Medicine | Undergraduate Study

Typical offers require A Level: A*A*AIB: 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level You may enter up to four medical courses in your UCAS application. Your remaining choice can be used for an alternative course without prejudice to your commitment to medicine. Course requirements Details of subject requirements and typical […]

Typical offers require

A Level: A*A*A
IB: 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

You may enter up to four medical courses in your UCAS application. Your remaining choice can be used for an alternative course without prejudice to your commitment to medicine.

Course requirements

Details of subject requirements and typical offers by College will be available in spring 2020. All undergraduate admissions decisions are the responsibility of the Cambridge Colleges. Please contact the relevant College admissions office if you have any queries about College-specific requirements.

See also Entrance requirements and Medicine | Undergraduate Study The Subject Matters for additional advice about general requirements for entry, qualifications and offers, and Medicine | Undergraduate Study Key Criteria for Medical Admissions.

Please note that in the following, ‘science/mathematics subjects’ refers to Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. It does not include Psychology.

A Levels

  • A Levels in Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics, Mathematics.
  • Most applicants have at least three science/mathematics A Levels and some Colleges require this and/or particular subjects. See College websites for details.

Please note that in the past three admissions rounds, 95% of applicants for Medicine (A100) offered three or more science/mathematics A Levels and, of these, 25% were successful in obtaining a place. Of the 4% of applicants who offered only two science/mathematics A Levels, just 5% were successful in gaining a place.

International Baccalaureate

A Level subject requirements also apply to the IB. Higher Level subjects satisfy A Level subject requirements. 

Please note, IB applicants starting the new IB Mathematics syllabus are expected to take IB Higher Level ‘Analysis and Approaches’ for any course where Mathematics is a requirement. If this option is not available at your school, please contact the College that you wish to apply to directly for further advice and guidance.

Other examination systems

We expect applicants taking other recognised examinations to demonstrate a level of understanding in science and mathematics roughly equivalent to those applying with A Levels. Refer to the Entrance requirements page for details of other qualifications and please consult any College Admissions Tutor for further advice.

Please note that only 21 places are available each year for overseas fee status students. 

Graduate entry

Graduates may apply for the Standard Course (A100) as an affiliate student to one of Lucy Cavendish, St Edmund’s or Wolfson Colleges with:

  • a good Honours degree (2.1 or above) in any discipline
  • passes at A Level (or equivalent), as above

UK and EU graduates from any academic discipline with a good Honours degree (2.1 or above) and A Level Chemistry (normally passed within seven years of entry) may apply to the accelerated Graduate Course in Medicine (A101) at Lucy Cavendish, Hughes Hall, St Edmund’s or Wolfson Colleges.

Overall, graduate medical students with an undergraduate degree in an arts or humanities subject perform equally well on the course as those with biomedical sciences degrees.

Work experience

To develop understanding of what a career in Medicine involves and your suitability for your intended profession, you’re strongly advised (though not required) to undertake some relevant work experience (either paid or voluntary) in a health or social care organisation. We aren’t prescriptive about how this is obtained, recognising the widely differing opportunities available. 

Admission assessment

All Standard Course (A100) applicants (including applicants to mature Colleges) are required to take the Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT) pre-interview at an authorised centre local to them (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college).

Assessment format

The BMAT can be taken on 5 September or 4 November 2020 (the September session is only available at a small number of UK assessment centres). Please check the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website for scheduled start times.

You must be registered in advance (separately to your UCAS application) to take the BMAT.

  • For the September BMAT, you must register yourself online by 9 August 2020.
  • For the November BMAT, your assessment centre must have registered you by 1 October 2020. It may be possible to register after this deadline for an additional fee (see the BMAT website for details). .

The BMAT is used to assess scientific aptitude and focuses on scientific abilities relevant to the study of Medicine at Cambridge (the BMAT is also used by some other universities). It is based on factual knowledge of mathematics and science to GCSE/IGCSE, and doesn’t require special teaching or preparation.

Information about the BMAT and how to register are available from the BMAT website. You must only take the BMAT once – either in September or in November – and taking it twice may be viewed as attempting to gain unfair advantage. If you choose to take the BMAT twice, this will be known to the BMAT universities you apply to and the University of Cambridge will only consider the September result.

There is an entry fee for the BMAT, details are available on the BMAT website. If you’re a UK/EU student, we are concerned that the entry fee shouldn’t deter you from applying. Applicants in receipt of certain financial support may apply for their BMAT fees to be reimbursed. Please contact the BMAT Support Team for more information.

Admissions Tutors use the BMAT results in conjunction with the other elements of students’ applications to decide which candidates will be invited to interview and to help with deciding who should be offered places on the course. Students who achieve higher BMAT results are more likely to be invited to interview but there isn’t a ‘pass’ mark for the BMAT at Cambridge.

The written assessments page also has information about assessment centres and registration.

Submitted work

Applicants are not typically asked to submit examples of written work. Some may be asked by their College to do some reading in advance of their interview, but if this is required the College will provide full details in the letter inviting the student to interview.

Selection requirements

You must be a keen scientist, with a sound scientific understanding. As selection for medical school implies selection for the medical profession, admissions decisions are informed by national guidance on what makes a good doctor, for example, the Medical Schools Council’s Consensus Statement on the Role of the Doctor and Guiding Principles for the Admission of Medical Students.

Applications from students who have failed at or been excluded from another medical school will not normally be considered for entry to Medicine at Cambridge.

Professional expectations

The GMC has certain expectations regarding the attitudes, behaviour and performance of medical students. Trainee doctors at Cambridge must satisfy the GMC’s fitness to practise requirements, both when applying and throughout the course. These requirements are in place to ensure the safety of patients.

Your age

National restrictions mean that students under the age of 18 aren’t permitted to undertake any clinical elements of the Medicine course, which start in the second term of first year at the latest. Therefore, medical students are required to be 18 years of age by the beginning of the Lent Term in which they matriculate (ie by the start of the second term of Year 1) to be eligible to apply for Medicine.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

All offers of a place on a Medicine course for UK and EU students are subject to a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Overseas students are asked to provide similar evidence.

Where courses may involve regular access to children and/or vulnerable adults, students are legally required to undergo an enhanced DBS check. The University will send further instructions on registering with the DBS as part of the admissions process.

Minor misdemeanours will not necessarily prevent you from entering the medical profession but you should declare these in your UCAS application and you will be sent the relevant forms to complete if you are offered a place.

More details can be found on the University’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) webpage and on the Faculty of Biology website.

Your health

Doctors, even as students and trainees, have a responsibility to be honest and open about their own health and all successful applicants are required to complete a confidential occupational health assessment. A questionnaire will be included with your offer letter and, once completed, should be returned to the University’s Occupational Health Service.

Your answers to the health questionnaire help to ensure that your medical training will not place your own or others’ health at risk and determine, in terms of fitness to fulfil the requirements of the General Medical Council (GMC), your suitability to work as a doctor. The Undergraduate Standards and Guidance can be found on the GMC website.

The assessment is also to identify any long-term health conditions or disabilities that you have which require specific support, so that this can be in place before you start the course.

Vaccinations for medical school

The University requires all prospective medical students be immunised against certain infectious diseases to meet health and safety standards required to work with patients. You will be sent details of the vaccination programme with your offer.

Blood-borne infections

In accordance with Department of Health guidelines and NHS requirements, you will be offered blood tests to check that you are not infected with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV infection before you can be cleared to participate in certain surgical procedures.

If you are infected, you will be allowed to continue with the course but your practice may be restricted for certain surgical procedures on patients known as ‘exposure prone’ procedures. It will not prevent you from qualifying or practising as a doctor, except for a restriction on exposure prone procedures.

Disability, specific learning difficulties (SpLDs) and health conditions

A disability, SpLD or long-term health condition needn’t prevent you from becoming a doctor if you can satisfy the professional fitness to practise requirements.

In these circumstances, please contact a College Admissions Tutor as early as possible to discuss your needs and the course requirements. Such disclosures are considered independently of academic qualifications and the interview process.

The University’s Disability Resource Centre (DRC) can provide general advice and guidance to prospective and current disabled students including those with a SpLD or long-term health condition.

For further information about studying Medicine at the University of Cambridge see the School of Clinical Medicine website.

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