Directors of Studies: Dr Vian Azzu and Dr Kevin Loudon

St Edmund’s has several fellows and professorial fellows active in biomedical research, and is a congenial place to study medicine. The college currently admits 3-4 medical undergraduates each year. Both Affiliated and Mature students are admitted, the latter completing the third year of the Natural Science Tripos whereas affiliated students proceed to the clinical course after two years. We also admit students onto the Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine.

Course Overview

The course in clinical medicine in Cambridge is demanding, so applicants must have evidence of previous academic achievement. Applicants to St Edmund’s with non-scientific backgrounds commonly complete relevant A levels prior to applying to the College. A-level Chemistry (or equivalent) is mandatory along with two further science A-levels. Further details can be found on the University website.

All applicants also sit an examination for prospective medical students (BMAT), and the results of this are interpreted in the light of the candidate’s application as a whole. All applicants should show, by their interests and the experience they have obtained, that they are aware of what is involved in a career in medicine and are fully committed to achieving this goal.

There is a Director of Studies for both pre-clinical and clinical studies; students are supervised by both clinical and non-clinical members of the university and Addenbrooke’s hospital.


Years 1 and 2

In Years 1 and 2, you study the core scientific knowledge and skills needed as a medical professional.

Taught by some of the world’s top academic scientists, we provide you with the scientific basis that will allow you to develop your medical career to the full, whether your aim is to deliver outstanding patient care or whether you wish to contribute to clinical academic medicine, combining research and teaching with clinical duties to push forward the boundaries of health care.

The main areas of learning are covered by courses in:

  • Functional Architecture of the Body – involving examining and dissecting the human body, and includes living anatomy, and the use of modern imaging techniques

  • Homeostasis – covering the physiological systems which underpin the body’s regulation of its internal environment and its responses to external threats. You also have related practical classes in experimental physiology and histology (the microscopic structure of tissues)

  • Molecules in Medical Science – looking at the chemical and molecular basis of how cells and organisms work

  • Biology of Disease – dealing with the nature and mechanisms of disease processes

  • Mechanisms of Drug Action – providing an understanding of the basic mechanisms of drug action at the levels of both drug-receptor interactions and the effects on body systems

  • Neurobiology and Human Behaviour – covering the structure and function of the sense organs and central nervous system, the effects of drugs on brain function, and various psychological aspects

  • Human Reproduction – looking at the biology of the human reproductive system, its social context, and its influence on demographic trends

The clinical strand of Years 1 and 2 involves:

  • Introduction to the Scientific Basis of Medicine – covering epidemiology and how it is applied in medicine

  • Social Context of Health and Illness – an introduction to the broader cultural aspects of healthcare and the medical profession in Britain, working with patients and colleagues, both in hospital and in the community

  • Preparing for Patients – which involves meeting patients in general practice (Year 1), in a hospital setting (Year 2), and through visiting community-based health-related agencies (Years 2 and 3)

Read more about Years 1 and 2 on the Faculty of Biology website.

Year 3 – this is the year that affiliated entry students, with a prior degree, will ‘skip’:

You specialise in one of a wide range of other subjects offered by the University (sometimes known elsewhere as intercalation) to qualify for the BA degree. Options include:

Preparing for Patients continues in your third year, regardless of the subject you choose to study. During this year you visit community-based health-related agencies and follow a woman and her family through her pregnancy.

There is further information about the course on the University and Faculty webpages.

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for BA Preclinical Medicine are strict – please find them on the Undergraduate web page.  We will not consider applicants without A-level Chemistry (or equivalent).

All applicants for the Pre Clinical Medicine Tripos at St Edmund’s must register for and sit the UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test). Applications will be considered incomplete and ineligible unless the UCAT is taken.  Your performance in the UCAT will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.