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Medicine: North Wales (MBBCh)

  • Subject area: Medicine
  • UCAS code: A102
  • Next intake: September 2023
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Mode: Full time

Entry year

Image of Bangor University campus

Why study this course

We aim to train the very best doctors for Wales and more widely in the UK by providing high quality teaching, and an inspiring learning experience based around increased clinical contact. We are excited to mirror the well-established C21 MBBCh course delivered by the School of Medicine at Cardiff University with our colleagues at the School of Medical Sciences, Bangor University.

What is C21 North Wales / Gogledd Cymru?

The C21 North Wales/ Gogledd Cymru course has been developed as part of Cardiff University’s commitment to widen access to Medicine in collaboration with Bangor University and Welsh Government. It provides students with the opportunity to undertake their medical degree in North Wales.

The C21 North Wales/ Gogledd Cymru course accepts high performing students from recognised feeder stream courses linked to the School of Medicines Graduate Entry Programme, qualified dentists and also students already accepted onto the A100 programme who wish to transfer after successful completion of their first year. It aims to offer comprehensive preparation for a rewarding working life as a Foundation Doctor in the NHS and your career beyond. Our course is structured to allow you to acquire the necessary knowledge, clinical skills and professional attitudes required by the General Medical Council within an integrated spiral curriculum. Our goal is to produce great clinicians who understand people and the environment in which we live.

Am I eligible?

A100 students wishing to undertake the C21 North Wales/ Gogledd Cymru programme will be required to meet the same entry criteria as other students on the standard C21 course and will commit to undertaking year 2 of the course onwards in North Wales following successful progression from year 1 of the course. Specific support for students who choose to undertake this option will be provided to ensure adequate preparation for the move.

There is an A102 (Graduate Entry Medicine GEM) route of admission also available via the course feeder streams. Our recognised feeder streams for the A102 GEM entry are for students graduating with one of the following degrees:

  • BSc (Hons) Medical Pharmacology Degree School of Medicine Cardiff University (B210)
  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences Degree School of Biosciences Cardiff University (BC97)
  • BMedSci Degree from the University of Bangor (B100)
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences Degree from the University of South Wales (B901)

Qualified dentists are also welcome to apply.   

Small numbers of selected students from the feeder streams take additional modules during their first degree which make them eligible to apply to be accepted onto the 4-year course. You must graduate with a first or upper second-class degree. All applicants to the A102 course need to sit the UCAT admissions exam prior to applying via UCAS.

Having demonstrated appropriate knowledge and skills to enter the healthcare profession, you will pursue the C21 North Wales/ Gogledd Cymru course which is equivalent to Years 2 to 5 of the five year MBBCh course.


Patient-centred learning

The programme initially focuses on building a platform for integrated clinical sciences. This is delivered in the classroom, practical classes, lectures and the virtual learning environment.  You learn to apply your knowledge in the clinical environment, both in hospital and community settings.

The programme emphasises the importance of learning science in the clinical context, and the central place of the patient in a doctor’s work. We firmly believe that patients are at the heart of medical education and as such you will be introduced to patients from the first year. You will learn about common medical conditions from real patients, as well as their doctors, in authentic and impressively equipped facilities.

Patient safety, science knowledge, scholarship, and the service role of doctors are unifying themes throughout.

As you progress through the programme you will find there is increasing emphasis on your acquisition of clinical skills, initially in a simulated environment progressing to extended clinical placements with increasing responsibility in hospital and community settings predominantly in North Wales. Throughout the course, you are expected to display the professional attributes of a doctor in training.

By the time you graduate, you will have demonstrated that care of patients is your first concern. With full engagement in the course, you will be able to apply knowledge and skills in a competent and ethical manner, and use your ability to provide leadership and to analyse complex and uncertain situations.  You will have achieved all the outcomes and clinical competencies required by the General Medical Council set out in ‘Outcomes for graduates'.

The Medicine programme is recognised as a Primary Medical Qualification under the Medical Act, and graduates of the programme may apply for provisional registration with the General Medical Council.

Distinctive features

Whilst an undergraduate student undertaking the Cardiff/Bangor University collaborative provision programme you will benefit from:

  • An innovative spiral curriculum based on evidence gathered from across the world
  • Teaching from internationally-renowned researchers and clinicians highly rated by students on the course
  • Excellent teaching facilities
  • Having North Wales as your classroom, meaning you get a breadth of clinical experience from small, rural GP practices and small cottage hospitals to fast-paced city A&E departments and complex surgical specialties
  • Unique learning opportunities available as a result of the local environment e.g. mountain medicine experience
  • Learning in bilingual communities equipping you with skills to deliver linguistically appropriate care
  • A smooth transfer into the first year of your career as a doctor


Subject area: Medicine

  • academic-schoolSchool of Medicine
  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2068 8113
  • MarkerUniversity Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN

Entry requirements

We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:

A level

See 'Other essential requirements'

This grade range reflects our typical standard and contextual offers. We carefully consider your contextual data (the circumstances in which you've been studying) upon application. Eligible students applying for this course will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.

International Baccalaureate

See 'Other essential requirements'

Baccalaureate Wales

From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Other qualifications from inside the UK


We do not accept BTECs for this programme.


T level

We do not accept T Levels for this programme.

Qualifications from outside the UK

Please contact for information about entry requirements from your country.

Please view your country page for information on our entry requirements, funding opportunities and who our local advisors are.

Additional entry requirements


Grade B or grade 6 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 7.0 overall with a minimum of 7.0 in speaking and a minimum of 6.5 in all other subskills.


At least 100 with a minimum of 24 in speaking and 22 in all other subskills.

PTE Academic

At least 70 overall with a minimum of 76 in speaking and a minimum of 69 in all other communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

III: at least a Merit in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

Re-sit results

Re-sit results will only be considered if completed within 12 months of the first date of sitting.

To be eligible for this programme, you must meet all of the following criteria:
- 2:1 for one of these recognised feeder streams or be a graduate of dentistry:

  • BSc (Hons) Medical Pharmacology degree, School of Medicine, Cardiff University (B210)
  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences degree, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University (BC97)
  • BMedSci (Hons) Degree in Medical Sciences from Bangor University (B100)
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences Degree, from the University of South Wales (B901)

- have achieved BBB/ABC at A-level or equivalent including Biology and Chemistry
- have achieved English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade B/6 or an equivalent. If you require a Student visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements
- have achieved 8 GCSEs including grade B/6 in GCSE Maths, Biology and Chemistry, or equivalent qualifications (level, subjects and grade).
- show an awareness of the healthcare system in the UK and the nature of the medical training in your personal statement.
(We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.)

Admissions Test
You must have taken the UCAT within two-years of applying. We don’t have a minimum threshold score; however, we may use UCAT scores in our application assessment procedure when deciding who to interview.

Dental graduates
Dental graduates must have completed further postgraduate training and obtained appropriate professional qualifications, as well as meeting the above criteria. Please submit a full CV (curriculum vitae) to the Admissions Office when you apply.

Enrolment conditions
Before you start your course, you will also need to undergo a health check—including screening for blood-borne viruses and tuberculosis—by our Occupational Health Service. If you are non-immune to Hepatitis B, you will need to complete a full immunisation programme before taking part in clinical procedures.
Having a blood-borne virus or other infectious diseases won’t prevent you from completing this course and obtaining General Medical Council registration, but some specialities won’t be open to you during training or in your career.
If you have a health issue that you think might have an impact on your ability to study or practise, please contact us before submitting an application. 

You will be required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check if your application is successful. If you are applying from certain countries overseas, a Certificate of Good Conduct may be required.

If you have a relevant criminal conviction, this will be stated in the check and may affect your ability to enrol on the course. Applicants who are on the barred list should be aware that applying to this course is likely to be considered a criminal offence.

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Interview or selection process

Scoring your application

Please note this scoring process is under review.

You will be given points for your achieved qualifications. Points are awarded for nine GCSE subjects which must include Biology, Chemistry, English (first) or Welsh (first), and Mathematics or Numeracy. If you have Double Science GCSE, remember to enter both grades on UCAS. Achieved A-level grades and honours degrees give you additional points.

If you have a higher GCSE grade in Welsh first language than English language, you may want to contact us for further advice.

Most applicants apply with nine or more GCSEs.  If you have fewer than this, or alternative qualifications of equivalent level, subjects and grade, we strongly advise you to email for advice before applying.  You can also contact us if you are unsure whether your English GCSE grade meets our English language requirements.

Extenuating circumstances

Sometimes events beyond your control can seriously affect your grades.  Your examination board should be told about these early on, by you or by your school/university.  If it is too late to tell your examination board, you can ask us whether you are eligible to apply for extenuating circumstances.  We will provide you with documentation to complete and return before a set date, so it is important to contact us on as soon as possible.  All extenuating circumstances requests are viewed on a case by case basis by our Admissions Group.


  • 9, 8, A* = 3 points
  • 7, A = 2 points
  • 6, B = 1 point


  • A* = 3 points
  • A = 2 points

Degree (minimum GCSE and A-level grades required)

27 points in total

The maximum points you can achieve are 27. The cut-off score for interview varies each year as it will depend on the competitiveness of all the applications. Dental graduates will be considered for UCAS A101/A102 only.  The application must include an academic reference or a reference from a Maxillofacial Surgeon.  The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (OMFS) provides information for applicants for training in OMFS.

Non-Academic Entry Requirements

Your personal statement and academic reference will be assessed. The following should be demonstrated:

  • Insight into a career in Medicine
  • Evidence of experience and reflection in a caring environment
  • Evidence and reflection of personal responsibility
  • Evidence of a balanced approach to life
  • Evidence of self-directed learning.

For the most up-to-date entry requirements, please refer to our UG Admissions policy before you apply.  You can contact us by emailing if you still have queries after that.

Our interview process

We won’t make an offer without an interview.

We use the multiple mini interview (MMI) format, which is a series of short, carefully timed interview stations that you will rotate around in turn.

The MMIs help us to determine if you:
- can think on your feet
- have thought about some of the issues that are important to the profession
- can critically appraise information
- can communicate ideas effectively.

They also focus on exploring the personal qualities and attributes that are important to your future career development.

Tuition fees for 2023 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year. Fees for the previous year were £9,000.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year.

Additional costs


We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Living costs

We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Course structure

Your course is divided into three distinct phases. During Phase 1 (the first year in North Wales), you will learn the core science and clinical practice building on your existing knowledge from either the first year in Cardiff or your previous degree depending on your route of entry. Phase 2 (Years 2 and 3) you learn to care for patients by an integrated contemporary clinical experience, whilst during Phase 3 you will be learning from and at work, consolidating your preparation for practice. All parts of the course and learning outcomes in North Wales are equivalent to the C21 MBBCh but delivered in a different environment.

The C21 North Wales/ Gogledd Cymru stream, in the same way as the standard C21 course, is non-modular and therefore it is impossible to compartmentalise learning. The idea of C21 is to build and gain new knowledge and ideas by expanding and developing on what you already know. A “spiral curriculum” gives you opportunities to revisit aspects of learning thus deepening understanding.

The primary mode of delivery in your first year in North Wales will be via case based learning, where you are supported in small groups by a trained facilitator. You will learn basic and clinical science via the theme of the ‘Chronological Life Course’.  Each unit of study will consist of a series of patient cases, typically lasting about two weeks.

In your Years 2 and 3 of the North Wales stream, you will apply and build upon earlier learning through increased clinical time in hospitals and GP surgeries in North Wales. Learning will be centred around the patient experience as you follow patients along the care pathway from community settings into hospital care and back into the community on placements. Year 2 of the C21 North Wales/ Gogledd Cymru stream will be undertake using the innovative Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship approach know as CARER/LLAW (Community and Rural Education Route/ LLwybr Addysg Wledig). You will be embedded within a General Practice benefitting from a sustained educational supervision experience to allow you to develop as a professional. Clinical placement learning will be complemented with further periods of instruction back in a University setting, where you will revisit core scientific principles and build upon these, but with an increased emphasis on generic themes which will equip you with the knowledge and skills to become an excellent doctor, e.g. evidence based medicine, clinical diagnostics and the care of the vulnerable patient. Year 3 will allow you to build on the skills learnt during Year 2 but also apply them in more specialist practice.

By your Year 4 (final year) in North Wales you will be ready to take a more active role within clinical teams.  The emphasis is on consolidating knowledge and skills to prepare you for work as a doctor in the NHS, ensuring a smooth transition from student to Foundation Doctor.

The core learning of the course is supplemented by a series of “Student Selected Components” (SSCs) in all years of the programme, allowing you to choose projects from a list of available options, or to develop your own project. SSCs provide the stimulus and the opportunity for you, under appropriate guidance and direction, to acquire knowledge through a process of exploration and your own intellectual efforts.

SSCs complement core MBBCh teaching, allowing you to study areas of particular interest, introducing research skills and encouraging analytical and critical thought from your first year. You are encouraged to develop skills and knowledge in a variety of medical and scientific specialties, including those outside the realm of traditional medicine. In the final year you will have an opportunity to go on an ‘elective’ and visit medical settings anywhere in the UK or internationally. These ‘options’ enable you to pursue an aspect of medicine of particular interest to you.  

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2023/2024 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.

Year one

This is a Graduate Entry course that starts in Year 2 in North Wales.

Year two

Your first year on C21 North Wales/ Gogledd Cymru is the equivalent of Year 2 for the standard C21 course undertaken by students studying in Cardiff University.

You will study 11 cases during this year of study, with each case typically lasting two weeks. As well as the core science learning, highlights of this year include:

1. Community based learning

The importance of seeing the patient in his/her community is emphasised and the Community Clinical Learning programme builds on the case-based learning. Each placement will involve task oriented learning, so that you collect a portfolio of clinical learning experience. This will help you link ‘real people’ to both the case you are studying and to more long term goals such as professional attitudes, understanding health service delivery and leadership. One of the highlights of the community clinical learning programme is a rural health day. This allows you to learn about the challenges of healthcare delivery in a rural setting comparing it to the services available in urban areas.

2. The Student Selected Components (SSC) Programme

The SSC programme in Year 1 consists of four distinct learning opportunities:

  • Two experience projects
    The two experience projects expose you to a wide range of settings and topics and you will have opportunity to develop research skills at a more advanced level. Importantly there are projects that will facilitate study beyond the boundaries of traditional medicine.
  • A journalistic article
    The journalistic article will enable you to demonstrate the critical academic skills of literature searching and appraisal of complex scientific evidence-based material and the subsequent uncomplicated coherent and concise communication thereof. It will also challenge you to convey your journalistic message in an entertaining yet thought provoking manner.
  • A unique peer learning C21 conference
    The conference will include plenary sessions with invited keynote speakers covering a range of themes around thriving & surviving in medical school and medical ethics. It is expected, that during the first years of the Bangor programme, that students on the Bangor stream will join students on the Cardiff stream until such time that this peer learning can take place within the Bangor cohort.

Year three

In Year 2 (North Wales) you learn the principles of integrated clinical care, to learn about clinical method and diagnostic reasoning and relate this to the underpinning scientific principles of medicine. You will learn by undertaking a Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship, which is an established form of medical education, proven in universities around the world. You will follow a range of patients for longer periods of time and develop a close relationship with a mentor who guides your learning. Longitudinal placements enhance students’ understanding of patient-centred care, the healthcare system and the importance of the life perspective, family dynamics and social contexts of patients’ presentations for healthcare. Students learn through experience and problem solving in a supportive clinical environment.

You will have the opportunity to undertake all Year 2 learning in a defined rural community, predominantly in primary care but with definite links to secondary care establishments that serve these communities. It will provide a platform for you to understand how care should be provided to those with common diseases. You will become competent in taking a holistic history, identifying and managing pertinent risk factors, recommending targeted interventions as well as considering the wider impact of ‘being a patient’ on the social and psychological wellbeing of the patient and their carers.

The patient will remain the basis for your learning. A major focus of the longitudinal clerkships is the “patient journey”, and you will have opportunities to follow a bank of patients presenting with common symptoms that make up the core of the learning outcomes for the year.

As with the preceding year of the course, clinical case studies, which focus on common presentations, will be used to structure learning. These will complement the experience gained whilst on clinical placement in a variety of healthcare settings where you will observe and assist in patient care whilst learning to take on increasing responsibility for care under direct supervision. This will be supplemented by self-directed and e-learning material.

Your learning will be supplemented with teaching from Bangor University and Betsi Cadwaladr health board to ensure that the generic themes and learning outcomes covered in the bookend weeks of the Cardiff delivered curriculum are also delivered and covered at Bangor. The teaching and learning will consist of a blend of plenaries, tutorials and e-learning material and will be delivered at timely intervals throughout the academic year.

Year four

During Year 3 (North Wales) your time will be concentrated on increasingly specialist cases, predominantly based in secondary care. You will continue to practise the core skills learnt in Year 2 but apply this in different clinical settings.

The year is divided into 4 separate learning opportunities: three clinical placements across North Wales hospitals, with bookend weeks facilitated at Bangor but in collaboration with senior core faculty at Cardiff, and an all year Student Selected Component (SSC) – an opportunity to go beyond core learning and study a subject which you have a particular interest.

Clinical Placements:

  • Women, Children and Family
    The overall aim of this placement is to enable you to acquire skills relevant to women and children, to make a clinical assessment of a problem, and develop a plan of care in its widest sense. You will spend time with obstetricians and paediatricians throughout North Wales and have the opportunity to witness first-hand the importance of multi-disciplinary working in both community and secondary care settings. The patient should remain the focus of the learning and there will be opportunities to interact with women, children and parents who are accessing the health care system.
  • Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry and Ophthalmology
    You will experience more specialist practice during the clinical neuroscience attachment but will see how an excellent grounding in generic skills facilitates clinical and diagnostic reasoning. These are essential skills for all good doctors to develop and perfect. You will also have excellent opportunities to see patients with psychiatric illnesses and come to appreciate the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in our population. You will learn about primary psychiatric disorders but will also see how mental health problems can influence how patients present with and manage other illnesses. The ophthalmology teaching will be a delivered by clinicians at North Wales and will be equivalent to the week which your peers undertake at Cardiff. During your placement in ophthalmology, you will be provided with opportunities to broaden your understanding of ophthalmological pathology, examination skills and management as well as highlighting the support requirements for visually impaired patients.
  • Chronic Disease 2 - Geriatrics, Musculoskeletal Disease and Dermatology
    We have an increasingly ageing population and a significant burden of chronic diseases in our population. These are priority areas to address for the current NHS and you need to understand the challenges posed by these illnesses.  This placement builds on the principles of chronic disease management introduced in Year 3 but with particular emphasis on the elderly person and individuals with musculoskeletal and skin diseases.

ERASMUS exchange

During Year 3 (North Wales), students with language skills will have the opportunity to apply for the ERASMUS exchange scheme. Successful students can choose to study the women, children and family placement at one of our partner medical schools in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Medicine student practicing injection technique
Medicine student practicing injection technique

Learning and assessment

The MBBCh Medicine course offers a modern integrated curriculum with a unique diversity of learning experience. Clinical placement teaching takes place in hospitals and general practices across the whole of Wales. The C21 North Wales/ Gogledd Cymru stream has been designed to utilise the unique and extremely highly student rated student evaluations of North Wales in a course that offers a more individualised and community focussed experience. This stream is not designed to produce general practitioners but graduates that are able to work in either a primary, secondary or tertiary domain whilst understanding the challenges of working in an integrated healthcare system. The smaller cohort size and the focus on longitudinal patient contact will allow an excellent student experience and in-depth acquisition of clinical and diagnostic skills.

You will also have the opportunity to learn alongside students from specialties allied to medicine such as nursing students. This allows you to learn first-hand of the importance of the multi-disciplinary team in modern patient care.

We use a blend of teaching methods with small group teaching and case based learning. Learning is supported and reinforced by a coordinated programme of lectures, seminars, practical classes, lab and clinical skills sessions, and relevant clinical experience.

Each year of your study you will revisit common clinical problems and build on what you have learned already, this is called spiral learning. It means that the new information is easier to remember and to apply in a clinical context when you see patients.

Case based learning is a structured and supported method of learning. This method of learning in the clinical context makes it easier to recall knowledge. You will learn practical clinical skills such as communication, examination and practical procedural skills in clinical skill centres. Communication skills are taught by using actors who are trained to behave as patients. This is a safe environment for you to learn how to gather information, explain diseases and treatment. Workshops continue through the course and the scenarios become more complex and challenging.

During Phase 2 you spend most of your time in clinical environments, such as outpatient clinics, wards and general practices. You will be taught by hospital doctors, general practitioners, and clinical skills tutors. You will learn by talking to and examining patients, which you then discuss with clinicians. You will be taught in the clinical situation, in small group tutorials, using the Clinical Skills Centre, Simulation Centre and some lectures.

Central to the course is self-directed learning, providing the opportunity to take more responsibility for your own learning and fit with your own interests. You will be expected to take increasing responsibility for learning, preparing you for a lifetime of continued personal development.

How will I be supported?

Our focus is on you and your learning. We will support you as you take increasing responsibility for your own learning and encourage you to use your own initiative to seize opportunities and experiences that will be available to you as a student and, later, as a doctor.

You will have a named personal tutor for help and support with academic needs. Regular meetings will be scheduled to discuss progress. You should take the opportunity to reflect on your abilities and performance through developing a personal development plan. Student support is a real strength at Bangor University in line with the attainment of TEF Gold status. All students are given personal tutors and there are timetabled slots available for meetings that may be required over and above the twice per semester mandated meetings. There is also an open-door policy in place to allow students to seek help as needed.

There is a dedicated Student Support Unit within Bangor University with the equivalent functionality provided by Cardiff University for its students. There is a functioning International Office if required should there be appropriate students recruited onto the course.

Whilst on clinical placement there is a team of individuals is responsible for your well-being. These include hospital Undergraduate Managers, Honorary Senior Lecturers, together with your named educational supervisor.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.


You will receive regular formative feedback on your performance throughout the course. Formative feedback will be both oral and written depending on the task assessed. You will receive both oral and written feedback on your performance in oral and written presentations. Written feedback will be provided on written reports and projects. The purpose of this feedback is that you reflect on performance and use it constructively and continue to improve.

Feedback from performance in the clinical environment will be captured via “My Progress,” an electronic platform used to maintain a portfolio. The purpose of this portfolio is as a collection of work used to demonstrate learning and progress. It is an attempt to capture how you as students behave in practice and complements other forms of assessment which measure knowledge and competency in a range of skills.

You will receive feedback on all summative assessments.

Written feedback is provided on knowledge exams, providing you with your marks together with cohort performance.

Feedback on performance in clinical examinations (ISCEs) will be demonstrated by providing you with the marks for the station, domain feedback together with results for overall performance of the cohort and individual comments from the examiner. 

In the event of failing an exam, you will be able to meet with an academic member of staff for further feedback, advice and support. You should discuss academic progress with your academic mentor at least once a year.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment throughout the programme will be based on an ethos of frequent look and rapid remediation.  You will complete a balance of formative assessments (i.e. tests to help you know whether you are making progress) and summative assessments (i.e. tests that have to be passed, in order to be able to move on to next period of study).

You must demonstrate the outcomes defined by the General Medical Council in ‘Outcomes for Graduates'.  Reasonable adjustments will be made, where appropriate, to enable you to achieve these outcomes, but the outcomes themselves will not be adjusted.

Knowledge examinations are usually in the format of ‘single best answers’ (SBAs). During your first year doing C21 North Wales/Gogledd Cymru you will sit summative examinations which test your acquisition of knowledge learnt during this year as well as a progress test.

In the later years scientific knowledge will be assessed through written Progress Tests.  These are a form of assessment where groups of learners at different stages of the same course undertake the same written test. The test is comprehensively aligned with the overall curriculum. Due to the need for wide sampling, items will be of the SBA type. The test will be repeated three times per year using the same style but different questions. This will give a wide sampling of your knowledge over a period of time. This method of testing fosters knowledge retention and negates the use of last minute learning.

As medicine is a vocational programme, you will be assessed on your acquisition of clinical skills of communication, clinical examination and assessment and practical procedures. These will be done in the clinical environment where feedback can be given and then in a formalised examination, using actors and patients. These assessments (ISCE integrated structured clinical examinations) will occur at the end of Year 1 (North Wales) and in the Spring of Year 3 (North Wales)

Your professionalism will be assessed throughout the programme using portfolios which encourage you to reflect on your experiences and on learning events in the clinical environment.

There are also a range of in-course assessments; short written reports and oral presentations which require completion to a satisfactory standard.

During the final year you will sit the Prescribing Skills Assessment. This is a nationally-set written paper taken by final year students in all medical schools. It tests your ability to prescribe safely, accurately and responsibly. You must pass this examination to be able to graduate.

From 2023 the GMC will require all graduates to pass the Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA). Firm details of this assessment are awaited but will likely align with the assessments already undertaken as part of the course.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge and understanding:

As a medical student you are expected to demonstrate professional behaviour, appropriate to that of a doctor in training, at all times from the start of the course. The General Medical Council set out the standards for all doctors in “Good Medical Practice” ( and for students in “Medical students: professional values and fitness to practise” (

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you be able to demonstrate all of the outcomes for medical graduates as defined by the GMC in ‘Outcomes for Graduates (2018)' including:

  • Taking responsibility for the care, diagnosis, management and treatment of patients
  • Placing patients’ needs and safety at the centre of the care process
  • Showing respect for your patients at all times
  • Taking responsibility for your own practice and actions
  • Displaying the capacity for inquiry and being prepared to continue learning, teaching, evaluating and researching throughout your career
  • Developing existing knowledge, deepening understanding and improving performance through experiential learning
  • Adapting effectively in response to uncertainty and change
  • Combining directed, self-directed and simulated learning
  • Displaying a sound appreciation of ethical, legal and community issues
  • Relating the scientific basis of medicine, including most recent developments to the diagnosis and treatment of disease
  • Extrapolating the importance of physical, psychological and social determinates of health to medical practice
  • Acting as an effective member of multidisciplinary teams
  • Practising effectively as a Foundation Programme doctor in the NHS.

You must be proficient in all of the practical skills listed by the GMC to graduate.

Professional practical skills:

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, which are discipline specific and also more generic ‘employability skills’. These include the following:

  • Scientific method and approaches to research
  • Analysis and interpretation of quantitative and qualitative data
  • Communication skills – written and oral
  • Numeracy
  • IT skills
  • Verbal presentation skills
  • Problem solving
  • Clinical history and examination skills
  • Diagnosis and management of clinical presentations
  • Carrying out practical procedures safely and effectively
  • Emergency medical care
  • Prescribing
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Teaching skills.

At the end of the undergraduate course you will receive your MBBCh degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council, subject only to its acceptance that there are no Fitness to Practise concerns that need consideration.  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 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work. To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate course through 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 1 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 1 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.

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

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. 

  • The GMC is planning to introduce a formal assessment that UK medical graduates would need to pass in order to be granted full registration. Although no firm decision has been taken as to exact nature and timing of this assessment applicants should be aware that the GMC envisages that future cohorts of medical students will need to pass parts of a new UK Medical Licensing Assessment before the GMC will grant you registration with a licence to Practise. This Medical Licencing Assessment (MLA) will be a requirement for graduation from 2023.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

The Medicine programme is recognised as a Primary Medical Qualification under the Medical Act, and graduates of the programme may apply for provisional registration with the General Medical Council. In 2017 100 % of the School’s graduates from the MBBCh course had secured employment or engaged in further study within 6 months of graduation.

Specialties within Medicine include but are not limited to:

  • Acute Care
  • Anaesthetics
  • Clinical Academia
  • Emergency Medicine
  • General Practice
  • Intensive Care
  • Medicine
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Paediatrics
  • Pathology
  • Psychiatry
  • Public Health
  • Radiology
  • Surgery

Graduates can however use their degree, not only to enter specialist medical training schemes but also as a general degree for a range of other professions.


Throughout the course you spend time with patients in clinical settings to provide context to what you are learning. As you progress, your exposure to patients increases along with the complexity of your clinical cases and your responsibilities for patients' care. The purpose of the C21 North Wales/ Gogledd Cymru course is to provide a unique experience of learning and delivering health care in a community setting. As healthcare systems develop this will become an increasingly common model of healthcare provision with opportunities for graduates to gain successful careers at the interface of primary and secondary care systems whilst also acquiring the required skills to undertake more traditional roles within the NHS if desired.

Clinical placement learning takes place at hospitals, community medical centres and many general practices across North Wales. This means we can offer you a uniquely diverse clinical learning experience with a community and more rural clinical experience. Skills and professional behaviours are developed throughout the curriculum, in order that you are fully prepared for your Foundation Programme and postgraduate medical training when you graduate.

All clinical placements should give you the opportunity to:

  • Talk to patients, examine them and record your findings and conclusions
  • Observe different areas of medical practice and learn about common problems within each
  • Record what you have seen, look up and ask about things you don’t understand
  • Practice and refine practical clinical skills already learned in a simulated setting in a real clinical environment
  • Learn about diagnostic processes in clinical scenarios
  • Contribute to weekly Case Based Discussion (CBD)
  • Present cases to more senior members of staff.

In your first year in North Wales you will spend a day most weeks in a clinical environment of a hospital or community setting, where you will meet patients with clinical problems you have been learning about.

During Years 2 and 3 you will spend time on extended clinical placements, all around North Wales. You will spend time working in general practices and in secondary care establishments within Betsi Cadwaladr Health board. Student feedback from their clinical experience at North Wales hospitals, which is gathered regularly via our NHS liaison service is always of the highest standard.

The culmination of the programme is the final year to prepare students for their work within the NHS. The “Harmonisation” years (Final Year of the programme and the first year of the Foundation Programme) will allow you to take your developed knowledge and skill and apply it in the clinical environment under close supervision.

Final Year placements:

  1. Junior Student Assistantship
  2. Primary Care
  3. Senior Student Assistantship

When on placement there is a team of staff which is responsible for the quality of the teaching at each hospital. The Honorary Senior Lecturer (HSL) is the clinician who has overall responsibility whereas the Undergraduate Managers are responsible for the day to day organisation and administration. Close liaison with both the clinical placement undergraduate team, and the administration team at both Bangor and Cardiff University will ensure that you have the best possible experience.

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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.