Our involvement as a professional regulator 

Studying medicine and graduating with a primary medical qualification

Our role includes overseeing undergraduate medical education.

Anyone can graduate as long as: they are well enough to study, are fit to practise, meet all academic requirements of their course and all of the Outcomes for graduates.

Being well enough to study: It is important to consider whether a student is well enough to participate and engage with their course. There is more information on considering fitness to study in 'How can medical schools apply their duties?'.

Meeting all academic requirements: All medical students need to meet the academic requirements of their course. Medical schools manage this, and a student cannot complete their degree otherwise.

Not having any student fitness to practise concerns: All graduates of UK medical schools must be fit to practise at the point of graduation. Medical schools manage professionalism and student fitness to practise concerns that arise in the duration of the course, and make sure these concerns are addressed by the time the student graduates. Medical schools must only graduate students who are deemed fit to practise at the time of graduation. Graduating a student means that the medical school is confident that the student is fit to practise.

  • There are limited circumstances where a student's fitness to practise might be questioned in relation to their health. These do not relate to the health condition itself, but to the individual's behaviour as a response.
  • As long as the student demonstrates insight into their condition and follows appropriate medical advice and treatment plans, it is unlikely there will be concerns about their fitness to practise.
  • In exceptional circumstances, students failing to meet the Outcomes for graduates after reasonable adjustments and support have been put in place could be referred to student fitness to practise. In such cases, it's helpful for the school to demonstrate that it has made every effort to support the student to complete the course, including seeking appropriate advice from an accredited specialist in occupational medicine and other specialist services. We have more advice for students who might not meet our published outcomes for graduates.

Panel 3: Can disabled learners complete their medical course part time?

We do not object to students completing a medical course in a part time/less than full time mode as a potential reasonable adjustment, as long as the medical school is assured the above requirements. This would be a decision for the medical school to take for an individual student.

There are no part time medical courses in the UK at the moment. Any part time course would need to go through our approval process for new programmes.