Whether it's your hometown or you're attracted by the buzz and excitement of the capital, there's no denying that London is a popular choice for students when applying to medical school for higher education. There are currently 5 universities in London that offer courses in medicine, and in this blog post, we'll be looking at all 5 medical schools individually in detail.
Your guide to medical schools in London
Disclaimer: All the information below was verified via the university website in the last week of October 2018 and predominately related to the undergraduate courses. Please note that the course structure and admission requirements are subject to change.
1. Barts and the London
Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry is part of the Queen Mary University of London and includes St Bartholomew's Hospital (currently the oldest hospital in the UK).
Based around Whitechapel the central London campus includes state of the art buildings as well as beautiful traditional structures such as the Whitechapel Library, a former church. Medical students are introduced to patient contact early on the course and the large catchment area, encompassing both London and Essex means there is a large variety of patients and conditions for students to learn from.
Barts and the London Medicine course structure
The 5-year medicine course here is integrated, with a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, problem based learning and practical sessions.
- Years 1 & 2: Devoted to systems of the body and mechanisms of disease with early clinical exposure by meeting patients in first year.
- Years 3, 4 & 5: Clinical attachments in teaching hospitals and general practices. There is a focus on communication skills throughout and medical students can follow their own interests with a wide choice of Student Selected Components
Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry are unique in that it offers students the opportunity to study medicine in Malta, where they can also complete their Foundation doctor training. The medical school also offers students the opportunity to do an Intercalated Bsc degree as part of their medical training.
2. Imperial College London
Imperial College London was founded through a combination of several major west London medical schools and it's Faculty of Medicine is one of the largest in Europe with hospitals spread across North and West London (the most famous of which is St. Mary's Hospital which is where the recent BBC Hospital documentary was filmed in 2017).
The main campus for Imperial College is based in South Kensington near Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall but medical students will also be spending a large proportion of their time in hospitals at Hammersmith and Paddington as well as across North West London.
Imperial College Medicine course structure
- Years 1 & 2: Focus on the scientific basis of medicine and the foundations of clinical practice with early patient exposure. Teaching via a variety of methods, including lectures, anatomy dissections, workshops and problem based learning
- Year 3: Three 10 week long clinical attachments in various teaching hospitals and GP surgeries. Continued lectures and online learning alongside attachments
- Year 4: Compulsory Intercalated BSc with a choice of medical sciences or Management BSc
- Years 5 & 6: Immersive clinical placement in a diverse range of specialities
3. King's College London
King's College London, otherwise known as GKT incorporates 3 of the most renowned and busiest teaching hospitals in the UK - namely Guy's Hospital in London Bridge, St Thomas' hospital in Westminster and King's College Hospital in Denmark Hill (which some of you may recognise from popular TV show 24 hours in A&E).
King's College London Medicine course structure
- Year 1: Foundations of medicine - The basis for future learning. Students are taught foundations in biomedical sciences and population sciences, along with the skills to integrate them with clinical practice
- Years 2 & 3: Principles of clinical practice - Science and clinical practice blocks organised around the human life cycle and common pathological processes. Students will follow patients for a prolonged period of time to learn how to deliver holistic care. This stage is underpinned by study in biomedical and population sciences
- Years 4 & 5: Integrated Clinical Practice - Orientated towards future practice. Students will conduct quality improvement projects, develop skills to transform patient health and undertake inter-professional training and simulations
King's has an excellent reputation for clinical research which benefits the overall student experience as a variety of one year intercalated BSc degrees are offered between stages 2 and 3 (although this is not compulsory).
King's College London is also unique in that it offers a 6 year extended Medical Degree Programme aimed at students who may not have achieved the usual A-level grades for admission to the 5-year programme. On this course, students will spend 2 years on Stage 1 rather than 1 year, before joining the 5-year programme in their second year. More information on this is available in our guidebook.
4. St George's University of London
Based in Tooting, St George's University of London is unique in that it is the only university in the UK that is dedicated exclusively to health sciences education, training and research.
St George's University of London has unique campus facilities embedded into St George's Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK. Students will be taught using a variety of methods, including lectures, problem based learning, anatomy sessions and tutorials, as well as clinical attachments throughout south London and SE England.
St George's Medicine course structure
- Years 1 and 2: Clinical science years which will provide students with a thorough understanding of clinical science and early patient contact
- Year 3: Three 6 week attachments in Medicine, Surgery and GP/Primary care/Geriatrics structured around further problem based learning and student selected components
- Year 4: Attachments in a variety of specialties, including pediatrics, O&G, Psychiatry and General Medicine/Surgery
- Year 5: A series of further attachments and assistantships shadowing foundation doctors in preparation for working as a doctor
At St George's students apply for a 5-year programme with the option to intercalate for an additional BSc after 3rd year.
5. University College London
Of all the medical schools in London, UCL is probably the most central with University College Hospital located right in the heart of Bloomsbury. Students at UCL medical school will also be taught at campuses in Whittington and Royal Free.
Like Imperial College London, UCL Medical School also incorporates an integrated BSc into the six-year medical degree. Medical education is delivered using a variety of methods, including lectures, small group activities and dissection.
UCL Medicine course structure
- Years 1 & 2: Modules in fundamentals of clinical sciences
- Year 3: Integrated BSc
- Year 4: Integrated clinical care
- Year 5: Lifecycle and Specialist practices
- Year 6: Preparation for clinical practice
At UCL Student Selected Components must also be completed in years 1, 2 and 6 during the elective period with a range of subjects from Science, Art, Humanities and Languages.
Medical schools in London - entrance requirements
So now that you have a good overview of the different medical schools in London let's have a look at their entrance requirements
Medical schools in London - GCSE requirements
|Medical school||GCSE requirements|
|Barts and the London||AAABBB including Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry (or Double Science), English Language and Maths (or additional Mathematics or Statistics).|
|Imperial College London||Minimum B in English Language|
|King's College London||Minimum B in English and Maths|
|St George's||Five GCSEs at grade B or above, including English Language, Maths, Triple or Double Science|
|University College London||Minimum B in English Language and Maths. Minimum C in a foreign language for UK students|
*source of information checked on 31/10/2018 from the university websites.
Medical schools in London - A level requirements
|Medical school||A level requirements||Subjects required||Source of information and date checked|
|Barts and the London||A*AA||Chemistry or Biology with at least one other in Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Mathematics||University website on 31/10/2018|
|Imperial College London||Typical offer A*AA||Biology or Chemistry (A* should be in one of these)||University website on 31/10/2018|
|King's College London||A*AA||Chemistry and Biology||University website on 31/10/2018|
|St George's||AAA||Chemistry and Biology/Human Biology||University website on 31/10/2018|
|University College London||A*AA||Chemistry and Biology||University website on 31/10/2018|
Medical schools in London - admission exams
|Medical school||Admission exam||How is it used?||Source of information and date checked|
|Barts and the London||UKCAT||Candidates must score above the third decile as a minimum. A 50:50 weighting is used to weigh up the UKCAT score and academic.||University website on 31/10/2018|
|Imperial College London||BMAT||
Cut off scores are used and change every year, based on ranked candidate BMAT scores vs number of expected interview sessions. For 2018 cut off scores were:
|University website on 31/10/2018|
|King's College London||UKCAT||There is no threshold cut off score. As a guide in 2015 the average score for candidates invited to interview was 630.||University website on 31/10/2018|
|St George's||UKCAT||500 or above in each of the sections is needed. For 2019 SJT will not be used. UKCAT results determine which students are selected for interview and to rank post-interview waiting lists. As a guide the overall cut off score in 2018 was 2590.||University website on 31/10/2018|
|University College London||BMAT||
No minimum score but it is considered in selection for interview. As a guide mean scores for 2018 offer holders were:
|University website on 31/10/2018|
One final point to remember is that all medical schools in the UK are regulated and overseen by the GMC to guarantee high standards and a world-class education for the future doctors of tomorrow.
Good luck with your selection, and for more advice or information don't hesitate to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or you can check our guidebook for more information on admissions, UKCAT, BMAT and interviews for all medical schools in the UK.