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A distinguishing feature of the course is the use of continuous, staged assessment, rather than one final examination at the end of each year. Assessment comprises both summative and formative elements. Formative assessments allow students to measure their progress. Summative assessments must be passed in order to progress through the course; these include formal written (including computer-based) examinations, and clinical (i.e. practical) examinations; students also complete course work such as poster presentations, essays, log-books of clinical experience etc. Student performance during clinical rotations is also assessed and must be deemed satisfactory in order to progress with the course.
The curriculum, supplemented by course handbooks, ensures that students understand what they will be expected to know for each assessment. Successful completion of all stages of the course leads to the degrees of BM, BCh (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery).
There is a formative assessment of clinical examination skills early in the first term, and a formative assessment of clinical knowledge at the end of the third term.
There is a summative written assessment of the Laboratory Medicine course at the end of the first term, and a summative assessment of clinical skills via an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (i.e. a practical assessment) at the end of the third term.
Students also complete course work such as poster presentations as part of special study modules.
Year 5 (Specialty Rotations)
At the end of each eight week block, students undergo summative written and clinical assessments. Depending on the attachment, students also complete assessed course work such as case presentations, reflective writing etc.
The Year 6 curriculum concerns General Clinical Skills and Vocational Studies. In the second term of the final year, students are summatively assessed in medicine and surgery (General Clinical Skills) by written (including computer-based) and clinical examinations. Vocational Studies focus on preparing for practice as a doctor. Students are assessed through review of a course work portfolio of evidence.