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1. Overview of SSCs

What are SSCs?

SSCs are an opportunity for innovation and learning in areas beyond the core curriculum. They involve facilitation of workplace-based and/or project-based learning with small groups of students and are a great opportunity in the field of community based medical education.

Aims and Outcomes

To enhance the student experience and inform future career choices by offering the opportunity to study areas of particular interest in greater depth

At the end of the 5 year SSC programme the student wll have demonstrated their ability to exercise choice in their medical education, acquire broader based and greater depth of subject knowledge, and develop skills of independent study and self-directed learning.

How to arrange an SSC

SSCs may be organised and developed either by students or by GP tutors. If you are interested in developing a CBME SSC then please read the proposal guidelines and fill in this form. You can send your proposal to the SSC Programme Director, Nimesh Patel ( for final approval.

Primary care SSCs are available in Year 1 (2 x 2 week placements), Year 4 (single SSC with time spread throughout the year in order to prepare and submit a 6-8000 word dissertation), and Year 5 (1 x 2- and 1 x 3-, or 1 x 5-week placements, plus a minimum 5-week elective out of a possible 8 weeks)

Year 1 SSC Handbook

Year 2 SSC Handbook

Year 4 SSC Handbook

Year 5 SSC Handbook

Student feedback

  • I chose to do a self-organised SSC in General Practice as I am very interested in this particular field. Although we have GP placements in our first and second years, I wanted to gain further insight into chronic disease management in primary care and how the various healthcare professionals work together to optimise patient care.
  • I became very familiar with the management of Diabetes Mellitus within primary care, and hopefully will be able to retain this knowledge for my later clinical years at university! It was interesting to see how patients had different health beliefs and how their motivations altered. However, I realised how complex the condition actually is and how important good glucose control is in order to prevent the complications of DM. Despite this, I fully empathised with patients as losing weight and general lifestyle modification can be really difficult. Truthfully, I didn't appreciate this issue until I spoke to patients and understood their difficulties. It was really good to see chronic disease management from a clinical perspective, as learning about it from a textbook is completely different altogether.

  • The placement was fantastic, as I engaged with patients and took medical histories. Furthermore, I was able to shadow practice and specialist nurses, GPs, the community matron and the optician as well as having the opportunity to practice some clinical skills that we had learned at university.

  • SSCs are an incredible opportunity to gain insight into the various specialities, as Medicine is such a diverse profession. However, if a student has a particular interest, this must be explored further and SSCs are the perfect excuse to do so! I feel it is very important to familiarise ourselves with the specialities so we can make more informed career choices as it is very daunting to make such a life-changing decision after our foundation jobs.

  • I have always had a keen interest in general practice and this placement has only made me more determined to pursue this as a career in the future!

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