School of Medicine
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Teaching methods

There are a range of teaching methods implemented at Nottingham.

As a medical student your study will take the form of lectures, seminars, visits to general practices and hospitals, and practical experience through full-body dissection. You will also be familiarised with patient contact and learn the principles of clinical history-taking and examination.

Find out more about our types of teaching

Female undergraduate medical student studies in the library.

Tutors and mentors

All first-year students are allocated a personal tutor who remains their tutor throughout the course. You will have four compulsory meetings per year with your tutor in year one and year two, and a further two compulsory meetings per year in years three, four and five. If you wish to see someone outside these times, you will be able to arrange a time with either your personal tutor or another senior tutor during years one and two, or a Clinical Sub-Dean during years three, four and five.

When you arrive in year one, you will also be matched with a second-year student who acts as your ‘parent’ or mentor, and who will be available for contact throughout the course.

Studying effectively

Studying at The University of Nottingham will present new demands on you because it is likely to be different from your previous experience of school or college. You will be expected to organise your own time and manage your own work. You will also gain greater levels of independence to study what you're most interested in and in a way that suits you. This will be both personally rewarding and also equip you well when it comes to making career choices and seeking employment.

We support our students through this process and further guidance can be found on the University's studying effectively webpage.  



Throughout your course you will be assessed on your knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour using a variety of formats (MCQs, short answer questions, essays and OSCEs [Objective Structured Clinical Examination]).  You will be examined at the end of each year before progressing to the next year or clinical phase.

You will undergo both formative assessments (to allow feedback and help develop and improve your performance) and summative assessments (examinations that demonstrate your capability to progress to the next phase of the course and count towards the final degree). 

Both the knowledge based MCQs and the OSCE examinations are conducted using on-line software systems which enable us to give you bespoke feedback on your performance irrespective of whether you pass or fail.

During years one and two your assessments will take various forms, including formative progress tests, coursework, MCQ knowledge exams and OSCEs.

In year three, semester five, you will write a dissertation, take online exams, and sit a research methods exam.

Year three, semester six, and years four and five (clinical phases 1,2,3) will involve completion of coursework, online knowledge exams, OSCEs, and being signed off at the end of the various attachments, confirming that you have attained required clinical competencies and completed each clinical attachment satisfactorily.

Percentages and pass marks

The pass mark to proceed from year one to year two, and then from year two to the first half of year three (the pre-clinical years), is 40% or greater in all modules. Alternatively, an average mark of 50% and passes in all modules with 100 credits and a pass in all compulsory assessments is required. 

The second part of year three (clinical phase 1) all examinations must be passed with 40% or more to proceed to clinical phase four. 

For clinical phases four and five a pass mark of 50% or more must be attained for each component examination and all assessments and course requirements must be passed to graduate.

For graduate entry medicine students, a pass in all compulsory assessments is required. For Personal Professional Development, 40% pass mark is required at the end of the first 18 month.


Learning resources

At Nottingham, you will have access to a wide range of physical and electronic resources to aid your learning. The Clinical Skills Centre is available for both timetabled and drop-in sessions, and will allow you to learn and practice clinical skills in a safe environment.

Our dissection room allows you to learn anatomy through full-body dissection alongside high quality prosections and anatomical models.

The online learning environment, Moodle, gives you access to course materials as well as providing ways to communicate with lecturers and other students.

You will also benefit from access to an extensive collection of printed and online library resources. In addition, you will have both on and off-campus access to a wide range of databases, ejournals and ebooks..

Greenfield Medical Library

The Greenfield Medical Library at the Queen’s Medical Centre is the home to health and medical texts. You have access to group study rooms and silent study zones. As well as having dedicated computer areas, students can loan iPads and laptops for use in the library.

Library and Knowledge Service

For students at our Medical School in the Royal Derby Hospital, you can also access the NHS library. The library is open 24 hours and you can borrow up to 20 items at a time. There are also University networked computers and printing facilities. 


Example timetables for first-year students

Example first-year timetable for the five-year course (A100)
 Morning Afternoon
 Mon physiology
 Tues dissection/histology
or clinical visits
 optional courses
 Wed clinical skills or professionalism seminars   no teaching - sport/leisure time
 Thurs pharmacology 
evidence-based medicine
 professional aspects
 Fri therapeutics
molecular medicine
case study review
introduction to next case/theme


Example first-year timetable for the six-year course (A108) 
  9-10am 10-11am11am-12pm  12-1pm1-2pm 2-3pm  3-4pm4-5pm 
Mon  lecture   lecture     
Tues  lecture   lecture    tutorial 
Wed  personal study     no teaching - sport/leisure time   
Thurs  lecture   lab practical     lecture  
Fri lecture  lab practical      lecture  


Example first-year timetable for the four-year course (A101) 
  9-10am 10-11am 11am-12pm      12-1pm   1-2pm  2-3pm   3-4pm  4-5pm   
Mon   lecture  lecture  lecture  lecture     lecture  lecture  
Tues  problem-based learning  (PBL)     clinical   clinical  
Wed   workshop    no teaching - sport/ leisure time   
Thurs   GP visit        lecture   workshop
Fri  lecture   PBL     clinical clinical  

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

Contacts: Please see our 'contact us' page for further details