Medicine | University of Oxford
Medicine
X-ray image of the brain computed tomography.
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Medicine

mortar boardUCAS codeA100calendarDuration

3 years (BA)
6 years (BM BCh)

pencilEntrance requirementsA*AA (excluding Critical Thinking and General Studies and at least an A in both Chemistry and one or more of Biology, Physics or Maths)bar chartAdmissions statistics*Interviewed: 26%
Successful: 9%
Intake: 151
*3-year average 2016-18
tickAdmissions test(s)ox.ac.uk/bmatcrossWritten workNone
HeadSubject requirements

  Chemistry with either
Maths or Biology or Physics

phoneContactEmail Medicine

Subject requirements:       Essential       Recommended       Helpful – may be useful on course

This page is about the standard-entry medicine course (A100). With separate pre-clinical and clinical sections to the course, students on the Oxford standard medical course first gain a comprehensive grounding in medical science, before applying that scientific foundation in the clinical setting. To find out about our graduate-entry / accelerated medical degree please visit the A101 page.


The practice of Medicine offers a breadth of experiences impossible to find in any other subject. Every day brings different patients with different needs. It’s a great choice for scientists who strive to understand and apply research findings to improve the lives of the patients in their care. It offers a meaningful career that is prestigious, secure and well paid. However, practising Medicine can be arduous, stressful, frustrating and bureaucratic and is not suited to everyone. You need to be sure that Medicine is the right choice for you. These pages will help you work that out, but there’s no better way to find out for sure than by gaining insight of medical practice by seeing it in action and talking to those who provide healthcare. Studying Medicine because that is what is expected of you is never a good idea; make sure that your motives for choosing to do so are well reasoned.

The Medicine course at Oxford provides a well-rounded intellectual training with particular emphasis on the basic science research that underpins medicine. We have retained a distinct three-year pre-clinical stage that includes studying towards a BA Honours degree in Medical Sciences, followed by a three-year clinical stage. The Medical School at Oxford is relatively small, allowing students and staff to get to know one another and benefit from a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Research work

All students at Oxford undertake an experimental research project as part of their BA in Medical Sciences. This will be in a field of interest to the student, and will offer valuable first-hand experience of scientific research. Students have the opportunity to undertake research in a laboratory from a wide range of departments within the Medical Sciences Division.

 Students studying“I was attracted to the strong scientific grounding of the Oxford medical course. The pre-clinical course enables you to gain in-depth knowledge of the science behind clinical practice while experiencing the primary scientific research that fuels medical progression. The first year encompasses organisation of the body and so includes dissection – an incredibly useful tool in learning anatomy! Being lectured by people who are world leaders in their field is awe-inspiring and gives an edge to my learning. I’m currently in my third year and love the freedom and self-direction of my research project. I am developing skills as a scientist which will be useful in clinical practice, while also getting to grips with topics that fascinate me. I’m doing an option called ‘Infection and immunity’, and love being able to trace current developments in the field and apply them to potential future therapeutic applications.”
ALEX

The pre-clinical stage

Applicants are initially admitted to the pre-clinical stage of the course.

The first five terms of this course are devoted to the First BM. This addresses not only much of the science that underpins Medicine, but also the clinical problems that arise when systems fail. Students are introduced to the major systems of the body and study all aspects of their structure and function in health and also the principles of disease processes. Students are encouraged to develop an enquiring approach and to consider the experimental basis of the science in the course. Matters of clinical relevance are illustrated from the outset with students making regular visits to GP tutors.

The First BM is followed by a four term BA Honours course (the Final Honour School) in Medical Sciences. Students specialise in two areas of biomedical science selected from a range of options. They will become adept at working from primary research literature, and will be encouraged to think both critically and creatively. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of their chosen options, as well as advanced technical skills at the laboratory bench and in scientific data handling and presentation.

The Principles of clinical anatomy course, delivered at the end of the third year, is designed to teach students clinically-relevant aspects of anatomy that will be of immediate use in their clinical years.

A typical week

During the First BM, lectures and practicals occupy about half of the time, and the remainder is free for tutorial work, self-directed study and extracurricular activities. During the BA course, formal lecturing is kept to a minimum, and students are mostly free to pursue their research and to prepare for tutorials and seminars. The college tutorial system is a central feature: students see their tutors and are taught weekly in groups often as small as two. This teaching can be tailored to individuals’ needs and interests and strong academic support ensures that students manage their time effectively. Tutorials are usually 2-4 students and a tutor. Classes and seminar are usually made up of between 10-15 students, while lectures are usually up to 75 students.

In the Pre-clinical stage of the course (years 1-3), most tutorials, classes, and lectures are delivered by members of academic staff, research staff or NHS clinicians (usually at the level of consultant) and mostly take place in the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre in the Science Area. Many are world-leading experts with years of experience in teaching and research. Some tutorial and class teaching may also be delivered by postgraduate students who are usually studying at doctorate level. In the Clinical stage of the course (years 4-6), most teaching is delivered by clinicians from the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust as well as local primary care physicians, and University academic staff.

To find out more about how our teaching year is structured, visit our Academic Year page.

Course structure

TERMS 1-3 (FIRST BM PART I)

COURSES

  • Organisation of the body
  • Physiology and pharmacology
  • Biochemistry and medical genetics
  • Population health: medical sociology
  • Patient and doctor course

 ASSESSMENT

Three core computer-based assessments; four written papers; satisfactory practical record
TERMS 4-5 (FIRST BM PART II)

Courses

  • Applied physiology and pharmacology
  • The nervous system
  • Principles of pathology
  • Psychology for medicine
  • Patient and doctor course

ASSESSMENT

Three core computer-based assessments; four written papers; satisfactory practical record
TERMS 6-9 (FINAL HONOUR SCHOOL IN MEDICAL SCIENCES)

COURSES

  • Two options (from a range of ten including Neurobiology, Cardiovascular biology and pharmacology, Immunity, Infection, Metabolism and respiration)
  • Essays
  • Principles of clinical anatomy
A full list of course options is available on the Medical Sciences website

ASSESSMENT

Written papers; submission of extended essay and research project write-up; oral presentation of research project; qualifying exam in Principles of clinical anatomy (computer-based assessment)

The content and format of this course may change in some circumstances. Read further information about potential course changes.

Progress to clinical training

At the start of the third year students can apply to the Oxford Clinical School or one of the London medical schools to undertake their clinical training.

Academic requirements 

A-levels:A*AA in three A-levels (excluding Critical Thinking and General Studies) taken in the same academic year. Candidates are required to achieve at least a grade A in both Chemistry and at least one of Biology, Physics or Mathematics. We expect you to have taken and passed any practical component in your chosen science subjects.
Advanced Highers:  AA (taken in the same academic year and to include Chemistry, plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics) plus Highers: AAAAA (taken in the same academic year).
IB: 39 (including core points) with 766 at HL. Candidates are required to take Chemistry and at least one of Biology, Physics or Mathematics to Higher Level.
BTEC Level 3 Extended DiplomaPlease see the Medical Sciences website for details. 
Other qualifications: Other national and international qualifications are also acceptable. Please see the Medical Science website for further guidance. Any candidate in doubt as to their academic eligibility for this course is strongly encouraged to seek advice by emailing admissions@medschool.ox.ac.uk.

Wherever possible, your grades are considered in the context in which they have been achieved.  (See further information on how we use contextual data.) 

Please note that we have no preference for whether the third or fourth A-level subject (or further subject in equivalent qualifications) is a science or not.

Level of attainment in Science and Mathematics
There are no formal GCSE requirements for Medicine. However, in order to be adequately equipped for the BMAT (see www.bmat.org.uk) and for the academic demands of the course, and if Biology, Physics or Mathematics have not been taken to A-level (or equivalent), applicants will need to have received a basic education in those subjects (for example at least a grade C/4 at GCSE, Intermediate 2 or Standard grade (Credit) or equivalent; the GCSE Dual Award Combined Sciences is also appropriate).

For further details on how we assess GCSEs, please visit the Medical Sciences Shortlisting page.

Graduates
Students with degrees may apply for the standard course. There are no places specifically reserved for graduates, and there is no separate application process. Graduates are in open competition with school-leavers, and need to fulfil the same entrance requirements.

If English is not your first language you may also need to meet our English language requirements.

Applying

All candidates must follow the application procedure as shown in applying to Oxford. The information below gives specific details for students applying for this course. Please note the closing date for applications for all Medicine courses is 15 October 2018.

All candidates must also take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) as part of their application and no student is admitted without interview. Any shortlisted candidate, including those from overseas, will be expected to come to Oxford for interview in December. Successful candidates must meet our requirements for health and fitness to practise.

Admissions test

Test: BMAT
Test date:30 October 2019                                                                                                          
Registration deadline: 1 October 2019
Late registration deadline (with fee):15 October 2019

All candidates must also take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) as part of their application. Separate registration for this test is required and it is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they are registered. We strongly recommend making arrangements in plenty of time before the deadline. Everything you need to know, including guidance on registration and preparation, can be found on the BMAT test page

Please note, the University of Oxford will not accept BMAT results from the September sitting for A100 Medicine. 

Written work 

You do not need to submit any written work when you apply for this course.

What are tutors looking for?

Please note that competition to study Medicine at Oxford is particularly strong and only around 425 applicants are shortlisted for interview each year. Applicants are shortlisted for interview on the basis of BMAT performance, GCSE performance (if applicable) and other information on their application. No student is admitted without interview. All shortlisted candidates, including those from overseas, will be expected to come to Oxford for interview in December.

Students are selected for their scientific ability and for their aptitude for Medicine. Applicants are expected to show that they have a realistic understanding of what a medical career will involve, and that they have the potential to become effective and caring doctors. All colleges use a common set of selection criteria that relate to academic potential and suitability for Medicine. For further information about selection criteria, please see the Medical School website.

Applicants are free to make reference to skills or experience acquired in any context to illustrate how they might fulfil the selection criteria; sometimes candidates refer to voluntary work and other extra-curricular activities, but many forms of evidence can help demonstrate to tutors that a candidate has made an informed decision regarding their own suitability to study Medicine.

Fee Status

Please note that the number of international fee status medical students at each medical school in the UK is subject to a government quota: for Oxford this is currently 14 per year across both the standard entry A100 and A101 graduate-entry / accelerated Medicine courses.

Application conditions 

Oxford conforms to the UK Department of Health’s requirements regarding immunisation status and the GMC’s conditions on Fitness to Practise, and a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check. Students may be refused entry to, or be removed from, the University’s Register of Medical Students on grounds that may be either academic or non-academic (for instance health or conduct). Applicants should be aware that some practical studies involving living animal tissue are an obligatory component of the course. Note that students must have reached their 18th birthday by 1 November in the year they intend to start the course.

Fitness to Practise advice and support: General Medical Council and University of Oxford Occupational Health Service

Careers

A vast array of speciality training pathways is available after obtaining a medical qualification, ranging from general practice or emergency medicine through obstetrics or ophthalmology to paediatrics or psychiatry.

Of course, you need not remain confined to the clinic, ward or the operating theatre: the lecture theatre or the laboratory could also beckon. Some of our graduates end up leading the education of the next generation of doctors or directing biomedical research. You don’t need to know right now what you want to do when you qualify; the Medical School organises careers sessions for final-year clinical students and helps students learn about and apply for foundation posts.

BM BCh graduates are entitled to provisional registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) with a licence to practise, subject to demonstrating to the GMC that their fitness to practise is not impaired.

Tzveta is currently training to be an oncologist. She says: ‘Many universities can teach you how to be a foundation doctor. Oxford taught me how to work through problems carefully and logically from first principles, and gave me the theoretical grounding to be able to do so. I had the opportunity to read key papers in my subject, then discuss them with the academics who had published them. Most importantly, Oxford taught me that I was capable of much more than I imagined or believed. Though I have gone from essay crises to night shifts, from finals to Royal College exams, the focused determination it instilled within me remains, driving me through any challenges faced along the way.’

Kanmin graduated from pre-clinical medicine in 2003. He is now a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Academic Clinical Lecturer in ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, undergoing 50:50 surgical retina fellowship training and translational research into gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases. Kanmin says: ‘The weekly essays and tutorials with world-leading academics in the colleges were an invaluable experience. In those intimate ‘mind sparring’ exercises, you go beyond the standard curriculum and probe the boundaries of the fundamental science behind modern medicine. In this way, Oxford nurtures not only sound medical practitioners but also future explorers and leaders in medicine… Of course, studying medicine at Oxford involves a lot of hard work. But the opportunities are also there to take part in the most vibrant student society/club life, whatever your hobby or background.’

Oxford University is committed to recruiting the best and brightest students from all backgrounds. We offer a generous package of financial support to Home/EU students from lower-income households. (UK nationals living in the UK are usually Home students.)

Latest information for UK undergraduates who will begin their course in 2020 can be found here. Arrangements for EU students starting in 2020 have not yet been confirmed. Read the latest information.

The fees and funding information below relates to those who will start at Oxford in 2019.

Fees

These annual fees are for full-time students who begin this undergraduate course here in 2019.

Fee statusPre-clinical annual course fees
Home/EU£9,250
Islands
(Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
£9,250
Overseas

£27,240

Pre-clinical fees are charged in years 1, 2 and 3.

Fees for the later years have not yet been confirmed but please note that these may be different from the pre-clinical fees. Clinical fees are charged in years 4 to 6. As a guide, these are the annual fees for students who will complete the pre-clinical stage of their course and progress to the clinical years in 2019. 

Fee statusClinical annual course fees
Home/EU£9,250
Islands
(Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
c. £27,585
(Figure still an estimate, to be confirmed by the Islands governments.)
Overseas£37,445

For more information please refer to our course fees page. Fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

Living costs

Living costs at Oxford might be less than you’d expect, as our world-class resources and college provision can help keep costs down.

Living costs for the academic year starting in 2019 are estimated to be between £1,058 and £1,643 for each month you are in Oxford. Our academic year is made up of three eight-week terms, so you would not usually need to be in Oxford for much more than six months of the year but may wish to budget over a nine-month period to ensure you also have sufficient funds during the holidays to meet essential costs. For further details please visit our living costs webpage.

Financial support

Home/EU

A full tuition fee loan is available from the UK government to cover course fees in full for Home (UK)/EU students undertaking their first undergraduate degree*, so you don’t need to pay your course fees up front.

In 2019 Oxford is offering one of the most generous bursary packages of any UK university to those on a family income of around £42,875 or less, with additional opportunities available to those from households with incomes of £16,000 or less. This support is available in addition to the government living costs support.  See further details.

For comprehensive funding information for medicinal students, please see here

Islands
(Channel Islands and Isle of Man)

Islands students are entitled to different support to that of students from the rest of the UK.

Please refer the links below for information on the support to you available from your funding agency:

States of Jersey
States of Guernsey
Isle of Man

Overseas

Please refer to the "Other Scholarships" section of our Oxford Bursaries and Scholarships page.

*If you have studied at undergraduate level before and completed your course, you will be classed as an Equivalent or Lower Qualification student (ELQ) and won’t be eligible to receive government or Oxford funding

Fees, Funding and Scholarship search

Additional Fees and Charges Information for Medicine

Pre-clinical Medicine

In the third term of year 2 students who undertake a research project may wish to remain in Oxford after the end of full term to facilitate completion of their project. However, this extended residence in Oxford is not a requirement. Students should be aware that no financial support is available to help with any additional living costs during this time.

Clinical Medicine

Students in the Clinical School study for extended terms. You will need to budget for higher living costs in these three years, as you will be required to be in Oxford for longer than the standard terms. (See the likely range of living costs for an additional month in Oxford.)

  • Year 4 – 40 weeks
  • Year 5 – 48 weeks
  • Year 6 – 48 weeks, including 10 weeks elective study (see below)

For more information about fees and funding for this course, please see Funding for UK/EU Medical Students.

Elective study

Each final-year student has a period of 10 weeks for elective study within the overall 48 weeks of the course. (This is year 6 for A100 students). Your elective study may be conducted in Oxford, elsewhere in the UK, or anywhere in the world provided the content of the placement is appropriate experience for medicine. Approval must be granted by the Director of Clinical Studies. A student who stays in Oxford for their elective would be expected to incur no additional costs apart from their living costs. Many students opt to travel outside the UK in which case the additional cost is on average around £3,000, but may be lower or higher depending on location (very occasionally a student has spent up to £9,000). Students who have not completed the core training in clinical medicine may be required to follow a prescribed course of study in Oxford for all or part of their 10-week elective instead of arranging a placement. There are opportunities to apply for additional financial support which varies depending on the destination proposed. This support is usually around £300 to £500 towards travel costs.

Contextual information

The Key Information Sets provides applicants with statistics about undergraduate life at Oxford. But there is so much more to an Oxford degree that the numbers can’t convey.

The Oxford tutorial

College tutorials are central to teaching at Oxford. Typically, they take place in your college and are led by your academic tutor(s) who teach as well as do their own research. Students will also receive teaching in a variety of other ways, depending on the course. This will include lectures and classes, and may include laboratory work and fieldwork. However, tutorials offer a level of personalised attention from academic experts unavailable at most universities.

During tutorials (normally lasting an hour), college subject tutors will give you and one or two tutorial partners feedback on prepared work and cover a topic in depth. The other student(s) in your college tutorials will be from your year group, doing the same course as you and will normally be at your college. Such regular and rigorous academic discussion develops and facilitates learning in a way that isn’t possible through lectures alone. Tutorials also allow for close progress monitoring so tutors can quickly provide additional support if necessary.

Read more about tutorials and an Oxford education

College life

Our colleges are at the heart of Oxford’s reputation as one of the best universities in the world.

  • At Oxford, everyone is a member of a college as well as their subject department(s) and the University. Students therefore have both the benefits of belonging to a large, renowned institution and to a small and friendly academic community. Each college or hall is made up of academic and support staff, and students. Colleges provide a safe, supportive environment leaving you free to focus on your studies, enjoy time with friends and make the most of the huge variety of opportunities.
  • Each college has a unique character, but generally their facilities are similar. Each one, large or small, will have the following essential facilities:
    • Porters’ lodge (a staffed entrance and reception)
    • Dining hall
    • Lending library (often open 24/7 in term time)
    • Student accommodation
    • Tutors’ teaching rooms
    • Chapel and/or music rooms
    • Laundry
    • Green spaces
    • Common room (known as the JCR).
  • All first year students are offered college accommodation either on the main site of their college or in a nearby college annexe. This means that your neighbours will also be ‘freshers’ and new to life at Oxford. This accommodation is guaranteed, so you don’t need to worry about finding somewhere to live after accepting a place here, all of this is organised for you before you arrive.
  • All colleges offer at least one further year of accommodation and some offer it for the entire duration of your degree. You may choose to take up the option to live in your college for the whole of your time at Oxford, or you might decide to arrange your own accommodation after your first year – perhaps because you want to live with friends from other colleges.
  • While college academic tutors primarily support your academic development, you can also ask their advice on other things. Lots of other college staff including welfare officers help students settle in and are available to offer guidance on practical or health matters. Current students also actively support students in earlier years, sometimes as part of a college ‘family’ or as peer supporters trained by the University’s Counselling Service.

More about Oxford colleges and how you choose

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