Banner image: Teaching methods; Photo by Tine Ivanič on Unsplash

Our data table highlights teaching methods at UK medical schools, to help you make comparisons

Would you like to understand more about how UK medical schools use Traditional, Integrated, Case-based learning (CBL), Enquiry-based learning (EBL), or Problem-based learning (PBL) teaching methods?

Our interactive data table includes summary notes to help you identify UK medical schools where teaching suits your preferred ways of learning.

In our summary notes, we include links to UK medical school websites —  follow these for more details on teaching methods at your target medical schools.

To see the big picture, check also our chart showing distribution of teaching methods across UK medical schools

You can adjust this interactive table

By default, the table below displays all UK medical schools. To focus only on medical schools of interest, you can filter by medical school names. You can  also filter by general teaching method (Integrated or Traditional), or by specific technique (PBL, CBL, EBL). To revert after applying any filter, and see all (unfiltered) results, use the 'Reset' button.

Displaying 1 - 39 of 39 UK medical schools

Medical school Teaching method Notes about teaching

Integrated, systems-based approach. 
Clinical cases introduced from term two of first year.
As explained in its overview of teaching styles, Aberdeen medical school uses "a variety of methods and styles, continually seeking to make the teaching engaging, exciting and and responsive to the latest research in that subject area.... [Lectures are] standard University teaching format, this is where academic staff deliver the majority of their research-led teaching. Within this format, innovative use is made of educational voting handsets, to build a two-way communication between lecturer and student."
As explained in its course overview, from the first year "a series of clinical cases will be introduced. These will consist of a trigger - usually a clinical scenario with supplementary information - and a series of related questions. The aim of these is to supplement the formal teaching of the curriculum with “real-life” examples to encourage integration of traditional pre-clinical and clinical material, and of material taught in other sections of the MBChB programme."

Anglia Ruskin

Integrated, systems-based.
Includes student-selected components, giving you the chance to study an area of your choice.
As explained in the website overview of teaching methods, this medical school uses "a systems-based approach, and is part of a fully integrated course that focuses on normal and abnormal structure, function and behaviour, basic and clinical sciences and hospital and community perspectives on health..... The systems are taught in a way that integrates theoretical, practical and clinical aspects. This comprises lectures, anatomy dissection, clinical skills, laboratory work, small group work, placement exposure and private study time."


Integrated, systems-based course
Early clinical experience.
As explained in its overview of teaching, "at Aston Medical School you will be taught by medical professionals from a wide range of practice, industry and research backgrounds. During your time on campus, you will encounter a variety of learning and teaching methods, including: face to face and online lectures,group work and problem-based learning,seminars,clinical skills training,independent study,practical sessions,interactive workshops and tutorials,online resources. In addition to these learning methods, you will also spend time each year on a series of placements."


Early clinical experience
Emphasis on communication skills
Problem-based learning
Formal lectures play relatively small part in curriculum compared with more traditional programmes
As explained in its overview of teaching methods, Problem-based learning is a "central element of the medical curriculum.... PBL involves groups of eight to ten students working together to understand and explain the central issues of a problem under the guidance of a tutor. Effective teamwork is essential for PBL, and undertaking independent research and presenting your findings to the group will help you retain the information, developing your communication skills. The early use of clinical scenarios will help you apply your knowledge."


Diverse teaching style, involving lectures, seminars, and PBL.
Early patient contact, starting from week two.
First two years involve learning structure and function of the body.
Prosection used to aid learning of anatomy.
Years 3-5 take place in teaching hospitals, involving clinical attachments in different specialties.
As explained on the website overview of learning, "At Birmingham Medical School your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials to self-study and peer group learning. Throughout your time on the MBChB your learning opportunities will expand and you will be introduced to laboratory work, practical sessions, bedside teaching, clinical experience and problem based learning (PBL)."
As explained on the university website, Birmingham supports "Enquiry-based learning [as] ... an approach in which learning is driven by a process of enquiry shared with the student. Depending upon the level and the discipline, it can encompass problem-based learning, evidence-based learning, small scale investigations, field work, projects and research. Enquiry-based learning enables students to take control of their learning as they progress through their degree programme...."

Brighton and Sussex

Inegrated, systems-based curriculum.
Early patient contact. 
Anatomy is delivered via dissection, prosection, ultrasound sessions, and augmented reality technology.
As explained in its overview of teaching, "BSMS offers a distinctive and innovative course that prepares its graduates to enter an ever-changing and developing world of healthcare. On our course, you'll have early clinical contact with patients and carers, and interactions with health professionals in the hospital and community settings.... And you'll develop the essential knowledge underpinning clinical practice in medicine. Anatomy is taught by full cadaveric dissection, allowing you to turn theory into reality. We're proud of the quality of our teaching, reflected in our consistent position among the top medical schools in the National Student Survey."


Helical approach featuring case-based learning (CBL). 
Body systems are revisited every year in additional detail.
Hospital placements from third year onwards.
Anatomy teaching in small groups by medically qualified demonstrators, using cadaveric material and living anatomy (dissection is optional)
As explained in its overview of teaching methods, "Teaching is provided through a blend of lectures, practical exercises, small-group tutorials, case-based discussions and clinical work with doctors and healthcare professionals in a variety of settings. These can include primary care, outpatient clinics, hospital wards, the operating theatre and delivery suites."


Divided into 2 phases over 4.5 years
Phase I is basic science, phase II is clinical rotation
As explained in its overview of teaching methods, the key curriculum philosophy is 'guided learning': "We will help you to reach ... outcomes through an integrated set of learning experiences, some of which are structured by us to get you started, and, crucially, others which you must structure for yourself, so that you make your individual journey towards the outcomes. Our aim is to provide you with the raw material you need and the stimuli to build your understanding from that base.... Group work at Buckingham is not however 'problem based learning' as used in some other medical schools. You will not have to hunt out material as a group. What you have to do is to help one another discover understanding by active discussion of ideas through joint problem solving."


Three years of pre-clinical medicine taught via supervisions, seminars, and practicals.
Full body cadaveric dissection.
Intercalated tripos.
As explained in the GMC review of this medical school, "The entire pre-clinical course is taught via lectures, practicals and tutorials (known as college - based supervisions). Learning in clinical environments takes place in the Preparing for Patients programme." 
As noted in the overview of teaching and learning during the three clinical years at Cambridge, "Clinical teaching is delivered on the wards (with additional opportunities to attend general and specialist outpatient clinics) and in general practice. The course is based in Cambridge although at least one third is delivered in regional hospitals/practices to take advantage of the different educational opportunities which they are able to offer.... There are also supervisions, tutorials and lectures. Learning in small groups is important with an average of six-eight in an Undergraduate Clinical Supervision group."


Integrated, in a spiral curriculum.
Case-based learning (CBL), revisiting core themes every year in more detail.
As explained in its overview of teaching methods, "We use a blend of teaching methods with small group teaching and case based learning. Learning is supported and reinforced by a coordinated programme of lectures, seminars, practicals, lab and clinical skills sessions, and relevant clinical experience.... Case based learning is a structured and supported method of learning. This method of learning in the clinical context makes it easier to recall knowledge. You will learn practical clinical skills such as communication, examination and practical procedural skills in clinical skill centres. Communication skills are taught by using actors who are trained to behave as patients."


Integrated, spiral curriculum
Systems-based learning, lecture-based.
Dissection via Thiel-embalmed cadavers
Clinical training in years 4-5 in a variety of clinical attachments.
As explained in its overview of teaching, "We use a range of teaching methods as we know that not everyone learns in the same way, and we know from experience that certain subjects are better taught in a particular way. We'll help you to get the most out of your studies through our varied, engaging, and challenging curriculum.... You'll learn via: traditional lectures; problem-based lectures - where you'll explore a specific problem; case-based lectures - where you'll look into cases related to the topic you're learning about; team-based lectures - where you'll work in teams throughout the class."

Edge Hill

Integrated, spiral curriculum
Early clinical exposure.
Hybrid model of CBL.
As explained in its overview of course teaching,  "The programme utilises a wide variety of different teaching and learning opportunities. It will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, science-based practical sessions, clinical skills and simulation sessions, tutorials and clinical placements in local healthcare settings. The main educational approach across the first two years will be a hybrid model of case-based learning and team-based learning to equip you with essential inquiry, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. A spiral curriculum will be adopted, enabling you to revisit topics, build on previous knowledge, link theory to practice, and gain increasing confidence. Students will be required to access learning materials via an electronic smart device."


PBL used in years 1 & 2 for principles of practice, with early patient contact.
Year 3 involves research-based study to pursue a BSc.
Years 4-6 involve rotations through clinical attachments.
As explained in its overview of teaching styles, Edinburgh medical school "provides an introduction to the scientific, sociological and behavioural principles for the practice of medicine through a variety of teaching methods. Amongst these methods a problem based learning (PBL) approach is used to help integrate concepts; this reinforces the study of the fundamentals of medicine in context together with developing clinical reasoning and decision-making. PBL sessions are student directed and facilitated by members of staff."


PBL style teaching, with focus on small group work.
First 2 years pre-clinical, final 3 years clinical.
No dissection or prosections (see explanation of using after 2018 only plastinated human tissue in teaching anatomy)
As explained in its overview of teaching, this medical school uses PBL in "small groups for teaching ... where you’ll be taught to challenge, stretch, reward and empower yourself. This small group approach also means you’ll be prepared for working in a multi-professional clinical team in the NHS.... Ways of learning [include] lectures, which focus on specific subjects relevant to the cases you are studying and often involve external experts; Problem based learning (PBL) where you discuss case units and develop learning objectives; community placements..."


Integrated spiral curriculum, divided into 4 phases.
Teaching styles range from lectures, podcasts and other e-learning media, to small group teaching (including tutorials and Problem Based Learning), laboratory and dissection (cadaver) classes.
As explained in its overview of Medicine programme, "The MB ChB programme (specifically the “loops” of the spiral curriculum) has been organised into four Phases.  These overlap the five years of the course, and reflect the development of students as they progress through the curriculum.... We have also developed the concept of Vertical Themes... as subject areas which continue through the full five years of the programme."

Hull York

Students are based at either Hull or York.
Clinical rotations begin from 3rd year. "You will predominantly use prosections and plastinated specimens to learn anatomy from donated bodies:"
As explained in its overview of teaching, this medical school keeps "problem based learning at the heart of our curriculum. The main emphasis of problem based learning (PBL) is on small group working, centred – as the name implies – around a ‘problem’ or scenario. These scenarios are hypothetical patient cases. PBL allows you to form strong relationships, learn how to communicate effectively in a group and work as part of a team to tackle problems – developing skills that will be invaluable throughout your medical career. Our PBL groups are facilitated by experienced clinicians with a passion for education, who will facilitate and guide your learning while also providing pastoral care and support."


Scientific emphasis in years 1-2 with lectures, tutorials and Problem-Based Learning sessions.
Mandatory integrated BSc in year 4.
As explained in this medical school's summary of its teaching programme, "Our teaching is enriched by our internationally competitive research and clinical expertise, so you’ll be learning at the very cutting edge of the subject. We deliver the course through a range of innovative and traditional teaching methods, including lectures, small group teaching, computer workshops, laboratory classes and problem-based learning."


Early clinical experience.
Integrated communication and clinical skills teaching.
Practical sessions, including dissection.
Problem-based-learning (PBL), lectures, and seminars.
As explained in its overview of teaching, "Problem-based learning is one major component of the Keele curriculum. Students work in small groups to study written descriptions of clinical situations. Using a specific set of study skills, students use those scenarios to guide them towards relevant theoretical and practical learning. Normally, each scenario is the focus for learning for a week, with two tutorials (tutor in attendance) devoted to it. This process starts at entry to the medical school. From Year 3 onwards PBL develops into case-based learning where the written scenarios are augmented using discussions of patients encountered by students in their clinical placements."

Kent and Medway

BMBS jointly awarded by the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University.
As explained on its overview of teaching, this medical school " will use individual patient studies to help you to underpin the knowledge, skills and professional values of a doctor. Patient educators are involved throughout our programme to give you critical understanding of the patient’s journey and feedback on your skills. You will use an ePortfolio as part of your continual professional development, which will continue for the rest of your professional medical career. To help develop your skills, patient educators are involved throughout our programme to give you critical understanding and will focus on systems-based learning, working individually and in groups for both your academic and clinical teaching. You will learn the core knowledge and clinical skills of a doctor using lectures, tutorials, clinical symposia, cadaveric dissection, e-learning and clinical simulation."

King's College

Integration of medical science with clinical teaching throughout.
Mandatory intercalated BSc in year 3.
Mixture of lectures and seminars, including cadaveric dissection.
Small group and case-based teaching in clinical blocks.
As explained in this medical school's summary of its course structure and teaching programme, King's "provides an innovative and integrated curriculum ... of medical science with clinical teaching throughout with focus on learning in close contact with patients.... [Years 2 -5 include] small group and case-based teaching in clinical blocks."


Problem-based learning, lectures and clinical anatomy teaching
Virtual dissecting table.
Patient contact from year 2.
As explained in its overview of teaching, students learn "through problem-based learning, lectures and clinical anatomy teaching. Problem-based learning is a form of small group learning. In groups of usually 7 or 8, you will explore realistic patient-based scenarios that resemble the clinical situations you may face in the future as a doctor. Your group will identify what you need to learn in relation to the scenario, and then you will independently research the topics, drawing on resource lists, seeking information and critically appraising its worth. An experienced tutor facilitates group discussions and feedback meetings to ensure that you learn the appropriate breadth and depth of material. In later years, in some instances, you will use real patients as a stimulus for your learning in place of written scenarios, but using the same problem-based learning process."


Years 1 & 2 taught through lectures, dissection classes and tutorials, with self-directed learning increasing with the amount of time spent on placement.
Placement near full time for years 3-5.
As explained in its overview of teaching, Leeds medical school "combines thorough training in the medical sciences with a strong emphasis on communication and practical skills. .... You’ll have early patient contact and ... our Patient Carer Community contributes to teaching, learning and assessment, giving our students invaluable insight into the experience of people with a medical condition or disability, and their carers. We are also top 10 in the UK for our research power. We use technology to support learning anywhere. We’re national leaders in mobile learning and staff and students have created several successful apps."


Community and hospital-based very early clinical experience.
‘Compassionate, Holistic, Diagnostic Detective Course’
Medical students dissect almost the entire cadaver in their first two years at medical school, and then revisit the dissecting room in their later years to consolidate learning.
Emphasis on apprenticeship in the three clinical years.
As explained in its overview of teaching, "We run an integrated curriculum. Teaching and learning is based around patients and their needs. It is not a problem-based learning course, but rather a patient-focused curriculum which is delivered through a mixture of lectures, small group work and clinical teaching. This ensures that you learn the essential science underpinning how the human body operates, whilst learning how things can go wrong through the study of patients."


Students apply to the University of Nottingham and choose the Lincoln pathway.
Faculty from Nottingham and Lincoln involved in medical student education.
Early interaction with patients.
As explained in its overview of teaching methods, "teaching and learning methods used on the Medicine programmes take many different forms. Examples of these include anatomy sessions, case-based learning, clinical relevance sessions, clinical skills sessions, eLearning, lab sessions, lectures, placements, practical classes, self-study, seminars, and tutorials."


Integrated curriculum.
Encourages understanding basic science alongside clinical concepts, involving early patient contact.
Teaching is delivered through lectures, seminars, laboratory work and case-based learning.
As explained on the website overview of teaching and learning methods, "The School uses an integrated teaching model. The learning of medical sciences is enhanced by the clinical context of a systems-based approach. The development of understanding of clinical practice is supported by a ‘just in time’ model of academic weeks that relate to each clinical placement and case-based teaching within each placement."
As noted in the website description of anatomy teaching, "Students have access to anatomical models, prosected human specimens, technology-enhanced learning facilities, and dedicated demonstrators who deliver an exceptional level of teaching."


Study in Europe option unique to Manchester.
Dissection, Lectures, PBL, self-directed learning, early clinical experience.
Intercalation after years 2, 3, or 4.
As explained on the website overview of teaching and learning, "We use a wide range of learning techniques, but the key Manchester approach is the study of themed case discussions in small groups where you are a proactive learner. This is supported throughout your course by lectures, practical classes (including anatomy dissection) and clinical experience."


Early clinical experience.
Contact with patients and visits to GPs and hospitals.
As explained in its overview of teaching, "To help you integrate your learning, we adopt a 'case-led' approach to our teaching. During the first two years, you will learn about normal and abnormal structure, function and behaviour. We show clinical relevance by the use of clinical cases. This allows you to make the links between the basic science and clinical practice."

Norwich (UEA)

Integrated, systems-based curriculum.
Early clinical exposure and scenario-based learning.
As explained on this medical school's website, "Teaching takes place over a series of lectures, seminars and workshops, using whole-body cadaveric dissection, cadaveric prosections, anatomical models, bones, surface anatomy, ultrasound, radiological imaging, screencasts, anatomy apps and workbooks."
As noted in its overview of course methods, teaching is "organised into modules based on body systems.... Working in small groups, you’ll use problem-based learning (PBL) techniques to apply your learning to virtual scenarios and will be complimented each week with teaching in primary care, where you will meet patients that can bring these scenarios to life.... Your learning will be supported by a weekly programme of lectures and seminars, and complemented by attachments in secondary care hospitals, some of which may be residential."


Multiple different medical courses available.
All students on the five- and six-year courses obtain a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSci) degree.
As explained on this medical school's website, Nottingham medical students "benefit from early clinical experience integrated with case-based teaching on the five and six year courses... and are taught by clinicians who work in a diverse range of disciplines and provide excellent care to patients using the latest technology."


First 3 years are part of pre-clinical tripos, culminating in BA.
Final 3 years are clinical.
As explained in its overview of pre-clinical teaching, students during pre-clinical years learn through "a series of lectures, practicals and college tutorials [that] ... provide you with the knowledge and understanding that you need to make a start in clinical medicine. The course will provide you with an understanding of science and of scientific method that will both prepare you for a world where medical practice is rapidly evolving and enable you, perhaps, to make your own distinctive contributions to that evolution."
As described in its overview of clinical teaching and learning, during these latter clinical years there is "emphasis on self-directed learning and evaluation of medical literature ... you are expected to become competent in searching for and evaluating information, so that you are equipped to assess advances in medical practice throughout your professional career. The core clinical curriculum is taught and assessed during the first two and half years. During the last six months of the course you pursue subjects of interest including your elective...."


5-year integrated course.
Structured around the human life cycle.
In first year, students study physical and psychological development from conception to old age.
As explained on the website overview of course features, students "take part in expert-led discussions around clinical case studies and the latest medical science breakthroughs, through our Structured Small Groups teaching approach, including Enquiry Based Learning."

Queen’s Belfast

Integrated curriculum, with early clinical contact.
Case-based learning.
Whole body dissection in state-of-the-art facilities.
As explained in its overview of teaching, this medical school "Early clinical contact with patients in first year; whole body dissection in state of the art facilities; student selected components with a wide range of choices throughout the medical curriculum; Case-based learning in years 1-4 that integrates clinical, biomedical and behavioural science ; excellent clinical contact in primary and secondary care settings at all levels of the course"


Lectures, seminars, tutorials, and dissection are methods of teaching.
Integrated 5-year course with option for intercalation after third year.
As explained in its overview of teaching, students at medical school "learn through clinical teaching on wards in hospitals, clinics (both in general practice and in hospitals), lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work, dissection and personal development supported by experienced teachers and personal academic tutors."


5 year integrated and systems-based course.
Intercalation between third and fourth year.
As explained in its overview of teaching style, Southampton medical school adopts " a flexible approach to learning, using a range of methods designed to encourage multi-faceted, integrative, deep learning....  By blending innovative approaches with established techniques, we offer a variety of specialist teaching and learning methods, all of which are supported by virtual learning environments."

St Andrews

First three years at St Andrews, automatic progression onto partner school (assuming assessments are passed).
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Manchester, & Barts formal pathways.
Spiral curriculum, full body dissection, clinical placements in GP and hospital setting.
Emphasis on anatomy.
BSc (Hons) in Medicine achieved after three years.
As explained in its overview of teaching formats, "Modules are taught through a combination of: lectures, laboratory-based practicals, small group tutorials, clinical placements, audio-visual capture system for training and feedback on clinical skills, computer-based resources, research project."

St George's London

Case-based and problem-based learning, tutorials, lectures, anatomy sessions, and self-directed study.
Clinical work introduced from the beginning of year 1 through short community placements
First 2 years focus on clinical science, clinical attachments begin in year 3.
As described in its Medicine programme specification, teaching methods include: "Small group work, lectures, expert tutorials, clinical and communication skills workshops, self-directed work, online learning reading, staff feedback and supervision, clinical placements. Problem based learning (PBL) and case-based learning (CBL), clinical placements."


Integrated, spiral curriculum.
Course formed in partnership with Keele University.
Small cohort of 100 students per year.
Inter-professional learning experiences, with allied health professions.
Scholarships available for disadvantaged students.
As explained in its overview of teaching, students at this medical school "will be taught mainly in small class sizes and learning groups but will also experience a range of other learning methods including lectures, seminars and self-directed learning.... Our programme is modern and forward thinking, using Problem Based Learning in a spiral curriculum that builds complexity year-on-year."


6-year course, including mandatory intercalated BSc in year 3.
Lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and lab work.
Systems based learning is delivered as a series of sequential, integrated, systems based modules.
Anatomy taught through a combination of dissection, prosection and computer simulation.
As explained on the website overview of course structure, "The MBBS programme aspires to educate the 'UCL Doctor': a highly competent and scientifically literate clinician who is equipped to practise patient-centred medicine in a constantly changing modern world and has a foundation in the basic medical and social sciences. Each year is comprised of a number of themed integrated modules with Clinical and Professional Practice modules running vertically through the programme."


Opportunity to study curriculum aligned with USMLE.
Course undergoing quality assurance by the GMC, supported by University of Liverpool and St George’s medical school.
As explained in the medical school handbook, "The spiral nature of the curriculum progresses over the five years. The first two years uses a blended learning approach with a mixture of lectures, small group work, practical sessions and problem based learning. The Problem Based Learning sessions encourage you to set your own learning objectives based on a clinical scenario. These sessions will be in small groups and facilitated by a member of staff. In addition your PBL learning will be supplemented with weekly anatomy, biochemistry laboratory sessions, lectures and tutorials. In parallel you will begin to develop your professional communication and clinical skills."

You can login to bookmark this post and access power-user options