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Medicine: Graduate Entry (MBBCh)

  • Subject area: Medicine
  • UCAS code: A101
  • Next intake: August 2025
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Mode: Full time

Entry year

Why study this course

This degree accepts high performing students from recognised feeder streams aiming to offer comprehensive preparation for a rewarding working life as a foundation doctor in the NHS and your career beyond. Our course is structured over four years to allow you to acquire knowledge, clinical skills and professional attitudes within an integrated spiral curriculum. Our aim is to produce great clinicians who understand people and the environment in which we live.

This degree is only for those on our recognised feeder streams 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)

All applicants to the A101 course need to sit the UCAT admissions exam prior to applying via UCAS.

This course has been developed as part of Cardiff University’s commitment to widen access to Medicine. 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.

Having demonstrated appropriate knowledge and skills to enter the healthcare profession, you will pursue a course identical to Years 2 to 5 of the five year MBBCh course.

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 throughout 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 at Cardiff University you will benefit from:

  • An innovative spiral curriculum based on evidence gathered from across the world
  • Teaching from internationally-renowned researchers and clinicians
  • Excellent teaching facilities
  • Having the  whole of 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
  • A smooth transfer into the first year of your career as a doctor.

‘Wales is a great place to study Medicine, for so many reasons. The course combines early, hands-on clinical learning, with innovative teaching from leaders in their field. These are renowned academics and talented clinicians who are passionate about medical education and, in my experience, always happy to help. We get to see patients early on and experiencing medicine in different communities across Wales helps a lot when it’s time to choose our future specialties.’

Amy Butlin, Medical Student


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'

Our grade range covers our standard offer and contextual offer. We carefully consider the circumstances in which you've been studying (your contextual data) upon application.

  • Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
  • Where there is no grade range advertised and/or where there are selection processes in place (like an interview) you may receive additional points in the selection process or be guaranteed interview/consideration.

Learn about eligible courses and how contextual data is applied.

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.

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. 


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

Trinity ISE II/III

II: Not accepted.
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.

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.

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.

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 & 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 2025 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 2025/26 academic year.

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2025/26 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 2025/26 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 (your Year 1) you will learn the core science and clinical practice. Phase 2 (Years 2 and 3 ) you learn to care by integrated contemporary clinical experience, whilst during Phase 3 you will be learning from and at work, consolidating your preparation for practice.

The Undergraduate Course at Cardiff University is a Non-Modular Course 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 Year 1 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 you will apply and build upon earlier learning through increased clinical time in hospitals and GP surgeries throughout 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. Clinical placement learning will be complemented with further periods of instruction back in Cardiff, where you will revisit core scientific principles and build upon these, but with an increased emphasis on the patho-physiology, diagnostic methods, management and treatment of common diseases.

By your Year 4 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 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 reflect the existing curriculum and may be reviewed prior to the start of your academic year.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2025/2026 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2025.

Year one

Your first year on the MBBCh is the equivalent of Year 2 for the cohort which you will be joining.

You will start earlier than other Year 2 C21 students, i.e. in August, with a Summer School.  (You will be contacted with dates after you have accepted your offer.) You will be introduced to Case Based Learning in a custom-made 2-3 week session. During this time you will have dedicated teaching in clinical history taking and examination skills and you will also spend time at the clinical skills facility in the School of Medicine.

Following this, you integrate with the undergraduate students starting the second year of their course.

On joining the course, all students on the four-year programme will be introduced to the concept of case-based learning in a custom-made dedicated fortnight. During this time you will also have dedicated teaching in clinical history taking and examination skills and you will also spend time at the clinical skills facility in the School of Medicine. Thereafter you will be fully integrated with the undergraduate students starting the second year of their course. The remainder of your first year is based on a series of clinical scenarios linking the basic sciences to common clinical conditions, such as musculoskeletal injuries, heart disease, diabetes and gastrointestinal problems.

  • You will learn to address medical problems from first principles and develop scientific reasoning skills
  • Small group sessions will be supported by lectures and seminars, access to life science and clinical skills resources
  • You will spend a day most weeks seeing patients in local hospitals, general practices and other community-based services around South East Wales
  • Initially, you will concentrate on normal structure and function but, as cases progress, you will move on to more complex clinical presentations focusing on abnormal structure and function.

Teaching will be based at our state-of-the-art facilities in the Cochrane building, a flagship development on the site of University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, and at the School of Biosciences. You will also rotate through regional clinical teaching and learning centres in Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, and Newport. You will study 11 cases during your first year. Each case typically lasts 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 emphasized 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. You will learn from doctors and paramedics how to respond in an emergency by taking part in a simulated rural traffic accident.

2. The Student Selected Components (SSC) Programme

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

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, and these include placements in social work, complementary medicine and the professions allied to medicine.

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 Year 1 (2)/Year 4 (5) 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. Year 5 students (your Year 4) facilitate and share their experiences of clinical placements in Phase 2; Intercalating and Erasmus placements. In small groups, Year 2 students (your Year 1) will prepare poster presentations based on their first SSC experience project. Year 5 students will “judge” the posters and give feedback to academics. This SSC will enable you to gain experience of attending and presenting at a scientific/medical conference and provide a significant opportunity for interaction with older peers as they embark on the next stage of their academic and clinical careers.

Year two

In Year 3 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.The year is divided into five discrete learning opportunities:

  • Three 10 week clinical placements with bookend weeks at Cardiff Campus
  • Six weeks teaching on Applied Clinical Sciences (all year teaching)
  • A seven week ‘Student Selected Component’ – an opportunity to go beyond core learning and study a subject which you have a particular interest.

During Year 2 you will spend most of your time on clinical placements, learning medicine by following patients through the healthcare system. We expect you to make the patients the focus of your learning by witnessing the patient journey through the health care system. This will provide you with an insight into the patient experience of both illnesses and the health care system and learn about the fundamentals of excellent clinical care.

You should embrace all clinical opportunities offered, so that you can:

  • Become proficient in performing clinical assessments
  • Formulate differential diagnosis
  • Describe and explain the principles of investigations
  • Describe and explain the management and treatment of common diseases.

Year three

Year 3 (equivalent to Year 4 of the cohort you have joined) follows a similar pattern to Year 2, but your time will be concentrated on increasingly specialist cases. You will continue to practise the core skills learnt in Year 2 but apply this in different clinical settings. The year is divided into multiple, separate learning opportunities:

  • Three clinical placements across Welsh hospitals, with bookend weeks at the Heath Park Campus in Cardiff
  • All year Student Selected Component – an opportunity to go beyond core learning and study a subject which you have a particular interest.

A. 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 Wales and have the opportunity to witness firsthand 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.

B. Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry and Ophthalmology

This attachment utilises the expertise of one of the four Research Institutes in the School of Medicine. 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 dedicated week spent at Cardiff. During your one week 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.

C. 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 (your Year 2) but with particular emphasis on the elderly person and individuals with musculoskeletal and skin diseases.

ERASMUS exchange

During Year 4 (your Year 3), 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.

Year four

(Final year, equivalent to Year 5 of the cohort you have joined) Our unique Harmonisation Programme brings together all elements of the course, blending existing knowledge and skills with those required by the Foundation Programme to prepare you for life after graduation.

  • Your integration within clinical teams and responsibility for patient care increases through the final year of study, with the intention of preparing you for your role as a doctor working within the NHS, and ready for postgraduate studies
  • You will focus on the assessment and management of acute and chronic clinical presentations, with increasing responsibility throughout the year
  • There will be two eight week clinical placements, one hospital based and the other community (general practice) based. You will be expected to contribute to patient care under supervision
  • Learning will be predominantly based in the workplace, with sessions in the simulation centre and small group sessions designed to refine clinical thinking and decision-making
  • These placements will be followed by an eight week student elective at a destination of your choice, anywhere in the world, to study aspects of medicine that capture your imagination
  • Four core learning blocks of two weeks will address important aspects of a medical career. These Cardiff-based activities, themed “Preparing for Practice”, “Changing Practice”, “Science in Practice” and “Practise for Practice”, offer an understanding of what to expect when you start work. They include team-working, leadership, service improvement, academic research skills, and life as a Foundation doctor
  • The Harmonisation Programme will culminate in the seven week Senior Student Assistantship. This allows you to really work as part of the clinical team by directly managing patients under the supervision of hospital teams. It takes place in the hospital where you undertake your first foundation job, if it is in Wales. If it is elsewhere, you can choose to arrange a senior student assistantship at that hospital yourself, or have us organise your senior student assistantship for you in Wales.

The final year ensures you are ready for your career in medicine, consolidating the skills and knowledge required to perform at the highest level within the NHS.

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.

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.

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.

You will also have the opportunity to learn alongside students from specialties such as Pharmacy and Speech and Language 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, practicals, 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 (SDL), 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. 

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.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres. Our virtual learning environment is accessible via desktop and mobile devices, allowing you to access electronic resources from anywhere. Dedicated computer labs, student study rooms, campus-wide WiFi networks, printing facilities and a dedicated Healthcare library are available year-round. Staff are available onsite to assist students and provide support and advice.

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 presentations and in the clinical environment on clinical skills and professionalism.  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.

You will receive feedback on all summative assessments.

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

Feedback on performance in clinical examinations (ISCE) 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 phase).

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 Year 2 (your Year 1) 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 benefit 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 2 (your Year 1) and in the Spring of Year 4 (your Year 3).

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.

What skills will I practise and develop?

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

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'. These include:

  • 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 their 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 their careers
  • 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.

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 and medical students.  (

At the end of the undergraduate course you will receive your MBBCh (or equivalent) 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 currently considering whether 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 whether or when such an exam will be introduced 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 them registration with a licence to Practise.

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.

Job opportunities include but are not limited to:

  • Acute Care
  • Anaesthetics
  • Clinical Academia
  • Dermatologist
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Environmental Health Officer
  • General Practice
  • Genetic Counsellor
  • Intensive Care
  • Medicine
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Paediatrics
  • Pathology
  • Psychiatry
  • Public Health
  • Radiology
  • Registrar

Graduate careers

  • Registrar
  • General Practitoner
  • Dermatologist
  • Environmental Health Officer


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.

Clinical placement teaching takes place at hospitals, community medical centres and over 150 general practices across Wales. This means we can offer you a uniquely diverse clinical learning 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
  • present cases to more senior members of staff.

In your first year (which is the equivalent to Year 2 for the cohort which you will be joining) 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 Wales. Each Clinical Placement Block is 10 weeks and will consist of bookend weeks lead by Cardiff University, teaching will be delivered from either Heath Campus (UHW) or University Hospital Llandough (UHL). Clinical placement will be delivered by the Health Boards all across Wales. Students value the richness and diversity of the learning opportunities offered to them at the School of Medicine.

 “All Wales placements? Really great – without doubt one of the best aspects to being a Cardiff medic. I had a placement at Bronglais hospital in Aberystwyth. It was brilliant – as a Final Year student in a small hospital it was easy to get to know all the junior doctors and I was soon a useful member of the team… there probably aren’t many more ideal places to be staying for a few weeks. It’s also a perfect opportunity for you to get to know a few more pf your peers.”
- Dr. Mike Atkinson, Cardiff Graduate

Year 2 Placements:

  1. Oncology and Surgical Practice
  2. Hospital Front Door (includes GP week)
  3. Chronic Disease 1 (includes GP week)

During Hospital Front Door and Chronic Disease 1, you will attend a dedicated week with a General Practice.

Year 3 Placements:

  1. Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry and Ophthalmology
  2. Women, Children and Family
  3. Chronic Disease 2 (Geriatrics, Musculoskeletal and Dermatology)

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 students to take their developed knowledge and skill and apply it in the clinical environment under close supervision.

Year 4 Placements:

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

When on placement there is a team of staff which are 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 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.