Is studying for an intercalated degree a wise career move?
Wai-Ching Leung helps you to decide by discussing the evidence
- By: Wai-Ching Leung
Just over a third of all British medical students obtain an intercalated degree1--mostly BSc degrees, with a few medical schools offering BMedSci--for example, Nottingham, Birmingham, and Newcastle--and BA degrees--for example, Oxford and Cambridge. The proportion of students taking the intercalated degrees varies widely among medical schools. In some medical schools it is obligatory--for example, Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham, and some London schools. In other schools, it is open only to students who performed well in the first two years--for example, Liverpool. In medical schools where it is not compulsory, students need to decide quite early on in their careers whether to take up this option. However, the advice they receive is often conflicting and confusing.2
What subjects are studied in the intercalated year? Before the 1990s most students took basic science subjects, such as physiology or pathology, although a minority chose subjects such as medical law, medical anthropology, or even subjects