Imperial College School of Medicine Students' Union

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Imperial College School of Medicine Students' Union
Institution Imperial College London
Location South Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom
Established 1997
President Alex 'Chippy' Compton
Members 2,300
Affiliations Imperial College Union

Imperial College School of Medicine Students' Union (ICSMSU) is the students' union of Imperial College School of Medicine. It is charged with caring for the educational, pastoral, social and extracurricular needs of the undergraduate students of the Faculty of Medicine of Imperial College London,[1] and is a constituent union of Imperial College Union.


Formed in 1997 by the mergers of the Students' Unions of St Mary's Hospital Medical School, Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School (formerly Charing Cross Hospital Medical School and Westminster Hospital Medical School) and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School.

Rivalry was abundant before and during the years or mergers. The 1954 film Doctor in the House was reportedly based on the behaviour of the St Mary's students.

Executive committee[edit]

The Union has one full-time sabbatical president supported by 16 student officers, each covering an area such as entertainments, education, welfare, clubs & societies, alumni & careers, or sites & services. The president is also the British Medical Association ISC Chair, as well as a delegate to Medgroup.

Education and welfare[edit]

The three academic officers, along with the respective year representatives, look after the 6-year MBBS/BSc Course, the 5-year graduate entry MBBS course, and all students undertaking BSc courses.

ICSMSU runs a highly successful "Mums and Dads" programme which aims to match up new students with older students on the same course.[2]

Clubs and societies[edit]

There are currently over 40 student-run clubs and societies especially for the members of ICSM. Many of the bigger clubs can trace their history back to the original hospital medical schools.[3] Most of the clubs compete in the United Hospitals competitions, or send players to the combined teams. Notable clubs and societies include Imperial Medicals Rugby Club, ICSM Boat Club, ICSM Water Polo, and ICSM Light Opera.


ICSM also has a strong sporting ethos inherited from its predecessors. It enjoys frequent success against the other London medical schools in the United Hospitals and National Association of Medics' Sports competitions and in the BUCS league.

While medical students may join ICU sports clubs (and non-medical students may join the medical clubs and societies), most prefer to participate in ICSM sports teams which, depending on the sport, may compete against Imperial College or other Imperial faculty teams such as the Royal School of Mines, such as in the annual Varsity competition, which involves teams from ICSM and IC. The competition culminates in the J.P.R. Williams Cup, named after the highly successful Welsh rugby player and doctor J.P.R. Williams, who graduated from St Mary's Hospital, London in 1973, with the 1st XVs of Imperial Medicals Rugby Club and ICU Rugby playing each other in front of a 1,500 strong crowd.

Sir Roger Bannister, another St Mary's Hospital Medical School alumnus gives his name to the trophy for the annual varsity athletics meet.[4]

Boat club[edit]

Imperial College School of Medicine Boat Club
Image showing the rowing club's blade colours
Location Chiswick, London United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°28′57″N 0°16′28″W / 51.4825°N 0.2745°W / 51.4825; -0.2745
Home water Tideway
Founded 1997 (1997)
Former names Merger of St Mary's Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital and Westminster Boat Clubs
University Imperial College School of Medicine
Affiliations British Rowing, United Hospital Boat Clubs

ICSMBC was formed in 1997 by merging the Medical School Rowing Clubs from St Mary's Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital and Westminster Boat Club. They row out of the University of London Boat Club boat house which is situated on the River Thames in Chiswick and train at ICBC boathouse in Putney. The current captain of ICSMBC is Luke Reader [5] Predominantly the Club rows in United Hospital events, and is part of the United Hospital Boat Clubs,[6] though they also take part in races through British Rowing such as Head of the River.

Water Polo[edit]

Imperial College School of Medicine Water Polo is the water polo team of Imperial College School of Medicine Students' Union. It came about pursuant to a merger of the Charing Cross Hospital, Westminster Hospital, and St Mary's Hospital water polo clubs.


The club in its modern form was founded in 1997 following the merger of the St. Mary's Hospital Water Polo Club with the Charing Cross and Westminster Hospitals Water Polo Club.

In 2008 the club agreed a joint venture into the BUCS league with the Imperial College Swimming and Water Polo Club. This brought immediate success with the Imperial College/Medicals side being crowned Tier Two Champions in 2009/10, and thus securing promotion to the Premier Tier for the 2010/11 season. The joint BUCS team performed strongly again in the 2012/13 season finishing third in the Premier Tier.


The club focuses its efforts on the London Universities Sports League (LUSL), formerly known as the ULU League, in which it enters a mixed gender team and plays weekly matches against other London universities. The Varsity match against the Imperial College water polo team is played annually in March.

Light Opera[edit]

The origin of the medical school's musical theatre society is a 1943 production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury by students at St Mary's. Despite a trend towards more modern musicals, the name was maintained during the 1997 merger to honour the society's history, which includes performances attended by then HRH Princess Elizabeth in 1945, HRH Princess Margaret in 1957, and HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1981.[7]

Each year, Light Opera performs its main show in December and a so-called '24-Hour Opera' in April or May, hosts multiple 'Big Chill' open mic nights, and participates in other showcases. The 24-Hour Opera is a musical chosen, planned, and auditioned without revealing the show's identity. It is announced to the cast, crew, and public on one evening and performed the next; all proceeds are donated to charity.

The society maintains strong social traditions and also provides academic support for its numerous members. A significant proportion of the ICSMSU executive committee tend to be part of Light Opera.


ICSMSU runs a full social calendar, including long-standing events and traditions from the original medical schools. This includes Freshers' Fortnight, Shrove Tuesday Final Year Dinner, ICSM Summer Ball, Sports Dinner, RAG and Vision.


Charing Cross Campus[edit]

The main facilities for the medical students of ICSM are found in the Reynolds Building on the Charing Cross Hospital campus. Here you can find the Reynolds Bar, as well as meeting rooms, offices, two gyms, a dance studio and club storage rooms.

South Kensington Campus[edit]

ICSM is housed in the Sir Alexander Fleming Building on the South Kensington Campus. Here ICSMSU has a suite of offices for use of the President and SU and club officers, as well as meeting rooms and a common room.

Other Campuses[edit]

ICSMSU are responsible for the upkeep of the student facilities on all other teaching hospital sites, including Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and St Mary's Hospital, London.


2004 saw the first set of ICSM doctors graduate, and so the ICSM Alumni Association was founded.[8] Run by ICSMSU, the association aims to provide funding for the clubs and societies of the medical school, as well as offer support to students.


  1. ^ ICSMSU Constitution
  2. ^ Mums and Dads website
  3. ^ E. A. Heaman, St Marys: The History of a London Teaching Hospital 2003, ISBN 0-7735-2514-9
  4. ^
  5. ^ "ICSMBC Website". 
  6. ^ "UH Boatclub website". 
  7. ^ Verrall, H. "A Brief History of (Light) Opera: 1943-2015" (PDF). ICSM Gazette. 15 (3): 36–37. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  8. ^ About the ICSM Alumni Association

External links[edit]