​​Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Medical Sciences

​​Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Medical Sciences

Course information

Course title ​​Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Medical Sciences
Course code UBSCHMDUFT
Postnominal B.Sc. (Hons)(Melit.)
Level of qualification First Cycle
National Qualifications Framework level Level 6
Duration 2+1 Years
Mode of attendance Full-time
Total ECTS credits 180
Coordinator Godfrey La Ferla
Delivered by Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery has added an optional “intercalated” year leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science Honours in Medical Sciences to the existing degree programme leading to the degree of Doctor of Medicine.

The intercalated degree is intended to offer innovative opportunities to Medical Students who wish to enhance their research skills possibly with the longer term intention of pursuing careers as “physician scientists”.

It permits medical students to exit and join postgraduate programmes offered by the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery or other Faculties or to re-enter the MD course at a later time.


The research areas will be determined by the Board of Studies.

The research areas which shall be offered during academic year 2018-19 are the following:

1. Cancer Biology and Clinical Oncology;
2. Diabetes and Endocrinology: Epidemiology, Genetics, Management and Complications;
3. Brain: Neurology/Neurosurgery/Psychiatry/Pharmacology;
4. Inflammatory Processes: Pathology of wound and bone healing/Orthopaedics/Rheumatology;
5. Blood Disorders: Thalassaemia testing and Haemoglobin research/rare blood disorders;
6. Human Genomics and Genetic Medicine; and
7. Biobanking

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The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2019.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

You can compare your national qualifications to the local requirements by visiting our qualifications comparability webpage.

Access more information about our admission process and English language requirements.

After you receive an offer from us, our International Office will assist you with visas, accommodation and other related issues.

Local/EU/EEA Applicants: No fees apply

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: Fee per academic year: Eur 10,800
A. Subject knowledge and understanding:

By the end of the course the student will be able to:

1. explain the structure of the cells and organelles and the various molecular and biochemical interactions that occur in the human body at a cellular level;
2. describe and integrate the relationships between basic anatomy, physiology and biochemistry for each of, and between, the different human biological systems: cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, hepatic, endocrine, genitourinary, reproductive, haematopoietic and central nervous system;
3. describe the structure and inter-relationship of the bones and joints to muscles, nerves and blood vessels;
4. outline the embryological development of the different organs and biological systems; and discuss how this relates to common developmental anomalies;
5. describe the microscopic structure of tissues;
6. explain the genetic and environmental factors that cause disease;
7. describe the basis of genetic inheritance;
8. outline major metabolic pathways and identify their points of integration;
9. discuss the basic principles of medical biochemistry and how dysfunction leads to disease;
10. explain the basic principles of general pathology, including the mechanisms of cell injury and cell death, adaptation and ischaemia;
11. explain the features of bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections and non infective inflammatory processes;
12. describe how to identify normal and abnormal blood counts and serum protein profiles;
13. describe the basic principles used in molecular pharmacology and pharmacogenetics;
14. describe the principles of interpersonal communication;
15. contrast the various ethical theories appropriate to health care;
16. discuss the basic principles of communication skills;
17. discuss values, decision processes and negative emotions;
18. describe the importance of lab safety;
19. discuss the principles underlying biochemical and molecular technology techniques currently used in clinical diagnosis and research;
20. describe the different research methodologies: qualitative, quantitative and epidemiological;
21. discuss the ethical principles underlying research (e.g. consent form and data protection issues); and
22. outline the importance of research in personalised medicine.


B. Intellectual development

1. conduct basic research in an area relevant to personalised medicine;
2. carry out research techniques applicable to clinical practice;
3. appreciate the role of biobanks in promoting medical research;
4. participate interactively in lab/class sessions;
5. analyse research options and take decisions;
6. work effectively individually and in a team;
7. implement group dynamics to accomplish a task; and
8. link clinical research to social needs and patients’ perspectives.

C. Key/Transferable Skills

1. identify important anatomical structures on the surface of the body as an introduction to clinical examination techniques;
2. interpret normal anatomy on basic ultrasound, X-ray images and Electro-cardiogram (ECG);
3. interpret common clinical cases involving different biological systems in terms of disordered anatomy and physiology;
4. interpret the results of first line investigations used for differential diagnosis of clinical cases;
5. map a genetic pedigree;
6. analyse the important factors in prevention and management of infections;
7. apply knowledge of the molecular mode of action of drugs to specific clinical scenarios;
8. apply basic pharmacological principles in prescribing decisions;
9. select the basic drugs used to treat the abnormal conditions studied;
10. identify factors that may lead patients to abuse prescribed medication;
11. apply ethical principles to basic clinical scenarios;
12. apply ethical principles to interpersonal relationships;
13. recognise stress and burnout;
14. demonstrate how to obtain informed consent and how to give bad news;
15. formulate specific objectives for the research study;
16. draft a research proposal;
17. write an application form for research ethics approval required for ‘Research Project 2: Clinical Application’;
18. undertake laboratory benchwork under supervision;
19. operate basic laboratory equipment;
20. perform daily maintenance of basic laboratory equipment;
21. apply appropriate experimental techniques to a specific project design;
22. interpret research results;
23. use bioinformatic tools to analyse genetic and proteomic data; and
24. demonstrate communication skills through the delivery of an effective class presentation.


D. Other skills relevant to employability and personal development

1. time management;
2. organisation skills;
3. team work;
4. lab safety; and
5. respect for patient’s confidentiality and data protection.
The intercalated degree is open only to Medical Students, who have successfully completed years 1 and 2 of the MD course and who wish to enhance their academic knowledge of human health and disease mechanisms. It also helps them to develop research skills with the long term intention of pursuing a medical career with sound dedication to scientific research and academia. It aims to target in particular those who intend to become physician scientists involved at the cutting edge of developing personalised medicine.

This degree provides skills for pursuing employment in the fields of science, health and biotechnology, particularly following further postgraduate study, e.g. MSc in Biomedical Sciences and possibly research at doctorate level.
The intercalated degree will offer all graduate doctors of medicine and surgery, improved options to pursue personal and career objectives in postgraduate medical specialisation, as it provides a head start for the necessary scientific skills for specialist trainees.

Moreover it is a solid foundation for medical graduates who are interested in pursuing a doctoral degree to embark on a medical academic career, since it provides an early introduction to the competitive field of high quality scientific research, publications in high level journals and competitivity for research grants and contracts. As healthcare moves towards the development of personalized / precision medicine, the demand for researchers with combined MD Ph.D. degrees is steadily increasing to service the expanding local research options in medical sciences, health care and biotechnology, on campus, in hospital and at the Life Science Park.

For those who opt to exit the medical course, this degree will open up possibilities for postgraduate studies in science, health and biotechnology with a view to future employment in these areas. The new economic sectors in pharmaceuticals and the Life Science Park and the growing academic programmes shall continue to increase demand for such researchers.
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2019/0.

Last Updated: 15 April 2019

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.

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