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Cambridge

About The Course

Cambridge University runs a five-year medical course split into two terms each year, which is standard in the UK. Throughout your time, you will learn about each of the body’s systems in detail, and how to clinically apply this knowledge to disease processes.

You will also be able to experience multiple clinical attachments in different areas in each year of the course.

Cambridge University prides itself on providing students with innovative experiences and teaching in General Practice and the community, continued throughout the course.

It also provides you with early patient contact, and there is an opportunity to experience Remote and Rural Medicine in Inverness or the Scottish Highlands.


Structure Of The Course

Year 1

Throughout Year 1, you will learn about the main principles of normal function of the human body, as well as disease development and principles of General Practice. 

You will also gain an understanding of human anatomy and start getting familiar with the necessary clinical skills.

Year 2

In both Years 1 and 2, you will have student-selected modules where you can study a topic in depth. There will be further anatomy and clinical skills teaching and opportunities to practice your clinical skills within each system throughout Year 2.

You will also study the Alimentary system, Head/Neck/Dermatology, Nervous system, Advanced Infection, the Musculoskeletal system and Medical Ethics & Law in that year.

Year 3

Year 3 moves on to the Reproductive system and various specialities, which include: Medicine of Old Age, Anaesthetics, Clinical Genetics and Clinical Pharmacology, with the continuation of General Practice teaching.

Year 3’s second term concludes with Psychiatry, Haematology/ Immunology and Paediatrics teaching, as well as providing you with bi-weekly clinical attachments. 

Finally, you will get introduced to Clinical Effectiveness and start the first of nine five-week clinical rotations that will continue throughout Year 4.

Year 4

Year 4 at Cambridge Medical School contains a heavily clinically-based curriculum, centered on helping students develop clinical reasoning, diagnostic and management skills. 

You will undertake seven six-week clinical blocks, gaining experience in different clinical areas and disciplines including:

  • Acute medicine and critical care
  • Surgery and critical care
  • Reproductive and child health
  • General Practice
  • Long term conditions and integrated care
  • Mental health
  • Diagnostics and student preference attachments

Year 5

Finally, Year 5 is an apprentice year aimed at helping you put all you’ve learned into practice. 

You will gain professional experience as a member of a clinical team, including three eight-week clinical attachments in the broad areas of Medicine, Surgery and Community Health (General Practice or Psychiatry), where students will be able to specialise. 

You will also undertake a Professional Practice Block course, meant to help you transition from student to Foundation Doctor.


Academic Requirements

GCSEs: Grade 6 passes in English Language and Maths are required. Biology is recommended; Physics is recommended (or Dual Award Science). A combination of Grade 6-9 passes at GCSE is expected, especially in science subjects.

A-levels: A*A*A Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics, Mathematics. They say that most applicants have at least three science/mathematics A Levels.

Scottish Higher: AAAAB 41-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

Scottish Advanced Higher: A1, A1, A2 -

International Baccalaureate: 40-42 points Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics, Mathematics.

IELTs (International applicants only): Band 7.0 overall with a minimum of 7.0 in Speaking section.

Bachelor's Degree (Graduates only): 2:1(Hons) degree or equivalent



Further Entry Requirements

Work experience: Students are expected to show their commitment to medicine in their personal statements and during interviews. This can be achieved by job shadowing, undertaking paid or unpaid work of a caring nature, or volunteering.

Personal statement: All personal statements will be reviewed prior to interview invites being sent out. If you are invited to interview, your personal statement will be assessed during the interview.


Admissions Process

The admissions process includes assessing all aspects of an application, with the following breakdown: academic attainment/predictions (30%), UCAT (20%), and the subsequent interview performance (50%).

Admissions Tests:

UCAT
A score is allocated based on the applicant's overall performance in UCAT compared with all other applicants to Cambridge. Cambridge will not normally consider those applying with UCAT SJT Band 4. Last year’s lowest UCAT (invited to interviews) was 2340 for Scottish/EU students and 2500 for UK students while the average was 2630 - 2800.

Interview Type: MMI

Interview Topics: Candidates should expect to answer a range of questions related to how prepared they are for a career in medicine, discussing their research into undergraduate curricula and postgraduate training, implications of the profession and their related work experience. 

They should also be able to: 

  • Consider a new situation and discuss their thoughts or suggest a solution to solve a problem
  • Outline any learning points from previous experiences
  • Reflect upon their own and others’ skills and abilities
  • Consider their potential contribution to the care of others

 

In addition to scoring communication and interpersonal skills, students’ answers are assessed on the following basis:

  • Ability to express ideas freely and coherently
  • How well they use their existing knowledge to formulate answers to unknown areas
  • Their ability to follow a reasoned argument and to formulate an opinion
  • The degree to which they are prepared for questions
  • Their ability to discuss different aspects (advantages & disadvantages) of a problem/situation
  • The degree of motivation, commitment, reflection and sensitivity demonstrated

If you’d like to see recent interview questions asked in Cambridge Medicine interviews plus university-specific tips, check out our guide to Cambridge medicine interview questions. 


Admissions Statistics

Total number of applicants: 1695
Total number of places: 298
Total number of entrants: 304
Acceptance rate: 17.94%

Fees

Home students: £9250 pa
Rest of UK: TBC
International students: £67194 pa

Teaching Methods

Teaching style: Students can expect their teaching to take different approaches, including interactive lectures, small group workshops and tutorials, and practical laboratory classes in its world-class Science Teaching Hub.

Intercalation mode: Cambridge Medical School offers intercalated BSc degrees in the following disciplines:

  • BSc (Hons) in Medical Sciences (Medical Humanities)
  • BSc (Hons) in Medical Sciences (Honours Year)

There are also 13 intercalated MSc degrees offered, available to students who have already completed 4 years of MBChB study or those who hold a Bachelor’s degree. 


Graduate Prospects

About 98% of all graduates from Cambridge’s Medicine course go on to work and/or continue their studies within 15 months after the end of the course. The average earnings are initially £35,000, rising to £51,000 after 5 years.

Overall, 95% of graduates are using what they learned during their studies in their current work and 93% are employed as medical practitioners.


FAQs

Is Cambridge Medical School hard to get into?

Cambridge is a very competitive medical school to get into, especially for non-Scottish students. Although there are no UCAT cut-off scores for interviews, those with averages of 2630 – 2800 are usually invited to interviews, with a requirement of AAA in three A-Levels for UK students or 36 IB points for international students. 

Is Cambridge a good university for Medicine?

Cambridge is an excellent Medical School with its extensive research facilities and skilled professors. It was ranked 1st in the UK for Medicine in the Guardian University Guide 2024 rankings.

How many people apply for medicine at the University of Cambridge?

For the 2023 entry, 1695 students applied to study medicine at the University of Cambridge. Out of them, 304 were admitted: 253 were Scottish/EU, 31 were UK and 20 were international students.

What is the UCAT cut-off for Cambridge University medicine?

Cambridge does not have a UCAT cut-off but the lowest UCAT Score for invited to interview UK students for 2023 entry was 2500. The average score was about 2760-2800.

How long is Cambridge’s medicine course?

Five years.

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