Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

The Edinburgh intercalated honours BSc in pathology: evaluation of selection methods, undergraduate performance, and postgraduate career.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 21 June 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:1646
  1. A H Wyllie,
  2. A R Currie


    In a study of 60 students who entered the intercalated honours BSc course in pathology at the University of Edinburgh over 10 years the conventional criteria of academic excellence and motivation were shown to be appropriate for the selection of honours students. When compared with classmates who did not take the intercalated year but who had shown similar high academic ability in the preclinical course the students who had taken the honours BSc did better in the remainder of the undergraduate curriculum. Of 42 honours students, 18 (43%) entered academic careers, particularly in pathology and medicine, but there was no observed tendency for students without honours BSc to do so. Although it is impossible to establish a causal relation between taking the honours course and subsequent academic distinction, the results suggest that the intercalated honours BSc in pathology serves a useful function in introducing able students into academic careers. The findings justify the financial support made available to such students during their intercalated year by the Medical Research Council and the Scottish Education Department.