a certified copy). Alternatively, when the Portico update cycle means that this functionality is unavailable or when a UCLMS stamp is needed, your year team can provide a transcript for you if you email your request to the generic year email address. While working remotely, the year team will send you a pdf as we cannot provide printed documents. 

Where a certified copy of your transcript is needed, you should put in a request through medsch.studentrecordsmanager@ucl.ac.uk as the team will need to add a statement that the transcript is certified by UCLMS.  

Information for graduates who require a full medical school transcript can be found at: UCL Medical School Alumni webpages



Travel Expenses

The cost of travel between UCL’s 3 home campuses (UCL, The Royal Free and The Whittington) is a student responsibility. Students should expect to cover the costs of travel to timetabled teaching at these campuses in years 1,2,4,5 and 6 of the programme. 
Financial assistance for travel to placements may be available from the following sources:  

GP placements 

Financial help is available from the Department of Primary Health Care to specified GP Practices. The GP academic and professional services team will provide information as part of the process for allocating students to these placements.

National Student Funding Offices – Years 1-4

Financial help available from your student funding office may be found in the Guide to Financial Support for Higher Education Students or directly from the office which provides your funding (eg Student Finance England). Financial assistance is granted under rules specific to each funding body.

Cardiology Placements – Year 4

Travel expenses for students placed at Barnet may be claimed from the Trust as this is an additional expense not incurred by students placed at home campuses for Cardiology. Travel receipts/oyster printouts should be retained and information about the application process will be provided during the induction session at Barnet.

NHS Bursaries Office – Years 5 and 6 

Financial help with travel to placements for students in their fifth and sixth year of study may be available from the NHS Bursaries office for extra travel costs for those in receipt of an NHS bursary. 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 claim form can be downloaded from the NHS site and should be submitted together with receipts to the Year 5 Team, Medical Student Office (Years 4-6), Rockefeller Building for authorisation.

UCLMS Hardship Funds – Years 1,2,4,5 and 6 

UCLMS can offer limited assistance with travel costs for students who are suffering severe financial hardship. Students are asked to make an appointment to see the Deputy Divisional  Tutor to discuss their needs and will need to submit receipts for journeys claimed.  

Finally, UCLMS has a small fund to help students with the costs of extra journeys home, during term time, which they might otherwise not be able to make.  This fund draws on a bequest established in memory of a student who trained at UCH School of Medicine, Christopher Whiteside, and draws on donations from his parents and their personal contacts. 


Turing Scheme for Medical Electives

The Turing Scheme provides government funding to help with the costs of studying abroad. UCL submits an annual application for funding and the amount available to UCL students varies depending on the outcome of the application. UCL prioritises students from widening participation backgrounds or who fall within the Study Abroad under-represented groups, however funding may be available, depending on the outcome of UCL’s application, for other students regardless of their background.

Applicants must be nominated by their Department and potential applicants must book an appointment with the Divisional Tutor or Electives Lead to discuss their intention to apply. Medical School nominations will be selected from the following groups who cannot claim electives expenses from their funding body or sponsor:  

  • Students from the devolved nations 
  • International students

Students funded by the NHS (England) Bursary Scheme are not nominated because elective expenses can be claimed under this scheme and financial rules for public funding preclude claiming the same expenses from two sources. 



University Hospital Status

The Department of Health protocol for Trusts to have ‘university’ formally included in the title of the Trust is by application to the Secretary of State for Health for an amendment to the Establishment Order.  The protocol first requires the Trust to meet the criteria for membership of the University Hospital Assocation (formerly Association of UK University Hospitals) which have been developed in conjunction with Medical Schools Council.  Applications for membership should be addressed to Woburn House, 20 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9HD.  Further information about University Hospital Assocation 




Vacation Courses and Clinical Experience

Guidance for students who wish to arrange additional voluntary courses or clinical placements is provided in the section relating to courses At External Institutions Outside Medical School Term Time.




Wednesday Afternoons

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.

UCLMS works 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.  Students should, however, attend on-call if allocated to a Wednesday evening or night rota.

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.




Whistleblowing Policy for Students

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 UCLMS Quality Assurance 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 the UCL Medical School QA website .




Whiteside Fund for Trips Home

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 Student Support website.




Work Experience

UCLMS 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.



Working – Paid and Volunteering

Many students rely on paid work or choose to participate in volunteering activities during the course of their MBBS studies.

We want you all to succeed and your welfare is our first priority. We therefore ask you to keep in mind the following principles:

  • Your learning and progression remain your priority.
  • Any additional work should be undertaken at times when it does not affect your studies – normally evenings, weekends or during holidays.
  • You should not agree to more than 12 hours of work per week during term time. Any commitment must ensure full attendance at placements/teaching is not compromised. 
  • Volunteering truly is entirely voluntary - only undertake this if you are able and happy to.
  • If volunteering in the NHS, you must take your own safety seriously, as this protects patients and colleagues also.
  • Remain mindful of your own capabilities and limits and do not take on anything that is outside of the training you might receive