University of Birmingham

Successful completion of this year leads to the award of a classified honours degree. The course aims to emphasise the importance of the science that underpins medicine and provide awareness, experience and competence in those scientific disciplines allied to medicine. This is achieved through in depth study of specific subject areas and also a research project, which is a major component of the programme. The project provides an understanding of the importance of medical research to the practice of medicine. Medical practitioners are now required to have an appreciation of areas previously considered mainly beneficial to a research career.

You will have the opportunity to develop:

  • an in-depth knowledge of selected subject areas within medical science
  • a perception of the integrated nature of medical science and be able to communicate an understanding of the scientific methods to future medical practitioners
  • in-depth analytical, research and evaluative skills coupled to presentation of a substantial dissertation
  • your ability to work on own initiative and as a member of a team.

This course also forms Year 3 of the Medical Science degree programme. Therefore, the modules that are on offer to you are also those that are taken by science students.

The course is different from what you have experienced to date. You will pursue studies in considerable depth with discussion of the evidence underpinning scientific knowledge and investigate areas where there is incomplete knowledge and therefore uncertainty. Throughout this year there is a strong emphasis on practical work. You will learn how to design and perform medical research experiments and analyse data from them. In order to justify award of an honours degree, you will need to be prepared to expend considerable effort during the year.

The subjects you can study in the first semester include medical and molecular genetics, neuroscience, cellular pathology, pharmacology, molecular medicine, molecular virology and oncology, and many more. This leads you on to your own research project for the whole of the spring term. Here you gain experience of advanced research techniques and learn to analyse and interpret data as well as to present a coherent discussion of your interpretations and conclusions of your findings. During the project you are expected to be associated full-time with your laboratory.

Entry requirements

This programme is aimed at medical and dental students who have completed Year 2 of their vocational programmes since they have recently completed the relevant subjects. Entry is competitive. Currently it is necessary for all second year examinations (both Biological Sciences and Medicine in Society components – or equivalent) to have been successfully completed at the first attempt. Places are awarded on the basis of overall year mark which includes all second year modules.

Please note that if you have not yet completed Year 2 of your vocational course, both your acceptance and your choice of final year modules can be decided only after all examination marks are known.

University of Birmingham students: Please visit the ‘Intercalating BMedSc (Medical Science)’ folder on Canvas.

External applicants

We do not normally accept applications from external students.

Closing date

Please contact our Intercalation team to make enquiries and apply.