Oxford University, Medical Sciences Division
Degree Type & Length: 6 Years
UCAS Code: A100
University Code: O33
Is UKCAT needed? If so, how is it assessed? Yes
Interviews: 30%
Offers: 11%
Places: 152
Academic entry requirement:

A-levels: A*AA, in three A-levels taken in one academic year
Excluding Critical Thinking and General Studies. Candidates are required to have Chemistry (compulsory), plus Biology and/or Physics and/or Mathematics to full A-level

Medical School Website:
Medical School Contact Information: University of Oxford
University Offices
Wellington Square

T: +44 (0)1865 288 000
Key attribute of medical institute: Despite recent expansion, the Medical School at Oxford remains relatively small, allowing students and staff to get to know one another and benefit from a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Course Structure:

We have retained a course with distinct pre-clinical and clinical sections that includes studying towards a BA Honours degree in Medical Sciences.

Applicants are initially admitted to the pre-clinical section of the course. Entry to the Oxford Clinical School is competitive; however, currently a joint admissions scheme (under review) is in place with the Universities of Cambridge and London to ensure that all suitably qualified Oxford pre-clinical students will be allocated a clinical school place within the scheme. The majority of students continue their clinical training in Oxford. Upon successful completion of clinical training and the award of the BM BCh degree, subsequent years are spent on Foundation and Specialist Training programmes.

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. There are clinical demonstrations in hospitals, and students make 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 an area of biomedical science selected from one of five 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 option, 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.

Teaching methods and study support

During the pre-clinical stage of the course, 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. Most University lectures, seminars and practical classes take place in the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre in the Science Area. Lecturers are drawn from Oxford’s extensive pre-clinical and clinical departments, all of which have international reputations for excellence in research, and the courses are organised on an interdisciplinary basis so as to emphasise the interrelatedness of all aspects of the curriculum.

Research work

In addition to taking written and computer-based examinations, and submitting practical reports and an extended essay, students undertake a research project as part of their BA course. 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 University.

A typical weekly timetable

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 extra-curricular 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. Strong academic support ensures that students manage their time effectively.

First BM Part 1 - Terms 1-3


·         Organisation of the body

·         Physiology and pharmacology

·         Biochemistry and medical genetics

·         Population health: Medical sociology

·         Patient and Doctor course


·         Three core knowledge computer-based assessments

·         Four written papers

·         Satisfactory practical record

First BM Part 2 - Terms 4 -6


·         Applied physiology and pharmacology

·         The nervous system

·         Principles of pathology

·         Psychology for medicine

·         Patient and Doctor course


·         Three core knowledge computer-based assessments

·         Four written papers

·         Satisfactory practical record

Final Honour School in Medical Sciences - Terms 6–9


·         Option (one from: Neuroscience; Molecular medicine; Infection and immunity; Cardiovascular, renal and respiratory biology; Cellular physiology and pharmacology)

·         Research project

·         Extended essay

·         Principles of clinical anatomy


·         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

To progress to clinical training, at the end of Term 9 students take:


·         Principles of Clinical Anatomy


·         Three computer-based assessments

Progress to Clinical training

In December of the third year, students must apply to be accepted by a clinical school. Currently a joint admissions scheme is in place with the medical schools of London University to ensure that all suitably qualified Oxford pre-clinical students will be allocated a clinical school place within the scheme. Of those who choose to apply to the Oxford Clinical School, about 85% have been successful in recent years. Upon completion of the clinical stage of the course, the subsequent years are spent on Foundation and Specialist Training programmes.

Oxford University, Medical Sciences Division