Clinical experience and placements

Gaining early clinical experience in high-quality placements around the north-west is an important part of our MBChB programme.

By becoming familiar with a range of clinical and community environments from day one, you will develop an understanding of the professional responsibilities of a doctor. You will apply what you learn to real-life situations, working with patients from diverse social, economic and cultural backgrounds.

See what experience you get in each year:

Years 1 and 2

From the first day of your course we prepare you for the transition from classroom to clinical settings - and from student to young professional doctor.

You’ll develop a detailed knowledge of the fundamentals of medicine, as well as excellent clinical and communication skills that will make you confident and competent to deal with patients. 

Year 1 and 2 clinical placements are an opportunity to experience delivery of care in both the hospital and general practice setting. This introductory exposure to clinical practice offers an opportunity to observe patient care safely and discuss illness experiences with patients and their families.

Read Tahmeena’s blog on her first GP placement

Using our Consultation Skills Learning Centre, you’ll also gain experience of dealing with patients through state-of-the-art simulated clinical settings and with simulated patients, tutors and each other.

Take a tour of our facilities

Years 3 and 4

From Year 3 onwards, you are fully immersed in clinical placements. You'll experience clinical learning with patients, families and healthcare staff as a member of the clinical team.

This is supported by cutting-edge education in clinical reasoning via blended learning methods, ensuring development of your clinical competence.

This begins with your assignment to one of our Clinical Education Campuses and the nearby healthcare services, where you will gain your clinical practice experience.

In Year 3, you'll spend 60% of your time in a clinical environment, focusing on general medicine and surgery.

In Year 4, you will go on eight rotations, each lasting four weeks, to explore 14 different clinical specialties in more depth.

Acute care, general practice, community services, world-leading specialist centres of medical excellence all form part of this education to ensure that, as a Manchester medical graduate, you are equipped with the skills needed to practice successfully as a junior doctor.

Read George's blog on his first year at his base teaching hospital

Year 5

As a senior medical student, you will spend the year preparing to practice as a junior doctor. This is a truly exciting transition, as we emphasise clinical apprenticeship and integrated learning almost entirely from patients.

You will assume almost all of the duties of a foundation-year doctor while under supervision in your placements in hospital (acute care, medicine, surgery) and general practice.

Quality placements

You’ll learn medicine in a wide variety of clinical environments throughout the north-west of England.

These include international centres of healthcare excellence in oncology, women's health, children's health, neurology, dermatology and ophthalmology, such as Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Foundation Trust, and the Neurology and Dermatology Centres at Northern Care Alliance Foundation Trust.

You'll experience the breadth of hospital care and the challenges of medical practice in the community through placements at GP practices. This will be underpinned by a huge variety of specialties taught by expert clinicians and clinical academics specialising in all areas of medicine.

Clinical Education Campuses

In Years 3 to 5, you will develop your skills as a future doctor through placements in hospital departments, general practices and community integrated care services.

Your placements will be organised for you by your Clinical Education Campus at one of our NHS Teaching Hospital Trusts, rather than learning on campus at the University in Manchester. This is so you can receive the highest quality learning through real clinical situations with patients and train in the same environment within which you'll eventually work.

You'll live an easily commutable distance from your clinical education campus during these years. Our four clinical education campuses are:

You will predominantly learn at your teaching hospital, but to give you the breadth of clinical experience necessary to prepare you for practice as a doctor, you will also have access to associated teaching hospitals, GP practices and community health services in north-west England. In many of these placements, you will be expected to travel to and from the location on a daily basis.