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Medicine - The Pre-clinical and BA Years

The University of Oxford offers an undergraduate course in Medicine. The course is intended for students with a specific enthusiasm for the science, which supports medicine and its ongoing advancement. Oxford have retained a distinct, three-year pre-clinical course, which includes a BA Honours degree in Medical Sciences for all students.

Candidates are initially admitted to a three-year pre-clinical course. Admission to the succeeding three-year clinical course will be by separate admission process, which will be held in the third year of the pre-clinical course. Some of the students continue with their clinical training at Oxford. After completing the clinical course, succeeding years are spent on Specialist Training and Foundation programmes.

The first five terms of the course focus on the 'First BM'. It addresses not only science that support medicine but also the clinical problems, which arise when systems fail. Students are introduced to the key systems of the body and study all elements of their function and structure in health and the principle of disease processes. Students are encouraged to build up an enquiring approach and to consider the experimental foundation of the science in the course. Matters associated to clinical are described from the outset. There are clinical revelations in the hospitals and students visit to GP tutors regularly.

In Medical Science, the First BM is followed by a four-term BA Honours course. Students may specialize in a field of biomedical science chosen from one of five options. Students will become fully familiar with working from primary sources in the literature and research papers and will be encouraged to think both creatively and critically.

Students are given thorough understanding and knowledge in their selected option. They will develop technical ability both at the bench and in the use of computers to present and handle experimental results and to search scientific databases. The course is designed and modified to provide students with a complete understanding of science and scientific method, which serve them well in their clinical careers.

The Principles of Clinical Anatomy course is delivered at the end of the third year. It is designed to teach students clinically applicable aspects of anatomy that will be of immediate use in their clinical years.

Teaching Methods

In the pre-clinical course, the college tutorial system is a major feature. Students may see their tutors and are taught weekly in groups. This supplement to the university teaching can be modified to individuals' interests and needs. Most university seminars, practical classes and lectures are organized in the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre in the Science Area. Normally, lectures are drawn from Oxford's extensive Clinical and Pre-clinical departments. These departments have international reputation for excellence in research. The courses are organized on an interdisciplinary basis in order to emphasis the interrelatedness of all aspects of the course.


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