Medicine with Foundation Year MBChB

6 years

Medicine degrees aren’t easy to get into. But this doesn’t mean becoming a doctor is out of the question. If it looks like you won’t meet the entry requirements to study medicine at Leicester, this Foundation Year degree is your path to making it happen.

Medicine with Foundation Year MBChB, 6 years

Medicine degrees aren’t easy to get into. But this doesn’t mean becoming a doctor is out of the question. If it looks like you won’t meet the entry requirements to study medicine at Leicester, this Foundation Year degree is your path to making it happen.

Start date:


Course information

Typical offer BBB

UCAS code A199

Institute code L34

Times Sunday Times

10th for Medicine in Good University Guide 2024

National Student Survey logo

Ranked top 10% of medical schools on all survey sections (NSS 2023)

REF 2021

Ranked 2nd in the UK for clinical medicine - 2021 Research Excellence Framework, according to analysis by Times Higher Education.

All enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2969 or 2985 or 2966

Leicester Medical School

Course description

Course description

Leicester Medical School 50 years logoThe 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. Successful completion of the integrated Foundation Year will enable you to progress onto the first year of the MBChB course.

We are looking to attract aspirational students, from all backgrounds, who display a caring attitude and values consistent with those of the NHS constitution. We aim to help you become skilled, professional and empathic doctors prepared to make patient care your first priority.

The first part of the Foundation Year is taught alongside Biological Science students before moving into Medicine-specific modules later in the year. You will meet patients and learn clinical skills during your foundation year. The course is designed to enable you to take forward the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that are required to practise medicine effectively and successfully in the modern healthcare environment. You will be prepared for the challenges that we are experiencing today and the inevitable changes in practice that will continue to occur in the future.

A pioneering and unique aspect of the Medicine with Foundation Year its bespoke empathy-focused curriculum. Our innovative course fosters your clinical empathy right from the very start of your training. You will learn through a person-centred approach to medicine with the understanding that empathy is a core value that will be central to your future practice. This is important because we know that treating people with empathy improves their experience of healthcare and is beneficial to practitioners too.

As a Foundation Year student, you will join our medical school community alongside other medical students. 2025 will mark our 50th anniversary, so we have plenty of experience of medical education at Leicester, which means that you will benefit from excellent training in an established, supportive environment. Throughout the course, you will learn from expert academics and medical practitioners working day-to-day in the NHS.

Once you complete the Foundation Year, you will join our five-year medical course. We run an integrated curriculum, meaning teaching and learning is based around patients and their needs. It is not a problem-based learning course, but rather a patient-focused curriculum which is delivered through a mixture of lectures, small group work, cadaveric dissection, and clinical teaching. This ensures that you learn the essential science underpinning how the human body operates, whilst learning how things can go wrong through the study of patients.

Your experience will be hands-on - you will work with real patients from the beginning. It's all designed to be clinically relevant - enabling you to acquire the medical knowledge, along with the professional competencies, that are essential to practise medicine effectively. In your first year following the Foundation Year, you gain the Health Care Certificate and hospital ward experience that allows you to work as a Healthcare Assistant. Simultaneously, through our Phase 1 Compassionate, Holistic, Diagnostic Detective course you start to develop consultation and examinations skills with actors and patients in our medical school and hospitals, preparing you for Phase 2 (years 3-5) where you will be based full-time in hospital, general practice and community placements.

Our world-class facilities provide a state-of-the art learning environment and allow you to experience what other medical students don’t. For example, we are one of the few courses to offer full-body human dissection. All first year students are provided with iPads. Study material is delivered directly onto these iPads. All the resources you need will be at your fingertips throughout the clinical phase of the course.

You will also have the chance to develop your clinical procedures in our state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Unit. During the clinical phase of the course, we offer a wide range of hospital and community placements in the region, including Leicester’s big city hospitals, and district centres across the Midlands, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. This means you gain valuable experience in a diverse range of environments.

If you’re interested in medical research and/or enhancing your career prospects, you can take an intercalated degree by undertaking full-time research with experts at Leicester or elsewhere.

Towards the end of the course, there are additional opportunities to take an elective placement in a location of your choice - it could be anywhere in the world. 

We’re really proud to have some of the most satisfied medical students in the UK. The 2023 National Student Survey (NSS) ranked Leicester Medical School in the top 10% of UK medical schools on all question categories in the survey. This includes: teaching, assessments, academic support, learning resources, and student voice. This is a fantastic result and a huge testament to the way staff and students collaborate at Leicester Medical School to make it such a great place to study medicine. However, being a great medical school depends on us not settling for how we are now but also striving to be even better in the future, and we continue to be committed to listening to student feedback, reflecting on our performance and looking for new ways to improve our curriculum.

Application date

Medical degrees have a UCAS application deadline of 15 October, three months ahead of most other courses.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

English Language Requirements

IELTS 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each component. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

UK Students

Starting in 2025

Tuition fees for 2025/26 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2024/25 were:

  • £9,250 in your first year. Tuition fees are subject to government regulations and may change in future years.


All students on this course are eligible for a scholarship and will receive:

  • A £4,000 bursary for the Foundation Year (consisting of £3,000 fee waiver and £1,000 scholarship)
  • A £2,000 bursary during Year 1 

Subsequent years are funded in the same way as the A100 MBChB course.

Find out more about other scholarships and funding.

NHS Bursary

The fifth year of your MBChB course (following the Foundation Year) will be funded by an NHS Bursary. Visit NHS Health Careers for information about how funding works for medical degrees in the UK.

Intercalating year

If you extend your course by taking the iBSc or iMSc, you will still receive a tuition fee loan for the first four years of the MBChB, and you will then receive an NHS Bursary for Years 5 and 6.

Year-by-year breakdown

Additional costs

In your first year you will be given an iPad, which is included in your tuition fee (model to be confirmed). You will need to have the Notability app, but currently this can be obtained for free using your university email. Information will be given at induction. You will also have to purchase a suitable stethoscope during your first semester of year 1, costing you around £80 - £100. You will also need to buy a white coat for use in the dissection room. There are many online suppliers and they cost about £15. When on placement, there will be some travel costs, particularly in years 3 and 4. Currently the medical school provides some help towards those travel costs, but that is dependent on our current funding situation.

How much do doctors earn?

The BMA has information on current pay scales for doctors in the UK.

International Students

This course is only available to students living in the UK.



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).

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

In common with other medical schools, the Leicester MBChB is an unclassified degree. However, students who excel may graduate with the award of Honours, MBChB (Hons). The award of Honours is determined by a student’s performance across all aspects of the degree, with particular weighting on the summative examinations undertaken in final year. Honours are only awarded to the top 10% (first decile rank) of students in any graduating cohort. As such the award of Honours is at least equivalent, and in many cases a greater achievement, than graduating with a first class honours Bachelors degree or gaining a distinction in final year. 

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 practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice.

Medical Licensing Assessment

The GMC has decided to introduce a Medical Licensing Assessment – the MLA - from 2024/5 (i.e. for those graduating in July 2025) to demonstrate that those who obtain registration with a licence to practise medicine in the UK meet a common threshold for safe practice. Applicants should be aware that to obtain registration with a licence to practise, medical students will need to pass both parts of the MLA, pass university finals and demonstrate their fitness to practise.

The MLA will be in two parts: there will be an applied knowledge test, which will be set by the Medical School Council Assessment Alliance, and a clinical and professional skills assessment (our Final Objective Structured Clinical Examination), which will be set and delivered by our medical school. Both elements will be overseen and regulated by the GMC. Leicester Medical School Finals will incorporate both elements of the MLA, and will include an additional written assessment paper.

Student Testimonials

  • “I have really enjoyed the spiral style of the course and it has allowed me to build my learning throughout the years. I feel well prepared to be a doctor. I have enjoyed all the practical aspects of my training, especially my clinical years. Some great lecturers/teachers who are really keen to help students learn.”
  • “… the course is very clinically focused and is great at improving our communication skills and preparing us to start F1.”
  • “Leicester is a great medical school which has prepared me well for working as a junior doctor. I feel the staff are motivated and care about our wellbeing and success.”
  • “…a brilliant medical school to attend, and whilst it's been a challenging 5 years, I know it's been for my own good and I am more resilient than ever! I am proud to be qualifying from Leicester!” 
  • “Overall, absolutely amazing medical school…a truly well-designed course which has left me very prepared to begin practice as a doctor.”

Graduate profiles

Navin Leanage

"The opportunities Leicester presents to its students has a unique feel. A mix of lectures and group work encouraged me to manage my time as well as helping me to learn through discussing questions. I found this way of learning suited me, and it has prepared me for clinical practice and continuous learning on the job. Early exposure to patients helped me to understand sympathy and empathy as well as appreciate the patient journey. I particularly enjoyed dissection, this allowed us to learn anatomy in a way that no textbook could do justice. Having experienced this I have found that my understanding of anatomy has stuck with me and is something I have found easier to apply every day.

"I completed my foundation training having worked in all three Leicester hospitals which I thoroughly enjoyed. I am also an Emergency Medicine trainee in the East Midlands. The hospitals here provide experience with some of the most diverse patient and staff demographic in the country with one of the biggest and busiest Emergency Departments that excels in teaching on a national level. We are lucky to have an incredible Cardio-Respiratory tertiary centre at Glenfield Hospital on top of the other outstanding departments. With all this on the doorstep of a friendly and empowering medical school it was not a difficult to decision to come here to study and start my career."

Other graduates

Read other graduate profiles

Careers and Employability Service

Get career-ready at Leicester with guidance from our award-winning Careers and Employability Service. We're here to give you a lifetime offer of support, even after graduation. Our team of specialist careers advisers and mentors will help you every step of the way. From supporting you with CVs and interviews, to volunteering opportunities and placements, we're here to help you reach your professional goals.

Related courses


Intercalated Degrees

If you’re interested in medical research and/or enhancing your career prospects, you can take an Intercalated Degree - an Intercalated BSc (iBSc) as a one year course after the second or third year of your Medical Degree. Alternatively you can take an Intercalated MSc (iMSc) in Medical Research after your third year. Either of these will extend your overall degree to six years.

You also have the opportunity to intercalate outside Leicester, which significantly broadens the choices available to you.

Healthcare Assistant Training

We offer all first year students the chance to train and qualify as Health Care Assistants (HCAs). This is a superb and rewarding way of immersing yourself into the clinical/hospital environment from early in your course. The experiences and knowledge you gain from working/training as a HCA will be vital to supporting your learning as you move in to your clinical phase of training (Phase 2), and it can provide you with the required training to gain paid employment as a HCA within the NHS. Our students really value this opportunity in terms of improving ward confidence and working as part of the interprofessional team.

Student Selected Components

Student Selected Components (SSCs) offer you the opportunity to take your learning to an area of personal interest. SSCs complement the core curriculum of the MBChB degree programme by allowing you to choose an area you personally want to study. There is a wide range of SSCs  - some are University-based and topics include medical ethics and law, and a number of languages. Some are clinically-based and offer a new clinical experience or the opportunity to build on a previous clinical experience that you have an interest in. Other SSCs have a project theme, such as a quality improvement project in a clinical setting.

Medical Elective

You will have the chance to undertake an elective of your choice – where you can study healthcare in a completely new environment. Many of our students choose to travel and broaden their medical experience in another country.

Activities and Outreach

Leicester Medical School has a long history of commitment to a range of outreach programmes that you can get involved in.

  • The University-led MedReach programme offers opportunities to engage with local school pupils from backgrounds underrepresented in medical schools to encourage a more diverse medical profession.
  • Independent student groups such as Junior Emergency Medicine (JEM), Sexpression, Nutritank, Teddy Bear’s Hospital and Medsin bring key healthcare issues to groups in Leicester and Leicestershire.
  • We have a very close relationship with local homeless charities through our Project Light Initiative.

LUSUMA – Student society

It is important to have a good social life and a balanced lifestyle. LUSUMA (Leicester University Students’ Union Medical Association) is run by students and organises a huge variety of social events, sports clubs, academic and medical interest groups, as well as providing support and resources for all medical students at Leicester.


Course structure

Foundation Year

Foundation Year


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

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: years 3-5

Phase 2: years 3-5

We believe that the best way to learn medicine is to work with practising doctors. You will spend virtually all of your time in Phase 2 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 year 3 you will have longer apprentice style placements in medicine, surgery and general practice, learning from experts in hospital or GP practices. Year 4 focuses on specialty blocks such as Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Child Health, Cancer Care and Psychiatry. In year 5 you will have time for an extended foundation assistantships designed to fully prepare you for work as a foundation doctor. Learning in each placement will include structured activities, procedural training, and simulation experience.  Your learning will be guided by workbooks and led by experienced clinical teachers.

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.

Why Leicester

Learn from leading clinicians at the front line of their speciality. Our many partnerships in the region offer a wide range of clinical placements in hospitals or in the community. You'll experience working in a diverse range of healthcare environments - from big city hospitals to smaller, district centres - preparing you fully for life as a Foundation Doctor.

We have outstanding facilities, including a large dissecting room where you will learn anatomy through full body dissection on cadavers. Perfect your clinical skills in our state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Unit.

Our Foundation Year curriculum is the only medical programme in the UK to embed clinical empathy into training. Evidence shows that clinical empathy is crucial for improving patient outcomes - and rewards medical practitioners with greater job satisfaction, resilience and well-being.

The University of Leicester is ranked 2nd in the UK for its world leading research in clinical Medicine (2021 Research Excellent Framework - REF) . The 2024 Times Higher World University ranking also places Leicester joint 14th in the UK as well as in the top 125 in the world for Clinical and Health Sciences.

Student experience – Medicine with Foundation Year

Harry tells us about his journey onto our Medicine with Foundation Year degree.

Teaching and learning

Foundation Year teaching

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.

Empathy training

You will start learning about medicine and patients at the start of the course. The Clinical Empathy Programme runs alongside the other modules and consists of a series of tutorials, lectures and seminars focused on understanding the role of clinical empathy in medicine. It also includes practical sessions on developing your communication skills. The Medicine: The Patient module builds on the Clinical Empathy Programme and has a patient-centred approach. You will have the opportunity to spend time on hospital wards and in a GP surgery to expand your knowledge and practise the skills you are learning. You will be allocated a patient in the community to visit on a regular basis and will use your communication and empathy skills, and the medical knowledge you are acquiring, to better understand how patients experience illness and disease. 

The Leicester Medical School approach

Once you've completed the Foundation year, the five-year course is patient-focused and integrated so that all learning takes place in a clinical context. In Phase 1 there is a balanced mixture of lectures, clinical teaching and group work. Group work is supported by experienced academic teachers and clinically qualified staff - you work to solve problems related to clinical cases. In Phase 2 you will be working with doctors in hospitals and the community in a variety of clinical placements. For each placement you will be given clear outcomes defining what you should be able to do by graduation. Structured activities guide you through. Medicine requires a commitment to lifelong learning. Throughout the course you should be prepared to reflect on your skills and organise your own self-directed study.

Clinical exposure from Day 1

You will have the opportunity to go on clinical placements from the very beginning of your Medicine degree. We offer all 1st year students the chance to train and qualify as Health Care Assistants (HCAs). This gives you a taste of a clinical/hospital environment from the start of the course. The experiences you gain from working/training as a HCA can be used to support your learning as you move through Phase 1, as well as providing you with the required training to gain employment as a HCA within the NHS.  

Technology focused teaching and learning

You will be provided with an iPad at the beginning of the course. This is yours to keep and will be used to support your learning throughout Phase 1 and Phase 2. All our video tutorials, lectures and group work material is provided in an electronic format. You can use your iPad in lectures and group work, to write notes and enhance your learning. Alongside this, we use the latest technology-enhanced learning approaches, including 3d printing and 3d reconstructions.  When you move into Phase 2, you can take your iPad with you into the clinical setting, all your resources and learning materials will be at your fingertips. 

Clinician Guided Group Work

In Phase 1, approximately 50% of your learning will be in guided group work sessions. You will have the opportunity to work with a small group of students to apply your knowledge to clinical scenarios. All the group work sessions are guided by Clinical Teaching Fellows (CTFs). The CTFs are all qualified doctors, who have been working as a doctor for at least 2 years. They are able to share their clinical knowledge and experience as they guide you through the clinical scenarios. 

Empathy-focused curriculum

Our students will be the first in the UK to be taught a ground-breaking empathy-focused curriculum, with the purpose of educating doctors who will be able to, and appreciate, seeing the situation from their patients' perspectives. Training in empathy has been shown to improve patient outcomes while making doctors more resilient. Our aim is to provide the NHS with the most empathic, compassionate and resilient junior doctors possible who are ready to meet the challenges of complex healthcare systems.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Academic support

Our Centre for Academic Achievement provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Course Medicine with Foundation Year Qualification MBChB Duration 6 years UCAS Code A199 Availability How to apply

Data about this course

student medically examining a patient

I chose Leicester because you get patient contact from year one. This keeps me focused on what I will be doing throughout my career.


Back to top