Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

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St Bartholomew's and The Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Barts and the London SMD Crest.svg
Motto "Amara lento tempera risu" "Temper the bitter things in life with a smile"
Established 1123 (St Bartholomew's Hospital)
1785 (London Hospital Medical College)
1843 (Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital')
1989 (Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital and the London Hospital Medical College merge)
1995 (Medical Colleges join Queen Mary and Westfield College)
Parent institution
Queen Mary University of London
President The Lord Mayor of London
Warden Steve Thornton
Students 2,300 (total)
Location London, England
Affiliations University of London
Barts and the London SMD Logo.svg

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry is a medical and dental school in London, England.[1] The school was formed in 1995 by the merger of the London Hospital Medical College (the first school to be granted an official charter for medical teaching in 1785) and the Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital (the oldest remaining hospital in the United Kingdom, having been founded in 1123, with medical teaching beginning from that date).

The school exists on two main sites, having a presence at the site of both of the former colleges at and near their respective hospitals, St Bartholomew's Hospital (in Smithfield, City of London and nearby in Charterhouse Square), and the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets with an additional site at Queen Mary's main (Mile End) campus.[2] A new building (Blizard Building), named after the founder of The London Hospital Medical College, Sir William Blizard, was completed in 2005 at the Royal London site, and houses research laboratories and is the main site for medical undergraduate teaching.

In the 2008 government Research Assessment Exercise, the school was ranked first for the quality of its medical research in London and fourth overall nationally; the dental school was ranked joint first. As of 2008 the school accepted 277 British medical students per annum and an additional 17 from overseas, making it one of the largest medical schools in the United Kingdom.[3] As of 2017, it is ranked by The Guardian as the 2nd best medical school in the UK.[4] The medical school is part of Queen Mary University of London, a constituent college of the federal University of London, and a member of the United Hospitals.[5]


Part of the Charterhouse Square site

St Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry was formed in 1995 by a merger of St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College and the London Hospital Medical College with Queen Mary and Westfield College, now known as Queen Mary University of London.

The Medical College at the Royal London Hospital, England's first official medical school, opened in 1785, pioneering a new kind of medical education, with an emphasis on theoretical and clinical teaching. A purpose-built lecture theatre was constructed at St Bartholomew's Hospital in 1791 and in 1822 the Governors approved the provision of medical education within the hospital. Later a residential college was established, which moved to premises at Charterhouse Square in the 1930s. At the Royal London, larger premises, still in use by the medical school, were built in Turner Street in 1854. In 1900 both medical colleges became constituent colleges of the University of London in the Faculty of Medicine.

The Dental School opened at the London in 1911, acquiring the new Dental Institute and expanding student numbers during the 1960s. Dental education developed during the 1970s, increasing collaboration between dentists and other professionals.

Between the Wars, students at the Royal London requiring a prerequisite MB (in biology, chemistry and physics) attended Queen Mary College for a year, before proceeding to a second MB at the London. Women students were first admitted to both colleges following World War II.

A close association between the two medical colleges was developed following the Royal Commission on Medical Education in 1968, and new links with the then Queen Mary College were established at the same time. In 1989 the pre-clinical teaching at the two medical colleges was merged and sited in the Basic Medical Sciences Building at Queen Mary (where it stayed until 2005, when it was moved to the Blizard Building at the Whitechapel campus). In 1992, St. Bartholomew's, the Royal London and the London Chest Hospital joined to form the Barts and The London NHS Trust, with a full merger of the medical colleges with Queen Mary taking place three years later.

On 2 March 2011, it was announced that Professor Richard Trembath would succeed Professor Sir Nicholas Wright as Warden of the School in Summer 2011.[6] From January 2016, Professor Steve Thornton succeed Trembath as Vice Principal (Health) and Executive Dean of the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (colloquially known as Warden).[7] In 2017 Barts will open its first international campus in Gozo, Malta.


The school serves a diverse population in East London and the wider Thames Gateway, with the differing demographics of East London in contrast to other areas of the country providing the school with a unique teaching opportunity. Consequently, many of the school's research efforts are focussed on conditions that are prevalent or endemic to the local area, for example, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, tuberculosis and other chronic lung diseases, HIV, oral disease, and cancer.

St. Bartholomew's Hospital is a recognised area of excellence in the fields of cardiovascular and cancer research, whereas the Royal London Hospital is London's leading trauma and emergency centre. To continue and sustain this standard of care, planning permission was awarded in March 2005 for a £1 billion redevelopment and expansion of the Royal London. Upon its completion in 2011, the Royal London Hospital will consolidate its position as London’s leading trauma and emergency care centre, will have one of Europe’s largest renal services and the capital’s second biggest paediatric service. St. Bartholomew's Hospital is also currently being refurbished and refitted in order to continue its specialised approach to cardiovascular and cancer care. A further £100 million has been invested in creating leading-edge research facilities at both the Whitechapel and West Smithfield/Charterhouse Square campuses.

The school has six research institutes:

  • Barts Cancer Institute,[8] which researches cancer and inflammation, experimental cancer medicine, haemato-oncology, cancer stem cells and ageing, molecular oncology and imaging and tumour biology.[9] The director is Nick Lemoine.[10]
  • Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, which focuses on surgery, paediatrics, cutaneous, diabetes, gastroenterology, haematology, infectious diseases neuroscience, pathology and health sciences.
  • Institute of Dentistry, where research and teaching into adult oral health, oral growth and development, and clinical and diagnostic oral sciences occurs.
  • Institute of Health Sciences Education, which is responsible for the teaching of pre-clinical medical sciences to medical students along with research in medical education and community based medical education.
  • William Harvey Research Institute is a research facility focussing on biochemical pharmacology, orthopaedic diseases, endocrinology, genomics, clinical pharmacology and translational medicine and therapeutics.
  • Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine researches preventive medicine, epidemiology, mathematics and statistics, psychology and psychiatry.


A unique aspect of the Barts curriculum is the use of problem based learning which was first developed at McMaster University Medical School in the 1960s. Barts uses this method as part of an integrated curriculum as opposed to one that is solely or predominately based on problem based learning. Students work in groups with a tutor on a clinical case or problem, and use problem based learning to supplement the knowledge they acquire during their lectures.

Associated Hospitals[edit]

The Medical School is associated with the following hospitals: [11]

Research Assessment Exercise 2008[edit]

The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) is one of the few ways in which the academic quality of British medical and dental schools can be compared and ranks research by two principal measures: the proportion of work graded 4* and 3* – world-leading or internationally recognised respectively - and the Grade Point Average (GPA) across the whole profile of the submission.

The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), published in December 2008, confirmed Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry as one of the leading medical and dental schools in the United Kingdom. For medicine, the school ranked top in the quality of its research in London, and fourth nationally (behind Edinburgh, Cambridge and Oxford); for dentistry, the school was awarded joint first ranking (along with Manchester).

According to the rankings published in the Times Higher Education, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry was consistently ranked in the top five nationally for the following categories:

  • Dentistry was ranked 1st equal with Manchester, based on 3* and 4* outputs, and 2nd overall on Grade Point Average out of 14 dental schools.[12]
  • In Cancer, Barts and The London was ranked 3rd out of 14 submissions in terms of 3* and 4* outputs and joint 5th in the UK overall.[12]
  • The Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, returned in Hospital Subjects, was ranked joint 1st with Edinburgh and Cambridge in terms of 3* and 4* outputs and was joint 7th overall out of 28.[12]
  • The Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, returned in Epidemiology and Public Health, was 2nd out of 21 in terms of 3* and 4* outputs, and 3rd overall.[12]
  • In Health Services Research, Barts and The London's Institute of Health Sciences Education was ranked 4th overall out of 28.[12]
  • The William Harvey Research Institute, returned in Preclinical and Human Biological Sciences, was ranked 3rd in terms of 3* and 4* outputs, and 4th overall out of 13.[12]


The medical school has scored highly in a number of independent rankings in recent years, placing it in the top 10 of medical schools in the United Kingdom:

  • ranked 2nd by The Guardian (2017)[13]
  • ranked 3rd by The Times and Sunday Times (2017)
  • ranked 7th by The Complete University Guide (2017)[14]
  • ranked 9th (51st-100th in the world) by the QS World University Rankings (2016–17)
  • ranked 10th (65th in the world) by the Times Higher Education (2016–17)
  • ranked 7th (28th in the world) by CWTS Leiden Ranking (2016) based on the percentage of publications belonging to the top 10% of their field (PP top 10%)

The dental school has also been ranked highly:

  • ranked 3rd by The Complete University Guide (2017)[14]
  • ranked 3rd by The Guardian (2017)
  • ranked 4th by The Times and Sunday Times (2017)


Admission to the Barts and the London for both medicine and dentistry is highly competitive.[15] Over 2,500 applications to study medicine are received by the school each year.[16] Of these, 800 candidates are interviewed and approximately 440 offers are made.[16] For dentistry, over 700 applications are received, of which 250 candidates are interviewed and approximately 150 offers are made.[17]

The school accepts A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate Diploma, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers, Cambridge Pre-U and the European Baccalaureate as entry qualifications. Both the medical and dental degrees are open to graduate students, with a minimum of a 2:1 required.[16][17] Applicants must sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test which is used alongside the UCAS application to determine selection for interview.[16][17] The school also accepts medical students from the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and St Andrews aiming to complete a 3-year direct clinical entry programme. Students applying to this scheme do not need to apply by the October 15th deadline and are not required to take the UKCAT.[18]

Barts and The London Students' Association[edit]

Barts and The London Students' Association (BLSA) is the students' union for the medical and dental school, a largely independent arm of Queen Mary Students' Union (QMSU) formed when the student unions of St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School and the London Hospital Clubs Union merged with QMSU at the time their parent bodies merged in 1995. The Students' Association has a very distinct culture from that of QMSU, with its own clubs and societies for most sports and activities, competing in the National Association of Medics' Sports against other schools and universities. The Barts and The London Students' Association is led by a sabbatical student president.

Notable people[edit]

Notable former members of staff[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Fictional alumni[edit]

  • Harold Legg - Doctor in the British soap opera EastEnders from 1985–1997, making guest appearances in 2000 and 2004.
  • Doctor Watson - Sherlock Holmes's companion and "biographer": not only did the two first meet in the pathology laboratories, but Watson also refers to his time as a "dresser" (the equivalent nowadays of the surgical houseman) at St. Bartholomew's Hospital.

See also[edit]


A.^ ^ Coincidentally, the concurrent years 2015/16 and 2016/17 saw the election of two people named W Atkins as BLSA President.


  1. ^ "About Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry". Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Find US". Barts and The London website. Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "British Medical School Statistics". Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "University of London: Queen Mary University of London". Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  6. ^ "QMUL appoints new Warden of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry". Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  7. ^ "Professor Steve Thornton appointed as Vice Principal (Health)". Retrieved 2016-03-21. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Barts Cancer Institute". Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c d e f "RAE 2008 : Publications : 2009 : RAE2008 subject overviews". Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  13. ^ "Rankings and league tables". School of Medicine and Dentistry. BATL. Retrieved 2 August 2016. 
  14. ^ a b "Rankings and league tables". School of Medicine and Dentistry. BATL. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Frequently asked questions (MBBS and BDS)". School of Medicine and Dentistry. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c d "Medicine MBBS 5 Years (A100)". School of Medicine and Dentistry. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c "Dentistry BDS 5 Years (A200)". School of Medicine and Dentistry. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "Policy for Admissions to Undergraduate Programmes in Medicine and Dentistry 2014/15" (PDF). Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  19. ^ 'WATKINS, Prof. Hugh Christian', in Who's Who 2012 (London: A. & C. Black, 2012)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′59″N 0°3′39″W / 51.51639°N 0.06083°W / 51.51639; -0.06083