International Study Centre

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International Foundation Year - Medicine

Study Medicine

This pathway offers the progression degree option to study Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (BM BS) at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

Why study with us?

There are many reasons why you may want to study this preparational programme and have the opportunity to progress to a range of undergraduate degrees. These include:

  • Brighton and Sussex Medical School is ranked 2nd out of 60 young universities in the UK (Young University Rankings 2023)
  • You can carry out your own research project in the fourth year, contribute to studies and be published before graduating.
  • The five-year medical degree, awarded jointly by the Universities of Brighton and Sussex, leads to the qualification of Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (BM BS).

Progression from International Foundation Year to BM BS

The International Foundation Year – Medicine pathway offers the progression degree option to study Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (BM BS) at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. This is a highly selective programme and students are expected to meet the minimum grades required on all modules as well as other progression criteria including an interview with Brighton and Sussex Medical School. For full information, see progression information below.

The BM BS is a five-year medical degree course that has been designed to help students become a highly competent, strongly motivated doctor, committed to the highest standards of clinical practice, professionalism and patient care.

Progression information

Selected students will be offered a guaranteed interview during the second semester of your studies at the University of Sussex International Study Centre. The ISC will prepare you for your guaranteed interview ensuring that you have the best opportunity possible in which to secure progression to Brighton and Sussex Medical School on a medical degree course.

  • Interviews are Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) around core themes e.g., NHS values, communication, empathy and motivation.

As well as a successful interview, you will also have to meet other progression criteria to progress:

  • 75% in all academic subject modules
  • 70% in English and 70% in each English skill (IELTS 7.0 equivalent) 
  • Students who fail one module will be allowed one resit only. Students who fail more than one module will not progress.

Students who are not successful at the interview will be eligible to progress to BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science or BSc (Hons) Medical Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, providing progression requirements are met, and may be given further interviews to study medicine after Year 1 and Year 3 of these courses, based on their performance.

Applying for medicine after a Biomedical Science or Medical Neuroscience degree at Sussex

Application process overview

To begin the application process, you can submit your application and supporting documents for the International Foundation Year in Health, Medical and Life Sciences in January. You will also be asked to select a second degree aim from this route at this stage; should you not be successful in gaining a place in Medicine or Dental Surgery, you will be able to progress to your second choice (providing you have met the grades for progression).

Your application will be assessed; if initial requirements are met, you will receive a conditional offer. Offers will be conditional upon meeting the personal statement and interview requirements and taking the UCAT situational judgement test. You will not be able to confirm your place at this stage. Students will be invited to accept their place if successful during the application process.

Your application will be reviewed by our admissions team. If you are selected to progress in the application process, you will be requested to submit a personal statement. Guidance for this will be provided by our admissions team.

The Academic team at the International Study Centre will conduct interviews with all applicants between March and April. Students who are not successful at this stage will be counselled on their options.

The interview will cover:

  • Motivations to study chosen subject
  • Understanding of the subject
  • Academic background
  • Any voluntary/paid work experience
  • Experience of working in a team and taking responsibility
  • Hobbies and interests

Students must sit the UCAT situational judgement test to be eligible for the International Foundation Year. We don’t have a minimum threshold score; however, we may use UCAT scores as part of our selection process.

If successful in your interview, you will be invited to conditionally confirm your place subject to providing a qualified English test, providing highest qualification documentation and paying the deposit.As students are able to confirm conditionally, we will fill any places that become free from the waiting list.

You will enrol on the programme in September*.

*Please note that there is no January start for students aiming to study Medicine or Dental Surgery.

What you’ll study

During the International Foundation Year two-semester programme you will study a combination of academic modules, specific to your pathway, and compulsory modules.

You will study a total of seven modules and achieve 120 credits required in your chosen pathway to progress.

Core modules

Academic English Skills aims to provide thorough training in the language and related academic skills which will enable international students to best achieve their academic potential at university. Our Academic English programme is validated by UK ENIC, the UK government agency responsible for providing information and expert opinion on qualifications and skills worldwide.

You will develop awareness and competency in a range of language-related academic skills, including the processes of academic writing, effective and extensive reading strategies, effective participation in seminars and delivery of presentations, and listening to and recording information effectively from lectures. You will also develop the accuracy and range of written and spoken language required to use language effectively and appropriately, with clarity and confidence in an academic context.

Alongside your classes, your studies will be supported by an online learning platform, providing you with a range of tasks and activities specifically designed to develop and extend your language and academic skills outside the classroom and to give you more control over your own learning.

This module is designed specifically for aspiring medical students looking to secure a place at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS). It is aimed at equipping you with the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to meet the demands of medical education. From grasping the intricacies of the National Health System in England and ethical considerations in healthcare to fostering critical thinking, effective communication and reflective practices, this module ensures you confidently navigate the highly competitive medical school entry process and ensures you are fully prepared to confidently take on the challenges of being a medical student.

This module aims to provide a solid foundation in mathematics applicable across several disciplines including computing, engineering, life sciences and psychology. The module will develop your confidence in some of the basics such as algebra and calculus, which will prepare you for further study.

You will start your journey of exploration of the science of life in this module, where you will be studying the mysteries of life's fundamental components, such as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids while delving into the intricacies of cellular processes such as cellular respiration, DNA replication, gene expression, and cell division. You will gain practical expertise through engaging laboratory sessions and hone critical skills in academic writing, data analysis, and making observations.

Building upon the foundation laid in the previous module, "Biochemistry and Cell Biology," you will continue your scientific exploration in to study of life by delving into topics such as genetics, speciation, gene technology, ecology and human physiology in this module. Engaging in learning activities, you will develop essential skills in literature search, data handling, and academic writing, empowering you to excel in your studies at the University of Sussex and beyond.

This module aims to provide you with a good background knowledge in organic chemistry that will complement the study of the Biochemistry and Cell Biology module. It will develop your experience in essential techniques in the laboratory that will underpin your future studies. The module aims to develop critical thinking, promote independent study and research.

This module aims to provide you with a good understanding of fundamental concepts in physical chemistry and to develop experience of essential techniques in the laboratory that will underpin your future studies. The module aims to develop critical thinking, promote independent study and research.

Fees and Funding

For students starting Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BM BS) in September 2023, the fees for international students are £42,000 per year. In subsequent years, fees for international students who start in 2024 will rise by 7% per year.

More Information
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How to apply

Ready to apply? Discover how to submit an application and learn more about fees, semester dates and entry requirements.

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University of Sussex International Study Centre

Develop skills to change the world at the University of Sussex International Study Centre. Improve your English, develop your academic skills, and grow the confidence you need to succeed in your degree.

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English language courses

Improve your English skills with one of our Online English language courses designed to support international students studying a pathway programme at the International Study Centre.

Join us today

Our Student Enrolment Advisors are available to answer any questions you may have and help you with your application. We can't wait to meet you!