Preliminary Examination in Graduate-entry Medicine
Differences from 2020/21 to 2023/24
1. A candidate may be admitted to the Preliminary Examination in Graduate-entry Medicine provided that their name is on the Register of Clinical Students and they have been admitted to the Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours or have obtained a degree of another university deemed adequate for the purpose by the Medical Sciences Board, that they have been through the standard selection procedures for the Graduate-entry medicine course according to admissions policy and procedures set by the Medical Sciences Board, and that they have met the published entry requirements for admission to the Graduate entry course.
2. Candidates for the Preliminary Examination in Graduate-entry Medicine are required to pursue their studies during a period of: normally 30 weeks in Year 1, provided that the Medical Sciences Board shall have power to permit candidates to vary the dates of their studies so long as the overall programme requirement is met.
3. The examination shall be under the supervision of the Medical Sciences Board.
4. The examination shall comprise such subjects and papers as the Medical Sciences Board shall from time to time by regulation determine.
5. The Preliminary Examination in Graduate-entry Medicine may be offered not earlier than three terms from the date of entry onto the Register of Clinical Students.
6. A syllabus will be published annually at the start of the Michaelmas Term prior to the examination by the Medical Sciences Board.
Candidates must offer all seven components (eight assessment units) at one examination.
The outcomes of the Examination are as follows:
a) A candidate who has satisfied the Examiners in all eight assessment units will be deemed to have passed the Examination.
b) A candidate who has failed one or more components will be permitted one further attempt at the components they have failed. This resit attempt shall normally be taken at the next opportunity, but may be deferred once, i.e. it must be taken at one of the next two opportunities.
The first sitting of Paper 2 (Ethics) will take place at the end of Hilary Term. The first sitting of the remaining assessment units will be at the end of Trinity Term. The second sitting of all assessment units will be during the Long Vacation.
For Papers 1A, 1B, the OSCE, and the Clinical Experience component, the result of each assessment unit will be pass or fail, and for Papers 2, 3, the Literature Review and the Behavioural Sciences commentary, the result of each assessment unit will be a percentage mark. Additionally, the Examiners may award a merit for any component of the examination (Papers 1A and 1B will be considered as one component for this purpose), except the Clinical Experience component. The criteria for the award of a merit for each component will be specified in the Examination Conventions.
Examiners may award Distinctions for outstanding performance in the examination as a whole, by candidates sitting the examination for the first time.
Candidates may be required, at the discretion of the examiners, to undergo an oral examination which may include a further clinical examination.
No candidate may offer any assessment unit on more than two occasions, save in exceptional circumstances. A further exceptional opportunity to offer any assessment unit shall require application to and approval on behalf of the Education Committee of the University.
No student may progress to Year 2 of the Graduate-entry course unless they have passed all of the assessment units in the Preliminary Examination in Graduate-entry Medicine.
1. Core Medical Science (Part I)
Candidates will be required to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the principles of basic medical science as defined in the syllabus. Two papers will be set.
(one hour and forty-five minutes) will be a computer-based assessment consisting of multiple-choice questions.
(two and a half hours) will be in the format of problem-based questions requiring short answers.
2. Paper 2: Ethics
(one hour and forty-five minutes)
Candidates will be required to answer a series of questions in short notes format, and to write one essay in response to a choice of question topics.
3. Paper 3: Data Interpretation
This paper will assess candidates’ ability to interpret data contained in primary research material.
4. Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
Candidates will be required to demonstrate, in a practical examination, their ability to take a clinical history and to perform a clinical examination of the systems of the body specified in the syllabus and, to apply such practical skills as may be defined in the syllabus.
The examination will include an assessment of candidates' communication skills with patients, orally and/or in writing, and of their professional behaviour.
5. Literature Review
(i) Form and subject of the review
Candidates will be required to submit a Literature Review on a topic related to an academic special interest approved by the Director of Graduate-entry Medical Studies or a deputy. The submitted work shall be in a format prescribed by the Graduate-entry Education Committee and published on the virtual learning environment by Friday of Week 8 of Michaelmas Term.
Candidates may not submit work that they have previously submitted for any university examination.
Candidates must apply for approval of their proposed title by no later than the end of Week 4 of Hilary Term. Application shall be made via the course administrator and shall include the proposed title, a brief outline of the subject matter, and the topic or topics to which it relates. Decision on the application shall be made by the Director of Graduate-entry Medical Studies or a deputy and shall be communicated to the candidate as soon as possible and in any case not later than Week 5 of Hilary Term.
(ii) Application to change title of Literature Review
If required, candidate may apply to change the title of their Literature Review through the course administrator on one occasion and no later than Week 10 of Hilary Term.
The Literature Review must be the candidate’s own work. Each candidate will nominate or be allocated to a supervisor with expertise in the selected area of study who should act in accordance with the published guidelines for the Literature Review.
The Review must be submitted via the virtual learning environment (according to the instructions set out in the notification to candidates from the Chair of Examiners) not later than noon on the Friday of Week 4 of Trinity Term.
6. Longitudinal Case Study combined with Behavioural Sciences Commentary
Candidates will be required to complete a Longitudinal Case Study during their clinical course, details of which will be published each year in the clinical course handbook. This coursework must be submitted to the candidate’s GP Tutor by the first Friday following the end of week 9 of Hilary Term.
By noon on the Friday of Week 0 of Trinity Term, candidates should submit to the course administrator a certificate, signed by the relevant clinical supervisor, of satisfactory performance by the candidate in the Longitudinal Case Study.
Candidates will separately submit an essay covering an aspect of Behavioural Sciences, which will relate to the longitudinal case study.
(i) Form and subject of the essay
Candidates will be required to submit a Behavioural Sciences commentary, relating to the patient described in the Longitudinal Case Study, in the form of an essay of not more than 3,000 words, excluding any tables, figures, diagrams or references. It must be in a format prescribed by the Graduate-entry Education Committee and published on the virtual learning environment.
The essay must refer to an aspect of Behavioural Sciences listed in the syllabus.
The essay must be the candidate’s own work. On no account may anyone read or comment on any written draft of the commentary. Every candidate shall submit a declaration of authorship to the effect that this rule has been observed and that the commentary is their own work.
Candidates may discuss with their GP Tutor or another member of academic staff of their choice the proposed topic of discussion, the sources available, and the method of treatment.
The essay must be submitted via the virtual learning environment (according to the instructions set out in the notification to candidates from the Chair of Examiners) not later than noon on the Friday of Week 0 of Trinity Term.
7. Clinical Experience
The Director of Graduate-entry Medical Studies will make available to the examiners evidence (in the form of a list of names, signed by the Director or a deputy) to certify that each candidate has a satisfactory record of attendance for Clinical teaching days. An unsatisfactory record, in the absence of appropriate documentary evidence, will normally result in the candidate failing this component.
For candidates who have failed this component at their first attempt, the second attempt will consist of a requirement to complete remedial work by a specified deadline.