Medicine

  • UCAS Code: A100 MB/BChir
  • Campus Code: 4
  • Duration: 6 years
  • Places per year: 8-9

Success in medicine requires application and hard work, both while studying and when in practice. However, it brings great rewards in terms of job satisfaction, involving, as it does, a combination of science with human interactions and numerous career opportunities.

In choosing to study medicine you are embarking on a course that will prepare you to enter the medical profession with a strong foundation in clinical medicine, and the biomedical and social science that underpins it. The Cambridge medical course places an emphasis on the scientific basis of medicine during the early years, with all students entering the Cambridge clinical course in year 4. Academic and pastoral support is provided by your College throughout the course.

Course Overview

The first two years of the course cover the basic areas of medical sciences.

In the first year students cover anatomy in Functional Architecture of the Body, physiology in Homeostasis, and biochemistry in Molecules in Medical Science. In addition, students learn about cultural aspects of healthcare in the Social and Ethical Context of Health and Illness and cover epidemiology and basic statistics in Introduction to the Scientific Basis of Medicine.

In the second year students study pharmacology in Mechanisms of Drug Action, pathology in Biology of DiseaseHuman Reproduction, and Neurobiology and Human Behaviour (NHB).

During the pre-clinical course students begin to acquire the skills of listening and talking with patients in the Preparing for Patients course, a patient contact strand that runs through the first three years of your course.

In the third year students choose a course to study in depth from a wide range of subjects. These include many of the subjects you studied in the first two years, and some that are completely different, including Anthropology, Management Studies and Philosophy.

There are opportunities for students to undertake research placements in the summer vacation should they wish, and Trinity Hall has strong links with research programmes on the Addenbrooke’s Hospital campus and at Yale University.

How You Learn

The first two years of the course involves a structured timetable of lectures and practical classes during the day, which are supplemented by small–group (usually two or three students), one-hour supervisions arranged in College three or four evenings per week. Supervisors will set essays to write throughout the term.

University is not like school. There are significant differences between the way you are taught at school and the way you will learn at University, and sometimes you may feel bewildered by the transition. In place of relatively small school classes, information at University is delivered by means of lectures (essentially a 50-minute monologue) to groups of over 300 students. Lecturers will issue hand-outs, but you will also need to develop your listening, concentration and note-taking skills to get the best out of this. The material will be delivered quickly, and it is then up to you to understand and assimilate it.

The information you are provided with in lectures will be developed and set in context in practical classes. Although classes may be large you will work in small groups with demonstrators on hand to help and answer questions. These sessions are vital to your education and attendance is mandatory.

The supervision system is there to complement the formal teaching and the onus is very much on you to make use of it, and to develop study and time management skills to help you cope with, and master the material. College supervisions will play a very important part in your education. Students are encouraged to make them interactive and take full advantage of them to ask questions about any parts of the course you need help with.

By the end of the first two years we also aim to give you a sound grounding in the basic knowledge and skills necessary for working with patients in the clinical part of the course. These include certain technical skills, and the skills of listening and talking to people, generically known as communication skills which are essential for a doctor.

Medicine at Trinity Hall

The eight (on average) medical students we admit each year form a close group within the wider Trinity Hall community, working together and supporting each other in the College. Our Medical Fellows combine teaching, research and clinical work, covering medicine, surgery, and pathology. This breadth ensures that you have continuity, and access to expertise across medical science and clinical medicine, throughout the pre-clinical and clinical course. In the 3rd year students choose a subject to study in more depth, often with additional support from Fellows in Natural Sciences.  Students benefit from strong links to Yale University, and in recent years many students have undertaken summer research placements at Yale.

Trinity Hall has a lively Medical and Veterinary Society that arranges academic and social events throughout the year, and fosters interactions across all year groups, and beyond when you graduate as doctors.

Typical Offer Conditions

A-Level:

A*A*A

IB

41-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

Other:

See the University’s Entrance Requirements page

Subject Requirements 

Essential:

A-Level/IB Higher Level Chemistry, plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics

Desirable:
Three subjects from the above listed including Chemistry

 

Written Work

None.

Admissions Assessment

All Standard Course (A100) applicants are required to take the Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT) at an authorised assessment centre (usually their school or college), for which they must be registered in advance. The registration deadline is 29 September 2023. Please note that open centres may set an earlier deadline for accepting entries, and it is your responsibility to check if this applies at your centre. The BMAT will take place on 18 October 2023.

Please see the BMAT website for further information about dates and registration deadlines, and check admission assessments for further details.

General Comments

In the first three years of the course the main focus is on the science of Medicine. Therefore we are looking for excellent science students at the admissions stage. It is not necessary (though it is strongly advised) to have completed any particular type or amount of work experience for Cambridge, though you should check what your other university choices are asking for. We aren’t prescriptive about how this is obtained, recognising the widely differing opportunities available.

If you are invited to an interview at Trinity Hall, you will receive two interviews of about 25 minutes in length. In each interview you will be interviewed by two experts in medical science and questions will be scientific in nature.