MedicineUniversity of Cambridge
Price on request
- Bachelor's degree
- Cambridge (England)
What you'll learn on the course
Skills and Training
At Cambridge, you study the medical sciences first, before learning to apply that knowledge to medical practice as a clinical student.
The first three years (pre-clinical studies) are taught through lectures, practical classes (including dissections) and supervisions, with typically 20-25 timetabled teaching hours each week. The emphasis during the clinical studies (Years 4, 5 and 6) in Cambridge is on learning in clinical settings: at the bedside, in outpatient clinics and in GP surgeries, which is supported by seminars, tutorials and discussion groups.
The public expect their doctors to be knowledgeable and well informed so assessment plays a significant role throughout. Your ongoing progress is reviewed weekly and termly by your College supervisors. Formal assessment, which determines your ability to proceed with the course, includes written and practical examinations, coursework submission and clinical assessments.
Successful completion of the first three years leads to a BA degree and on successful completion of the clinical studies in Cambridge you are awarded two degrees, the Bachelor of Medicine and the Bachelor of Surgery (MB, BChir).Years 1, 2 and 3 (pre-clinical studies) Years 1 and 2
In Years 1 and 2, the Medical and Veterinary Sciences Tripos (MVST), you study the medically-relevant 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 in the MVST 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 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 the MVST 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 the MVST on the Faculty of Biology website.Year 3
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:
- Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences in Natural Sciences (offering a range of subjects such as Pathology, Physiology, Zoology, History and Ethics of Medicine)
- a single Part II Natural Sciences subject
- a subject less obviously related to medicine, such as Anthropology, Management Studies or Philosophy
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.Years 4, 5 and 6 (clinical studies)
Clinical studies are based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. As well as being a tertiary hospital with an international reputation for medical excellence, Addenbrooke's is the site of several major biomedical research institutions. You also spend time in other regional NHS hospitals throughout East Anglia and in general practices in Cambridge and the surrounding region.
Throughout the clinical studies, you build on your biomedical science education; developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to practise clinical medicine. Following an introductory course, each of the three years has its own focus – core clinical practice (Year 4), specialist clinical practice (Year 5) and applied clinical practice (Year 6) – and is built around several major themes, including:
- communication skills, patient investigation and practical procedures
- therapeutics and patient management
- core science, pathology and clinical problems
- evaluation and research
- professionalism and patient safety
During the clinical studies, you have weekly small-group ‘clinical supervisions’ with junior doctors to develop and monitor your clinical skills.
Read more about the clinical studies on the course website.
For further information about studying Medicine at the University of Cambridge see the School of Clinical Medicine website.