Degree boost for UCLan School of Medicine

Following the completion of a rigorous quality assurance process lasting five years, the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) School of Medicine has been granted degree-awarding powers by the General Medical Council.

Staff at UCLan's School of Medicine celebrate
Staff at UCLan's School of Medicine celebrate

UCLan’s School of Medicine has now been added to the GMC’s website listing of institutions approved to award a primary medical qualification.

The announcement marks an important milestone in the development of UCLan’s School of Medicine which opened in 2015 with a small cohort of full fee-paying international students.

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In July 2020, the first 27 students from the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme are hoping to graduate with all 27 planning to live and work in the UK.

The UCLan MBBS programme builds upon UCLan’s heritage in dentistry, nursing and pharmacy courses, representing a crucial part of the overall solution to fill the urgent skills gap that currently exists in areas such as East Lancashire and West Cumbria.

Professor Cathy Jackson, Head of UCLan’s School of Medicine, said: “Colleagues in the School have worked incredibly hard to make this happen while the support we’ve received from partner organisations such as North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has been crucial.

“We have achieved something truly unique by developing the first new medical curriculum in many years where our students benefit from patient contact within the second week of the programme.

"Over 70% of our UK student doctors are from widening access backgrounds and we have trained them not only to be knowledgeable, empathetic and reflective but to accurately represent the populations they will serve."

UCLan is the largest provider of health and social care education in Lancashire and Cumbria and is one of only five universities in the country delivering medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, complemented by a wide-range of other health-related subjects such as nursing, midwifery and paramedic practice.

Kevin McGee, chief executive for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Many congratulations to our partners at UCLan on receiving this accreditation to award the MBBS degree. This well-deserved accolade is the culmination of many years collaboration and hard work by both our organisations.

“As UCLan’s strategic partners in providing high quality medical undergraduate education and training, we firmly believe this latest achievement is excellent news for our two institutions, for the region’s medical workforce and, ultimately, for the health of our region’s population.

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“Here at East Lancashire Hospitals, we currently support 139 UCLan medical students as they study and train for their MBBS degrees. We look forward to our partnership continuing, and even expanding, in the coming years on our journey to achieving University Teaching Hospital status.”