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About the course
With separate pre-clinical and clinical sections to the course, students on the Oxford standard medical course (A100) first gain a comprehensive grounding in medical science, before applying that scientific foundation in the clinical setting. Teaching is delivered throughout with reference to findings in academic research.
The pre-clinical part of the course (the first three years of the six-year course) will provide you with the knowledge and understanding that you need to make a start in clinical medicine. It will prepare you for a world where medical practice is rapidly evolving and enable you to make your own distinctive contribution. More about the pre-clinical course
For further information on the structure of the course in the clinical years, please see the clinical study website.
For more information on medical training in the UK, please see the UK Medical Schools Council website.
What our students say
Tiri Hughes, 1st year student at Trinity College
I’ve absolutely loved my first year studying at Oxford! Aside from the excellent teaching, immersive practicals and great resources, Oxford is wonderful place to live and study. First year content is quite broad, including anatomy, histology, embryology, endocrinology, physiology, pharmacology, biochemistry and genetics. The first few lectures can seem a bit daunting compared with A-levels or other pre-university courses, but after a couple of weeks they just fall into place as a part of your (new) normal routine. There are often lectures at the start of a lecture series entitled ‘Introduction to ...’ which can be a great way to get over the initial trepidation surrounding a difficult subject. Anatomy in particular is aided by sessions in the demonstration room, where we look at prosections of specimens to reinforce our learning. We also do practicals using microscopes to observe how cells are arranged in different tissues, as well as more interactive experiments to improve our understanding of physiology and biochemistry.
At Oxford you get the opportunity to have regular tutorials in small groups with brilliant tutors - doctors and professors, even sometimes those who wrote the textbooks! This allows you to delve deep into subjects you find interesting, as well as getting a broad knowledge base. The provision of materials at Oxford is extensive - with hundreds of textbooks being available at most college libraries, and thousands more at the central Bodleian libraries that all students can access. A lot of textbooks are now also available online via the library website, which is especially useful as you don’t have to take so many heavy books home during vacations.
I’m originally from Devon, although I went to a specialist residential college in Hereford for my A-levels which had never had any students applying to Oxbridge or for medicine at any university. Although the college was very supportive, the lack of experience with medicine applications meant that I had to organise all of my own admissions tests and had no practice tests or interview preparation. I was worried that, even if I got in, I wouldn’t fit in well at Oxford due to not being from a school that sends many people to university, and as a disabled person my concerns about not fitting in were amplified. But the opposite has been true: I’ve made wonderful friends both among the other medical students and other people at college and I couldn’t be happier. The Medical Sciences Division (in conjunction with Trinity College and the University Disability Advisory Service) have been excellent at accommodating my disabilities - for instance, my guide dog is looked after in the office during practicals! I also have an adapted microscope, enlarged lecture slides, and a seat during lab work.
People starting at Oxford have often heard the rumour that studying medicine leaves no time for extracurricular activities. This definitely isn’t true: almost every medic I know is involved in something extracurricular, whether it’s music, art, sports, or one of the hundreds of other activities available at Oxford. I do gymnastics with the University Gymnastics Club, am a Welfare Officer for my college’s Junior Common Room (= the college’s undergraduate body), and a Campaigns and Advocacy Officer for DisCam, the University’s disability campaign group. In my opinion, having interests/activities outside of medicine is really important; they give you time to relax and unwind from the academic workload.
I hope that this has been informative and may have answered some questions. Best of luck with your application!
Key Dates for 2021
1 September: BMAT registration opens
30 September: Deadline to apply for modified papers (e.g. enlarged print)
1 October 6pm BST: BMAT closing date for registration at standard entry fee
15 October 6pm BST: BMAT closing date for registration at late entry fee; deadline to apply for access arrangements (e.g. extra time); deadline to apply for reimbursement of registration fee
15 October 6pm BST: UCAS application deadline
3 November: BMAT test date
Late November: Shortlisting decisions are communicated to applicants by email
Mid-December: Interviews for Medicine in 2021
Mid-January 2022: Final decisions are communicated to applicants by colleges