Medicine at University of Cambridge Medical School & Interview Questions 2023
Overview of The University of Cambridge Medical School
Cambridge Medicine excels in league tables. Cambridge has 3 pre-clinical years, after which you can, if you get a place, continue at Cambridge for 3 clinical years or complete them somewhere else (many go on to medical schools in London or Oxford).
The pre-clinical years are rigorous with lots of lectures, practicals and small-group supervised sessions. In the third year, students study a chosen subject in more depth. This is usually one related to biological medicine but can be a research project or something unrelated to medicine. The emphasis during the clinical years is on learning in clinical settings: at the bedside, in outpatient clinics and in GP surgeries, which is supported by seminars, tutorials and discussion groups.
Founded in 1209, Cambridge has a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. The university offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate medical programs, including an MPhil in Medical Science. Cambridge has a strong emphasis on research, and students have the opportunity to work alongside leading researchers in their fields. The university also has an impressive range of facilities, including the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and the Addenbrooke's Hospital.
Course Structure - University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
At Cambridge, you study the medical sciences first, before learning to apply that knowledge to medical practice as a clinical student. The first three years (pre-clinical studies) involve lectures, practical classes (including dissections) and supervisions, with typically 20-25 timetabled teaching hours each week. The emphasis during the clinical studies (Years 4, 5 and 6) is on learning in clinical settings: at the bedside, in outpatient clinics and in GP surgeries, which is supported by seminars, tutorials and discussion groups.
Cambridge Medicine Requirements
No specific requirements, but successful applicants will generally have 7s and above in all GCSEs.
Average GCSE Grades for Offer Holders at Cambridge Medical School:
2021: 9.72 A*s, 0.6 As, 0.23 Bs + Below
2022: 9.70 A*s, 0.4 As, 0.12 Bs + Below
A*A*A (typical A-Level offer)
Must include Chemistry & Biology/Maths/Physics.
Some colleges require 4 subjects at A Level 0 please check each college.
Average A-Level Predicted Grades for Offer Holders at Cambridge Medical School:
2021: 92% had A*A*A*
2022: 95% had A*A*A*
40-42 points with 776 at Higher Level
University of Cambridge school of clinical Medicine Admission Tests
Cambridge BMAT Requirements & Cut Offs
How Does Cambridge Medical School Look At The BMAT? Is there a BMAT Cut off for Cambridge?
At Cambridge, there is no BMAT cutoff score for 2023 entry, each college uses the BMAT differently (see individual website for more details).
BMAT is generally used holistically with personal statements and academic grades.
The higher the BMAT score, the higher the chance of being invited to interview. There is no particular BMAT score required for Cambridge.
The average successful candidate for Cambridge is 6.1 in sections 1 and 2 of the BMAT.
What is a good BMAT Score for Cambridge Medicine?
Given that the average successful BMAT score for Cambridge is 6.1, anything >6 in both S1 and S2 of the BMAT would place you in a competitive position when applying - but don't worry if you score lower than this!
What is the lowest BMAT score for Cambridge?
No official lowest or minimum BMAT score is needed for Cambridge, as each application is considered holistically. This is why every year there are some students who have 4s in either S1 or S2 and still receive an offer. However, please remember that the higher you score the better your chances!
Average BMAT Scores For Offer Holders at Cambridge Medical School
2021: S1: 6.51, S2: 6.60, S3: 3.45
2022: S1: 6.37, S2: 6.42, S3: 3.40
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You can apply as an affiliate student (taking the pre-clinical component of the Standard Course in Medicine (A100) in two years instead of the usual three) to one of Lucy Cavendish, St Edmund's or Wolfson Colleges
Requirements: A good Honours degree (2.1 or above) in any discipline and passes at A Level
You can apply to the accelerated Graduate Course in Medicine (A101) to Hughes Hall, Lucy Cavendish College, St Edmund's College or Wolfson College (only available to UK/EU students)
You can apply for both the Standard Course in Medicine (A100) and the Graduate Course in Medicine (A101). However, if you choose to do so you must apply to the same College for both courses (ie Lucy Cavendish, St Edmund's or Wolfson)
In year 3 you specialise in one of a wide range of other subjects offered by the University (sometimes known elsewhere as intercalation) to qualify for the BA degree (Cambridge Medicine Intercalation).
Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences in Natural Sciences
A single Part II Natural Sciences subject
A non-core science subject, such as Anthropology, Management Studies, History of Medicine or Philosophy
Applications : Place
Application Statistics (Home)
Application Statistics (International)
Applications : Interview
International Student Tuition Fee
The international student fee per year is £67194
Work Experience at University of Cambridge Medicine
To develop understanding of what a career in Medicine involves and your suitability for your intended profession, you’re strongly advised (though not required) to undertake some relevant work experience (either paid or voluntary) in a health or related area.
Personal Statement for University of Cambridge Medical School
Personal statements allow students to tell us about their subject interest, and the process of writing a personal statement can often help a student better understand their academic interests and intellectual motivations.
Medicine personal statement examples Cambridge can be available on the internet, however Cambridge looks for unique and different personal statements when accepting students so searching on the internet for this is not recommended.
Does This Medical School Have A Gateway or Foundation Year?
Cambridge Medicine Interview Questions 2023
In-Person (confirmed for 2023 entry)
2x panel interviews (each usually has two interviewers, lasting approximately 30 minutes).
Interviews for medicine at the University of Cambridge are usually in the first three weeks of December. Results usually in January (changes every year)
🎓 Cambridge Medicine Interview Questions & Topics 2023
Much of the Cambridge Medical School Interview will revolve around science and scientific principles. This is different to almost all other interviews (other than Oxford). The goal is not solely to see how much knowledge you have, it is more to understand your thought process.
Often the interviewers will push you to the end of your knowledge, before helping you through the problem and seeing how you cope and use the information that is provided to you.
There are no trick questions here, the examiners are extremely friendly. They will try and mimic a Cambridge supervision, where a professor will often teach you concepts and topics that go beyond the curriculum.
There is no predetermined list of questions, but will often be around common biological and human concepts such as the nervous system, cardiovascular system, neurological system and genetics.
💯 University of Cambridge Medical Interview Questions Scoring 2023
There is no set method of scoring the Cambridge interviews that is publicly available. The interviews are usually scored within each college before the college determines who to give offers to. This is usually in combination with the academic grades that are provided as well as your BMAT score.
❓ Cambridge Medical Interview Past Questions 2023 & Likely Topics
Please find below a list of suggested questions that could come up at your interview this year, created by our team to help guide your preparation.
What is ATP and why is it important?
Tell me what you know about malaria, why is it a problem? How would you go about trying to eradicate malaria?
Draw a chemistry graph concerning activation energy needed for a reaction, and label the axes.
Take us through what happens when you eat a piece of bread, how is it broken down? What happens next? What happens to glucose once in a cell? How is glucose control regulated? What is glucose converted into?
What happens to a neuron during an action potential?
What happens at the synapse of a neuron?
What makes a good doctor? Did you see any examples of this in your work experience?
Describe the mechanism of heart pumping. How does blood flow around the body? Do you know any formulae to calculate the volume of blood flow, its resistance and how different arteries and veins differ between them?
How does the COVID vaccine work? What are they working on now to combat the next waves of COVID? How would you improve this?
How has the human diet changed in the last two centuries? What do you think are the long term impacts of this for humans in general?
What evidence is there that humans are still evolving?
How does blood return to the heart from your legs? How is the body adapted to help this happen?
Draw us a cross section of an artery. How is an artery adapted to its function?
Can you work out how many litres of blood the heart pumps during the lifetime of an average person?
What do you know about neurodegenerative diseases? How can one investigate someone who has a neurodegenerative disease?
What is a PET scan? What does the P stand for? What is it?
Why do so many people in Western society die of cancer?
What are the qualities of a good doctor? Do you think work experience is important?
How does a glow stick work?
What is your understanding of the flight or fight response? Is it still relevant now that we are not cavemen?
What are the dangers of an ageing population?
What is your understanding of the Cambridge medicine course? What has changed over the years? Is there anything that you do not like about it?
Describe this bone, where do you think it is from in the human body?
Here is an image of an xray, tell us what you know about it.
What would you change about the NHS if you could?
Why is social care an issue in the NHS?
Would you privatise all of the parts of the NHS? Would this make it more efficient? What would be the effects of this?
When is a human dead? How can this be checked?
Should euthanasia be legalised?
What are the four ethical principles?
What is the ethical dilemma that surrounds Huntingdon’s disease? When do authorities need to be notified? When does confidentiality need to be broken about this?
A 13-year-old girl asks for the oral contraceptive pill, what do you do? What ethical and legal frameworks are important here?
What is your understanding of sectioning within the NHS in terms of mental health?
How would you solve the AIDS crisis?
How was polio eradicated in so many countries? What do you understand about how this came about? What could we learn about COVID from this?
What is a prion and how does it affect the brain?
Why don’t fish freeze?
What are amino acids and how do they make up proteins?
Explain electrolysis to us
What is the effect of altitude on the human body?
How might humans adapt to changes in altitude?
How does circulation differ between a foetus and a human?
What is haemoglobin and how does it work?
What do you find in a cell? What else would you want in a cell?
Discuss the different types of bonding between different atoms.
What is rust? Why does it happen? How can it be stopped?
How would you tackle the obesity epidemic?
What are the effects of smoking on the body?
How is oxygen absorbed into the bloodstream? How is the human body adapted to this?
How do your eyes work? Is this a good system? Why do we have two eyes?
What is a B cell and T cell, which are more important to the human body?
How does the human body recognise a pathogen, how does it go about eliminating it?
Why do humans have two legs? Is this advantageous or disadvantageous?
What is your opinion on nature vs nature for personality?
What are the worst problems about Western Healthcare?
If you had to describe the human body to an alien, what would you say?
How do you investigate someone with a brain tumour?
Why is working in a multidisciplinary team important?
How does gene editing occur? How have humans used this for our benefit?
Why does your heart rate increase when you exercise?
How does the NHS work?
What is a clinical trial, how do they work? How are they regulated?
What is an ECG and how does it work?
Do you know what a blood gas is?
What is the benefit of a placebo in medicine? Do you think that they should be used by doctors?
Explain how sodium and potassium move in and out of cells? What controls this? How might this be disturbed in some people?
What happens to cells in cancer? Why is this unregulated? What would you do to change this if you could alter genes?
🗣️ University of Cambridge Medicine Interview Tips 2023
Interview Topics - The interview topics that come up are not extremely difficult. Instead, the interviewers focus on building upon simple topics from GCSE and A-Levels and build upon this during the interview. As such, it is worth trying to learn and stick to the basics of human biology and thinking about how this can apply to different scenarios. Read our guide to Oxbridge medical interviews here.
Practice Practice and Practice - this is the only way to improve on the problem-solving type questions, talk through these problems with teachers and other students to see how you can develop your answers and responses further.
Other questions - Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer may then ask you some questions related to your work experience, BMAT essay or your medicine personal statement e.g. about the fact that you play cricket. Ensure that you are comfortable talking about all of these topics and principles.
Variation of Cambridge interviews - The interviews vary greatly between all of the colleges, so it is important that you research as much as you can about these interviews before you go to yours. Speak to pupils studying there if you can, or do as much research as possible!
BMAT Essay - it is not uncommon for topics mentioned on your BMAT essay, that is why we always tell our students to write out their essay/salient points after sitting the BMAT exam. Make sure that you spend some time researching these topics before your Cambridge interview just in case they do come up.
Be inquisitive - Try and demonstrate that you are an inquisitive person, seek to ask questions to check understanding, and work with the supervisors who are interviewing you, ultimately they want to see if you are someone they would want to work with for an hour every week during the term!
Making mistakes - Don’t worry about making any mistakes or being wrong - it is perfectly normal. In fact, most successful candidates who receive an offer to study at Cambridge, often think that they have done very badly at their interview. The most important thing you can do is let the interviewer know about your thought process, explain how you are using the information that they provided, and even ask for more help if you are really stuck - its absolutely fine to do this.
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