Twelve tips for developing and sustaining a programme of student selected components

Simon C. Riley, William R. Ferrell, Trevor J. Gibbs, Michael J. Murphy, W. Cairns S. Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Student selected components (SSCs) represent a significant component of medical curricula in the UK and a new approach in medical education. Despite the prominence given to SSCs by the General Medical Council in each of its seminal papers regarding undergraduate medical education, there remains a diverse view of the purpose, outcomes, structure and assessment of SSCs. Many Schools have adopted their own perspective of SSCs and created different but often innovative courses.

    Aims: This article brings together the Scottish Medical Schools and their experience in organising SSCs, highlights some of the challenges and offers possible solutions to some of the difficulties encountered.

    Method: The SSC Director from each of the Scottish medical schools each contributed their own '12 Tips'. From these a consensus was achieved.

    Results: Even though the Scottish medical schools have a wide range of curriculum and timetable formats, there was a great deal of agreement in the challenges and problems encountered in their SSC programmes, as expressed through these 12 Tips. Conclusion: There is much diversity in SSC programmes at different medical schools, although there is also much commonality in the challenges that arise. We hope that this paper will promote thought and discussion amongst those involved, and be useful to those involved in curriculum and programme development and also to those new to medical education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)370-376
    Number of pages7
    JournalMedical Teacher
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Undergraduate medical curriculum
    • Multiinstitutional consensus
    • Education
    • Module
    • Professionalism
    • Implementation
    • Performance


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