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 School Learning Agreement.
Information and guidance from UCL and UCLMS is further set out in the MBBS Core Programme Information.
- Assessment feedback
- Attendance and engagement
- Ambulance service insurance
- Change of address
- Cheating and plagiarism
- Clinical Skills Centre
- Close Supervision Polices and Procedures
- Colour Deficient Vision – Guidance for students
- Commercial Courses
- Communications Policy
- Concerns over Attendance and Engagement (CoAE)
- Concerns over Professional Behaviour(s) (CoPB)
- Council tax
- Conscientious Objection
- Coursework Requirements, Deadlines and Feedback
- Covid-19 Adjustments – Policies and Guidance
- Curriculum Map
- Data Protection Act and Student Confidential Information
- Disabilities - reasonable adjustments during clinical placements and clinical assessments
- Disclosure and Barring Service Checks
- Dress and behaviour
- Duties of a doctor and student ethics
- Dyslexia and specific learning difficulties - reasonable adjustments during clinical placements and clinical assessments
- Educational opportunities for clinicians
- e-learning guidance
- Elective bursaries
- Examination adjustments
- Extenuating circumstances affecting examination performance
- External Events and Courses
- External or extra/optional placements or revision at UCL Trusts, DGHs and External Institutions
- Family Illness
- Feedback on teaching
- Financial Assistance
- Fitness to practise procedures
- Fitness to practise concerns (see Concerns over Professional Behaviour)
- Foundation Year Doctors’ contribution to Medical Education and MBBS Teaching
- Freedom of Information
- GMC good Medical Practice, Professional Behaviour and Fitness to Practise – GMC Guidance and Case Studies
- GMC Outcomes for Graduates
- Harassment and bullying
- Health and safety
- Health clearance
- Honesty and probity
- Honorary titles for teaching
- Identity cards and name badges
- Immunisation status and blood borne viruses
- Inclusion Leads
- Infection control
- Interruption of Study
- IT Standards at NHS Sites
- Jury service
- Learning Agreements, Barring, Suspensions and Termination of Study
- MBBS portfolio
- Medical School Learning Agreement
- Medsin Exchanges
- Near peer tutoring
- NHS bursaries
- Occupational Health
- On-call accommodation at home sites
- Outcome for Graduates
- Patient Confidentiality
- Patients in Medical Education - Information Governance and mandatory training for medical students
- Patients in Medical Education - Rights and Consent - Guidelines for Students
- Peer dialogue scheme for MBBS teachers
- Personal beliefs
- Personal tutors
- Physical Examination of Patients and Peers
- Quality Assurance, Enhancement and Monitoring of Teaching
- Reasonable Adjustment
- Religious Holidays
- Remote Consultations – Policies and Guidance
- Research Integrity
- Research Projects and Drug Studies
- Research Project Recruitment
- Revision at DGHs
- Room bookings for student use
- Room booking hierarchy for staff
- Sickness absence
- Social Media
- Special circumstances potentially affecting placement allocations
- Standards for Clinical Teachers
- Staying safe
- Student-led events and courses
- Student Selected Components (Self organised/outside of the UK)
- Student: Staff Consultative Committee
- Student Support Cards
- Student support services and clinics
- Study Skills
- Substance misuse
- Teaching awards
- Travel expenses
- University Hospital Status
- Vacation courses and clinical experience
- Wednesday afternoons
- Whistleblowing policy for students
- Whiteside fund for financial assistance for journeys home
- Work Experience
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.
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 placed on a learning agreement and may become ineligible to enter summative assessments .
Attendance at face-to-face and synchronous teaching will be recorded in RegisterUCL ; attendance at small group sessions delivered onsite or online will be reported by the teacher/tutor leading the session; and engagement with a-synchronous teaching will be monitored by the MBBS Management Team through periodic reports from Moodle.
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 years and in years 4-6 are expected to be in attendance in clinical settings (wards, clinics, emergency departments, theatres etc.) when there are no other fixed timetabled activities during these hours. 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 Medical School 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 and the MBBS Student Support 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 Tier 4 visas follows UCL’s policy and processes  to comply with UK Border Agency requirements.
-  Academic Manual Section 4 Learning Agreements, Barring, Suspensions and Termination of Studies
-  UCL’s attendance policy requires a list off attendees to be downloaded at a point during the session and entered into RegisterUCL. Any teaching sessions viewed later will not be captured in this system, however the Medical School will monitor later engagement in our local records.
-  Academic Manual Section 3 Authorised Absence for Students on a Tier 4 Visa
Absence Reporting by Academic and Clinical Staff and Professional Services Staff
All MBBS teachers, tutors, clinicians, MBBS administrators, must comply with UCL’s requirement to monitor attendance and engagement and help the Medical School to provide support for students by reporting unexplained absences via the Absence Report Online Form or a spreadsheet return.
Absence reports should not be submitted where staff have received notification 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 unauthorised absence reports will automatically be referred to the Divisional Tutor for consideration of a CoAE. Students who have 3 CoAEs may be issued a Concern over Professional Behaviour(s) (CoPB)
CPP and Horizontal Module Managers and MBBS Placement Administrators should follow UCL’s instructions for recording attendance at face-to-face and synchronous sessions in RegisterUCL and should submit absence reports to the Medical School through our online Absence Report Online Form or template spreadsheet.
The CPP and Year Teams should run regular reports from Moodle to monitor engagement with a-synchronous teaching: in year 1 reports should be run at 2 weeks, 4 weeks and monthly thereafter; in years 2,4,5 and 6 reports should be run monthly and absences/non-engagement entered into our local Medical School records.
Absence Reporting by Students
Students should report all unavoidable absences through the Absence Report section of the Absence Report and Leave Request Online Form.
This includes absence for ill health  and emergencies which must be reported as soon as possible on the day; and medical/dental appointments and events which take precedence over timetabled activities, such as those listed below, which must be notified in advance.
- compulsory Divisional Tutor and Medical Student Support Tutor meetings.
- fitness to practise appointments.
- occupational health appointments.
- medical or dental appointments.
- personal tutor meetings which cannot be arranged at a different time.
- sickness absence.
- emergencies outside your control.
This is all you need to do, because submission of your online form 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 notifications do not include personal or confidential information.
Appointments with Occupational Health or Student Support Tutors should be cancelled directly with Workforce Health Services or email@example.com at minimum 2 working days before the appointment to free up the slot for other students.
 please note that sickness absence should be reported as early as possible on the first morning of absence and sickness absence of more than 7 days may require you to submit appropriate medical evidence, and will trigger a student support appointment to discuss any additional support that might be beneficial to you. Any student who needs regular appointments for a prolonged treatment or other reason 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.
Authorised Absence/Planned Leave Requests by Students
Students should request authorised absence for planned events of any duration that are not part of the MBBS programme of study and cannot be arranged outside of term time. This type of absence requires approval from the Divisional Tutor and must be requested at least 2 weeks in advance using the Leave Request section of the Absence Report and Leave Request Online Form.
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 to the Medical School Assessment Committee for Fitness to Practise Medicine.
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.
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 and Plagiarism
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. 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, the medical school 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.
The medical school takes misconduct very seriously and investigations and ultimately sanctions for cheating will be pursued through both UCL’s disciplinary procedures and the School of Life and Medical Sciences’ fitness to practice routes. 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 . Based on GMC guidance the medical school 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. The medical school 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 medical school. 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’ Candidate Guide on the MBBS website; and as sent to you by Medical School 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. The medical school 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.
 General Medical Council, Medical Schools Council. Professional behaviour and fitness to practise: guidance for medical schools and their students. 2016.
 General Medical Council, Medical Schools Council. Achieving good medical practice: guidance for medical students. 2016.
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 (access via the stairs adjacent to the squash courts).
Please see the Skills Centres website for more information
With around 380 students in each year of the medical course it is important that the School has a mechanism for identifying, monitoring and supporting those students who are in particular need or who are believed to be at high risk of academic failure. The School operates a Close Supervision system through the Medical Student Support Services and the policy and procedures may be found here:Close Supervision Policy.
See External Courses
- 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
- With clear identification and branding
- Generic inboxes allowing cross-cover and continuity
- Standard email signature including MBBS logo, role identified as Year/Module/Placement Management plus title as prescribed by the MBBS
Face to face
- Rockefeller Medical Student Offices, UG Centres and Divisional Offices - opening hours 9am-5pm
- MS Teams when working remotely – 9-5am
- Following standard MBBS house style (set out at 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
- For all course/module related email communications (and only Moodle, no duplication by email)
- Moodle calendars for core teaching events, including remote sessions in Blackboard and asynchronous CPP teaching events
- Outlook calendars for ward-based and placement-specific teaching events, including remote sessions in MS Teams/Zoom and synchronous CPP teaching events
- Prepared to the timelines set out in the Module and Placements Management Guide
- 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/Outlook 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
- 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 Medical School’s mechanism for monitoring repeated, unexplained or unauthorised absence from teaching and patterns of poor attendance and/or poor engagement and failure to attend Occupational Health or Medical Student Support appointments without cancelling.
All CoAE’s are reviewed by Academic Year Leads and the Divisional Tutor and may:
- trigger a compulsory appointment with a Student Support Tutor or the Divisional Tutor to investigate potential supportive measures and interventions;
- contribute to a Concerns over Professional Behaviour report
- constitute a fitness to practise issue for investigation through formal Fitness to Practise procedures;
- lead to barring from examinations, suspension or termination of studies under UCL’s academic regulations
- normally issued after prolonged absence or 2 or more unexplained absences or failure to attend or cancel 3 appointments.
- notified to the Medical Student Support Team and logged on medical school student records
- 1st CoAE is reviewed by the Divisional Tutor and may trigger a compulsory appointment
- 2nd CoAE normally triggers a compulsory appointment with a Medical Student Support Tutor or the Divisional Tutor
- 3rd CoAE triggers a compulsory appointment with the Divisional Tutor and normally to a CoPB being issued
Concerns over Professional Behaviour(s) (CoPB)
An assessment of professionalism and fitness to practise underlies all parts of the MBBS course and assessments and the Medical School must also ensure there are no significant fitness to practise concerns in order to progress, and ultimately graduate, students.
MBBS policies require teachers to submit formal notification of Concerns over Attendance and Engagement (CoAE) and for teachers and examiners to submit formal notification of Concerns over Professional Behaviour(s) (CoPB) if any aspect of a candidate’s professional behaviour during the course or assessments gives cause for concern about attendance and engagement, behaviour, or fitness to practise.
- CoAEs are submitted to the Divisional Tutor for investigation and to determine action, which may include the issuing of a CoPB under the policy set out at CoAE
- CoPBs issued during the course are submitted to the Divisional Tutor for investigation to determine if they are to be upheld and if a referral to a Medical School Initial Fitness to Practise Panel or other intervention is warranted, under the policy set out at: CoPB
- CoPBs issued during assessments are considered by Pre-Boards of Examiners to determine if they have been correctly issued and are to be upheld; and to make a recommendation for action to the Sub-Board of Examiners. Actions are: no award of distinction or merit; a mandatory referral to the Divisional Tutor for further investigation; or direct referral to a Medical School Initial Fitness to Practise Panel. The Fitness to Practise policy and procedures are set out at Fitness to Practise
- All upheld CoPBs and recommendations for action are presented to Sub-Boards of Examiners to endorse the action.
CoPBs may be put forward by teachers, educational supervisors, personal tutors, CPP tutors, IBSc tutors and professional services staff at any point during the year and by examiners at clinical assessments.
Although CoPBs are an important part of the Medical School’s internal monitoring of students’ professionalism and behaviour, they do not constitute formal “Fitness to Practise proceedings” and as such they do not need to be disclosed to the GMC at provisional registration or on Transfer of Information forms for Foundation Schools unless directed to do so by the Divisional Tutor or a Student Support Tutor.
Examples of concerns over professional behaviour(s) which should be reported during the course include:
- significant unexplained absence or lateness
- repeated or unexplained absence from scheduled clinical activity or teaching
- disruptive behaviour or damage to property
- lack of probity
- failure to submit a grade report form or required coursework
- failure to obtain approval before leaving on elective or returning late from elective
- patient safety issues
- failure to pay financial charges and/or fines
- unprofessional behaviour as set out by the GMC in Good Medical Practice
Examples of concerns over professional behaviour(s) which should be reported during clinical assessments include:
- roughness with a patient
- rudeness to either the patient or examiner
- lack of professionalism
- dangerous practice e.g. inappropriate disposal of sharps
- patient safety issues
CoPBs reported during the course should be completed online and will be directed to the Divisional Tutor c/o the Medical Student Support Team.
CoPBs reported at clinical assessments should be returned to Year Assessment Managers with all other examination documentation.
Records are held by the Medical School and:
- submitted to Student Support Tutor Meetings and Divisional EC Meetings (monthly)
- submitted to Student Support Committee (reserved business) (termly)
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 Fitness to Practise Panel will seek a statement from the Divisional Tutor within 7 days to enable them to review the case and make a decision. Where additional investigation is required, the student will be invited, with a minimum of 7 days’ notice, to appear before the next scheduled meeting of the Initial Fitness to Practise Panel.
Outcomes open to the Panel are: i) uphold the CoPB and the action applied; ii) revoke the CoPB and the action applied; iii) instigate formal investigation through the Initial Fitness to Practise procedures should they consider the CoPB sufficiently serious to warrant this. The decision of the Panel will be notified to the student and to the Divisional Tutor.
Please see Students and council tax or visit UCL’s Student Centre
Please see Personal Beliefs
Coursework Requirements, Deadlines and Feedback
MBBS coursework includes all required portfolio items including procedures cards/records of procedures, supervised learning events, module and SSC reports. Submission deadlines are determined and published by the respective year or module teams and teachers.
UCL’s standard deadline is 5pm on the day of submission and MBBS teachers are asked 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.
Please note that late submission of coursework triggers a Concern over Attendance and Engagement and failure to submit coursework triggers a Concern over Professional Behaviour(s). MBBS administrators are asked to submit these through the online reporting system.
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.
Covid-19 Adjustments – Policies and Guidance
These documents set out policies and guidance relating to covid-19 adjustments to clinical placements in 2020-21:
- Remote outpatient clinics policy - an overview of managing the attendance of students in remote consultations and guidelines for good practice
- Virtual clinic attendance from home - instructions for students to follow in this environment
MBBS Curriculum Map
The MBBS 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. This is UCLMS’s first electronic curriculum and dynamic improvements are being made as the map evolves. UCLMS takes all reasonable care to ensure that the content is up to date.
The map is accessible to all UCLMS students and members of staff via the Academic Student Record (ASR).
If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Curriculum Mapping Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Medical School operates:
Please also see the Medical Schoool Learning Agreement for specific detail about the information shared by the Medical School
Disabilities - reasonable adjustments during clinical placements and clinical assessments
Dress and behaviour
In order to gain and maintain the trust and confidence of patients, there are certain rules of behaviour that a doctor or medical student must observe. Obviously you must never appear in front of a patient (or indeed in any other teaching situation in College) the worse for drink or drugs, or even smelling of drink. Remember that abuse of drugs implies that you are not to be trusted with drugs and medicines, and a conviction for a drugs-related offence may mean that we cannot certify you as fit to practise.
You should regard the clinical aspects of the course as an apprenticeship for your professional career as a doctor. Certain standards of appearance are necessary, both in your own interests and, most importantly, for the well-being of patients. Please remember that patients come from all sections of society and that people who are ill or worried may more easily become anxious about small details. Many of them will regard you in the same way they will a fully-trained doctor. If your standards of dress and behaviour are professional and reasonably conservative you will be unlikely to cause offence or anxiety to your patients, and you will find that your relationships with them and with hospital staff will be easier.
Students should be smartly dressed in an appropriate and professional manner and in compliance with NHS infection control policies whilst on hospitals wards, at GP surgeries, at clinical skills sessions with patients or simulated patients and at OSCEs.
bare below the elbow (short sleeves or sleeves neatly folded)
- where required by local policy - most Trusts but not all GP surgeries
- no white coats
- no denim, no low cut tops, no bare midriffs, no visible underwear
- appropriate length skirts or dresses (just above knee or longer) in order that underwear is not visible when the student bends over
- no sheer, tight, or figure-hugging tops/blouses unless camisoles or other additional layer worn underneath
- no trainers, no stilettos
- no wrist watches, bracelets or charity wrist bands
no jewellery except:
- rings – one single metal band, no stones
- earrings – small studs only
- necklaces – a simple chain if tucked inside clothing
- no piercings (other than earrings)
face visible in situations where this is necessary for identification purposes or important for communication with another person and in learning environments where facial cues are needed to understand a student’s contribution (except where face coverings are required for infection control):
- in all small group settings
- in all clinical areas
- when participating in Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) and Objective Structured Practical Examinations (OSPE)
- for identification purposes including entry to examinations and the library
- in secure areas (i.e. any area managed by access control, such as anatomy dissection room)
- religious head coverings permitted
- ties secured inside shirts unless asked by an individual consultant to remove them
- hair kept neat and tidy, long hair tied back, modest hair colouring/highlights only
- fingernails short and clean, no false nails
- identification visible at all times - except during OSCE examinations when badges showing candidate numbers will be issued
Please note that local Trust policies take precedence, in particular regarding white coats and ties.
Please note that at UCLH students are required to provide their own theatre shoes.
If this code is not adhered to by students they may be asked to leave that clinical session and asked to see the Divisional Tutor.
Disclosure and Barring Service Checks
An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required on entry to Medical School and Medical Students are required to declare any subsequent cautions/reprimands or convictions incurred during the MBBS course.
Guidance on completing DBS applications can be found at GOV.UK
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.
- 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
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR CLINICIANS
- Get involved in range of activities in the domain of teaching and support of learning such as personal tutoring, admissions interviews, assessment design and delivery, producing or curating online learning resources aligned to the curriculum
- Attend teaching courses e.g. Training To Teach and other training opportunities provided by Health Education England
- Attend educational conferences e.g. ASME, AMEE, DEMEC
- Read medical education Journals (Medical Education, Clinical Teacher, Medical Teacher etc.)
- Get involved in education practitioner research, apply for grants and publish
- Form educational networks with colleagues for sharing good practice
- Consider pursuing a further qualification in education or working towards gaining a Fellowship or excellence award (see below)
Membership of excellence organisations
- Fellowship/ Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA/FHEA/SFHEA). May be funded if you hold an honorary contract with UCL or organisation is a corporate partner of HEA; one-off fee
- Membership/ Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Educators (AoME) Ongoing fees annually
Higher qualifications in teaching/education
1) Postgraduate qualification in medical education: many are part-time and designed for busy practitioners (e.g. UCL Cert/Dip/Masters – blended or distance learning, see https://www.ucl.ac.uk/medical-school/study/postgraduate
d. Doctorate eg PhD, EdD
Recognition of Teaching Excellence
2) UCL Excellence in Medical Education Award (EMEA) https://www.ucl.ac.uk/medical-school/current-mbbs-students/quality-assur...
3) UCL Education Awards
4) Contribution to local/ national Clinical Excellence Award (CEA) including appraisal/ revalidation
Honorary Titles (Trust employees only)
Honorary titles are awarded for exceptional and sustained contribution to teaching on our MBBS or our Masters programmes. These can be applied for by completing the appropriate forms on the UCL Medical School website
The guidance for application is available to download from this site. All applications require the support of the local undergraduate director of education. For those who wish to apply for the most senior titles (Honorary Clinical Associate Professor) need to complete both the application form (AF) and the Teaching Portfolio (Form TP) for review by the medical school.
See the MBBS elective bursary moodle page for information about internal and external bursaries available to help with the costs of electives.
All applications for Examination Adjustments at written examinations are submitted to UCL not the Medical School. Details of the application process are set out at UCL Exams website .
You should apply for Examination Adjustments if you have a long-term condition or disability or health issue including dyslexia which may affect your written examinations, as you may be entitled to extra time in an examination, an alternative venue, rest breaks, specialist equipment such as an adjustable chair.
Examination Adjustments applications may also be made as a form of mitigation for students with shorter-term Extenuating Circumstances. Examination Adjustments may be granted for the duration of the programme or for one academic session.
Please note that arrangements need to be put into place well in advance. Applications should be submitted as early in the academic year as possible and meet UCL deadlines: in Years 1-2 by the deadline stipulated annually for May examinations (usually mid-March) and for all other examinations at minimum 6 weeks before the start of your first examination.
UCL regulations state that only applications from candidates with sudden illness or accidental injury will be considered after these deadlines. In the event of a late application arising from sudden illness or accidental injury applications can only be considered if they are received at least 7 calendar days before the date of the exam/test. Under UCL regulations, if applications are received after this, students should apply for a deferral to the next normal occasion under the Extenuating Circumstances Regulations. Medical students in this situation are advised to make an appointment to see a Medical Student Support Tutor urgently.
Please also note that:
- In Years 1-3, written examinations are organised by UCL Examinations who are responsible for implementing Examination Adjustments and notifying students of arrangements and venues.
- In Years 4-6, written examinations are organised by the Medical School and our year teams are responsible for implementing Examination Adjustments and notifying students of arrangements and venues. However the Medical School can only grant adjustments which have been authorised by UCL.
Examination Adjustments at Clinical Examinations
For clinical examinations, you may additionally apply through the Medical School for a Medical Student Support card which you can present at individual OSCE stations to notify the examiner of adjustments which have been approved for you by the Divisional Tutor. Please refer to our policy on Student Support Cards and make an appointment to see a Medical Student Support Tutor as soon as possible for advice.
Again, arrangements need to be put in place well in advance and comply with UCL deadlines: you should make an appointment with Medical Student Support as early in the academic year as possible, not later than six weeks before the date of your OSCE, or in the event of sudden illness or accidental injury at least 7 calendar days before the date of your OSCE.
In the event of sudden illness after this deadline, medical students are advised to make an immediate appointment to see a Medical Student Support Tutor.
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 OSCEs as a card will be issued by the Medical Student Support team on each occasion. However please email email@example.com if you have any concerns or would like confirmation that a card will be available for you.
The Divisional and Medical School Support Tutors are responsible for determining reasonable adjustments at clinical assessments within the following guidelines:
- The purpose of special provision is to facilitate equality of access for students who may be disadvantaged when assessed under time constraints.
- Students with a disability should not be given greater advantage over other students.
- 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.
- OSCE examinations are designed to assess student performance of practical skills in a simulated real-time clinical setting; some stations are time-critical and failure to undertake the activity in the time available is a potential threat to patient safety.
- No adjustments may be made to overall station timing, but other mitigation may be offered.
The MBBS Board of Examiners is responsible for ensuring good practise in the design of OSCE stations including:
- Candidate instructions should be concise and capable of being delivered verbally by the examiner
- Reading or writing elements in non-time-critical stations should not normally exceed 20% of the total station time
- Reading time allowed in overall station timing at Long Station OSCEs
Examples of special arrangements that can be offered include:
- a reader (normally the examiner) for dyslexic students where the scenario and instructions exceed 20% of the overall station time
- 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
- permission to perform tasks seated rather than standing
- permission to use an electronic stethoscope
- permission to use an ophthalmoscope with the same eye
- request to examiners to face the student when speaking and ensure that the candidate has understood all verbal communications
- notification to examiners of physical conditions or constraints with request for sympathetic approach
- 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 and 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 OSCE 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
Please refer to Chapter 4 of UCL’s Academic Manual for regulations governing consideration of extenuating circumstances, for guidance about how to apply, and to download an application form.
These 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 form asks you to indicate what form of mitigation you are seeking and lists the possible outcomes of an application.
Medical students in years 1,2,4,5,6 should note that the integrated nature of the MBBS programme and assessments means that the potential outcome of a successful EC application of ‘exclusion from module/progression/classification requirements’ cannot apply, however 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.
We realise that sometimes students are reluctant to advise the Medical School 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 the Medical School seeks first and foremost to provide support for students and our greater concern is that failure to acknowledge difficulties, notify the Medical School 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 in Year 3 should be submitted to your IBSc home Department/Faculty Office following instructions provided by the programme.
Extenuating circumstances applications in Years 1,2,4,5,6 should be submitted, with appropriate supporting evidence, c/o the Medical Student Support Office, Room G12, Rockefeller Building, 21 University Street or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible and no later than one week after the circumstance has taken place.
Applications from students in these years are considered by the Medical School’s Undergraduate Divisional Extenuating Circumstances (DEC) Panel as follows:
- EC applications are logged and circulated by email to 3 members of the DEC with a request for a reply within 3-5 days
- Outcomes are notified to the student and his/her module lead (Year 1,2,4,5,6)
- A list of applications and outcomes is submitted to the Faculty Administrator to the deadlines specified by Faculty
The membership of the panel comprises:
- Divisional Tutor and Chair (Dr W Coppola)
- Medical Student Support Tutors
External Events and Courses
The Medical School 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 Medical School 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 the Medical School before participating; please book an appointment with the Divisional Tutor through email@example.com.
The use of UCL or Medical School premises for any such courses is discouraged and UCL staff are advised not to endorse these courses. Foundation trainees wishing to contribute to medical education to gain accreditation for CMT Specialist training applications are advised to refer to the Medical School's Guidance for FY Teachers are advised to contact Dr Deborah Gill for guidance on how to achieve this within the clinical setting.
Revision courses and cramming, even if done “professionally”, may be enjoyable for students, but may not be the best way to learn medicine. The workload for FY1's would no doubt compromise the time available to them for preparing the teaching itself. Regular evening sessions at the students’ site offers the best compromise, provides very valued peer learning, and a rewarding challenge for juniors.
Foundation trainees and UCL students and graduates are advised that all examination materials are UCL copyright and any unauthorised use or disclosure of examination materials to a third party, including the transcription of verbal reports from examination candidates, whether for commercial gain or otherwise, are regarded as a breach of copyright and intellectual property rights.
If bookings for external or commercial courses are accepted on UCL premises, the following conditions apply:
- users must be made aware of UCL's policy on external bookings and courses which clearly prohibits such courses from claiming any connection or affiliation with the College
- the costs of using UCL resources including UCL support staff must be met
- advertising is not permitted through the Medical School
- courses must be available to all students
Extra/Optional Clinical Experience or Revision at UCL Trusts, DGHs and External Institutions During Medical School Term Time
Students who wish to undertake additional, voluntary courses or clinical placements at external institutions should note that UCL medical student registration 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. Students who are asked to provide confirmation of UCL medical student status or confirmation of medical school studies should set out the dates and details of the course or clinical placement in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 UCL Medical School (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 the Medical School
- 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 Medical School authorised signatory and Medical School stamp
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.
The School's policy is to ensure that students will be able to treat and manage these patients in the future whilst minimising the anxiety and distress caused to the student.
Hence whilst the student should complete all aspects of the course without exception the Medical Student Support team 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 a student support appointment during the IOM. If circumstances change during years 4-6 then rapid access to the Medical Student Support system is strongly advised.
At the Medical Student Support appointment advice on coping strategies will be explored and where appropriate onward referral to counselling services made.
Feedback on Teaching
The School relies on student feedback as an essential element of its quality assurance procedures and feedback is collected from students on all modules/placements. Most feedback is collected via an on-line system and students are strongly encouraged to complete on-line questionnaires as the feedback is reviewed on a regular basis and action taken in response to it. Feedback is co-ordinated through the MBBS Quality Assurance 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.
See UCL website for details of Financial Assistance Fund.
See the Medical Student Support website for information about Medical School funds and application processes.
Fitness to Practise Guidance and Procedures
Patients must be able to trust and respect their doctors. Society rightly expects doctors to behave in an appropriate manner. They are expected to have high moral values and to work within a code of practise determined by the profession itself and by the law.
The 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.
Medical Schools have a duty to ensure that its graduates are fit to enter the medical profession. It fulfils this duty by enabling students to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills and attitudes appropriate to their future role as doctors and the vast majority of students achieve this.
Occasionally, however, the Medical School must act when a student appears to have problems or exhibits behaviour which is not compatible with their future role. In common with other medical schools and in line with GMC guidance, the School has a procedure which is followed when a student’s health and /or behaviour is causing concern. The procedure has 2 stages: ‘initial’ fitness to practise referrals which are managed within the Medical School and ‘full’ fitness to practise referrals which are managed by the School of Life and Medical Sciences. Students should be aware that the outcome of Fitness to Practice procedures may not necessarily be punitive and that these procedures can be beneficial for students both in monitoring problems and in identifying the need for support. The GMC’s myth busters on student fitness to practise, in particular, are addressed to medical students and seek 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..
Fitness to Practise Guidance for Students can be found at: Fitness to Practice Guidance
A chart outlining the Fitness to Practice referral processes can be found at: Fitness to Practice Referral Chart
Attendance at Fitness to Practise appointments takes priority over all teaching activities.
Foundation Year Doctor's Contribution to Medical Education and MBBS Teaching
The GMC documents Outcomes for Graduates, The New Doctor, Good Medical Practice and the Foundation Programme Curriculum all outline the need for junior doctors to develop their teaching skills. Foundation year doctors are extremely well placed to take on the role of clinical teachers. They are able to identify important teaching areas because they remember skills and competencies which may have caused them anxiety during their own revision and can provide relevance to learning by drawing on their own experiences.
For these reasons the Medical School recognises and welcomes the role of junior doctors in undergraduate education and encourages them to be involved in planning and running patient based informal bedside teaching.
The Medical School Guidance for Foundation Doctors’ contribution to the MBBS Programme is provided to help foundation doctors deliver good quality workplace based teaching and learning activities within the undergraduate programme.
Foundation Doctors are encouraged to read this guidance if they are planning any undergraduate teaching or interested in getting involved.
Please also see the MBBS Teaching Portal
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, UCL Medical School has put together [UCLMS FoI guidance] which should be read in conjunction with the UCL FoI website.
Any queries about this guidance should be directed to the UCLMS Divisional Tutor, Dr W Coppola (email@example.com).
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
The Medical School 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:
- Sexual Orientation
What is Bullying?
- Bullying is the exercise of power over another person through negative acts or behaviour that undermine that person personally and/or academically
- Bullying is to be distinguished from vigorous academic debate
2. Who should I talk to?
- Designated harassment advisor (student & staff)
- Personal Tutor
- Medical Student Support
- DGH Undergraduate Tutor
- UCL Students’ Union Rights & Advice Centre
3. Formal Complaints
- A formal complaint must be registered in writing as soon as possible after the unsatisfactory conclusion of the informal complaint, with the Faculty Tutor
- Formal complaints involving academic members of staff or other students may be referred to the Dean of the Students according to UCL policy on Student Harassment and Bullying
- Formal complaints about clinicians may be referred to NHS Trusts
- Harassment and bullying of students by other students or by members of staff is not conducive to learning and is not acceptable
- Allegation or concerns of harassment or bullying must be taken seriously, addressed speedily and where possible, in confidence
- Students who perceive that they are being harassed or bullied should talk informally with someone in the Medical School (see above)
- Ideally the problem should be dealt with informally
- If the informal approach is unsuccessful or not appropriate a student should make a formal complaint to the Divisional Tutor
Hardship Funds and Loans
See UCL website for details of College hardship funds.
The Medical School has a small number of student hardship funds which are administered by the Divisional Tutor through the Medical Student Support Clinics. Support is usually in the form of an interest-free loan, repayable within one year of qualification. The Christopher Whiteside Fund enables small grants (up to £50) to be made to allow students to make additional trips home, usually for compassionate reasons.
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.
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 School students are provided by UCL's Workplace. 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. Cheating in assessments or plagiarism in coursework is unacceptable behaviour and will be reported through College disciplinary procedures. Students must not aid and abet other students in dishonest behaviour, e.g. they should not sign absent friends into teaching sessions when attendance is being monitored. See Plagiarism entry in A-Z index.
Honorary Titles for Teaching
The application procedure and the application form for honorary appointments for teaching may be found at the UCL Medical School vacancies 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 Johnsonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Royal Free Trust Director of UG Medical Education:||Dr Paul Dilworthemail@example.com|
|Whittington Trust Director of UG Medical Education:||Dr Caroline Fertlemanfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Director of UG Medical Education (Community):||Dr Sophie Parkemail@example.com|
Applications from staff at UCL’s associated provider Trusts are submitted via local Undergraduate Tutors to:
|Director of UG Medical Education (DGH Liaison):||Dr Aroon Lalfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Applications put forward by Directors or Undergraduate Medical Education are approved by the Director of UCL Medical School and held in UCL Medical School
An annual review and update of honorary contracts at associated Trusts is undertaken by: the UCLMS Staffing Office:
|UCLMS Staffing Office||Safiyyah Patelemail@example.com|
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 indicate “medical student” status, and, to avoid any ambiguity, the title “Dr” must not be used by students with PhDs.
Medical School lanyards are available from the Student Offices at Bloomsbury, the Royal Free and the Whittington. Trust lanyards must not be worn. Students should use a safety pin to attach the end of the lanyard to fixed clothing, to stop the name badges dipping into dirty areas. The importance of the lanyards is that they remind patients who you are and clinical teachers and other professionals that UCLH is a teaching hospital, and that you are there and ready to learn.
Information about obtaining and/or replacing UCL ID cards can be found on the UCL website.
Immunisations and BBVs
Students are screened on entry to Medical School and for BBVs such as Hep C and HIV at appropriate stages in the MBBS programme. Students should ensure that their immunisations, including boosters, are up-to-date and also ensure that they can produce immunisation and immunity records if asked, as some Trusts ask students to produce immunisation and immunity records before allowing them to take up clinical attachments. If students have any concerns about their immunisation status they should contact Occupational Health before commencing clinical attachments.
Students who are not cleared for EPP’s must carry a card to present to their educational supervisor and must not perform invasive clinical procedures.
Medical students are at special risk of infection with the blood-borne viruses, HBV, HCV and HIV, from injuries with blood-contaminated sharp instruments. Needles used for venepuncture, injections or suturing constitute the principal risk to students. Though the HIV infection incidence per needle stick exposure is 0.3% only between 0.1 and 0.5%, the outcome is potentially fatal.
Please note that students are not allowed to take blood from, give injections to, or suture patients in the categories below. These tasks must only be carried out by qualified staff.
- Patients with diseases likely to be due to HIV, HBV or HCV
- Patients in high-risk groups who have not been shown to be uninfected by these viruses: including IV drug abusers, jaundiced patients with possible viral hepatitis, men who have sex with men and patients from areas where these infections are common such as the Far East or Tropical Africa.
While the exclusion of these groups safeguards students to some extent, some patients infected with blood-borne viruses either do not fall into these risk groups or are not known to belong to them. All needles and sharps should be regarded as hazardous, handled with care and disposed of correctly. Used needles must not be re-sheathed but placed immediately into the yellow plastic ‘sharps’ disposal boxes on the wards. A ‘sharps accident’ is a penetrating injury with an instrument contaminated with any body fluid, or a splash of blood into the eye, or an open cut.
If an injury occurs
Wash the wound with copious water and encourage bleeding. If the eye is involved wash with copious saline or water and report to immediate superior or senior member of staff present (e.g. nursing sister on a ward). The senior staff member should check from the notes whether the patient has had a recent test for hepatitis B, HCV or HIV. Arrange for informed medical advice and for the collection of 5ml clotted blood samples from both the patient and the student and send to a Virology laboratory. Ensure that a staff accident/incident form is completed. If the patient is known, or thought to be, HIV positive, the student must take immediate action to get advice on the need for HIV PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).
Inclusion Leads (formerly Departmental Equal Opportunities Liaison Officers – DEOLOs) provide support and assistance for students and staff about issues relating to equalities and diversity. UCL Medical School has a staff Inclusion Lead appointed to the Division and a dedicated Inclusion Lead for MBBS students: Alison Crook, Head of MBBS Student Support, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
1) UCL INSURANCE FOR REGISTERED STUDENTS
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).
2) PERSONAL INSURANCE FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS
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.
3) PERSONAL INSURANCE FOR THE ELECTIVE PERIOD
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 Medical School, 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
4) STUDENT NEGLIGENCE
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 a Student Support 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 the Learning Development Agreement between Health Education England and UG medical education providers and in the Service Level Agreements between UCL and our clinical providers.
Medical students are, unfortunately, no longer exempt from Jury Service. However, jury service can be deferred, on one occasion, to avoid missing examinations or other activities that cannot be rescheduled.
If students receive a request to undertake Jury Service during assessment periods, they are advised to contact the Student Support team
Learning Agreements, Barring, Suspensions and Termination of Study
Please refer to UCL’s Academic Manual Chapter 6 Section 4 for the regulatory framework.
The Divisional Tutor is responsible for managing these responsibilities within the Medical School. Students have the right of appeal to the Faculty Tutor for Medical Sciences.
In Years 1 and 2, lockers are available in the Cruciform Building and are allocated by the Years 1-3 team in the Medical Student Office, Medical School Building, 74 Huntley Street.
In Year 4, lockers are available at the clinical sites at which placements are being undertaken and information is provided locally at induction.
Medical School Learning Agreement
The Medical School Learning Agreement sets out responsibilities and standards of behaviour for medical students in addition to UCL’s Student Code of Conduct.
Medsin exchanges are student-led. The steps to be completed by outgoing UCL students and incoming exchange students are:
- apply for your chosen SSC in the normal way and secure your allocation
- seek approval in principle from the divisional tutor and Year 6 lead to take your SSC abroad (by making a case via email@example.com)
- complete the same approval process as for an elective, including submitting all required documentation and attending an elective approval appointment if required (email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- negotiate and agree all arrangements for the exchange between yourself and the incoming student (i.e. medical student administrators are, unfortunately, not in a position to help with this)
- liaise with the incoming student to ensure that s/he understands the process, completes an application through the visiting electives scheme and submits all required documentation in time for his/her place to be confirmed and a tier 4 visa issued
- take up your UK SSC and reject your overseas SSC if the exchange arrangements are not finalised in time for the incoming student to confirm acceptance of the UCL placement and receipt of his/her tier 4 visa where this is required (4 weeks before the start date) (Please liaise via email@example.com to ensure that incoming students have completed all the requirements and paid their fee and with firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm that all the requirements are satisfied for the exchange to go ahead in time for Jane to notify the SSC provider)
Incoming exchange students
- agree directly with an outgoing UCL student to take the student's place on their allocated SSC at the same site and on the same dates
- apply for a place through the visiting electives scheme, indicating that the application is for a MedSin exchange and giving the name of the UCL student and details of the agreed SSC and dates
- provide all required documentation including health and CRB information and comply with all application requirements for a place to be confirmed and for a visa to be issued in accordance with the timescales set out in the VE scheme (via email@example.com)
- pay the registration fee
Near Peer Tutoring
UCL Medical School has a proud tradition of peer support and peer tutoring.
With a 10 year history of peer tutoring we have developed a culture amongst students and alumni of supporting and encouraging the learning of others.
Our graduates also leave with the foundation skills of medical teachers and an orientation to the lifelong commitments of the doctor as a teacher (GMC 2009).
There are a range of formal and informal peer tutoring and supplemental instruction activities. Some are led by the medical school, others are supported student led initiatives, and some are organised through RUMS: the student union body. The activities have the support and guidance of medical school faculty to ensure the quality of the teaching, both with regard the content and the skills of the teacher. Examples of medical school led activities normally offered are below, although sadly these are not taking place in 2020-21 due to our Covid Temporary Operating Model:
- PALS - a popular 6th year SSC provided by the Clinical Skills Centres
- Near peer tutoring in the dissecting room – an initiative led by the dissecting room staff to provide more 'blue coats in the dissection room to support student learning. Mainly undertaken by students in their IBSc year who can fit near peer tutor activities around their timetables. Lead Dr Sandra Martelli
Why should I become a peer tutor?
'To teach is to learn twice' Annis 1983. There is a large body of empirical evidence of the efficacy of peer assisted learning. Cross-year peer tutoring ( the kind of peer tutoring we tend to do at UCLMS) has been shown to be effective for tutor and tutee alike in non-medical and medical settings. Providing opportunities for students to teach each other may be one of the most important services a teacher can render' Whitman 1988 so we in the medical school are particularly keen for you to develop these skills and the GMC, in Tomorrow's Doctors has outlined the requirement of all medical schools to equip their graduates with the skills for teaching. While PALS SSCs are carried out as formal activities within MBBS timetables most are undertaken outside timetabled MBBS teaching or clinical placement time, it is important that peer tutors see this as an additional activity and that their own studies must always come first.
How do I become a peer tutor?
The best thing to do is get involved in one of the existing projects. This ensures you get some training and that you get some official recognition for your efforts. The SSCs get booked up really quickly so make sure you make PALS your first choice. If you want to set up a peer tutoring project of your own think very carefully about the amount of work involved in getting a programme up and running and all the staff development and administration that goes with it. Speak to one of the existing student leads. If you are still keen and think you can offer something unique, contact Dr Gishen or Dr Bennett in the first instance to discuss your plans.
NHS bursaries are available for students in their fifth and sixth years of study. NHS bursaries are non re-payable bursaries, assessed against the income of the student and, where appropriate, their families. Travel expenses for clinical attachments may also be claimed.
For further details, please see:
Quick guide for students in their 6th Year of study or above Department of Health guidance on the NHS Bursaries website
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 the Medical School 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.
On-Call Accommodation at Home Sites
Whittington: On-call rooms are available strictly overnight only. Please obtain a room key and the code to the digital lock to the entrance of Ely House from staff in the Reception Office. Keys must be collected from the Reception Office between 10.00am and 4.00pm, and must be returned by 10.30am the following morning. There is a fine of £20 per night for late returns.
Royal Free: Call the Accommodation Services Department, 13th Fl, RFH on Ext. 35390 / 34716 no later than 2.00pm on the day the room is required to book. Keys will be left at the Porters Reception, Lower Ground Floor of the Hospital for collection and must be returned, by 10:00 am on the following day, to Homewood Housing Association’s Accommodation Office, 2nd Fl, Anne Bryans House. Failure to do so will result in a charge of £20 per night. Any queries contact the Accommodation Services Dept, 13th Fl, Anne Bryans House on Ext 33490 / 35390 or DL 020 7830 2921 or Homewood Housing Association on ext 33282.
Outcomes for Graduates
The GMC's Outcomes for Graduates are set out at: Outcomes for Graduates in 2018
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.
- 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....
- 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.
The Medical School 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’.
- 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.)
- You must always be identified as a medical student and must not identify yourself as a doctor.
- The patient’s consent must be fully informed and given voluntarily. No pressure of any kind must be applied. If the patient refuses, this must be accepted immediately and without any expression of disapproval or disappointment. They should be reassured that their refusal will not affect their treatment in any way.
- 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.
- In the case of patients without capacity to consent to examination the following guidelines apply:
- Children: If the parents or legal guardian are present, their consent should be sought for all children under the age of 16 years. In addition, the permission of all children beyond infancy (i.e. older than 12 months) should be sought using approaches adapted to their developmental maturity.
- Adults with dementia or moderate/severe learning disability: Permission for students to interview the patient should be obtained from relatives by the responsible clinician. 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.
- Severely ill and unconscious patients: The responsible clinician should balance students’ learning needs with the need to ask permission of relatives. Practical procedures on such patients by students must always be supervised by a clinician.
- In all other cases a patient should be assumed to have the capacity to give consent unless the clinician instructs you otherwise.
- Written consent is required for rectal or vaginal examination on a patient under general anaesthetic; the supervising clinician is responsible for ensuring that consent for a named student(s) to perform an examination has been taken and recorded in the patient’s notes.
- Students are bound by a professional duty of confidentiality: you are expected to pass relevant personal information to the responsible clinician, but no further. If a patient seems to be talking to you in confidence, you should make it clear that you are normally expected to pass on information relevant to the treatment of the patient.
- If a clinical teacher asks or expects you to behave in ways contrary to these guidelines, please refer the clinician to this guidance and speak to your Module Lead. Please also report the incident to the Medical School through the Raising Concerns portal on the UCLMS website.
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 which is managed by divisional admin not MBBS Management.
The Medical School 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”.
Medical students are allocated a personal tutor for Years 1-3 and for Years 4-6. For details see Student Support Personal Tutors.
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 Medical School prizes can be found on our Prize webpages
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.
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.
Please refer to UCL’s regulations, guidance and application processes with respect to:
- Reasonable Adjustments
- Examination Adjustments
- Interruption of Study
- Extenuating Circumstances
- Deferred Assessments
The Medical School 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.
References for elective placements and bursary applications should be requested from the Divisional Tutor or Medical School Support Tutors by completing a request form available from MBBS Management.
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 Management Team for inclusion in student files
Please see UCL’s policy on religion and belief equality.
In accordance with UCL’s policy, the Medical School encourages flexibility where possible in accommodating requests to observe religious holidays, but cannot guarantee that core activities can be re-scheduled and cannot re-allocate students on clinical attachments to different clinical sites to accommodate religious arrangements.
It is not possible in Medicine, however, to accommodate regular religious observance where it interferes with compulsory student teaching. While of course we are happy for students to choose 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.
The Medical School seeks to ensure that written summative assessments do not coincide with major religious festivals where normal work is prohibited.
Timetabled Teaching and Learning activities
Some timetabled teaching and learning activities including lectures, small group teaching, formative assessments etc may coincide with religious festivals. Students who wish to observe 1 day major religious festivals should notify relevant small group teachers, firm leads, educational supervisors, DGH UG Tutors & DGH UG Administrators of the sessions they will be missing. Students wishing to observe major religious festivals lasting more than 1 day or multiple festivals or to leave early regularly on Fridays for religious reasons must request authorised absence for these occasions.
Some clinical teaching and learning activities including revision opportunities and clinical examination practice sessions may coincide with religious festivals. In these cases, the Medical School encourages students to liaise with their educational supervisors or local teaching administrators to see if alternative arrangements can be made at the site at which they are undertaking their clinical placement, but cannot re-allocate students to different clinical sites if requests cannot be accommodated locally. Students who wish to observe religious festivals or to leave early regularly on Fridays for religious reasons must request Authorised Absence in the normal way.
Making up missed time
Students who take authorised absence for religious holidays will need to catch up on any teaching and time that they have missed, and this may require students to do some study outside the normal working week (i.e Wednesday afternoons, evenings, and weekends). If catch-up plans are already arranged and set out on the absence form when submitted, this will speed up approval by the support team.
Research Projects and Drug Studies
Medical students at UCL may be invited to participate in research projects as volunteers. The medical school encourages students to engage in research projects provided these do not interfere with academic progress and are safe. This is inherent in the pastoral responsibilities that UCL has to its students.
Researchers use posters displayed around the campus, or occasionally use email to invite students to volunteer. Students participate as research subjects out of a sense of altruism or curiosity about research, and there is often a small financial token on offer to recompense students for their time and travel costs. All research at UCL and its associated hospitals will have been reviewed by a Research Ethics Committee, and a volunteer information leaflet will be provided by investigators.
Most of the research that takes place at UCL will be very low risk. The sorts of studies that fall into this category include questionnaire-based projects, projects that involve investigators making simple measurements (e.g. blood pressure or heart rate), studies requiring simple blood test, change in diet or lifestyle etc. As long as drugs are not being administered to student volunteers, UCL relies on the Research Ethics Committees to safeguard volunteers.
Projects where substances are administered to student volunteers require special consideration. The substance might be a naturally occurring mediator, a developmental drug or a licensed drug, any of which can cause adverse effects. Students who wish to volunteer for such a trial should consider making a Student Support Clinic appointment. This will enable the students to receive an opinion on the safety of the trial, including the nature of the risks incurred, and the value of the new knowledge expected from the research. The student should forward a copy of the Information Leaflet and Consent Form to Medical Student Support, MBBS Management, Medical School Building, 74 Huntley Street, in advance of the appointment.
Information for Medical Student Support Tutors
The investigator in charge of the trial must request permission from the Director of UCL Medical School (or nominee) for a student to participate in the trial. Approval may be withheld if it is felt that the academic performance of a student may suffer as a result of taking part. Permission must be obtained in advance and investigators must provide evidence that they are satisfied that the procedures, including any contract or consent form, have been approved by an NHS Research Ethics Committee or the UCL Ethics Committee as appropriate.
Information for Medical Students conducting Research
We encourage students 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) will need to obtain a Research Passport to participate in research which is outside of their allocated MBBS placements. This ensures good practice concerning confidentiality, ethical practice and data protection is a central part of the research activity. A Research Passport is the NHS mechanism for obtaining an honorary research contract.
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 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 74 Huntley 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
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 the approval of the Medical School, via Dr Ann Griffin, Deputy Director of UCL and MBBS Academic Lead for Quality Assurance. Please send Dr Griffin a copy of your ethical approval letter and your research proposal including any questionnaires etc.
Once approved by Dr Griffin, you must submit your request to the UCL Research Ethics Co-ordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org ) 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 Dr Griffin).
- Assurance that suitable insurance arrangements are in place for the study as UCL would not be liable for the research.
If you get granted ethical clearance you should let Dr Griffin know and she 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 put you in touch with those who can advertise a link to your survey.
Revision at DGHs
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:
- UCL Cruciform Student Hub: rooms for small group study/revision purposes may be booked online or in person.
- Royal Student Hub: 24 hour student access for personal and informal small group study.
- 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.
- Clinical Skills Centres: students may request room bookings outside of teaching hours (8.00am-6.00pm) and at weekends for formal OSCE 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
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
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;
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.
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 read it? What if Prof Gill read it? What if the GMC read it?
Further reading on guidelines available for doctors and medical students:
- GMC guidance on social media use for doctors
- BMA guidance on social media use for doctors
- Royal College of General Practitioners: Social Highway Code
Special Circumstances Potentially Affecting Placement Allocations
Students with special circumstances who wish them to be taken into account for any medical school 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 a student support appointment or medical letter, report or fit note.
Circumstances likely to justify special consideration include:
- Requiring on-going attendance at a specific hospital
- Affecting ability to travel
- Students funding their studies through approved out of hours work
- Students needing continuous residential accommodation
- 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
The Medical School does not allocate curriculum time to commercial organisations or support commercial activities for the follow reasons:
- The Medical School cannot be seen to endorse any products
- A number of students have articulated very clear objections to their learning or personal time being taken up inappropriately for commercial purposes without notice and without the possibility of opting out
- Some commercial organisations have behaved unprofessionally in the recent past showing disrespect to staff and students
The only exception is for the defence organisations as membership is of relevance to 100% of students.
Standards for Clinical Teachers
UCL Medical School seeks to provide the highest standard of clinical education. The Medical School realises that it will do that by forming effective partnerships with trusts, their clinical directors, their clinical teachers and this document aims to communicate our aspirations in delivering excellent medical teaching. This guidance aims to set out the roles and responsibilities of those involved in teaching UCL medical students. It aims to provide an up-to-date guidance about the standards required for good practice in medical education, which is in alignment with the standards set by higher education institutions, the professional bodies and funders, on which decisions about UCL’s quality of medical education will be judged.
When travelling to attachments, at home sites, DGHs or in the Community, you may visit areas you do not know and experience new situations. It is important that you apply common sense during your placement to minimise any risk of attack. It is always important that someone knows where you are and when to expect you back and this is particularly important if you are visiting a patient in their home.
Know where you are going and plan your journey to ensure you avoid any ‘risky’ areas. Do not take shortcuts, stick to main roads and the directions you have been given. If you are worried speak to someone who has been to the place you are visiting to clarify the instructions.
If travelling on public transport don’t wait at deserted stations or stops, and know the times of your trains or buses to avoid waiting. Sit in a compartment with other people or near the driver.
Be alert. Look confident without appearing arrogant and do not wear a personal stereo.
Remember to carry some form of identity — other people are entitled to know you are a genuine medical student, especially if you are visiting a patient at home.
Personal alarms are available from the Union Shop.
If you experience any form of attack — verbal or physical — or feel threatened at any point during your placement make sure you inform the DGH/practice and the relevant MBBS Year Management Team. This will help to protect students in the future and alert the School to possible dangers.
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 medical school before any event is booked and advertised.
Student Selected Components (Self-Organised/Outside the UK)
Student Selected Components are commissioned by the Medical School at providers who are subject to Medical School quality assurance processes and receive funding for the activity. Students who wish to undertake self-organised SSCs are asked to note that:
- Self organised SSCs will only be approved if the content and form are significantly different from anything that is currently offered by UCL. The students will have to provide sufficient evidence of this to support the application.
Self organised SSCs abroad will not be approved unless:
- The student receives sponsorship from a foreign government and the placement is in that country
- The student will be applying to work in that country immediately after the award of the MBBS
- The placement offers specific experience in an area that is not represented in existing SSCs and is not available in the UK (if it fulfils the criteria for an elective, then it should be an elective).Such overseas placements will first be evaluated by Year 6 (for content) and will then need approval via the electives team (for overseas travel). Students will need to submit an application with all supporting documentation and satisfy the same personal safety and occupational health requirements as for an elective placement.
In all cases, the SSC must be a genuine clinical placement that provides a minimum of 31.5 hours per week of 'hands on' experience in a clinical environment.
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
The Medical School 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. Our Medical Student Support 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 the Divisional Tutor or a Medical Student Support Tutor.
Students who are issued a Statement of Reasonable Adjustment (SORA) by UCL’s Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing Team are offered an appointment with a Medical Student Support Tutor as soon as the Medical School 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 And Clinic
Substance Use And Misuse
The Medical School works within UCL’s policy on substance use and misuse
Additionally for medical students substance misuse constitutes a fitness to practise issue under the Medical School’s fitness to practise policy and procedures. Under this policy, students are referred to an initial panel for investigation and may then be referred to a full panel which has authority to seek drug and alcohol testing. Such tests will be arranged via UCL OHS in accordance with national OH guidelines.
A key priority for both UCL and the Medical School is to provide students with appropriate support and advice. UCL works in association with the Students' Union, UCL to provide relevant information and advice for students about health and other risks that may result from the misuse of drugs and alcohol, and to ensure that information about support and treatment services are made readily available:
The Medical School offers help and advice through the Medical Student Support System and medical students are required to seek advice through this system because of the fitness to practise considerations
Throughout the course of the year, UCL Medical School students are given the opportunity to nominate teachers who were particularly helpful or inspiring to them during the course of their studies. In addition to Top Teachers awards, students are also invited to nominate administrators whom they found particularly helpful and supportive. Outstanding teachers and administrators are normally awarded Top Teachers and Top Administrators Awards at the end of the academic session.
As an organisation committed to teaching and learning, the UCL Medical School also identifies and rewards those making an outstanding commitment to students and their education. These Excellence in Medical Education Awards (EMEAs) are open to anyone involved in undergraduate education. Their purpose is to provide a tangible means of recognition of exceptional contribution to education in any phase of the MBBS programme.
All these awards are administered through the MBBS Quality Assurance Unit and full details are on the Quality website at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/quality/teaching-awards
An MBBS academic transcript lists your full programme of study and progression requirements with dates of modules including clinical placement dates, overall module results, summative examination results (all attempts), prizes, merits, distinctions. A single final transcript is generated at qualification and this is an official document bearing the UCL seal.
Interim transcripts can be generated by students from Portico at any stage to support, for example, applications for bursaries, elective placements. Where official certification of an interim transcript is needed, students should put in a request through email@example.com. Further information about final transcripts can be found at the UCL Medical School Alumni webpages
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:
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.
Medical School Hardship Funds – Years 1,2,4,5 and 6
The Medical School can offer limited assistance with travel costs for students who are suffering severe financial hardship. Students are asked to make an appointment to see a Medical Student Support Tutor to discuss their needs and will need to submit receipts for journeys claimed.
Finally, the Medical School 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.
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.
UCL has a policy of keeping Wednesday afternoons free of teaching from 12.55pm, except during exam terms, so that every student has an opportunity to engage in some sporting, cultural or voluntary activity.
The medical school adheres to this policy. Teachers are informed that they should not schedule compulsory teaching activities on Wednesday afternoons. Some clinical activities will inevitably take place on Wednesday afternoons and teachers are instructed that attendance at these sessions can only be voluntary and non-attendance should not be penalised. 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 UCL Medical School website and reporting portal through which they can raise their concerns about any aspect of their training. More information about this can be found at 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 medical school website.
The Medical School regrets that it is not in a position to offer work experience or to assist with arranging work experience in associated Trusts. Year 1 and 2 students and prospective students who are seeking work experience are advised to contact Trust HR departments.