Standard Medicine Course
St Hugh’s admits six pre-clinical medical students each year. We welcome applications from pre-A-level candidates and from candidates who have already achieved good A-levels.
Pre-clinical medical students read for a BA (Hons) in Medical Sciences. This three-year course comprises a little more than five terms of study for the First BM Examinations in basic medical sciences followed by nearly four terms of advanced study of a selected biomedical option (see the Medical Sciences Division course pages for more details). Most students also undertake a practical research project. After completion of the Honours School and a short Clinical Anatomy course, students go on to study clinical medicine. Almost all study at Oxford, and most students opt to stay at St. Hugh’s for their three clinical years. St Hugh’s is in fact the nearest college to the hospital sites with a convenient bus stopping directly outside College.
Graduate students may apply to study medicine on the standard course; they study basic medical science for six terms (two years) before progressing to clinical school. Alternatively graduates with a suitable science degree may apply directly to St Hugh’s to study for the four-year accelerated graduate-entry course (see below).
For the standard medical course, a good basic knowledge of science, which must include an appropriate advanced qualification in Chemistry and at least one other Science, is essential. Applicants with a broad academic and social experience are welcomed. For further details of the application process and admissions criteria, please refer to the University admissions information for Medicine and the Medical Science Division course pages. The pamphlet Medicine at Oxford University, which is available from the Tutor for Admissions sets out entrance requirements for GCSE, Scottish CE and International Baccalaureate, and also gives more details of the courses.
St Hugh’s also offers up to three places each year on the graduate-entry Medical course, where students with a suitable previous science degree can undertake an intensive four-year programme. We work with other Colleges to provide full and extensive tutorial support for this course. As the course progresses, the graduate-entry medics work more closely with St Hugh’s students on the standard course in clinical tutorial sessions. For further details, see the information on the Medical Sciences website.
Occasionally, graduates with recent good first degrees, who wish to cover the basic science behind medicine in more detail, opt to apply for the standard medical course. Such applications are also welcomed at St Hugh’s.
Teaching at St Hugh’s
Clive Wilson and Ed Mann, the two Tutorial Fellows in Medicine at St Hugh’s, take overall responsibility for guiding students in the undergraduate courses. They see students each week or fortnight for tutorial discussion during most of the pre-clinical course. John Morris, Emeritus Professor of Human Anatomy, and past Director of Pre-Clinical Studies, still retains an active role in teaching at St Hugh’s. Other College Fellows with clinical backgrounds (e.g. Damian Jenkins and Anthony Harnden) and a strong team of lecturers teach almost every aspect of basic medical and physiological science, and clinical medicine. Adrian Harris (Professor of Clinical Oncology) is a Professorial Fellow of the College. Research interests of the staff include the regulation of neural activity, neural control of hormones and movement, neuropathology, control of respiration, biomembranes, genetics, cell growth control, insulin signalling, cell-cell signalling, and cell ultrastructure. Interests of our clinical Fellows include cancer biology and chemotherapy, angiogenesis, primary care paediatrics, childhood infection, neurodegeneration, brain injury and repair.
A distinctive feature of the teaching structure at St Hugh’s is that some of the most talented students who have been trained at the College work in Oxford and choose to join the College teaching team (currently more than half of our clinical lecturers); they continue to bring innovation to College aspects of clinical teaching, based partly on their own experiences of the Oxford course, and offer advice and support in career choices and applications.
Funding and Awards
A very generous donation in 2012 from a previous medical graduate from St Hugh’s, Lucy Jones, has allowed the establishment of a series of prizes for our top students at different stages of their preclinical and clinical education. These are the Jonathan Boulter Memorial Award (£300) for the top performance at First BM, the John Morris Medical Award (£300) for the top performance in Preclinical Finals and the Jones Award (£400) for the top performance in Clinical Finals.
In addition, clinical students can apply for up to £500 to cover some of the costs of their electives, and if they or preclinical students undertake research or attend research conferences, there are opportunities to apply for up to £500 to help cover some of the costs involved. College will also fund the costs of a stethoscope for clinical students.
Finally, medical undergraduates frequently need to stay in Oxford over the vacation to undertake parts of their Final Honours School research project, and College will consider applications for funding to help to cover some of the costs involved.
Both standard and graduate-entry medical students from St Hugh’s have been successful consistently over many years and at all stages of the course. For example, since 2008, when the Meakins McLaren Gold Medal was first awarded for best performance in the clinical course, students who have studied at St Hugh’s have won the medal on three occasions. One important factor in this high level of academic performance is the strong sense of community at St Hugh’s, which encourages students both from the same year and from different years to work together outside the tutorial system. This has also been central to the development of our very strong clinical teaching team.
The College encourages students to become involved in other non-academic activities, and there are numerous social events organised by St Hugh’s Medics in addition to other College-based activities.
Although St Hugh’s offers tutorial support in all relevant areas of medicine and medical sciences, it has particular strengths in neuroscience, endocrinology, anatomy, genetics, cancer biology, developmental biology, cell-cell signalling and pathology. Students with interests in these areas are encouraged to work on research projects with their tutors during the pre-clinical course.