Founded in 1209, Cambridge is the second-oldest English-speaking university in the world, second only to its rival University of Oxford. In many ways, Cambridge is the mother of all universities, as it’s the place where John Harvard gained his education, before later establishing the school that carries his name, which itself served as a model for most institutions in the U.S.
While most modern universities have their own schools and even satellite campuses, Cambridge consists of 31 constituent colleges, many of which have quite a bit of autonomy. So while they carry the Cambridge name and the prestige that comes with it, these colleges are self-governed and have their own goals and constitutions. Furthermore, there is no central campus. Instead, the school is spread across the city of Cambridge, with various buildings and centers.
The school earns its reputation in part from its intensive approach, which emphasizes small group instruction, in which cohorts of one to four students work together under the supervision of instructors.
Beyond its teaching and age, several other factors keep Cambridge among the elite of the world. Cambridge University Press is not only the oldest such press in the world, but it is still the second largest. More than eight million students across the globe take exams through Cambridge Assessment. Eight cultural and scientific museums operate through Cambridge, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as do over 100 libraries. All of this comes backed by a £2.192 billion endowment.
university of cambridge medical school acceptance rate
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Physicians are one of the most sought-after professions in the world. When ambitious undergraduate and graduate students research medical school rankings, they look for institutions that provide the highest quality education and the most prestigious and rewarding degrees.
The journey to becoming a doctor starts with a thousand questions. How do I get into medical school? Which are the top medical schools in the world? What university offers the best pathway for medical research? How do I get the most clinical exposure during my time at college? What courses do I need to take during high school or undergrad to get into the best medical schools?
There is no easy or fast path to becoming a doctor. Itâs hard work. But if youâre ready to take the Hippocratic oath and save lives, here are the absolute best international medical schools around the world.
According to , the top 10 medical schools have earned their reputations by producing graduates with fulfilling and successful careers in medicine and research.
|QS World Ranking 2021 – Medicine||University||Location|
|10||Imperial College London||London, UK|
|9||University College of London||London, UK|
|8||Yale University||New Haven, Connecticut|
|7||University of California, Los Angeles||Los Angeles, California|
|6||Karolinska Institute||Solna, Sweden|
|5||Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, Maryland|
|4||Stanford University||Palo Alto, California|
|3||University of Cambridge||Cambridge, UK|
|2||University of Oxford||Oxford, UK|
|1||Harvard University||Cambridge, Massachusetts|
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10. Imperial College London
|Application Deadline||A-Levels Requirement||IB Requirements||AP Requirements||Average BMAT||Acceptance Rate|
|15 October||A*AA in Biology, Chemistry, and subject of your choice except General Studies and Critical Thinking||39/45 with minimum 6 in HL Biology and HL Chemistry||555 in Biology, Chemistry, and Math/Science Subject||12||~15%|
The 10th top medical school in the world is . Based in South Kensington, London, and founded in 1823, this world-class medical school uses traditional teaching methods, with the first two years being lectures, tutorials, and lab sessions.
Students in the medical program take âprogress testsâ every 2-3 weeks. These assessments reflect in their final grades. Sir Alexander Fleming, the famous researcher who discovered penicillin, attended Imperial College School of Medicine. Additionally, in the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak, Imperial College made significant progress in the race for a vaccine. âUnder the leadership of , the team made a significant breakthrough by reducing a part of the normal development time to develop the vaccine from two to three years to just 14 days.”
is located in London, close to many museums and restaurants. Its centralized location makes it the ideal hub for academic and medical opportunities, including medical research and student conferences. Imperial College also has a high percentage of international students.
While its location is ideal, London is an expensive city. Affordable housing is hard to find. The university is strictly academic and lacks many extracurricular activities and social outlets.
Use our admissions calculator to find out your chances of attending Imperial Medical School!
9. University College of London
|Application Deadline||GCSE Requirements||A-Level Requirements||IB Requirements||Average BMAT||Acceptance Rate|
|15 October||B/6 or above in English & Maths||A*AA in three A-Level subjects studied at the same time must include Chemistry & Biology||39/45 and must include HL Chemistry and Biology||5.7, 5.8, 3.4A||~25%|
This prestigious institution has been educating students from as early as 1834, making it one of the oldest medical schools in the world. Like most world universities – apart from those in the United States – students at have the option of either pursuing undergraduate study in medicine and completing a degree in six years or undertaking a post-graduate degree in medicine after undergoing separate undergraduate study.
UCL has multiple departments within the faculty of medicine, including brain sciences, immunology and inflammation, infectious disease, metabolism, digestion and reproduction, and surgery and cancer. is also home to a number of impressive alumni, including presidents of the Royal College of Physicians, presidents of the Royal College of Surgeons in England and chairs of the General Medical Council.
Located in the heart of London, UCL is a world-leading, world-impacting research university. Students have the opportunity to meet healthcare professionals and experience early patient contact. Throughout the universityâs five-year life cycle, students interact with patients in each stage of life, including womenâs, menâs, and childâs health. The final year is for learning more about biomedical and human sciences along with hands-on student assistantships.
Socially, the campus is loud and bustling. Thereâs a huge rivalry between RUMS (medics) and UCLU sports teams. Consider joining a club, choir, or outside interest to break up the studying.
To learn more about life as a medical student at UCL, checkout our video below!
UCL Medicine: Academic Insights
Use our admissions calculator to find out your chances of attending UCL Medical School!
If you don’t already have a degree, you can apply for the Standard Course in Medicine (A100). The first three years involve lectures, practical classes and supervisions. You can find details on the Faculty of Biology website. The emphasis during clinical studies (Years 4, 5 and 6) in Cambridge is on learning in clinical settings. Read more about the clinical course on the School of Clinical Medicine website.
If you’re a graduate wanting to study Medicine, you have several options:
Years 1 to 3
- Travel costs: Maximum travel costs for Year 1 and Year 3 up to £25.
- Accommodation costs: In Year 2, Preparing for Patients generally lasts for one week out of term time. Accommodation costs can be found on individual College websites
Years 4 to 6 (clinical studies)
Details about additional course costs during Years 1, 2 and 3 can be found on the Faculty of Biology’s website, and information about additional course costs during the clinical studies (Years 4, 5 and 6) are available on the Clinical School’s website.
If youre an international student, you should also refer to the information about fees and costs for overseas students.
The MB/PhD Programme
Designed for Standard Course (A100) medical students who are interested in a career in academic medicine, the MB/PhD Programme intercalates three years of research between years 4 and 5. See the MB/PhD website for more details.
University of Cambridge Medical School
Success in medicine requires application and hard work, both while studying and when in practice. However, Medicine brings great personal rewards, offering a breadth and variety of career opportunities and excellent job satisfaction. No day in the life of a doctor is the same! The application of knowledge and research evidence to patient care provides a unique opportunity to combine scientific expertise with the human interactions that lie at the heart of the profession.
Our medicine courses are intellectually stimulating and professionally challenging. As a medical student, you’ll experience a rigorous, evidence-based medical education within the research-rich environment of the University. Students have opportunities to pursue research and project work throughout the course.
University of Cambridge Acceptance Rate
In a recent application year, just over 17,000 people applied to study in a college of Cambridge. Only 3,497 were accepted. That’s a mere 21% acceptance rate, which means only one out of five applicants will get into the school.
University of Cambridge has approximately 21,650 enrolled this year. That’s a lot of people, but as you might expect from a very old and highly respected university, they are quite selective when it comes to sending offers of admission to students.
But hopefuls can help improve their chances by focusing their interests. As much as schools such as Cambridge value a well-rounded individual, academics themselves emphasize specialization. By specialization, scholars mean that strong academics have their areas of expertise, where they know not only the most important elements of their field but also the lesser-known and foundational parts.
For example, anyone in a liberal arts program will read important works of American literature, such as The Scarlet Letter and The Great Gatsby. But someone who focuses on American literature doesn’t read just those famous books; they’ll also read lesser-known books by those authors, as well as important foundational books that most people don’t know.
As this description demonstrates, a strong focus means that you’re an expert. The knowledge shows to an admissions committee that you know what you’re talking about and have something to offer the community. With this knowledge – and more importantly, achievements such as awards – your application will show Cambridge that you will contribute to the community.
University of Cambridge Tuition
As we’ve already discussed, the University of Cambridge has some of the most impressive resources of any institution in the world. For that reason, it’s not cheap to attend Cambridge.
For Home students, which is what the school calls those from the United Kingdom, families starting in 2021 will pay £9,250 per year.
Furthermore, there are a number of factors that could change the rates over the next few years. Each year, the UK government determines the rates for studying at national schools such as Cambridge; thus, future tuition rates have not yet been determined. Furthermore, because the UK only recently left the European Union, the government has not yet decided upon tuition rates for European citizens.
For students from the rest of the world, tuition fees vary according to degree. These can range from £22,227/year for an international student to earn a degree in Archeology to £58,038/ year for international students to earn a Veterinary Medicine degree.
Additionally, international students (or home students working toward a second degree) will need to pay an annual fee to the specific Cambridge College where they are studying. These fees range from £9300 to study at Trinity College to Pounds 10,470 annually to earn a degree at King’s College.
That’s a lot of money. But fortunately, home and international students can apply for financial aid and scholarships. This aid can run the gamut from work-study assistance to outright scholarships. Of course, these aids change according to several factors, including citizenship, course of study, and college. So be sure to check often at the financial aid offices to make sure you have everything you need.
University of Cambridge Requirements
All schools screen their applicants to make sure everyone can succeed in their programs, but the University of Cambridge takes it more seriously than most. With a wide range of colleges and programs in its system, Cambridge works to put the right students in the right programs. And, unsurprisingly, the requirements change according to the applicant’s home country.
For students coming from the UK, Cambridge expects that students in Year 12 and Year 13 take three to four AS and or A-Level classes, especially in their major subjects. The grades should be high overall, A*AA or A*A*A, but most colleges allow for variety when needed. By taking three or four A-level courses, students demonstrate the breadth of their knowledge, but they can focus on their central area of study.
Although the University recognizes that all students may have bad testing days and does not hold re-tests against those who need to redo an exam to replace a poor grade, it does express concern in students who have several re-tests on their record. Because programs in the Cambridge Colleges rarely offer resits on exams, they prefer students who do well on their first exams.
Although Cambridge indeed accepts students from all over the world, they tend to make these decisions on an individual basis. There is no one set of requirements for all non-UK applicants. For those applying from the United States, Cambridge recommends students take five or more AP tests throughout high school and earn high grades on the ACT and SAT standardized tests. To be competitive, Cambridge recommends that students earn a cumulative score of SAT between 1460-1500 and an ACT score between 32-36.
All of that said, Cambridge takes an individual approach, which means that a particular college or program can modify requirement standards to the needs of a specific student.
University of Cambridge Notable Alumni
As one of the premier institutions in the entire world, it’s no surprise that Cambridge has trained people who have gone on to be leaders in their field, including comedian and actor Sasha Baron Cohen, illustrator Quentin Blake, and physicist Neils Bohr.
In fact, Cambridge has taught 121 Nobel laurates, 11 recipients of the Fields Medal, 7 winners of the Turing Award, and 14 British prime ministers.
Some of these Nobel laurates include Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, who advanced understanding of the structure of DNA, philosopher and public intellectual Bertrand Russell, and astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. Cambridge trained prime ministers Robert Walpole, William Lamb, and Stanley Baldwin.
But Cambridge Alumni aren’t limited to only “serious” fields. Some of the brightest names in arts and entertainment were educated in a Cambridge college. Comedians John Oliver and Richard Ayoade are Cambridge alums, as are Monty Python members John Cleese, Graham Chapman, and Eric Idle.
Cambridge colleges produced movie stars such as Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Tilda Swinton, and Thandie Newton. Literary figures from Cambridge include J.G. Ballard, E.M Forester, Vladimir Nabokov, and Jin Yon, and visual artists include Lord Antony Armstrong-Jones, Sir Roy Yorke Caine, and Wuon-Gean Ho.
The school hasn’t been a slouch when it comes to athletics. Olympians Harold Abrahams, Stephanie Cook, and Peter Jacobs played for Cambridge colleges. The school produced professional footballers, including Steve Palmer, William Leslie Poole, Alfred Lyttelton, and cricketers Peter May, Ted Dexter, and Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji II.
This list is just a small sample of the excellence produced by the University of Cambridge. For every one person named here, there are hundreds who have used their education to impact the world in any number of ways.
University of Cambridge Ranking
As you would expect from that impressive list of alumni, the University of Cambridge is considered by all to be one of the best institutions in the world. With over 800 years of experience, the Cambridge Colleges have established themselves as leaders on the world stage.
On the highly esteemed U.S. News & World Report list, Cambridge falls in the top ten of nearly every category. It sits at #8 on the list of Global Universities, but at #2 in Best Global Universities in Europe and Best Global Universities in the United Kingdom. The magazine puts Cambridge within the top five in a variety of subjects, including Arts and Humanities, Biology and Chemistry, Space Science, and Chemistry.
Nearly every other observing body gives Cambridge the same accolades. According to topuniversities.com, Cambridge is tied with Stanford University for the third-best in the world, falling only behind number one Massachusetts Institute of Technology and number two University of Oxford.
For the Times World University Rankings, Cambridge sits at number six overall, with special recognition for its excellent research, citations by academics and professionals, and international outlook. The organization placed Cambridge within the top five in the categories of World Reputation, Arts & Humanities, Life Sciences, and Business & Economics.
Finally, the Center for World University Rankings gives Cambridge an overall score of 94.1, the fourth-highest in the world. The Center ranks Cambridge number one in the UK, fourth in the world for quality of education, and fifth in the world for quality of faculty.
While there might be some disagreement about specific placements, these lists show that all international organizations agree that the University of Cambridge belongs among the best schools in the world.
What Are the Colleges of the University of Cambridge?
As we mentioned earlier, the University of Cambridge is not a centralized school, but a collection of smaller Colleges. In fact, the school consists of 31 colleges. Although these colleges are all part of the University of Cambridge and share in the larger school’s reputation and structure, they each operate semi-autonomously, with their own administrations, standards, and policymakers. For that reason, the various Colleges can differ significantly from one another.
The Cambridge Colleges fall into two categories, simply labeled “old” and “new.” The old colleges were all founded between 1284, which is when Peterhouse College was formed, and 1584, the year that Emmanuel College was established. The other Colleges among the old schools include King’s Hall (1317), Michaelhouse (1324), Clare College (1326), Pembroke (1347), Gonville and Caius (1348), Trinity Hall (1350), Corpus Christi College (1352), College of St. Mary Magdeline (1428), Christ’s College (1437), King’s College (1437), Queen’s College (1441), St. Catherine’s College (1478), Jesus College (1496), St. John’s College (1511), and Trinity College (1546).
After a break of over two and a half centuries, Cambridge began adding colleges with the establishment of Downing College in 1800. Homerton College was founded in 1796 but did not move to Cambridge until 1894 and did not become a proper College until 2010, making it fairly old, despite falling into the new category.
The other new Colleges include the first women’s school Girton College (1869), Fitzwilliam College (1869), Newnham College (1871), Selwyn College (1882), Hughes Hall (1885), St. Edmunds College (1896) Murray Edwards College (1958), Churchill College (1958), Darwin College (1964), Wolfson (1965), Lucy Cavendish (1965), Clare Hall (1966), Cambridge College, Robinson (1977).
Cavendish College was founded in 1873 but shuttered its doors in 1992.
History of the University of Cambridge – When Was It Founded?
Although it’s already been stated, this bears repeating: the University of Cambridge was founded in 1209, over 800 years ago, when a group of scholars left the University of Oxford to start a new academic institution.
Thanks to the work of monks serving in the church of Ely, Cambridge had developed a reputation for academic rigor, making it an ideal area to found a new university. Even as some of the scholars moved on to Paris and Reading, the University of Cambridge continued to grow, eventually gaining a charter from King John (which allowed the institution to discipline its own members and be exempt from some taxes) in 1231.
The next major accreditation occurred in 1233 when Pope Gregory IX granted Cambridge graduates the right to teach throughout Europe. Later Popes Nicholas IV and John XXII continued to lend credibility to the school, raising its reputation for research and teaching.
Peterhouse, the first Cambridge College, was founded in 1284 by Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely. Like Peterhouse, several other Colleges were formed over the following centuries by members who wanted to pray for the souls of their founders.
However, over the years, the University moved away from its Catholic roots, thanks in part to the rise of Protestantism and the adoption of scientific methods. The modern era of Cambridge began with the Cambridge University Act of 1856, which introduced a new formal structure to the University and introduced new subjects of study. From that lead, the University has grown to add Colleges devoted to women and mature students (over the age of 21).