Cardiff celebrates first full graduates of innovative medical curriculum

16 July 2018

graduates jumping in celebration

This week Cardiff University School of Medicine celebrates Graduation with its first cohort to have completed all five years of the C21 curriculum.

C21, the colloquial name for Cardiff University’s MBBCh undergraduate Medicine degree, has reshaped medical education in Wales to meet the changing needs of the NHS in Wales and its local communities.

Professor John Bligh, C21’s architect and then Dean of Medical Education, oversaw widespread consultation with thousands of clinicians, patients, academics, medical students and key stakeholders including Welsh Government, the GMC and the BMA. The result was a pioneering medical education programme which puts patients first utilising self-directed, practical learning that doctors need throughout their career.

2018 graduate, Dr Shafqat Batchelor, commented;
"The way the curriculum works, you're never more than a week away from a patient or clinical encounter that ensures all the theory makes sense. It really hammers home that the point of all your studying is to be a doctor at the end of it all."

C21’s innovative approach means that 270 Cardiff University School of Medicine graduates are readier than ever for their first day as a junior doctor. This year over half of the graduates are choosing to work in Wales; Approximately 53% will remain within Wales to carry out their F1 year.

Cardiff’s innovative MBBCh curriculum is designed to produce graduates who understand the people of Wales and the wider world; they are firmly embedded in local communities throughout the five years of their course and so understand the needs of the communities of Wales. The curriculum also enables Welsh-speakers to develop their skills in Medicine in their first language, with up to a third of the course being offered through the medium of Welsh.

Professor John Bligh explained:
“The C21 curriculum is based on sound educational principles and the best evidence we have about what students need to help them become safe, effective and caring doctors. It continues to train our students in the timeless skills of patient care and the diagnosis and treatment of disease, while at the same time, students learn the skills needed to equip them for 21st century practice: how to communicate with patients, families, carers and the wider healthcare team in the modern clinical setting; how to develop and apply modern medical science in the service of patients and their communities; and how to lead evidence-based change and innovation within the NHS.”

Thanks to C21, doctors trained in Wales are more welcome than ever in hospital wards across Britain.  Since 2013, all 5th year students have been on the final year programme known as their Harmonisation Year. Its highlight, the Senior Student Assistantship (SSA), enables students who choose to stay in Wales after graduation shadow the junior doctor whose shoes they will fill on that important - and traditionally terrifying - first day as a doctor

Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya, Head of the School of Medicine concluded;
"C21 has led the way in terms of being an innovative undergraduate medical course which enables medical students to meet the demands of modern medical practice. We wish the class of 2018 well as they start their professional lives.”

Find out from our students what it's really like to study medicine here.