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 or pro-section. You will also be familiarised with patient contact and learn the principles of clinical history-taking and examination.

Types of teaching at the University


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.

At the end of year three, semester six, you will have a week of formative assessments and online knowledge exams that will complete your BMedSci degree. 

In year four Advanced Practice 1, you will complete a series of formative assessments to help prepare you for your final examinations and the UKMLA. 

In year  five Advance Practice 2  you will sit your final summative examinations including online knowledge exams and OSCEs. 

Throughout the clinical phases of the course you will be required to be signed off at the end of each of the various clinical attachments, confirming that you have attained the required clinical competencies and completed each clinical attachment satisfactorily.

Percentages and pass marks

For the BMedSci students are required to pass all components of the BMedSci at 40% or more.

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.

For clinical phase examinations 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.


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.

Great Central Library Warehouse, University of Lincoln

The Great Central Library Warehouse at the University of Lincoln As an A10L/A18L student based at the University of Lincoln campus  you will have access to a well resourced, comfortable and well-designed library. The Great Central Warehouse Library, which provides access to more than 250,000 printed books and over 400,000 electronic books and journals, as well as databases and specialist collections. The Library is open 24/7 for the majority of the academic year.

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 (A100 five-year course)
 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 timetable for the foundation year (A108 six-year course)*
  AM 1 (9.30-10.30am) AM 2 (11am-12.30pm)PM (2-4pm) 
Mon  body processes  body processes  
Tues  body processes  biochemical processes  professionalism
Thurs  introduction to microbiology  introduction to microbiology  introduction to microbiology
Fri biochemical processes  biochemical processes  biochemical processes

* The course involves 8 modules over 2 semesters
The weekly timetable above runs throughout semesters 1 and 2.
The total weekly teaching contact time, as above: 14 hours.


Example first-year timetable for graduate entry medicine (A101 four-year course) 
Mon   lecture lecture
Tues  problem-based learning  (PBL)   clinical 
Wed   workshop  workshop
Thurs   GP visit    lecture / workshop
Fri  lecture / PBL clinical 

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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