• Welcome to Imperial College School of Medicine

    Congratulations on accepting your place on the Graduate Entry Programme! You will be joining around 50 others at the most successful medical school in the country, part of one of the best universities in the world! With at least 3 years of degree-level education behind you, you will be wanting to get right into the medicine.

    We receive support from the Faculty Education Office or FEO for short. FEO counters are located at all of our various sites and we are all kept in the loop via email and the undergraduate intranet, our student-led Student’s Union, affectionately called ICSMSU is a student-elected committee that look after and represent the student body, with our President residing over everyone else. There are various officers encompassing differing roles that are listed on our contact page. I am your Academic Officer, looking after, broadly speaking, your academic needs this term, in terms of representation, concerns and questions. Between ICSMSU and GradMed Society, we will cover all your needs and wants whether it be educational, social or pastoral.

    The Graduate course is very similar to the undergraduate years 1 and 2 courses. The content is exactly the same, but is sorted in a slightly different way, to accommodate the fact that you will be covering essentially two years in one. Fret not though, it is very manageable, but if you ever have any questions or concerns the first port of call is my email at icsm.early@imperial.ac.uk. If it’s urgent, don’t hesitate to drop me a text or a call on my number below. I am always available to talk.

    Best of luck to you this year!

    Usama Asif
    ICSMSU Academic Officer (Early Years)
    [e] icsm.early@imperial.ac.uk
    [e] usama.asif11@imperial.ac.uk

    Hello and many thanks to Usama for his great introduction to all things education! We at the GradMed society just wanted to emphasise that 1) this year isn’t as difficult as it may sound and 2) tonnes of educational support is available via the GradMed Society if you feel you need it. A slow and steady approach is all that is required to see you through most of the year! What’s more, grads are armed with at least 3 years of experience in refining their revision skills, so the final push for exams seems all the more manageable.

    We have 2 dedicated Education Officers within our committee, Mark Sykes and Drew Logan, both of whom will be supporting you throughout the year. We will be in contact with more information once you have settled into your course, but please feel free to contact the society at gradmed.society@imperial.ac.uk

    Many thanks and we look forward to meeting you!

    Harriet Jordan
    GradMed Society President 2014-2015
    [e] gradmed.society@imperial.ac.uk

  • Overview of the Year

    This year has previously been referred to as the most difficult year you have ever had at university, but fear not many have survived! As the year group is so small (around 50) and the course is so intensely lecture based, a close knit community develops where you can moan and groan to one another; so you will have the support of people who know exactly what you are going through.

    After your first week and a half of introductory lectures (how to use a computer, what to do in a fire alarm – the bare essentials!) and occupational health visits you embark on the long slog of lectures…


    Days normally consist of lectures from 9am until 5pm (Wednesday 9am until 12pm) so by the end of the day you will have definitely has enough of staring at a screen! The course is based at the Hammersmith Hospital campus (confusingly NOT in Hammersmith!!) and you are pretty much the only medics based here so you will have plenty of facilities available.

    Academically, over the year (well 9 months) you will cover everything the undergraduate 6 year degree does in 2 years (ouch!). You will cover 4 main themes, each of which has an exam:

    • [sws_css_tooltip position=”left” colorscheme=”byzantium” width=”540″ url=”javascript:void(0);” trigger=”Cellular and Molecular Science (CMS)” fontSize=”14″]CMS builds a solid foundation for the rest of your medical knowledge. It mainly covers the biochemical and molecular basis of medicine. This background knowledge will give you a better understanding of how your body works. The only way you’re going to know what’s wrong is by knowing how it should be normally. This theme covers the topics of: ‘Proteins, Nucleic Acids & Gene Expression’, ‘Cellular Organisation of Tissues’, ‘Cancer and the Cell Cycle’ and Metabolism.[/sws_css_tooltip],
    • [sws_css_tooltip position=”left” colorscheme=”tyrianpurple” width=”540″ url=”javascript:void(0);” trigger=”Anatomy” fontSize=”14″]One of the major differences between Year 1/2 and GEP is that you are examined separately for Anatomy. You start anatomy within the first week and have weekly sessions (the day changes often so keep yourself updated of the times) located at Charing Cross Hospital (in Hammersmith). You do dissections within your small groups where you actually get hands-on experience with a corpse. A demonstrator will guide you but you are the ones that actually do the work. This is considered by most, the best way to learn anatomy by getting really involved. Plus you remember these sessions more than lectures. There are also ‘Living Anatomy Sessions’, which are sessions where you use skeletons/models or yourselves to demonstrate surface anatomy and reenforce the teaching given in the dissection room.[/sws_css_tooltip]
    • [sws_css_tooltip position=”left” colorscheme=”redbrick” width=”600″ url=”javascript:void(0);” trigger=”Support Systems” fontSize=”14″] This module and the Regulatory Systems used to be a massive module called ‘Systemic Physiology, Pharmacology and Pathology/PPP’ but now has been split into two more manageable theme. This first theme deals with what some doctors might consider more general systems of the body such as: Alimentary, Cardiovascular, Dermatology, Immunology, Microbiology, Pathology, Renal and Respiratory[/sws_css_tooltip]
    • [sws_css_tooltip position=”left” colorscheme=”forestgreen” width=”540″ url=”javascript:void(0);” trigger=”Regulatory Systems” fontSize=”14″]This is the second part of the old PPP theme, the major topics covered here are: Endocrinology, Gerontology, Musculoskeletal, Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Reproductive Medicine.[/sws_css_tooltip]

    Additionally you will take a module called Introduction to Clinical Practice (ICP), which will help to develop the understanding of why [sws_css_tooltip position=”right” colorscheme=”rosewood” width=”590″ url=”javascript:void(0);” trigger=”Patient Centred Medicine” fontSize=”14″]Patient Centred Medicine is a relatively new scheme of thought that improves the quality of care for patients and their compliance. In the past, doctors would be quite paternal and wouldn’t have a dialogue with their patients, thus only telling them what to do without factoring in their concerns, needs, and day to day life. Now doctors have a much better dialogue with their patients and involve them in every step of their treatment [/sws_css_tooltip] is important in modern day medicine. You will also have [sws_css_tooltip position=”left” colorscheme=”black” width=”540″ url=”javascript:void(0);” trigger=”Problem Based Learning” fontSize=”14″]Problem Based Learning/PBL is a group-based tutorial system guided by a tutor, which promotes students to take control of the sessions by formulating their own learning objectives and avenues of research from a given case study. Students then come back a week later and present their findings to their colleagues.[/sws_css_tooltip] sessions (every few weeks), which will allow you to integrate your prior knowledge with information from lectures and other resources. It is also a chance to hone your research and presentation skills within the comforts of a small group (normally around 10).


    There will be a summative assessment in the form of coursework which will cover Epidemiology, Sociology, Clinical Communication and First Clinical Attachment (of which all fall within the ICP theme).

    On to dreaded exams… There will be a formative (mock) exam around February time so you can see how you are getting along with the course and to give you some exam practice; marks don’t count towards passing the year. The 3 summative (‘real’) exams are in May-June and consist of [sws_css_tooltip position=”left” colorscheme=”mustard” width=”540″ url=”javascript:void(0);” trigger=”Single Best Answer Questions” fontSize=”14″]SBAs are essential multiple choice questions. However a couple of them may be right but the examiners are looking for the BEST answer.[/sws_css_tooltip], [sws_css_tooltip position=”left” colorscheme=”skyblue” width=”540″ url=”javascript:void(0);” trigger=”Extended Matching Questions” fontSize=”14″]EMQs is essentially a matching words/answers with a question or definition. You are given 10 options and 5 questions, however some options may not be used at all or more than once.[/sws_css_tooltip] and [sws_css_tooltip position=”right” colorscheme=”royalpurple” width=”540″ url=”javascript:void(0);” trigger=”Short Answer Questions” fontSize=”14″]SAQs are marked out of 10 and have a layout very similar to A-level biology questions. They try to integrate different topics into the questions, with a leading 1 mark question that might be followed by a 9 mark or a 4 and 5 marked question. These are the ones people prefer as they can be less specific than the SBAs.[/sws_css_tooltip]. The intranet has an exams page with detailed breakdowns and dates of each paper.

    Extra-Curricular & Going Out

    If you are good at managing your time you will certainly have time to be able to take up some extra-curricular activities (of which imperial has several both medic exclusive and not), just make sure you keep one eye on those books…working consistently throughout the year will probably put you in the best position when it comes to passing exams.

    And finally, don’t worry it’s not all work work work! There are plenty of events and socials going on throughout the year when you can let your hair down, organised by both the ICSM Students’ Union and the Graduate Medics Society

    And finally…

    A helpful presentation on how to survive the GE year 1 by Hamish Jackson, a former year rep, can be found by clicking here.

  • Representation

    Year Reps
    Watch This Space – Your Year Reps that will be elected in October

    Why become a year rep?

    You will have an opportunity to run for one of the three positions of being your year’s educational representation in the weeks following Fresher’s.  Year Reps are your number one port of call for anything educational.

    Being a Year Rep for the graduate entry course is a worthwhile experience as the course is very new with you being the fourth year it is going to run. A lot has changed in the past 3 years as you will gather from other graduates, so please consider running for this role if you want to be the voice of your year.

    Years reps attend termly student-focussed meetings called Staff-Student Liaison Groups (SSLG) where students can voice their opinions to the course leaders themselves. The Faculty of Medicine and ICSMSU pride ourselves on the strong relationship we have with each other and how changes actual occur from student feedback and suggestions.

    If you are interested, please consider running. More details will follow in October.

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