Posted by: Nicholas Swetenham | March 1, 2009

Transfer to clinical school for Cambridge students

One UK medical school, St. Andrew’s, only does the pre-clinical part of the course. Cambridge is very unusual amon UK medical schools in that it does have both a pre-clinical and clinical course, but the latter only has about half as many places as the former. This has arisen, I believe, for a variety of historical reasons, but the end result is that those on the undegraduate course will experience a reshuffling between Cambridge, Oxford and the London schools. The system is sometimes called MOCAG (Metropolitan, Oxford and Cambridge Application for Graduates).

Here is a description of the process as it is happening in 2009:

There is a very simple 4-page form to fill out, which you give to your referee when you leave for Christmas at the end of Michaelmas term. Your referee then has until early January to write the reference and pass it on. There are then 3 rounds of admissions:

Round 1: Late January. Obligatory interview. Cambridge and UCL are the top choice for most people and very competitive – UCL accepts perhaps 40% of first-rounders. Most applicants to Oxford have double Firsts. King’s, Barts and St George’s accept most applicants. Imperial varies from year to year, this year was very unpopular. Overall, perhaps 60% of applicants get their first choice.

Round 2: Late February (King’s), Early March (Imperial), Mid-March (Barts). You may or may not be interviewed (most are, I believe). The 2nd round at King’s and Imperial is much tougher, since many put it down as 2nd choice. Another 30% or so get into their second choice.

Round 3: Early to Late March. Clearing. The last 10% or so get distributed between remaining places, again with the possibility of an interview (this time with representatives from several schools).

A word of wisdom from this year is that the 1. UCL 2. Kings order of preference is quite possibly the most competitive that most people will consider. Those wishing to go to London might want to think hard about putting down Imperial.


  1. Hi, Is it possible to transfer from a medical school like Manchester to any of the following, since the preclinical years and the teaching methods are different. I have read that cambridge allow students from other universities on to the MbPhd programme (25% are external) who would first have to enter the clinical phase in cambridge. Could these external students be from anywhere or just universities in the MOCAG system?

    • You need an intercalated BSc or Ba. Otherwise I imagine it’s possible. Contact the admissions department at the Clinical School at Addenbrooke’s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: