UCL Medical School

UCL Medical School is the medical school of University College London (UCL) and is located in London, United Kingdom. The School provides a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education programmes and also has a medical education research unit and an education consultancy unit. It is internationally renowned and is currently ranked 7th in the world by the QS World University Rankings 2022.

UCL Medical School
TypeMedical school
Established1746 (Middlesex Hospital Medical School)
1834 (University College Hospital Medical School)
1874 (London School of Medicine for Women, later The Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine)
1987 (University College and Middlesex School of Medicine)
1998 (Royal Free and University College Medical School)
2008 (UCL Medical School)
DeanProfessor David Lomas
DirectorProfessor Faye Gishen
WebsiteUCL Medical School

UCL has offered education in medicine since 1834. The currently configured and titled medical school was established in 2008 following mergers between UCLH Medical School and the medical school of the Middlesex Hospital (in 1987) and The Royal Free Hospital Medical School (in 1998). The School's clinical teaching is primarily conducted at University College Hospital, The Royal Free Hospital and the Whittington Hospital, with other associated teaching hospitals including the Great Ormond Street Hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.


The Cruciform Building on Gower Street, which houses the preclinical facilities of the UCL Medical School; it was previously the main building of University College Hospital

UCL Medical School formed over a number of years from the merger of a number of institutions:[1]

  • The Middlesex Hospital opened in Fitzrovia in 1745 and was training doctors from 1746 onwards, when students were 'walking the wards'.
  • University College Hospital opened in 1834 as the North London Hospital, with the purpose of providing the then newly opened University College London with a hospital to train medical students after refusal by the governors of the Middlesex Hospital to share its facilities with UCL.

Middlesex Hospital and University College Hospital merged their medical schools in 1987 to form University College & Middlesex School of Medicine (UCMSM).

  • The London School of Medicine for Women was established in 1874 by Sophia Jex-Blake, as the first medical school in Britain to train women. In 1877 The Royal Free Hospital agreed to allow students from LSMW to complete their clinical studies there and by 1896 was renamed The London Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine for Women and became part of the University of London.

In 1998 The Royal Free & University College Medical School (RFUCMS) was formed from the merger of the two medical schools. On 1 October 2008, it was officially renamed UCL Medical School.[2]

In appreciation of the historic beginnings of UCL Medical School, its student society has retained the name "RUMS" (Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Medical Students Society) and runs clubs and societies within University College London Union.[3]


The current main building of University College Hospital on Euston Road, which opened in 2005

The medical school is one of the largest in the country with a yearly intake of 334 students.[4] Undergraduate teaching is spread across three campuses based in Bloomsbury (including University College Hospital), at Archway (including Whittington Hospital) and in Hampstead (including the Royal Free Hospital).[5]

Teaching takes place in: Great Ormond Street Hospital, The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (Queen's Square), Moorfields Eye Hospital, The Heart Hospital, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital.

The school is not only widely regarded as one of the best medical schools in the country (frequently ranked between number 1–5 in the country), but also one of the best in the world; being ranked consistently in the top 10.


The course in medicine at UCL leads to the award of the MB BS and BSc (Hons) degrees and is a six-year integrated programme: Years 1 and 2 Fundamentals of Clinical Science; Year 3 Integrated BSc degree; Year 4 Integrated Clinical Care; Year 5 The Life Cycle and Specialist Practice and Year 6 Preparation for Practice.[6]


Admission to the medical school, in common with all 44 medical schools in the UK, is extremely competitive. The medical school receives approximately 2,500 applications yearly (over 2700 for 2018 entry) of which up to 700 applicants are selected for interview. Approximately 450 offers are given for 322 places. Prospective students must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).[7]

As of 2021 entry, conditional offers for entry include grades A*AA at A-level, to include at least Chemistry and Biology, and an additional subject at A-level. The International Baccalaureate (Full Diploma), although less common, is also an acceptable entry qualification. The course is also open to graduates with a minimum of a 2:1 required. Additionally, applicants must sit an entrance exam, the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) which is used alongside the rest of the UCAS application to determine selection for interview.[8][9][10] The interview process involves a 20-30 minute panel interview conducted by a panel of UCL academic staff, members of the healthcare team or medical students.[11]

Associated hospitals and research institutes


UCL Medical School is associated with the following hospitals:

Research institutes

UCL Medical School is associated with the following research institutes:

UCL Medical School forms part of the UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences, together with the Division of Medicine, Division of Infection and Immunity, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, UCL Cancer Institute, UCL Eastman Dental Institute and UCL Wolfson Institute.


In the 2022, QS World University Rankings by Subject UCL was ranked 7th in the world (3rd in Europe, 1st in London) for Medicine.[12]

In the 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities subject tables, UCL was ranked 16th in the world (and 4th in Europe) for Clinical Medicine.[13]

Student societies

All students at UCL Medical School are also members of The Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Medical Students’ Association (RUMS MSA) - a student-led organisation that is independent of UCL Medical School.[14] RUMS has a proud and illustrious past having been formed in the wake of the merger between the three constituent medical schools in 1998. Its predecessor, The Middlesex Hospital Medical Society is reportedly the oldest student society in England having been formed in 1774.[15] Since its formation in 1998 RUMS (RUMS) has gone from strength to strength and now provides social events, sports teams, societies, welfare services and representation to the 1200 or so medical students at UCL Medical School.

In 2011, UCLU Medical Society was established separate from RUMS MSA to provide careers advice and peer teaching for medical students, as well as special interest events. These events can be centrally organised or by various subdivisions or "sections" within the society ranging from those devoted to medical specialities such as Paediatrics or General Practice to Medical Leadership & Management and Global Health.[16][17] Since 2012, one of the most popular sections of UCLU Medical Society has been UCLU Med Soc Education, which provides peer-to-peer and near-peer teaching events, run by medical students for other medical students. The novelty of this section is their collaboration with the medical school faculty to ensure quality and validity of the student-produced material and student-led teaching on offer.

Notable alumni

Notable alumni of UCL Medical School and its predecessor institutions include:


  1. "History of UCL Medical School". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  2. "Royal Free Association - Origins". Royal Free. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  3. "RUMS Medics". RUMS. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  4. "Undergraduate Programmes". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  5. "Campuses". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  6. "MBBS Programme". UCL Medical School. 7 December 2017.
  7. "Candidate Selection & Interview". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  8. "MBBS Academic Entry Requirements for 2015 Entry" (PDF). UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  9. "New test for medics". Times Higher Education. 16 December 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  10. "MBBS Entry Requirements". UCL. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  11. "Ultimate Guide to UCL Medicine Interview (2022) - Questions & Tips". medfully.co.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  12. "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022 - Medicine". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  13. "Academic Ranking of World Universities in Clinical Medicine - 2022". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  14. "RUMS Medics". RUMS. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  15. "The Oldest Medical Societies in Great Britain" (PDF).
  16. "UCLU Medical Society". UCLU. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  17. "About us". UCL Medical Society. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  18. "New Members and Foreign Associates of the National Academy of Sciences: G. Marius Clore, Gregory C. Fu, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, Ei-ichi Negishi". Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 53: 6598. 2014. doi:10.1002/anie.201405510.
  19. "Professor Leslie Collier". The Daily Telegraph. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  20. "Professor Jane Dacre is elected president of the Royal College of Physicians". Royal College of Physicians. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  21. "Prof Jane Dacre". University College London Institutional Research Information Service. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  22. "Deborah Doniach". The Guardian. 15 January 2004. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  23. "Opponent of NHS reform driven by grim memories of 60s". The Guardian. 19 November 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  24. "Why are clinical commissioning groups dominated by men?". The Guardian. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  25. "New Chair-elect for RCGP". Royal College of General Practitioners. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  26. Bayfield, Tony. "Greengross [married name Katz, later Kates], Wendy Elsa (1925–2012)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). OUP. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/106704. Retrieved 26 November 2017. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  27. Olsom, James Stuart; Shadle, Robert (1996). Historical Dictionary of the British Empire. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 539. ISBN 978-0-313-29366-5.
  28. "Sir Leander Starr Jameson, Baronet | prime minister of the Cape Colony | Britannica".
  29. "Donald Jeffries obituary". The Telegraph. 27 December 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  30. Lindsey Fitzharris (2017). The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine. New York: Scientific American: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. ISBN 9780374117290
  31. Godfrey, Simon (2009). "Munk's Roll: Kalman Jacob Mann". Royal College of Physicians. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  32. Boersma, Maxine (9 October 2014). "Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh on care and capitalism". Financial Times. Retrieved 9 December 2015.


  • University College Hospital and Its Medical School: A History by W R Merrington (1976) ISBN 0-434-46500-3

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