At the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, we are very much looking forward to you joining us in September. Following Scottish Government guidance, we expect our campus to be open. Safety is our primary concern and the University is working hard on variety of measures to safeguard your welfare.

Below you will find details of orientation, reading lists and other blended learning information for School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition students to help you start your student journey with us.

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

BSc - Undergraduate Medical Sciences

Key Contacts in School

UG Medical Sciences

Orientation

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your personal tutor. As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume. 

As this happens, we will always ensure that online students are provided with equivalent opportunities for engagement. 

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term.

University Orientation

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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

School Orientation

The members of staff responsible for coordinating induction and orientation events in Medical Sciences are Professor Gordon McEwan and Dr Derryck Shewan. 

School Orientation will be uploaded into MyAberdeen. Find out how to view the School's Organisation area in MyAberdeen.

  • When you access the School's organisation site you  should see the following link to click on:
  • In the next page you should click on UG Induction.
Blended Learning

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity. In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through MyAberdeen. Other teaching activities, such as tutorials and practicals may take place either on campus or online. We plan for all students to have some in-person teaching time on campus each week, as Scottish Government guidelines allow. 

We are working hard to take advantage of this new approach to enhance our teaching. We are confident that we will provide you with a high-quality experience. 

We anticipate that some of our returning students will not be able to travel back to Aberdeen due to travel restrictions, and that others may not be comfortable attending on campus classes because they are shielding or have other concerns.  For that reason, we are ensuring that all of our courses in the first half-session can be completed entirely online, but we are committed to providing face-to-face teaching sessions for students on campus if safe to do so.  We are building in sessions where students who are studying online can interact with staff and other students so that the learning experience is rewarding and motivating. 

All lectures will be available online in MyAberdeen, and may be presented in short sections, rather than in one block. You will also have opportunities to learn through other formats in My Aberdeen such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat. In-person tutorials, seminars and practicals, may be in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.  

In Medical Sciences, we are prioritising practical teaching and small group tutorials for campus-based students with equivalent activities for online students.  We plan to provide most of our lectures online and pre-recorded so that they can be accessed in a flexible way.  For courses that have traditionally been primarily delivered in a lecture format, we are building in interactive components so that students can ask questions of staff and work with their peers.  Depending on the course, computer practicals will be taught in-person online, using break out rooms and with staff working with small groups of students or with a mixture of synchronous online sessions and asynchronous, directed learning supported by question and answer sessions. 

Reading Lists and Study Resources

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

In addition, 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). 

MBChB / PA

Key School Contact

Medical Admissions: medadm@abdn.ac.uk

Orientation

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your personal tutor. As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume.

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term.

University Orientation

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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

School Welcome Events

Detailed below are the various welcome events available for students to attend.

Blended Learning

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity. In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through MyMBChB and MYPA. Other teaching activities, such as tutorials and clinical skills may take place either on campus or online. All UK based medical students will (should replace ‘we plan for all students who can reach Aberdeen to) have some in-person teaching time on campus, as Scottish Government guidelines allow. Any international students who cannot attend the on campus classes in term 1 will receive that teaching in term 2.

All lecture material will be available online in MyMBChB, MYPA and Moodle, and may be presented in short sections or via interactive resources, rather than in one block. You will also have opportunities to learn through other formats in MyMBChB and MyPA such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat. In-person tutorials and clinical skills, may be in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

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 without compromise. Some teaching will be conducted online and may involve patient partners while practical procedures such as CPR will be taught on campus subject to safety constraints. Medical and Physician Associate students now have Key Worker Status which allows travel for study, accommodation and access to personal protective equipment. 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 UK based students are expected to attend. We will, where possible, aim to schedule afternoon sessions for those travelling from out with the Aberdeen area. Catch up sessions will be arranged in term 2 for the small number of international students who have genuine barriers to arriving in September 2020. All students are expected to be in Aberdeen by January 2021. Lectures will be delivered online, some will be recorded in advance, some will be live but recorded for those in different time zones. We are also creating interactive online resources so you are not subject to a series of pre-recorded material. There will be a rich assortment of online learning resources to supplement your teaching such as video’s, quizzes, interactive workbooks. Anatomy resources include videos of dissections and cadaveric material which you will be talked through. 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.

 

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. We plan to have summative, exempting, online exams in December – if you pass these you do not need to sit again in May.

 

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

Yes, they are still running although sports clubs have obviously not been able to participate in sport recently. However, with rules relaxing we expect some 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 18 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 11 January 2021. All students, regardless of home address, are expected to be able to reach and attend Aberdeen for teaching session in term 2.

 

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?

International students who cannot reach Aberdeen in September will not be disadvanteged. Most of our synchronous teaching sessions will be delivered online, including tutorials and we will take into account time zones of international students. Any face to face clinical skills teaching delivered in term 1 will be repeated in term 2 for those with insurmountable difficulties in reaching Aberdeen in the autumn.

 

When will teaching begin?

Orientation week will begin on 21 September and teaching begins on 28 September.  Teaching will end on 18 December and recommence on 11 January.  All students will be expected to be able to reach Aberdeen for face to face teaching from week beginning 11th January 2021.

Returning Students

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

We would advise any students who are facing difficulties with the blended format to contact their Year lead to discuss the options available.

 

Is there any fee reduction planned as the delivery of my course has changed significantly?

This should be a University level response. I do not believe there any fee reductions planned.

 

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 year lead to discuss their circumstances to receive the most appropraite advice.

Clinical Teaching

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

It has been confirmed that students on helathcare programmes fall under the definition of key worker. This therfore means that you are able to book accomodation and travel without restriction to clinical placements.


Will I have access to Personal Protective Equipment on placements?

Yes, as a healthcare student you will be treated as the equivalent as a key worker and so 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 commencement on clinical placements.


Will I be placed on CoVID wards?

Your health and safety is a key concern for us. We have decided that 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?

As members of the healthcare team and as key workers you will have access to CoVID testing if this is indicated.


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

All students will be re-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.

Accommodation

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

We understand not all international students will be able to reach Aberdeen in September. For example, there may be travel restrictions and visa complications. For these students any face to face teaching missed in term 1 will be rescheduled in term 2. Many students are asking whether they should come to Aberdeen in September. While we intend to deliver the majority of your teaching online there will be some face to face clinical skills classes which we need you to attend. We have limited capacity in the timetable to redeliver term 1 material in term 2 and thus we expect all students based in the UK to attend the term 1 face to face classes in Aberdeen in Autumn 2020. We are actively considering all options to ensure optimum timetabling of these term 1 classes to make your attendance as easy as possible.


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 January 2021 at the latest. 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)

Orientation

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your programme lead, year lead, regent or clinical mentor (later year students). As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume.

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term.

  • In the meantime both new and returning students need to complete the University's Orientation programme.

    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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

    Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

  • Students will be able to take part in and attend University level orientation events, as well as those run by the Institute of Dentistry.
  • Detail of Institute of Dentistry events will be available later in the summer.

 

Blended Learning

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

In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through our updated Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), MyBDS.

We are planning for all students who can reach Aberdeen to have some in-person teaching time (clinical skills) on campus, as Scottish Government guidelines allow. Any students who cannot attend on-campus classes in term 1 will receive that teaching in term 2.

All lecture material and resources will be available online in MyBDS. These resources may be presented in shorter sections or via interactive resources. Live online synchronous 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 teaching, may be delivered in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

 

Reading Lists and Study Resources

Reading lists for individual courses will be available through MyBDS 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

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.

Our Assessment and Progression Handbook will provide specific details on every course within the Programmes.

We will be introducing the use of a new software to deliver assessments: Examsoft. Students will be provided full view of the system on their return, with practice assessments timetabled early in the semester.

Practicals, fieldwork and placements

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

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

Dental Outreach placements will be organised following national guidance and health and safety requirements from professional bodies such as the NHS. Detail will be provided to students on their return.

Postgraduate Taught

Key Contacts in School
Orientation

 

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your personal tutor. As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume.

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term. Visit the accordion below to find out more.

University Orientation

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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

School Welcome Events

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.

Blended Learning (on-campus courses)

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity. In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through MyAberdeen.  Other teaching activities, such as tutorials and practicals, may take place either on campus or online.  We plan for all students to have some in-person teaching time on campus each week, as Scottish Government guidelines allow.

All lectures will be available online in MyAberdeen.  There will also be opportunities to learn through other formats in My Aberdeen, such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat.  In-person tutorials, seminars and practicals will be in small groups if physical distancing is required.

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.

Postgraduate Research

Orientation

As a PGR student you have the opportunity to attend a University wide orientation in addition to your School specific event.

Check back soon for information on your school induction programme.

Blended learning

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.