The way  in which Medicine is taught varies across  different universities . Typically, Medicine is 5 years. However, some medical schools offer 6 year courses and there are two main reasons for this:

Compulsory Intercalation:

One reason for the course being 6 years is compulsory intercalation.  Intercalation is when you take a year out of your medical degree( usually at the end of year 2, 3 or 4)   and do another  degree (usually related to medicine ).   At some medical schools , intercalation is compulsory and their courses will be listed as 6 years with an intercalated BSc degree. Examples of medical schools that have compulsory intercalation include  UCL, Imperial  College London , Oxford and Cambridge. Other medical schools also offer intercalation but it is optional and there maybe certain criteria that you have  to fulfil in order to intercalate (i.e. achieving a certain percentage overall in previous academic years ). For example, at  Birmingham  Medical school you have the option to intercalate between years 2 and 3, 3 and 4 or 4 and 5.  If you choose to intercalate  you will receive both your medical degree and  a BSc degree at the end of 6 years of study  but if you do not

The course includes a foundation year:

Some universities offer courses with a foundation year.  This  means you will have an extra year to develop  a foundation  of knowledge in biomedical  sciences  and  this offers a more gradual introduction to the content of the medical degree.  These courses often have a lower grade requirements than standard courses without a foundation year and you have to fulfil certain criteria to be able to apply for these. For example, King’s college London offer the an extended 6 year medical degree with a  grade requirement of  ABB for students from non-selective schools. If your predicted grades are AAA  or above, we recommend that you apply for the standard course because courses with a  foundation degree are very competitive due to the limited number  of places.

Words: Anjitha Anilkumar