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Teaching and learning

Our innovative teaching methods and high-tech learning environment create a unique experience for our medical undergraduates.

We use a wide range of teaching and learning methods, but the key Manchester approach is the study of themed case discussions in small groups where students are proactive learners.

This is supported throughout the course by lectures, practical classes (including anatomy dissection) and clinical experience.

Our course integrates science and clinical learning so you are able to apply scientific knowledge and concepts to your clinical practice.

Other ways of learning

CSLC sessions 

You will also attend sessions in the Consultation Skills Learning Centre (CSLC), where you can consult with 'simulated patients' and practice clinical skills on colleagues. You will be able to apply these skills as you meet patients early in general practice and in hospitals.

Early clinical experience

We organise several GP and hospital visits per semester to complement academic learning with real-world experiences.

From Year 3 onwards, you are assigned to a Health Education Zone centred around a major teaching hospital. This is where you will gain most of your clinical experience. Learn more about our University and NHS facilities.

There are also opportunities to gain experience through placements in other settings such as pharmacies, hospices, opticians and nursing homes, enabling you to work with a range of health professionals. We have over 700 community placements geographically spread from Blackpool to Crewe including central Manchester, Lancashire and Wigan.

Microbiology labs

In the first semester, you will learn basic microbiology skills in the labs to provide a solid foundation for the biological sciences used throughout the course.

Physiology and pharmacology labs

From the second semester onwards, you will gain hands-on experience of drugs and diagnostic methods in lab-based sessions.

Personalised learning

You can pursue topics in greater depth through personalised course units.

Learning on the go

We are the first medical programme in Europe to provide iPads to our students. They are ideal in the later years of the medical course, when you will spend much of your time in various clinical settings and need easy access to reference material. For more information on how we use innovative technology download our iBook.

Typical Year 1 timetable

See below for an indicative Year 1 weekly timetable (for illustration purposes only) to get an idea of what your first year of study might involve.


PBL tutorial

Self-directed study

Early clinical experience Lectures Physiology practical classes

PBL tutorial

Wrap-up lecture



Self-directed study

Lectures Sports

Self-directed study

Consultation skills

Personal and professional development meeting

Expert teaching

Manchester has a wealth of expertise in medical education, as well as clinical, biological and behavioural science research led by the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC).

This is supported by NHS clinicians who are experts in their clinical area and provide an active learning environment.

Our own academics are strongly committed to quality medical education. Some of our experts have been previously awarded National Teaching Fellowships, and we have made a number of high-profile appointments over the years.