About the curriculum
The Dundee curriculum has been designed to meet the challenges of educating competent doctors for the twenty-first century, which include:
- Changes in delivery of healthcare. Services are being moved away from in-patient hospital care towards day-care, out-patient clinics and community settings. Improved diagnostic techniques and treatment methods, enhanced community services and government policy have all contributed to this trend
- An increasing emphasis on research-based practice
- Changes to the public’s expectations of a doctor
- Exciting developments in the methods of teaching and learning and in approaches to assessment - the Dundee curriculum is at the forefront of many of these developments
- The expectations set out in the General Medical Council document ‘Tomorrow’s Doctors’ (GMC, 2009), which builds on their previous recommendations for all UK medical schools
Key features of the Dundee curriculum are:
- An explicit statement of the outcomes expected of students at each stage
- A core curriculum with student-selected components
- The spiral nature of the curriculum, with its interlocking phases, allowing topics to be revisited in more depth
- A body-system-based approach, providing a focus for students’ learning
- A framework of nearly 100 core clinical problems to develop reflective practice
- A range of educational strategies, including elements of task-based and problem-oriented learning, community-based learning, and approaches to teaching and learning that encourage students to take increasingly more responsibility for their own learning
- An ‘assessment to a standard’ approach which emphasizes the overall outcomes of the curriculum and which uses a range of methods including online examinations, OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) and portfolio assessment.
- Students are encouraged to develop a partnership approach to their learning for professional practice. Students and staff, as active stakeholders, have an important role to play in the continuing development of the curriculum.
The curriculum has been designed to give students increasing responsibility for their own learning. The General Medical Council recommended that learning through curiosity, the exploration of knowledge, and the critical evaluation of evidence should be promoted and should ensure a capacity for self-education. This approach to learning is reflected in the Dundee curriculum through the core and student selected component (SSC) courses.
To assist students in the curriculum’s move from teacher-centred to student-centred, extensive use has been made of online study guides. The study guides for each course, which are part of the virtual learning environment (VLE), play a crucial role in informing students of the available educational opportunities and helping them to identify those appropriate for their individual approach to their studies.
A feature of the Dundee student-centred curriculum is an attempt, wherever possible, to match the learning experiences to the needs of the students. A focus of the curriculum is SSCs giving students more opportunity to choose the area they wish to study in more depth. It is recognised also that not all students may master the core at the same rate. Students who take longer to master the core to the standards set will undertake directed SSCs. All students, however, must pass the required number of SSCs to graduate.
People learn best in different ways. Some students may prefer small group discussions; some prefer individual study using books in the library whilst others prefer online learning (e-learning) methods. To accommodate various learning preferences a wide range of teaching and learning methods has been provided throughout the course. These methods include: small group discussions, clinical teaching, lectures, e-learning, clinical skills sessions, peer learning, simulation, integrating science and specialties (ISS) sessions, laboratory and practical work.