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Professor Colin Macdougall

Professor Colin Macdougall's contribution to enhancing medical education at the University of Warwick, as well as nationally and internationally, is highly significant both in terms of its depth and breadth. Throughout his career he has been at the forefront of reimagining and enhancing the learner experience in academic and clinical contexts, and his contribution to the development of apprenticeship pedagogy in clinical contexts has been deeply influential both at Warwick and beyond.
University of Warwick
Job Title
Head of Medical Education

Colin is strategically and operationally responsible for the UK’s largest Graduate Entry Medical (GEM) Programme, with most of the other 30 UK medical schools admitting entirely or mostly school leaver entrants. The 700+ students at the University of Warwick are from a diverse range of backgrounds and the University is unique in the UK, accepting applications from those with any first degree. Warwick does not take into account A-level scores. They offer an accelerated four-year programme (compared to the usual five) with delivery of years two to four being largely by five major National Health Service (NHS) partners and 90 General Practices, involving around 550 NHS employed senior clinical teachers and multiple other staff members.

Colin led the development of the current Case-Based Learning (CBL) focused curriculum, unique in that CBL is woven throughout all four years of the course (most Problem-based learning and other CBL courses focus on the early years). He developed the previous iteration of the clinical course from 2002, leading huge expansion (64 to 495 students) whilst leading on the school achieving UK General Medical Council (GMC) accreditation, necessary for any UK medical school to graduate doctors eligible for registration. Colin led these fundamental changes on a foundation of scholarly work around CBL in the context of a deep appreciation of the challenges of apprenticeship learning in a challenged NHS across a wide geographical area, drawing on the notions of situated learning and legitimate peripheral participation (Lave and Wenger 1991), and with a focus on students as developing professionals (Eraut 1994) and co-creators of their learning experience (de Cates, Owen et al. 2018).

Beyond his core role, he is also a nationally prominent medical educator with lead roles in all the core organisations relating to curriculum, development, assessment and outcome of UK primary medical qualifications.