UCL Medical School

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UCL Medical School
Established 1746 (Middlesex Hospital Medical School)
1834 (University College Hospital Medical School)
1874 (London School of Medicine for Women, later The Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine)
1987 (University College and Middlesex School of Medicine)
1998 (Royal Free and University College Medical School)
Type Medical school
Dean Professor Sir John Tooke
Location London, United Kingdom
Website UCL Medical School

UCL Medical School (formerly Royal Free & University College Medical School)[1] is the medical school of University College London (UCL) and is located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the United Hospitals.

UCL has offered education in medicine since 1834 but the current school developed from mergers between UCL and the medical schools of the Middlesex Hospital (founded in 1746) and The Royal Free Hospital (founded as the London School of Medicine for Women in 1874).[2] The medical school is ranked 2nd in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2015, 3rd by the Guardian University Guide 2015, and 8th in the world by the QS World University Rankings.

Clinical medicine is primarily taught at University College Hospital, The Royal Free Hospital and the Whittington Hospital, with other associated teaching hospitals including the Eastman Dental Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Heart Hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital.


The Cruciform Building on Gower Street, which houses the preclinical facilities of the UCL Medical School; it was previously the main building of University College Hospital

UCL Medical School formed over a number of years from the merger of a number of institutions:[3]

Middlesex Hospital and University College Hospital merged their medical schools in 1987 to form University College & Middlesex School of Medicine (UCMSM).

  • The London School of Medicine for Women was established in 1874 by Sophia Jex-Blake, as the first medical school in Britain to train women. In 1877 The Royal Free Hospital agreed to allow students from LSMW to complete their clinical studies there and by 1896 was renamed The London Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine for Women and became part of the University of London.

In 1998 The Royal Free & University College Medical School (RFUCMS) was formed from the merger of the two medical schools. On 1 October 2008, it was officially renamed UCL Medical School.[4]

In appreciation of the historic beginnings of UCL Medical School, its student society has retained the name "RUMS" (Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Medical Students Society) and runs clubs and societies within University College London Union.[5]


The current main building of University College Hospital on Euston Road, which opened in 2005

The medical school is one of the largest in the country with a yearly intake of 330 students.[6] Undergraduate teaching is spread across three campuses based in Bloomsbury (the Cruciform, University College Hospital, the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Obstetric Hospital), at Archway (the Whittington Hospital and the former Royal Holborn Infirmary) and in Hampstead (the Royal Free Hospital).[2]

It has arguably some of the best clinical sites in the country including: Great Ormond Street Hospital, The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (Queen's Square), Moorfields Eye Hospital, The Heart Hospital, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital.

The school is widely regarded as one of the best medical schools in the country (frequently ranked between number 1–5 in the country), it has a very distinguished faculty which includes 78 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences amongst its staff.

A report published in November 2005, by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) found that RFUCMS had the highest expenditure per student, an average spend of £50,103 per student, of any medical school in the country, followed by Oxford University Medical School (£42,348) and Imperial College School of Medicine (£38,223).[7]


The course in medicine at UCL leads to the award of the MB BS and BSc (Hons) degrees and takes six years to complete: 2 years of preclinical medicine, 3 years of clinical medicine, and 1 year studying for the intercalated BSc degree, which at UCL is compulsory for all students except postgraduates. UCL offers a wide variety of intercalation degrees ranging from the traditional subjects like anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, to more clinical courses such as Primary Health. Students select their BSc subject by applying through an internal process during the second year of the programme.[8][9]

There is also the opportunity to intercalate a PhD, either by taking an 'interruption of study' directly after the intercalated BSc, or as part of the integrated MB PhD programme. The latter has been offered by UCL medical school since 1994 and allows students to be offered the MB BS, BSc and PhD degrees in eight years rather than nine if the PhD is undertaken separately.[10]

UCL also operates a MBBS Oxbridge Transfer programme where each year approximately 55 students from Oxford and Cambridge Medical Schools can transfer after preclinicals to complete their clinical training at UCL.[11]


Admission to the medical school, in common with all 32 medical schools in the UK, is extremely competitive. The medical school receives approximately 2,500 applications yearly of which up to 700 applicants are selected for interview. Prospective students must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).[12]

As of 2015 entry, conditional offers for entry include grades A*AA at A-level, to include at least Chemistry and Biology, and an additional pass at AS-level. The International Baccalaureate (Full Diploma), although less common, is also an acceptable entry qualification. The course is also open to graduates with a minimum of a 2:1 required. Additionally, applicants must sit an entrance exam, the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) which is used alongside the rest of the UCAS application to determine selection for interview.[13][14][15]

Associated hospitals and research institutes[edit]


UCL Medical School has the following associated hospitals:

Research institutes[edit]

UCL Medical School has the following associated research institutes:


In the 2014/15, QS World University Rankings by Subject UCL was ranked 10th in the world (and 5th in Europe) for Medicine.[16]

In the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities subject tables, UCL was ranked 17th in the world (and 4th in Europe) for Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy.[17]

In domestic rankings for Medicine, UCL is ranked 2nd in the 2015 Complete University Guide,[18] 4th in the 2014 Guardian University Guide,[19] and 4th in the 2014 Times and Sunday Times League Table.[20]

Clubs and societies[edit]

As well as being able to join all the UCL clubs and societies, medical students can also join those specifically for them. Most of the clubs and societies are run by the Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Medical Students Society (RUMS) which is a student-led organisation which all UCL Medical School students are part of and is independent of the UCL Medical School.[21]

In 2011, UCLU Medical Society was established separate from RUMS to provide careers advice and peer teaching for medical students, as well as special interest events. These events can be centrally organised or by various subdivisions or "sections" within the society ranging from those devoted to medical specialities such as Paediatrics or General Practice to Medical Leadership & Management and Global Health.[22][23] Since 2012, one of the most popular sections of UCLU Medical Society has been UCLU Med Soc Education, which provides peer-to-peer and near-peer teaching events, run by medical students for other medical students. The novelty of this section is their collaboration with the medical school faculty to ensure quality and validity of the student-produced material and student-led teaching on offer.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni of UCL Medical School and its predecessor institutions include:


  1. ^ Simon Wroe (25 September 2008). "Medical school victim of rebranding". Camden New Journal. Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Campuses". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "History of UCL Medical School". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Royal Free Association - Origins". Royal Free. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "RUMS Medics". RUMS. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Undergraduate Programmes". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Education and Training of Medical and Health Professionals in Higher Education Institutions". HEPI. 3 November 2005. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "MBBS Overview". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Year 3 IBSc programmes available 2014 -2015". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Course Summary". University College London. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "MBBS Transfers (Oxbridge)". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "Candidate Selection & Interview". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "MBBS Academic Entry Requirements for 2015 Entry". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "New test for medics". Times Higher Education. 16 December 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "MBBS Entry Requirements". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014 - Medicine". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities in Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy - 2014". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "University Subject Tables 2015 - Medicine". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "University guide 2014: league table for medicine". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "University Guide 2014 - Medicine". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "RUMS Medics". RUMS. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  22. ^ "UCLU Medical Society". UCLU. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "About us". UCL Medical Society. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "Professor Leslie Collier". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). 22 March 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  25. ^ "Professor Jane Dacre is elected president of the Royal College of Physicians.". Royal College of Physicians. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  26. ^ "Prof Jane Dacre". University College London Institutional Research Information Service. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "Deborah Doniach". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). 15 January 2004. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  28. ^ "Opponent of NHS reform driven by grim memories of 60s". The Guardian. 19 November 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  29. ^ "Why are clinical commissioning groups dominated by men?". The Guardian. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "New Chair-elect for RCGP". Royal College of General Practitioners. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  31. ^ Olsom, James Stuart; Shadle, Robert (1996). Historical Dictionary of the British Empire. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 539. ISBN 978-0-313-29366-5. 
  32. ^ "Donald Jeffries obituary". The Telegraph. 27 December 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  33. ^ Godfrey, Simon (2009). "Munk's Roll: Kalman Jacob Mann". Royal College of Physicians. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 


  • University College Hospital and Its Medical School: A History by W R Merrington (1976) ISBN 0-434-46500-3

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′18″N 0°08′05″W / 51.5218°N 0.1348°W / 51.5218; -0.1348