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Second BM

Second Examination for the Degree of Bachelor of Medicine

1. A candidate may be admitted to the Second Examination if his or her name has been entered on the University Register of Clinical Students and he or she has satisfied one of the following conditions:

  • (a) he or she has passed in all the subjects of the First Examination and the Qualifying Examination in the Principles of Clinical Anatomy and has either been admitted to the Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours or obtained a bachelor's degree at another university; or
  • (b) he or she has passed in all the subjects of the Preliminary Examination in Graduate-entry Medicine and the Year 2 Examination in Graduate-entry Medicine; or
  • (c) he or she has both
    • (i)  successfully completed at a university in the United Kingdom a GMC-approved course of study in medical sciences that has included the subjects of the First Examination and the Principles of Clinical Anatomy, and is deemed by the Medical Sciences Board to qualify the candidate for admission; and
    • (ii) obtained a bachelor's degree in science or arts at a university, such degree having been approved by the Board.

2. Candidates for the Second Examination for the Degree of Bachelor of Medicine are required to pursue their studies during a period of: normally 38 weeks in Year 4; normally 45 weeks in Year 5; normally 46 weeks in Year 6; 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 Second Examination for the Degree of Bachelor of Medicine shall be under the supervision of the Medical Sciences Board. The Board shall have power to require candidates for admission to any part of the Second Examination to produce certificates of attendance at courses of practical instruction, and such other certificates as the Board may from time to time determine, and to define the form of such certificates. It shall be the duty of the Registrar to see that these conditions are observed.

4. The subject of the Second Examination shall be clinical medicine in all its aspects.

  • (a)  The Second Examination shall cover three years, the subjects for each year being prescribed by regulation of the Medical Sciences Board.
  • (b)  Each of Years 4 and 5 shall involve a form of assessment prescribed by regulation of the Board which shall be notified to candidates. No candidate shall commence Year 5 or 6 until he or she has satisfactorily completed Year 4 or 5 respectively (except that a candidate shall be permitted to commence Year 5 if he or she has passed in all the assessment units in the Preliminary Examination in Graduate-entry Medicine and has passed all of the assessment units of the Year 2 Examination in Graduate-entry Medicine), unless the Director of Clinical Studies and the Associate Director of Clinical Studies, at their discretion and in exceptional circumstances, decide that the candidate may proceed to the next year of study on condition that he or she should undertake remedial work and if necessary be reassessed at a later date.
  • (c) Year 6 shall involve written and clinical examinations and may involve oral examinations. No candidate shall be deemed to have completed the Year 6 Vocational Skills Course until they have passed the assessments for Years 4 and 5 and the Year 6 General Clinical Studies Course.

5.  A candidate who has passed in all the assessment units of the Preliminary Examination in Graduate-entry Medicine and has passed all of the assessment units of the Year 2 Examination in Graduate-entry Medicine shall be permitted to proceed directly to commence Year 5.

6.  The examiners may award a Distinction for outstanding performance over the three years. Criteria for Distinctions will be determined by the Medical Sciences Board.

7.  The examiners may award merits in each of the examined subjects in Years 4, 5 and 6.

8.  Breach of the Code of Conduct for Medical Students, as approved and from time to time amended by Council's General Purposes Committee on the recommendation of the Medical Sciences Board, may be deemed to be a ground for removal of a student's name from the University Register of Clinical Students according to procedures which shall always be subject to approval by Council's General Purposes Committee on the recommendation of the Medical Sciences Board.

9.  The provisions of the appropriate regulations, concerning the times of holding examinations and the entry of names, and the special regulation concerning dress shall not, unless otherwise prescribed by regulation of the board, apply to Years 4 and 5, except in the case of a formal examination set by the examiners of these stages, as prescribed by regulation of the Board.

Regulations for Assessment in Years 4, 5, and 6

Proposals for the assessment of candidates in Years 4, 5, and 6 of the examination shall be drawn up by the Board’s Clinical Education Committee and submitted for approval to the Medical Sciences Board, at such times as the Board shall determine. The form or forms of assessment are chosen from among the following: 

  • (a) objective structured clinical examinations; 
  • (b) written tests, which may consist in whole or in part of, for example, multiple choice questions; 
  • (c) clinical examination including long and short cases; 
  • (d) competency check sheets, logbooks, or portfolios; 
  • (e) examination and comment (written or viva voce) on specimens; 
  • (f) poster presentations; 
  • (g) case presentations; 
  • (h) case histories and commentaries; 
  • (i) prepared essays; 
  • (j) other tests individually approved by the Board. 

In clinical subjects, all assessments shall include a test of clinical competence. In addition, reports on candidates’ attendance and general aptitude shown during the course of instruction shall be made by those responsible for the course and taken into consideration in association with the performance of candidates in the assessment.

Candidates will be required to satisfy the Director of Clinical Studies and the Associate Director of Clinical Studies regarding their professional behaviour by having both satisfactorily attended and completed required coursework.

A candidate shall be warned (in a timely fashion and in writing with a copy to the Director of Clinical Studies) by those responsible for the course in question, if their attendance and general aptitude are such as seems likely to jeopardise the candidate's chances of passing the assessment (either work-based on course assessment or the end of year assessment).

No candidate may offer any assessment on more than two occasions, save in exceptional circumstances.  A further exceptional opportunity to offer any assessment in Years 4, 5 or 6 shall require application to and approval on behalf of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee of the Medical Sciences Board, according to the published ‘Procedure for Exceptional Attempts at the Second BM Examination’.  If granted, this exceptional 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.

It shall be the responsibility of the staff concerned, under the supervision of the Medical Sciences Board, to give the candidates and the relevant examiners and/or assessors, reasonable notice of the dates on which the assessments will take place, to decide on the outcome of each assessment, and to keep departmental records of each assessment. A candidate should not normally be assessed exclusively by staff members who have been responsible for his or her instruction.

Year 4

Syllabus and Examination

In Year 4, students are required to satisfy the examiners in the:

  • (a) Laboratory Medicine course (concerning the application to human disease of the principles of Laboratory Medicine, including Histopathology, Microbiology and Infection, Clinical Biochemistry, Immunology, and Haematology);
  • (b) Integrated Clinical Course: Medicine and Surgery.

Each candidate will be assessed according to the methods approved by the Medical Sciences Board and notified to candidates before the commencement of each course of instruction.

Candidates must satisfy the relevant head of department or his or her deputy, or the Director of Clinical Studies and the Associate Director of Clinical Studies, that they have attended a course of instruction, and attained the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding in:

  • (a) Patient Doctor Course II: introduction to clinical practice (being an introduction to clinical methods, history taking and physical examination);
  • (b) Communication Skills;
  • (c) Medical Ethics and Law;
  • (d) Primary Health Care;
  • (e) Special Study approved on behalf of the Medical Sciences Board.

No candidate shall commence Year 5 until he or she has satisfactorily completed Year 4, unless the Director of Clinical Studies and the Associate Director of Clinical Studies at their discretion should, in exceptional circumstances, decide that the candidate may proceed to Year 5 on condition that he or she should undertake remedial work and if necessary be reassessed at a later date.

Assessment

A candidate in Year 4 who has been deemed to have failed in any part of the assessment at the first attempt will be permitted one further attempt and will only be required to be reassessed in the part or parts of the assessment they have failed.

No candidate may offer any assessment unit for Year 4 on more than two occasions, save in exceptional circumstances.  A further exceptional opportunity to offer any assessment unit in Year 4 shall require application to and approval on behalf of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee of the Medical Sciences Board, according to the ‘Procedure for Exceptional Attempts at the Second BM Examination’.  If granted, the exceptional resit attempt will only be in the assessment component which the candidate has failed and shall normally be taken at the next opportunity, but may be deferred once, ie it must be taken at one of the next two opportunities. In the event that a candidate’s performance is judged to be unsatisfactory at this second attempt, and any application that may have been made for an exceptional attempt is unsuccessful, then their name shall be removed from the Register of Clinical Students.

Year 5

Syllabus and Examination

In order to pass Year 5, candidates are required to have satisfactorily attended all courses and fulfilled individual course requirements, including completing all relevant formative assessments, for all the subjects specified in (a) to (e) below; and to have satisfied the examiners in the Year 5 Integrated Summative Assessment, both written and clinical examinations. 

No candidate may sit the Integrated Summative Assessment if they have not satisfactorily attended and fulfilled all of the individual course requirements in at least four of the five subjects specified in (a) to (e) below, except in exceptional circumstances with the permission of the Director and Associate Director of Clinical Studies. 

  • 1.  (a) Brain and Behaviour;
  • (b) Community-based Medicine;
  • (c) Orthopaedic Surgery, Rheumatology, Trauma and Emergency Medicine;
  • (d) Paediatrics;
  • (e) Women’s and Reproductive Health.
  •  
  • 2. Candidates are required to satisfy the examiners in the Integrated Summative Assessment.

The written and clinical examinations will each assess the subjects specified in (a) to (e) above, and each candidate will be assessed according to the methods approved by the Medical Sciences Board and notified to candidates before the commencement of each course of instruction.

No candidate shall commence Year 6 until he or she has satisfactorily completed Year 5, unless the Director of Clinical Studies and the Associate Director of Clinical Studies at their discretion should, in exceptional circumstances, decide that the candidate may proceed to Year 6 on condition that he or she should undertake remedial work and if necessary be reassessed at a later date.

Assessment

A candidate in Year 5 who has been deemed to have failed in any part of the Integrated Summative Assessment at the first attempt will be permitted one further attempt and will only be required to be reassessed in the part or parts of the assessment they have failed.

No candidate may offer any assessment unit for Year 5 on more than two occasions, save in exceptional circumstances.  A further exceptional opportunity to offer any assessment unit in Year 5 shall require application to and approval on behalf of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee of the Medical Sciences Board, according to the ‘Procedure for Exceptional Attempts at the Second BM Examination’,  If granted, the exceptional resit attempt will only be in the assessment component which the candidate has failed and 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. In the event that a candidate’s performance is judged to be unsatisfactory at this second attempt, and any application that may have been made for an exceptional attempt is unsuccessful, then their name shall be removed from the Register of Clinical Students.

Year 6

Syllabus and Examination

In Year 6, students are required to satisfy: (a) the examiners in General Clinical Studies; and (b) the Director of Clinical Studies and the Associate Director of Clinical Studies in Vocational Skills. Each candidate will be assessed according to the methods approved by the Medical Sciences Board and notified to candidates before the commencement of each course of instruction. Students who fail an assessment may have to forfeit part or all of the elective for a period of intensive clinical training.

  • 1. General Clinical Studies

Students are required to satisfy the examiners in Medicine and Surgery in accordance with the General Medical Council’s Outcome for Graduates.

Candidates must satisfy the Director of Clinical Studies and the Associate Director of Clinical Studies that they have attended a course of instruction in Clinical Options approved by the Medical Sciences Board.

  • 2. Vocational Skills

Students are required to satisfy the Director of Clinical Studies and the Associate Director of Clinical Studies that they have provided work to a satisfactory standard in: 

  • (a)  Special Study approved on behalf of the Medical Sciences Board; 
  • (b) An Elective (students who fail an assessment may be required to complete remedial clinical work. These students will forfeit part, or all, of the elective and instead will be required to produce a satisfactory report at the end of an additional clinical attachment); 
  • (c) A student assistantship with a clinical team; 
  • (d) A Course to prepare students for work as a Foundation 1 doctor. 

Assessment

A candidate in Year 6 who has been deemed to have failed in any part of the assessment in medicine and surgery at the first attempt will be permitted one further attempt and will only be required to be reassessed in the part or parts the assessment they have failed. The examiners shall require the candidate to be reassessed after completing the necessary coursework; this assessment shall be carried out and adjudged by the examiners.

No candidate may offer any assessment unit for Year 6 on more than two occasions, save in exceptional circumstances.  A further exceptional opportunity to offer any assessment unit in Year 6 shall require application to and approval on behalf of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee of the Medical Sciences Board, according to the ‘Procedure for Exceptional Attempts at the Second BM Examination’,  If granted, the exceptional resit attempt will only be in the assessment component which the candidate has failed and 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. In the event that a candidate’s performance is judged to be unsatisfactory at this second attempt, and any application that may have been made for an exceptional attempt is unsuccessful, then their name shall be removed from the Register of Clinical Students.

Duties of the Examiners

  • 1. General Clinical Studies

The examination shall be arranged and conducted by the Year 6 Examination Board under the direction of the Chair of Examiners and the Principal Examiners in Medicine and Surgery.

In considering whether a candidate has passed the assessment, the examiners may fail a candidate who does not satisfy them in one part of the assessment, even if he or she has satisfied them in other parts at that stage.

  • 2. Vocational Skills

Candidates shall be required to submit to the Director of Clinical Studies and the Associate Director of Clinical Studies such evidence as they require of the successful completion of their work.

In considering whether candidates shall have passed the assessment, the Director of Clinical Studies and the Associate Director of Clinical Studies may fail a candidate who has provided either none or insufficient evidence of satisfactory completion of one part of the course, even if he or she has satisfied them in other parts of the course.