Newcastle University Medical School is the medical school at Newcastle University in England. It was established in 1834 in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and served as the College of Medicine in connection with Durham University from 1851 to 1937 when it joined Armstrong College, to form King’s College, Durham. In 1963 King’s College became the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. The university now uses the name “Newcastle University”.
The medical school follows a modern, integrated, systems based curriculum, and was the first medical school in the country to operate an integrated medical curriculum. It operates in partnership with Durham University’s medical school, which is based at the university’s Queen’s Campus. Students at both Newcastle and Durham study independently for the first two years, before all being assigned to one of four separate clinical base units for the third year. These base units are Tyneside, Northumbria, Wearside and Teesside. It is at these base units that the bulk of clinical teaching takes place. All students, including those from Durham, then go to Newcastle Medical School for their fourth year before returning to a base unit different from the one they attended in third year for their fifth and final year of university teaching. Again, this is an almost entirely clinical year.
The medical school also offers an accelerated medical programme, intended for students who have a previous degree in a different (often unrelated) discipline. This lasts four years, the first year covering the same material as the first two years of the five-year course. Second year “accelerated” students are then taught alongside the third year students from the five-year programme. The medical school offers students the chance to intercalate a BSc in another area of study after the 2nd, 3rd or 4th year, either at Newcastle University or externally at another university. After, the 3rd and 4th years, the medical schools also offers students the opportunity to undertake a Master’s degree or MPhil. Some students complete a PhD following the completion of an intercalated Master’s degree. After completing the extra year(s), students resume their medical studies.
Reputation and rankings
Newcastle Medical School consistently ranks as one of the top medical schools in the UK due to high levels of teaching and research; it is ranked in the top 10 UK medical schools by the Complete University Guide (8th), the Guardian (6th) and the Sunday Times (7th). It is the first institution in the UK to be given permission to pursue stem-cell research. The BMC Medicine journal reported medical graduates from Oxford, Cambridge and Newcastle performed better in postgraduate tests than any other medical school in the UK.
As of 2008 the medical school admits some 327 British students per year with an additional 26 from overseas making it one of the largest medical schools in the UK. According to UCAS, Cambridge, Oxford and Newcastle are the most academically selective universities for entry to study medicine in the United Kingdom. During the 2013 admissions cycle for the 5-year A100 undergraduate MBBS course, there were 9.8 applicants for every place and the average entry standard for a successful applicant was 539 UCAS points.  Prospective students applying to the medical school for both the standard (five year) and accelerated (four year) programmes are required to sit the UKCAT admission test. The most recent UKCAT cut-off for invitation to interview for the A100 course was 2780 for 2013 entry (a score in the 84th percentile of test-takers).
Malaysian campus branch
On 20 November 2008 the University announced that they were entering into an agreement to establish an international branch campus in Malaysia for the teaching of medical subjects. The development of the 5-hectare (13-acre) site in Johor, marks Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) as the ‘anchor tenant’ within the EduCity.
Staff moved into the NUMed Malaysia buildings on 3 May 2011, in preparation for students arriving in August. The Malaysian Bell’s Court building features a section which is designed to look like the Arches in Newcastle upon Tyne. The Branch Campus offers MBBS, which is currently accredited by both the General Medical Council and Malaysian Medical Council and Undergraduate Degrees in Biomedical sciences. Both programmes lead to a Newcastle University degree, and are identical to the course in the UK.
The main clinical teaching hospitals are Hospital Sultan Ismail and Hospital Sultanah Aminah in Johor Bahru, Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail in Batu Pahat, Hospital Enche’ Besar Hajjah Khalsom in Kluang and a number of community clinics. All teaching and examinations are conducted in English, with the use of translators in clinical settings if required. Opportunities exist for students to spend time in the UK Campus, both through Student Selected Components (SSC), electives and intercalation.
The Medical Society (MedSoc)
Established in 1879, The Medical Society is the student society for all medical students at Newcastle. The main social event is a free bar in the Students’ Union every Friday during term. MedSoc is run by a committee of third year medical students, and tradition dictates you must be in this year to be elected.
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