BSc - Undergraduate Medical Sciences   I    MBChB/PA    I    BDS   I   Postgraduate Taught 

BSc - Undergraduate Medical Sciences

Academic Induction

We look forward to meeting with you during Induction week.  Some face to face induction sessions have been organised for you to attend in person which are listed in the table below. As well as providing you with information and an opportunity to discuss your programme, these will enable you to meet each other and your relevant staff from our programmes.

Thursday 23 September 2021

Level:

Group:

Time:

Venue:

Staff:

Sign up:

Level 1

A

10:00-11:00

KCG7, Kings College, Old Aberdeen Campus

Prof Gordon McEwan/Dr John Barrow

MyAberden Organisation site: Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition Student Information for Undergraduates

B

11:00-12:00

KCG7, Kings College, Old Aberdeen Campus

Prof Gordon McEwan/Dr John Barrow

C

12:00-13:00

KCG7, Kings College, Old Aberdeen Campus

Prof Gordon McEwan/Dr John Barrow

D

13:00-14:00

KCG7, Kings College, Old Aberdeen Campus

Prof Gordon McEwan/Dr John Barrow

Level 2

A

10:00-11:00

KCF7 Kings College, Old Aberdeen Campus

Dr Derryck Shewan/Prof Steve Tucker

B

11:00-12:00

KCF7 Kings College, Old Aberdeen Campus

Dr Derryck Shewan/Prof Steve Tucker

C

12:00-13:00

KCF7 Kings College, Old Aberdeen Campus

Dr Derryck Shewan/Prof Steve Tucker

D - Direct Entry Students Only

13:00-14:00

KCF7 Kings College, Old Aberdeen Campus

Dr Derryck Shewan/Prof Steve Tucker

Friday 24 September 2021

Level:

Group:

Time:

Venue:

Staff:

Sign up:

Level 3

A

10:00-11:00

Biomedical Physics Lecture Theatre, Foresterhill Campus

Prof Steve Tucker

MyAberden Organisation site: Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition Student Information for Undergraduates

B

11:00-12:00

Biomedical Physics Lecture Theatre, Foresterhill Campus

Prof Steve Tucker

C - Direct Entry Students Only

12:00-13:00

Biomedical Physics Lecture Theatre, Foresterhill Campus

Prof Steve Tucker

Level 4

A

10:00-11:00

Medical Physics D2 Workshop, Foresterhill Campus

Dr Derryck Shewan

B

11:00-12:00

Medical Physics D2 Workshop, Foresterhill Campus

Dr Derryck Shewan

C - Intercalating & Direct Entry Students Only

12:00-13:00

Medical Physics D2 Workshop, Foresterhill Campus

Dr Derryck Shewan

Key Contacts in School

UG Medical Sciences

  • Director of UG Medical Sciences Teaching - Prof Gordon McEwan
  • Prof of Physiology & Pharmacology Education – Prof Derek Scott
  • UG Medical Sciences Administration – medsci@abdn.ac.uk

 

Reading Lists and Study Resources

All reading lists for courses are already published in all Medical Sciences course manuals. These manuals are currently being updated for the new academic year but you can access the current version with the reading list from the School website.

For more advanced courses at levels 3 and 4, you will be expected to read more widely from the published literature. Such references will be given to you by individual lecturers. All such papers will be accessible via the University library system.   

Assessment

In Medical Sciences, for the first half-session, most assessments will be through coursework, although some courses will include online tests as part of the assessments.  A very few courses may have an end of course exam but these exams will be open-book with some flexibility over when they need to be completed, similar to how the exams ran in the April/May exam diet. 

Honours courses at Level 4 do not usually have exams (finals) during the normal Christmas exam diet – they are always at the end of the academic year in April/May. This arrangement will continue as normal during the coming academic year. The decision as to whether these and any exams for second half-session courses will take place online or in the traditional ‘in person’ format will be made in due course as we monitor the progress of COVID over the coming months. As soon as a decision is made, we will announce it via MyAberdeen and you will be given plenty of notice before any such assessments might take place. 

Practicals, fieldwork and placements

If your course includes lab work or other kinds of practical sessions, we will aim to provide these, subject to safety constraints or create online alternatives.  

Practicals 

We anticipate running practical classes on campus but will need to have fewer students in the teaching labs at a time, so it may be that we reduce the duration from 3h to 2h to be able to run enough repeats to allow all of the students who are on campus to participate.  If physical distancing is maintained at 2m, we will need to prioritise which practicals we offer on campus.  We will provide equivalent online alternative exercises for any students who are not able to be on campus.  If we are not able to deliver any core practical skills in the first half-session, we will endeavour to build them into core courses in the second half-session so that you don’t miss out. We are also exploring how we might use video resources to enhance how students prepare for practical classes. We already have experience of using this approach for final year students and are exploring how we might expand it further. 

For practical classes involving close human interaction i.e. measuring ECG’s, collecting respiratory gases etc, we are already exploring how we will modify such practicals and what personal protective equipment might be required.  

Honours projects – lab-based projects 

All Honours projects in Medical Sciences take place in the second half-session, after the Christmas break. 

Judging by the current Government advice, it looks very likely that we will have to reduce the number of lab-based Honours projects this year, or will be forced to limit the number of students to any single laboratory area/research environment.  With physical distancing requirements, research lab capacity will be decreased and we need to get our PhD students, Post-doc researchers and Early Career researchers back into the research labs so that they can restart important medical research programmes.  This process has already started and we are learning from this reactivation process.  

Supervisors of lab-based projects have been asked to consider if they are able to offer their students a desk-based alternative and to sketch out the plan for those alternatives.  We have a number of new academic staff who will also be able to increase the number of non-lab-based project titles to the list of available projects.   

The full list of Honours projects will be published around the first week of the new academic term in September. There will be scheduled sessions in compulsory courses where the project allocation process will be explained and any safety requirements discussed. Students will then be given a period of several weeks to discuss project choices with potential supervisors. Students will then be allocated their projects.  

Please be patient with us as we adapt our plans.  As Government advice changes, it may mean that we can change the way we offer projects.  

Since Honours projects do not start until January, changes may need to be made to arrangements before that time. Any such changes will be communicated to you via email or MyAberdeen if they occur. 

The member of staff responsible for coordinating Honours projects in Medical Sciences is Dr Derryck Shewan.

Honours projects – library and non-lab-based projects 

All Honours projects in Medical Sciences take place in the second half-session, after the Christmas break. 

If you are completing a non-lab-based project you will not need to be in Aberdeen to attend supervisory meetings; these meetings can be held online.  However, if you are in Aberdeen and physical distancing rules allow, and your supervisor can be on campus, you may be able to hold face to face supervisory meetings. 

We have a strong history of offering such projects, involving a diverse range of approaches and formats so there will be plenty of choice for all students if required. 

The full list of available Honours projects will be published around the first week of the new academic term in September. There will be scheduled sessions in compulsory courses where the project allocation process will be explained and any safety requirements discussed. Students will then be given a period of several weeks to discuss project choices with potential supervisors. Students will then be allocated their projects.  

Please be patient with us as we adapt our plans.  As Government advice changes, it may mean that we can change the way we offer projects. 

Since Honours projects do not start until January, changes may need to be made to arrangements before that time. Any such changes will be communicated to you via email or MyAberdeen if they occur.  

The member of staff responsible for coordinating Honours projects in Medical Sciences is Dr Derryck Shewan.

Industrial placement projects 

Many of these are taking place this year, subject to the safety requirements and working practices of the placement host. Many companies have adapted by allowing remote working, changing working protocols/safety measures, or adapting the project methods/topic. It is likely that companies will be adapting their recruitment methods and the types of industrial placements they offer for the coming year during the disruption caused by COVID. We will still be encouraging students to apply for such placements, but you will have to remember that companies will also be coping with COVID’s impact on their work. 

The coordinator of industrial placements in Medical Sciences is Dr Ian Fleming. He will provide regular updates to those students intending to undertake an industrial placement during the compulsory course that all such students must take as part of theirs studies in Level 3 (BT3006 - Working Out? Placement & Career Skills). 

Postgraduate Taught

Key Contacts in School
Academic Induction

You can join the live Welcome session to meet your programme coordinator and fellow classmates via the ‘Online Classroom Area’ within the Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition Student Information for Taught Postgraduates organisation page on MyAberdeen. Please refer to the timetable to find out when your programme-specific live session will be happening.

Reading Lists

Reading lists for individual courses will be available through MyAberdeen later in the summer.  However, many of our PGT courses use research papers to support teaching and may not use a textbook.  You also have the opportunity to brush up your study skills and learn more about the University at our award-winning Toolkit website.

Assessment

For our PGT courses, written assessments will be submitted and marked via MyAberdeen. Courses will not be assessed by formal exams on campus in the first half session unless you are taking a course for which a formal exam is required by a professional body. Assessments may include essays, online exercises, presentations and timed assessments online. This will vary from course to course, and there will be specific details in every course guide at the start of term.

Practicals, fieldwork and placements

At present, to allow for safe working and social distancing within our labs, we have altered working patterns and reduced the number of researchers who can work in each lab.  This reduces capacity in our laboratories for research projects, however, we are pleased to confirm that we have protected time in our labs for Masters students to undertake their lab based research projects.

In the past some of our research projects have involved colleagues in the National Health Service (NHS).  Due to COVID-19 our NHS has been extraordinarily challenged in recent months, similar to all healthcare systems across the world, so we cannot guarantee that any NHS staff will be able to offer projects in this academic year. If this proves possible in some areas, we will, of course, offer this experience.

MBChB / PA

Key School Contact

Medical Admissions: medadm@abdn.ac.uk

Reading Lists

Reading lists for individual courses will be available through MyMBChB, MyPA and the Admissions Team later in the summer. In the meantime, you can brush up your study skills and learn more about the University at our award-winning Toolkit website

Assessment

Assessment will vary from course to course, and year to year. There will be specific details in every course guide at the start of term.

Practicals, fieldwork and placements

Clinical skills teaching will continue with some taking place online with patient partners.  Clinical examination, practical procedure along with some clinical communication teaching will take place in person at the Suttie Centre subject to guidance at the time and with appropriate personal protective equipment as required.  All clinical placements will be organised following national guidance and health and safety requirements from professional bodies such as the NHS or GTCS.

Frequently Asked Questions
New Student

How will the changes brought about by coronavirus affect our everyday life ?
Which subjects will be taught online, how will the clinical skills lab be delivered etc?

Clinical skills will be taught face to face in the Suttie Centre in Aberdeen. All students are expected to attend. Lectures will be delivered online, many will be recorded in advance, some will be live but recorded so students can listen again. Interactive clinical cases will also form a key part of the systems based teaching. There will be a rich assortment of online learning resources to supplement your teaching such as video’s, quizzes, interactive workbooks. Practical anatomy and clinical skills teaching will be supplemented with videos. There will be a series of mini tests that will monitor your engagement and progress and some of these will contribute to your final grade and progression to the next stage of study.

 

How/ when will we be assessed. Are we still going to be having exams in December?

There will be formative exams at different points during the term. There will be summative, exempting exams in December – if you pass these you do not need to sit again in May. The plan is for these summative December exams to take place on campus in Aberdeen.

 

Are societies/ sports clubs going to be able to run?

Yes, they are still running and with rules relaxing we expect more sport to be possible, if conducted within government guidelines.

 

Will holiday dates be affected, i.e. is everything moved forward by two weeks, or is first term just shorter? 

The official holiday period is unaffected. While previously we finished term 1 before the official University holidays started we will now be teaching until 17 December (official end of term date) although this final week of term 1 will be exam week. Teaching in term 2 will begin on Monday 10 January 2022.

All MBChB students, regardless of home address, are expected to be able to reach and attend Aberdeen for all face to face teaching and examination events.

 

How will the changes affect international students who are not able to travel until visa centres reopen? Will they be disadvantaged by not having on campus tutorials compared to those who are able to attend them?

All MBChB students, regardless of home address, are expected to be able to reach and attend Aberdeen for all face to face teaching and examination events.

 

When will teaching begin?

Orientation week will begin on 20 September and teaching begins on 27 September.  Teaching will end on 17 December and recommence on 10 January. 

All MBChB students, regardless of home address, are expected to be able to reach and attend Aberdeen for all face to face teaching and examination events.

Returning Students

Who should I contact to organise my return to studies?

We will get in touch with you during the summer months to organise your return to studies.  Please check your emails regularly as your year team will be in touch too.

 

Can I take a year out  as I am struggling with the online learning format?

We would advise any students who are facing difficulties  to contact their year lead or the school student support team smmsn.support@abdn.ac.uk to discuss the options available in the first instance.

 

Is there any fee reduction planned as the delivery of my course has changed significantly?
No.

 

Can I take a year out as I do not feel I can afford fees for non-face-to-face learning?

Students should contact their contact their year lead or school student support team smmsn.support@abdn.ac.uk to discuss the options available in the first instance

Clinical Teaching

Will I be able to book accommodation and travel to clinical placements?

Students on healthcare programmes fall under the definition of key worker. This therefore means that you are able to book accommodation and travel without restriction to clinical placements.


Will I have access to Personal Protective Equipment on placements?

Yes, as a healthcare student you are treated as the equivalent of a key worker and you will have access to the same PPE as is worn by healthcare staff.  You will undergo training in the correct use, donning and doffing of PPE prior to commencement on clinical placements.


Will I be placed on Covid wards?

Your health and safety is a key concern for us. Students will not be present for Aerosol Generating Procedures which requires enhanced PPE measures. However, depending on your year of study, and particularly for senior students, you may find that you have some experience of a Covid care area. You will of course be supervised and provided with the same PPE as the clinical team.


Will I have access to Covid testing?

Covid testing is now readily available to all in the UK.


Will my personal circumstances and health be taken into account on clinical placements?

All students will be screened to take account of Covid by our Occupational Health Service before any return to clinical placements. Individual plans will then be made for any student who falls into an enhanced risk category according to their individual circumstances with their safety in mind. 


As an international student do I have to return to the UK for a quarantine period prior to the start of term?

Students will be required to adhere to national Public Health guidance on quarantine. However this continues to develop. We advise that international students keep in close contact with their Year leads on their anticipated travel and make all efforts to ensure they arrive in Aberdeen with plenty time to complete any required quarantine before teaching or examination events are scheduled.
 

Placements

Clinical skills teaching will continue with some taking place online with patient partners.  Clinical examination, practical procedures along with some clinical communication teaching will take place in person at the Suttie Centre subject to guidance at the time and with appropriate personal protective equipment as required.  All clinical placements will be organised following national guidance and health and safety requirements from professional bodies such as the NHS or GTCS.

Accommodation

Given that students are only expected to be at uni once or twice a week, will I need to be accommodated in Aberdeen?

Many students are asking whether they should come to Aberdeen in September.

All MBChB students, regardless of home address, are expected to be able to reach and attend Aberdeen for all face to face teaching and examination events.

While much of your MBChB teaching will be online there will be some face to face clinical skills and anatomy classes, and possibly small group tutorials, which we need you to attend.


Will we be able to cancel rented accommodation lease agreements if we are not in Aberdeen in term 1?

In Scotland you can terminate your lease, if in private accommodation, at anytime following a 28 day notice period. Read more here.

Campus

Can I plan not to be on campus for the whole of next academic session?

No, you would not be able to progress in your medical degree without being on campus for a substantial period of this forthcoming academic year. In medicine, as regulated by the GMC, there are core clinical skills that have to be taught face to face. In addition, depending on the year of the curriculum there will be core clinical placements to be attended. Assessments will continue to include clinical and professional outcomes and you would be unable to complete these without having undertaken the on campus elements for your year of study. The precise deadline date for each year of study will be provided by your Year lead, but generally for Years 1 - 3 we expect all students to be in Aberdeen by mid/late September. Year 4 and Year 5 students will have to be available for clinical placements in the first semester shortly after the start of the academic year.

Dentistry (BDS)

Blended Learning

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity.

All lecture material and resources will be available online through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), MyBDS. These resources may be presented in shorter sections or via interactive resources.

Live online synchronous teaching or in-person teaching may require students to work through resources ahead of the session via self-study, for example watching podcasts or accessing essential reading.

You will also have opportunities to learn through other formats in MyBDS such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat.

In-person clinical skills and dental laboratory teaching may be delivered in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

 

Reading Lists and Study Resources

Reading lists for individual courses are available through the MyBDS homepage and noted within specific Teaching Handbooks.

You can brush up your study skills and learn more about the University at our award-winning Toolkit website.

 

Assessment

Students will continue to sit the assessments they have been used to during the Programme to date. We continue to develop the final details which will be communicated to students as these are ready.

Written assessments will continue to be primarily delivered online.

Our Assessment and Progression Handbook will provide specific details on every course within the Programme. This will be available on the MyBDS homepage under the Assessment and Progression tile from the summer.

Practicals, fieldwork and placements

In-person clinical skills teaching, laboratory based teaching and patient clinics may be delivered in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

Some teaching of practical procedures, such as CPR / BLS, is likely to be taught on campus subject to safety constraints.

Postgraduate Research

As well as being a Postgraduate Research Student in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition you are also part of a wider PGR community through the Postgraduate Research School.

Orientation

Student Orientation - kick start your uni journey

We are looking forward to welcoming you to campus to start your research journey with us. As a Postgraduate Research student you will have the opportunity to attend a University wide induction in addition to your school induction.

The University of Aberdeen Orientation programme has been designed to take you through all of the essential information you will need for your student life. You can get started now by working through the interactive modules.

There are a series of modules that you can work through before you arrive. Once you have registered you can access the remaining modules and complete your mandatory training programme through your bespoke PGR training platform on our virtual learning environment.

There will be a school welcome event for Postgraduate Research students. This will provide an opportunity to meet Postgraduate coordinators and PhD supervisors. There will also be time to answer any questions you may have. Further details regarding the welcome event will follow in due course.

Audit Master‘s Courses

As a PGR student you may have the opportunity to audit Master‘s courses to augment your research training. Please discuss this with your supervisor and check out the postgraduate taught pages above.

The PGR School also offers a comprehensive training programme to support your research journey.

Timelines and Milestones

The PGR School training and development programme offers academic, professional, and personal development through a number of training workshops, resources and opportunities, all intended to support the PGR community at the University of Aberdeen.

Find out more here.