Medicine with Foundation Year

MBChB, 6 years

This is for you if want to become a doctor, but are unlikely to achieve the required grades, live in the East Midlands and meet our widening participation criteria.

Course Description

  • As part of the University of Leicester’s commitment to being a leading academic institution, we regularly review and update our degrees and modules to ensure that they reflect the most up-to-date research, knowledge, ideas and teaching practices, as well as taking into account student feedback. We also have to take into account the availability of key teaching staff where this will impact on the delivery of the course.  As a result, if there are major changes to the course that you have applied for, we will contact you as soon as possible and will ensure that any disruption to your studies is minimised.

The MBChB with Foundation Year is aimed at students who wish to study Medicine at the University of Leicester, but whose background makes it less likely that they will be able to meet the entry requirements for our standard five-year MBChB

  • Our integrated Foundation Year is taught alongside Biological Science students but also includes elements specific to Medicine. 
  • Successful completion of the integrated Foundation Year at the required level will enable you to progress onto the first year of the MBChB course.
  • You will be taught by expert academic staff from across the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology.
  • The course strongly emphasises the development of the study skills that will be necessary for success in your undergraduate studies and beyond.
  • During your Foundation Year you will join our student community and be able to enjoy all aspects of the University of Leicester student experience. You will be able to join the Students’ Union, use our academic and leisure facilities, live in our accommodation and access all of our support services.
  • You will have a personal tutor to support you and will have access to our dedicated Pastoral Support Unit.

Application date

Medical degrees have a UCAS application deadline of 15 October, three months ahead of most other courses. For this reason, this page and the Medicine page show information for students starting in 2018. All other course pages on the University of Leicester website currently show information for students starting in 2017 and will be updated in due course.

Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
September 2018
All enquiries:
+44 (0)116 252 2969 or 2985 or 2966

School of Medicine website

Why Leicester?

You will have a wide variety of clinical opportunities through our many partnerships with hospitals in the region, from Leicester’s big city hospitals to Lincoln and Northampton, and through our many links with community practices.

You can opt to take an intercalating year. You will have the chance to conduct an academic research project working alongside our world-leading academics.

We have a vibrant student community. LUSUMA (Leicester University Students’ Union Medical Association) organises academic, sporting, charity and social events throughout the year, as well as being a source of peer support.

You will benefit from our excellent, dedicated facilities including a large dissecting room where anatomy is taught using real cadavers. You will be given an iPad when you start which you will use daily in lectures and group work.

Course Structure

Foundation Year

Foundation Year


  • Fundamentals of Biological Sciences
  • Introduction to Medical Sciences
  • Exploring Psychology
  • Medicine: The Patient

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Phase 1: Laying the foundation

Phase 1: Laying the foundation

Phase 1 lasts two years. You will take a series of integrated, interdisciplinary modules related to human structure and function in health and disease. You will also undertake community attachments to illustrate the social and psychological context of medicine. Theoretical study of social and behavioural science supplements this learning in the community. 

By the end of Phase 1 you will: 

  • Be able to communicate with patients and examine them clinically.
  • Have a good understanding of the structure and function of the human body and how this relates to health and illness.
  • Appreciate the psychological and social context of health and illness.

For Phase 1 the teaching is integrated so that you learn all the disciplines (anatomy, physiology etc.) within the context of a patients’ presentations. This includes:

  • Early clinical apprenticeship with clinical attachments and development of clinical skills
  • Integrated teaching of molecular and cellular science and systems of the body
  • Integrated teaching on infection, pharmacology and therapeutics
  • Social, behavioural and population sciences 

Knowledge and Skills

The learning in Phase 1 provides you with essential knowledge and skills that will underpin your clinical practice throughout life. You will learn skills of professional communication and physical examination by working first with ‘simulated patients’ – actors trained to help you learn, and other volunteers. Very soon you will begin working on hospital wards with real patients. You must pass a formal clinical examination at the end of Phase 1 to demonstrate that you have the basic clinical skills necessary for the clinical phases.

Understanding People

You will learn how the human body is put together, and how it works in health and illness, but you will also come to understand that patients are not just the illnesses they suffer from. They have social and psychological dimensions to their lives that affect how they become ill, how they react to illness, and the consequences of illness for them. Learning about social and behavioural medicine will help you to understand the whole person in the context of health care. Early patient contact will help you to understand these issues.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Phase 2: The clinical years

Phase 2: The clinical years

We believe that the best way to learn medicine is to work with practising doctors. You will spend virtually all of your time in the clinical phases working full-time in clinical environments. Working with medical staff in hospitals and the community is the best way to apply your knowledge, gain experience and learn more. In each placement you will be part of a team caring for patients – the range of patients and illnesses you see will reflect the demands on doctors, preparing you for the working environment after you qualify. We have placements in various hospitals in the city, county and region, as well as community attachments. This means you will experience a diverse range of environments, colleagues and patients.

In Phase 2 you will have longer apprentice style placements in medicine, surgery and community medicine, learning from experts in hospital or GP practices. Phase 3 will allow time for speciality blocks such as Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Child Health, and Psychiatry. In Phase 4 of the course, the scheduling of the Finals examination is arranged to allow time for an extended foundation apprenticeship designed to fully prepare you for work as a foundation doctor. During the clinical years learning in each placement will be by a series of structured activities, guided by a workbook and led by experienced clinical teachers.

For Phase 2 your clinical learning evolves through apprenticeship:

  • Year 3 – 12-week placements in hospital medicine, hospital surgery and primary care
  • Year 4 – Speciality blocks including child health, mental health and cancer care
  • Year 5 – Foundation assistantships in hospital and community placements to finesse skills before working as a doctor
  • Student selected components in Years 3 and 5 to support career aspirations
  • Elective opportunities in Year 5 for doing something different

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Additional Information


The Education Committee of the General Medical Council has approved the Leicester curriculum. Graduation will make you eligible for provisional registration as a doctor.

What's in a name?

Confusingly, there is no consistent name in the UK for a medical degree. At Leicester we use MBChB; other British universities will award you an MBBCh, BMBCh, MBBS, BMBS etc. Each of these is a primary medical qualification (PMQ), equivalent to the American MD (but not the British MD, which is a medical research degree similar to a PhD).


Teaching and Assessment

Teaching will focus on developing core study skills necessary for successful university level study: including problem solving, team working, research techniques, report writing skills, presentation skills, information handling and IT skills, solving patient problems.

Assessment will be via a variety of methods including continual assessment and formal exams.

Entry Requirements

This course is only available for students who are resident in the East Midlands and meet the widening access requirements designated on our School of Medicine website.

Academic requirements

  • A-levels: BBB including Chemistry and Biology
  • GCSEs: Grade C in English Language, Maths, and two sciences, including Chemistry, or Double Science
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass diploma with at least 32 points overall, including three Higher Level subjects (including Chemistry and Biology), and three Standard Level subjects. Each subject must be passed with a minimum of five points. We do not consider bonus points.

Selection process

All candidates are required to take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT).

You will be assigned a score based on your GCSE grades (plus confirmed A levels where applicable) and your UKCAT result. Applications will be ranked and the highest scoring candidates will be invited for multiple mini interviews.

English Language Requirements

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2018

    The tuition fees for entry to the academic year 2018-2019 are not yet available. For reference, the tuition fees for 2017/18 entry are listed below:

    • £9,250 in 2017/18

    After 2017/18, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation (RPIX) and is subject to government regulations. (RPIX is a measure of inflation in the UK, equivalent to all items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.)

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

    Additional costs

    In your first year you will be given an iPad Air which is included in your tuition fee.

    You will need the following, which are not included in your tuition fee: 

    • DBS check (£62) 
    • Stethoscope (£4-£100)

    You may also wish to buy a padlock for a locker (£5-£20)

  • This course is only available to students living in the East Midlands region of the UK.

Career Opportunities

At the end of the undergraduate course you will receive your MBChB degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to a provisional registration with the General Medical Council. Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work. 

To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate course through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis. So far, all suitably qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme, but this cannot be guaranteed, for instance if there were to be an excessive number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates. 

Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You need full registration with a licence to practice for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice.


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Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Medicine with Foundation Year MBChB 6 years A199 Apply Now
Medicine with Foundation Year
6 years

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