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MBBS Programme

The goal of the MBBS programme at UCL is to produce The UCL Doctor: a highly competent and scientifically literate clinician, equipped to practise person-centred medicine in a constantly changing modern world, with a foundation in the basic medical and social sciences.

This vision is underpinned by the values of scholarship, rigour and professionalism. The focus is on the development of the student as a scientifically informed, socially responsible professional who, in turn, can serve the health needs of individuals and communities.

The delivery of the programme is co-ordinated by the Medical School, an interdisciplinary group who focus on the needs of today’s medical students and the requirements of tomorrow’s doctors in the changing healthcare environment.

Core medical education is provided at UCL and three central clinical campuses.

The Bloomsbury campus has as its main clinical facilities University College Hospital (UCH). The sixteen-storey UCH provides excellent healthcare facilities, as well as being a centre of international importance for clinical teaching and research.

The Royal Free campus in Hampstead is the site of the Royal Free Hospital. The Whittington campus in Archway is the site of the newly refurbished Whittington Hospital, set to become one of the country’s first Integrated Care Organisations.

Clinical teaching also takes place in many other prestigious Foundation Trusts, Associated University Hospitals, District General Hospitals, and in a range of general practice and community settings.

Students who enter the Medical School will enjoy the considerable advantages of being members of a world class medical institution, with many opportunities for exciting specialist clinical attachments and Special Study.

Outcome of the course

At the end of the undergraduate programme you’ll receive your degree. The General Medical Council (GMC) approves your university’s degree as a primary medical qualification (PMQ). This is important because, provided there are no concerns about your fitness to practise, a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the GMC for a licence to practise medicine in the UK.

The GMC is introducing a Medical Licensing Assessment – the MLA. The MLA will create a demonstration that anyone obtaining registration with a licence to practise medicine in the UK has met a common threshold for safe practice.

To obtain a PMQ, graduates from 2024 onwards will need to have a degree that includes a pass in both parts of the MLA. One part will be a test of applied knowledge (the AKT), set by the GMC and held at your medical school. The other will be an assessment of your clinical and professional skills delivered by your medical school (the CPSA). Each school’s CPSA must meet GMC-set quality assurance requirements.

The MLA will test what doctors are likely to encounter in early practice and what’s essential for safe practice.  It intentionally will not cover the whole of a medical school curriculum. So, you will also need to meet your university’s degree requirements. You can find out more about the MLA for UK students

Provisional registration is time limited to a maximum of three years and 30 days (1125 days in total). After this time period your provisional registration will normally expire. Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year One posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work.

To obtain a Foundation Year One post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate programme though the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis. All suitably qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year One programme, but this cannot be guaranteed, for instance if there were to be an increased number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates.

Successful completion of the Foundation Year One programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You need full registration with a licence to practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.

There is some discussion about whether to remove provisional registration for newly qualified doctors.  If this happens then UK graduates will receive full registration as soon as they have successfully completed an MBBCH (or equivalent) degree. It should be noted that it is very likely that UK graduates will still need to apply for a training programme similar to the current Foundation Programme and that places on this programme may not be guaranteed for every UK graduate.

Although this information is currently correct, students need to be aware that regulations in this area may change from time to time.

Medical Schools Council
Postgraduate Foundation Training and Beyond
August 2019