Medicine MBChB - September 2021

Our unique, patient-focused MBChB programme at Aston University’s Medical School will prepare you for a successful career in the medical profession and make a lasting impact to people’s lives.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham 

Course type


Course format

Integrated placements


5 years

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course outline and modules

Aston Medical School will develop your core competencies in medicine, hone your team-working skills and give you an understanding of the internationally admired NHS (National Health Service).

Our course has been designed to prepare you for the demands of a medical career, with an emphasis on working compassionately with patients as partners, within a multi-disciplinary team. You’ll gain exposure to real clinical settings through a series of clinical placements each year, develop a wide range of skills and a broad knowledge base.

Throughout your time with us, you will be encouraged to develop into an independent life-long learner, with critical thinking skills and the caring and empathetic attitude needed to embark on your first post after graduation as a Foundation Doctor.

Patient-centred curriculum

Our patient-centred curriculum is taught across five years in two phases. It starts by expanding and deepening your existing science education, covering topics such as the fundamentals of body structure, infection and pathological processes. As you move into the second phase, a large proportion of your learning will take place in clinical environments, working with practising doctors and healthcare professionals in placements ranging from cancer care to integrated medicine.

It’s our aim to prepare you for the demands of a medical career, with an emphasis on working compassionately with patients as partners, within a multi-disciplinary team.

Phase 1: Years 1 and 2

Throughout phase 1, you will develop your clinical skills and knowledge in blocks, covering topics such as physiology, pharmacology, public and global health and the musculoskeletal system. You’ll be introduced to clinical practice, learning how to interact effectively with patients, carers, colleagues and other healthcare professionals, develop consultation skills as well as an introduction to diagnostic reasoning.

The Very Early Clinical Experience placement gives you an opportunity to develop an understanding of what it’s like to be a patient, and to gain real-world experience of the work carried out by doctors and other members of the general practice (primary care) team.

Year 1

Year 1: Fundamentals of Medicine 1

  • Medical Cell Biology and Genetics
  • Sociological and Psychological Aspects of Health
  • Fundamentals of Body Structure
  • Public and Global Health
  • Introduction to Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Infection
  • Metabolism, Endocrinology and Haematology
  • Pathological Processes
  • Introduction to Clinical Processes 1a
  • Introduction to Clinical Processes 1b


Clinical placements:  There are two one-week placements in a primary care setting, the first of which takes place early in term one to give you an insight into UK clinical practice and the experience of patients. The second, at the end of the summer term, gives you an opportunity to practise some of your early clinical skills.

Year 2

Year 2: Fundamentals of Medicine 2

Clinical placements: A total of nine days are spent in primary care throughout year two. This experience focuses on developing your consultation skills to carefully explore medical problems while taking into consideration the needs and wishes of the patient

  • Gastrointestinal / Immune System Reproductive System Urinary System
  • Respiratory System
  • Head, Neck and Neuroanatomy
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Prescribing
  • Sociological and Psychological Aspects of Health  
  • Integration for Clinical Applications
  • Nervous System and Neuropsychiatry
  • Introduction to Clinical Practice 2a
  • Introduction to Clinical Practice 2b

Phase 2: Years 3, 4 and 5

Much of your learning in phase two will take place in clinical environments, working with practising doctors and healthcare professionals. Your progress will be supplemented and supported with lectures, group work, workshops, independent study and other learning opportunities. Our timetabling for these clinical years has to fit in with the availability of teaching staff at the hospitals and general practices and for this reason, we utilise a number of Wednesday afternoons for teaching. 

The Student Selected Components delivered in this phase, offer you the chance to study an area of particular interest, including our Health Leadership module, delivered in conjunction with Aston Business School. Successful completion of the module will lead to an additional certificate. You will also have the opportunity to complete a research-based student selected component with the Aston Medical Research Institute, whose four themes of research include: maternal health, mental health, cardiovascular medicine and regenerative medicine. 

Year 3

Year 3: Clinical Apprenticeships 1

  • Hospital Specialties 1: such as Cardiology, Respiratory, Rheumatology, Renal, Infection, and Diabetes
  • Hospital Specialties 2: such as Musculoskeletal, Urinary and Perioperative care
  • General Practice
  • Student Selected Component: including Postgraduate Certificate in Health  Management and Leadership


Clinical placements: Three 12 week blocks are undertaken, with one in primary care and two across a range of medical and surgical specialties in hospitals, giving you an excellent experience of the general principles of clinical practice, and building on your theoretical learning in phase one.

Year 4

Year 4: Clinical Apprenticeships 2

  • Senses: Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Dermatology
  • Child Health
  • Community Medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Nephrology and Neurology
  • Student Selected Component: including Postgraduate Certificate in Health  Management and Leadership

Clinical placements: Spend five weeks in seven specialty placements such as obstetrics and gynaecology, childcare and psychiatry to gain comprehensive experience in these specialist areas.

Year 5

Year 5: Foundation Apprenticeships 3

  • Acute Medicine / Medicine of the Elderly
  • General Practice
  • Emergency Medicine / Intensive Care Unit / Anaesthetics
  • Foundation Assistantship
  • Student Selected Component including Postgraduate Certificate in Health  Management and Leadership/Elective

Clinical placements: Before your finals, you will complete three blocks of six weeks: one in primary care and two in hospital settings. After your finals, you will complete a six week elective which may be undertaken anywhere suitable worldwide, and a six week foundation assistantship where you will undertake foundation level work under very careful supervision. The focus in year five is on developing your diagnostic and management skills in preparation for your foundation training posts.

Quality assurance

We have successfully completed several stages of the rigorous General Medical Council (GMC) approval process, and were approved for undergraduate recruitment starting from 2018. The GMC is committed to undertaking a programme of further quality assurance, including annual visits and following the first cohort of students as they progress through their course until their graduate in 2023. Read more here.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

Take a look at our entry requirements tab for more information about international qualifications and our cohort makeup.


Entry Requirements

Cohort details

This intake, we have 100 places for Home students and 20 places for international students. For entry to University in 2021, EU students will be classified as international fee payers and any applications will be considered as part of the 20 places available for international students.

If you are an EU student and believe you meet the criteria to be a Home fee payer, once you have submitted your application you should contact the Tuition Fee Assessment Team, stating your UCAS number or Aston Student Number, via fee  The Tuition Fee Assessment Team will arrange for a Fee Status Assessment for you.  If the assessment is that you are a Home fee payer your application will be considered as part of the 100 places available for Home students.  

In keeping with our vision of being a socially inclusive medical school, we aim to offer up to 40 per cent of our UK places to students who meet specified widening participation criteria; preference will be given to our local students including those who are on the Sir Doug Ellis Pathway to Healthcare Programme. Full details of the widening participation criteria can be found here.

We welcome applications from candidates who have the skills and capability to excel on our course. All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on all previous and predicted qualifications, experience, references and motivation. 

Discover more in our application advice zone and FAQ pages


All candidates must normally have:

  • GCSE (or equivalent) qualifications: The normal requirement is a minimum of five GCSEs/IGCSEs at grade B / grade 6 or above, which must include English Language, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology or Double Science (or international equivalent).
  • UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test): We require all applicants to take the UCAT in 2020 for 2021 entry, this will be considered alongside the other required qualifications. Please note, results will be sent to us directly from UCAT so you will not be required to send us your result. For more information on this test please visit the UCAT website.
  • English language requirements: The Aston MBChB is a very intense programme and a high level of English language competency and communication skills are essential, this includes reading, writing, listening and speaking. Therefore, it is important that you come with the appropriate level of English which enables you to deal with all aspects of the course.

We accept a number of English language tests with the appropriate scores which reflect our requirements, you can find full details here. However, in these unprecedented times where tests have been postponed or cancelled, we are expanding our portfolio of English language tests which we will accept, namely the Aston Online English Test, TOEFL iBT (Special Home Edition) and IELTS Indicator. The required scores for these tests are the same as for the non-online tests.

Your English language test result is a guide to us and we accept in good faith that it reflects your ability at the level required for the MBChB programme. In some cases, if students are struggling, we may recommend that they seek support from the Learning and Development Centre. You will be expected to continue to work on your English throughout the programme, since you will be required to demonstrate high standards of both verbal and written communication to progress on the MBChB course.

  • All applicants will be subject to Aston Medical School Fitness to Practise regulations, full details can be found here
A Levels

The normal requirement is a minimum of grades AAA with Chemistry and Biology being compulsory (including passing the practical elements) and any third subject excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking. If you are taking more than three A Levels, the Chemistry, Biology and the next best grade, will be the grades considered.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

36 overall (6,6,6 at Higher Level in three subjects which must include Chemistry (HL6) and Biology (HL6) and the rest from three subjects at Standard Level (SL) and Diploma Programme Core) please see below for further details.


Applicants with a BTEC qualification will normally need to obtain a minimum of DDD in the Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) in Applied Science in combination with Chemistry and Biology A Levels with grade A in both.

Scottish Advanced Higher 

Applicants with Scottish Advanced Highers, will normally be expected to achieve, or have achieved AAA to include Chemistry and Biology.

Overseas equivalents

Discover the wide range of recognised equivalent overseas qualifications that Aston Medical School accepts.

Foundation programmes

If your high school qualification alone is not sufficient to gain entry, you will be required to complete a UK foundation programme.

We currently accept:

Abbey College Manchester Medicine Foundation Programme:  You must achieve a score of 75% overall with 75% or above in Chemistry and Biology.

CATS Canterbury, Cambridge and London Medics Programme:  You must achieve grades of AAA which must include Chemistry and Biology. 

Kings Advanced Level Foundation Course You must achieve a score of 75% overall with at least 75% in Chemistry and Biology.

Access courses

We do not currently accept any access courses. 

Graduate applicants

For applicants taking a degree, normally a minimum of an upper second class Honours degree (2:1) in any discipline plus three A Levels at grades ABB to include Chemistry and Biology with either at grade A. The university degree must be from a recognised UK or NARIC approved university. In addition, applicants will normally be required to have the same GCSE requirements as are stated above.

We do not accept transfers from applicants currently studying degrees at other universities. We would always expect applicants to apply to Aston Medical School in the final year of their degree programme.

Although we are happy to consider applications from graduates, there is no accelerated graduate entry available at Aston. All graduates will have to complete the same five year programme as for all other students.

Additional academic qualification information

Deferred entry and gap years

Deferred entry and gap years are permitted with prior agreement from the Admissions Team. Please note that interviews, UCAT, academic qualifications and other conditions of offer (namely satisfactory Occupational Health questionnaire and Enhanced DBS check) must be obtained in the year of application.


Applicants who have resat, or are resitting GCSEs, A Levels, or equivalent qualifications, with or without repeating an academic year, will be considered. The referee must provide a brief explanation of the reason (s) for the resit in the UCAS reference.

Applicants must normally achieve their final qualification profile for consideration in no more than three academic years i.e. allowing for 1 re-sit year attempt only.


We are only able to consider applications from graduates who have successfully completed their degree or are in the final year of their degree programme and meet the criteria for graduate applicants as set out in our admissions policy.

Aston Medical School will NOT consider applicants in the following circumstances:

  • Applicants who wish to transfer from a medical degree programme at another university in the UK or abroad.
  • Applicants who have previously withdrawn from a medical degree at another university in the UK or abroad.
  • Applicants who have withdrawn from a degree in any subject in the UK or abroad.
  • Applicants who wish to transfer from a degree in any other subject in the UK or abroad.
UCAS declaration

We expect all applicants to declare their complete educational history with past and present place of study, qualifications and grades in their UCAS application. If there is additional information for which there is no specific area on the form, it is required that applicants email additional information to the Admissions Office by the 21st of October in the year of application. 

How to apply 

All applications must be made via UCAS.

Our application processes employ fair, consistent and transparent procedures to recruit students with both the intellectual capacity and personal attributes to become safe, competent and caring doctors who are able to play a full role in whichever health system they choose. We are looking for applicants who are well rounded individuals with the ability to cope with an intensive course and a demanding career.

The design of our selection processes incorporates the values of equality and diversity, and minimises the risk of direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of the protected characteristics defined in the 2010 Equality Act (Equality and Diversity in UK Medical Schools BMA, October 2009; Gateways to the Professions, GMC 2014, Welcomed and valued , GMC 2019.)


All applicants must take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or if appropriate, the UCATSEN.

Candidates with disabilities can either take the UCATSEN if additional time is needed, or the standard UCAT with provision for reasonable adjustments. Please contact UCAT for further information. 

Should UCAT not be able to provide the necessary adjustments, please contact us directly, prior to the end of the UCAT testing cycle. 


Once applications have been assessed and ranked a selection of applicants who meet our academic and other school requirements will be invited to our Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). Normally, the MMIs are held on campus at Aston University and candidates are expected to attend in person. We believe that face to face assessment of an applicant’s abilities is an important part of the selection process However, under certain circumstances, Skype/ remote interviews will be carried out using the same format as the face to face MMIs.

The MMIs will consist of a number of six to eight minute stations which will be mapped to the General Medical Council’s Promoting Excellence and the NHS Constitution Framework. The stations will assess attributes including:

  • understanding of studying and practising medicine
  • motivation
  • verbal communication
  • listening skills
  • understanding of teamwork
  • understanding of leadership skills
  • understanding of compassion, respect and dignity 
  • problem solving
Disabilities, additional needs and medical conditions

Aston Medical School welcomes applications from candidates who have disabilities and we encourage you to get in touch with the Admissions Team if you would like to meet with a member of staff or discuss anything with us before you apply. Identifying your needs early  in the admissions process will ensure that we provide optimal support, including any reasonable adjustments throughout the selection process. For more information please visit the disabilities section of our website.

  • If you consider yourself to have a disability, additional needs (for example dyslexia) or any relevant medical conditions, you must declare this on your UCAS application form and inform our admissions team if any matters arise subsequent to submission of your application, this information will help us to ensure we provide appropriate support to you. Academic assessment for all applicants will be independent of any declaration of disability.
  • Our admissions team will contact applicants who have declared a disability and work with the University Enabling Team to assess support and need for reasonable adjustment. Applicants will also be assessed in view of the requirement to meet the competencies set by the General Medical Council. We encourage applicants with disabilities and will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that all applicants are considered equally in the selection process including the MMIs and successfully complete their studies. We will contact all applicants with a disability who are invited for interview to discuss their requirements ahead of the interview date. Please visit Enabling Team website for more information.

Successful applicants 

If you are successful and you are made a conditional offer, you will be sent an email outlining the terms you will need to meet for your offer to be made unconditional. Conditions will include:

  • Confirmation of your educational results.
  • Submission of a health questionnaire and occupational health clearance and completion of an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (UK Criminal Records Check).
  • If you have lived outside of the UK for longer than six months in the last five years then you will need to obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct/Police check  (from each country in which you have lived).
  • If you require a visa to study in the UK, we have a team of qualified immigration advisers to guide you through this process.

 Discover more information in our application advice zone.

Learning, teaching and assessment

At Aston Medical School you will be taught by medical professionals from a wide range of practice, industry and research backgrounds. During your time on campus, you will encounter a variety of learning and teaching methods, including:

  • face to face and online lectures
  • group work and problem-based learning
  • seminars
  • clinical skills training
  • independent study
  • practical sessions
  • interactive workshops and tutorials
  • online resources


In addition to these learning methods, you will also spend time each year on a series of placements. You’ll work under the supervision of a range of medical and healthcare professionals from our network of carefully selected NHS trusts and primary care providers. Serving an exceptionally diverse range of communities and settings, such as inner-city areas, towns and rural locations, each placement will allow you to encounter a wide range of patients and experiences, giving you an excellent foundation for your future medical career. Find out more about our partners here.

Facilities and equipment

Our modern and friendly campus is equipped with dedicated facilities for Aston Medical School students. We have invested heavily to ensure that our facilities and equipment provide you with the ideal learning environment. This includes:

  • A high tech clinical skills centre with a range of equipment including Sonosite ultrasound machines and life size anatomical models.
  • Simulated hospital ward with mid-fidelity manikins.
  • SMOTS camera technology that allow discreet recording during medical simulations to provide instant feedback.
  • Powerlab for physiological testing including blood pressure, lung capacity, ECG readings, EMG and pulse oximetry.
  • State of the art group work rooms, which include C-touch screens.
  • Private study spaces available to students 24/7.

Medical student support at Aston

Medicine is a demanding subject so it is important to look after yourself and have a good support network around you. We support you every step of the way, through your learning experiences as well as how to balance the course with the rest of university life:

  • Personal Tutor: will offer advice on study-related and personal issues
  • Student Support Lead: to help you cope with the unique requirements of a medical student
  • University Support Services: a breadth of additional support services are available, for example, the Hub, Learning Development Centre and library services.
  • Extracurricular activities, clubs, sports and hobbies:These form an important part of university life and provide a balance to your work and opportunities to make new friends.

Fees and scholarships

UK students (September 2021)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250


International/EU students* (September 2021)

Annual tuition fees: £41,900*


Funding: Eligible students are able to apply for a student loan to cover tuition fees and to support living costs via the Student Loans Company.

Self-funding students: Fees for each year of study can be paid either in full at the start of each academic year or in three termly instalments of 50% at the beginning of Term 1 (September), 25% in Term 2 (January) and 25% in Term 3 (May)

*Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees


Each year we will have a range of small financial awards and prizes for the most talented students both entering their first year at Aston and in subsequent years of study. Full scholarships covering all or the majority of tuition fees will not be available.

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

Once you have successfully completed your five year MBChB degree with us, you will have a variety of training options available to you depending on what you want to achieve from your career.

UK Foundation Programme

This is a two year integrated training programme for newly qualified foundation doctors who are eligible for provisional registration with the GMC. You can register your interest in a variety of rotations and settings. Currently, non-UK/non-EEA nationals who graduate from a UK medical school wishing to undertake a recognised, two year full-time foundation programme (including academic programmes) are eligible to extend their Tier 4 visa to cover the duration of the training programme. Our qualified visa team will be on hand to provide you with advice and support should you wish to take this career path.

Find out more here.


Currently in the UK, full registration with the GMC occurs on successful completion of foundation year one. However, foundation year two must be completed before entering into specialist training. The length of this training varies according to the speciality. For example, three years of specialist training is required for general practice, with five to seven years required for hospital specialities.

Continuing your training and career overseas

If you decide to continue your training outside of the UK, you will need to refer to that country’s government body guidelines for details on eligibility, application and processes.

We will support you by offering you a multi-staged appointment with our medical careers lead to discuss your future plans and provide you with relevant information and advice. In order to provide our students with the best opportunities we are establishing specific international career structures and routes by building links with educational establishments and hospitals globally.

Medical career guidance

Our careers lead works with the British Medical Association’s (BMA) careers advice and support, and working abroad teams to support you in deciding the best career path for you. We also work with the careers team from Health Education England (HEE) in the West Midlands to provide you with a comprehensive structure around careers. This will include assistance with your UK Foundation Programme application.
All core career resources that will assist you with taking your next step, such as CV surgeries, application advice and interview practice, will be available to you through Aston University’s award-winning careers service.


Frequently asked questions

Why choose medicine at Aston University?

Aston Medical School is a new medical school, providing both a well-connected clinical practice environment and patient-centred curriculum that will enhance your learning and applied experience throughout the course.

There are new facilities, the school is patient centred with a focus on primary care and much of your learning will be through group work. You will also take part in inter-professional learning with students from other healthcare courses like pharmacy to prepare you for working in multidisciplinary teams and with other healthcare workers.

You’ll also gain experience from a range of partners in hospitals and community settings.

Who can apply for a place at Aston Medical School?

Each year we offer places to UK and international fee-paying students.

In keeping with our vision of being a socially inclusive medical school, we aim to offer up to 40 per cent of our UK places to students who meet specified widening participation criteria, with preference being given to our local students, including those on the Sir Doug Ellis Pathway to Healthcare Programme.

Full details of widening participation at Aston Medical School can be found here.

Does Aston Medical School interview applicants?

Yes. Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) are a compulsory part of our selection process.
They consist of a number of stations which assess attributes including:

  • understanding of studying and practising medicine
  • motivation
  • verbal communication
  • listening skills
  • understanding of teamwork
  • understanding of leadership skills
  • understanding of compassion, respect and dignity 
  • problem solving

Find out more about our MMIs here.

We have more FAQs here.

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