Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

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Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry coat of arms.svg
MottoLatin: Amara lento tempera risu[1]
Motto in English
Temper the bitter things in life with a smile
Established1123 (St Bartholomew's Hospital)
1785 (London Hospital Medical College)
1843 (St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College)
1995 (Merger of medical colleges with Queen Mary and Westfield College)
Parent institution
Queen Mary University of London
PresidentLord Mayor of London
WardenSteve Thornton
London, England
AffiliationsUnited Hospitals Edit this at Wikidata
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry logo.svg

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, commonly known as Barts, is a medical and dental school in London, England. The 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.[2] It 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 St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College (the oldest remaining hospital in the United Kingdom, having been founded in 1123, with medical teaching beginning from that date).

The school has 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 in the City of London and nearby in Charterhouse Square), and the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel with an additional site at Queen Mary's main (Mile End) campus.[3]

As of 2018, the school had 2,235 undergraduate and 1,175 postgraduate students, for a total of 3,410 students.[4]


London Hospital Medical College[edit]

The London Hospital Medical College on a wood engraving of 1877

The medical college at the London Hospital, now known as the Royal London Hospital, opened in 1785. It was England's first purpose-built medical school, pioneering a new kind of medical education, with an emphasis on theoretical and clinical teaching. The teaching premises were expanded in 1854, when buildings in Turner Street were built and opened, which are still in use today. For many years it functioned as an unincorporated general medical school of the University of London, until it was incorporated as the London Hospital Medical College on 30 March 1949.[5] A dental school also opened at the London Hospital 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.

St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College[edit]

Records of students at St Bartholomew's Hospital date back to at least 1662, although a purpose-built lecture theatre at the hospital was not built until 1791, and it was not until that 1822 the governors formally approved the provision of medical education within the hospital.[6][7] Later a residential college was established, which moved to premises at Charterhouse Square in the 1930s. The medical college was formally established in 1843, and was incorporated as St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College on 26 July 1921.[8]


Both colleges were admitted to the University of London in 1900, and a close association between the two was developed following the Royal Commission on Medical Education in 1968, with new links with the then Queen Mary College being established at the same time. In 1989 the pre-clinical teaching at the two 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). The two colleges officially merged in 1995, along with Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, now known as Queen Mary University of London, forming the combined entity known as Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

In 2016, the school reached an agreement with the government of Malta to open a satellite campus on the island of Gozo, with a purpose-built medical school and anatomy centre to be built on the Gozo General Hospital campus. The first students were admitted in 2017, and the buildings were due to be completed in 2019.[9]

In 2019, Queen Mary University of London changed the logo of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, to much resistance from staff and students of the medical and dental school.[10] A petition was sent to the principal of the university, Colin Bailey. The petition was largely ignored and the logo changed anyway, leading to substantial drops in the student satisfaction scores for Medicine and Dentistry at QMUL that year. This became a political issue, with Barts and The London Student's Association condoning the way BL had been treated.[11] Current students at Barts and The London, as well as alumni, are concerned that this line of change will lead to a complete eradication of the tradition and heritage of Barts and The London.[citation needed]


The Blizard Building in Whitechapel
Charterhouse Square

The school is split over a total of five campuses, with the main ones based around the location of the former medical colleges and their respective hospitals. Most medical teaching takes place at the Whitechapel campus, adjacent to the Royal London Hospital. The Blizard Building, a purpose-built building housing research facilities and a lecture theatre was completed at the Whitechapel site in 2005, and is where most lectures take place. Most dental teaching takes place at the Royal London Dental Hospital, which opened in 2014, adjacent to the main hospital site.[12][13]

Teaching, in particular clinical skills teaching, also takes place at the West Smithfield campus, adjacent to St Bartholomew's Hospital, and the nearby Charterhouse Square campus, which also houses student residences.

Some additional teaching, including anatomy and dissection, takes place at the main QMUL campus in Mile End.[14]


Medical students undertake clinical placements in the following hospitals, the majority of which are located in the City of London and East London, with a few in neighbouring Essex:[15][16]



Academic profile[edit]


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.

The standard undergraduate Medicine course is a 5-year course, which results in the award of an MBBS degree. Students also have the option of extending their studies by a further year in order to study for an intercalated BSc in a range of related subjects. This is usually done after the 2nd, 3rd or 4th year.[17]

Students who already have a science or health-related degree and who wish to study Medicine can also choose to apply to the Graduate Entry Programme (GEP). This is a 4-year course, with the first two years of the standard undergraduate course being condensed into one. The remaining years of the course are identical to the undergraduate course.[18]


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:

The dental school has also been ranked highly:

  • ranked 3rd by The Complete University Guide (2017)[20]
  • ranked 3rd by The Guardian (2017)
  • ranked 4th by The Times and The Sunday Times (2017)


Admission to both the medical and dental schools is highly competitive.[21] Over 2,500 applications to study medicine are received by the school each year.[22] Of these, 800 candidates are interviewed and approximately 440 offers are made.[22] For dentistry, over 700 applications are received, of which 250 candidates are interviewed and approximately 150 offers are made.[23]

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.[22][23] Applicants must sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test which is used alongside the UCAS application to determine selection for interview.[22][23] The school also accepts medical students from the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, the International Medical University Malaysia and St Andrews aiming to complete a 3-year direct clinical entry programme. Students applying to this scheme do not need to apply by 15 October deadline and are not required to take the UKCAT.[24]


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.

The school has six research institutes:

  • Barts Cancer Institute,[25] which researches cancer and inflammation, experimental cancer medicine, haemato-oncology, cancer stem cells and ageing, molecular oncology and imaging and tumour biology.[26] The director is Nick Lemoine.[27]
  • Blizard Institute, 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.

Students' association[edit]

The BLSA building in Whitechapel

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. BLSA is led by a sabbatical student president.

Notable people[edit]

Notable staff[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Fictional alumni[edit]

  • Harold Legg – Doctor in the British soap opera EastEnders from 1985 to 1997, making guest appearances in 2000 and 2004.
  • Dr. Watson – Sherlock Holmes's companion and "biographer": not only did the two first meet in the pathology laboratories in 1881, but Watson studied and met his friend Stamford (who was Watson's "dresser" – the equivalent nowadays of the surgical houseman) at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in the mid/late 1870s.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Garrod Building". Survey of London. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  2. ^ "University of London: Queen Mary University of London". Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Find US". Barts and The London website. Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Number of students at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry". WhatDoTheyKnow. 13 January 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Queen Mary and Westfield College Act 1995". Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  6. ^ "St Bartholomew's Medical College Green". London Gardens Online. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  7. ^ "St Bartholomew's - our history". Barts Health NHS Trust. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  8. ^ "St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College". Women at Queen Mary. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Prime Minister visits new medical school building in Malta". Queen Mary University of London. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Save our BL". Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Save Our BL - Executive Officer Statement". BLSA (in American English). Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Find Us". Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  13. ^ "The UK's first new dental school and hospital for 40 years opens today". Queen Mary University of London. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Francis Bancroft Building Engineering Review" (PDF). WhatDoTheyKnow. 27 December 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Medicine MBBS 5 Years (A100) - Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry".
  16. ^ "Medical students". North East London NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Intercalated degrees - Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry".
  18. ^ "Medicine Graduate Entry Programme (A101) - Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry".
  19. ^ "Rankings and league tables". School of Medicine and Dentistry. BATL. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  20. ^ a b "Rankings and league tables". School of Medicine and Dentistry. BATL. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  21. ^ "Frequently asked questions (MBBS and BDS)". School of Medicine and Dentistry. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  22. ^ a b c d "Medicine MBBS 5 Years (A100)". School of Medicine and Dentistry. Archived from the original on 12 September 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  23. ^ a b c "Dentistry BDS 5 Years (A200)". School of Medicine and Dentistry. Archived from the original on 12 September 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  24. ^ "Policy for Admissions to Undergraduate Programmes in Medicine and Dentistry 2014/15" (PDF). Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  25. ^[bare URL]
  26. ^ "Barts Cancer Institute". Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  27. ^ "Professor Nick Lemoine - Barts Cancer Institute". Archived from the original on 27 May 2016.
  28. ^ 'WATKINS, Prof. Hugh Christian', in Who's Who 2012 (London: A. & C. Black, 2012)

External links[edit]