Key facts

Average number of students offered a place per year


Average number of applicants per year


Downing College was founded for studies in Medicine, along with Law, and our teaching, success and reputation in Medicine are accordingly strong.

Downing’s Medical Society, the Whitby Medical Society, is run entirely by undergraduates. It meets about twice each term either for purely social reasons, such as the annual Society Dinner, or for academic evenings with outside speakers. The President and Secretary of the Society are elected from among the second and third-year medical and veterinary students.

Many Fellows at Downing are based in, or associated with, the biomedical Departments of the University. Several are involved in supervising Downing Medicine undergraduates in MVST Part IA, MVST Part IB, or NST Part II courses. All are available to offer help and advice to Downing students.

The Fellows include:

Dr Tim Burton, Fellow in Pharmacology
Professor Nick Coleman, Fellow in Pathology, Director of Studies in Medicine, Head of Cambridge University Division of Cellular and Molecular Pathology
Dr Marta Correia, Fellow in Biological Sciences
Professor Trevor Robbins, Head of Cambridge University Department of Experimental Psychology
Mr Justin Davies, Director of Studies in Clinical Medicine.

The standard conditional offer for candidates in Medicine at Downing is A*A*A at A2 Level (or equivalent). Chemistry and Maths A2 level is required.

As with Medicine applicants to all other Cambridge colleges, candidates will be required to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). The UCAT will be taken at an approved centre, before the interviews in Cambridge. Details about the UCAT and a list of centres where the test can be taken can be found on the UCAT website. The test is used to assess scientific aptitude. Downing College will take performance in the UCAT into consideration as one of several factors in assessing candidates.

There is no requirement for AEA examinations to be taken. The minimum pre-medical requirements are explained in the University of Cambridge Undergraduate Prospectus.

At present, applicants for Medicine receive two 30 minute interviews on the same day, each with two interviewers. Both interviews are largely subject based, although more general questions may also be asked.

The conduct of the interview itself is informal, and the types of topic covered are flexible. Background scientific or mathematical knowledge will be useful, but discussions arising from initial questions may range over a broad spectrum of topics relevant to Medicine, some of which are not commonly covered at school.

Further advice about entry requirements and interviews for all subjects can be found in the Applying to Downing section of this site.

Further details about the Medicine course can be found at the University of Cambridge site.

Resources related to studying science and medicine, useful for exploring the subject further, can be found at

Love your subject: Medicine