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UCL Connected Curriculum Fellows



Are Intercalated Programmes Connected?

By Henry T Lancashire, on 9 February 2018

A programme or departmental level approach to UCL’s Connected Curriculum (CC) may miss the potential in some programmes. In particular, where students cross between departments or faculties, or choose from a very wide range of options. The integrated BSc (iBSc) programme builds research-focused teaching into the third year of the six-year UCL Medicine MBBS BSc programme; however, these 1-year programmes are run, taught, and examined separately from other MBBS BSc years.

“Active engagement with UCL’s Connected Curriculum means that students are encouraged to integrate this research intensive [iBSc] into their ongoing medical studies and across all modules taken during the year.”

UCL Introduction to iBScs.

UCL medical students choose from one of 18 iBScs run across six UCL faculties. The programmes emphasise in depth study of a subject and an extended research project. Integrated BSc programmes have been criticised for increasing the length and cost of already demanding medical degrees (1,2), in addition there is anecdotal evidence that students consider the iBSc as separate and less important than other MBBS BSc years. However, benefits have been reported for students with iBScs, including; increased involvement in research (2); a chance to develop in depth skills (3,4); higher marks in subsequent years (5–7); and improved career prospects (8,9).