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Two students observe surgery
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Skills to be a doctor

BSMS > Undergraduate > Why choose BSMS > Skills to be doctor

Skills to be a doctor

How you learn

You will study in small groups, both for your academic classes and clinical teaching, which will enhance your learning experience. The size of your group will vary from two to fourteen students, depending on what and where you are learning. To get the most from your studies, we encourage you to work closely with your peers, as a team. 

Our approach to teaching

Your academic studies are taught through tutorials, seminars, lectures and lab work at the two university campuses. Meanwhile, your personal and clinical skills development takes place in our advanced clinical skills suite, which includes a patient simulator, as well as through clinical placements in GP surgeries and hospitals in the local community.

A female student practises using a stethoscope during a clinical teaching session

Our innovative approach to integrated learning and practical skills training, underpinned by our strong, traditional approach to academic teaching, makes a powerful learning model.

How technology fits in

We are alert to the range of digital technologies that have the potential to enhance your learning experience and to embrace them where they prove to be effective. These include: mobile apps that make lectures more interactive; delivering recordings of lectures; supplementary multimedia e-learning resources; and bespoke clinical skills videos. We seek not to replace face-to-face or clinic-based learning but ensure our teaching methods make full use of technologies that can help our students and enhance the learning experience.


When you learn

Academic science and clinical practice are taught hand-in-hand throughout your five-year course, in three distinct phases.

Year 1 - 2

This is when you begin to learn your skills through simulated and live clinical practice. You also carry out two individual family studies where you can develop your personal and clinical abilities over an extended time in a real situation.

You attend clinical symposia too, where we focus on specific medical issues or problems to help you understand them from the scientific, clinical and patient points of view.

Students and teacher in a clinical skills tutorial

Year 3 - 4

At this stage you undertake a series of clinical placements at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and at other sites in East and West Sussex. You also have the opportunity to specialise in particular areas through a series of short, additional components, and to undertake a research project. This practical experience continues to be balanced with academic study.

Students in scrubs with medics in an operating theatre

Year 5

From this point on your clinical and professional preparation intensifies in readiness for your first year of postgraduate practice. You become closely involved in routine cases across a wide range of practice, from obstetrics to elderly care, in clinical and community environments across Sussex and Surrey.