There are many good reasons for choosing to read Medicine at Cambridge. Not least is the quality of the scientific education that you can expect here, but you may also have in mind the wide variety of activities, the attractions of College life, and the benefits of living in a pleasant environment whilst pursuing your studies.

The most important thing that you can do to enhance your chances of coming to Cambridge is to make sure that you study the appropriate subjects which you most enjoy at school, and work hard at them to ensure that you obtain good grades. That is true for admission in all subjects, but in Medicine there are one or two more things you need to do to convince us in the Medical School that we really want you.

There are two main things that potential medical students need to know about. One of these is work experience and the other is help selecting reading material that might help them in preparation for both interviews and deciding on whether, or not, they really want to be a doctor.

Work Experience

One of the most important things you will have to do is to persuade us that you really do want to read Medicine. In order to do that you should show that you have done things to help you find out about the subject, for example going round with your own GP or a local Consultant, voluntary work in hospitals or care homes, or visiting medical schools on open days. There is no set formula, because different people have different opportunities open to them, but it is sensible to have made an effort to show us that you are sufficiently aware of what entering a vocational medical course can involve. Personality is important in the Medical professions, and the interviewers will be keen to see that you are wanting to care for people and have good communication skills.

We recognise that is not always possible to get as much clinical work experience as you would like. Part of your interviews will explore your motivation for the profession and address current clinical issues and concerns. It is advisable, therefore, to have made some attempt to familiarise yourself with the problems and challenges that you will face as a doctor. If you cannot get NHS clinical experience then work in a care home can be a valuable substitute and help to reassure both you, and us, that the non-academic skills you will need are being developed.

Reading Material

Everyone has a different set of books about medicine and about science that they enjoy and that they think are important. Nobody expects a potential medical student to read a long list of science and ethics books, but our reading list contains suggestions, and is divided into categories that you might like to dip into. We have tried to include science, ethics and lifestyle books in this list. We hope you will enjoy some of them.

Let me emphasise again that this is not a reading list for you to wade through, but there are some things in here which might excite you, challenge you, both scientifically and emotionally, and perhaps even surprise you. Do dip into them as and how you wish.

In addition to reading you might like to search for different medical procedures on You Tube. Percutaneous mitral valve replacement, stem cell transplant for macular degeneration, coronary angiography, electrocardiography and many other procedures are explained on You Tube videos.

Finally do not forget Journals, Magazines and the newspaper. Particularly in the present financial climate articles on the NHS and Government Health Policy are very frequently in the papers.

Further Information

Emmanuel College has quota of 15 places for Medicine. We make two sorts of conditional offer. One is a conditional offer for the current year (if you get your offer you will come in that year); the other is a deferred offer for the subsequent year.

Gap years are acceptable, especially if you have something that you fervently wish to do. The time between school and University is a good time to do it – especially as the nature of medical education makes it difficult to take a year out during or at the end of the course. If you have no particular plans then you may be well advised simply to carry on with your studies. As with school examinations, the choice is a personal one, though we do not discourage applications for deferred places, i.e., gap years.

If you wish to become a doctor by the swiftest route, with the earliest possible contact with patients and the immediate feel of involvement in clinical medicine, then Cambridge is probably not right for you. The first three years of the course focus on basic medical science with little patient contact. That said, Emmanuel is working to ensure you can have more clinical patient contact during those first three years: one of our Directors of Clinical Studies arranges optional sessions for students to join him when he sees patients in General Practice and the hospice and we are planning other sessions involving patients and relevant clinical cases. These are designed to help you keep your future clinical work as a doctor in mind while you are laying solid scientific foundations.

In the first two years in particular lectures and practical classes are backed up by small group teaching in supervision. At Emmanuel we also encourage group working and, in the first year, there are seminar type sessions to discuss essay writing and talk over some of the more difficult aspects of the transition to a University style of working. Teamwork is very important in modern medicine and what we do here at Emma does attempt to encourage that teamwork ethos.

Finally, remember that it is more important that you become a doctor than that you go to a particular college, medical school or university. Be guided by your teachers, read the Alternative as well as the Official Prospectus, talk to the students at a particular place, and choose the right course and college for you.

Admissions Information

Standard Offer: A-level - A*A*A; IB - 776 at Higher Level, 42 points overall; Advanced Highers: A1A1A2; other exam systems.
Course Requirements: The University lays downs minimum requirements for those wishing to study Medical Sciences, which are detailed online at: Medicine. Chemistry plus two of Mathematics, Biology or Human Biology, Physics, Further Mathematics is essential. Important: Chemistry, Mathematics and Further Mathematics may not be the best combination of subjects for this course.
Course Outline: Further details are available at: the Faculty of Biology and the School of Clinical Medicine.
Applying: For information on how to apply: University application process and Emmanuel application timeline.
Age Requirement: National restrictions mean that students under the age of 18 are not 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 November of Year 1 to be eligible to apply for Medicine.
Admissions Assessment:

All applicants will take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). You must register in advance of submitting your UCAS application (see date below). Practice tests are available on the UCAT website.

Registration Deadline - Thursday 19 September 2024

Final Assessment Date - Thursday 26 September 2024

Interviews: Candidates should normally expect two interviews. The interviews will take place during the period Monday 9 - Wednesday 18 December 2024. Specific subject dates will be emailed to applicants in November.
Course Enquiries: Emmanuel Admissions Office