A101 BMBS Medicine (BM4, graduate entry) (4 yrs)
Our BM4 course enables graduates in any subject to achieve a BMBS degree in four years, drawing on existing knowledge, skills, understanding and life experiences.
Medical students need to study a wide range of science and social science disciplines that underpin medical knowledge, understanding and practice. The BM4 curriculum has been designed to encourage students to link their knowledge and understanding across disciplines and to integrate the theory and practice of medicine. The additional skills and life experience bought by graduates to the course have enabled the development of an innovative curriculum which will enable achievement of the BMBS degree in four years.
Clinical topics comprise the focus of the curriculum in Years 1 and 2.
The curriculum in the first 18 months is designed around a series of clinical topics which form the framework for your learning. You will have the opportunity to undertake clinical placements, group work (in graduate groups) and lectures, which link directly to each of the clinical topics. Learning outcomes considered within three levels of organisation (systems biology, individuals and those close to them, and population and society) are used to help you structure your learning.
Three themes (Communication, Diversity and Teamworking, Leadership and Patient Safety) underpin the whole of the curriculum and relate directly to medical practice.
The learning structured around clinical topics has some features in common with problem-based learning (PBL) courses. You will meet on a regular basis with other students in a Graduate Group, working on the relevant clinical topics with a facilitator. A substantial amount of work will take place in these groups. At the beginning of each clinical topic you will discuss ‘trigger’ material to help you understand what you need to learn, and why, agree in the group on the learning outcomes to be worked on, and then organise your learning around these.
You will have two or three clinical sessions each week in both hospital and community settings during the first 18 months of the course. There is a clinical base for BM4 students in a hospital in Winchester where there are identified clinical teaching staff, and a range of general practices are also involved. Clinical sessions allow you to observe medical care related to the relevant clinical topic, and also to begin to develop your clinical skills.
Full time clinical attachments then start after Christmas in year 2, you will undertake placements in Medicine, Surgery and Primary Care before joining the BM5 students for a common final two years for both programmes (see BM5 Programme for details of these years). Prior to joining with BM5 students there will be a common clinical examination.
- Four-year programme with a clinical apprenticeship in the final year
- Explicit links to clinical topics from year one
- Clinical work from the outset, in a dedicated hospital clinical base
Susan Baker, BM4 student
“The BM4 course contains all the best elements from a problem-based learning course, with additional lectures and integrated clinical experience from day one. My study at Southampton and Winchester has been a wholly positive experience, as they are both friendly, welcoming places with excellent resources, and help is available whenever it’s needed.”
Typical entry requirements
A minimum grade C in mathematics, English Language and double award science (or equivalent). You may offer qualifications which are equivalent to GCSE. Please view the Acceptable Qualifications section in our Prospectus or contact the Medicine Admissions Office for further information.
Chemistry at grade C or above. Alternatively, AS level chemistry and biology/human biology at grade C or above, where chemistry has not been taken to A2.
An upper second-class honours degree in any subject, in your first degree.
We expect graduate students to have developed effective study and academic skills which will enable you to complete an accelerated medical programme. This includes the ability to think critically.
Every graduate, whether with an arts or science degree, brings a unique set of knowledge, skills and understanding to the programme.
For example, graduates with science, arts and humanities degrees will share their knowledge and understanding in the discussion of an individual patient's experience of illness from a range of different but equally valuable perspectives.
All graduates on the BM4 and BM5 programmes are selected on the basis that they will have sufficient science knowledge and understanding to cope with their studies, and the science requirements are identical.
Non-academic entry requirements
In addition to academic entry requirements, you will be assessed against our non-academic criteria.
Applicants must be able to show they:
– Are self-motivated and resilient
– Have reflected on, and learnt from, life experiences (this may include, work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings)
– Can communicate effectively
– Are able to interact successfully with others
– Can demonstrate an understanding of the values of the NHS constitution
UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)
Applicants are ranked by UKCAT score and a certain number are invited to a Selection Day, provided they meet our academic criteria.
Please note that the UKCAT score of those applicants attending a Selection Day varies year on year and as such it is not possible to give applicants an indication of the score that is required to attend a Selection Day.
For further information on the UKCAT please visit our UKCAT page.
EU applicants are expected to fulfil the same academic and non-academic criteria as home applicants, and you can do so through a wide range of qualifications.
If you are an EU applicant and English is not your first language, you should offer one of the University of Southampton's recognised tests in English language.
For further information please visit our Entry Requirements page.
UK NARIC can also provide more information on qualifications.
International applicants are not eligible to apply for this programme.
Please visit our How to Apply page for details of our Selection Process.
Typical course content
You will study on the programme over four years full-time which leads to a qualification that will allow you to gain provisional registration as a medical practitioner with the GMC.
Learn a language
Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.
The first two years are made up of four university semesters (30 weeks) with three additional weeks in year two for a full-time clinical attachment and an ethics and law course. Years three and four occupy 44 and 40 weeks respectively.
The curriculum is made up of core material and other areas where you have some choice over what you study. These are called Student Selected Units (SSUs) and appear in years two, three and four.
Learning and teaching
Clinical topics in the first two years
In the first two years the curriculum has been designed around a series of clinical topics and these form the framework for learning. You will undertake clinical placements, group work (Graduate Groups), lectures and practical sessions which directly link to each of the clinical topics. Four levels of biological organisation, running from cells and molecules to the population and society, aim to help you structure your learning around and between clinical topics. Four themes, communication, ethics and law, working with diversity and leadership and team working underpin the whole of the curriculum and relate directly to medical practice.
Substantial clinical experience in the first two years
You will have 2-3 clinical sessions each week in both hospital and community settings.
There is a clinical base for BM4 students in the hospital at Winchester where there are identified clinical teaching staff, and a range of general practices is also involved. The clinical sessions allow you to observe medical care related to the relevant clinical topic, and also to begin to develop your clinical skills. You are also able to follow up areas of interest and take advantage of other learning opportunities.
You will meet on a regular basis with other students in a Graduate Group, working on the relevant clinical topics with a facilitator. A substantial amount of work will take place in these groups. At the beginning of each clinical topic you will discuss 'trigger' material to help you understand what you need to learn and why, agree in the group on the learning outcomes to be worked on, and then organise your learning around these.
Learning with BM5 students
In the first two years you will attend some lectures and other teaching sessions with the BM5 students. In the third and fourth years you will work alongside the BM5 students on all your clinical attachments, and will take the same examinations.
Dispersed final year attachments and work shadowing
In your final year you will attend, in rotation, clinical attachments based in a variety of NHS Trusts outside Southampton. After your final examination, prior to starting work as a Foundation Year 1 doctor, you will have an opportunity to shadow a doctor already in this post.
Another innovative theme of this programme is leadership and team working which includes interprofessional learning. The New Generation Project Common Learning Programme (CLP) involves medical students learning alongside other student health and social care professional groups including nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, social work, radiography, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry. There are three Interprofessional Learning (IPL) Units which are positioned and integrated across the five year programme.
The learning structured around clinical topics has some features in common with problem-based learning (PBL) courses; for example, you will work in Graduate Groups focusing on the learning outcomes. However, unlike most PBL programmes, not all learning about the clinical topics is triggered by cases outlined on paper: some may use actual patients or video material. A range of resources are available to help you; for example, people who are available to support your learning, and web-based resources.
All students are allocated a personal tutor, in addition to a pastoral tutor associated with each cohort. A range of learning and web-based resources are available to support you in your academic work.
Responsibilities of Southampton Medical Students
A medical student is studying not only for a university degree but also a professional qualification. Upon successful completion of the training he/she will not only have the BM degree but also be able to practise as a doctor. The training, therefore, is conducted in an environment that requires medical students to behave throughout their training in ways that are consistent with the principles of medical professional practice. Find out more
As a medical student, you will be able to take advantage of opportunities for multi-professional learning, which will be essential as you prepare to join the healthcare teams of the future.
Whether you choose to be a physician or a surgeon, a general practitioner or a clinical scientist, or you follow any other path, our degrees represent the first stage in a rewarding career as a doctor. Each programme provides a comprehensive and balanced curriculum to enable you to develop the knowledge, skills and professional attitudes and behaviours that you will need as a newly qualified doctor.
Outcome of the course
At the end of the undergraduate course you will receive your BMBS 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. So far, 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 a BMBS 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.
In addition the GMC is currently considering whether to introduce a formal assessment that all doctors 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.