The new Dundee medical curriculum: a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts

Med Educ. 1997 Jul;31(4):264-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.1997.tb02923.x.


The medical undergraduate curriculum at the University of Dundee has evolved in response to changing needs. The new curriculum, introduced in 1995, combines idealism and pragmatism. Underpinning it is the concept that the curriculum is an educational programme where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The concepts contributing to this are: the spiral nature of the curriculum, with its three interlocking phases; a body-system-based approach, with themes running through the curriculum, providing a focus for the students' learning; a core curriculum with special study modules or options; the educational strategies adopted, including elements of problem-based and community-based learning and approaches to teaching and learning that encourage the students to take more responsibility for their own learning; an approach to assessment which emphasizes the overall objectives of the course; an organization and management of the curriculum; and an allocation of resources designed to support the educational philosophy.

MeSH terms

  • Community Medicine / education
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Humans
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Scotland
  • Teaching / methods