There has never been a more important time to influence the future of General Practice and the Department of Primary Care and Public Health wants to work with you to achieve this.

With responsibility for General Practice teaching as part of our undergraduate programme, the department works closely with the medical school, GPs and their practices throughout the six years students are with us. During this time, students learn from and are examined by GPs in their practice, in the community and also in department teaching sessions.

The Department provides full teacher training and refresher courses for GPs, recruiting enthusiastic and dynamic GP teachers. This helps students gain first-hand experience of GP expertise from paediatrics to dermatology and from cancer care to end of life care. The course is free if you commit to teaching students in your practice.

Students need GP teaching support for the following courses;

Course details

Year 1: First Clinical Attachment (FCA)

Course Lead: Dr Jens Foell

GP talking to elderly patient The First Clinical Attachment (FCA) teaches students interviewing and communication skills and encourages them to think about illness and health from the patient's viewpoint.

Teaching commitment

There is one module each term. Each module has two tutorials and five visits to patients during the year.

  • Module 1: Illness, health and disease
  • Module 2: The experience of health and social care
  • Module 3: Living with a long-term condition and the effects of life events

Students make several visits to a patient or his/her care giver and their family at home. They will either be an adult with a long-term illness, or a care giver with a family member who has a long-term condition.

Students visit in pairs using their developing skills to explore the patient and the patient’s family’s experience. They also see patients in a clinical setting.

The GP group leader meets with 10–12 students for tutorials. There is a briefing and debriefing session for tutors each term.

We also have our FOCP Away Day which is a chance for our Year 1 tutors to get together and socialise.

Fee information

3½ sessions* per term, for three terms, with 10-12 students - total of 10½ teaching sessions - £1657.74

*A session is on average 2-3 hours.

Year 2: Second Clinical Attachment (SCA)

Course Lead: Dr Elinor Gunning

GP talking to patients The Second Clinical Attachment (SCA) has been designed in order to give students early exposure to general practice and to support their early history taking.

The afternoon will start with a tutorial on basic history taking for 1½ hours at an introductory level. We will provide all materials and expect there to be no preparation.

For the second half of the afternoon, the students will split into pairs and each pair will engage in one of the following activities:

  • Attend part of a GP surgery session
  • Go on a home visit with the GP
  • Sit in with a different member of the primary care team

Teaching commitment

SCA involves teaching a group of four students, one afternoon over two weeks from 2-5pm at your Practice. This course runs once a year in December so it a great taster session for those who are new to teaching or those who are thinking of branching out to other courses.

Fee information

1 teaching session* over two weeks, with 4-5 students in early December - £170.51

*A session is on average 2-3 hours.

Year 3: Medicine in the Community Apprenticeship (MICA)

Course Lead: Dr Shivani Tanna

Students looking at a skeleton


In September 2016 we launched a brand new 10 week clinical attachment in year 3. 60 students are replacing one of their two medicine attacments with general practice. This clinical attachment has been introduced to increase student exposure to primary care. With more services being moved into the community it is felt that GP practices provide more appropriate learning environments. Fewer patients are being managed in secondary care and their stays in hospital are shorter. As a consequence, patients with medical and surgical conditions will be more prevalent in the community where they will be more accessible to students for learning.

The Shape of Training reporthighlights the need for doctors who are capable of providing general care in broad specialties across a range of different settings”. The Five Year Forward view further supports this initiative that more care should be delivered locally to support an ageing population with multiple health conditions.

Health Education England has set a mandate that 50% of UK medical graduates need to select General Practice (GP) as a career choice to support the shift of services from secondary care to primary care. Early positive exposure to primary care is likely to encourage students to take up GP as a career option. This is also in line with the 2.4 billion pound investment into general practice demonstrating commitment by the government. These are only a few of the drivers behind this pilot. We hope you enjoy teaching on this course.


Each practice will be allocated 2 students per term. There are 3 terms in total. They will be at your practice for 10 weeks during which time they are expected to fulfil the objectives which are outlined in this guide. There will be timetabled department teaching and some clinical skills lab sessions . The teaching and expectation will vary according to which term the students are timetabled to be at the practice. 

The practice will need to ensure students are provided with smart cards from your CCG in order to access computer systems. 

Fee Information

Term 1: £6549

Term 2: £5883

Term 3: £6549

Year 5: General Practice and Primary Health Care (GPPHC)

Course Lead: Dr Ali Dhankot

GP talking to patient Our GPPHC course teaches students to apply a patient-centred approach to illness. The students observe the close doctor-patient relationship and the roles of other healthcare professionals in general practice.

GPPHC is the ideal opportunity for the students to develop their consultation and clinical skills. They also learn about the roles and responsibilities of a GP and other allied health professionals, e.g. Health Visitor, Pharmacist, and District Nurse. The attachment begins with an introduction and ends with a debrief in the Department. Twenty-one sessions are spent in the practice. Two further sessions in the Department concentrate on consultation skills, using role play with an actor and video feedback and cancer care in the community.

We would like to be students involved with all the different aspects of a practice and its staff

Teaching commitment

The GPPHC course runs twelve times per year and you may teach on as many, or as little of these as you wish. Students are completely submerged into practice life for the three weeks and the support and encouragement they receive from you and your practice team will be essential. You will discuss personal learning objectives, ensure your student achieves essential activities including DOPS, provide them with a patient with chronic illness to complete patient project and deliver one to one teaching.

Most importantly, students will independently consult under the supervision of you and time must be identified for them to receive feedback.

Fee information

Hosting a student for three weeks, 12 times in a year - £9883.44

Year 5: Integrated Dermatology-General Practice course

Course Lead: Dr Senita Mountjoy

Assessing a shoulder

General Practice has collaborated with our Dermatology colleagues to develop this integrated course. During their three week hospital based Dermatology attachment, groups of six students come to your practice every Tuesday for three weeks in order to observe and consult on the type of dermatology cases that present in your every day consultations. Webcams are provided and used in teaching consultations to minimise the number of students in the consulting room making for a more comfortable patient experience, without detracting from the experience of those observing. Tutors will also run problem-based learning style tutorials at the practice.

In addition, students receive weekly Departmental teaching sessions including resource allocation sessions and a session on developing diagnostic skills in dermatology through observational art workshops.

Teaching commitment

The Integrated Dermatology-General Practice course runs twelve times per year and you may teach on as many, or as little of these as you wish. GPs will provide protected time to co-consult on dermatology patients and debrief with students as well as run tutorials at the Practice. Material will be provided to guide your tutorials.

Fee information

6 students for 3 days in a 3 week rotation, 12 times in a year- total 36 days - £16943.04.

Year 5: Community Paediatrics Enrichment Week

Course Lead: Dr Senita Mountjoy

GP assessing a toddler

General Practice has collaborated with our Paediatric colleagues to develop this student option. These students have chosen to spend a week in General Practice during their seven week Paediatric attachment. Pairs of students will come to your practice where they will benefit from a bespoke timetable of paediatric learning opportunities taking advantage of childrens' services in your local area. Students will also have the opportunity to see children in 'Paediatric-only' clinics in your practice. Often these clinics are initiated on taking on this teaching. 

Teaching commitment

The Paediatric-General Practice Enrichment week runs six times per year. We ask practices to arrange 'Paediatric-only' clinics where students see children with protected GP supervision. Tutors are asked to arrange other structured Paediatric learning opportunities by utilising existing clinics/services at their practices and by liaising with with local paediatric services such as Special schools, enuresis clinics, paediatric ambulatory care services and urgent care centres for example.

Fee information

Hosting a pair of students for a week (7 sessions*), 6 times in a year - £5702.40.

*A session is on average 2-3 hours.

Year 5: GP Integrated Clinical Apprenticeship (ICA)

Course Lead: Dr Andy McKeown

Students and lecturers reading a computer screen The ICA is an innovative project, giving Year 5 students practical GP experience in the same GP Practice, one session per week, for an entire year. The project has arisen from a keenness from students to take a more hands on role with patients and the increasing evidence that longitudinal attachments improve student resilience and patient-centredness. 

Teaching Commitments

Experienced and enthusiastic GP tutors will be required to supervise a student’s clinical work on a Thursday morning session throughout the year. GP Practices will be required to generate a caseload of patients with a variety of acute and chronic illnesses, including some of those illnesses studied in O&G, Psychiatry and Paediatrics in Year 5.

GP Surgeries will be encouraged to integrate their Year 5 student as part of the team, developing their skills more as an apprentice than observer. 

Hosting a pair of students for 1 session a week for 48 weeks - £5702.40.

Year 6: General Practice Student Assistantship (GPSA)

Course Lead: Dr Sian Powell


The Year 6 General Practice Student Assistantship aims to prepare students towards graduation by developing their skills in consulting and managing patients independently, under close supervision. Students should be given opportunities to become fully immersed in the work and life of the practice, as they work alongside their supervising GP. They should hold their own clinics so that they can improve their consulting and decision-making processes whilst dealing with every day primary care problems, and start to learn the art of managing risk and uncertainty, all of which underpin high quality general practice. 

The course assessments are designed to support this learning in practice and facilitate giving feedback and reflection.

Teaching commitment

The GPSA course runs eight times per year from August to February and you may teach on as many, or as few of these as you wish. 

Students attend a three-week residential placement, with the first and last day taking place at the department for introductory and debrief tutorials. In some cases, students stay with their GP Teachers or someone from the practice, or they may arrange their own accommodation as many take the opportunity to stay at home. 

Whilst on the placement, students will need to complete a number of their own GP clinics (under supervision), complete a brief clinical audit as well as two case-based discussions, and two mini-clinical evaluation exercises. 

Fee information

Hosting 1 student for on-call session placement in a UK practice, generally outside London (8 rotations). 

  • £992.47 - non-residential
  • £1292.47 - residential

Year 6: GP Specialty Choice Modules (SCM)

Course Lead: Dr Ros Herbert

Community Health Inequalities

Man asleep on bench

This Speciality Choice Module has been set up to allow interested students the opportunity to meet those working with marginalised groups and see first-hand how difficult it can be for them to access health care. Current settings include prison general practice, refugee clinics, GP practices for the homeless, a night shelter, drug and alcohol clinics, St. Mungo's and a teenage pregnancy program. 

Teaching commitment

The SCM courses runs eight times per year between August and February and you may teach on as many, or as little of these as you wish. Students can spend a half or several whole days within your setting observing and interacting with patients or learning from what you do.

Getting involved

We’ll help train you in readiness to teach, arrange a practice visit from one of our Community Leads to discuss your teaching, offer you an opportunity to have your teaching observed and will also pay your practice to help offset any loss of service costs. We are committed to give you ongoing lifelong teaching skills with our highly successful Annual Teacher’s Conference in June which is free to attend and we also run TaCTIC and ASTIC courses throughout the year.  In the autumn there is also the medical school Faculty Teaching Forum.

TaCTIC: Training Course for Teachers at Imperial College: An interactive one-day course designed to give you a mix of theory and practical guidance on developing your teaching skills that can be applied in the workplace environment.  It is suitable for new teachers who would like to start teaching medical students in their GP practice or for existing Imperial GP teachers who would like to update their skills.

  • 13 December 2017
  • 21 February 2018
  • 18 April 2018

ASTIC: Additional Skills for teachers at Imperial College. Update and expand your teaching skills!

  • 29 November  2017- Giving difficult feedback
  • 31 January 2018 - Using Yoga and Meditation as a Clinical Educator
  • 28 March 2018 - The Win-Win formula: teaching when time is short
  • 23 May 2018 - Giving difficult feedback

If you have any questions before deciding what you’d like to teach, please contact Nadine Engineer.

Support and training for GP teachers

We run a series of practical and interactive courses for GP teachers throughout the year. If you are interested in any of these courses please contact Nadine Engineer.

Forthcoming courses