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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Our course

BSMS > Undergraduate > Our course

Our course

Our five-year medical degree, awarded jointly by the Universities of Brighton and Sussex, leads to the qualification of Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (BM BS).

Our course has been designed to help you become a highly competent; strongly motivated doctor, committed to the highest standards of clinical practice, professionalism and patient care. By the time you graduate, you will have developed the knowledge and key personal skills and attitudes necessary to pursue a successful medical career.

Both universities are part of the UK Medical Act and our course has been approved by the GMC under its Quality Assurance of Basic Medical Education (QABME) processes.

A group of first year students in the anatomy lab watching a demonstration

Innovative teaching and learning

We are a dynamic and vibrant school committed to new and innovative approaches to medical education. 

Our purpose-built, modern facilities include anatomy and clinical science laboratories, simulated consultation rooms, multiple libraries and lecture theatres. Our enthusiastic and dedicated teachers will provide you with on-going feedback, continuously supporting you and ensuring that you develop to the very best of your abilities. A range of IT and mobile learning resources will support you on the go, from e-portfolios to smartphone apps. 

Read more about teaching and learning >

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Years 1 - 2

You will study the normal and abnormal functioning of the human body using a systems-based approach, with integrated modules covering the core biomedical and psychosocial sciences.

You will start to develop clinical skills in history taking, physical examination, diagnosis and effective communication with patients in a classroom setting and by gaining experience in primary, secondary and third sector placements. 

Your anatomy study will explore the human body and its relevance to clinical practice. This will include a combination of cadaveric dissection, prosection, living anatomy, ultrasound sessions, virtual and augmented reality. 

Student-Selected Components (SSCs) will allow you to undertake individual studies and explore selected topics in depth, informed by the latest research.

In Year 2 you will continue to build on the clinical skills taught in Year 1, covering venepuncture and phlebotomyskills, intermediate life support and the initial assessment of patients in different settings (eg, the emergency department). You will also take part in four immersion weeks, where you will focus on general practice, learning from allied health professionals and community care teams.

You will also spend time with a person living with dementia and their carer in our award-winning Timefor Dementia programme.

READ MORE about years 1 and 2 >

Male and female researchers working in the lab

Year 3

At the heart of Year 3 are ward-based attachments including Acute Medicine, General Medicine and Cardiology; Elderly Medicine and Psychiatry; and Surgery, including Perioperative Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Orthopaedics and Urology.

You will consolidate your increasing clinical experience with an understanding of the underlying clinical, social science and public health issues through weekly teaching sessions in the Scientific Basis of Medicine module. This module also consolidates and expands your research skills in preparation for your Individual Research Project in Year 4.

You will also gain further experience in safe prescribing of drugs, an essential skill for your medical career, and continue the Time for Dementia programme. Regular meetings with your tutor will support your personal and professional development via your e-portfolio.

Find out more about Year 3 >

Several medical students in scrubs watch a surgeon explain surgery to take place

Year 4

You will develop your skills in more specialised clinical areas, completing rotations that include:

  • General Practice
  • ENT, Ophthalmology and Neurology
  • Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Sexual Health
  • Rheumatology and Dermatology
  • Oncology, Haematology and Palliative Care
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics.

The clinical focus in Year 4 is on understanding patients’ integrated care and how primary, community and secondary care structures work together for the patient.

You will participate in the Time for Autism programme,  spending time with a family affected by autism, and gaining a greater understanding of this condition. You will also complete a year-long Individual Research Project, supervised by a university or hospital team.

READ MORE about Year 4 >

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Year 5

Year 5 provides intense clinical and professional preparation for your foundation years. Throughout the year, you will develop your clinical skills through direct patient contact on clinical placements and by using clinical skills laboratories and simulators.

Your learning will be based on a close involvement with routine clinical cases, acting as a member of the clinical team in medicine, emergency medicine, elderly medicine, surgery and psychiatry. Central to your study will be the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients in these different areas of practice.

Find out more about Year 5 >

Intercalated degrees

The intercalated degree is an optional addition to a medical degree. You may choose to undertake an intercalated degree between Years 3 and 4, allowing you to expand your horizons, study a new topic in depth, and work or study for a year at BSMS or another university.

Please note, intercalation numbers are capped at 40% of the total cohort, with priority given to those without a prior degree.

Read more about our intercalated courses >



BSMS has an integrated curriculum designed to develop your knowledge, academic and clinical skills, and instil a professional approach throughout the degree; the variety of assessment methods used reflects this.

Find out more about assessments >


Term dates

Find out the different term dates for each year group.

Find out term dates >