The Student Room Group

Medicine at Barts vs Nots

I’ve gotten offers from both Barts (QMUL) and Nottingham for medicine and was wondering which one would be my better choice for the duration of my five year course. What are the main differences between the teaching styles of both schools and how effectively do they help during clinic placement throughout the course?
Here's a few points to consider:

Clinical Exposure: QMUL may offer broader and more varied clinical exposure due to its location in London and association with large teaching hospitals.

Living Costs: Nottingham is generally more affordable than London, which might be a significant consideration for you as a student

Teaching Style: Both universities offer modern, integrated curricula but with slight variations in structure. QMUL’s programme is noted for its PBL approach, while Nottingham combines traditional and integrated teaching methods.

Research and Opportunities: Both universities provide robust research opportunities, but QMUL might have an edge due to its extensive network and London’s medical research environment.

Reply 2
Original post by flyingbunny.80
Here's a few points to consider:

Clinical Exposure: QMUL may offer broader and more varied clinical exposure due to its location in London and association with large teaching hospitals.

Living Costs: Nottingham is generally more affordable than London, which might be a significant consideration for you as a student

Teaching Style: Both universities offer modern, integrated curricula but with slight variations in structure. QMUL’s programme is noted for its PBL approach, while Nottingham combines traditional and integrated teaching methods.

Research and Opportunities: Both universities provide robust research opportunities, but QMUL might have an edge due to its extensive network and London’s medical research environment.


Thank you for the info!
Original post by SaliA.
I’ve gotten offers from both Barts (QMUL) and Nottingham for medicine and was wondering which one would be my better choice for the duration of my five year course. What are the main differences between the teaching styles of both schools and how effectively do they help during clinic placement throughout the course?

Hi @SaliA.!

I'm a medical student at Nottingham so I'm happy to give you an insight into what being a medical student is like at Nottingham and some of the factors I considered when choosing which university to go to.

The main factors I considered were: course structure, teaching style, early exposure to clinical placement, research experience, location and type of campus, cost and welfare and peer support available.

Starting off with course structure, Years 1 and 2 are pre-clinical, followed by the first half of Year 3 (September to January of Year 3) being when you do your research project and write your dissertation, followed by the clinical phase starting in February of Year 3, and then Year 4 and 5 are clinical years as well. They start off in year 1 with an induction period which enables you to settle down into university, meet your colleagues and make friends, and adjust into university life in general before starting your coursework. Then you start off by learning knowledge surrounding basic clinical sciences which act as a bridge between your A-level knowledge and medicine knowledge, followed by Medicine 1 and Medicine 2, which involves systems based learning.

Systems based learning is a part of the course's teaching style. The course follows an integrated and systems based approach, and is not considered a traditional course structure. Systems based learning might be a term you have heard before which essentially involves going through each organ system and learning about it from various aspects. For example, you start of Medicine 1 with the respiratory system, so Week 1 of Medicine 1 would involve going into dissection and dissecting the thorax, including the lungs. In that same week, you would also learn about the physiology of the lungs and how they work. In clinical skills, you would learn how to conduct a respiratory examination. This all ties into the overarching case of the week you would be doing, which in this week would be on a patient presenting with respiratory symptoms, and throughout the week, they would release more information on how this patient presented, what the doctor did in primary care and/or secondary care, and how they were managed and treated. You would end the week with a plenary session where you would discuss this overarching case and be able to ask any questions you had. The combination of the case, anatomy based teaching in dissection, lecture based teaching on physiology, and practical hands-on teaching in the clinical skills suite helps provide you with a well-rounded understanding of each organ system. This helps create the foundation of knowledge that you continue to build on during the clinical years while on placement, as a part of ward rounds, clinics and various teaching sessions.

In terms of early clinical exposure, you have days in GP and hospital starting off from first year itself, which was important to me as it helps you apply the knowledge you are learning and continues to motivate you. You start off by observing in GP and getting more comfortable in the clinical environment, which helps prepare you for being more hands-on in that setting during clinical placement. For hospital placements in the early years, they help you practice the various clinical examinations you have learnt and you get the opportunity to practice these examinations on the wards while being supervised by a clinician who can give you feedback on what you did well and how to improve further. Your exposure only continues to increase during the course and when you start clinical placement in Year 3, your placements involve you spending time in various clinical environments in the hospitals. Nottingham has 3 tertiary hospitals; Queen's Medical Centre, City Hospital and Royal Derby Hospital, and 2 district general hospitals; King's Mill Hospital and Chesterfield Royal Hospital. You would rotate through most if not all of these hospitals, as well as some smaller specialised centers during your clinical phase. You are divided into two hubs, Nottinghamshire (Queen's Medical Centre, City Hospital, King's Mill Hospital) and Derbyshire (Royal Derby Hospital, Chesterfield Royal Hospital), and you swap hubs halfway through the clinical phase, which means you get a very well rounded level of clinical exposure in numerous specialties. Furthermore, all of these teaching hospitals work closely with the medical school to constantly act on feedback received from students etc, which helps ensure that your experience and exposure on placement is working towards the goal of preparing you to work as a junior doctor in the NHS.

Nottingham's A100 course is a 5 year degree and if you are starting in 2024, you would be most likely doing the BMedSci as a part of it, which means you graduate with both a BMedSci and BMBS degree, at the end of 5 years. Most other universities usually require you to take a year out to intercalate, so if you wanted a second degree, it would end up being a 6 year course instead of 5 year course, which is not the case at Nottingham. Thus, in terms of research, you get the opportunity to get involved in research during 3rd year, which is quite early on, and this equips students with the skills and confidence to get involved in more research projects throughout the course. If you are keen on research and interested during the pre-clinical phase, there are various medical and surgical university based societies that can point you in the right direction, as can the professors you interact with during your teaching, so if you are interested, there will always be plenty of opportunities available!

In terms of location, I would recommend looking into how far it is from your hometown, as some students do like to visit home when they can, so that may be a factor to consider! In terms of type of campus, I love the fact that UoN is a campus based university, which is absolutely beautiful and it is nice to have that separation between campus, but also being very close to the Nottingham city centre for when you want to go into town. Nottingham is a more affordable city and it is well connected by public transport including the bus and tram so you get to experience both campus, as well as go into town whenever you would like. In terms of cost, it is also more affordable in terms of accommodation, living expenses. Furthermore, it is a university town as it is home to both UoN and Nottingham Trent University, which is nice as there are plenty of things for students to do.

Last but definitely not least, the medicine course at Nottingham places a lot of importance on welfare support. This includes both university based welfare support, as well as peer based support. As a first year medical student, you are assigned a personal tutor who is a professor or clinician at the university that you can speak to if you have any questions or concerns about the course, but also about university life in general. Furthermore, you are assigned a peer mentor that is a trained medical student in the year above you, so they have just gone through what you are going through and can provide tips and insight on what they did in first year, in terms of notetaking, revising or just university life! Another more informal point of contact is the medic parent you are paired with through Nottingham MedSoc, which is the university's medical society. In addition to the University's welfare team, Nottingham MedSoc has their own committee made up of medical students in various years, and they have their own dedicated welfare team that plans various welfare oriented events throughout the year and acts as another point of contact. Having various options available for welfare and support ensures that if you do need support, or even just someone to chat to at any point during the course, you can contact various people depending on the situation and who you would feel comfortable talking to. It is also a supportive community and you get to know the people in your year and the younger years and older years, which means you can always ask people that may have already been in the same position as you, and eventually also give advice to younger years and help support them.

I hope that helps and feel free to message us if you have any more questions about the medicine course at Nottingham or just university life in general!

All the best,
Aashlesha
Reply 4
Original post by UoN Students
Hi @SaliA.!
I'm a medical student at Nottingham so I'm happy to give you an insight into what being a medical student is like at Nottingham and some of the factors I considered when choosing which university to go to.
The main factors I considered were: course structure, teaching style, early exposure to clinical placement, research experience, location and type of campus, cost and welfare and peer support available.
Starting off with course structure, Years 1 and 2 are pre-clinical, followed by the first half of Year 3 (September to January of Year 3) being when you do your research project and write your dissertation, followed by the clinical phase starting in February of Year 3, and then Year 4 and 5 are clinical years as well. They start off in year 1 with an induction period which enables you to settle down into university, meet your colleagues and make friends, and adjust into university life in general before starting your coursework. Then you start off by learning knowledge surrounding basic clinical sciences which act as a bridge between your A-level knowledge and medicine knowledge, followed by Medicine 1 and Medicine 2, which involves systems based learning.
Systems based learning is a part of the course's teaching style. The course follows an integrated and systems based approach, and is not considered a traditional course structure. Systems based learning might be a term you have heard before which essentially involves going through each organ system and learning about it from various aspects. For example, you start of Medicine 1 with the respiratory system, so Week 1 of Medicine 1 would involve going into dissection and dissecting the thorax, including the lungs. In that same week, you would also learn about the physiology of the lungs and how they work. In clinical skills, you would learn how to conduct a respiratory examination. This all ties into the overarching case of the week you would be doing, which in this week would be on a patient presenting with respiratory symptoms, and throughout the week, they would release more information on how this patient presented, what the doctor did in primary care and/or secondary care, and how they were managed and treated. You would end the week with a plenary session where you would discuss this overarching case and be able to ask any questions you had. The combination of the case, anatomy based teaching in dissection, lecture based teaching on physiology, and practical hands-on teaching in the clinical skills suite helps provide you with a well-rounded understanding of each organ system. This helps create the foundation of knowledge that you continue to build on during the clinical years while on placement, as a part of ward rounds, clinics and various teaching sessions.
In terms of early clinical exposure, you have days in GP and hospital starting off from first year itself, which was important to me as it helps you apply the knowledge you are learning and continues to motivate you. You start off by observing in GP and getting more comfortable in the clinical environment, which helps prepare you for being more hands-on in that setting during clinical placement. For hospital placements in the early years, they help you practice the various clinical examinations you have learnt and you get the opportunity to practice these examinations on the wards while being supervised by a clinician who can give you feedback on what you did well and how to improve further. Your exposure only continues to increase during the course and when you start clinical placement in Year 3, your placements involve you spending time in various clinical environments in the hospitals. Nottingham has 3 tertiary hospitals; Queen's Medical Centre, City Hospital and Royal Derby Hospital, and 2 district general hospitals; King's Mill Hospital and Chesterfield Royal Hospital. You would rotate through most if not all of these hospitals, as well as some smaller specialised centers during your clinical phase. You are divided into two hubs, Nottinghamshire (Queen's Medical Centre, City Hospital, King's Mill Hospital) and Derbyshire (Royal Derby Hospital, Chesterfield Royal Hospital), and you swap hubs halfway through the clinical phase, which means you get a very well rounded level of clinical exposure in numerous specialties. Furthermore, all of these teaching hospitals work closely with the medical school to constantly act on feedback received from students etc, which helps ensure that your experience and exposure on placement is working towards the goal of preparing you to work as a junior doctor in the NHS.
Nottingham's A100 course is a 5 year degree and if you are starting in 2024, you would be most likely doing the BMedSci as a part of it, which means you graduate with both a BMedSci and BMBS degree, at the end of 5 years. Most other universities usually require you to take a year out to intercalate, so if you wanted a second degree, it would end up being a 6 year course instead of 5 year course, which is not the case at Nottingham. Thus, in terms of research, you get the opportunity to get involved in research during 3rd year, which is quite early on, and this equips students with the skills and confidence to get involved in more research projects throughout the course. If you are keen on research and interested during the pre-clinical phase, there are various medical and surgical university based societies that can point you in the right direction, as can the professors you interact with during your teaching, so if you are interested, there will always be plenty of opportunities available!
In terms of location, I would recommend looking into how far it is from your hometown, as some students do like to visit home when they can, so that may be a factor to consider! In terms of type of campus, I love the fact that UoN is a campus based university, which is absolutely beautiful and it is nice to have that separation between campus, but also being very close to the Nottingham city centre for when you want to go into town. Nottingham is a more affordable city and it is well connected by public transport including the bus and tram so you get to experience both campus, as well as go into town whenever you would like. In terms of cost, it is also more affordable in terms of accommodation, living expenses. Furthermore, it is a university town as it is home to both UoN and Nottingham Trent University, which is nice as there are plenty of things for students to do.
Last but definitely not least, the medicine course at Nottingham places a lot of importance on welfare support. This includes both university based welfare support, as well as peer based support. As a first year medical student, you are assigned a personal tutor who is a professor or clinician at the university that you can speak to if you have any questions or concerns about the course, but also about university life in general. Furthermore, you are assigned a peer mentor that is a trained medical student in the year above you, so they have just gone through what you are going through and can provide tips and insight on what they did in first year, in terms of notetaking, revising or just university life! Another more informal point of contact is the medic parent you are paired with through Nottingham MedSoc, which is the university's medical society. In addition to the University's welfare team, Nottingham MedSoc has their own committee made up of medical students in various years, and they have their own dedicated welfare team that plans various welfare oriented events throughout the year and acts as another point of contact. Having various options available for welfare and support ensures that if you do need support, or even just someone to chat to at any point during the course, you can contact various people depending on the situation and who you would feel comfortable talking to. It is also a supportive community and you get to know the people in your year and the younger years and older years, which means you can always ask people that may have already been in the same position as you, and eventually also give advice to younger years and help support them.
I hope that helps and feel free to message us if you have any more questions about the medicine course at Nottingham or just university life in general!
All the best,
Aashlesha

Thank you so much for letting me know about all of this! It’s been very helpful 😊

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