Press release: Launch of the UK’s first independent medical school

27 August 2013

The UK’s first independent medical school is announced today by the University of Buckingham and Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust. Its central focus will be on teaching medical students to deliver the highest level of safety and care to patients. The four-and-a-half year MBChB course will begin in January 2015. The first phase will take place in Buckingham and offer a mix of clinical and biomedical science teaching over two years. The second, clinical, phase will be centred at Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Teaching and governance will be delivered to General Medical Council standards. To ensure high quality learning across all subject areas, the University will work with other  partners ; the first collaboration for psychiatric education and clinical placements will be with one of the UK’s leading mental health charities providing specialist NHS care, St Andrew’s, Northampton. The MB ChB  will met the expectations of an unsatisfied  global market as, unlike other UK medical schools, its international student numbers will not be capped. However, places will also be open  to UK or EU students who  prefer to study in the UK rather than attending private medical schools overseas. The admission criteria will be comparable to the UK’s other medical schools and the fees of £35,000 per annum are within the range of fees being charged by other UK medical schools for overseas students. Professor Terence Kealey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham and a doctor himself, said: “We have long held an ambition to pioneer a medical school with a patient orientation. We intend to provide high-quality students with a first-rate, caring, medical education. We will be working with the General Medical Council who will undertake a multi-year quality assurance review. We will ensure that the programme meets the standards described in Tomorrow’s Doctors.” Professor Karol Sikora, Dean of Medicine at the University of Buckingham said: “Five years ago we started a postgraduate degree course in internal medicine, and we now have more than 50 doctors studying on this course. In the University’s  laboratories we research into a range of appropriate subjects including cancer,  diabetes, obesity and bioinformatics  Now with the launch or the MB ChB undergraduate degree, we have a complete medical training programme.” Mr Joe Harrison, Chief Executive at Milton Keynes Hospital said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Buckingham University in this exciting development. We are very much looking forward to receiving students in 2017 at the hospital, and ensuring they commit to the high standards of patient care we expect at Milton Keynes Hospital.” Professor Martin Wetherill, Medical Director at Milton Keynes Hospital said: “We are very much looking forward to our first intake of students in 2017 at the hospital, and ensuring they commit to the high standards of patient care we expect at Milton Keynes Hospital.” The University will accept direct applications from well-qualified applicants from 2 September, 2013. For more information contact Diana Blamires, Publicity, on: +44 (0)1280 820213 or diana.blamires@buckingham.ac.uk Notes to Editors The University of Buckingham is a not-for-profit organisation, which is unique in that in was the first independent university in the UK with a Royal Charter. With around 2,000 students it has been ranked at the top of the Student Satisfaction League Table for the past seven years. Milton Keynes Hospital is a district general hospital serving the people living in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas. The hospital provides a broad range of general medical and surgical services, including Accident and Emergency, for approximately 300,000 people each year. Prospective students should contact:  medicine-admissions@buckingham.ac.uk in the first instance.