A day in the life of a first-year medical student


Faculty: Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Medicine
Course: MBChB Medicine
Category: Medicine

7 August 2019

I started at ARU in September 2018 and I'm loving my course. Our days vary greatly but to give you an idea of what to expect if you choose to study medicine here, I'm going to talk you through one of them.

Group of students outside the med school


7am - Wake up and head to the gym. Living on campus, everything is well within walking distance. I like to start my day off by going to the gym two minutes' walk away.

8am - Shower, breakfast and get ready for uni. I can see the med building from my room so it only takes me two minutes to get there at 9am, ready to start.

9am - First lecture. At ARU, we only ever have lectures in the morning and more interactive sessions in the afternoon to keep us engaged after lunch. I really like how the School of Medicine has looked at modern ways to improve our learning experience but also kept the traditional aspects that work too.

Medicine lecture


10am - Dissection. We are the only undergraduate medicine course in England that uses Thiel embalmed cadavers. Thiel embalming means the cadavers appear far more 'life-like' in comparison to the alternative, formaldehyde embalmed. Our junior doctors always comment on how lucky we are to have this opportunity, especially those of us who are interested in surgery.

12am - Lunch. As I am so close I usually pop back for lunch. If not, sometimes I go to the canteen or even 92, the Students' Union bar, which are close by on campus and do really good food (including great vegan options for myself).

1pm - Pick up by the placement bus. I always knew I wanted to go to a medical school with early patient contact. For me, I feel it gives me motivation and also allows me to see all the science I have learnt in lectures, applied. At the end of the day, we are going to be doctors and why not prepare us as early as possible? On placement we get the opportunity to practise the clinical skills that we learn in our afternoon workshops, like examinations and taking a history. This is great revision for our end of year OSCE exams!

Medical students on placements


4pm - Back to uni, relax and eat my dinner.

6pm - Head to the library. One of my biggest tips for Medicine is keeping on top of everything. There is so much content to learn so I normally go to the library for about an hour every night to consolidate my learning for the day.

Study desk for a medical student


8:30pm - Cheerleading. Another tip for Medicine is joining a club. Medicine is difficult but it is so important to have hobbies and activities you enjoy outside of the course. Our Chelmsford cheerleading team has come 1st in both our competitions this year and there were four medics on the team, which just shows – if you manage your time well, you can join societies you really enjoy!

Cheerleading Practice


Days can be pretty jam-packed and keeping on top of it all is key. However I can honestly say I really enjoy being kept busy and challenged.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.