One of the buildings at Brighton and Sussex Medical School / Simon Carey


History: A new medical school formed in 2002, from a partnership of the University of Brighton (established 1992) and the University of Sussex (established 1962).

Address: Years one and two of the undergraduate are spent mainly on the university campuses in Falmer, just four miles from Brighton town centre, followed by two years of clinical training in the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and various primary care settings. The fifth year is spent in various hospitals in the south-east.

Ambience: The 653 full-time undergraduate medical students on campus (with 62 taking a year out to do an intercalated BSc after year 3) have quickly established an intimate and inclusive community where feedback and personal attention is a top priority. The Falmer campus is surrounded by the beautiful South Downs National Park, yet only a short journey from central Brighton.

Who's the boss? Julian Crampton is the Vice-Chancellor, and Jon Cohen is the Dean.

Prospectus: 01273 643 528; have a look at their prospectus here.

UCAS code: B74

What you need to know

Easy to get into? In a word, no. Most offers are conditional on gaining 360 UCAS points (AAA or A*AB at A-level), with A-level chemistry and biology at a minimum of A grade. A pass at distinction level is normally required for those coming from Access to Medicine courses.

Vital statistics: Student-staff ratio is about three to one. Applications rose by 100 per cent for the second year of entry, and a further 20 per cent the next year. BSMS is now one of the most popular medical schools in the UK.

Added value: Students are members of both universities, and therefore have access to the library resources of two institutions. Real dissection is part of the curriculum at this medical school. The school is leading the way in the use of new technology with third, fourth and fifth years getting digital handheld devices as standard, so they can access medical information electronically on the wards. Classroom-based teaching takes place in new buildings on the University of Sussex and University of Brighton campuses, and clinical teaching sessions take place at a new medical centre at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, as well as at other local NHS Trust sites. All students have personal and academic tutors and there is a strong network of pastoral care. The university campuses have dedicated study areas, libraries, bookshops, banks and a number of sporting facilities, including floodlit artificial turf pitches and a solarium.

Research: The school has 80 research staff covering 12 specialities. Key research groups include cancer, primary care and health services, and infection and immunology.

Teaching: It’s a small and personal medical school, with the emphasis on small-group academic and clinical teaching. Traditional lecture-based learning is supported by a skills-based and problem-solving approach, with group sessions and strong IT support. The school is validated by the General Medical Council, which inspects UK medical schools, for its undergraduate teaching.

Any accommodation? Yes. All first years are accommodated in halls on either campus.

Cheap to live there? Rents in Brighton were around £85 per week last year.

Transport links: The Falmer site is five-minute walk from Falmer train station and the Royal Sussex County Hospital is well served by buses. Brighton is just a 50-minute train journey from central London.

Fees: The school charges the full £9,000 per year. Channel Islands and Isle of Man students pay £19,000 per year, with any possible rises in subsequent years capped at 5 per cent per year. International fees are £24,860 per year.

Bursaries: NHS means-tested bursaries are available for help in the fifth year of study.

the fun stuff

Nightlife: Brighton is famed for its energetic and diverse nightlife. Beside the hundreds of pubs and restaurants, there is the renowned Komedia comedy club, Concorde 2 live music venue, art-house and multiplex cinemas and dozens of nightclubs.