The Black Lens: Oxford University Medical School

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

I still find it hard to believe that I managed to get a place to study Medicine at the University of Oxford – with it being the number one university in the world for that subject!

Oxford is a beautiful city and there is always something to do. I don’t think I could ever get bored of this place.

I’ve definitely been pushed academically (more so than I could have imagined) but I guess that’s what is needed to make a good doctor. It’s been weird spending what should have been my second year mostly online, but I guess some aspects of remote learning have been fun (i.e. not needing to wake up for 9AM lectures!).

Course structure

The Medicine course at Oxford follows a very traditional pathway. The degree is six years long, with the first three years being pre-clinical and the last three years being clinical. This means that the first half of the degree is spent going over the science behind the degree, and gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation for the body, before being taught and practising clinical skills. This structure is great for those who don’t necessarily want to get straight into the action, and would rather take the time to understand the theory first. I just find it helps translate better, in terms of knowing how to get to a potential diagnosis if you understand how and why things may have gone wrong.

Your first two years are spent with your whole year doing the same lectures and practical work. This is quite nice as you get to meet with people from other colleges. Third year is focused on research projects. You get some choice on how you want to spend that year by choosing specific topics which you would like to learn in more detail. The clinical years are spent doing, I guess, clinical stuff (I’m only in my second year so my guess is as good as yours).