The Student Room Group

medicine - Oxford or Cambridge

I have been dead set on going to Cambridge since the beginning of year 12 and i feel like i have got enough super curriculars and extras like volunteering, work experience etc. I have done lots of leadership role and all the other essentials for medicine. But my predicted grades fell so i don't have the 2 A* needed for Cambridge - I only have one. I sit worth applying to oxford instead for medicine? Even though I love love Cambridge and have done so much specifically for Cambridge (eg Cambridge master class etc)? :smile:
Reply 1
Original post by Anonymous
I have been dead set on going to Cambridge since the beginning of year 12 and i feel like i have got enough super curriculars and extras like volunteering, work experience etc. I have done lots of leadership role and all the other essentials for medicine. But my predicted grades fell so i don't have the 2 A* needed for Cambridge - I only have one. I sit worth applying to oxford instead for medicine? Even though I love love Cambridge and have done so much specifically for Cambridge (eg Cambridge master class etc)? :smile:

Cambridge is brutally competitive, and medicine even more so, so you will prob get automatically rejected if you apply without the min grades. You only have 4 choices, so not worth wasting one of them.
Reply 2
Original post by lalexm
Cambridge is brutally competitive, and medicine even more so, so you will prob get automatically rejected if you apply without the min grades. You only have 4 choices, so not worth wasting one of them.


yup agreed
but i was talking either applying to oxford or just neither or just begging my teachers and doing the best i can from now to get that A*
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous
yup agreed
but i was talking either applying to oxford or just neither or just begging my teachers and doing the best i can from now to get that A*

Not sure about Oxford. For any other subject I would say go for it, as the only way of guaranteeing that you don't get in is not applying, but I don't know enough about medicine applications, so I will leave it to someone else to advice.
Reply 4
Original post by Anonymous
I have been dead set on going to Cambridge since the beginning of year 12 and i feel like i have got enough super curriculars and extras like volunteering, work experience etc. I have done lots of leadership role and all the other essentials for medicine. But my predicted grades fell so i don't have the 2 A* needed for Cambridge - I only have one. I sit worth applying to oxford instead for medicine? Even though I love love Cambridge and have done so much specifically for Cambridge (eg Cambridge master class etc)? :smile:

Try Oxford if you want!!! The teaching styles are very similar. The course only really differs in the fact that at Cambridge in your intercalation year you can intercalate in a non-science subject whereas Oxford this is restricted to a science module. Another difference is the vibe - Oxford has a more city vibe and Cambridge has a more town vibe. Both are just as good as each other!!!!! Oxford just shortlists solely based on GCSEs and BMAT - if your GCSEs are strong (10/12 A*s) and you think you can smash BMAT go for it. This makes Oxford more competitive in that sense - as they only invite you to interview based on 2 factors whereas Cambridge is more holistic - meaning you can make up for an area of your application that is not as strong with another factor. As for the Cambridge specific things - I would mention it in your personal statement anyways - Oxford sees Cambridge as a competitive uni so they won’t really care - they will just be curious about what you learned from it!!! You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take - if you really want this - take the shot!!!! GOODLUCK, I BELIEVE IN YOU!
Original post by lalexm
Cambridge is brutally competitive, and medicine even more so, so you will prob get automatically rejected if you apply without the min grades. You only have 4 choices, so not worth wasting one of them.


Actually for medicine Cambridge is averagely competitive - probably due to having higher standard entry criteria than most courses and practically requiring 3 STEM subjects at A-level to be competitive in interview/BMAT, so a lot of people are ruled out by those criteria (and some more self-select out due to not wanting to go to Oxbridge).

Original post by Anonymous
I have been dead set on going to Cambridge since the beginning of year 12 and i feel like i have got enough super curriculars and extras like volunteering, work experience etc. I have done lots of leadership role and all the other essentials for medicine. But my predicted grades fell so i don't have the 2 A* needed for Cambridge - I only have one. I sit worth applying to oxford instead for medicine? Even though I love love Cambridge and have done so much specifically for Cambridge (eg Cambridge master class etc)? :smile:

Oxford has very different criteria they use for shortlisting for medicine - they focus entirely on GCSE grades and BMAT, so you really need outstanding GCSE results to be competitive for Oxford medicine. The courses are also somewhat different I gather (Oxford has a lot less emphasis on anatomy than Cambridge from what I have heard) so the two aren't just exchangeable anyway.

Ultimately though for medicine where you do your medical degree is unimportant as the GMC considers all medical schools equal, and the NHS which is the only provider of graduate training posts in medicine in the UK likewise takes this stance and goes further to blind recruiters for specialty training from your medical school to ensure there is no bias based on where you studied medicine. Therefore you shouldn't get overly hooked on any one medical school - just focus on picking the ones you would make the strongest application for, if you are serious about pursuing medicine.

You can always do foundation and/or specialty training in Cambridge after your medical degree remember :smile:
Reply 6
Thank you everyone! This was all really helpful :smile:
Original post by Anonymous #1
Thank you everyone! This was all really helpful :smile:

Out of curiosity which did you apply for? And did you get an interview?

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