Brighton and Sussex Medical School Review
Brighton and Sussex Medical School is notable for its beautiful coastal location, dedicated clinical teaching facilities, and high student satisfaction scores. This post reviews some of its significant features as a medical school.
The career prospects:
The course is five years long, or six years if an intercalated year is undertaken (where students can choose to study a non-clinical research-based subject). Upon graduating from Brighton and Sussex Medical School, students receive a Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (BM BS) qualification. Students then gain approval from the UK’s General Medical Council to practice medicine and apply for a Foundation Year 1 (F1) placement allocated by the UK Foundation Programme Office.
Teaching Quality at Brighton and Sussex medical school:
Ranked in a recent National Student Survey as being the medical school in the UK with the highest level of student satisfaction (98%) (1), Brighton and Sussex Medical School beats many of its national counterparts in terms of this measure of teaching quality. In particular, 99% of those surveyed rated the course as ‘intellectually challenging’ with passionate educators (2). Several of its staff won or were nominated to receive a 2018 Higher Education Academy Teaching Excellence award (3)
What are the facilities like?
With a campus close to Brighton’s pebbly beach and pier, Brighton and Sussex Medical School offer a unique quality of life for medical students. It also has a dedicated counselling team, illustrating that mental wellbeing and resilience – crucial aspects for any aspiring doctor to focus on – is a priority for BSMS. The number of students admitted per year is small, leading to a tighter-knit, supportive community of clinical learners.
Teaching facilities include IT facilities, lecture theatres intended solely for the use of medical teaching, seminar rooms for group learning, and clinical laboratories. Year 1 allows students to access a patient simulation system, to observe the pathology of disease and the patient’s response to treatment; Years 3-4 involve placement in the area at the Royal Sussex County Hospital (4). The school was formed as a result of a collaborative effort from Brighton University and Sussex Universities, giving students access to facilities on both campuses.
The course fees:
Course fees are currently £9250 annually for UK/EU students, with bursaries available for national students (5). Fees for the Channel Islands or Isle of Man students are £19,000; for international students, fees are £30,450 per year (6).
Cost of living:
According to Which? University, the typical monthly expenses for an average Brighton and Sussex Medical School student — which takes into account accommodation fees, transport, food, and extracurricular activities — is £796 (7).
When considering entry difficulty, it is important to take into account both the number of applicants per place, as well as the entry standards. Entry standards refer to the grades required. The school qualifications required are lower than at some other UK universities: typical conditional offers are AAA (or AAB for certain candidates who have experienced hardship) at A-level, and 36 points for International Baccalaureate students (with a grade 6 achieved in Higher Level Biology and Chemistry).
However, it is important to note that Brighton and Sussex Medical School requires the BMAT admissions test to be sat to gain entry. This is a challenging test, developed by Cambridge Admissions, and sat by Oxford and Cambridge medical students, as well as students applying to top London medical schools like UCL and Imperial. What is a good BMAT score? BSMS describe their process of shortlisting students for the interview as scoring the BMAT out of 28, ranking applicants according to this score, and offering interviews to the top percentile of candidates.
As such, it is highly competitive, and while recent official admissions statistics are not readily available, BSMS’s high place in the National Student Survey suggests that it receives a high volume of applications per place.
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