in cooperation with St. George's University of London
The St George’s, University of London MBBS Programme has a well-deserved reputation as a popular and competitive choice for students applying for medicine.
The graduate entry programme was created in 2000 to attract mature applicants who already had a degree and who had experienced life in the world outside of education. The course attracted widespread interest and became quickly recognized across the UK as being pioneering, innovative and cutting edge.
Now the course has been modified and improved – the result of feedback from students and staff over the years. The philosophy behind the course is built around a student-centred approach towards learning in combination with learning through experience. It is problem-based and patient-centred, right from the start of the course.
Clinical and communication skills are given the importance they deserve, simulation being a key teaching aid – whether simulated patients, manikins, or complex state-of-the-art computer-based simulations. E-learning is another important learning tool, students having access to the St George’s intranet site and library resources. The scientific basis of medicine is strongly emphasized throughout the course, but particularly in the first two years. The school in Cyprus is equipped with a brand new dissection room to learn anatomy using prosecuted specimens, imaging, anatomical models and computer-assisted learning.
The first two years of the course take place in Cyprus, the last two years in state-of-the-art hospitals in the United States, Israel or Cyprus. Students will graduate with a degree from St George’s Hospital Medical School, a constituent college of the University of London. This is a truly exciting opportunity for international students to undertake an identical programme, sit the same assessments, and gain the same degree but learns in different, and highly respected, clinical environments. The links between the University of Nicosia and St George’s are strong and fruitful. St George’s faculty and staff make regular visits to Nicosia to observe teaching, participate in assessments, take part in planning meetings and ensure the quality of the course provision. This is an exciting project for our two universities and we look forward to welcoming you on the course.
Aim of the Curriculum
The aim of the MBBS course is to produce graduates with the essential knowledge, understanding, skills, and attitudes required to practice medicine competently and professionally in a patient-centred, multi-professional environment and to equip them for a career of life-long learning and professional development.
The course will prepare you to start work as a junior doctor at qualification, and subsequently to progress to any of the wide choices of careers within medicine.
Four main themes underpin the course and feature throughout the four years:
Basic and Clinical Sciences
This theme provides you with the fundamental knowledge of the structure, function, and development of the normal human body that will underpin your medical practice. Consideration will be given to all levels of organization from the molecular and cellular, to organ systems and the whole individual. Included in this theme are anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology as well as the scientific aspects of all the clinical disciplines, such as cardiology, obstetrics & gynaecology, neurology, urology, orthopaedics and rheumatology etc.
Patient and Doctor
Through this theme, students are equipped with the skills used by a doctor during direct patient contact. Learning will develop the clinical, communication and interpersonal skills necessary for medical practice.
Community and Population Health
Insights from the biological, social and psychological disciplines will be used in this theme to develop a way of thinking and working that considers the social factors underlying various health issues. Public Health Medicine, General Practice, and Epidemiology are also prominent in this theme.
Personal and Professional Development
The context of practice has an impact on an individual doctor and on the profession as a whole. In order to function effectively within the medical community, it is essential to relate to the wider world, to recognize forces for change and to be able to understand external views of the profession. This theme covers medical ethics and the law relating to medicine, critical thinking and critical appraisal, interprofessional education, and professional behaviour.
Basic and Clinical Sciences is the largest theme in terms of its content, as it incorporates the majority of the factual knowledge students require to qualify and register with the appropriate regulatory bodies in your country. However, all four themes are of equal importance in equipping the student for a professional life as a medical practitioner.
Teaching is based on six modules:
Dealing with the key processes in human procreation, development, and demise, some of the most fascinating and important aspects of life are covered during this module:
- Reproduction and Development
- Child Health (Paediatrics)
- Obstetrics & Gynaecology
- Sexual Health
Developing two interwoven concepts, the normal mechanisms which defend the human organism and community from environmental and biological attack, and the disease mechanisms which operate when these defences fail or become inappropriate:
- Preventive Medicine
- Public Health Medicine
Challenging you to tackle diseases of the heart, lungs or circulation by teaching the normal structure and workings of these vital organs, how organ malfunctions cause disease, and how medical therapies work:
- Cardio-respiratory system
- Cardiology/Cardiovascular Surgery
- Respiratory Medicine
Addressing the mechanisms, clinical manifestations and management of renal, gastrointestinal, liver and endocrine disorders which are either commonly encountered or illustrate important scientific or clinical issues:
- Alimentary System, including liver
- Renal Medicine
Providing an understanding of the normal structure and function of the musculoskeletal system and skin at microscopic and macroscopic levels followed by the causes and consequences of injury and illness:
- Musculoskeletal system, including connective tissue
- Plastic Surgery
- Skin and Dermatology
Examining the workings of the nervous system as a whole to provide a sound scientific basis for understanding disorders of the nervous system:
- Nervous system
- Vision and Ophthalmology
The curriculum is organized as follows:
- Clinical Science
- Core Curriculum Clinical Sciences Year 1
- Clinical Practice
- Transitional Year Year 2
- Penultimate Year Year 3
- Final Year Year 4
- Student Selected Components Years 1, 2 and 4
In addition to core activities, you will have the opportunity to study a subject of your own, choosing from a range of Student Selected Components.
On this course you can expect to gain clinical experience from the outset, completing your first full-time attachment in Year Two. Clinical attachments will take place in a range of hospital and community settings to ensure that you receive a broad education. The intranet at St George’s will provide you with key resources, regardless of where you are studying.
Structure of the Academic Year
The curriculum is taught within a traditional academic year structure, starting in September. Years 2 and 3 are organized around the 6-week blocks that make up those years. Year 4, for reasons concerned with the required overall length of the course and its nature as a period of intensive clinical experience, is a continuous period of 45 weeks.
With a fully integrated clinical training programme spanning three continents, the Medical School offers a truly international educational experience.
The first two years of the course take place in Cyprus, with students gaining initial clinical experience at the country’s leading hospitals.
The last two years are spent in state-of-the-art teaching hospitals, such as the Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, the Nicosia and Limassol General Hospitals in Cyprus, the Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Aviv, and the affiliated hospitals of Ponce Health Sciences University in Puerto Rico. In addition, students training in Cyprus who are interested in experiencing the US healthcare setting are able to spend from 5 to 22 weeks in the United States.
Wherever their clinical experience is gained in the third and fourth years of the programme, all graduating students do so with a degree from St George’s Hospital Medical School, a constituent college of the University of London.
The Medical School curriculum is taught in English, and all students will spend their first two years in Cyprus, where English is widely spoken and understood. Some knowledge of the Greek language will enhance your learning experience in the first two years and generally make your experience of living in Cyprus more fulfilling. For this reason, the Medical School provides optional free Greek classes from the beginning of the MBBS programme.
If you remain in Cyprus for clinical training, you will need to attain a working level of Greek through these free classes, as this will substantially enhance your learning experience. For any form of postgraduate clinical training in Cyprus (based on regulatory approval at the time), an upper intermediate level in Greek is a prerequisite.
Ponce Health Sciences University offers an excellent opportunity for students to pursue a medical career in the United States even if they do not meet the citizenship requirements for training at Swedish Covenant Hospital. While instruction is in English, a working level of Spanish is necessary to interact with patients. If you intend to train in Puerto Rico during your final two years, the Medical School will provide free Spanish classes from the start of the course.
The emphasis will be on regular assessments with detailed feedback throughout.
The format of the assessments will include single best answer multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs).
At the conclusion of the course students will:
- Have a knowledge and understanding of the sciences underlying medical practice, of health and its promotion, and of disease, trauma and disability and their prevention, diagnosis, and management. This is in the context of the individual and their place in the family and society and of the population as a whole
- Have demonstrated proficiency in basic clinical skills, including gathering information systematically, sensitively and effectively from patients; undertaking comprehensive physical examination of patients; choosing appropriate diagnostic procedures to be carried out on patients, rationalising that choice and interpreting the results of such investigations; selecting appropriate treatment options for patients with specific conditions; recognising and managing life-threatening conditions
- Have acquired and demonstrated attitudes necessary for the achievement of high standards of medical practice and patient care, including adherence to ethical and legal principles, application of an evidence-based approach to patient care, responsiveness to the needs and concerns of patients, understanding of the contribution of genetic, historical, social, environmental, political, occupational and behavioural factors on health, disease and illness
- Have demonstrated intellectual curiosity and a capacity for critical understanding
- Have developed an understanding of the work of other health care professionals partly through a co-operative approach to patient care on a training ward
- Be able to register provisionally for medical practice in Cyprus and/or your country of origin or choice and be able to perform pre-registration house officer jobs competently
- Have the potential to undertake further training in any branch of medicine or medical science
- Value the need for life-long learning, inquiry, and research
- Have acquired the following additional skills and experience:
- Teaching skills including presentation/mentoring skills
- Personal/time/resource management skills
- It literacy
- Ability to working within a team
- Good record keeping skills
- Understanding the principles of audit
- Information literacy
- Possess the following additional qualities:
- Psychological robustness with the ability for self-care
- A realistic grasp of their own limitations
- Adaptability and ability to cope with change and uncertainty
- Motivation for learning
- Sensitivity to cultural issues
The MBBS programme is offered under the degree-awarding powers of St George’s, University of London, and shares the same recognition in the United Kingdom and almost all of the rest of the world. St George’s was the first medical school in the United Kingdom to offer a graduate entry programme in medicine and is the only independently governed medical school in that country.
Our medical programme is subject to the UK General Medical Council’s quality assurance processes for new overseas programmes.
The St George’s, the University of London MBBS4 at the University of Nicosia provides a firm foundation on which to build a career in the global healthcare sector.
A Bachelors degree with at least a 2nd class honours or equivalent (3.0 GPA in the USA, 2.7 in Canada) or a higher degree (e.g., MSc, MPhil or PhD) in any discipline.
You should have worked or had voluntary experience in a medical or health-related field and be able to demonstrate a broad awareness of the scope of medicine.
You must have scored a 55 overall (with a minimum of 50 in each section) in the Graduate Australian Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT) or a total score of 498 in the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Please see the GAMSAT or MCAT websites for further details on how to take these tests (www.gamsatuk.org or www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/).
If English was not the primary language during your degree, you must also take the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or equivalent (e.g., TOEFL). An IELTS score of 7.0 overall (with a score of 7.0 in the written element and no less than 6.5 in any other element) or equivalent is required.
If you are invited to an interview for the St George’s medical programme in Nicosia, it will be in a form of a Multi Mini Interview (MMI) and will be conducted through a video conference. The goal of the MMI is to find out if there is more to you than your grades. We want to establish whether you have the appropriate skills and attributes to complete the course successfully and to practice medicine professionally
The interview will consist of eight questions, each lasting five minutes (40 minutes in total). One person (the interviewer) will conduct the Skype call with you, reading each question and recording your responses. Once the interview is over, each one of your recorded responses will be sent to eight different assessors who will evaluate them. Your total score will then be calculated and sent to the Admissions Committee for a decision.
The MMI approach is a robust and efficient assessment method that is less subjective than a panel interview, ensuring candidates are treated fairly. In addition, MMIs allow us to conduct the interviews more efficiently by assessing more candidates in a shorter period of time, which means you will find out the outcome of your interview sooner. We aim to send you an offer decision within two weeks of your interview.
Full details of entry requirements and an online application form can be found at www.nicosia.sgul.ac.cy
You must undergo satisfactory health and police screening, including a screen for an immunization against Hepatitis B.
Information for Applicants
At the end of the undergraduate programme, you will receive your MBBS (or equivalent) degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council, subject only to its acceptance that there is no Fitness to Practise concerns that need consideration. Provisional registration is time limited to a maximum of three years and 30 days (1125 days in total). After this time period, your provisional registration will normally expire.
Provisionally registered doctors can only practice in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work. To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate programme through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You need full registration with a license to practice for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.
There is some discussion about whether to remove provisional registration for newly qualified doctors. If this happens then UK graduates will receive full registration as soon as they have successfully completed an MBBS (or equivalent) degree. It should be noted that it is very likely that UK graduates will still need to apply for a training programme similar to the current Foundation Programme and that places on this programme may not be guaranteed for every UK graduate.
The GMC is currently considering the introduction of a formal assessment that UK medical graduates would need to pass in order to be granted registration with a license to practice. Although no final decision has been taken as to whether or when such an exam will be introduced applicants should be aware that the GMC envisages that future cohorts of medical students may need to pass parts of a medical licensing assessment before the GMC will grant them Registration with a Licence to Practise.
Applicants from outside the UK and EU should note that you will potentially not be able to complete the first year of foundation training in the UK leading to full registration, as under prevailing UK immigration rules you may not be able to get the right visa.
Although this information is currently correct, students need to be aware that regulations in this area may change from time to time.
While the St George’s MBBS is recognized by many different countries, applicants from outside the European Union are advised to check with their own individual national authorities if they wish to practice in their own country.
For US and Canadian Students
Our programme is approved by the Educational Committee for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
US students would be eligible to participate in the Match Program for residency and take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). For more details, please read below.
Canadian students would be eligible to participate in the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) and take the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE).
Students who are interested in pursuing a medical career in the United States have the opportunity to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and Step 2 practice tests in Nicosia, free of charge. We offer two National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) practice tests in Year 1 and one test in Year 2 to help students prepare for the USMLE Step 1.
Furthermore, the International Foundations of Medicine (IFOM) practice test is offered in Year 3 to help students prepare for the USMLE Step 2. The questions in these practice tests are derived from the USMLE bank of questions, which are used to generate the official USMLE examinations. Ultimately, these practice tests will allow our students to be better prepared to pursue a medical career in the United States.
Scholarships - Financial Aid
The University offers scholarships and financial aid to full-time students, in the form of academic merit scholarships, financial-aid assistance, athletic scholarships, and on-campus work-study programmes.