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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).

The BSMS 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.

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, computer suites and state-of-the-art 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. 


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Years 1 - 2

Introduction to clinical assessment & Year 2: Learning from the ‘patient journey’

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. For example, you may spend time with a family looking after a new baby (Year 1), and with a patient with dementia or a chronic health condition (Years 2 and 3).

Your anatomy study will include a combination of cadaveric dissection, prosection, living anatomy and ultrasound sessions and 3D printed structures, where you will actively explore the human body and its relevance to clinical practice.

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


male students in lecture

Year 3

Learning in increasing depth in core and general specialties

At the heart of Year 3 are ward-based attachments including Acute Medicine, General Medicine and Cardiology; Elderly Medicine and Psychiatry; and Peri-Operative Care, A&E, General and Vascular Surgery.

You will consolidate your increasing clinical experience with an understanding of the underlying clinical, social science and public health issues through weekly teaching sessions on the scientific basis of medicine. 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. Time for Dementia continues through Year 3 and you will begin Time for Autism. Regular meetings with your tutor will support your personal and professional development via your e-portfolio.

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Year 4

Learning in specialist disciplines

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

  • General Practice
  • Ophthalmology and ENT
  • Infectious Diseases, HIV GUM and Health Protection
  • Dermatology/Rheumatology
  • Neurology and Neurosurgery
  • 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 also complete a year-long Individual Research Project, supervised by a university or hospital research team, which can be laboratory based or more directly patient focused.



Year 5

Learning in an apprenticeship role focusing on foundation skills and patient safety

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 and by using clinical skills laboratories and simulators.

Before sitting the Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA) you will undertake clinical attachments in a range of regional locations. 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, general practice and psychiatry. Central to your study will be the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients in these different areas of practice.

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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 an institution such as BSMS. 

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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.



Term dates

Find out the different term dates for each year group.

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2019/20 curriculum changes

Students who join BSMS in 2019/20 will be the first cohort of the expanded student intake. Keep up-to-date with any curriculum changes on our dedicated webpage.

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