Should I do an intercalated BSc?
How does it differ from a standard year at medical school, ask Kikachukwu Gardner and Charles Olojugba
The choice of whether to undertake an intercalated bachelor of science degree (BSc) is one of the most important decisions that medical students face. This year long, full time course gives students an opportunity to acquire a greater understanding of basic biomedical or clinical science in a chosen subject.
Most students choose to intercalate after the first two preclinical years, and a handful intercalate in later years. Intercalating is a compulsory part of medical studies at some institutions—for example, Imperial College—and some institutions reserve this year for only the highest achieving students—for example, Barts and the London. In 1997-8 an estimated third of UK medical students intercalated,1 but recent evidence indicates that the proportion may be increasing.
The benefits are many, but there are also disadvantages in disrupting your medical course for a year. Also many students are in some ways misinformed about what this year of study will entail.