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A100 BMBS Medicine and BMedSc (BM5) (5 yrs)

Introducing your degree

Our Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery 5 year degree programme (BM5) is an established undergraduate degree course, which is taught full-time over five years and leads to a qualification that allows graduates to register provisionally with the General Medical Council (GMC).  You will undertake a research project in year 3, leading to a final award of BMBS, BMedSc; and you have the option to intercalate to achieve a Masters in Medical Science degree. Whether you choose to be a physician or a surgeon, a general practitioner or a clinical scientist, or you follow any other path, our Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS) course represents the first stage in a rewarding career as a doctor.

Programme Overview

What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

Our integrated, systems-based BM5 and BMedSc course is distinctive in many ways.  You will learn from contact with patients in a variety of clinical settings from the first few weeks of your course.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All applications must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) by 15th October in the year prior to entry. For more information see the Entry requirements tab above (on this page) and our How to apply page.

Programme Structure

In the first two years you will learn about the major physiological systems of the body and within each system, you will integrate your learning of anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, physiology, pharmacology, the social sciences and public health medicine in a clinical context.

You will undertake student selected units in medical humanities and public health interventions, and a Research module to prepare you for your year 3 research project. In Year 2 you will undertake a placement as a Healthcare Support Worker to gain insight into multi-professional team working in hospitals

In year three you will undertake a research study; choosing a topic from a wide variety of disciplines, with either a clinical, biomedical, educational or social sciences basis, working in the University research labs, hospital wards, general practices or in the community. You will then undertake clinical placements in hospitals and general practice in the Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester areas. The focus will be on the effects of clinical disorders on patients and their families, continuing the development of your clinical abilities and the reinforcement of systems courses and social science teaching.  On successful completion of this year you will be awarded a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSc) award

In year four you will undertake placements in a range of clinical specialities in Southampton and a range of hospitals around the region.  

In your final year you will gain experience in a wide range of hospitals, communities and general practices in the south of England and have an opportunity to undertake an elective placement in an area of your choice. You will be attached to a variety of clinical teams on an apprenticeship basis, learning the skills required to begin your Foundation Programme. Your Final examination will be taken in the spring, after which you will undertake a compulsory "preparing for practice" phase of the programme to ensure you are ready to start work before graduation.

We provide many opportunities for medical students to work and learn alongside other health professional students during their clinical placements.

Clinical experience 

In years one and two you will have contact with patients in hospitals, in general practices and in their own homes, and you will learn to take a medical history and examine patients as part of the Medicine in Practice course. In year two you will be on a regular placement working as part of the healthcare team as a Healthcare Support Worker. In years three, four and five, clinical attachments form a significant part of the programme.

Intercalated degree 

In addition there are a limited number of places available for BM5/6 medical students who wish to take an intercalated classified honours master's level degree (Master in Medical Science). Studying for the intercalated master's degree takes place between years three and four, extending the BM programme by one year. Applicants will be selected on the basis of their performance during the BM programme. This provides a particular opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career as a Clinical Academic doctor.

Key Facts

  • Integrated teaching,an in-depth study and clinical apprenticeship
  • Clinical work from the first few weeks of the programme
  • Opportunity to work with other health professionals

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEPlease read this section in conjunction with our How to apply and Entry requirements pages. A minimum of seven GCSEs at grade A, including 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).
A Levels:
GCE A-levelAAA, including chemistry and biology, plus either grade A at AS Level in a subject not studied at A2 or grade A in the Extended Project Qualification. General studies and critical thinking are not accepted. Subjects with material that overlaps (e.g. human biology/sports studies/physical education) may not be offered in combination at A2 level.
Graduate applicants

Degree: An upper second-class honours in your first degree in any subject. For further information regarding your first degree, please visit our BM4 page.

A levels: 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.

GCSEs or equivalent: 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).

Mature non-graduate applicants

Non-graduate applicants over the age of 21 are expected to offer the following:

GCSEs: 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 [SA1] or contact the Medicine Admissions Office for further information).

A levels: AAA, including chemistry and biology. If you are offering nursing qualifications, you must also offer at least two A levels at grade A, to include chemistry and biology.

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, please visit our UKCAT page.

EU and international applicants

EU and international 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 international or 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.

Offers to EU students are made from the UK quota.  

Selection process:

Please visit our How to Apply page for details on our Selection Process.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The programme is split into four distinct phases. The Fundamentals of Medicine phase takes place over the first two years and is made up of four University semesters; the Progression into Clinical Practice Phase takes place in year 3 and occupies 41 weeks. The Developing Clinical Practice phase takes place through Year 4 (37 weeks) and the first half of Year 5 and ends with the Year 5 examinations. The final phase - Preparing for Independent Practice - takes place in the second half of Year 5 and finishes with Graduation. Year 5 is of 47 weeks total duration.

The programme is modular; modules are assigned credits for the European Credit Transfer Scheme (ECTS). The programme is totally integrated to award the BM and BMedSc degree. The BMedSc degree can only be awarded alone as an exit degree. There are defined exit points with appropriate academic awards after successfully completing each year of the programme, which you may apply for if you leave the programme. All modules on the programme are core and must be passed in order to progress and graduate. There cannot be compensation between any modules in any part of the programme.

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.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Career Opportunities

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 (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.

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.


Learning & Assessment

Teaching and Learning Methods

Teaching is integrated so that the natural, social and behavioural scientific disciplines are taught together in a clinical context. Three themes run through the programme: Communication, Diversity, and Team Working, Leadership and Patient Safety.

Specific teaching and learning methods used include: lectures, tutor led tutorials, practicals, guided self-study, problem solving scenarios, role play, projects, group work, portfolios, study packs, eLearning, patient-based learning.

Clinical teaching takes place from the start of the programme, and occurs in groups and singly in a wide variety of NHS and non-NHS settings.

Assessment methods

A range of assessment methods are used depending on the learning outcomes being assessed.

Coursework will include: essays, reports, posters, project reports and presentations. Examinations will include written tests and tests of clinical performance.

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


Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

ClothingLab coats: You will need to purchase a white coat for use in the Anatomy Laboratory. You can purchase this from any source. Lab coats are available from the SUSU Shop (price at September 2015).£12.50
PlacementsDisclosure and Barring Certificates or Clearance: You are expected to pay for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Clearance check. This is payable on induction only (cost at September 2015).£44
Printing and copyingIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is likely to be submitted online. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit online and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 – 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour). A3 – 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour). Details about printing costs for academic posters can be found here:£0.05-0.50
PlacementsTravel costs: You will need to pay £100 per annum towards travel costs associated with clinical placements. You will need to pay for any travel costs required as part of your Elective.£100

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570. This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentIT - Hardware: Across all campuses and most halls of residence approximately 1700 computer workstations are available. Students may wish to purchase their own desktop/laptop/tablet computer to support their studies. This is entirely optional.
EquipmentMedical equipment and materials, e.g. fob watch, stethoscopes: You will need to purchase a stethoscope. No specific make or model is required. You can purchase this from any source. Stethoscopes are available to buy during Faculty induction. Prices start from £39. You will need to purchase a fob watch with a second hand that you can pin to your clothing or put in your pocket, as you are not permitted to wear wrist watches in clinical areas. No specific make or model is required. You can purchase this from any source. Prices start from £1.50.
PlacementsAccommodation: You will need to pay for any accommodation required as part of your Elective.
PlacementsInsurance: You will need to pay for insurance if you chose to undertake your Elective outside of the UK.
PlacementsMedical insurance: You will need to pay for medical insurance if you chose to undertake your Elective outside of the UK.
PlacementsImmunisation/vaccination costs: You will be expected to pay for any immunisation/vaccination costs required to ensure you have a complete immunisation/vaccination history prior to commencing the programme. Further information on required immunisations/vaccinations is provided to those applicants made an academic offer of study. You will need to pay for any immunisation/vaccination costs associated with overseas travel if you chose to undertake your Elective outside of the UK.
Conference expenses Accommodation: Students may have the opportunity to attend an academic conference during their studies. Attendance is optional. You would be expected to pay for the costs of any accommodation and travel associated with the conference if you chose to attend.
OtherParking costs: See placements travel costs.
TravelIn your final year you will need to return to Southampton from clinical placement in order to sit the Situational Judgement Test (SJT). This test is required as part of the application process for The Foundation Programme, which follows directly after graduation. You will normally be required to pay for your travel costs back to Southampton to sit this exam.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Study Locations

Southampton General Hospital

Southampton General Hospital is the Trust’s largest location, with a g...Find out more

Highfield Campus

Based on the University's main Highfield campus, the School is situate...Find out more

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