Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)

  • Total # of Credit hours

Program Overview

The College offers a highly innovative 6-year full time program consisting of one year of Foundation and 5 years of medical studies leading to the award of the degree of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) 

Career Opportunities

A career in Medicine can be quite rewarding indeed. Upon graduation and completion of the pre-registration internship (known as housemanship in certain jurisdictions), career options in the many specialties of Medicine abound.

Graduation Requirements

Students will be awarded the MBBS degree upon fulfilment of the following requirements:

Completing successfully the required credit hours (224 Credit Hours), including the University requirement courses, with an cumulative grade point average (CGPA) not less than 2.5 (out of 4) and obtaining a minimum grade of C in every course.

Program Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of the MBBS program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Recognize the normal structure and function of the human body (as an intact organism) and of each of its major organ systems, taking cognizance of the molecular, biochemical, and cellular mechanisms that are important in maintaining the body’s homeostasis.

  2. Recognize and relate the various causes (genetic, developmental, metabolic, toxic, microbiologic, autoimmune, neoplastic, degenerative, and traumatic) of illness/disease and the ways in which they interfere with normal function of the body (pathogenesis).

  3. Recognize the altered structure and function (pathology and pathophysiology) of the body and its major organ systems that are seen in various diseases and conditions.

  4. Recognize the important non-biological determinants of health and of the economic, psychological, social, and cultural factors that contribute to the development and/or continuation of disease.

  5. Identify the most frequent clinical, laboratory, radiological, and pathologic manifestations of common diseases.

  6. Recognize the power of “the scientific method” in establishing the causation of disease and efficacy of traditional and non-traditional therapies.

  7. Describe the principles of disease prevention and epidemiology of common diseases appropriate for specific populations.

  8. Demonstrate knowledge of the laws and systems of professional regulation through the UAE Ministry of Health, relevant to medical practice and abide by the UAE’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

  9. Understand the framework in which medicine is practiced in the UAE, and the roles of, and relationships between the MOH, Health Authorities and the private health sector in protecting and promoting individual and population health.

  1. The ability to obtain an accurate holistic medical history that covers all essential aspects of a patient and his/her problem, including issues related to age, gender and socio-economic status.

  2. Apply a medical problem-solving process in order to arrive at a clinical diagnosis.

  3. Perform both a complete and a focused organ system specific examination, including a mental status examination.

  4. Perform routine technical procedures at a level suitable to a fresh medical graduate.

  5. Construct appropriate management strategies (both diagnostic and therapeutic) for patients with common conditions related to different age groups and genders, both acute and chronic, including medical, psychiatric, and surgical conditions, and those requiring short- and long-term rehabilitation.

  6. Formulate a treatment plan, demonstrating the ability to take action by balancing the relative risks and benefits of outcomes and treatment options.

  7. Recognize patients with immediately life threatening cardiac, pulmonary, or neurological conditions regardless of etiology, and to institute appropriate initial therapy applying Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support principles.

  8. Interpret laboratory tests (recognizing their limitations), and integrate clinical and laboratory findings in the diagnosis and management of a patient’s problem.

  9. Document and share patient-specific information, demonstrating the ability to record in the hospital management systems, specific findings about a patient and orders directing the further care of the patient.

  10. Define and describe the characteristics of a population, to include its demography, cultural and socioeconomic constitution, circumstances of living, and health status, and to relate these factors to the health and health care of patients and their families.

  11. Recognize own personal and professional limits and seek help from colleagues and supervisors when necessary.

Autonomy and Responsibility
  1. Acquire, assess, apply and integrate new knowledge, learn to adapt to changing circumstances and ensure that patients receive the highest level of professional care.

  2. Show responsibility and independent technical and clinical decision-making to evaluate and manage complex and unpredictable clinical work appropriate to a primary care practice.

  3. Illustrate adherence to current best practice methods in a mature manner.

Role in Context
  1. Function effectively as a mentor and teacher including contributing to the appraisal, assessment and review of colleagues, giving effective feedback, and taking advantage of opportunities to develop these skills.

  2. Understand and respect the roles and expertise of health and social care professionals in the context of working and learning as an interdisciplinary team.

  3. Demonstrate ability to build team capacity and positive working relationships and undertake various team roles including leadership and the ability to accept leadership by others.

  4. Demonstrate awareness of the role of doctors as managers, including seeking ways to continually improve the use and prioritization of resources.

  1. Establish the foundations for lifelong learning and continuing professional development appropriate to a fresh medical graduate.

  2. Continually and systematically reflect on practice to evaluate and improve care of patients with aim of safeguarding a high quality of clinical care.

  3. Recognize own personal health needs, consult and follow the advice of a suitably qualified professional, and protect patients from any risk posed by own health.

  4. Value professional ethics, positive criticism and feedback, and engage in a life-long learning.

  5. Be polite, considerate, trustworthy and honest, act with integrity, maintain confidentiality, respect patients’ dignity and privacy, and understand the importance of appropriate consent and respect all patients, colleagues and others regardless of their age, colour, religion, culture, disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, or social or economic status.

Program Structure and Credit Hours


The curriculum consists of full-time one year of Foundation and five years of medical studies.

The Foundation Year

It was decided to start with a foundation year as we expect most of our potential students to come from diverse backgrounds with varying levels of high school attainment, depending on the type of curriculum they studied (e.g. UAE National, American, British, Indian, French, etc curricula are on offer in the UAE). The Foundation Year is necessary to raise levels of science knowledge before commencing the five-year medical program. The courses to be taken include Human Biology (Anatomy & Physiology), Introduction to Biochemistry, Medical Physics and Medical Terminology. In addition, the students will complete four of the five University required general education courses during the foundation year. This helps to ensure that they can comfortably complete all University general education compulsory and elective courses before the clinical years, when it is logistically very difficult.

The Five-Year Medical Program

The program is designed as an integrated, systems based, spiral curriculum, which is divided into three phases. There is both horizontal and vertical integration such that as the student progresses through the phases, they revisit the same organ systems at higher levels of complexity and clinical content until graduation.

A unique feature of the AUCoM curriculum is the application of “Parallel Courses”. These are semester long courses running alongside (parallel to) the integrated blocks. In many instances, the parallel courses align their content to the blocks but they do not have to. For example, the content of the Molecular Medicine parallel course in Semester I (MOL 114) will be aligned with the GIT 113 block such that GI Biochemistry (digestion/absorption), will be taught at the appropriate time.

Parallel courses address one of the main criticisms in integrated PBL-type curricula; the niggling feeling that the students are not learning core concepts in sufficient depth. In this regards certain subject areas tend to lose out more than others. These include Molecular Medicine and Genetics (so important in the medicine of the future), Behavioral Science, Biostatistics, Evidence Based Medicine, etc. Quite often it is difficult to come up with PBL cases that would generate fundamental concepts in these areas as “learning needs”.

A secondary advantage of the parallel courses option is that the program has greater flexibility in formally introducing new or topical subjects into the curriculum, e.g. simple one credit hour courses in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), Forensic Medicine, Medical Informatics, etc, has potential to greatly enrich the curriculum. Such flexibility is lacking or limited in the common integrated curricula on offer at most medical schools in the region. Experience at a young medical school (<10 years), applying a similar mix of integrated and parallel courses has produced graduates who are exceptionally competitive in external benchmarking and licentiate assessments.

Phase I (4 Semesters)
  • Semesters I and II: In these two semesters, the core curriculum is presented as integrated organ systems concentrating essentially on structure and function only. In addition to the lectures and labs being copiously illustrated with clinical examples, there are TBL (Team-Based Learning) sessions at the end of each week where cases for problem solving are used to consolidate learning.

  • Semesters III and IV: A ten-week block called pathogenesis of disease (POD), is introduced in Semester III. During the POD block, the students are introduced to fundamentals of Pathology, Pharmacology, Microbiology and Immunology. The cases and TBLs in this block are richer in clinical content. Semester IV is the transition between Phase I and Phase II. In the core blocks during this semester (Head and Neck and Skin, Neuroscience and Special Senses), structure function is fully integrated with the clinical sciences. The learning in each week is anchored by a clinical case which drives the theme for the lectures, labs and clinical skills sessions.

Phase II (2 Semesters)
  • Semesters V and VI: During these two semesters in Phase II, the organ systems are revisited but the blocks are disease-based with limited structure function overviews only. Each week’s learning is themed according to the clinical case of the week.

  • The principal rationale for this phase is to get the students to study most of the key pathological conditions in each organ system. This addresses an important challenge in medical education in the UAE and the region at large. Medical schools generally lack leverage when it comes to recruitment of hospital consultants involved in clinical training of medical students during the clerkship years. This is especially problematic when existing government or other hospital facilities are used for training. Although this has improved somewhat, the training of adjunct clinical faculty involved in teaching medical students remains a challenge. An additional challenge is the difficulties encountered by medical students in accessing patients to complete their prescribed number of patients they must interview (clerk) and examine. The Phase II program helps the student to be much better prepared for the clinical clerkship phase, minimizing the need for a lot of handholding by the clinical adjunct faculty.

Phase III (Four 20-week Semesters)
  • Consists of four semesters (7-10) of clinical rotations in designated hospitals, including Medicine, Surgery, Paediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynaecology; and their sub-specialties. Each rotation is 10 weeks in the major specialties and two to three weeks in each sub-specialties.

General Education (embedded in the sequence of courses in phases I and II shown above)
Offered General Education Courses:

Every AU student is required to complete 30 credit hours of General Education covering the following areas: Mathematics, Science, Information Technology, Languages, and Social Sciences & Humanities. After a review of all offered programs at AU, the Council of Academic Affairs identified 24 out of the 30 credit hours of General Education that could be taken by all AU students independently of their specialization. Of these hours covered by the General education Program, 15 credit hours are compulsory to all students and 9 credit hours are electives.

Obligatory (15 Credit Hours):

Obligatory Credit Hours

Study Plan

Study Plan

Courses Descriptions

Undergraduate Foundation and Phases I and II
BIC011 Biochemistry I

This course introduces the students to chemical methods and measurement; structure of the atom; structure and properties of ionic and covalent compounds; calculations of chemical equation; states of matter: gases, liquids, and solids; solutions; osmotic pressure and electrolytes; energy, rate, and equilibrium; acids and bases and oxidation-reduction reactions; the nucleus, radioactivity, and nuclear medicine and introduction to saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons.

BIL011 Biochemistry I lab

This course includes safety procedures in the laboratory, perform qualitative and quantitative acid base titrations, perform crystallization, determination of melting points and freezing points, use data to calculate amounts of reactants and products, perform extractions using vacuum, perform chromatography experiments, classify tests functional groups such as ketones and aldehydes, alcohols and phenols, amines and amides, carry out a variety of synthetic organic compounds such as, esters, amides, aspirin and benzoic Acid.

HBG012 Human Biology I

This course covers an overview of anatomy and physiology of the human body, introduces the students to cells and tissues, general embryology including fertilization and embryogenesis, skin and body membranes, integumentary system, developmental aspects of skin, the muscular system, microscopic anatomy, skeletal muscle activity, muscle movements, types and names and the special senses including the eye and the ear.

HBL012 Human Biology I Lab

This course covers the following 7 labs: covering parts of the microscope and its use, the structure of epithelial tissue, connective tissue proper, skeletal connective tissue cartilage, skeletal connective tissue bone, the muscular tissue and the integumentary tissue.

MPY013 Medical Physics

This course covers atomic spectra, nuclear physics, x-ray applications in biology and medicine, fluids, electricity and magnetism, geometrical optics and waves and sounds.

MPL013 Medical Physics Lab

This course includes experiments covering the following topics : General instructions, analysis and graphing data, measuring devices, density, forces at equilibrium, motion along a straight line(A), motion along a straight line(B), force of buoyancy, heat equivalent of electrical energy, linear thermal expansion, simple DC circuits, electrical instruments and DC measurements, magnetic field of current carrying conductors, reflection refraction and total internal reflection, radiation detection.

BIC021 Biochemistry II

This course includes the structure and molecular properties of biomolecules, the structure and functions of carbohydrates, proteins and metabolic defects in amino acids metabolism leading to metabolic diseases; the structure and functions of haemoglobin and myoglobin and abnormal haemoglobin including sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia; the classification of enzymes, enzyme kinetics, inhibition and allosteric enzymes; the bioenergetics including glycolysis, TCA and electron transport chain; the biological important sugars; gluconeogenesis, glycogen metabolism and glycogen storage diseases; galactose metabolism and galactosaemia.

BIL021 Biochemistry II Lab

This course includes practical sessions in biochemistry including enzyme kinetics, the determinations between Km and Vmax, the effect pH and enzyme inhibitions on Km and Vmax, and reducing sugars, properties of proteins, electrophoresis of haemoglobin, sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia, the difference between glycogen and starch.

HBG022 Human Biology II

The course focuses on the physiology and structure of the human body systems including the cardiovascular system, renal, respiratory, digestive and endocrine systems. This course introduces the students to the basic structures and physiological functions of the above systems and the composition and functions of the immune and blood systems and relate it to the homeostatic imbalance in these systems.

HBL023 Human Biology II Lab

This course covers the following three topics: osmosis and tonicity, blood, plasma, WBC, RBC and Platelets, human cardiovascular system covers permeability properties of membranes and the effect of various solutions on RBC. Platelets experiments include total white blood cell count, hemocytometer, differential white blood cell count, peripheral blood film. The RBC includes: Haematocrit/packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin concentration, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), blood typing (ABO Rh). Platelets and include: bleeding time & coagulation time. Part three including heart sounds, pulse determinations, blood pressure and electrocardiogram ECG.

MTL023 Medical Terminology

This course helps the students to communicate with the language used in medicine and familiarizing them with the medical terminology in their respective fields. Special attention will be given to teaching students the principles of the construction of medical terms. The course also aims to develop students' general academic skills and independent learning skills. Academic vocabulary and relevant grammatical structures will be highlighted and practiced. Oral communication skills will be developed through encouraging students to make short oral presentations. It is also expected to apply this knowledge to understanding texts in their fields of study. Students will become familiar with case studies, and be introduced to the conventions of medical records, writing, team work, etc. The course will link the basic concepts with some clinical applications related to the fields of study in the clinical years.

GCT111 General Concepts (General anatomy, histology, embryology and cell physiology)

This introductory general concepts course introduces the first year medical student to key concepts in general anatomy, histology, embryology and general/cell physiology. This is a lecture and laboratory course that introduces the students to the structural and functional organization of the human body and how cells, organs, and systems function together to maintain homeostasis. Common histologic methods, principles of tissue staining, cell structure and organization, the electrical properties of cell membranes and transport of substances across the cell membrane, are also covered in this block.

MSK112 Musculoskeletal Block

The Musculoskeletal system is concerned with the study of muscles, bones and joints with their blood vessels, lymphatics and nerves. This block will consist mainly of the anatomy of the upper and lower limbs, including the development of musculoskeletal system (embryonic development of dermatomes and myotomes and congenital anomalies. In addition, muscle (muscle contraction and excitation-contraction coupling), and bone physiology will be covered.

GIT113 Gastrointestinal Block

The Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) Block is designed to help students acquire basic knowledge of the morphologic and histological features and specific physiologic functions of the various organs comprising the GIT. The overall objective is to stress structural/functional correlates of the different organ systems within the GIT and how they contribute to the digestion and absorption of ingested nutrients. The knowledge acquired should provide a solid foundation for the understanding of GITdiseases in Phase II.

MOL114 Molecular Medicine I (Biochemistry & Cell Biology)

This course describes the structure and function of lipids including free fatty acids, triglycerides, cholesterol, eicosanoids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It explains the synthesis and metabolic role of omega-3, omega-6, phospholipid, sphingolipid, steroids, lipoproteins, chylomicrons, VLDL, LDL and HDL in human health and disease. It explains the detail mechanisms for the synthesis of the components of plasma proteins and their role in health and disease. It explains the role of lipoprotein lipase enzyme in the incidence of myocardial infarction.

PRO115 Communications Skills

Learning in Communication Skills is designed to assist the student in developing fundamental clinical skills upon which they will build throughout their professional lives. This course highlights the communicative methodology, as practiced by senior physicians, residents, interns and medical students during their daily interaction with patients, health care teams, nurses and supervising consultants. Simulated clinical encounters are underpinned by the use of Simulated Patient’s (SP’s) and Small Group Discussions which serve to polish each student’s individual communication skills. This technique is set against a background of the Patient Centered Interview (PCI) and other methods which embrace empathetic strategies to connect with each patient’s concerns. Students explore communicative methods that work best for them. This a semester-long parallel course.

COM116 Primary Health Care & Rural Health

The goal of this semester-long parallel course is to introduce first year medical students to the field of Public Health, by highlighting its important implications on the health and safety of the entire community by combining historical as well as examples from their daily activities. This interactive course will allow students to share their opinions, provide their own examples and challenge their assumptions all in safe and scientific environment. Towards the end of each weekly session, students will leave class with a take-home message related to the module being taught which will summarize and solidify their learning experience.

CVB121 Cardiovascular + Blood Block

This course deals with the metabolic pathways in the kidney and describes how the kidney filters the blood, activates vitamin D, and describes how it balances the blood pH. This course describes the structure, function and energy supply to skeletal muscle, and describes the catabolic pathways of nucleotides resulting in the production of uric acid and the medical effects of hyperuricaemia. This course also describes the fuels available to the brain in the fed and fasting states, and stem cell therapy. It finally deals with how hormones are classified and the functions of the different hormones, as well as explains the biochemical bases of semen analysis and pregnancy tests.

RSP122 Respiratory Block

This module builds upon an understanding of the structure and function of the cardiovascular system, and enables students to integrate basic science and clinical concepts related to this system, with emphasis on the structure-function relationships. Appropriate examples of medical imaging and diagnostic techniques are also introduced. In this block, major concepts related to blood and various blood cells shall be addressed. Specific emphasis will be placed on blood types, transfusion, and tissue and organ transplantation. Students shall also be exposed to basic concepts of haemostasis and thrombosis. Further, the various functions of white blood cells and lymphatics will be addressed with an emphasis on their role in resisting infection. It will include issues such as inflammation and immunity. Finally, complementary clinical issues will be introduced, such as, classification of anaemias, bleeding disorders and various coagulation deficiencies, thrombotic disorders as well as diseases of leucocytes, spleen and thymus. This section will include an introduction to approaches to patients with these disorders.

REN123 Renal Block

During the renal block, the student will be exposed to normal renal function and understand how failure of any of these renal functions can have a significant effect on other systems as well as a significant impact on homeostasis. The above learning objectives will be achieved by a combination of didactic lectures, structural and functional laboratories, large group discussion sessions, and Team-Based Learning (TBL) sessions. All these discussion sessions will emphasize learning normal renal anatomy and normal renal physiology.

GEN124 Genetics

This course deals with areas of genetics, which was crowned by the completion of the Human Genome Project a decade ago. This course helps the students who are the future physicians to understand the essence of health and disease; paving the way for myriads of medical and research applications. The course links the principles of human genetics and its applications in medicine to the integral part in the clinical practice. The course aims to provide future physicians with core knowledge in genetics as well as an understanding of the role of genetic factors in health and disease.

MOL125 Molecular Medicine II (Biochemistry & Cell Biology)

This course deals with the metabolic pathways in the kidney and describes how the kidney filters the blood, activates vitamin D, and describes how it balances the blood pH. This course describes the structure, function and energy supply to skeletal muscle, and describes the catabolic pathways of nucleotides resulting in the production of uric acid and the medical effects of hyperuricaemia. This course also describes the fuels available to the brain in the fed and fasting states, and stem cell therapy. It finally deals with how hormones are classified and the functions of the different hormones, as well as explains the biochemical bases of semen analysis and pregnancy tests.