In 2020, the admissions process is not operating as set out in the text below. The interviews in 2020 will be conducted remotely, and as a result the structure of the interviews and some of the assessments will be changing for this year. All applicants in the 2020-21 round should instead consult the ‘Pre-interview and interview notes’ document for 2020, which they will have been sent separately.
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 11 and it is likely that this will also be the figure for entry in October 2020. 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 and three recent Masters of the College have been Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine. At present the teaching of Medical Sciences at Trinity is looked after by four Fellows of the College: Catherine Aiken (Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Clinical Medicine)), Rebecca Fitzgerald (Physiology and Tumour Biology (Clinical Medicine)), Richard Hayward (Microbiology and Pathology), and Professor Ewa Paluch (Anatomy).
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, although successful applicants typically achieve three A* grades; 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. Successful applicants in recent years have usually had around 6.0 in Sections 1 and 2 of the BMAT.
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: