Those studying for medical degrees at Cambridge take the Medical & Veterinary Sciences Tripos during their pre-clinical years. This provides students with a much stronger scientific training than is found in most other medical courses. The subjects studied in the first two years cover the full range of biomedical science; there is also a course called ‘Preparing for Patients’ which provides contact with patients from an early stage. In the third year it is possible to specialise in one of the biological subjects offered in Part II of the Natural Sciences Tripos, or to continue with a more general biomedical course. At the completion of their third year medical students graduate with a BA degree and begin their clinical training at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
There is a fixed number of medical places for Cambridge as a whole. These places are distributed across Colleges by a quota system which limits the number of offers that a college is permitted to make. In recent years Trinity’s quota of places has been 12. Over the last three years, the combined quota has been split equally between men and women, from a range of schools.
Trinity has a long and distinguished history of contributions to medical research including Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine and our current Master was formerly Chief Medical Officer for England.
At present the teaching of Medical Sciences at Trinity is looked after by five Fellows of the College: Dr Catherine Aiken (Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Clinical Medicine)), Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald (Physiology and Tumour Biology (Clinical Medicine)), Dr Richard Hayward (Microbiology and Pathology), Professor Ewa Paluch (Anatomy), and Dr Henry Lee-Six, Junior Research Fellow (Pathology and Anatomy). Dr Tess Marshall-Andon oversees the Preparing for Patients course in the undergraduate syllabus. The Medical Fellows are experienced teachers and mentors with a variety of expertise in research and clinical medicine.
Applicants for places at Trinity usually have two interviews, each with two members of the Medical Sciences teaching staff. The special nature of the Cambridge medical course means that the interview is likely to focus strongly on scientific matters and you should be prepared to discuss topics from any of your A-level science subjects. The typical conditional offer is A*A*A at A-level, including Chemistry and two other science subjects; comparable conditions are set for those taking the IB and other school-leaving examinations.
The College does not normally invite for interview applicants who do not perform well in the BMAT, especially Section 2.
Over recent years Trinity College has accepted 11-13 medical students per year. Our students have achieved substantial success in the preclinical tripos, specialising in a wide range of 3rd year subjects, and gone on to a variety of interesting and successful careers in clinical research and practice.
For more information, visit the Biological Sciences website and the Medical School website:
Trinity has five teaching Fellows in Medical Sciences, who variously supervise and direct studies of Trinity students during their preclinical and clinical courses. We support a broadening of experience through summer research experience and travel related to medical studies.
Dr Catherine Aiken
Catherine Aiken is a Clinical Lecturer in the University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She is an active clinician who specialises in high-risk fetal and maternal medicine. Her research focuses on understanding the impact of a suboptimal intrauterine environment on long-term health.
Rebecca Fitzgerald OBE FMedSci is Professor of Cancer Prevention and Director of the Early Cancer Institute. Her laboratory investigates the cell and molecular biology of the earliest steps of cancer development with particular emphasis on how this knowledge can be applied to novel methods for early detection of cancer of the oesophagus and stomach.
Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald
Dr Richard Hayward
Richard Hayward is a University Associate Professor in Microbiology in the Department of Pathology. His laboratory investigates the molecular basis of interactions between pathogenic bacteria and their mammalian host cells, with particular emphasis of the human pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis.
Ewa Paluch is Professor of Anatomy at the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience. Her laboratory combines approaches from biology, physics and engineering to investigate how animal cells control their shape. The laboratory has a particular interest in how cellular shape is controlled during embryonic development, and how deregulation of shape contributes to cancer progression.
Professor Ewa Paluch
Dr Henry Lee-Six
Dr Henry Lee-Six studied medicine at Trinity and after an MBPhD is now doing specialist training in clinical pathology while continuing his research. This short article explains his recent experience in research and working in the frontline NHS.
All Standard Course (A100) applicants (including applicants to mature Colleges) are required to take the Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT) at an authorised centre local to them (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college).
You must be registered in advance (separately to your UCAS application) to take the BMAT – the registration deadline is 29 September 2023. This means you must be entered for the BMAT before submitting your UCAS application by 15 October.
Your assessment centre must register you for the BMAT; you’re not able to register yourself. See the written assessments page for information about assessment centres and registration.
The BMAT will be taken on Wednesday 18 October 2023.
The BMAT is used to assess scientific aptitude and focuses on scientific abilities relevant to the study of Medicine at Cambridge (the BMAT is also used by some other universities). It is based on factual knowledge of mathematics and science to GCSE/IGCSE, and doesn’t require special teaching or preparation.
Information about the BMAT and how to register is available from the BMAT website.
There is an entry fee for the BMAT, details of fees and dates are available on the BMAT website. If you’re a UK/EU student, we are concerned that the entry fee shouldn’t deter you from applying. Applicants in receipt of certain financial support may apply for their BMAT fees to be reimbursed. Please contact the BMAT Support Team for more information.