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Intercalate

An intercalated degree will take you much deeper into a particular area of medicine, and will earn you a BSc.

Video of Dr Thomas discussing the benefits of doing an intercalated degree.

In an intercalated year, you complete a BSc in a medically related subject. You can do this after year three or year four of your MBBCh studies.

Approximately 100 students intercalate each year, most studying BSc courses in Cardiff University or at Bangor University, with whom we have close links.

Reasons to intercalate

The benefits of a completing an intercalated degree include:

  • studying an area of interest in more detail and depth than a medical degree covers
  • engaging in a piece of original research
  • enhancing your research-related transferable skills, which benefits you
    in both academic and clinical careers
  • developing basic theoretical knowledge, and potential research networks, for a future MD or PhD in a particular specialist field.

With some medical schools now making intercalation compulsory, a BSc is an attractive addition to your CV.

Intercalated degrees we offer

The intercalated year aims to provide a balance between classical anatomical studies and the modern understanding of cell and developmental biology, genetics and disease mechanisms.

You will have the opportunities to spend an academic year in a research-active environment where your learning is aligned closely to the research areas that are very much at the forefront of the advancement in medicine and development of contemporary medical technologies such as tissue engineering.

Many recent and continuing developments in medicine have been underpinned by biochemical research; for example, the development of targeted cancer therapies, the exploitation of stem cells and RNA-based therapies, and the appreciation of the importance of protein mis-folding in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and CreutzfeldtJakob disease.

The Intercalated degree in Biochemistry provides you with the opportunity to join a research-led course in this highly relevant and rapidly advancing subject.

Core modules develop an advanced understanding of cutting-edge research in genomics, gene regulation, synthetic biology and protein engineering, including the 3D structure and dynamics of the genome and the applications of engineering principles to biological systems

The intercalated Pathology route focusses on infection, immunity and cancer biology. You will study in depth at the molecular and cellular level the mechanisms of how microbes cause disease and how our immune system protects us against these infections.

You will also study how our immune system can attack ourselves (auto-immunity) and how our own cells get dysregulated and cause cancers. You will also study how we can combat these diseases by modulating/helping our immune system.

During the Population Medicine BSc, you will study the application of epidemiology to problems encountered in the delivery of care or treatments to individuals.

Video of Dr Zoe Roberts talking about the structure of the degree course and how it can benefit you.

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events (including disease), and the application of this study to the control of diseases and other health problems.

You will gain a broad and solid foundation of research methods that can be applied to improving health and health care and will identify how health practices and research findings can be applied to specific topic areas (e.g. infections, long term conditions, public health, improving clinical care, inequalities and rural health).

The Emergency, Pre-hospital and Immediate Care intercalated BSc (EPIC iBSc) route provides you with a solid grounding in acute care.

Video of Dr Huw Williams talking about the structure of the degree course and how it can benefit you.

Our structured curriculum enables you to develop the knowledge and clinical skills needed to undertake the difficult challenges of rapid diagnosis and treatment in emergency conditions. Modules include:

  • Sports, Pre-hospital and Other Emergencies
  • Emergency Diagnostics
  • Resuscitation Science
  • Trauma Science
  • Paediatric Emergency Medicine
  • Intercalated Research Project

University teaching weeks consist of lectures, tutorials, clinical skills and simulation sessions at our Heath Park campus in Cardiff.

Video of Jack Sheppard talking about some of the highlights of his intercalated year at Cardiff.

Clinical placements are based in busy Emergency Departments across Wales and are punctuated with weekly pre-hospital exposure with the Welsh Ambulance Service (either in an ambulance or on a rapid response vehicle). Each clinical placement week is themed to a syllabus topic for which you will partake in a journal club (critically appraising a landmark paper), sit a mock examination and receive a placement tutorial. You will also attend joint training days with post-graduate emergency medicine trainees.

The placement journal club ensures you build the critical appraisal skills required to successfully complete the Intercalated Research Project, whilst hands-on research experience will be supervised by an experienced emergency medicine physician or researcher.

This degree will prepare you for an exciting future career in emergency and/or pre-hospital hospital medicine.

Teaching and placement commitments total on average 36-hours a week over a 28-week programme. Night and evening shifts are expected. All hospital and pre-hospital uniforms will be supplied free of charge. On-site accommodation in hospitals outside the South-East Wales area (which are not commutable from Cardiff) is also provided free of charge. Considerable travel is required for some placements. It is the student’s responsibility to organise reimbursement of all travel expenses from the NHS Bursary Scheme. Before applying students are advised to first review the NHS Bursary Scheme guidelines.

Every doctor is expected to teach. On this course, you’ll explore learning theory and practice in contemporary medical education, develop your teaching skills, discover and use new educational technologies and conduct research into key issues in clinical teaching.

Video of Julie Browne talking about the structure of the degree course and how it can benefit you.

Neuroscience is a rapidly evolving area of biomedicine as new sophisticated experimental approaches are constantly developed to address the complexity of the nervous system.

You will be provided with the opportunity to spend an academic year in a research-led teaching institution in which neuroscience is a burgeoning area. The modules that you study reflect the increasing applications of molecular biology, genetics, psychopharmacology, neurophysiology and behavioural science to understanding the nervous system and the associated neuropsychiatric disorders.

Pharmacology is the study of how drugs and medicines work at the cellular and sub-cellular level to produce their useful (and sometimes harmful) effects in man.

Video of Dr Kirsten Pugh talking about the structure of the degree course and how it can benefit you.

This intercalated BSc degree programme produces graduates with a sound understanding of the biological effects and mechanisms of action of a wide range of bioactive substances, in particular those used for the treatment of human diseases.

You will study advanced physiology and pathophysiology using information derived from current research to understand how the cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, respiratory and endocrine systems are controlled from the molecular level to integrated body function.

We have optional modules available to enable you to select and explore specific topics of interest (e.g. tissue engineering, musculoskeletal biology, cancer).

You will also undertake a physiology-focused final year project in a laboratory, or you can do some educational research, data analysis or a science communication project.

The main objective of the degree course is to promote knowledge and understanding of psychology in medicine at both conceptual and practical levels.

Video of Dr Xavier Caseras talking about the structure of the degree course and how it can benefit you.

You will be encouraged to evaluate critically the theory and methodology of a variety of psychological subject areas and make the link between basic psychological processes and psychiatric and neurological symptoms and conditions.

This will be achieved through the combination of the content in our route’s core module and the modules from the School of Psychology that will be made available to students. Hands-on research experience will be obtained by conducting a project, which will be supervised by an established scientist.

Video of Christopher Bailey talking about some of the highlights of his intercalated year at Cardiff.

Intercalated degrees offered by Bangor University

This degree is offered by the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences.

Find out more about studying Clinical Sports Science at Bangor University.

The BSc in Neuropsychology is taught by neurologists, clinical neuropsychologists and neuroscientists from the School of Psychology's internationally acclaimed Wolfson Centre for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience.

It gives you the opportunity to study in depth the human brain in health and disease and undertake a research project in one of their human neuroscience laboratories.

Find out more about studying Neuropsychology at Bangor University.

This degree is offered by the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences. Following a research based approach to study, the key aspects of this sports science degree include the study of how physical and mental performance can be improved to help individuals to achieve their personal potential.

Find out more about studying Sports Science at Bangor Univeristy.

Intercalation at other UK institutions

Top students can intercalate at other UK institutions for courses not offered here. We also accept applications for intercalated degrees from medical students currently studying at other medical schools.

Video of current student Imogen John talking about her experience of doing an intercalated degree at another university.

Contact us

To find out more about an intercalated degree, please contact:

Medicine Intercalation