Year 4 is a trip back to science and lectures, you are given the option to study one of many areas that interest you. These include:
- Cardiovascular science
- Gastroenterolgy and hepatology
- Global health
- Immunity and infection
- Neuroscience and mental health
- Reproductive and developmental sciences
- Respiratory science
- Surgery and anaesthesia
You spend the first 17 weeks (2 introduction weeks and 3 x 5 week modules) of the year studying this area in depth, getting right to the frontline in what is happening. Your examinations then take place in late February, and the post exam party is RAG DASH, this year to Amsterdam. You have 3 different papers, one for each module which all count equally. Each paper is 3 hours long and has 3 separate sections.
After this you have 10 weeks to fill where once again you have the choice of what you study. Your options are:
- A 10 week project, either clinical, laboratory or library based relating to the pathway you studied previously.
- Death autopsy and law ( 5 weeks teaching, 5 week project)
- Medical humanities (5 weeks teaching, 5 weeks project)
- History of medicine (5 weeks teaching, 5 weeks project)
The year is full of choice and you can customise so you do what you are interested in, there are even opportunities to work in places like Japan and Canada.
ICSMSU Academic Officer (Year 4, BMS and Pharm)
This year’s lectures and timetable can be viewed here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/cvs/index.htm
Dr Ian Godsland and Dr Amir Sam
The endocrinology BSc is based at Hammersmith Hospital for the first few weeks. There are about 30 students, a mixture of imperial medics, biomedical science and external medics. The teaching hours are relatively small – about 10 hours a week, with most weeks having 2 days off which is a vast improvement from the last 3 years!
Module 1 is called ‘Hormone-Dependent Systems & Cancers, and covers the background of different hormones and receptors, and their link to endocrine-related cancers. This module has quite a lot of overlap with the Reproduction and Development BSc. The module leaders are Dr Ian Godsland and Dr Amir Sam – both of whom give great lectures and are very approachable if any problems or questions arise. There are also some tutorials which help to integrate the molecular background with the clinical patient. The second module is ‘Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Metabolism and Obesity’ and the third is ‘Neuroendocrinology in Health and Disease’.
Overall there is not too heavy a workload and a really great mix of people to spend your time with!
This year’s lectures and timetable can be viewed here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/endo/index.htm
Gastrointestinal and Hepatology
4 hours a day for 2 weeks basically going over general Gastro and getting you back into learning again after a long, hard summer. There are also lectures on ethics and epidemiology and some of the lectures are really detailed. There is a formative essay to be completed during the 2 weeks.
Genetics of general GI diseases such as IBD, coeliac, cancers and pancreatitis. You also do a bit of work on how genetics are involved in multifactorial problems such as obesity. The timetable is reasonable and you have 10-3 most days, with Wednesdays off. For coursework, you have a 1000 word critical appraisal that you present in a group of 4, and a 2500 word essay and presentation on a particular aspect of nutrition. The presentations aren’t summative.
Imaging and Neoplasia. You run through the general principles of how cancer happens (again- like MCD in year 2, but a bit more simple), and then carry on to how it is involved in GI, and familial GI cancers. With regards to imaging- you learn how MRI, ultrasound and other imaging modalities work and how they are applied to GI. Coursework wise you have a 2500 word essay on a topic, for example, we are all doing “Non-invasive methods of staging Liver fibrosis” and a critical appraisal that you do in pairs. The timetable is not as regular as in Module 1, but the module is quite clinical.
This year’s lectures and timetable can be viewed here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/gastro/index.htm
Global Health BSc is now in its third year and is an exciting discipline that combines not just biological sciences but also politics, sociology, economics and anthropology. It is a fantastic opportunity to move away from molecular science and really see how such knowledge is applied in a global context. There are approximately 27 people in the class, so there is always opportunity for the lectures to be interactive.
Intro - This is a gentle 2 weeks to get started and gives you some useful background information on global health such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and different types of epidemiological studies as well as classes on refworks and plagarism. This year there was a compulsory group presentation on MDGs, but this was only a formative assessment. Finally, the intro week sees the first of six humanities lectures, which are given over the first 2 modules. Most days finish by 1pm.
Module 1 - This module is all about infectious diseases and is excellently structured into 5 weeks of food and water borne infectious diseases, airborne infectious diseases, STIs and blood borne infections, vaccine preventable disease and vector-borne infectious diseases respectively, giving you a broad scope of the most pressing issues facing global health at the moment. It is true that Global Health has a lot of reading that you need to stay on top of, but at the same time this gives you the chance to really explore a topic of interest in more detail. The ICAs are a 2500 essay and a critical apprasil exam- don’t let the latter off put you as this provides invaluable practice for part B of the module 1 exam, and you get lectures beforehand to assist you.
Module 2 – Non-communicable diseases are the focus of this module and you study areas including mental health in the context of migration, the epidemic of obesity and diabetes, epigenetics, chemical exposure and the impact of climate change on health. There are also a series of lectures on data interpretation which are invaluable for the data interpretation exam in the final week of the module, one of the ICAs. Again, this is great practice for part B of the module 2 exam. The other ICA is a 2500 word country health profile, and gives you the freedom to choose nearly any topic in any country you like! In addition, this module has 1-2 seminars a week, which are fully interactive sessions usually discussing a specific paper.
Module 3 - Module 3 is entitled ‘Global heath in context: poverty, development and governance’. Here you will learn things such as the policy making process, health financing systems and health technologies in developing countries but the scope of the module is very broad. Even though this module is competely different to the first two, you will soon see that module 3 links heavily to them both- for example, in module 1 you would have learnt pneumonia is relatively neglected even though it is the biggest childhood killer and in module 3 you will learn why this is. It is tricky to get the hang of at first because there is a lot of new terminology, but it is worth sticking with it. Assessments are much the same as the first two modules i.e. one 2,500 word essay and a timed critical appraisal of a systematic review, which is practice for part B of the module 3 exam.
This year’s lectures and timetable can be viewed here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/GH/index.htm
This year’s lectures and timetable can be viewed here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/haem/index.htm
Immunity and Infection
Immunity and Infection has 25 people taking the course this year.
The introductory fortnight is based solely at Hammersmith Hospital campus and focuses on immunological techniques used in the labs and how they are important for all practical immunology today. There are normally lectures in the morning and about 3 experiments over the 2 weeks which take place in the afternoon.
Module 1 is also at Hammersmith hospital and lectures generally last from 10 till 1 or 2 with fridays off. The last week of module 1 is also given as private study time to work on the ICAs, one of which is an essay and one is a presentation of some sort (powerpoint or poster). Module 1 covers in detail the innate and adaptive immune responses and how the interlink, focussing on some of the key cells and processes involved in the immune system. Due to the reasonably small group sizes there is a lot of interaction between lecturers and students and lectures are generally quite informal with questions asked at any time and lecturers are quite happy to explain any confusing topics to the group or in person.
This year’s lectures and timetable can be viewed here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/immun/index.htm
More information can be found here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/Management.htm
Neurosciences and Mental Health
The neuroscience BSc takes you through how neuronal circuits become the seat of our consciousness! Anyone with a fascination for the way we think and behave there is no other degree quite like it
The teaching for the Neuroscience Sciences BSc takes place almost always at Charing Cross hospital campus. The content is delivered by lecturers at the forefront of their specialties – Prof Steven Gentlemen, Prof Jackie de Belleroche and Jane Saffel. The BSc takes around 50 students, the perfect number for social situations and small enough for an interactive feel to the lectures .The course is incredibly well organised with a really approachable course leader.
This module outlines how the blastocyst develops into the intricacies of our nervous system. It spans the functional anatomy and cellular basis of neuronal networks. The highlight of this module however is the research project. In groups of 4-6 we are given a research question, they we design and carry out the practical spanning three days in its entirety. It is a great exercise in logical thinking and so well supported by the course leader Dr Saffel. By the end of the two weeks you will have gained a great an insight into the life of a scientist!
1) 2500 essay into “Use of Cell replacement therapies in neurodegenerative conditions”
2) 2500 write up of the research project.
This module focusses on the most common neurodegenerative conditions seen within our society. There is a strong clinical emphasis for each disease before delving into the neuropathology. With an aging population it is of vital importance we understand the basis of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease and the level of detail we get taught is unparalleled.Prof Gentlemen this year even updated his slide on the day of the lecture to include the current understanding!
1) 2500 word essay “Role of neuroinflammation in Parkinsons’ Disease
2) Neuropathology exam (20x3minutes stations with brain specimens)
Mental health disorders are fascinating as you try to grapple with a state of mind beyond our reach. This module takes you through neurodevelopmental psychiatry (ADHD and autism) before covering eating, personality and sleeps disorders. A significant proportion of the module revolves around the neurochemical basis and treatment behind Schizophrenia and drug addiction. However the highlight module is the trip to Broadmoor high security prison – where you will get the opportunity to meet and interview the inmates there.
1) 2500 word essay “The mechanism of action of antidepressants
2) A 500 word summary of a paper
The neuroscience Bsc is wonderfully organised and conveniently located at CX hospital. The content is genuinely fascinating and delivered by some great personalities. We promise that you will love it
This year’s lectures and timetable can be viewed here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/nmh/index.htm
Pharmacology and translational medicine BSc teaches you what the most current areas of research are in the treatment of cardiorespiratory and neurological disorders. You will also look at the pharmacokinetics and dynamics of drugs. There is only 16 people on the course so much of the teaching has a tutorial feel to it, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions.
Intro – In comparison to other courses this is quite chilled out lectures wise, where some basic pharmacology is covered along with several classes on refworks and plagiarism. There is the option to write a formative essay to help you gain feedback on how to improve when it comes to writing your first summative one in module 1. There is a compulsory presentation which gets you to read a paper and present it.
Module 1 – This module focuses mainly on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs. You will learn how the drugs are distributed around the body and how drugs interact with different receptors. There is a bit of maths involved here but don’t let that put you off. You will also study f pharmacogentics looking at tailoring drug doses to people based on their genetics and the newly emerging field of metabonomics. The ICAs are a presentation and 1500 word essay. There is plenty of private study time within the timetable. As Dr.Dickinson the module leader is involved in anaesthetics and neuroprotection after traumatic brain injury you will learn much about the forefront of these areas.
Module 2 – cardiorespiratory drugs. You will study the latest treatment options available in these areas and new pharmacological targets that are being investigated. Lectures are from some of the world leaders in these areas including Dr. John, Prof Hughes and Prof Belvisi who are all excellent teachers. The ICAs are a 2500 word lab report and 2500 word essay. Anabel and Sohag who organise modules 2 & 3 are exceptionally friendly and helpful. The module also involves some lab work where you learn basic techniques and get a chance to experiment on guinea pigs.
This year’s lectures and timetable can be viewed here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/pharm/index.htm
Reproductive and Developmental Sciences
Introductory Fortnight: Consists of a mixture of lectures revising receptors, hormonal feedback mechanisms and puberty combined with introductions to different aspects of the course and exam techniques.
Module 1: Focuses initially on hormone receptors, their signalling pathways and how they can be targeted in disease. This is neatly linked in with hormone-dependent cancers, focusing on both the molecular and clinical aspects of the disease and the idea of epigenetics is introduced. The end of the module includes gametogenesis and fertilisation with some teaching on infertility which leads nicely into module 2.
Module 2: Focuses on human development, right from fertilisation to birth. The teaching covers basic embryology, placental development and also looks at the maternal effects of pregnancy, and potential complications that can occur. The last part of the module will cover stem cell biology and immunology of pregnancy.
Module 3: Will study infection and allergies, with particular reference to paediatric health.
The course is based mainly at the Hammersmith Hospital Campus with some lectures in module 1 being held at St Mary’s Hospital. Each module has two ‘In Course Assessments’ (ICAs), one of which is a 2500 word essay per module and another piece of coursework which ranges from article writing to critically appraising a scientific paper. On average, around 10 lectures per week are delivered with one day a week devoted to private study for coursework and further reading.
Mark Sullivan and Kate Hardy (Module 2) teach a proportion of the course, however a range of different lecturers are asked to speak about their topic of interest. The course is not like HLC in first and second year, it covers a broad range of topics as well as giving you the depth of knowledge required in specific areas. You will be taught by people who are at the forefront of research in their particular field along with clinicians who work in the area of obstetrics and gynaecology.
This year’s lectures and timetable can be viewed here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/RDS/index.htm
The teaching for the Respiratory Sciences BSc (Resp) takes place at the Royal Brompton Campus which is just south of South Kensington Tube Station. The lecturers themselves are at the very top of the field (e.g. Prof. Peter Barnes – Asthma and COPD) and you will often be taught things that haven’t been published yet. The course is set out so that the first module has a strong clinical aspect to it which makes it an easy transition from firms. Overall Resp is a great BSc to choose both from a academic and a social point of view.
The introductory fortnight is fairly relaxed and all days finish before 1700 and/or have a few hours free during the day. On the day of Freshers’ Fair there is only one lecture (given in the SAF) meaning you will be free from 1000 for the start of the Fair. The teaching is a mixture of lectures, discussions, small group teaching as well as 2 half days of non-science ‘teaching’. As with all courses there is a formative essay at the end of the fortnight which follows the template for the rest of the essays in the course and will be on a topic of your own choice.
The first module of the course is ‘bench to bedside’ meaning that you get an overview of the most common respiratory diseases from the point of view of a research scientist, a clinician and everyone in between. You will be able to see patients in the world leading clinics of The Royal Brompton as well as have a chance to try out all the clinical respiratory tests that the hospital offers. At the end of the module you will have to give a 20 minute presentation in pairs which will include information from clinics, experiments, practical sessions and lectures. You will also be given a choice of 3 essay titles, of which you have to do one. This part of the course is run by Drs. Louise Donnelly and Duncan Rogers. Timetable-wise you get lots of free time and quite a few days off.
The second module focuses on some of the diseases that were not covered extensively in module 1. The teaching is based around a lecture on one day and then a group discussion session a few days later. Some lecturers run this like a journal club while others use it as a session to go over things that people didn’t understand. At the end of the module there is an experiment week which will give you a chance to do some lab work and data analysis (the stuff you’ll do in your project and exams). The in-course assessments are a 6 minute ‘debate’ presentation on a title you are given and another essay. Timetable-wise you start at 0930 and finish no later than 1300 (normally 1200), although you have lectures every day.
Bottom Line: ‘Relaxed’ timetable, great module leaders, fun intro week, well explained in-course assessments, teaching all on one campus, world leading lecturers, learning about something you will see daily in clinical medicine and a free drinks evening once a month!
This year’s lectures and timetable can be viewed here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/resp/index.htm
Surgery and Anaesthesia
The Surgery and Anaesthesia BSc is an opportunity to learn about cutting edge research and clinical techniques and how these translate to patient care, and in turn what this means for the future. The lecturers are the leaders in their fields, the ‘front-line’ academics, doctors and surgeons.
The introductory module focuses on vital skills for not only the year but also for a successful career; group work, oral presentation, reviewing scientific research, writing scientific research and writing about science for the public, but also cultivates a different attitude to how to approach learning and encourages critical thinking and meeting new information with an open mind. This part of the course is also very social, which makes the group work much more enjoyable.
Part B, module 1, is based in Hammersmith Hospital, is called ‘regeneration, repair and cancer control’ and focuses on cancer, cancer genetics and cancer therapies, and includes lectures on surgical techniques and state of the art technologies. ‘News and views’ sessions in this module are really useful for critical appraisal and oral presentation practice, as every week different students present research articles to the group. In addition there are ethics debates, and a surgical international conference day. The main assessment is through a journalistic article, and a group poster presentation, making them interesting and enjoyable to do.
Module 2 is ‘perioperative medicine’ based at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, and is split into two sections, the first involves looking at the basics of anaesthesia, pain pathways and drugs in both areas, leading into the new current research going on. The second focuses more on intensive care issues, involving sepsis, organ failure and transplantation. Anaesthetic workshops are included and add variety. In course assessment involves an essay on a topical line of enquiry, and an oral presentation.
Module 3 is entitled ‘innovation training and safe delivery or surgical technologies’ and is a departure from the normal lecture teaching. It includes the route in to surgery, management, robotics, error, economics, imaging, implants, innovation and much more. It is based mostly at St. Mary’s Hospital but Charing Cross and South Kensington are also venues. In course assessment is also a departure and includes a ‘dragons’ den’ presentation, where students pitch their innovation or idea to the panel and await the verdict.
Module 3 is then followed by a project or mini-course.
This year’s lectures and timetable can be viewed here: https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1213/surg/index.htm
Year 4 Notebank
The Undergraduate Medicine Intranet
The intranet has all the information you need about your course. Here you can find term dates, exam information, timetables and lecture slides. https://education.med.imperial.ac.uk/Years/4-1011/index.htm