New curriculum launched to support oncology teaching at undergraduate level

Monday 7 December 2020

The RCR's Clinical Oncology Undergraduate Steering Committee, chaired by Dr Seamus McAleer, has been working with medical oncology colleagues to update the undergraduate non-surgical oncology curriculum that was originally published in 2014. This piece of work was prompted by the publication of the General Medical Council’s (GMC’s) Outcomes for Graduates (2018) (PDF) and the upcoming introduction of the new Medical Licensing Assessment.

The Outcomes for Graduates (PDF) set out what newly qualified doctors from all UK medical schools must know and be able to do. Our new undergraduate non-surgical oncology curriculum 2020 illustrates how the generic outcomes described in Outcomes for Graduates can be achieved in the context of non-surgical oncology.

It is being circulated to all UK medical schools and it is to be hoped that it will be used to inform the oncology content of their own curricula. For ease of mapping, the document provides non-surgical oncology-specific descriptors for the relevant GMC outcomes. It is intended that the curriculum will:

  • Identify the minimum capabilities in practice for non-surgical oncology that all newly qualified doctors require in order to be safe foundation doctors
  • Promote an understanding of cancer and non-surgical oncology in newly qualified doctors to inform their decision-making about future career choices and their future practice, in whichever specialty they enter
  • Provide newly qualified doctors with a clear understanding of the role of non-surgical oncologists in treating patients with cancer and facilitate effective cross-specialty working
  • Provide a guide for medical schools who are reviewing or developing their teaching of non-surgical oncology for undergraduates.

If you have a role in undergraduate education, please help us disseminate the new curriculum and encourage your local medical school to make use of it. If you have any queries about the curriculum or about the RCR’s undergraduate work please contact