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6 places per year for the standard 3-year preclinical medical course (A100)

Why Study Medicine at Hilda’s?

St Hilda’s has a long tradition of admitting students to read Medicine. Our tutors’ research interests mirror extensively the topics taught in Medicine, ensuring that tutorials are always up to date and driven by people who are actively engaged in research in the area.

We have a strong team for the preclinical and clinical medical courses: the three tutorial fellows (two in preclinical medicine, one in clinical medicine) are supported in their teaching by three college lecturers, and bring in expert support for specialist topics. The tutors (clinical and preclinical) have won teaching awards and are heavily involved in the delivery of the course (i.e. they know what you need to know). St Hilda’s is unique at Oxford in having such a close-working and joined-up approach to preclinical and clinical support, in both pastoral and academic support; there is no barrier between the two stages of training at Hilda's. Our students feel that the Clinical Tutors know them even before they are in year 4, and the Preclinical Tutors are in touch during every stage of the clinical years.

On a practical note, St Hilda’s is conveniently located between the preclinical school (5-10 min by bike) and the teaching hospital (5-10 min by bus). The College library stocks all the books required for medicine and responds quickly to new requests. The College also offers Travel Grants that can be used to fund research activities outside Oxford. These may help preclinical medical students who carry out a research projects (laboratory-based or library-based) that require travelling (if chosen lab is not in Oxford or to get access to libraries or archives that store documents of interest) or graduate students to initiate collaborations or learn new techniques in other labs to facilitate their research in Oxford.

The medical students feel part of the College’s Medical Community. We offer a lot of subject events for students: Finalists will have a Schools Dinner (3rd year and 6th year students have a served meal with their tutors after the final examinations); there are regular Drinks Receptions for all undergraduate students and their tutors to meet informally and get to know each other; for graduate students, there are also served Graduate Dinners every year at which students and their college advisors get a chance to meet and socialise. The Medical Society regularly hosts seminars and conferences involving Alumnae and Friends that are not only of wide-spread interest to both undergraduate and graduate students but also offer opportunities for career networking.

Subject Tutors

The core tutorial teaching team at St Hilda’s consists of:


- Dr Maike Glitsch
- Dr Phillipa Hulley
- Dr Robert Wilkins
- Dr Fernando Nodal
- Dr Mary Board
- Dr Stephen McHugh
- Dr Anna Ridley


- Dr Catherine Swales - medicine
- Dr Stephen Gwilym - surgery
- Vassilis Athanassoglou - surgery
- Luchshman Bavan - medicine
- Dr Robert McCulloch - surgery
- Prof Ruth Muschel - oncology

Core teaching is supplemented by extra teaching in more specialist areas.

Further Information Pre-clinical Medicine

St. Hilda’s not only admits preclinical medical students, but also students to read Experimental Psychology, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Science, Biochemistry, and Engineering Sciences (with a strong emphasis on biomedical engineering) at an undergraduate level. All these disciplines are related and provide a large student body with shared interests. Furthermore, there are a number of graduate and postgraduate students undertaking different aspects of (bio-) medical research, further extending the diversity already found at an undergraduate level.

Preclinical Course

Preclinical medical students obtain two degrees after completing the 3 year course: Bachelor in Medicine (BM) and Bachelor in Science (BSc).

The preclinical course is divided into 3 parts:

Bachelor in Medicine Part 1 (first BM I)
This part takes up the whole first year; subjects taught are Physiology & Pharmacology; Organisation of the Body; Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics. There are also Doctor-Patient sessions and lectures in Medical Sociology. At the end of the first year, there will be exams for the first BM.

Bachelor in Medicine Part 2 (first BM II)
This part takes up the first two terms of the second year; subjects taught are Neuroscience; Integrative Systems; Pathology. There are also lectures in Medical Psychology. At the beginning of the third term of the 2nd year, there will be exams for the second BM.

Final Honours School (FHS)
This part takes up the third term of the second year and the whole third year; students specialise in one of five options (Neuroscience, Cell Physiology and Pharmacology, Immunity & Infection, Molecular Medicine, Myocardial, Vascular & Respiratory Science (MVR)) and also carry out a research project (this usually takes up the third term of the 2nd year and parts of the summer vacation) in a lab of their choice. At the end of the last term in the 3rd year, there will be exams.

Clinical Anatomy Course
This 3 week course will take place following finals for the FHS course and will provide students with a detailed understanding of clinically relevant anatomy.

Students will then be able to enjoy a well-deserved summer break before taking up their clinical training in Oxford, Cambridge or at one of the London Medical Schools in September. Between 50-70% of preclinical medical students will stay on in Oxford for the clinical part of their training.  Click here for information about the preclinical course. This webpage explains in detail the course structure and entry requirements.

Further Information Clinical Medicine

The Clinical Medicine Fellow, Dr Catherine Swales, is the college graduate advisor for all the clinical students at St Hilda’s as well as being an Associate Director of Clinical Studies in the Clinical Medicine School at Oxford University.

As a College Graduate Advisor Dr Swales undertakes termly appraisals with clinical students, provides pastoral care and advises on work experience. As the Clinical Medicine Tutor Dr Swales oversees, and with the other Clinical Lecturers, delivers college clinical teaching for years 4, 5 and 6. The majority of this clinical teaching is focused in year 4 and 6, as year 5 mostly covers sub-speciality training (e.g. paediatrics, psychiatry). However Dr Swales see all clinical medicine students regularly throughout year 5 for appraisal. 

Contact time is complex as students are often at district general hospitals, but overall St Hilda’s offers approximately 1-2 hours teaching in both medicine and surgery per week in years 4 and 6. Contact time increases to 4-6 hours per week for each of medicine and surgery approaching examination periods. Teaching sessions can be didactic teaching, looking over past papers, discussing complex cases, communication skills training and examinations skills teaching/assessment; and is tailored to meet the group’s needs and then individuals if needed. Tutors also provide a mock clinical exam.

Clinical students can apply for £200 towards clinical equipment and £500 towards the 6th year elective. In addition the college has generous support for travel associated with the students’ elective and any year 5 placements overseas, as well as conferences and if required there are hardship funds to support all graduate students. The 2016 Medical Conference talks given by our clinical elective students are available on YouTube.

Click here for information about the clinical course. This webpage explains in detail the course structure and entry requirements.