University of Cambridge: UCAT and Course Entry Information (2021 Update)

Thinking about studying Medicine at Cambridge but unsure of what you need to do? Well, you can sit back and relax! This article explains everything you need to know.

This article explains the requirements, clinical placement opportunities and rankings of the University of Cambridge’s Medicine degree — find out what they have to offer and what you need in terms of academic achievements, UCAT results and work experience!


In this article on the University of Cambridge,


Overview of the University of Cambridge

Medicine has been taught at the University of Cambridge since 1540, but back then, there were no more than four undergraduate medical students at any time and only one or two would even become registered as a doctor each year. Today, around 295 applicants are accepted into the University of Cambridge’s Standard Course in Medicine (A100).



Times Higher Ed RankQS RankingsAcademic Ranking of World Universities 


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University of Cambridge medical courses


Bachelor of Medicine (undergraduate)

Course CodeLengthCampus
A1006 Years Full TimeAvailable at all Colleges except Hughes Hall. Here’s the full list of colleges.


Choosing a college:

Cambridge is a collegiate university, so colleges decide which students get admitted, provide pastoral care for their students and facilitate small group tuition. With 28 colleges to choose from, it can be challenging to know which ones to apply for.

Here are some restrictions that might narrow it down for you:

  • St Edmund’s and Wolfson only accept students over the age of 21 years
  • Murray Edwards and Newnham only accept students who are formally recognised as/identify as female

After you know which colleges you are eligible for, you can begin considering which ones suit you best in terms of:

  • accommodation and facilities (sports facilities, historical buildings, modern architecture, green spaces)
  • prerequisite subjects
  • accessibility and support (especially if you have mobility and/or sensory impairment)
  • societies and college life

The University of Cambridge also notes on their website that you should NOT decide which college you apply for by their acceptance rates. Their reasoning is that applying for a college with a higher acceptance rate should not increase your chances of being accepted, because colleges can offer places to all applicants and they will prefer to admit a strong applicant who has not applied to their college, over a weaker applicant who has applied directly to them. Any strong applicants who haven’t been made an offer yet, due to the college’s vast competition, will be added to a ‘pool’ to be considered for other colleges. These pooled candidates may be required to attend another interview in early January.

If after all this, you still don’t mind which college you attend, you can make an open application. An open application will place you in consideration for all colleges that you are eligible for.


Academic Requirements:

A levels:

  • A*A*A
  • A Levels in Chemistry and two of Biology, Mathematics and Physics
  • Some colleges will accept A Levels in Chemistry and one of Biology, Mathematics and Physics — refer to this list to find the specific requirements for each college


  • 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level
  • IB Higher Level ‘Analysis and Approaches’ for any course where Mathematics is a requirement
  • If your school does not offer these courses, click here to contact the colleges you are interested in for support.

Other international qualifications:

  • See here for the full list of international qualifications that Cambridge accepts
  • Cambridge does not publish the required grades for these international qualifications, however, you can contact the college admissions office to find out about the college-specific requirements for your qualification.


Entry Requirements:


  • UCAT is not considered for admission to Cambridge’s School of Clinical Medicine


  • While there is no ‘pass’ mark, applicants with higher BMAT results are more likely to be invited to an interview at Cambridge

Work Experience:

  • Normally, the medical school would encourage applicants to undertake paid/unpaid work experience in a health or social care organisation
  • However, students applying for 2022 entry will not be disadvantaged if they do not complete work experience, since Cambridge recognises that the COVID-19 crisis would make it difficult to complete work experience. Nevertheless, they provide this guide to help you gain relevant experience during the COVID-19 crisis.


Application Process: 

  • Submit your UCAS application. You can either apply directly for a single college or make an open application.
    • NOTE: You can’t apply to both the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford in the same year.
  • Fill out an online Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) and an Additional Applicant Information Form (AAIF), which will be emailed to you within 48 hours of submitting your UCAS application.
    • SAQ: you will need to submit your High School or University Transcript along with this form
    • AAIF: you provide information about your interview arrangements and any educational disruptions that you experienced due to the pandemic
  • Applicants sit the Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT) in November
  • Students are required to achieve the minimum academic standards stated in the above section
  • If competitive enough, students will be invited for an interview and the college will provide full details in the letter of any preparation that needs to be done beforehand.
  • There’s an additional application form if you’re applying for the Graduate Course in Medicine
  • Cambridge will advise you of whether you are successful or not before the end of January.
  • Check here for the key dates and deadlines for your application


Interview Criteria and Structure: 


Clinical placement information

Year 1

Students will go to general practices to interact with patients and begin to develop their clinical skills.

Year 2

Students will spend time in hospital settings and also community health care settings.

Year 3

Students will continue to visit community health care settings.

Years 4 to 6

Students will spend the majority of their time on clinical placements within Cambridge Biomedical Campus and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and also at other regional hospitals and GP practices in England’s east.


Associate teaching hospitals

  • Addenbrooke’s Hospital
  • Lister Hospital
  • Bedford Hospital
  • Peterborough City Hospital
  • Hinchingbrooke Hospital
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • Kings Lynn
  • Ipswich Hospital
  • West Suffolk Hospital





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