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The Foundation Centre

Gateway to Medicine

A190 Gateway to Medicine MBBS

Degree MBBS
Year of Entry 2016
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 6 years
Location Queen's Campus
Typical offers A Level:

Please also check Requirements and Admissions .
Alternative qualifications
Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 0172
Download Download as a PDF


Foundation Year (Year 0)

This six-year course is intended for local students from diverse, widening participation (WP) backgrounds whose predicted A-level grades do not meet the standard entry requirement for current five-year medicine courses. Students who have the potential to become good doctors will be identified in partnership with their school or college and participate in a programme of activities during their AS year to participate in the Pre-entry Phase.

Up to ten successful Pre-entry Phase students will spend one year (year zero) at Durham University’s Foundation Centre developing the skills and subject knowledge required for successful study at degree level. On successful completion of the Foundation Year students will progress to the first year of their degree course.

Foundation modules

  • Key Skills and Language for Higher Education 
  • Scientific Imaging 
  • Anatomy, Physiology and Disease 
  • Basics of Clinical Skills for Medics 
  • Foundations of Statistics 
  • Advanced Chemistry 
  • Core Foundation Biology Combined 
  • Core Foundation Chemistry.

Years 1 and 2, and beyond

As per A100 MBBS Medicine

This course is focussed on non-traditional and international students and the modes of teaching and learning are designed to provide and facilitate high quality teaching and learning in a supportive and productive environment which encourages self-awareness, reflective practice and cross-cultural awareness.

The course is delivered through a mixture of lectures, tutorials/workshops and practical classes. Typically, lectures provide key information on a particular area and this is consolidated through tutorials and/or workshops and practical classes where appropriate, particularly for laboratory and IT skills. The course provides up to 18 contact hours per week, but further consolidation takes place through independent study and/or voluntary workshops provided outside the course’s formal contact hours. Emphasis is placed on developing confidence and classes are generally small, normally with 25 to 35 students to ensure individual needs can be met.

Students who require additional language and academic support are normally provided with an additional 4 hours of seminar/ tutorial contact time and opportunities to take part in additional small group and individual tutorials as appropriate beyond the formal contact hours.

Towards the end of the year, greater emphasis is placed on independent study, not just in preparation for classes and reading around the subjects, but also with students completing an individual project related to their future progression route.

Throughout the programme, all students also have access to an academic adviser who will provide them with academic support and guidance. Students will meet formally with their adviser two to three times a year. However, in addition, academic advisers and teaching staff are normally available to meet with students at certain times each week on a ‘drop-in’ basis.

After the initial year, students should refer to the teaching and assessment information for the A100 MBBS Medicine

Subject requirements, level and grade

This is an initiative for students from under-represented groups within higher education, who are studying toward their A Levels in the North East of England, and whose predicted A level grades do not meet the standard entry requirement for standard five year medicine courses.

Gateway to Medicine Programme is delivered in four stages:

Pre-entry Phase (compulsory)

Students who have the potential to become good doctors are identified in partnership with their school or college through a process of Nomination during their AS year. If selected, applicants participate in a programme of activities with Durham University during their A2 year. These activities include a compulsory three day non-residential summer school in August, 2015.

Nomination Deadline

Friday 22nd May 2015


Candidates must be Home Fee status and studying in the North East of England. Candidates must have a clear and demonstrable interest in medicine which is supported by a personal statement from the student and a testimonial from an academic member of their school or college. Candidates must also meet the Widening Participation (WP), Academic, and Aptitude criteria.

Widening Participation Criteria

Candidates must meet at least two of the following: First generation applicant including those who have a parent, or parents who graduated from their first degree within the last five years or are currently studying for their first degree; attend a school whose GCSE performance is below the national average; be eligible for Free School Meals; be resident in an area that falls within the lowest 40% of the Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Additional consideration will be given to applicants who have spent time in care, or are from a Traveler family, or have a registered disability. 

Academic Criteria

Candidates' predicted academic achievement must be three GCE A levels in the grade range AAB - BCC which would normally be completed within two years and taken in one sitting. In order to progress to the Foundation Centre Phase final GCE A level grades must not fall below BCC and must include A2 Biology and Chemistry at grade C or above (for 2015 entry to the Foundation Centre Phase*).

*we do not accept Critical Thinking or General Studies as an A level entry qualification.

Aptitude Criteria

A successful interview, a successful DBS check (formerly CRB) and a UKCAT score, all of which will be completed during the Pre-entry Phase.

How to apply

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study

Information relevant to your country


Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,000.00
Home Student £9,000.00
Island Student £9,000.00
International non-EU Student £16,500.00

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding 

Pre-application open day

Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.

Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place:

Campus tours

Overseas Visit Schedule

Access to Medicine