medical-school-university-of-durham
University of Durham

The University of Durham was officially allowed to bestow its own degrees in 1832, but its rich tradition of academia and scholarship stretch well back into medieval times. It is split across two campuses; one in the historic and architecturally significant city of Durham; and the other, Queen’s campus, on a beautiful waterfront campus by the market town of Stockton-on-Tees. This is where medical students live and study for the first phase of their degree. It is 40 minutes from Durham itself on a free inter-campus bus and is a modern purpose-built campus with state of the art equipment and facilities. There are plenty of extra-curricular and leisure facilities on Queen’s campus and two colleges, which are part of Durham’s collegiate system, where students can find accommodation and take part in social events. Durham offers three entry paths into Medicine, in conjunction with the University of Newcastle. Students can apply to the standard 5-year programme which is divided into Phase 1 and Phase 2. The Phase 1 part of the course has been structured based on current student feedback and is delivered via a ‘Systems and Strands’ approach. Teaching is integrated and case-led, and topics that are not tied to a particular body system are incorporated into vertical ‘strands’ of teaching throughout the academic year(s). There is a particular emphasis on early patient contact, with one afternoon per week spent in a healthcare setting. Anatomy is taught in a modern laboratory using prosected specimens. Phase 2 is delivered by the University of Newcastle and students are attached to a base area and rotate through different clinical specialties in the hospitals in that area. The Medicine programme with a foundation year is aimed towards mature students, and another pathway, the Gateway to Medicine, is aimed specifically towards students from under-represented groups who are studying A levels in North East England. With only approximately 100 medical students in the Queen’s campus, an intimate teaching environment is created, with opportunities to get to know the staff and fellow students well. Durham is renowned for its research in various fields linked to healthcare, including mental health, medical humanities, molecular therapeutics, obesity and patient safety. There are numerous intercalated options tied in with the Newcastle Medicine course and each student will have the opportunity to complete an assistantship prior to commencing their Foundation Programme as junior doctors.

University: Durham

Undergraduate Applicants

  • Minimum Admission Criteria
  • No. of places
  • Degree
  • GCSEs
  • A-levels
  • Exam
  • Interview
  • Work experience
  • 5-year programme
  • 102
  • N/A
  • A in Biology or Chemistry
  • AAA
  • UKCAT
  • MMI
  • Desirable
  • 6-year Foundation
  • ~10
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • UKCAT
  • MMI
  • Desirable
  • 6-year Gateway
  • ~10
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • AAB-BBC
  • UKCAT
  • MMI
  • Desirable

Graduate Applicants

  • Minimum Admission Criteria
  • No. of places
  • Degree
  • GCSEs
  • A-levels
  • Exam
  • Interview
  • Work experience
  • 5-year programme
  • 102
  • 2:1
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • UKCAT
  • MMI
  • Desirable

Undergraduates can apply to the 5-year programme to gain a Diploma in Medical Science from the University of Durham after the first two years of the course and their MB BS medical degree from the University of Newcastle on completion of the 5 years.

Mature students (>21) with no formal qualifications or A levels obtained over three years ago can apply for the 6-year A191 foundation programme (from hence, referred to as the 6-year foundation programme). This programme is also open to EU applicants who have been unable to study to a suitable level in their own country to achieve entry directly into the 5-year programme. The foundation year will equip students with the basic clinical science knowledge necessary to progress to the 1st year of the 5-year programme.

Secondary school students from the North East of England, who are from under-represented groups, may be nominated by their school for the 6-year A190 Gateway to Medicine Programme (from hence, referred to as the 6-year gateway programme). This is part of the Widening Participation programme, to facilitate students who have qualities that would suit them to Medicine, to be eligible for this programme, without the need to meet the high threshold grades required for entry to the 5-year programme. The initial foundation year equips students with the basic clinical science knowledge necessary to progress to the 1st year of the 5-year programme. Students who have the potential to become good doctors are identified in partnership with their school or college through a process of nomination during their AS year, and there is a mandatory pre-entry programme to complete before commencing this degree. They must also meet the Widening Participation, Academic and Aptitude criteria. If selected, applicants participate in a programme of activities with Durham University during their A2 year.

The required grades and subjects must be obtained at one sitting and at the first attempt. Resits are only considered in exceptional circumstances. Supporting evidence must be provided by your school or GP if this is the case.

A/AS levels and GCSEs

For the standard 5-year programme, the typical A level offer is AAA. Chemistry and/or Biology should be offered to at least AS level. If only one is offered to this level, the applicant should have an A in the other subject at GCSE (or Dual Award Science grade A). If both subjects have been taken up to AS level, then GCSE grades are not considered. Critical Thinking and General Studies are not considered as part of the A level requirement.

For the 6-year foundation programme, there are no minimum A level or GCSE grades.

For the 6-year gateway programme, A-level offers a range between AAB-BBC and both Chemistry and Biology must be taken to A level, grade C or above. Critical Thinking and General Studies are not considered as part of the A-level requirement.

IB

Applicants should have 38 points to apply to the 5-year programme. No subject should be graded less than grade 5, and Higher Level in Chemistry or Biology should be at least grade 6. Combinations including two sciences, Mathematics, and English are desirable.

Admissions Exam

The UKCAT is required for all applicants. The test is only valid for one year.

The UKCAT threshold for 2016 entry was 2730.

Access to Medicine courses

For applicants offering Access to HE courses, modules in Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Quantitative Methods are essential (at Distinction grade for HEFC). For applicants offering Access to Medicine courses, distinctions in all units/modules are required. Acceptable courses are those offered by:

  • Sussex Downs College,
  • Norwich College,
  • West Anglia,
  • MANCAT
  • Durham University

Other Diplomas

For applicants offering the Cambridge Pre-University certificate, the requirement is D3, D3, D3. Subjects should include Chemistry and/or Biology as principal subjects. If only one of Biology and/or Chemistry is offered as a principal subject, the other should be offered at GCSE grade A (or Dual Award Science grade A).

The BTEC Higher National Diploma (NQF Level 5) in a science-related subject with Distinction grades in all subjects is accepted for entry to the 5-year programme.

The following Open University modules are acceptable:

  • S104 Exploring Science (60pts) PLUS
  • SK277 Human Biology level 2 (30pts) PLUS
  • Another 30 pts course would need to be sat to bring up the points to 120 (for example K260 - Death and dying (30 credits - Level 2) or SD226 -Biological psychology: exploring the brain (30 credits - Level 2))

Widening Participation

Criteria for entry to the 6-year gateway programme (A190):

Candidates must attend school in the North East of England and meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • First generation applicant including those who have a parent, or parents who graduated from their first degree within the last five years or are currently studying for their first degree
  • Attend a school whose GCSE performance is below the national average
  • Be eligible for Free School Meals
  • Be resident in an area that falls within the lowest 40% of the Index of Multiple Deprivation

Additional applicants who can be considered for this programme include students with a registered disability, students who have lived in local authority care and students who are from a Traveller family.

Other ways that Durham medical school aim to widen participation, include the consideration of contextual data, for example, the candidate’s postcode and school academic performance are considered; their personal circumstances; opportunities for extra-curricular activities; parental experience of higher education; disabilities and involvement in special schemes or programmes, amongst others. If an applicant is considered to have experienced barriers to applying to Medicine in these areas, the UKCAT threshold for interview may be lower for them, than for the standard applicant. There are also programmes, such as the Sutton Trust Programme and the Supported Progression Programme in which Durham University participates, in order to support applicants with the potential to apply to medical school, who may not have had the same opportunities to achieve the grades and experience required of the standard applicant.  

International Students

There are 7 spaces for international students to apply to the 5-year programme in Durham. The 6-year foundation programme and the 6-year gateway programme are not open to international students. The English Language requirement for this course is the IELTS at a minimum score of 7.0 in each section. Candidates with other English Language qualifications should contact the admissions team to check eligibility.

If you are applying as an overseas student and taken qualifications other than those listed above, please contact us by email ([email protected]) if you would like more information on the minimum grades needed to be considered for a place in Medicine at Durham.

Policy on Re-applicants

Applicants who reapply will need to repeat the UKCAT exam for the year of entry.

Policy on Deferrals

Candidates who wish to defer for one year are accepted, with the proviso that they can demonstrate that they plan to use their year constructively.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applications via UCAS for 2017/18 entry for the 5-year programme and the 6-year foundation programme are open from 1st September 2016 and close on 15th October 2016.

Applicants hoping to get onto the 6-year gateway programme (A190), need to be nominated usually by the end of May in their penultimate year of school (i.e. when they are sitting their AS levels). This is to ensure they can complete the pre-entry programme alongside studying for their A levels. The next deadline is 26th May 2017 (which would mean that students who are nominated at this time would be due to commence university in 2018).

APPLICATION DOCUMENTS

  • Completed UCAS application form – note that due to the joint admissions procedure between Durham and Newcastle for Medicine, applicants should apply to Newcastle University in the first instance and indicate their preference for the Durham campus by entering ‘D’ into the campus code box on the form. ‘E’ will indicate that the applicant does not mind attending either university, and leaving the campus code box blank means that the applicant will only be considered for Newcastle University and not Durham.
  • If invited to interview, applicants are asked to complete and bring with them the College Selection and Health information forms

SELECTION PROCESS

For the 5-year programme, applicants are initially screened based on those who meet the minimum academic criteria. Applicants who have exceeded the minimum entry requirements do not have any additional advantage. The university then ranks applicants based on their UKCAT score and depending on the scores of the applicants in that application cohort, a cut-off score is determined. For 2016 entry this was 2730, but this cut-off is always variable, depending on how well the cohort of applicants performs in a given year. Those who are ranked above the cut-off score will receive an invitation to interview. Note that for 2017 entry the UKCAT score will be the sum of the verbal, quantitative and abstract reasoning sections, as the Decision Analysis section is being replaced with the pilot test, ‘Decision Making’, which will not contribute to the overall score in 2016. Before interview offers are made, personal statements and references are screened. Applicants are advised to use their personal statement to demonstrate a commitment to caring, which can be accomplished in a number of ways other than in a hospital or General Practice setting, e.g. volunteering in an elderly care home, hospice, nursery or helping someone less fortunate.

For the 6-year foundation programme, applicants are initially screened for eligibility. They should have recent healthcare experience and they should have sat the UKCAT exam in the year of application.

For the 6-year gateway programme, applicants must meet the minimum A level requirements (see above), complete the pre-entry programme and sit the UKCAT to be invited to interview.

INTERVIEW

The medical school interviews applicants using the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) style. The interview comprises of four stations, and each station has an interviewer with a set of questions specific to that station. Each station lasts seven minutes, and applicants are given one minute beforehand to prepare. Interviews are conducted by health care professionals, members of staff and/or professionals drawn from the local community.

The purpose of the interview is to confirm whether the candidate has the aptitude, motivation and personal qualities to succeed as a medical student and as a doctor of the future. Applicants are assessed on the following;

  • Preparation and motivation for medical school
  • Effective learning skills and organisational skills
  • Team working
  • Personal qualities/resilience
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Empathy, sensitivity and integrity

Interview candidates are required to complete the College Selection and Health information forms and bring them to their interview.

For 2015 entry to the 5-year programme, there were 2238 applicants (roughly 2100 for Newcastle University and roughly 600 for Durham University). 843 students were interviewed and 394 were offered a place. Approximately 99 students (including roughly 7 non-EU students) enrolled in Durham University’s medical programme, while 219 (including 19 non-EU applicants) begin their training at Newcastle University (students select their preference at the time of application). The courses merge for the final 3 years and students receive their degree from the University of Newcastle.

For 2015 entry to the 6-year foundation programme, there were 119 applicants for approximately 10 places on the course. Applicants are advised to contact the admissions team for further information before applying.

For 2015 entry to the 6-year gateway programme, there were 27 applicants for approximately 10 places on the course. Applicants are advised to contact the admissions team for further information before applying.

Medical education is delivered through a partnership between Durham University and Newcastle University. Phase I of the programme (2 years), which establishes the essential knowledge base for Medicine in a clinical context, is offered by both universities, while Phase II (3 years) provides clinical experience in a wide range of NHS hospital and community settings across the region, under the management of Newcastle University.

Medicine at Newcastle University is ranked 14th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2016.

It is placed 9th by the Complete University Guide for 2016.

It is ranked 95th worldwide for Medicine by QS World University in 2016.

The university does not offer a graduate entry programme, however graduate students can apply to the 5-year programme (A100) to gain a Diploma in Medical Science from the University of Durham after the first two years of the course and their MB BS medical degree from the University of Newcastle on completion of the 5 years. A small number of places are available for graduate applicants on the 6-year foundation programme (usually intended for mature students), who have satisfied the 5-year programme criteria, but would benefit from the additional foundation year. The foundation year will equip students with the basic clinical science knowledge necessary to progress to the 1st year of the 5-year programme. Graduate applicants interested in this programme, should apply to the A100 5-year programme on UCAS and the admissions team will refer their application to the Foundation Centre if appropriate.

Degree and A levels

Graduate applicants will be considered provided they have a minimum of 2:1 Honours degree in any discipline. The university does not consider applicants offering 2:2, even if they possess a Master’s degree or PhD. There are no minimum A level requirements for this graduates.

GCSEs

There are no minimum GCSE requirements for graduates.

Admissions Exam

The UKCAT is required for all applicants. The test is only valid for one year.

The UKCAT threshold for 2016 entry was 2730.

Access to Medicine courses

For applicants offering Access to HE courses, modules in Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Quantitative Methods are essential (at Distinction grade for HEFC). For applicants offering Access to Medicine courses, distinctions in all units/modules are required. Acceptable courses are those offered by:

  • Sussex Downs College,
  • Norwich College,
  • West Anglia,
  • MANCAT
  • Durham University
International Students

There are 7 spaces for international students to apply to the 5-year programme in Durham. The English Language requirement for this course is the IELTS at a minimum score of 7.0 in each section. Candidates with other English Language qualifications should contact the admissions team to check eligibility.

If you are applying as an overseas student and taken qualifications other than those listed above, please contact us by email ([email protected]) if you would like more information on the minimum grades needed to be considered for a place in Medicine at Durham.

Policy on Re-applicants

Applicants who reapply will need to repeat the UKCAT exam for the year of entry.

Policy on Deferrals

Candidates who wish to defer for one year are accepted, with the proviso that they can demonstrate that they plan to use their year constructively.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applications via UCAS for 2017/18 entry are open from 1st September 2016 and close on 15th October 2016.

Application Documents

  • Completed UCAS application form – note that due to the joint admissions procedure between Durham and Newcastle for Medicine, applicants should apply to Newcastle University in the first instance and indicate their preference for the Durham campus by entering ‘D’ into the campus code box on the form. ‘E’ will indicate that the applicant does not mind attending either university, and leaving the campus code box blank means that the applicant will only be considered for Newcastle University and not Durham.
  • If invited to interview, applicants are asked to complete and bring with them the College Selection and Health information forms

SELECTION PROCESS

For the 5-year programme, applicants are initially screened based on those who meet the minimum academic criteria. Applicants who have exceeded the minimum entry requirements do not have any additional advantage. The university then ranks applicants based on their UKCAT score and depending on the scores of the applicants in that application cohort, a cut-off score is determined. For 2016 entry this was 2730, but this cut-off is always variable, depending on how well the cohort of applicants performs in a given year. Those who are ranked above the cut-off score will receive an invitation to interview. Note that for 2017 entry the UKCAT score will be the sum of the verbal, quantitative and abstract reasoning sections, as the Decision Analysis section is being replaced with the pilot test, ‘Decision Making’, which will not contribute to the overall score in 2016. Before interview offers are made, personal statements and references are screened. Applicants are advised to use their personal statement to demonstrate a commitment to caring, which can be accomplished in a number of ways other than in a hospital or General Practice setting, e.g. volunteering in an elderly care home, hospice, nursery or helping someone less fortunate.

INTERVIEW

The medical school interviews applicants using the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) style. The interview comprises of four stations, and each station has an interviewer with a set of questions specific to that station. Each station lasts seven minutes, and applicants are given one minute beforehand to prepare. Interviews are conducted by health care professionals, members of staff and/or professionals drawn from the local community.

The purpose of the interview is to confirm whether the candidate has the aptitude, motivation and personal qualities to succeed as a medical student and as a doctor of the future. Applicants are assessed on the following;

  • Preparation and motivation for medical school
  • Effective learning skills and organisational skills
  • Team working
  • Personal qualities/resilience
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Empathy, sensitivity and integrity

Interview candidates are required to complete the College Selection and Health information forms and bring them to their interview.

For 2015 entry to the 5-year programme, there were 2238 applicants (roughly 2100 for Newcastle University and roughly 600 for Durham University). 843 students were interviewed and 394 were offered a place. Approximately 99 students (including roughly 7 non-EU students) enrolled in Durham University’s medical programme, while 219 (including 19 non-EU applicants) begin their training at Newcastle University (students select their preference at the time of application). The courses merge for the final 3 years and students receive their degree from the University of Newcastle.

For 2015 entry to the 6-year foundation programme, there were 119 applicants for approximately 10 places on the course. Applicants are advised to contact the admissions team for further information before applying. Note that graduates who are interested in this course should apply to the A100 5-year programme as detailed above.

Medical education is delivered through a partnership between Durham University and Newcastle University. Phase I of the programme (2 years), which establishes the essential knowledge base for Medicine in a clinical context, is offered by both universities, while Phase II (3 years) provides clinical experience in a wide range of NHS hospital and community settings across the region, under the management of Newcastle University.

Medicine at Newcastle University is ranked 14th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2016.

It is placed 9th by the Complete University Guide for 2016.

It is ranked 95th worldwide for Medicine by QS World University in 2016.

I've just finished my first year of Medicine at Durham, and I've really enjoyed being on Queen’s Campus. In Stockton, you're near some fantastic teaching hospitals, such as James Cook, and the facilities and lecturers are brilliant; however at times it can get a bit dull. But Durham students can take the X12 bus to Durham for free whenever they want, and if you have a car it's about a half hour drive. It's up to you how much you want to get involved in events or societies in Durham, and there is also plenty to do here in Stockton. In general, I've found that the two colleges on QC (Stephenson and John Snow) make a lot of effort to organise lots of events throughout the year, as do the departments (you don't want to miss some of the MedSoc events; they're amazing).

Also, because everything's so close together, you can roll out of bed at half 8 for your 9am lecture which is always a plus. We use PBL, which is actually really good - it forces you to become an independent worker. Dissection is a HUGE part of anatomy and we have cadavers at Durham. It's a bit of a shock the first time but you do get used to it. There is a virtual dissector for the more squeamish that is a really good tool. You can strip the body down to a certain system and try adding the components in order. We do surface anatomy painting classes, which is great for shocking the other students when we are walking around campus. Durham is really a great place to be and it is almost certainly close-knit; all of our lecturers knew our names within the week, which may or may not be daunting to you. The medics are all really close because there are about 100 of us compared to nearly 300 in other unis.