Progress Report on Small Grant Awarded 2018


Water metaphors to help us rethink how we support student transitions into medicine

By Dr Valerie Farnsworth, University of Leeds, Leeds Institute of Medical Education

With funding from ASME’s Small Grant fund, I conducted a study on ‘the first transition: becoming a medical student’. My aim was to understand the ways students adjust to the demands of the MBChB, particularly in terms of their approach to learning. I approached this topic knowing that schools today are, by and large, performance-oriented. The school context fosters particular learner identities which have been characterised in terms of a ‘performance orientation’ or a ‘concern for proving one’s competence’ (Watkins, 2001). For those who go on to Higher Education and more specifically, to study medicine, a different ‘learning orientation’ is demanded of students. A ‘learning orientation’ is defined as a ‘concern for improving one’s competence’ (Watkins, 2001).

The study utilised several theoretical tools, conceptualising transition as change. By focusing on learning transitions, I was looking specifically at changes in learning orientations, approaches to studying and also looked at ‘ability mindset’ (Yeager & Dweck, 2012). A ‘growth mindset’ or ‘incremental’ ability mindset is the belief that effort leads to success (Yeager & Dweck, 2012). On the other hand, a ‘fixed’ or ‘entity’ ability mindset is an implicit theory that ‘ability leads to success’ (Yeager & Dweck, 2012). The study was further guided by an interest in the role of the ‘experienced curriculum’ which is culturally constructed (Lawy, 2006).

The study involved interviews with 9 of our University of Leeds undergraduate MBChB students. Interviews lasting 40 - 60 minutes explored students’ ideas about learning, ability mindset and the medical curriculum.

This brief summary highlights some findings that may be of interest to ASME newsletter readers. These are presented as water metaphors that emerged from the data as themes.

Same boat. The phrase ‘we are all in the same boat’ was used by several of the students interviewed for this study. In using this phrase, they described a strategy for reducing the stress that comes with thinking that it’s only them who struggle and everyone else has it figured out. This sort of mindset is linked to a fixed mindset which is about comparing yourself with others.

Deep end. While we may think that supporting students along the way is the best way to ‘support’ transitions, the students interviewed referred to the challenges of the curriculum as the things that helped to spur them on to become more self-directed in their learning and make changes in their approach. This metaphor of the ‘deep end’ is about having a complex curriculum and challenges like placements in busy wards and interactions with patients that help push students along in the transition to becoming self-regulated learners. It is this that helps them realise a new goal, which is not to perform well on exams to access medicine but to know what they need to know to be excellent doctors.

Fish out of water. There is the expression that ‘a fish in water does not know it’s in water’. This applies to the transition in that students need to be reflective of the curriculum in order to develop their growth mindsets and become self-regulated learners. Meta-level reflection was linked to being critical of themselves, monitoring their learning and assessing and re-assessing their learning strategies. A key point made by all was that the learner needs to find what works for them and this may involve some trial and error. Deciding to try new strategies came about from reflection on the expectations of the course, which they quickly realised could not mean memorising everything. Rather than repetition of knowledge (e.g. multiple copies of notes to write), they needed to glean the main ideas or as one student put it ‘first principles’ and then learn the ‘extra details’ (most similar to A Level Chemistry according to some participants).


Lawy, R. 2006. Connective Learning: Young People's Identity and Knowledge-Making in Work and Non-Work Contexts. British Journal of Sociology of Education

Vol. 27, No. 3 (Jul., 2006), pp. 325-340.

Watkins C. (2001). Learning about Learning enhances performance. NSIN Research Matters. 13, 1-9. Available from: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/10002803/1/Watkins2001Learning.pdf [Accessed 15th January 2019].

Yeager D. and Dweck C. (2012). Mindsets That Promote Resilience: When Students Believe That Personal Characteristics Can Be Developed. Educational Psychologist. 47(4), 302-314.

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Funder  Scheme  Details 
Department of Health and Social Care The Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA)

The ACCEA advises health ministers on the presentation of clinical excellence awards to consultants working in the NHS. ACCEA is an advisory non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care.  ASME may contribute to applications, on request, where the applicant is an individual member of ASME and makes a significant contribution to medical education.

Members requests for support from ASME and supporting paperwork for the 2020 round, must be received by 5pm, 2nd March 2020 to [email protected]

National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Research Studies, and Training and Career Development

“The NIHR funds a range of health-related research projects, both evidence synthesis and evidence generating, with funding streams such as Research for Patient Benefit, Public Health Research, and Health Services and Delivery Research In addition, the NIHR funds a range of fellowships that may be of interest to medical education researchers, including pre-doctoral, doctoral and advanced fellowships”.

In 2015 it made the following statement with regards medical education research: “NIHR is also prepared to support high quality research into 'medical education' (defined broadly as education for healthcare providers).  Whilst this area of research need not fulfil the criterion of having 'potential for benefiting patients and the public within 5 years of its completion', it is expected that the research will have the potential to have practical application".  See this ASME News Item: https://www.asme.org.uk/news/nihr-invests-in-medical-education-research.html

Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) Research Studies, and Doctoral Studentships

The ESRC funds a range of education research projects, details here:

General Medical Council (GMC) Analysis and research

The GMC collect data on the medical profession and the organisations where doctors practise and train; and also carry out and commission analysis and research.  They usually invite public tenders for research contracts worth over £50,000, details here:

Wellcome Funding for projects or individuals

Wellcome believes in the power of ideas to improve health; and supports thousands of scientists and researchers in more than
70 countries, as well as innovators, educators and artists, details here:

Association for Medical Education in Europe Prizes and funding for projects, individuals and institutions

AMEE offers a number of awards and prizes open to members and conference participants, details here: 

Academy of Medical Educators Prizes and awards

The Academy of Medical Educators presents a number of prizes and awards each year, details here:



This list is not intended to be exhaustive and we would be grateful to receive suggestions of other potential funding sources to include on this webpage


Award Title Deadline Current Status  

Denis O'Leary Award 2020, Oxford Centre for Medical Education

  winner to be anounced 24 April 2020 Find out more


If you have any further general awards questions please email [email protected]


This privacy policy aims to give you information on how ASME collects and processes your personal data through your membership and/or use of our website and other means including but not limited to, post, telephone and email, including any data you may provide through our website when you sign up to renew your membership, purchase a product or subscribe to a service, personalise your preferences, participate in discussion boards, our newsletters, or other social media functions, submit a registration form for one of our conferences/meetings, submit a paper or poster or take part in a promotion or competition.

It is important that you read this privacy policy together with any other privacy notice or fair processing notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal data about you so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your data.  This privacy policy is in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2017 and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 and supplements any other notices and is not intended to override them.

Who we are

In this privacy policy, ASME means:-

The Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) which is based at Thain House, 226 Queensferry Road, Edinburgh, EH4 2BP.  Telephone: 0131 225 9111.  Email - [email protected]
By joining as a member and/or using our website: www.asme.org.uk (our ‘Website’) you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy.
Depending on the purpose for which you are providing your personal data, the data controller (or entity responsible for the data collected) will be ASME.   Within the context of this policy ‘we’ means ASME.


Personal data, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified.  It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).

We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which we have grouped together as follows:-

  • Identity Data includes first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier, marital status, title, date of birth and gender.
  • Contact Data includes billing address, delivery address, email address and telephone numbers.
  • Financial Data includes bank account and payment card details.
  • Transaction Data includes details about payments to and from you and other details of membership, products and services you have purchased from us.
  • Technical Data includes internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access this website.
  • Profile Data includes your username and password, purchases or orders made by you, your interests, preferences, feedback and survey responses.
  • Usage Data includes information about how you use our website, products and services.
  • Marketing and Communications Data includes your preferences in receiving marketing from us and our third parties and your communication preferences.
  • We also collect, use and share Aggregated Data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data may be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity.  For example, we may aggregate your Usage Data to calculate the percentage of users accessing a specific website feature.  However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy policy.

    We may collect some Special Categories of Personal Data about you (this includes details such as your race or ethnicity, health and family information) but we will only collect this if we have a valid reason and data protection legislation allows us to do so.


Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract we have with you (eg your membership) and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter into with you (for example, to provide you with membership, goods or services).  In this case, we may have to cancel a product or service you have with us but we will notify you if this is the case at the time.


We use different methods to collect data from and about you including through:

  • Direct interactions. You may give us your Identity, Contact and Financial Data by filling in forms or by corresponding with us by post, phone, email or otherwise.  This includes personal data you provide when you
    • apply for membership, conference attendance and/or our products or services;
    • create an account on our website;
    • subscribe to our service or publications;
    • request marketing to be sent to you;
    • enter or complete a competition, promotion or survey;
    • submit a paper or poster to us
    • carry out any transactions on our website;
    • provide CV’s or other information about yourself for specific purposes; or
    • give us some feedback.
  • Automated technologies or interactions. As you interact with our website, we may automatically collect Technical Data about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns.  We collect this personal data by using cookies, server logs and other similar technologies.  We may also receive Technical Data about you if you visit other websites employing our cookies.  
  • Third parties or publicly available sources. We may receive personal data about you from various third parties and public sources such as our business delivery partners, suppliers, sponsors, event organisers, as set out below:
    • Technical Data from the following parties: (a) analytics providers; (b) advertising networks; and (c) search information providers.
    • Contact, Financial and Transaction Data from providers of technical, payment and delivery services.
    • Identity and Contact Data from data brokers or aggregators.
    • Identity and Contact Data from publicly availably sources such as Companies House and the Electoral Register based inside the EU.
    • Identity and Contact Data from publicly available sources such as social media sites.


We will only use your personal data where the law allows us to.  Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

  • Where we need to perform the contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you.
  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests as set out in the Glossary at the end of this policy (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.
  • Where you have provided your consent to us to use your personal data in a certain way such as direct marketing by email.


We have set out below, a description of all the ways we plan to use your personal data, and which of the legal bases we rely on to do so.  We have also identified what our legitimate interests are where appropriate.

Note that we may process your personal data on more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data.  We may also process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with this policy, where this is required or permitted by law.




To register or renew you as a member/conference attendee including:-

  1. Disclosing your membership status to members of the public
  2. Managing your member account and contacting you about member benefits and services
  3. Serve notice in accordance with the requirement of our Articles of Association
  4. Provide information about and communications from your local branch network
  1. Identity
  2. Contact
  3. Profile
  4. Usage
  5. Marketing and Communications
  6. Technical

Legitimate Interest:
1. Performance of a contract with you
2. Necessary for our legitimate interests

To process and deliver your order including:

  1. Manage payments, fees and charges
  2. Collect and recover money owed to us


  1. Identity
  2. Contact
  3. Financial
  4. Transaction

Legitimate Interest:
1. Performance of a contract with you
2. Necessary for our legitimate interests (eg to recover debts due to us)

To manage our relationship with you which will include:

  1. Notifying you about changes to our terms or privacy policy
  2. Asking you to leave a review or take a survey
  1. Identity
  2. Contact
  3. Profile
  4. Marketing and communications

Legitimate interest:
1. Performance of a contract with you
2. Necessary to comply with a legal obligation
3. Necessary for our legitimate interests (to keep our records updated and to study how members/customers use our products/services)

To enable you to partake in a prize draw, apply for an award, enter a competition, complete a survey, or submit an abstract

  1. Identity
  2. Contact
  3. Profile
  4. Usage
  5. Marketing and communications

Legitimate interest:

  1. Performance of a contract with you
  2. Necessary for our legitimate interests (to study how customers use our products/services,
    to develop them and grow our business

To administer and protect our business and this website (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data)

  1. Identity
  2. Contact
  3. Technical

Legitimate interest:

  1. Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our business, provision of administration and IT services, network security, to prevent fraud and in the context of a business reorganisation or group restructuring exercise)
  2. Necessary to comply with a legal obligation

To deliver relevant website content and notices to you and measure or understand the effectiveness of the notices we send to you.

  1. Identity
  2. Contact
  3. Profile
  4. Usage
  5. Marketing and Communications
  6. Technical

Legitimate interest:

Necessary for our legitimate interests (to study how members/customers use our products/services, to develop them, to grow our business and to inform our marketing strategy)

To use data analytics to improve our website, products/services, marketing, member relationships and experiences

  1. Technical
  2. Usage

Legitimate interest:

Necessary for our legitimate interests (to define types of members for our products and services, to keep our website updated and relevant, to develop our business and to inform our marketing strategy)

To make suggestions and recommendations to you about goods or services (eg conferences, workshops, awards) that may be of interest to you.

  1. Identity
  2. Contact
  3. Technical
  4. Usage
  5. Profile
Legitimate interest:
Necessary for our legitimate interests (to develop our products/services and grow our business)


We may use your personal data to provide you with information about our services and/or products, which we consider may be of interest to you.  Where we do this via email, we will not do so without your prior consent except for when you have previously purchased membership, goods or services from us, in which case, you will receive marketing from us unless you have told us that you do not wish to receive that marketing.


You can opt out of receiving email communication from ASME by clicking the unsubscribe button at the bottom of any email which will then give you an option to unsubscribe from all emails.  Alternatively you can email us at:  [email protected]  It may take up to 21 days for the changes to come into effect.  


We will never sell your personal data to third parties for the purposes of marketing and will get your express opt-in consent before we share your personal data with any company outside ASME for marketing purposes.


Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site.

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer's hard drive.

You can block cookies by clicking on the Decline button on our site's cookie notification bar.  This appears at the foot of each page and your consent can be revoked or changed at any time.  You can also activate the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies.  However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site.

The cookies our site uses currently includes:

Cookie Source




Google Analytics


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2 years

Google Analytics


Used to distinguish users by our analytics provider Google Analytics so that we can see how people are using our site

24 hours

Google Analytics


This cookie is used to limit the collection of data on high traffic sites. 

10 mins



Used to track the usage of commercial web fonts on our site

6 months



Various cookies are set via Twitter.com whenever embedded Twitter content is present


Our Website

Cookie consent status

Used to remember your cookie storage preferences

24 hours


We may have to share your personal data with the parties set out below for the purposes set out above:-

  • Internal Third Parties as set out in the Glossary.
  • External Third Parties as set out in the Glossary.
  • Third parties to whom we may choose to sell, transfer, or merge parts of our business or our assets. Alternatively, we may seek to acquire other businesses or merge with them.  If a change happens to our business, then the new owners may use your personal data in the same way as set out in this privacy policy.

We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law.  We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.


In general the personal data that we collect from you will normally be stored at a destination within the UK or European Economic Area (EEA).  However we may also transfer your data outside the EEA

Please note that some countries outside of the EEA have a lower standard or protection for personal data, including lower security requirements and fewer rights for individuals.  Where your personal data is transferred, stored and/or otherwise processed outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure that the recipient implements appropriate safeguards (such as by entering into standard contractual clauses) designed to protect your personal data and to ensure that your personal data is treated securely and in accordance with this policy.

Unfortunately, no transmission of your personal data over the internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure.  However, your personal data is only accessible by appropriately trained staff and stored on secure server with features enacted to prevent unauthorised access.


We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed.  In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know.  They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

Any payment transactions will be encrypted using SSL technology.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.



We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.

In general, unless still required in connection with the purpose(s) for which it was collected and/or is processed, we remove your personal data from our records seven years after the date it was collected unless different retention periods apply, for example we will keep member data for 15 years after membership expiry in order to comply with requests for verification of membership status that are made to us.  However, if before that date (i) your personal data is no longer required in connection with such purpose(s), (ii) we are no longer lawfully entitled to process it or (iii) you validly exercise your right of erasure, we will remove or anonymise from our records at the relevant time.

In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes in which case we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you.

If you request to receive no further contact from us, we will keep some basic information about you on our suppression list in order to comply with your request and avoid sending you unwanted materials in the future.


You have the right to:

  • Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”).  This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.  Note, however, that we may be unable to supply certain pieces of information that you have requested, if it is subject to legal privilege or relates to management planning.  This will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

You can submit a subject access request to ASME by emailing [email protected]

To assist us in processing your request, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • Membership number (If applicable)
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Information sought (Please describe, in as much detail as possible, the information you wish to have access to and if appropriate, any dates relevant to the information sought.)
  • Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may  need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.
  • Request erasure of your personal data.  This enables you to ask us to delete personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it.  You also have the right to ask us to delete your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law.  Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request or as soon as possible thereafter. We may also anonymise rather than delete your data.

You can submit a request, by emailing [email protected]

You will be asked for the following information to assist us in processing your request:

    • Full name
    • Membership number (if applicable)
    • Telephone number
    • Email address of your ASME web account (if applicable)

If you would like to exercise any of the rights below, you can email, call or write to us, on the contact details provided below. Please provide your full name, membership number (if applicable), contact telephone number and email address.

  • Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms.  You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes.  In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.
  • Request restriction of processing of your personal data.  This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios:
    • if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy;
    • where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it;
    • where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or  
    • you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.
  • Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party.  We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format.  Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.
  • Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data.  However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent.  If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

If you would like to opt out from receiving marketing messages from us, please see section above on OPTING OUT.


We will need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights).  This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.  We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.


We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month.  Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests.  In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.


Our websites may include links to third-party websites, plug-ins and applications.  Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you.  We do not control these third-party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements.  When you leave our website, we encourage you to read the privacy policy of every website you visit.


This version was last updated in September 2018

It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current.  Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.


Our full details are:

Full name of legal entity:

The Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME)

Address:  Thain House, 226 Queensferry Road, Edinburgh, EH4 2BP, Scotland

Telephone:  (+44) 0131 225 9111

Email:  [email protected]

You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (www.ico.org.uk).  We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO, so please contact us in the first instance.



Legitimate Interest means the interest of our business in conducting and managing our business to enable us to give you the best service/product and the best and most secure experience.  We make sure we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative) and your rights before we process your personal data for our legitimate interests.  We do not use your personal data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you (unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted to by law).

Performance of Contract means processing your data where it is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party or to take steps at your request before entering into such a contract.

Comply with a legal or regulatory obligation means processing your personal data where it is necessary for compliance with a legal or regulatory obligation that we are subject to.


Publishing partner Wiley, Accountants, Legal advisors, IT Support company.


  • Service providers acting as processors based in the United Kingdom who provide IT and system administration services.
  • Professional advisers acting as processors or joint controllers including lawyers, bankers, auditors and insurers based in the United Kingdom and Ireland who provide consultancy, banking, legal, insurance and accounting services.

HM Revenue & Customs, regulators and other authorities acting as processors or joint controllers based in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore and United Arab Emirates who require reporting of processing activities in certain circumstances.

ASME PhD/Doctoral Grant Guidance

The closing date for this award has no passed. 

2017 recipient:

The first recipient of this award is Professor Tim Dornan, Queen’s University Belfast, and his colleagues from the Universities of Southampton, UK and Western University, Canada.

They will use the funding to explore children might contribute to the education and training of doctors. Their project, “Out of the mouth of babes”, was one of many that entered for the inaugural award and, despite formidable competition, has been determined the winner. Congratulations to all involved!

Key dates

The closing date for bids was 30th August 2017
We expect to receive one electronic version of the application as an email attachment from the Principal Supervisor (or nominee) by noon on the closing date.  

Applicants will be informed as to the outcome of their application by 31st October 2017.  The studentship is expected to commence from January 2018 but there would be some flexibility for the right candidate.

Aims of the ASME 60th anniversary PhD/Doctoral grants programme

To support the over-arching aims of ASME: To meet the needs of teachers, trainers and learners in medical education by supporting research-informed best practice across the continuum of medical education” and to support internationally-excellent medical education research.


The Supervisory Team must have experience of successful supervision of doctoral students.  The PhD studentship must be undertaken full time. The Principal Supervisor must be an individual ASME members at the point of application and maintain this through the duration of the grant.  At least one other member of the supervisory team must be an individual ASME member for the duration of the grant.  The student recruited for the project is also expected to join ASME as an individual member, and the funding for this can be taken from the post’s training budget.  The Principal Supervisor and at least one other supervisor must have supervised a PhD to successful completion previously. It is not essential to have a student in mind at the point of application, although a plan for identifying and appointing one in the given timescales will be needed.

Supervisory Team

The Supervisory Team will comprise at least two individuals, covering topic and methodological expertise. They must have experience of successful supervision of doctoral students.  Applications from a supervisory team spanning more than one institution, and/or discipline, are particularly encouraged to further collaborative opportunities and to contribute to development of the supervisory team.  Additional supervisors may be justified, for example to provide a development opportunity for a new doctoral supervisor or to provide additional methodological support. 

Assessment of applications

All applications will be processed by the ASME office initially.  Those which have not fulfilled the guidance will be rejected (Stage 1: Screening). 

The remaining applications will be reviewed internally by a Panel comprising the Director of Awards, Director of Innovations and Chair of ASME.  If any of these individuals have conflicts of interest in relation to one or more applications, they will withdraw from the entire review process and other senior members of ASME will be invited onto the panel (e.g., the Chair of the Education Research Committee).  The panel will review all applications and assign each to be reviewed by at least two independent reviewers who are from different institutions from the applicants and do not hold ASME Director roles (Stage 2: Allocation of expert reviewers). 

Assessors will be selected on the basis of their expertise and we anticipate going outside the UK to recruit assessors.  Assessors are asked to complete the attached assessment criteria for each project (see Appendix A), noting that all applicants will receive full feedback on their applications (anonymised if the assessor prefers this).

Reviews will be collated and returned to the panel for final decision making (Stage 3: Selection).

Terms and conditions

Applications from outside the UK will be considered but funding is available at UK home student rates only, reflecting that the majority of ASME members are UK-based.  It is also expected that the PhD student will attend ASME events, such as the ASME Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) (see below).  The stipend is set at the national Minimum Doctoral Stipend, which for 2017/18 is £14,553.  Note that ASME funding is available for 36 months only.  ASME will not fund an additional “writing up” period.  Project consumables and training budget are capped at 12K over the 36 months of the grant.  This includes any Open Access publishing costs.

We have adopted the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Conditions of Research Council Training Grants. Please see http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/documents/termsconditionstraininggrants-pdf/ These terms and conditions should be read in conjunction with the RCUK Statement of Expectations http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/skills/statementofexpectation-pdf/.  In this context, ASME equates to a Research Council.

ASME does not use the RCUK Je-S Student Details (Je-S SD) system but will follow the same guidance, with equivalent processes for monitoring and supervision.  As general guidance, we will request a financial statement and an update on student progress and monitoring in each year of funding.  The format of the latter is flexible, and can tie in with local monitoring processes.  This will be discussed with the successful team, to ensure due governance but avoid unnecessary repetition.

Acknowledgement of support

Publications and other forms of media communication, including media appearances, press releases and conferences, must acknowledge the support received from ASME. Journal publications should acknowledge the funding source using the standard format agreed by ASME and publishers.

ASME PhD students receive a fee waiver for the ASME ASM, but must cover their travel and accommodation costs from their Training Budget.  ASME PhD/Doctoral students will be expected to present their work-in-progress at each annual ASMs. This may be in the form of posters and short communications initially, then a plenary oral presentation as the project nears finalisation.

PhD format

PhDs by publication or thesis will be supported, depending on the host institution’s guidelines. Whichever format is followed, ASME expects the PhD student to submit, and ideally publish, their research to a high quality journal during the funding period.

Appendix A: Assessment criteria (Expert reviewers)

Name of principal applicant:

Name of administering institution:

Name of award:

Project title:

Reviewer name (omit this if you prefer to remain anonymous):

Criteria and Grading [1]

  • The proposed work is original, rigorous and significant
  • The applicants have considered potential issues and how to address them
  • The proposed work has the potential to impact on practice and/or policy locally, nationally and internationally
  • The proposed activities, timelines and milestones of the project are realistic and achievable
  • The proposed work is good value for money                      
  • The ethical issues for the project have been adequately considered                       
  • The applicants have the necessary expertise in the relevant field             
  • The applicants have the supervisory experience
  • The research environment is supportive
  • The applicants have provided sufficient details of the assessment and progression criteria, processes and milestones for PhD students
  • The institution’s processes for the selection and recruitment of PhD students are clear
  • The project has the potential to facilitate collaborations within and beyond ASME           
  • Total score and any additional general comments[2]:

    What were the strengths of this proposal?

    What could have been improved?

    Would you recommend funding?


    Please click HERE to download the ASME PhD programme application
    Please click HERE to download the ASME PhD grants guidance

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    Directors & Office Bearers

    Professor Derek Gallen - President
    Professor Derek Gallen - President
    Professor Sandra Nicholson - Chair
    Professor Sandra Nicholson - Chair
    Martin J McAreavey - Treasurer
    Martin J McAreavey - Treasurer
    Colin Lumsden - Director of Membership
    Colin Lumsden - Director of Membership
    Dr Jennifer Hallam - Director of Events
    Dr Jennifer Hallam - Director of Events
    Professor RK (Bob) McKinley - Director of Career Groups
    Professor RK (Bob) McKinley - Director of Career Groups
    Professor Karen Mattick - Director of Awards
    Professor Karen Mattick - Director of Awards
    Riya Elizabeth George - Honorary Secretary
    Riya Elizabeth George - Honorary Secretary
    Dr Louise Dubras - Director of Networks
    Dr Louise Dubras - Director of Networks
    Dr Kim Walker - Director of Publications
    Dr Kim Walker - Director of Publications
    Jonny Guckian - Director of SoMe and Communications
    Jonny Guckian - Director of SoMe and Communications
    Sarah A Innes - Non-Executive Director
    Sarah A Innes - Non-Executive Director
    Mark Lillicrap - Director from the Membership
    Mark Lillicrap - Director from the Membership

    Staff - Headquarters

    Jenny Ogg - Operations Manager
    Jenny Ogg - Operations Manager
    Tyler Dimich - Operations Supervisor
    Tyler Dimich - Operations Supervisor
    Leigh Morrish - Events and Conference Co-ordinator
    Leigh Morrish - Events and Conference Co-ordinator
    Kath Phillipps - Administrator
    Kath Phillipps - Administrator
    Helen Steele - Administrator
    Helen Steele - Administrator


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    10th to 12th July 2013

    TASME plans to hold workshops at next year’s 2013 ASME Annual Scientific Meeting

    Further details will follow nearer the time.


    To view photographs from our ASM, please click here.

    Social Media

    To be kept up to date with all that is happening in medical education, follow us on Facebook and on Twitter


    During our Annual Scientific Meeting and other prominent events throughout the year, we record our speakers and make this available to our members. For recent videos, please click here.

    Members of ASME's Policy Directory are invited to contribute to all external consultations.  The final version response is collated and edited by the Director of Strategic Development, who seeks to provide a consensus of views and a fair representation of opinions of ASME members.

    For details of the current ASME Policy Directory Members click here (9KB pdf)

    To read ASME's official response to consultation documents please see the links below:

    Shape of Training

    Future Forum

    Licence to Practice and Revalidation Regulations

    Good Medical Practice

    Trainers Consultation

    Registration Application Received

    Thank you for your application, your details have now been passed onto our staff who will deal with them accordingly.  For your records you will also receive email confirmation to the address noted in your application with the details supplied.


    The ASME team.

    The Educator Development Group’s “What’s hot in learning and teaching innovations in medical education?”

    Wednesday 9.30am – 12pm

    This session will be a showcase for innovations in learning and teaching in medical education.  The format will be short presentations (6 in total), with a Q&A session at the end of each presentation.   Two presentations will be chosen from the abstracts submitted to the ASM; two will be invited from journal articles featured in recent issues of Medical Education and The Clinical Teacher and two presentations will be the recipients of the EDG’s Educator Innovation Awards.

    Institutional Members Forum

    Thursday 2.20pm – 4.20pm

    The aim of this forum is to connect with institutional members to establish what ASME can provide for them in addition to what is provided at the moment.  This will be an excellent opportunity to network with other institutional representatives nationally and internationally.  ASME’s Director of Strategic Development, Professor Patsy Stark, will lead this session.

    EDG: extended meeting and world café session

    Thursday 10.45am – 12.45pm

    This session will start with a welcome from Gill Doody and a brief description of the EDG remit and business plan for 2011/2012. The world café session will then begin consisting of 5/6 tables with a facilitator at each table discussing various themes, allowing the delegates to move around and choose which theme/facilitator they may be interested in.

    There will then be a review of the group discussions

    Safe prescribing for Junior Doctors: Educational Implications from Research. What are your views?

    Thursday 12.45pm – 2.45pm

    *** Please note this workshop is now full ***

    Prescribing errors are complex and may require a range of interventions. Two recent studies PROTECT (Scotland) and EQUIP (England) have identified the prevalence and causes of prescribing errors made by junior doctors and explored their views. This workshop will compare the key findings from these studies, and review the role of recent proposals such as the Prescribing Skills Assessment being developed by the Medical Schools Council and British Pharmacological Society in addressing identified skills deficits. We will draw on the expertise of the workshop participants to identify and prioritise educational interventions to address the identified causes of prescribing errors. Workshop outputs will inform future educational research approaches.

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    Micronesia, Fed. Sts.

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    Russian Federation
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    St. Kitts and Nevis
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    Registration and refreshments


    Welcome and introduction


    Keynote 1: Misogyny Posing as Measurement: Disrupting the Feminisation Crisis Discourse

    Louise Morley, University of Sussex


    Parallel sessions

    Session 1

    Feminist approaches to research

    Miriam David

    IoE, University of London

    Appreciative Inquiry

    Glynis Cousin

    University of Wolverhampton

    Textual analysis

    Deborah Gill, Ann Griffin & Sophie Park

    University College London

    Beginning research

    Focus Groups

    Lesley Pugsley

    Cardiff University & Diana Leonard

    IoE, University of London

    Beginning research

    How to write a research question

    Jane Stewart

    University of Newcastle & Jean McKendree

    Hull York Medical school

    Invited Papers:
    Activity Theory

    David Guile

    IoE, University of London

    Submitted Papers


    Doctoral Session

    Chair: Megan  Crawford

    Oxford Brookes University




    Keynote 2: Learning in the operating theatre

    Gunther Kress, Institute of Education (IoE), University of London


    Parallel sessions

    Session 2

    Using Activity Theory

    Clare Morris

    University of Bedfordshire

    Supervision and academic writing

    Kirsti Lonka

    University of Helsinki


    Workplace studies

    Will Gibson

    IoE, University of London

    Beginning research

    Questionnaire Design

    Sue Jamieson

    University of Glasgow


    Beginning research

    Writing a research proposal


    Jan Illing

    University of Durham


    Invited Papers

    Does what you know depend on who you know? A social network analysis of ethnicity, friendship & performance at medical school

    Katherine Woolf

    University College London




    Doctoral session

    Chair: Diana Leonard

    IoE, University of London








    Keynote 3: Researching PhD studies

    Kirsti Lonka, University of Helsinki


    Parallel sessions

    Session 3


    Why psychometrics are useful

    Cees van der Vleuten

    University of Maastricht


    Researching changes in practice

    Karen Mann

    Dalhousie University, Canada



    Meta Analysis

    Mark Newman

    IoE, University of London


    Beginning research

    Introduction to Statistics

    Katherine Woolf

    University College London


    Beginning research

    How to get published

    Graham Buckley

    & Gavin Sharrock

    Wiley - Blackwell

    Submitted Papers


    Doctoral session

    Chair: Will Gibson

    IoE, University of London








    Keynote 4: Moving assessment beyond the psychometric discourse

    Cees van der Vleuten, University of Maastricht


    Close of conference

    This page provides links to download any and all documents from our past courses and conferences, subject to availability. To view more information and any available downloads for any particular course or conference, just click on its name to expand it.


    ASME Conference: Medical Students & Professional Behaviour - Thursday 5th June 2008


    ASME Conference: Onwards and upwards - how junior doctors learn to cope when changing environments and responsibilities - Friday 17th Oct 2008


    ASME Conference - Researching learning and assessment in the clinical workplace - Monday 17th November 2008


    ASME Education Research Seminar - Wednesday 19th November 2008


    ASME Conference: Are medical graduates prepared for practice? - Thursday 4th December 2008



    ASME Conference:A Career Service for Doctors in Training - Thursday 18 January 2007


    Medical School Finals Conference - Tuesday 6 March 2007


    Clinical Skills: Fit for Practice? - 24th April 2007


    ASME Conference: A Career Service for Doctors in Training - Thursday 21 June 2007


    ASME Golden Jubilee 24 Hour Conference: Global Medical Education: a special role for Europe? - 18-19 October 2007


    Conference: A Career Service for Doctors in Training - Tuesday 20 November 2007


    Recruitment into Foundation and Specialist Training Programmes in the UK - 12 December 2007



    The Oxford Medical Curriculum

     Aims of the Medical School


    • To provide a medical course for students selected on the basis of intellectual ability and vocational aptitude, regardless of cultural and ethnic background, within the stimulating educational environment of a collegiate university
    • To provide a medical course that is suited to students with a strong interest in, and aptitude for, biomedical science, and that includes an honours degree for all students
    • To produce doctors who have a scientific approach and an ability to relate sympathetically to patients and their families or friends
    • To provide students with a sound basis for life-long learning, by encouraging critical thinking and scientific enquiry
    • To further the development of students interested in academic medicine or medical science, by providing an environment in which basic and clinical research are actively pursued at the highest level




    Oxford offers two courses in medicine, both leading to the same qualification, Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (BM, BCh).  The courses aim to produce clinicians with a good grounding not only in basic clinical and scientific knowledge, but also with strongly-developed skills of self-directed learning, critical appraisal of published research evidence, and an understanding of how new data and techniques may be applied to clinical practice.  The intention is to produce clinical practitioners who have the skills, knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm to keep up to date with the best in clinical practice and research throughout their professional careers.



    This course is divided into two stages: a pre-clinical course (3 years) including an honours BA degree; and clinical medicine (3 years).

    (a)        Years one to three: THE PRE-CLINICAL SCIENCES

    i.   Entry qualifications (intake: 150 places)

    A level qualifications (or equivalent)


    A Level


    International Baccalaureate

    3 A Levels are required.  These must include

    Chemistry with either Maths, Physics or Biology


    At most colleges the typical conditional offer is AAA.


    If you don’t have Maths, Biology and Physics at A Level you must have GSCEs in these subjects (at grade C or above) or in Maths and Dual Award Combined Sciences.

    5 Highers plus advanced Highers or CSYS are required.  These must include 

    an advanced higher (or CSYS) in Chemistry and 

    a Higher in Biology and/or Maths and/or Physics.


    AAAAA/B is the typical offer.


    If you don’t have Maths, Biology and Physics at Higher Level you must have Intermediate 2 or standard grade (Credit) in these subjects.

    At least 38-40 points are required. Subjects studied must include:

    Chemistry at Higher Level 

    A second science subject from Group 4 in place of a Group 6 subject. 

    The second science subject and/or Maths at Higher Level.


    A score of 7 should be obtained in all subjects taken at Higher Level.



    Graduate qualifications

    Graduates with a degree in non-biological sciences (including humanities) are welcome to apply.  Graduates may complete this course in five years by omitting the BA degree.  Graduates with a bioscience degree may prefer to apply for the shorter four year course.

    ii.    The Pre-clinical Course with BA degree

    The first five terms introduce students to the fundamental aspects of the structure and function of the healthy body, and to the basic mechanisms underlying disease.  Students learn the principles of medical sociology and of psychology for medicine and consider the experimental evidence that supports our scientific understanding.  Students learn about scientific method, experimental techniques, and data interpretation; and become increasingly critical of what they read in books and learn in lectures.

    Attention to clinical significance is encouraged by the Patient/Doctor course.  In this course, students interview patients in general practice and hospital settings.  Clinical supervisors help them to apply their scientific learning to clinical problems, and to consider the social and psychological context of health and illness.

    For each system of the body, students study development and structure, and physiology and pharmacology in a co-ordinated way, to develop an integrated understanding of how the body works.  They also learn about the regulatory roles of the nervous and endocrine systems.  Studying molecular and cell biology, and the biochemistry of metabolism enables students to understand the materials of which the body is made and the properties and interactions of cells and tissues.  Students study the structure and function of the brain and some fundamental aspects of psychology.  They learn about disease processes, infection and cancer, and see the effects of illness on patients and their relatives.  They learn about the immune system and also about modern genetics and its developing importance in medicine.

    The curriculum is divided into a core, which all undergraduates are expected to know at a basic level, and a wider syllabus from which students may choose to follow their own interests to a large extent.

    A unique aspect of the Oxford Course is the Final Honours School (FHS) which aims to develop interpretative and critical skills and leads to an Honours BA.  Most medical students choose a degree in Physiological Sciences though some elect to take the Philosophy, Psychology and Physiology (PPP) degree which involves an additional year of study.  Exceptionally students can take other degrees, including Arts degrees.  A research project forms the major part of the final honours school.

    Students are expected to become fully accustomed to working from research papers, and primary sources in the literature, and are encouraged to think both critically and creatively (for instance, to propose their own hypotheses and test them against the published results).  They gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding in some areas of biomedical science of their choosing, and improve their technical ability both at the bench and in the use of computers to handle and present experimental results and to search scientific databases.  Students also learn to express themselves clearly and effectively both on paper and orally.  Many of these skills are not restricted to medicine and should prove valuable irrespective of the students’ career choice after graduation.

    The BA in Physiological Sciences is under revision and may be modified in style.  Currently it includes:

    either four 'options' or three ‘options’ and a dissertation.  The options available might typically include:

    • Biochemistry: Molecular Mechanisms of Disease
    • Neurosciences I (cellular)
    • Neurosciences II (systems)
    • Circulation
    • Respiration
    • Physiology of Epithelia
    • Endocrinology
    • Cell Biology
    • Immunology
    • Pharmacology
    • Developmental Biology
    • Cellular Physiology
    • a 'Physiological Sciences' paper
    • a practical requirement: two sets of classes (or just one set if the dissertation involves significant practical work).


    iii. Principles of Clinical Anatomy

    This course, at the end of the third year, is designed to teach students about the clinically important aspects of anatomy that will be of immediate use during the clinical training.

    iv. Learning styles

    Lectures, seminars and practical classes are offered during the morning sessions, with afternoons being set aside for private study.  Students attend personal tutorials (an average of two per week) individually or in groups of up to four, for which they are expected to prepare work during the afternoon private-study sessions.  Undergraduates are encouraged to read widely around and beyond the core curriculum for themselves, and will be expected to present their work in tutorials.  Tutorials and most seminars are problem-based, to encourage understanding of the core material and discourage rote learning.  Tutorials encourage students to follow their own interests in the medical literature, perhaps with an exploration of relevant current research, and credit is given in examinations for breadth of reading and consideration of experimental evidence.

    v.  Assessments

    Throughout the course students’ performance is assessed informally during college tutorials and this helps students and tutors identify strengths and weaknesses.  Practical classes are formally assessed and each subject is assessed by a three-hour written paper.  There are four of these papers at the end of the first year and towards the end of the second year.  A dissertation forms a major part of the BA examination at the end of the third year.

    The Pre-Clinical Course not only provides students with the knowledge and understanding required to make a start in clinical medicine, but also provides an understanding of science and of scientific method that prepares students for a world where medical practice is rapidly evolving.  It enables students to make their own distinctive contributions to that evolution.


    (b) Years four to six: CLINICAL MEDICINE


    i.   Entry qualifications (intake 113 places, rising to 130 in 2004)

    The Clinical School will admit and consider applications only from HEFCE quota pre-clinical students (i.e. students who have been admitted against a nationally set medical student quota at a UK University).  The admissions procedure is competitive and the applications are welcome from those students who have completed their pre-clinical studies at any UK medical school.  Students who have completed their pre-clinical studies in Oxford must compete with those from other schools for a place on the Oxford clinical course, but the joint admission process ensures that suitably qualified Oxford students will be allocated a clinical place in a London school or Cambridge if not in Oxford.  The following university qualifications are required:

    University of Oxford: First BM Examination and a Second Public Examination (normally the Honour School of Physiological Sciences) for the BA degree.

    University of Cambridge: Second MB examinations (in Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Medical Genetics, Pharmacology, Population Sciences, and Pathology (Psychology is not required)), and who have passed the Tripos examinations for the BA degree.

    Other UK universities: a course of study in the medical sciences which shall have included the subjects of the First B.M. Examination at Oxford1 and which in the opinion of the divisional board adequately qualifies the candidate to take the course; and an approved Honours degree in Science or in Arts.

    Students who decide to do a research degree in Oxford or elsewhere before starting the clinical course must complete their thesis before they begin their clinical training.  There is no spare time in the clinical course for completing theses.


    ii.  Year 4 (First Clinical Year)

    Year 4 provides clinical skills training: students learn the skills needed to communicate with patients, obtain a medical history, examine the principal systems and perform simple procedures.  By the end of Year 4 students should be able to:

    •  describe the pathophysiology and clinical presentation of common and important conditions
    • communicate concisely, clearly and courteously;
    • obtain a structured history and examine the principal systems; and explain the indications for simple investigations and evaluate the resultsperform specified practical procedures

    Learning takes place during GP attachments and medical and surgical attachments both in Oxford and local district general hospitals (Banbury, Northampton, Reading and Swindon).  Students work with actors to develop communication skills and are introduced to the issues surrounding medical law and ethics through small group work.  Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests in 4-weeks of "Special Study".  The School offers a portfolio of modules that include opportunities to study humanities such as ethics, theology, philosophy, history of medicine, literature or a foreign language, or to pursue a scientific interest in depth.

    Many final year medical students complete our “Medical Education module” and these trained students teach and support new clinical students who have just started to work on the wards.


    iii. Year 5 (Second Clinical Year)

    During this year, students develop their clinical skills and knowledge through specialty rotations.  Students rotate through specialist attachments for periods of between two and eight weeks (depending on the specialty).  These attachments are: orthopaedics, accident and emergency and musculo-skeletal medicine; psychiatry; obstetrics and gynaecology; public health medicine; primary care; clinical geratology; palliative medicine; neurology (including neurosurgery); ophthalmology; ear, nose and throat surgery (ENT).


    iv. Year 6 (Third Clinical Year)

    Year 6 fosters self-directed study and focuses on consolidating the skills and attitudes required of a pre-registration house-officer (PRHO).  The aim is a seamless transition from the final year through to the pre-registration year.  Students learn to:

    ·        formulate a management plan after considering the differential diagnosis and reaching a diagnosis

    ·        explain diagnosis and management to patient and colleagues

    ·        keep clear and accurate hospital records

    ·        explain principles of drug therapy

    ·        explain the steps involved in breaking bad news and obtaining informed consent

    ·        perform (under supervision) routine tasks, such as admitting/discharging patients, writing a prescription, and presenting cases

    The year starts with a six month General Clinical Skills Course, during which students return to general medicine and surgery, both in Oxford and at District General hospitals.  This course aims to consolidate their clinical skills and concentrates on strategies for treatment and management.  The last six months is devoted to vocational skills and opportunities for special study.  During this period, students prepare for their first pre-registration house officer post by shadowing the PRHO who they will be replacing on qualification and by completing a course preparing them for practice as a PRHO.  Further opportunities for self-directed study are provided throughout the course, including the 3000-word essay, a ten-week elective and programme of special study modules.

    v.  Learning styles

    Supervised learning occurs at the bedside, on ward rounds, in tutorials, student Grand Rounds and in clinics.  Practical training is provided in the Skills Centre and by courses on Basic and Advanced Life Support.  Teaching is complemented by techniques such as videotaped consultations, simulated patients and role-play.  During clinical attachments students are expected to present patients on ward rounds and at firm meetings, and critically appraise the medical literature related to the diagnosis and management of the cases.  Tutorials and seminars are case-based.

    vi. Assessment

    Assessments are staged throughout the clinical years and aim to foster acquisition of clinical skills and knowledge.  Oral presentations and written work evaluate ability to communicate professionally, to present ideas and to think critically.  Observed clinical examinations and log-books help students to meet educational goals.  Students are assigned academic tutors who provide instruction and clinical guidance throughout the course.

    vii.       Pastoral support

    Pastoral support is provided by the Director of Clinical Studies (DCS) and his Deputy, and in addition, each clinical student is provided with a pastoral advisor, usually a clinician based in their College, whom they meet at least once per term.  The clinical students' association, Osler House Club, also provides excellent peer support.


    i.      Entry requirements (intake 30 places)

    The course is currently open only to bioscience graduates2 who have some understanding of biological processes, not for people with a particular subset of factual knowledge.  Acceptable qualifications include degrees in the following areas: Anatomy; Biochemistry; Biology; Botany; Dentistry; Immunology; Microbiology; Neuroscience; Pathology; Pharmacology; Physiology; Plant Sciences; Psychology; Vet Science; Zoology.  An updated list of acceptable subject can be found at www.medicine.ox.ac.uk.

    As the course is intensive and academic in orientation, students need to demonstrate some hard evidence of real academic strength, and we look for:

    ·        scholastic excellence (in the broadest sense);

    ·        evidence of originality of thought or initiative;

    ·        good comprehension and verbal reasoning;

    ·        an ability to present ideas clearly in writing;

    ·        an ability to handle and interpret quantitative data;

    ·        an ability to think analytically.

    Some excellent students are "late developers", and outstanding 'A'-levels or degree result (though a 2:i or better, or a GPA above 3.5 is normally expected) is not essential.

    ii.  The first year

    The first year of the course builds on students’ bioscience background to cover most of the basic science that is needed for medicine, and also introduces essential clinical skills such as taking a clinical history and performing a physical examination.  The aims of this year is to cover the core of medical science in which all medical students must be competent, to understand the application of science to clinical practice, and to gain experience in applying science and clinical skills to the process of diagnostic problem-solving.

    iii. The second year

    The second year builds on the basic science and clinical skills of the first year and leads to periods of more intensive clinical practice.  This year offers some more clinical science training, followed by several attachments (of between f our and eight weeks) to medical and surgical firms in Oxford and in other hospitals in the region, as well as some experience in general practice.  By the end of this year, students should be able to recognise common disease patterns in medicine and surgery and be capable of reaching a diagnosis of the more common illnesses.  They should also be able to plan elementary clinical investigations.  A nine-week clinical pathology (“Laboratory Medicine”) block is interspersed with the clinical attachments.  The science teaching will continue throughout the year, and will be oriented more directly towards clinical practice.  Students are expected to review clinical trials and clinical research reports, and to appraise the application of such reports to clinical practice.

    iv. The third and fourth years

    The final two years are fully integrated with the clinical course.

    v.  Assessment

    Informal assessments are held at several points during the first year, to provide feedback to students and tutors.  Assessments are also held towards the end of each clinical attachment throughout the course.  Formal University examinations take place at the end of the first and second years and these assessments mix written and clinical appraisal.  There is in addition an element of “continuous assessment”, particularly during clinical attachments.


    3.  CONTACTS

    For specific enquiries about studying medicine see the website www.medicine.ox.ac.uk or contact:

    Admissions: Dr Catherine Hawkins, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE  Tel: 01865 272527 or e-mail [email protected]

    Specifically about the Graduate-entry Course: Ms Michelle Bryan, Medical School Office, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU  Tel. 01865 228975 or e-mail [email protected]

    Specifically about the Clinical Course: Mrs Laura Morgan, Medical School Office, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU  Tel. 01865 221686 or e-mail [email protected]

    Contact the College Admissions Office for a University Prospectus and further information about the University and Colleges at: Colleges Admissions Office, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD  Tel: +44 (0)1865 270207, fax: +44 (0)1865 270708  www.admissions.ox.ac.uk/

    1 Human Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Psychology for Medicine, Medical Genetics, Medical Sociology.

    2 Graduates in non-science subjects may be admitted to the standard pre-clinical course without having to complete the final honour school (roughly speaking, year 3), thus completing the pre-clinical course in five terms.

    The Undergraduate Medical Curriculum


    Throughout its modern history the Medical School has enjoyed a reputation for innovation in medical education. The excellence of our programmes, was confirmed by the GMC and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) at their most recent visitations. The current integrated, systems-based approach was first introduced in 1962 and revised in 1976 and 1994. In this curriculum, traditional discipline-oriented teaching, associated with specific Departments operating as autonomous academic units, was replaced by modular courses of study based largely upon organ systems of the body. In 1987, the need for further change was recognised, and a major review and gradual re-orientation of the undergraduate programme commenced. In 1994, informed by Tomorrow's Doctors, the curriculum was once again modified. The most recent review began in 2000 to incorporate the successful bids for expansion, and the partnership with Durham University. The 'new' curriculum takes account of 'standards' as well as 'benchmarks, and is case-led. It concentrates on 'outcome-based' education that focuses on the 'end-product', and defines what the learner is accountable for.

    Selection and Admissions Procedures

    The admissions process is supervised by the Senior Admissions Tutor for Medicine. In 2000/01 there were over 2500 applications for 340 places of which 220 places were available on the five year programme at Newcastle (14 of these places were for overseas students). Ninety five places were available at the University of Durham, Stockton Campus. The remaining 25 places were available on the four year accelerated programme offered by Newcastle. This programme was recently introduced for graduates and health care professionals with the relevant post registration professional qualifications. The school continues to provide a pre-medical year for a small number of students with non-science 'A' levels or equivalent vocational qualifications.

    The Recruitment and Admissions Executive Committee ensures that the Admissions Policy is applied consistently across all entry routes and takes into account the views of external bodies such as the GMC and the QAA. The Admissions Policy is renewed annually in the light of previous experience and changing national needs.

    Every candidate is considered on the basis of their application form. Attention is paid not only to academic performance but also to non-academic attributes such as communication skills and whether a candidate has shown a commitment to a career in Medicine and evidence of concern for the welfare of others. No candidate will be made an offer without attending for interview.

    The school continues to provide a pre-medical year for a small number of students with non-science 'A' levels or equivalent vocational qualifications.

    There is a fixed quota or 14 places for overseas students.

    The Medical School recently introduced an accelerated four year degree programme for graduates and health care professionals with the relevant post registration professional qualifications.

    Description of the group responsible for organising and monitoring the curriculum

    The Board of Medical Studies oversees the undergraduate degree programme, and has ultimate responsibility for all aspects of curriculum management. It comprises an executive group overarching two Co-ordinating Committees, one for Phase I (comprising Stage 1, Stage 2 and the Accelerated Programme introduced from September 2003), and the other for Phase II (comprising Stages 3 and 4). Membership of the Executive includes academic and clinical staff, the Dean, student members and a lay representative. The sub-ordinate Co-ordinating Committees comprise Course and Module Directors responsible for delivering the curriculum in the respective Phase. In addition the Board has several sub-committees and/or working groups which report to it on a regular basis, each having specific responsibilities for particular areas e.g. clinical skills, personal and professional development, student support, SSM's.

    The type of specialist medical education resource within the school

    The medical education unit has existed 'virtually' since 1993. However, in December 2000 the 'unit' moved into a new home, and comprises a Professor of Medical Education, a group of academics and administrative staff with a special interest and expertise in medical education and staff development, many of whom have a major role in the curriculum management process. The 'unit' also comprises the Faculty of Medicine Computing Centre who liaise closely with the Board of Medical Studies in the educational research and development arena. From 1 May 2002 the 'unit' will become the 'School of Medical Education Development' within the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

    There are strong links with the NHS, medical education specialists, and interested academics in the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine and Dentistry, the University's Quality Enhancement Unit, and national networks including the LTSN for which this University was awarded the Subject Centre for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science.

    The general framework and structure of the curriculum

    Briefly, the new core curriculum is built around the development of clinical competence. The training in clinical medicine starts in the first year, and the programme is case-led dealing essentially with normal and abnormal structure, function and behaviour. Clinical relevance is emphasised throughout. Early clinical experience is provided in the context of this programme in the form of laboratory-based teaching and learning of basic clinical skills, contextual visits to primary care centres and hospitals as well as project work. People as 'patients' play an active role in teaching and learning.

    The development of clinical competence is complemented by education in the sciences basic to medicine delivered in parallel through the first three and a half years of the programme. This provision comprises eight Subject Strands that are mapped to each of the four Stages of the curriculum, seven of which are 'core' and the eighth comprises Student Selected Choice, which now incorporates an early SSM in the second year. These are delivered in a series of linked, vertically integrated modular units; a 'constructivist' approach to learning has been adopted, in which knowledge and understanding is built upon prior experience gained in preceding stages of the programme and delivered within a spiral' model of curriculum design.

    The Accelerated Programme

    In September 2002, twenty five students will begin the four year accelerated degree programme. These students will complete a three-semester programme of study that incorporates teaching from the first two years of the standard programme. On successful completion of Year 1, students will join the mainstream students to begin third year, and will continue to follow the same programme of study until graduation.

    The Base-Units

    At the beginning of third year, those students who studied Phase I at Stockton will be integrated with those students who studied Phase I at Newcastle, and to accommodate the increase in student numbers, students will be allocated to one of four regional 'base-units' for their third year. Allocation to a Base Unit will be randomised so as to ensure that a broad experience of health care delivery systems throughout the region is gained.

    Base Unit attachments begin with a comprehensive 15-week clinical practice introduction where the key clinical skills of history taking and examination will be further developed, and early experience in medicine and surgery both in hospital and general practice settings will be gained.

    The 'Foundations of Clinical Practice' course is followed by a series of Essential Junior Rotations that emphasise the importance of hospital, primary care and community medicine, and address the overall theme of Health and Disease. Students will gain relevant experience by rotating through the various hospitals, practices and community facilities associated with the Base Unit. Following the end of the Base Unit Attachment, students will undertake a 12-week course in the clinical sciences and investigative medicine, to be delivered at the Medical School and hospitals in Newcastle.

    The scope and structure of Special Study Modules/Option

    Student choice is one of the major principles of the curriculum, and runs as a theme through the five years. A wide range of learning resources is provided to allow a student to select those most suited to him/her in helping to meet programme-wide and individual learning objectives. Throughout Phase I and Phase 2, students are also given the opportunity to study topics of their own choice.

    In Stage 1 and 2, students undertake a series of assignments that allow them to develop their skills of communication, critical thinking and information and data handling. These skills are subsequently used in the first SSM, in which students choose a topic that focuses on a particular aspect of a patient's condition and produce a review of the literature and critically appraise selected articles relating to that topic.

    In Phase II, the main block of student selected work is in the fourth Year. The philosophy underlying this concentration of elective study is that students by this stage will have a full range of experience so as to fully inform their choice. The focus for the Stage 4 Special Study Modules is on consolidation of critical and analytic skills developed earlier in the course, on integration of knowledge and on continuing development of professional skills and attitudes. The SSM's allow students the opportunity to study a variety of subjects of their own choice in depth, in order to develop a particular interest, explore a new subject, or study a topic with a view to a potential career. The students undertake three 7 week modules in sequence, selecting one from each of the three 'menus' under the following headings: community-based/mental health; hospital-based; and laboratory/investigative-based. A wide range of academic departments, clinical units, extra-mural organisations and individuals offers the modules. Currently, there are over 300 topics available ranging from clinical research to the history of medicine, problem-based learning in general practice to working with para-medics, and from specialist hospital clinical attachments to holistic medicine. Students are also afforded the opportunity of arranging a 'private' SSM both inside and outside the Northern Region where a particular topic, or specialist subject is not 'offered'. Student choice of SSM's is carried out using World Wide Web based 'Options selection' software.

    The theme of student choice continues with a 9-week period of elective study.

    During Final Year, students are attached to hospital units and general practices in Newcastle and throughout the Northern Deanery for periods of whole-time clinical work. The Essential Senior Rotations address the theme of Care and Management.

    Following the final examination, there is a 2-week preparatory course to ease the transition from final year student to Pre-registration House Office, providing a period of time to 'shadow' the outgoing House Officer.

    The outcome-based, case-led approach ensures integration with multidisciplinary sessions to allow the students to see how each component of the teaching fits together to provide an overall picture of diagnosis, treatment and care that includes ethics, primary health care, pharmacology and pathology.

    The current major review will continue until the first cohort to undertake the 'new' curriculum graduates in June 2006. However, the Newcastle undergraduate medical curriculum will continue being refined and amended to ensure that it meets the needs of an ever-changing Health Service.

    Publications for prospective medical students:

    UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service)

    A Student’s Guide to Entry to Medicine’ short booklet
    £6.00  (Please make cheque out to UCAS Enterprises Ltd)
    Available from:
    Distribution Dept
    UCAS Enterprises Ltd
    PO Box 130
    Fulton House
    Jessup Avenue
    Glos, GL50 3SH
    Telephone:  01242 227788

    Sixthformer’s guide to visiting universities and Colleges in 1998. And Opportunities in the Gap Year.  Published by ISCO.   Both published by ISCO.  Cover all subjects, but relevant to medicine.  To order copies telephone 01276 21188, or fax 01276 691833.

    Getting Into Medical School’ by Joe Ruston
    Price £7.99, published by Trotman & Co Ltd, ISBN 085660 3724
    Telephone number 0181 940 5668.

    The New Learning Medicine, by Peter Richards and Simon Stockill, 14th Edition, BMJ Publishing Group, Tavistock Square, London.  Price £10.95, 168 pages.  ISBN 0 7279 1155 4.  This updated version gives the lowdown on everything you need to know, from entry requirements, choosing a medical school, being interviewed and course content, to being a house officer, choosing  a specialty, and coping with doubt.

    Choosing Tomorrow’s Doctors’ produced by the Policy Studies Institute and St George’s Hospital Medical School, available from:
    Grantham Book Services Ltd
    Isaac Newton Way
    Alma Park Industrial Estate
    Lincs NG31 9SD
    Tel:  01476 541081
    Fax:  01476 541061.

    Introductory courses for prospective medical students:

    The Medical Careers Forum, recently established, organises one-day courses for sixth formers on how to apply for medicine, UCAS, selection processes, requirements, and interviews.
    For more information and details of the next event contact:
    Dr H A Mann
    Medical Careers Forum
    Alcombe House
    11 Hanson Street
    London W1P 7LL
    Telephone:  0171 436 2656
    Fax:  0171 436 2552.
    ‘Insight Into Medicine’ Courses at MPW
    These are a series of one-day courses aiming to provide would-be doctors with a practical introduction to an important area of medicine.  It is organised by Mander Portman Woodward (MPW) Sixth Form colleges, in conjunction with Ealing Hospital, London.  The course provides applicants to medical school with material for section 10 of their UCAS form and topics for discussion at interview.  The course is held by permission of a consultant cardiologist in the cardiology department, wards and lecture theatre of Ealing Hospital, Uxbridge Road, Southall, London.  Student s learn about hear disease through lectures, practical investigations and a ward round, using modern diagnostic equipment on volunteer patients.
    For further information contact:   Jackie Brown on 0171 581 7941, or send a fax on 0171 591 0167.  The next course will take place on Saturday 28 March 1998.
    Annual Medical Schools Admissions Seminars - UCAS
    Organised by UCAS for admissions tutors for Higher Education Courses in Medicine, teachers, tutors and advisory staff from schools, further education sector colleges and careers services.

    Seminars provide an opportunity for those concerned with the recruitment of students to Medical Schools to meet and discuss relevant issues.

    Cost:  £85.00 plus VAT
    Contact Irene Kirkman, Head of Information Services, UCAS,
    Telephone:  01242 544864, Fax:  01242 255725. 

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    Statement from our Chair regarding Covid-19
    and ASME events

    Desperate times call for desperate measures and so it was with great sadness that the Board of Directors made the decision to postpone our ASM planned for July 2020 in Liverpool and several other events/meetings. Our next ASM will now take place in 2021, details of date and venue will follow.

    We envisaged that large gatherings of people would be unsafe and of course wanted to do our bit to reduce the transmission of Covid-19. Many of our membership will be increasing their clinical duties and for those involved in transferring curricula online life has been very hectic. We want to support our members, healthcare professionals and educators who are providing front-line NHS services and training students to do so. 

    A big thank you to all our ASME members who are involved on the frontline as key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic - we appreciate all you do and hope that you stay safe.