Basic Medical Sciences
- December 1, 2022
- Posted by: ccmas.admin
- Category: Disciplines
The Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) are designed for the education and training of undergraduate students wishing to obtain first degrees in the different areas of Basic Medical Sciences in Nigerian University System. Presented in this section are the basic operational elements that serve to define the minimum academic standards required to achieve the cardinal goal of producing graduates in Basic Medical Sciences with sufficient academic background to face the challenges of a developing economy in an increasingly globalized economy.
It is pertinent to note that this CCMAS document is expected to guide institutions in the design of curricula for their Basic Medical Sciences programmes by stipulating the minimum requirements. Being such, institutions are encouraged to take due cognizance of the CCMAS while bringing necessary innovation to the content and delivery of their programmes towards achieving the overall goal of Basic Medical Sciences education and training in the country.
Programmes and Degrees
The list of programmes and degrees covered in this current CCMAS document is shown in Table 1.1
Table 1.1 List of Programme(s) and Degree(s)
|S/N||Programmes||Degree(s) in View|
Philosophy of the Discipline
The training towards the degrees in Basic Medical Sciences are geared to respond to the recognition of life as a bio-psycho-socio-cultural entity in which continuous and rapid changes are the norm. They are designed to provide the graduates with a fundamental body of knowledge to make them sufficiently versatile to understand these changes and contribute meaningfully to the health sciences knowledge industry.
Objectives of the Discipline
The discipline is designed to contribute to the health and socioeconomic well-being of the nation through the following objectives:
- prepare students with sufficient theoretical scientific knowledge base and practical skills that enable them assume professional positions.
- develop students in the relevant practical and technological competence in practice at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health care.
- assist students in the development of interpersonal skills necessary to function as members of the health team.
There are two different pathways by which candidates can be admitted into the programmes in the discipline: the Unified Tertiary Matriculation (UTME) for a four-year degree programme and the Direct Entry.
Four Year Degree Programme
The minimum academic requirement is credit level passes in five subjects at Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) including English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology at not more than two (2) sittings in addition to the UTME requirements.
Candidate seeking admission through this mode should in addition to the UTME requirements possess either:
- credit pass in Physics, Chemistry and Biology or Zoology at the Higher School Certificates or Advanced Level of General Certificate Examination or its equivalent; OR
- An acceptable First Degree in relevant Biological or Physical Sciences Discipline.
Duration of the Programmes
For candidates admitted through the UTME mode, the duration of programmes under the discipline is a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 academic sessions based on the specification of each programme. For candidates admitted through Direct entry the duration of the programmes is a minimum of 3 and a maximum 5 academic sessions based on the specification of the programme.
Credits are weights attached to a course. One credit is equivalent to one hour per week per semester of 15 weeks of lectures or three hours of laboratory/studio/workshop work per week per semester of 15 weeks.
Definition of Course System
This should be understood to mean a quantitative system of organization of the curriculum in which subject areas are broken down into unit courses which are examinable and for which students earn credit(s) if passed. The courses are arranged in progressive order of complexity or in levels of academic progress. Level 1 courses are for example 100 and 101; Level II courses are for example 200 and 202. The second aspect of the system is that courses are assigned weights allied to Units.
Consist of specified number of student-teacher contact hours per week per semester. Units are used in two complementary ways: one, as a measure of course weighting, and the other, as an indicator of student workload. As a measure of course weighting for each Unit course (e.g. HIS 105, ZOO 203, ARCH 504), the credit unit to be earned for satisfactorily completing the course is specified; e.g. a 2-credit unit course may mean two 1-hour lecture per week per semester or one 1-hour lecture plus 3-hour practical per week per semester.
As a measure of workload, “One Credit Unit” means one hour of lecture or one hour of tutorial per week per semester. For other forms of teaching requiring student teacher contact, the following equivalents may apply: two hours of seminar, three hours of laboratory or field work, Clinical practice/practicum, studio practice or stadium sporting activity, six hours of teaching practice; four weeks of industrial attachment where applicable.
Normally, in Course Credit System, courses are mounted all year round, thus enabling students to participate in examinations in which they are unsuccessful or unable to participate on account of ill health or for other genuine reasons. In such a system, no special provisions are made for re-sit examinations.
The minimum number of credit units for the award of a degree is 120 units, subject to the usual Department and Faculty requirements. A student shall therefore qualify for the award of a degree when he has met the conditions.
The minimum credit load per semester is 15 credit units. For the purpose of calculating a student’s cumulative GPA(CGPA) in order to determine the class of Degree to be awarded, grades obtained in all the courses whether compulsory or optional and whether passed or failed must be included in the computation.
Even when a student repeats the same course once or more before passing it or substitutes another course for a failed optional course, grades scored at each and all attempts shall be included in the computation of the GPA. Pre-requisite courses must be taken and passed before a particular course at a higher level.
Grading of Courses
Grading of courses shall be done by a combination of percentage marks and letter grades translated into a graduated system of Grade Point as shown in Table 1.2.
Table 1. 2 Grade Point System
|Mark %||Letter Grade||Grade Point|
|70 – 100||A||5|
|60 – 69||B||4|
|50 – 59||C||3|
|45 – 49||D||2|
|40 – 44||E||1|
Grade Point Average and Cumulative Grade Point Average
For the purpose of determining a student’s standing at the end of every semester, the Grade Point Average (GPA) system shall be used. The GPA is computed by dividing the total number of Units x Grade Point (TUGP) by the total number of units (TNU) for all the courses taken in the semester as illustrated in Table 1.3.
The Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) over a period of semesters is calculated in the same manner as the GPA by using the grade points of all the courses taken during the period.
Table 1:3 Calculation of GPA or CGPA
|Course||Units||Grade Point||Units x Grade Point (UGP)|
|C1||U1||GP1||U1 x GP1|
|C2||U2||GP2||U2 x GP2|
|Ci||Ui||GPi||Ui x GPi|
|CN||UN||GPN||UN x GPN|
Classes of degree are to be awarded depending on the cumulative GPA obtained. The classes of degrees that may be awarded are First Class Honours, Second Class Honours (Upper Division), Second Class Honours (Lower Division) and Third Class Honours (see Table 1.4).
Table 1.4: Degree Classification
|CGPA||Class of Degree|
|4.50 – 5.00||First Class Honours|
|3.50 – 4.49||Second Class Honours (Upper Division)|
|2.40 – 3.49||Second Class Honours (Lower Division)|
|1.50 – 2.39||Third Class Honours|
|1.00 – 1.49||Pass|
Probation is a status granted to a student whose academic performance fall below an acceptable standard. A student whose Cumulative Grade Point Average is below 1.00 at the end of a particular year of study, earns a period of probation for one academic session.
A candidate whose Cumulative Grade Point Average is below 1.00 at the end of a particular period of probation should be required to withdraw from the University. Where possible, consideration may be given to a student withdrawn from a programme of study for transfer to any other programme within the same university.
Subject to the conditions for withdrawal and probation, a student may be allowed to repeat the failed course Unit(s) at the next available opportunity, provided that the total number of credit units carried during that semester does not exceed 24, and the Grade Points earned at all attempts shall count towards the CGPA.
Modes of Student Assessment
All courses taken must be evaluated and a final grade given at the end of the semester. To arrive at the final grade, the evaluation must be a continuous process consisting of some or all of the following where applicable:
- Continuous Assessment
Continuous assessment shall be done through essays and tests. Scores from continuous assessment shall normally constitute 30-40 per cent of the full marks for courses which are primarily theoretical.
In addition to continuous assessment, final examinations should normally be given for every course at the end of each semester. All courses shall be graded out of a maximum of 100 marks comprising:
Final Examination: 60% – 70%
Continuous assessment (Quizzes, Homework, Tests and Practical): 30% – 40%
External Examiner System
The involvement of external examiners from other universities is a crucial quality assurance requirement for all courses in Nigerian University System. In this regard, external examiner should go beyond mere moderation of examination questions to examining of examination papers to scope and depth of examination questions vis a vis the curricular expectation.
Students’ Evaluation of Courses
There should be an established mechanism to enable students to evaluate courses delivered to them at the end of each semester. This should be an integral component of the course credit system to serve as an opportunity for feedback on the effectiveness of course delivery. Such an evaluation which should be undertaken by students at the end of each course, should capture, among others:
- improvement in the effectiveness of course delivery;
- continual update of lecture materials to incorporate emerging new concepts;
- effective usage of teaching aids and tools to maximize impact of knowledge on students;
- improvement in students’ performance through effective delivery of tutorials, timely in; and
- presentation of continuous assessment and high-quality examination.
It is very important that students’ evaluation of courses be administered fairly and transparently through the use of well-designed questionnaires. The completed questionnaires should be professionally analyzed and results discussed with the course lecturer(s) towards improvement in course delivery in all its ramifications.