The Student Room Group

Medicine without Maths

Is it possible to study Medicine at Cambridge if I study A-Level Biology, Chemistry & Psychology; I understand that some colleges require 3 sciences/maths, but does psychology count, and if not, do any colleges accept A*A* in bio & chem, and then an A/A* psychology.
I also am doing AS Sociology this year.
Reply 1
Original post by Rageshhhh
Is it possible to study Medicine at Cambridge if I study A-Level Biology, Chemistry & Psychology; I understand that some colleges require 3 sciences/maths, but does psychology count, and if not, do any colleges accept A*A* in bio & chem, and then an A/A* psychology.
I also am doing AS Sociology this year.

Key word in this is some not all. Aside from Cambridge, there are very few medical schools that require maths to be your third subject - most don’t care. Biology and chemistry is all you need and if some Cambridge colleges want three sciences, simply don’t apply to them. Unless specified, psychology usually won’t count as a science. Look into the college specific requirements on the Cambridge website for medicine and see whether your subjects and grades meet the entry requirements.
Be aware that not having a third maths/science subject (Cambridge doesn't tend to count psychology as a science) could limit your opportunity to be 'pooled' at Cambridge. To the extent of my knowledge (and I'm not an expert here, so please correct me if I'm wrong), this is what happens if the college you apply to is oversubscribed/cannot accommodate you, but still thinks you would be an asset to the University and so puts your application forwards to be considered by other colleges. If your A-Levels don't satisfy the requirements of all colleges, some may not be able to consider your application from the 'pool', so you could be restricting your overall chance to get into the University.
Also, I would assume that quite a few Cambridge Medicine applicants would have, at minimum, A-Levels in biology, chemistry and maths; many will be studying four A-Levels. Maths is generally considered to be a harder subject than psychology and so some Cambridge Colleges will prefer maths, given how competitive Medicine is.
Original post by Rageshhhh
Is it possible to study Medicine at Cambridge if I study A-Level Biology, Chemistry & Psychology; I understand that some colleges require 3 sciences/maths, but does psychology count, and if not, do any colleges accept A*A* in bio & chem, and then an A/A* psychology.
I also am doing AS Sociology this year.



As of this year Cambridge formally requires 3 STEM subjects at A-level and psychology is not in their list of accepted subjects.

See here: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/medicine-mb-bchir

You need chemistry plus two from biology/human biology, physics, maths, further maths (although not all colleges accept chemistry, maths, and FM in combination or see it as competitive). Physics is an option instead of maths though.

Previously you would've been very uncompetitive without a 3rd STEM subject although in principle considered (however less than 1% of successful applicants had less than 3 STEM subjects and again, psychology was not counted as one).

For any other medical school you are fine with your current subject combination.

Original post by bibachu
Key word in this is some not all. Aside from Cambridge, there are very few medical schools that require maths to be your third subject - most don’t care. Biology and chemistry is all you need and if some Cambridge colleges want three sciences, simply don’t apply to them. Unless specified, psychology usually won’t count as a science. Look into the college specific requirements on the Cambridge website for medicine and see whether your subjects and grades meet the entry requirements.

As above they've updated their requirements for this year so 3 STEM subjects are required (not including psychology).

No other medical schools require or even prefer a 3rd STEM subject though.

Original post by libertyalicexxx
Be aware that not having a third maths/science subject (Cambridge doesn't tend to count psychology as a science) could limit your opportunity to be 'pooled' at Cambridge. To the extent of my knowledge (and I'm not an expert here, so please correct me if I'm wrong), this is what happens if the college you apply to is oversubscribed/cannot accommodate you, but still thinks you would be an asset to the University and so puts your application forwards to be considered by other colleges. If your A-Levels don't satisfy the requirements of all colleges, some may not be able to consider your application from the 'pool', so you could be restricting your overall chance to get into the University.
Also, I would assume that quite a few Cambridge Medicine applicants would have, at minimum, A-Levels in biology, chemistry and maths; many will be studying four A-Levels. Maths is generally considered to be a harder subject than psychology and so some Cambridge Colleges will prefer maths, given how competitive Medicine is.

As above, all colleges require 3 STEM subjects formally now. Psychology isn't in the list.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 4
Thanks everybody. I saw that Queens College has only 2 STEM subjects required; I'm not sure if this just needs to be updated or if it's a querk of their college - either way I plan on asking during the Open day
Original post by Rageshhhh
Thanks everybody. I saw that Queens College has only 2 STEM subjects required; I'm not sure if this just needs to be updated or if it's a querk of their college - either way I plan on asking during the Open day

It's very likely that they haven't updated the subject page on their website, assuming that's what you're looking at. The new requirements only came in a few cycles ago and the main subject page ( https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/medicine-mb-bchir ) says clearly that to apply to any of our colleges for Medicine, you will need Chemistry and two other Maths / Science. You will not have a competitive application and are unlikely to be interviewed. It seems like a waste to apply to Cambridge when Medicine is already so competitive.
Reply 6
Original post by melancollege
It's very likely that they haven't updated the subject page on their website, assuming that's what you're looking at. The new requirements only came in a few cycles ago and the main subject page ( https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/medicine-mb-bchiruno online ) says clearly that to apply to any of our colleges for Medicine, you will need Chemistry and two other Maths / Science. You will not have a competitive application and are unlikely to be interviewed. It seems like a waste to apply to Cambridge when Medicine is already so competitive.

Yes, I agree with you. According to University of Cambridge, the requirements for applying to Medicine at Cambridge are:
A level/IB Higher Level or the equivalent in: Chemistry and two other Maths/Science
The page says that this is the minimum requirement and competitive applications will usually have stronger grades.
Since the new requirements only came in a few cycles ago, it is possible that the website has not been updated yet to reflect this.
In any case, it is always best to check with the university directly if you are unsure about anything. You can find contact details on the university website.
(edited 2 months ago)

Quick Reply