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Medicine

There are many great reasons to choose Cambridge for Medicine:

  • The course provides a strong grounding in the scientific basis of medicine. The Cambridge supervision system—providing you with small group tuition several times each week in College— allows you to discuss the course with leading doctors and scientists.
  • In the third year, we offer you a range of study options that you’ll find nowhere else in the world. Most students choose one of the Natural Science options, such as Physiology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Psychology or Neuroscience. But uniquely at Cambridge, you could also choose from a range of other one-year Tripos courses, such as Philosophy, Management Studies, Engineering, or Anthropology.
  • Our accelerated system takes you right to the cutting edge of current science and allows you, if you like, to go straight into scientific research. There’s a real chance to start to make your name: many research projects that our students pursue during their final year are published as papers in scientific journals.
  • After three years as an undergraduate, you will go on to study Clinical Medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, a leading teaching hospital and major research centre.

Much more information on the Cambridge course is available at the University's web pages.

 

Medicine at Caius

Caius has a particular focus on medicine. We have 25 undergraduates in each year group, the most of any College. Our numbers mean there’s a strong sense of community among Caius medics, and you’ll be able to work in groups with fellow students who share your interests. You’ll also find in-house expertise in a wide range of subjects. The scale of our medical faculty means that we have experienced Fellows covering all areas of medicine. You’ll get to know several of the Fellows each year as your supervisors in small-group teaching and they’ll be able to support you, no matter what area of the subject you pursue.

Our standards for admissions are high, but because we have a lot of places our ratio of applicants to places is often below the University average—you can see the admissions statistics here: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/apply/statistics. So, though we’re looking for the best, don’t be put off applying. Read the Admissions section below to find out more about what we look for.

If you come to Caius, you’ll be part of an extraordinary tradition. John Caius endowed the College he loved with money from his highly lucrative medical practice (he was physician to three monarchs), and other medics educated here include William Harvey, who first demonstrated the circulation of the blood. More recently, several members of the College have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, including Charles Sherrington, Howard Florey and Francis Crick. This means that Caius has more Nobel Laureates in Medicine than Russia! Our current medical Fellowship, including four Fellows of the Royal Society, is working at the cutting edge of research in a wide range of fields. You can find out much more about our Fellows by following the links below.

Our strong medical tradition benefits Caius medics in other ways. For example, the Caius Medical Association, our large alumni organisation, provides funding for medics who want to undertake a summer research project at the end of their first, second or third year. Students spend a couple of months focusing on anything from lab-based science, through studying epidemics with the UN, to helping make prosthetic limbs for war-torn parts of the world. The opportunity also gives invaluable lab experience ahead of your third year. We’re also able to provide a lot of medicine-related activities within College. For example, the lively Caius Medical Society regularly hosts top-level speakers and runs other events.

Last but not least, Caius has many attractions as a College. We provide a very high standard of accommodation for all six years of the course, offer a unique combination of central location yet peaceful ancient courts, and we mix strong traditions with up-to-the-minute teaching and research.

Admissions

At Caius, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive scientific and clinical training that will allow you to become a responsible, compassionate and highly skilled doctor. So, what do we look for from you, and how do we find it? We’re after intelligence and imagination, a breadth and flexibility of outlook, but above all intellectual curiosity and a passion for science itself. We consider your UCAS reference and personal statement, the detailed breakdown of your academic record so far, your performance in the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT), and on the interviews when you come to Caius (or, for some international applicants, interviews held by the University overseas).

We interview all suitably-qualified candidates. Interviews should not be a daunting experience: many candidates tell us they’ve found them enjoyable and intellectually stimulating. You will have normally have three one-to-one interviews of about 20 minutes each. One of your interviews will be with a medically qualified interviewer who will explore your motivation and suitability for medicine; the other two will be primarily academic interviews with the College’s medical Fellows.

We’re likely to ask about which of your subjects most interests you, and why, and encourage you to demonstrate some independent enthusiasm for it—for example, by talking about things you have done that are not simply part of your course. We’ll certainly ask about what you read: at university, you will to a large extent be teaching yourself through guided reading, and someone who doesn’t like books and isn’t interested enough in science to spend some of their free time reading about it probably won’t make a good impression. Discussion may well centre on experimental and/or project work that you have done at school, because we think this often gives a good idea of a student's scientific understanding independently of how well they have been taught.

As well as finding out how deeply you understand the work you have been doing at school, we may also challenge you with new information and data. Part of the interviews with Directors of Studies may consist of a discussion of your answers to Section C of the BMAT, and if this is the case you will be provided with a copy of your script. We’re likely to try to discover whether your perception of medicine is a realistic rather than a romantic one, and ask about any hospital or other medical experience—although we fully appreciate the difficulties many students have in finding work experience in a clinical setting. Finally, you will be given a chance to ask any questions that you may have concerning Cambridge, the medical course, and the College.

The number of places we have on offer is strictly limited by a University quota system, and though our quota is the largest of any Cambridge college (25), we can’t take every good student who applies. Applicants that are considered strong enough for Medicine at Cambridge but cannot be accommodated at Caius are placed in the Winter Pool, to be considered by other Colleges that have not yet filled their quota. Through this route, a number of Caius applicants typically gain places at other Colleges each year.

If you have any queries about Admissions, please contact admissions@cai.cam.ac.uk.