Student Selected Components

Student Selected Components (SSCs) complement the Keele Medicine (MBChB) course, and offer students the opportunity to focus on particular areas of interest in more depth.

In Year 1, the three-week SSC involves an examination of peer-reviewed literature, and the compilation of a ~2,000 word written report followed by a five-minute oral presentation of the researched topic. Students either choose a topic from a list, or generate their own topic which must be approved by the SSC tutor. The objectives of the SSC are to:

  • Use library and information services to perform literature searches
  • Gather data from the literature and critically evaluate the literature reviewed
  • Appreciate the range and level of authority of different forms of literature
  • Compile information into a written report that addresses the topic investigated
  • Use computer software for the production of a written and oral report

Time is set aside for this SSC, with no formal teaching.

In Year 2, the SSC involves spending time working, either in a voluntary or work shadow role, within a local voluntary or statutory organisation in the health or social care field. Eight half days are spent working on placement and eight half days are spent doing research for the poster presentation and preparing the assessments. These organisations deliver services to a range of different individuals and groups, from people with mental health problems or learning disabilities, to homeless people, asylum seekers and refugee families. The objectives of this SSC are:

  • To work effectively in a volunteer or work shadow role for a community organisation
  • To demonstrate practically acquired knowledge of the way the organisation works, what the service does and achieves, the experiences and needs of the service users and their communities, and how the service fits in with other services and supports its clients
  • To apply and develop skills in communication, organisation and management, presentation and team-work
  • To prepare and deliver a poster presentation about the organisation
  • To write a 1,500 word reflective summary based on placement experiences

Year 3 includes two blocks of four weeks where you choose from three types of SSC:

  • Case reporting: using a self-selected clinical attachment to give all-round exposure to a clinical area, resulting in a case report
  • Study in the humanities: being attached to a humanities based module, resulting in a written piece of between 2,000 and 5,000 words
  • Research basics: for those who are contemplating a career in research or academic medicine. Hands-on experience of how to develop research ideas, formulate ideas into projects, write up results, and argue for funding for the project. Run by the Arthritis Research Campaign's National Primary Care Centre at Keele

Year 4 involves a four-week block of clinical career exploration including: investigating postgraduate training, career pathways, and life as a consultant within an individual clinical specialty; and spending time with junior doctors, middle-grade specialist registrars, and consultants, to help inform career choices. The outcome will be a reflective piece on how the SSC has informed the student's career choice.

An eight-week elective to shadow a specific medical topic of personal interest in a different health setting (possibly, but not necessarily, overseas). This is a period of maximum flexibility where students will be encouraged to study any topic of interest to them that has relevance to medicine. This could include an attachment to primary care or community facilities such as hospices, academic medicine, undertaking a period of research, public health, management, or alternative medicine.