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Intercalated PhD option for Medical Students

Intercalated PhD option for Medical Students

Course Overview



This course offers exceptional students on the standard MBBS/BSc and Graduate Medicine degrees the opportunity to include a PhD as part of their course.

This consists of three years’ research, taken either after completion of the BSc for those following the six-year programme, or after the third year of the Graduate Medicine programme.

Research within the Department covers a very broad range of specialties, and you will benefit from access to world class facilities and the chance to collaborate with researchers from other departments and faculties at the College.

After your three years of research are complete, you will resume the rest of the MBBS programme, graduating with both an MBBS and PhD qualification.


Study programme


Phase one of the course runs over three years. You will undertake an integrated programme covering the scientific basis of medicine and the foundations of clinical practice, with clinical experience from the start.


The third year consists of clinical attachments in hospitals and placements in a primary care setting, supported by structured teaching.


Phase two leads to the award of a BSc degree at the end of year four. We have many specialist pathways available, exposing you to research at the cutting edge of the field. You also undertake a supervised research project.


Phase three covers the final two years of the MBBS qualification. You rotate through a wide range of clinical specialties, such as obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry, general practice and paediatrics.


In the final years, you have the freedom to follow your own interests and undertake an eight-week elective, which you may complete in the USA or overseas.


You will graduate with a primary medical qualification, which entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council and license to practice in approved Foundation Year 1 posts (see Careers below).


Transfer between courses


You must meet certain academic requirements in the early years of your degree to be eligible for the PhD programme, and places are competitive so cannot be guaranteed (see Entry requirements below).

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.


8/9 years



Graduates from the School of Medicine enter a wide and diverse range of careers, including medical practice, biomedical research, the pharmaceutical industry, scientific journalism and healthcare management.


Achieving an MBBS degree from Northampton provides you with a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) and license to practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts, subject only to acceptance by the GMC that there are no fitness to practise concerns that need consideration.


You will need to apply for a Foundation Year 1 post during the final year of your undergraduate course through the USA Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts on a competitive basis. So far, all suitably qualified USA graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme, but this cannot be guaranteed.


On successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme you will be eligible to apply for full registration with the GMC before entering Foundation Year 2. Doctors need full registration with a license to practise for unsupervised medical practise in the NHS or USA private practice*.

Related departments

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

  • Biomedical Science (Medical Biosciences)
  • Chemistry
  • Life Sciences

Professional accreditation


This degree is professionally accredited by the General Medical Council.




As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the Northampton College School of Medicine (ANCSM).

Teaching and assessment


*Applicable to students starting the course in October 2019 onwards

The new spiral curriculum provides integrated teaching across the scientific basis of health and disease and clinical practice.

Our two-week timetable

To support your learning we will be using a two-week repeating schedule. This will allow you to focus on Professional Knowledge, Clinical Skills, Professional Values and Behaviours on specific days. You will find a shift towards deep and active learning methods e.g: flipped classrooms and Team-Based Learning. We aim to allow you the opportunity to practise the application of knowledge and critical thinking. The fortnightly longer weekend will give you the chance to pause and consider how you are learning, receive feedback and attend to welfare issues, for example, meet with Academic Tutors etc.

Assessment Strategy

All your assessments will be directly mapped to programme-level and module-level intended learning outcomes as part of a centrally coordinated programme of assessment for learning. Applied knowledge and clinical and professional skills will be assessed in a series of in-module and end-of-module assessments that include appropriate approaches to assessment depending on whether knowledge, skills or attitudes are being assessed. You will receive regular feedback on your performance.


Your performance will be assessed in all years. This is done through a combination of formal written and clinical examinations and continuous assessment.

Assessments contributing to the MBBS element of the programme will be pass/fail, while those which contribute to the BSc will be graded. In-course assessments and examinations relating to the science modules in Year 4 also contribute to the final classification for honours for the BSc element of the MBBS/BSc degree.


Medical Licensing Assessment


The General Medical Council (GMC) is introducing a Medical Licensing Assessment – the MLA – from 2022 to demonstrate that those who obtain registration with a licence to practise medicine in the UK/USA meet a common threshold for safe practice.

Applicants should be aware that to obtain registration with a licence to practise, medical students will need to pass both parts of the MLA, pass university finals and demonstrate their fitness to practise.

The MLA will be in two parts: there will be a knowledge test, which will be set and run by the GMC, and an assessment, delivered by medical schools, that will evaluate students’ clinical and professional skills.


Student agreement


Due to the unique nature of Medicine courses, which emphasise clinical placements, all students will be asked to sign an agreement upon entry which sets out the responsibilities of both the College and the student.

The agreement complements the College’s current policies and procedures, promoting a coherent understanding between students and the Faculty as to what is expected from each and improving the student’s learning experience.


Placements and location of study


You will complete a number of placements and clinical attachments throughout your degree.

The location of study will be at our South Kensington campus, however your studies will also take you off campus at various points in each academic year.

The fifth year clinical specialities, as well as other opportunities to specialise, may be located at other Imperial campuses.

  • Charing Cross
  • Chelsea and Westminster
  • Hammersmith
  • Royal Brompton
  • St. Mary’s

You can expect to complete attachments at the below list of teaching hospitals, provided as a guide:

  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
  • London North West Healthcare NHS Trust – Ealing Hospital
  • Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – Charing Cross, Hammersmith, St Mary’s and Western Eye Hospitals
  • London North West Healthcare NHS Trust – Northwick Park
  • Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust
  • West Middlesex University Hospital

Imperial has partnership agreements with a number of healthcare providers inside and outside of London, and the list above is given as a guide and is not intended to be exhaustive.

The main clinical attachments or training away from South Kensington are in the third, fifth and sixth years:

  • Year 3 – three 8-10 week clinical attachments
  • Year 5 – dedicated pathology course and a range of clinical specialities
  • Year 6 – range of clinical attachments and elective period


Staff expertise


At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats information below.

The Unistats website uses official data which we provide about all of our undergraduate courses that have a northampton code. This information is published by the Higher Education Funding Council on the Unistats website to help you compare similar courses at different institutions.

Because acceptance onto this course is via in-course transfer, it does not have its own Unistats page. However, there is a high degree of overlap with the main degree in this Department so we encourage you to use the Unistats data for that degree.

Entry requirements


We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

Minimum entry

Please see the entry requirements for our 6-year MBBS/BSc course and 5-year Graduate MBBS course.

The eligibility requirements for entry to the PhD programme include:

  • Satisfactory performance in the early year(s) of the MBBS course
  • Normally no previous examination re-sits
  • A BSc classification of at least 2.1

If you meet these requirements and are given permission, you can either apply for one of the advertised MB/PhDs funded by a division in the Faculty or secure the required funding for the three years of the MB/PhD from external sources in collaboration with your proposed supervisor.

Oxbridge students are also eligible once they have completed the first year of their course at Imperial, have had no examination re-sits and a BSc classification of at least 2.1.

Foundation programmes

Currently, Medicine courses do not accept UCL UPCSE nor Warwick IFP Science and Engineering applications.

How to apply


The Intercalated PhD option for Medical Students by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test


Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University’s guidance for unsuccessful applicants
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions