New College, like all other undergraduate colleges, admits only five or six medical students a year; there is therefore heavy pressure on places. A-level Chemistry is required, and most of our candidates will have A-levels in two of Biology, Physics and Mathematics, with a GCSE in the third. New College does not normally offer (pre-clinical) medical places to graduates, but we are happy to consider applications from candidates wishing to read Physiological Sciences who do not wish to be registered for Medicine. We also accept a substantial number of clinical students each year.
While most medical students at Oxford take the Final Honour School in Physiological Sciences after three years, a few take PPP, combining Physiology with either Psychology or Philosophy. The pre-clinical course is thus one year longer than in most other medical schools. This allows students to study in greater depth a small number of optional subjects; candidates would therefore be expected to have a greater interest in the scientific basis of medicine than is normally required for medical school entry.
The pre-clinical course is to a large extent based upon departmental teaching in the various laboratories. Tutorial teaching in New College for pre-clinical students is organised by the Tutorial Fellows in Biochemical Pharmacology and Physiology, who also hold academic appointments within the University.
For those on the Clinical Course, teaching is supervised by Dr Peggy Frith, who is Deputy Director of Clinical Studies in the Medical School, and Professor Alain Townsend, Professor of Molecular Immunology. The majority of teaching is delivered centrally by the University Medical School. However, New College has a strong tradition of providing additional support to clinical students. This is facilitated by the fact that the College has around 10 clinical students per year, providing a ‘critical mass’ for regular sessions. Teaching provided is mostly in general medicine and surgery during the appropriate phases of the course (4th and 6th year). This is delivered by practicing junior doctors, with a strong emphasis upon teaching at the patient’s bedside in order to develop clinical skills and acumen.
New College’s ‘Haldane Society’ is an active medical society, which aims to bring fellows, pre-clinical and clinical students together for regular social and educational events, such as talks by invited external speakers.