Hi guys, welcome to another blog post! This one is all about my university which is Lincoln Medical School; what I love about it and what not so much. The University of Lincoln Medical School (LMS) only just opened in September of 2019. And I realised that there isn’t that much information out there on student experiences for prospective students. It’s important that I give you a balanced view on what it is like at LMS. So hopefully, you can make an informed decision on whether you are a good fit for the university and the course.
A brief background:
As I mentioned before, Lincoln Medical School is brand spanking new. However, unlike some of the other new medical schools in the UK e.g. Anglia Ruskin, LMS is in partnership with the University of Nottingham. This means we are students at both the University of Lincoln and the University of Nottingham. Two for the price of one! Our degrees come from the University of Nottingham, but we are based in the University of Lincoln on the beautiful Brayford Pool Campus. So as a prospective student, I can imagine you would have many questions about how it all works together and blends into one medical school which is Lincoln Medical School.
So, let’s get into the PROS and CONS:
- Best of both worlds: being a student at both the University of Nottingham and the University of Lincoln (UoL), you can tap into the benefits of both universities. Your degree will be from the University of Nottingham, which comes with the prestige of being a Russell Group University and has some weight behind the name. But then you have the scenery of UoL, which is much quieter than Nottingham and in my opinion more beautiful. Everything is in close range to the university including the shopping centre, gyms and restaurants being within walking distance. Whereas Nottingham is a bit more spread out and you may find yourself having to get buses sometimes. Lincoln has a very picturesque scene, with lots of water around the university. It also has a lovely cathedral which is the heart of Lincoln. You have the option to join sports and societies at both universities. We as students at both universities are automatically apart of both Student Unions which give us the ability to do this. If Lincoln doesn’t offer one that you are really interested in, you have the option to join the one in Nottingham. Please note that Nottingham is around 40 minutes to an hour away from Lincoln campus. So you will have to be able to commit the time and expenses to travel to the society or sport of your choice if required.
- Small Cohort: this pro can easily be a con at the same time depending on you and your personality. If you prefer an environment with a lot of people in it then LMS may not be for you. At LMS, there are around 80 students per year which really creates a close-knit family. The lectures at LMS really have the extra room to personally get to know the students. Which I think is great because you don’t feel like just a number in a big year group.
- Two degrees: LMS has a 5-year course and a 6-year foundation course in which you will achieve a BMedSci as well as a Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS) degree. You are awarded the BMedSci when you undertake a supervised research project of your choice (in the 1st half of 3rd year). The reason I love this so much is because other universities that offer this requires a whole extra year (an intercalated year) but Lincoln and Nottingham integrate it into the course structure.
- New building: The Medical school building is actually still being built (which makes this point double up as a con for my cohort and probably 2020/21 entry). For the whole of first year, we had a front-row seat of the Medical school being built from our temporary lecture room. And I know it’s going to be beautiful, a 5-story building with our own library, anatomy suite and clinical skill labs. Everything brand new! This is really exciting, and I hope it is ready soon so that we can all reap the benefits of it.
Those were my favourite pros of the University of Lincoln Medical School, but now let’s move on the cons. For the sake of balance and because as you probably know, nothing is perfect.
- Lack of diversity: now this point is more about UoL and the area itself. The medical school actually has approximately 45% of the students and staff members identifying as being from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds. So, attending lectures and seminars feels very comfortable as being a black student. However, I can’t really say the same for the university or area as a whole. Lincoln is not very multicultural and being from an extremely culturally diverse area like London is a big adjustment. For example, having access to ethnic foods or stores are very hard to come by in Lincoln.
- Confusion of being a student at two universities: this one isn’t a major con but does sometimes creep in here and there. At times there is confusion with communication to us the students from each of the universities. This may be a teething issue of LMS being so new. But because we get double the emails that students at just one university get it causes confusion at times. Sometimes we get emails from each university with conflicting information. An example of this is both last year and this coming academic one, both universities scheduled different starting dates. Additionally, it can be confusing when you’re telling people what university you attend.
- Not a full set of year groups (yet): this con is again due to being a new medical school. As we do not currently have the support of older year groups to help us through. When I went around to university open days when I was applying, a common pro students told me was that the older students were always happy to help them out. Whether it be with lecture notes or advice, it was always beneficial to have them around. Now I think this con will mainly only affect my year group as the next cohort will have us around. And as the medical school grows and we have all year groups this con will definitely turn into a pro. The students at LMS are genuinely nice and I’m sure will always be ready to help.
- Fast pace course: I think this con is inevitable, especially getting two degrees in the space of 5 years. The course is obviously hard and the timetable can be gruelling at times. Especially when most of your friends and flatmates have a much more relaxed one. But I cannot stress this enough, that it comes with the territory of medicine. In other words, there is no getting around this one!
If you are thinking of applying to Lincoln Medical School, I hope this helped you in making your decision. Personally, the lack of diversity is the biggest con for me. I do wonder how things will develop since the University of Lincoln is one of the fastest growing universities in the UK. So, I would love to see an improvement in diversity over the years that I am at Lincoln. On the bright side, I am still so grateful to be at such a great medical school. If you are struggling in making your decision or have any other questions, please feel free to message me. My Instagram (@thebabymedicblog) and my twitter (@thebabymedic_) direct messages are always open to you guys. Also, if you know anyone that this blog post will help, share it with them or post on your social media 😊. Thanks for reading!