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    You might have guessed I'm thinking about applying to one of the Oxbridge unis for Medicine At GCSE I got 10A*s and 2As and at AS level I'm taking Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Spanish and Latin, for which I'm expected 5As (Eeeeeek!). I'm going to attend the Oxford and Cambridge open days but I just want to know in advance what uni has the best:
    - pastoral support
    - accommodation
    - societies/community
    - lecture/teaching facilities

    Also, within the uni, I'm looking for a college that is nearby to where lectures/labs/tutorials(or supervisions!) are.

    As well as this, in terms of accommodation, I want a college that has light and airy rooms (not like Queen's College, Cambridge, where the windows are tiny!) and a good space to study, not to mention a good library!

    Hope that's not too much to ask

    Thank you!!
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    You will need to be aiming for some A*s at A-level in order to be in with a decent chance. If needed, drop one of your subjects in order to maximise your chances of A*s in the others.

    As most people haven't been students at both universities, or even more than one college (there are people who transfer for clinicals, but clinical is very different from pre-clin anyway so not a fair comparison), it's impossible to answer your question objectively. Both universities are good at all the things you mention, though both will have their weaknesses. Likewise nearly all colleges will have some lovely light airy rooms and some dingier ones or 60s concrete monstrosities (Queens' actually has all of the above!) The best thing you can do is go through the prospectuses, check out college websites and visit ones you're most interested in, to get a feel for things yourself.

    In Cambridge, the nearest colleges to the pre-clinical lectures etc are probably Downing, Pembroke and Corpus, but all the central colleges are fairly nearby, and even from Girton it's only ~20 mins on a bike. For clinical years you'll be based at Addenbrooke's for about half the time, which is almost 3 miles to the south of the city centre, so most students don't live on their main college site - some live in private rentals while others (Clare and Emma spring to mind) own houses near to Addies. The rest of the time you will be on placement in DGHs around East Anglia, which all provide hospital accommodation.

    I was at Clare college, Cambridge, and had a great time throughout my degree. I've subsequently worked in Oxford and the students there seem similarly intelligent, well-taught and happy, though both unis produce their own significant minority of arrogant pricks.
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    I've only experience of Merton college Oxford, so would echo the idea to visit both. My impressions from talking to people though is:

    - No idea which is better for pastoral support.
    - Cambridge is slightly more comprehensive in its offering of accommodation, though most Oxford colleges do have 4 years accommodation available these days.
    - I think both are excellent in terms of societies (eclipsing any other uni) and community (college system). Of relevance is that Oxford's med school is just over half the size of Cambridge. (150 vs 280 per year)
    - No idea about teaching facilities. The main difference I'm aware of is Cambridge paying more attention to anatomy than Oxford, including doing dissection rather than prosection.
    - Cambridge call their teaching supervisions not Oxford!
    - Compared to virtually any other uni, all colleges are very close to the lectures and labs - even the very furthest colleges who get mocked for being so far away are a 15 minute bike ride. If you do with to be within 6-7 minute walk though, the colleges to go for are Keble or St Catz (medical sciences is the far right part of the science area). Very slightly further away are Trinity, Hertford, New, St John's, and Merton's 2nd-3rd year accommodation.
    Tutorials are held on college sites.
    - Based on what I've seen of college rooms, the colleges with lots of big rooms are Christchurch, New, Magdalen, Merton, but they all have a variety of rooms good and bad. Do visit yourself, but also beware that it tends to be the better rooms on show! In terms of overall 'airiness' you also gain a LOT by being further out of town - as colleges Lincoln and Exeter are totally boxed in compared with say St Hugh's, LMH.
    - What do you mean by a good place to study!? You could pick somewhere with a nice garden, or with a nice library, or look for whatever else you're looking for. A visit is definitely a good idea.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    You will need to be aiming for some A*s at A-level in order to be in with a decent chance. If needed, drop one of your subjects in order to maximise your chances of A*s in the others.

    As most people haven't been students at both universities, or even more than one college (there are people who transfer for clinicals, but clinical is very different from pre-clin anyway so not a fair comparison), it's impossible to answer your question objectively. Both universities are good at all the things you mention, though both will have their weaknesses. Likewise nearly all colleges will have some lovely light airy rooms and some dingier ones or 60s concrete monstrosities (Queens' actually has all of the above!) The best thing you can do is go through the prospectuses, check out college websites and visit ones you're most interested in, to get a feel for things yourself.

    In Cambridge, the nearest colleges to the pre-clinical lectures etc are probably Downing, Pembroke and Corpus, but all the central colleges are fairly nearby, and even from Girton it's only ~20 mins on a bike. For clinical years you'll be based at Addenbrooke's for about half the time, which is almost 3 miles to the south of the city centre, so most students don't live on their main college site - some live in private rentals while others (Clare and Emma spring to mind) own houses near to Addies. The rest of the time you will be on placement in DGHs around East Anglia, which all provide hospital accommodation.

    I was at Clare college, Cambridge, and had a great time throughout my degree. I've subsequently worked in Oxford and the students there seem similarly intelligent, well-taught and happy, though both unis produce their own significant minority of arrogant pricks.
    Thank you! Sorry I wasn't clear - the subjects mentioned are for AS (I'm Year 12!). I'll drop either Spanish or Latin or both next year.

    Your reply has been really helpful - thank you!
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    I've only experience of Merton college Oxford, so would echo the idea to visit both. My impressions from talking to people though is:

    - No idea which is better for pastoral support.
    - Cambridge is slightly more comprehensive in its offering of accommodation, though most Oxford colleges do have 4 years accommodation available these days.
    - I think both are excellent in terms of societies (eclipsing any other uni) and community (college system). Of relevance is that Oxford's med school is just over half the size of Cambridge. (150 vs 280 per year)
    - No idea about teaching facilities. The main difference I'm aware of is Cambridge paying more attention to anatomy than Oxford, including doing dissection rather than prosection.
    - Cambridge call their teaching supervisions not Oxford!
    - Compared to virtually any other uni, all colleges are very close to the lectures and labs - even the very furthest colleges who get mocked for being so far away are a 15 minute bike ride. If you do with to be within 6-7 minute walk though, the colleges to go for are Keble or St Catz (medical sciences is the far right part of the science area). Very slightly further away are Trinity, Hertford, New, St John's, and Merton's 2nd-3rd year accommodation.
    Tutorials are held on college sites.
    - Based on what I've seen of college rooms, the colleges with lots of big rooms are Christchurch, New, Magdalen, Merton, but they all have a variety of rooms good and bad. Do visit yourself, but also beware that it tends to be the better rooms on show! In terms of overall 'airiness' you also gain a LOT by being further out of town - as colleges Lincoln and Exeter are totally boxed in compared with say St Hugh's, LMH.
    - What do you mean by a good place to study!? You could pick somewhere with a nice garden, or with a nice library, or look for whatever else you're looking for. A visit is definitely a good idea.
    Thank you! Ahh, sorry about the tutorial/supervision thing! That's great, I'll be sure to look at colleges slightly further out. By study space, I mean the amount of space provided in the rooms, the library and any other designated 'study space'. I also forgot to ask - what colleges would you say are least affected by tourism? Thank you for your reply - it's very helpful!
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    (Original post by isabelsummers)
    Thank you! Ahh, sorry about the tutorial/supervision thing! That's great, I'll be sure to look at colleges slightly further out. By study space, I mean the amount of space provided in the rooms, the library and any other designated 'study space'. I also forgot to ask - what colleges would you say are least affected by tourism? Thank you for your reply - it's very helpful!
    So study space is also room quality related? Hard to say. I know about Merton - in third year you will most likely get a set of rooms with a bedroom, separate study and en-suite, but not everyone gets that and its only likely in one year. I'd stick by my list above as my best estimate.

    The further out of town the less tourists pretty much. Christchurch is the real centre of tourism if you're that bothered by it. I'd say opting to avoid ground floor rooms is your best bet to avoid excessive snooping.

    I would definitely check out LMH as a college that meets your needs but is easy to overlook because of its 'bad' (i.e. perfectly fine) location.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    So study space is also room quality related? Hard to say. I know about Merton - in third year you will most likely get a set of rooms with a bedroom, separate study and en-suite, but not everyone gets that and its only likely in one year. I'd stick by my list above as my best estimate.

    The further out of town the less tourists pretty much. Christchurch is the real centre of tourism if you're that bothered by it. I'd say opting to avoid ground floor rooms is your best bet to avoid excessive snooping.

    I would definitely check out LMH as a college that meets your needs but is easy to overlook because of its 'bad' (i.e. perfectly fine) location.
    Thank you so much!
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    (Original post by isabelsummers)
    Thank you! Ahh, sorry about the tutorial/supervision thing! That's great, I'll be sure to look at colleges slightly further out. By study space, I mean the amount of space provided in the rooms, the library and any other designated 'study space'. I also forgot to ask - what colleges would you say are least affected by tourism? Thank you for your reply - it's very helpful!
    You might also look at Somerville. They provide accommodation for almost everyone now and it's a bit further out of town (not actually far though...), near the science park, nice big quad, lovely library etc


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    (Original post by isabelsummers)
    Thank you! Ahh, sorry about the tutorial/supervision thing! That's great, I'll be sure to look at colleges slightly further out. By study space, I mean the amount of space provided in the rooms, the library and any other designated 'study space'. I also forgot to ask - what colleges would you say are least affected by tourism? Thank you for your reply - it's very helpful!
    At Cambridge, the main colleges on the tourist trail are King's, followed by Trinity and St John's. All the other central colleges, especially those on the Backs, will have some tourists, but most of the time it's not a major issue - at Clare they mostly appear in the summer, but as only a small number of students live in Old Court and the tourists are limited to specific areas, it's not much of a problem. They are far more annoying around the city centre than within the colleges themselves, in my experience!
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    (Original post by JenniB22)
    You might also look at Somerville. They provide accommodation for almost everyone now and it's a bit further out of town (not actually far though...), near the science park, nice big quad, lovely library etc


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    Thank you! I will do
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    At Cambridge, the main colleges on the tourist trail are King's, followed by Trinity and St John's. All the other central colleges, especially those on the Backs, will have some tourists, but most of the time it's not a major issue - at Clare they mostly appear in the summer, but as only a small number of students live in Old Court and the tourists are limited to specific areas, it's not much of a problem. They are far more annoying around the city centre than within the colleges themselves, in my experience!
    Ahh, thank you!
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    I don't know if Cambridge offers anything similar but this website does a reasonable job of summarising some important differences between the Oxford colleges in terms of provision for medical students: http://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/med...ollege-details. Some of the colleges sound much more proactive than others.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    I don't know if Cambridge offers anything similar but this website does a reasonable job of summarising some important differences between the Oxford colleges in terms of provision for medical students: http://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/med...ollege-details. Some of the colleges sound much more proactive than others.
    Ah I'd forgotten about that. Though to be clear, it is specifically for years 4-6, which is after another round of college applications has taken place.

    For the forward thinking it is worth considering though - the choice at that stage is not entirely free and you are more likely to be able to stay at a college if you are already there.
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    (Original post by isabelsummers)
    You might have guessed I'm thinking about applying to one of the Oxbridge unis for Medicine At GCSE I got 10A*s and 2As and at AS level I'm taking Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Spanish and Latin, for which I'm expected 5As (Eeeeeek!). I'm going to attend the Oxford and Cambridge open days but I just want to know in advance what uni has the best:
    - pastoral support
    - accommodation
    - societies/community
    - lecture/teaching facilities

    Also, within the uni, I'm looking for a college that is nearby to where lectures/labs/tutorials(or supervisions!) are.

    As well as this, in terms of accommodation, I want a college that has light and airy rooms (not like Queen's College, Cambridge, where the windows are tiny!) and a good space to study, not to mention a good library!

    Hope that's not too much to ask

    Thank you!!
    _______________

    Thank you! Ahh, sorry about the tutorial/supervision thing! That's great, I'll be sure to look at colleges slightly further out. By study space, I mean the amount of space provided in the rooms, the library and any other designated 'study space'. I also forgot to ask - what colleges would you say are least affected by tourism? Thank you for your reply - it's very helpful!
    Hey - unfortunately I can't really comment on Oxford, and also with regards to Cambridge colleges, I only know Caius really well. Apologies in advance for the obvious bias Also I'm only a first year so anything beyond that (especially clinical!) I have no clue about.

    Location
    First year teaching is more or less split between Sidgwick site (where the majority of your lectures and thus time is spent), Downing site (where all the practicals, dissections, PBLs, etc. plus some of your lectures are) and wherever your college holds its supervisions - usually the within the main college grounds.

    So with regards to first year accommodation location then, I'm pretty certain that Caius is the closest college to Sidgwick site, as the Stephen Hawking building is literally right next to it. Meaning you can wake up 5 minutes before morning (or God-forbid, afternoon) lectures and still make it on time. People have been known to attend in their PJs! :lol:

    The one negative of living away from the main college site in first year though is that you're further from supervisions (assuming that's where they're held). Also if your supervisors ask for essays to be handed in at the main college site this also means you'll have to trek. Late night essay writing + 15 minute walk in miserable weather + 8:45AM lectures = not fun.

    So with all that said, I think the ideal college (location-wise) would be somewhere between Sidgwick and Downing, where you live in the main site during first year. Queens' and Catz come to mind.

    Rooms
    Rooms and facilities at Caius are really nice - all first year rooms are either new or recently renovated, and all en suite. Printers, washing machines and tumble driers are on site (also laundry is free, so you'll be on lab coat washing duty if others on your dissection table have to pay up for their laundry!). I don't think it's absolute the best accommodation in Cambridge though (Downing is amazing, I've heard rumours of king-sized beds...) but still really luxurious relative to some other unis I've seen.

    Study Space
    The Stephen Hawking building's rooms have nice big windows. Caius library was formally the University library, so it's pretty grand. I'm sure you can find some images of it online. Not been there much though as it's a 5-10 minute walk from our accommodation. Other libraries you can use are the University Library and the Law Library, which is also in Sidgwick site so if your college is really far you can chill there between lectures instead of cycling all the way back.

    Tourists
    Caius first year accommodation is out of the way so you won't have a problem with tourists. But go into town (King's parade/market square) on a sunny weekend and you'll be swarmed by tourists regardless of your college

    Pastoral support/teaching - can't really say, as I can't compare with other colleges.

    Societies
    I also feel obliged to say - Caius takes the most medics per year, so with regards to societies, Caius MedSoc is pretty good although I guess it's quality over quantity! There are both university-wide and college societies so chances are if your college doesn't run a society for a particular sport/activity there'll be a university-wide society for it.

    Best of luck wherever you apply
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    Oh whoops, I forgot they'd moved lots of the pre-clinical lectures because of renovations to the New Museums site, makes "ideal" locations a bit less obvious.
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    Hi I noticed that in many Cambridge colleges there are less students in the clinical years than preclinical years. I was wondering why this is? Do students have to reapply to the college to continue studying Medicine after they have graduated with their BA in medical Sciences? Would you say this is competitive? And if you are rejected, do you need to reapply to medical school and start from the beginning again?
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    (Original post by etudixnt)
    Hi I noticed that in many Cambridge colleges there are less students in the clinical years than preclinical xears. I was wondering why this is? Do students have to reapply to the college to continue studying Medicine after they have graduated with their BA in Natural Sciences? Would you say this is competitive? And if you are rejected, do you need to reapply to medical school and start from the beginning again?
    It used to be the case but has changed in the last couple of years so you don't have to worry about having to leave.
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    (Original post by etudixnt)
    Hi I noticed that in many Cambridge colleges there are less students in the clinical years than preclinical years. I was wondering why this is? Do students have to reapply to the college to continue studying Medicine after they have graduated with their BA in Natural Sciences? Would you say this is competitive? And if you are rejected, do you need to reapply to medical school and start from the beginning again?
    To echo what Helenia said - it used to be that Cambridge medical students, after completing their BA (which is not in natural sciences, not entirely sure what it's called!) had to apply for clinical school. I believe the system was called MOCAG (Metropolitan, Oxford, and Cambridge Admissions Group). Applications were competitive and if you didn't get your first choice - which I imagine would be Cambridge for a lot of Cambridge preclinals - you would have to attend another clinical school that had less demand i.e. a London medical school.

    Cambridge has since backed out MOCAG and therefore is going to accommodate all of its preclinical students in Addenbrookes as clinical students. This comes into effect for those graduating as doctors in 2020 and onwards (i.e.those who started in 2014 and onwards) - so, long story short, as an applicant, you need not concern yourself with the prospect of having to move universities after 3 years! 🎉🎉🎉
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    (Original post by Rhetorical Hips)
    Hey - unfortunately I can't really comment on Oxford, and also with regards to Cambridge colleges, I only know Caius really well. Apologies in advance for the obvious bias Also I'm only a first year so anything beyond that (especially clinical!) I have no clue about.

    Location
    First year teaching is more or less split between Sidgwick site (where the majority of your lectures and thus time is spent), Downing site (where all the practicals, dissections, PBLs, etc. plus some of your lectures are) and wherever your college holds its supervisions - usually the within the main college grounds.

    So with regards to first year accommodation location then, I'm pretty certain that Caius is the closest college to Sidgwick site, as the Stephen Hawking building is literally right next to it. Meaning you can wake up 5 minutes before morning (or God-forbid, afternoon) lectures and still make it on time. People have been known to attend in their PJs! :lol:

    The one negative of living away from the main college site in first year though is that you're further from supervisions (assuming that's where they're held). Also if your supervisors ask for essays to be handed in at the main college site this also means you'll have to trek. Late night essay writing + 15 minute walk in miserable weather + 8:45AM lectures = not fun.

    So with all that said, I think the ideal college (location-wise) would be somewhere between Sidgwick and Downing, where you live in the main site during first year. Queens' and Catz come to mind.

    Rooms
    Rooms and facilities at Caius are really nice - all first year rooms are either new or recently renovated, and all en suite. Printers, washing machines and tumble driers are on site (also laundry is free so you'll be on lab coat washing duty if others on your dissection table have to pay up!). I don't think it's absolute the best in Cambridge though (Downing is amazing, I've heard rumours of king-sized beds...) but still really luxurious relative to some other unis I've seen.

    Study Space
    The Stephen Hawking building's rooms have nice big windows. Caius library was formally the University library, so it's pretty grand. I'm sure you can find some images of it online. Not been there much though as it's a 5-10 minute walk from our accommodation. Other libraries you can use are the University Library and the Law Library, which is also in Sidgwick site so if your college is really far you can chill there between lectures instead of cycling all the way back.

    Tourists
    First year accommodation is out of the way so you won't have a problem with tourists. But go into town (King's parade/market square) on a sunny weekend and you'll be swarmed by tourists regardless of your college

    Pastoral support/teaching - can't really say, as I can't compare with other colleges.

    Societies
    I also feel obliged to say - Caius takes the most medics per year, so with regards to societies, Caius MedSoc is pretty good although I guess it's quality over quantity! There are both university-wide and college societies so chances are if your college doesn't run a society for a particular sport/activity there'll be a university-wide society for it.

    Best of luck wherever you apply
    Thank you for such a helpful reply - I really appreciate it!
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    I don't know if Cambridge offers anything similar but this website does a reasonable job of summarising some important differences between the Oxford colleges in terms of provision for medical students: http://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/med...ollege-details. Some of the colleges sound much more proactive than others.
    Thanks!
 
 
 
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