- Intake: 11
- Typical Offer: A*A*A
- Essential Subjects: Chemistry + Mathematics/Physics/Biology/Human Biology
- Desirable Subjects: Mathematics/Physics/Biology/Human Biology
- Pre-interview assessment: BMAT (www.bmat.org.uk)
- Faculty website: www.medschl.cam.ac.uk
The pre-clinical phase of the Medicine course lasts 3 years. In Part I, our students build a solid scientific foundation for the clinical training to follow - this is a key feature of the Cambridge course. The first year (Part IA) covers anatomy, physiology and biochemistry plus a short lecture series on medical statistics and sociology. The second year (Part IB) covers the core courses of neurosciences, pharmacology, pathology and human reproduction and anatomy of the head and neck. Lectures and practical classes are held in the University science departments with students from other colleges. Small group tutorials (supervisions) take place in Queens', usually in the evenings. Students typically have 3-4 supervisions per week to explore the lectures in more depth, with time for discussion of set work and help with exam preparation. Introductory statistics, sociology of health and anatomy of the head & neck are examined in March. The main “Tripos” exams are held in May/June with three papers for each of the main subjects (MCQ, practical, and essay papers). During the summer break, following the second year our students are encouraged to seek laboratory research experience. Typically, about half our students join our 6-week cancer research program organised by the University of Baylor, Texas. Others seek projects locally in Cambridge laboratories or elsewhere in the UK.
In the third year (“Part II”) our medical students have the opportunity to enrol in one of the courses offered by Departments in the Natural Sciences Tripos (NST Part II or NST Part II BBS course) such as Biochemistry, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Development & Neuroscience; but there is freedom to take other Tripos courses offered by the University, e.g. History of Art, Philosophy, Management Studies, Engineering, Social and Political Sciences, and Anthropology. Students choose a single subject usually from the Natural Sciences Tripos with an associated laboratory-based research project, or a group of modules from the Biomedical and Biological Sciences Tripos with an associated literature-based dissertation project and an additional minor module. The Part II year has a greater focus on independent learning and studying primary research literature. There are fewer college supervisions, with teaching concentrated in the individual departments and laboratories. Successful completion of the third year is acknowledged by the award of the Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) in the chosen subject, equivalent to a B.Sc. at other universities.
Pre-clinical patient contact:
The pre-clinical course is complemented by the longitudinal “Preparing for Patients” strand designed to develop important communication skills. In the first year each student undertakes two General Practice visits and completes a piece of reflective coursework, followed in the second year by two hospital visits and second piece of coursework. Prior to starting Part II each student arranges a visit to a community voluntary agency and an organisation of alternative medicine. After which they reflect on how this contributes to patient care. Finally, in the third-year pairs of students follow a woman through her pregnancy and the early post-partum period.
After successfully completing their preclinical course, all Cambridge Medical Science students enrol on the standard 3 year clinical course (http://www.medschl.cam.ac.uk/education/courses/standard/). While studying in the research-rich environment of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, students are encouraged to pursue areas of their own interest in a series of clinical and research-based student selected components, after which some students may choose to enroll on the MB/PhD programme. Students also study at a number of Regional Partner NHS Trust hospitals throughout the East of England and in teaching general practices in both Cambridge and the surrounding region. A major feature of the clinical course is an elective to study medicine for a couple of months anywhere in the world. Previous students have seen general practice in Cuba, general medicine and paediatrics in Fiji and surgery in Cambodia.
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at Queens’
Queens’ has approximately 42 undergraduates study preclinical medicine or veterinary medicine and we maintain close ties with our clinical students as well. The student-run Medical Society (MedSoc, which celebrated its 90th birthday in 2017), fosters cohesion and friendship between the preclinical and clinical years. A primary aim of the Society is to widen the experience of the pre-clinical students (both medical and veterinary) by networking with speakers from clinical and related disciplines, both within and outside of Cambridge. There are three to four speaker events in each of the Michaelmas and Lent terms; recent topics include: “The life of an amputee in the Developing World”; 'Breathing Thinking Functioning - development of the Cambridge Breathlessness Service Approach’; and ‘The Coolness of Naked Mole-rats’. There is also a wide range of social events such as the annual welcome lunch for new students, the “chilli lunch”, the Medics’ Curry and the Annual MedSoc Dinner. 2nd and 3rd year students provide great support for the 1st year students entering Queens’ through the Student Contact scheme in which older years can advise and aid students throughout their first year and beyond. Between them, the Queens' medical and veterinary students form one of the most coherent and cohesive groups in the College, while at the same time they are individually involved in almost all aspects of College sporting, social and intellectual life.
We believe that our students are among the best Cambridge students entering the clinical years. This is reflected not only in the excellent examination results they achieve but also in their subsequent careers. Preclinical students are supervised in the main by Queens' Fellows supported by dedicated Teaching Associates and Research Students. Together these form a loyal team who take great personal interest in the careers of each individual student.
Candidates will have two 25-minute interviews. Each interview will typically have one clinician and one non-clinical interviewer from a medically related discipline. You will be asked in advance to provide a selection of topics you would like to discuss. These are used as “ice-breakers” that may provide the basis to explore related topics. The interviews are structured to allow us to assess your knowledge-base and ability to interact with the questioner. We aim to assess how effectively you apply your existing knowledge and additional information provided to enable you to interpret data and extrapolate to answer questions on a topic that may not be immediately familiar to you. We will also explore your past experience, motivation and aptitude for a career in medicine.
A 'gap year' between school and university can provide wider life-experience and independence, which we consider to be valuable even if the time is spent doing non-medical related activities. We do not discriminate between those who have or have not taken a gap year.
Queens’ Medical Fellows
Dr Laurence Tiley, Director of Studies
Molecular Virology, Biochemistry
Professor David Menon, Professorial Fellow
Anaesthesia, Brain Imaging
Dr Stephen Price, Director of Studies for Clinical Medicine
Dr Anna Paterson (Pang Kam Ping Fellow in Medicine)
Dr Paul Bambrough
Dr Bryony Dunning-Davies