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Pioneering learning & teaching at Brunel Medical School

We take a contemporary and innovative approach to teaching medicine at Brunel Medical School. Our curriculum is team-based, patient-focused with an emphasis on ‘Technologies for Health’ preparing you for emerging and modern approaches for patient care. 

An exciting element of the course is how we teach anatomy. You will learn the structure and function of the human body in our brand new, state-of-the-art Clinical Anatomy Suite.

Digital technology to support your learning

You will be taught by clinicians and academics in new facilities which include ‘smart’ classrooms, video-enabled clinical communication suites and simulated hospital wards. You will benefit from the use of interactive life-like manikins, to hone your clinical and teamwork skills on campus and in the simulation suite of the medical school’s nearest clinical partner, Hillingdon Hospital.

Integrating learning facilities with digital technology

Your learning of anatomy and physiology, the ‘building blocks’ of medical science, will be enhanced through the use of technology including an anatomy table, an interactive display panel that enables you to virtually dissect the human body; ultrasound scanners to provide a window into the real-time workings of your organs, and a physiology laboratory, including simulators which provide an engaging way of understanding how body systems function and interact in health and disease.

Bringing depth, efficiency and flexibility to your learning 

Our curriculum is being produced by academics and clinicians working in partnership to integrate the latest insights of medical science with clinical practice. By embedding digital technologies, we will ensure that our curriculum delivery is agile and adapted to the challenges of an ever-changing scientific and clinical landscape.

You will be able to access our digital platform from your laptop, mobile phone, or tablet 24/7 at a time and place that suits you. Our platform will provide integrated support for all aspects of your learning experience, including timetabling, access to online resources, use for classroom learning, feedback, workplace-based assessments, peer interactions and student support.

This approach will facilitate your learning, whether taking place in your own accommodation or home, on campus, whilst travelling or in the healthcare setting.We have established expertise in Team-Based Learning (TBL), our main method of classroom instruction. Through this highly engaging, interactive, ‘flipped classroom’ approach, you will prepare for your TBL sessions using our bespoke online course materials and then work in together in small teams to think through relevant science and medicine-based questions, facilitated by expert academics, clinicians and facilitators.

The TBL process, with its underpinning digital learning system, will provide you with on-going feedback to guide your learning; enabling your teachers to tailor their teaching according to the needs of the class. It will also provide learning analytics to help the school identify students who may need more support, and to continuously improve the way our curriculum is delivered.

This approach develops your communication skills through working with your team colleagues and when addressing the whole class to defend your ideas. In this way TBL also enhances your listening skills and leadership potential.

Digital health 

Our digital health curriculum is one of the many ways that our MBBS programme will prepare you for the future of medical practice, both in the UK and globally. As well as being a tool to enhance your learning, you will also learn about the use of digital technology in healthcare practice.

Digital health already pervades every aspect of medical practice, from the doctor-patient consultation, to choosing and interpreting AI-facilitated diagnostic tests, making a diagnosis and prescribing safely. Our modern curriculum will equip you with the core competencies to progress in your medical career.

 

Team-Based Learning (TBL)

We are among the few medical schools in the world to use TBL as a significant method for classroom instruction. We intend to utilise the experience and expertise of our existing community of TBL practitioners to support the development of the MBBS curriculum.  

TBL sessions will be run by experienced TBL facilitators who will be joined by medical and health professionals (Content Experts) in the subject area being taught.  This creates a highly interactive and collaborative learning environment for our students. 

In TBL, students carry out some pre-study and then come together with their team. They first assess their own knowledge before working in their team – learning together. Students collectively solve clinical problems by applying their knowledge to real-life medical situations.Students are assigned to a team of six students at the beginning of the academic year and will remain in their team for the whole year. 

This will allow strong bonds to be created so that peer-to-peer learning can be maximised. 

Team Based Learning
Team Based Learning
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Video - Team-Based Learning (TBL) at Brunel Medical School

Benefits of Team-Based Learning at Brunel Medical School 

Allows students to develop interpersonal skills (e.g. teamwork, communications and problem-solving skills), which are essential in the healthcare profession

Helps develop students’ ability to work in multi-cultural and diverse teams

Provides an opportunity to apply previously acquired scientific and medical knowledge to real-life clinical cases

Enables continuous and timely feedback, both from the Content Experts and team mates.  

Encourages students to become independent learners and engage in pre-study materials in order to make a good contribution to their team.  

Team-Based Learning phases 

Phase 1: Preparation 

Students, on their own, study course content outside of class either by online/offline reading, or listening to/watching high pre-recorded lectures.

Phase 2: In-Class Readiness Assurance Process 

2a) Individual Readiness Assurance Testing (iRAT) 

In class, students independently complete a short multiple-choice (Single Best Answer, SBA) test on their preparation study. These tests contribute to the evaluation of student performance. Students are expected to attend all sessions in person. If necessary, some changes to this approach may be brought in, for example in response to pandemic issues.

2b) Team Readiness Assurance Test (tRAT) 

Students share and discuss their answers with their team members and together agree on the correct answer.  A Leader (team spokesperson) is selected to report back on the team responses. 

2c) Class-wide discussion

Content Experts, provide clarification on questions that students have found particularly difficult or problematic, addressing knowledge gaps before progressing to the next TBL phase.

Phase 3: Application 

Finally, again working in their teams, students collectively solve clinical problems by applying their newly acquired knowledge to real-life medical situations. It is here that the Content Experts together with the TBL facilitator encourage classroom discussion to help draw conclusions and to strengthen the learning of the session.  Phase 2 and 3 tasks are conducted using TBL-enabled software.

4) Peer Review

Students will be encouraged to give and receive constructive feedback from their team mates; an essential skill set required in the work place where health professionals are expected to work with teams from several disciplines.We have developed a process which allows students to highlight the positive behaviours of their peers and also develop the skills to provide constructive feedback to their peers. 

What we expect from our students

Students are expected to attend all TBL sessions, in-class

There will usually be two full days of TBL sessions per week during each term in the first two years of the course

Students will be allocated a half-day time-tabled time to do their preparatory work prior to each TBL session

Students will be expected to dress appropriately and professionally in class and on-line as they should consider themselves members of the health profession right from the start of the MBBS course

A professional approach is important as students may be interacting daily with clinicians, academics, patients and other health professionals.

 
 

Anatomy

Anatomy and physiology form the foundation of medicine. It is here where you will learn the language of medicine, the structure of the body and the function of the different organ systems, and where you will explore the mechanisms of hill before you go on to identify and manage the loss of health. 

Clinical Anatomy Suite 

The learning and teaching of anatomy takes place in our purpose built Clinical Anatomy Suite which has been designed for a modern medical curriculum. The suite has ten table stations, each with its own large wall mounted digital display screen and numerous table sockets allowing ease of use of technology by students and staff at tables. 

The Clinical Anatomy Suite also incorporates disability accessible features allowing the use of a table by a wheelchair user. Task lights at the tables, screens to separate the room into different sections and acoustic ceiling panels that buffer sound ensure a pleasant teaching and learning experience. Display cabinets showcase anatomical models for use by staff and students.

Practical teaching 

The teaching of anatomy will be hands on, at the table, using the human specimens, anatomical models and radiological images. There will be an emphasis on the clinical application of the knowledge and skills acquired and this will be facilitated by an experienced team of expert teachers with clinical and/or anatomical backgrounds. 

The practical teaching in the Clinical Anatomy Suite will also be linked to the Team-Based Learning that takes place in other parts of the medical programme.

Plastinated specimens 

At Brunel Medical School you have the unique opportunity to learn anatomy using plastinated human specimens which have been professionally dissected to display the structures of interest. These human specimens have been freely and generously donated by individuals for the education of students. The human specimens are a precious and unique resource entrusted to us that we use with gratitude and respect.