Overview of the Medical School

  • The Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, created in 2014, encompasses both a School of Bioscience Education and a School of Medical Education (GKT). Together they deliver undergraduate health professions programmes (Medicine, Nutrition & Dietetics, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy) and a suite of related BSc programmes in Biomedical Sciences, through 18 Academic Divisions.
  • King’s College London was founded in 1829 as a university college. When the University of London was established in 1836, King’s became one of its founding colleges and included a medical department from the beginning. The school of medicine was formed following a merger with the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals (GKT) on 1 August 1998.
  • Among its alumni, the school is associated with 2 Nobel prizes: Sir Frederick Hopkins in 1929 for the discovery of vitamins and Max Theiler in 1951 for developing a vaccine against yellow fever. Also Patrick Steptoe, pioneer of IVF, missed out a Nobel Prize because he died before the awarding. Other remarkable alumni are: Russell Brock pioneer of modern open-heart surgery and Thomas Hodgkin discoverer of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Campus and Facilities

  • Campus: 4 central London campuses
    • Guy’s Hospital Campus at London Bridge
    • St Thomas’ Hospital at Waterloo
    • Franklin Wilkins Building at Waterloo
    • King’s College Hospital in South London
  • Teaching facilities:
    • Chantler Simulation & Interactive Learning Centre (Guy’s Campus): provides clinical classrooms, hospital and community care settings
    • Dissecting rooms: two dissecting rooms based at the Guy’s Campus
      • Upper dissecting room: 38 double-tables, housing 50 cadavers
      • Lower dissecting room: 14 double-tables, housing 12 cadavers
    • Gordon Museum of Pathology: largest medical museum in the UK containing over 8,000 pathology specimens. Its primary function is to help train medical professionals to diagnose disease.
    • Virtual Learning for students: provides online resources and support

National and International Rankings

  • Complete University Guide ranking for medicine: rank 21 (2016)
  • Guardian University ranking for medicine: rank 29 (2016)
  • QS World ranking for medicine: rank 21 (2016)
  • Times Higher Education for medicine: rank 8 (2016)

MBBS Programme Information

General overview

  • The curriculum of this course provides early patient experience and has 3 stages: foundation of Biomedical Science, From Science to Clinical practice, Integrated Clinical practice. This, to achieve the value of “doctors in partnership with patients, to manage risk across a range of different care settings”.
  • Although there are four entry routes into medicine at King’s, all students follow the MBBS curriculum:
    • Medicine: standard five-year programme
    • Medicine Graduate & Professional Entry: four-year fast track programme
    • Extended Medical Degree Programme: six-year widening access programme
    • MaxFax: four-year programme for qualified dentists

Number of students on this course:

Around 410 students each year in all 4 programmes

Course Structure and Length

  • Year 1: Stage 1 – Foundations of Medicine
    • Focused on the basis of biomedical sciences, population sciences and quality improvement, and the skills to integrate them with clinical practice.
  • Year 2 and 3: Stage 2 – Principles of Clinical Practice
    • Emphasis on clinical practice and uses the experience to integrate biomedical science, populations science and generic clinical skills
    • In year 3 students have projects and opportunities to combine practice and theory.
  • Year 4 and 5: Stage 3 – Integrated Clinical Practice
    • Students develop their capabilities in different settings under direct supervision to take care of patients.
    • In year 4 students may take an intercalated year to include other studies in biomedical sciences, languages and humanities.
    • In year 5 students have a component of preparation for practices that helps for a smooth transition from studying to work.
  • Variations of the standard 5-year programme:
    • Medicine Graduate/Professional Entry Programme (GPEP) MBBS (four-year fast track programme): they cover year 1-2 in an extended single year known as the ‘transition year’.
    • Extended Medical Degree Programme (six-year programme): allows that the 1st  stage is studied at a slower pace for the first three years.
    • Medicine MaxFax Entry Programme (four-year programme for qualified dentists): After their introductory first year, students join the third year of the standard five-year MBBS programme.

Course Content:

  • Year 1: Foundations of biomedical sciences and skills to begin to integrate with clinical practice:
    • Foundations of Biomedical Science: principles of anatomy and physiology of body systems, metabolism, communication within and between cells, molecular and cell biology, immunology and pharmacology.
    • Biomedical Science: deeper knowledge by practical work in anatomy (functional anatomy, biochemistry and physiology of systems).
    • Population Science and Quality Improvement: Introduces students to the structure of the Health Service in the UK and the role of organizations such as the GMC, BMA, medical Royal Colleges, NICE and MRC.
    • Genes, Behaviour and Environment: emphasis on learning about the complex interplay of genes, behaviours and the environment, and the opportunities to work with patient and the public to modify risk.
    • Introduction to Clinical Skills and Communication: basic skills of communication and clinical practice using simulated clinical environments and clinical skills. Students have to demonstrate that they can be trusted to work with patients in a supervised environment.
    • Doctor and Society: This covers the ethical and legal principles underpinning medical practice. It also includes preparatory workshops on student health, wellbeing and resilience.
    • Student Selected Components: areas of study for which students are able to select the subject and which give additional opportunities to explore areas of interest: modern languages, medical humanities and the Associateship of King’s College 
  • Years 2: starts Stage 2 that provides greater emphasis on clinical practice and uses the experience to integrate biomedical sciences, population sciences and generic clinical skills:
    • Longitudinal placements: Students learn with a panel of patients or other service users in general practice, mental health or other care settings. The placements are designed to help students develop clinical, shared decision-making and patient advocacy capabilities.
    • Clinical Practice: Students are allocated to short clinical placements (typically 4 week blocks) organized around common patient care pathways. These opportunities to both develop generic clinical skills but also the ability to provide care for patients with common acute and long-term conditions.
    • Diagnostics, Pathology and Therapeutics: Students learn to identify appropriate investigations and develop the capabilities to develop safe, effective and economic management plans. The course also covers the imaging sciences, microbiology, immunology, genetics, bio-engineering, pathology and pharmacology.
    • Biomedical Sciences: deeper knowledge of biomedical sciences by practical work in anatomy and physiology relevant to their clinical placements.
    • Genes, Behaviour and Environment: relates genetics, behavioural sciences, microbiology, immunology, pathology, environmental sciences, population sciences to their clinical placements.
    • Population Science and Quality Improvement: students are expected to critically reflect on the factors that enhance patient experience, reduce the risk of error and improve outcomes.
    • Doctor and Society: Helps students grow in self-awareness, develop their reflective practice skills, apply ethical and legal principles in medical practice.
  • Year 3: offers the same core components of year 2, plus:
    • Doctor as teacher: covering educational theory and practice to support students in developing their confidence and competence as educators.
    • Tasters: provides opportunities to explore possible career options
    • Projects: provides opportunities to develop teaching skills, quality improvement skills and a knowledge of global health
  • Year 4: starts stage 3 of the programme
    • Clinical blocks: include placements in mental health, child health, women’s health, general practice, outpatients, elective care, emergency medicine and acute and critical care.
    • Diagnostics, Pathology and Therapeutics: Students are expected to develop focussed plans to confirm a diagnosis, contribute to the development of management plans that take account of co-morbidities.
    • Doctor and Society: Help students model professional attributes as they take increasing responsibility for patient care and their own learning
    • Population Science and Quality Improvement: focus on the improvement of patient care in a range of different settings and include a live quality improvement project.
    • Global Health: covers the global determinants of health and disease and variations in healthcare delivery and medical practice. It will assist students with the preparation for their elective.
  • Year 5: the integrated clinical practice continued, and also offers:
    • Electives: opportunity to undertake an eight-week elective in the UK or abroad which will include a project.
    • Tasters: These are in a clinical setting and offer students the opportunity to explore possible career options.
    • Preparation for practice: This programme focuses on the generic roles and responsibilities of a F1 doctor to help facilitate a smooth transitional to work.

Teaching locations:

  • GKT School of Medical School at King’s College London Medical School uses 3 out of 4 campuses (Waterloo is home for the Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery).
  • Denmark Hill
  • Guy’s Campus
  • St Thomas Campus

Integrated BSc opportunities (courses on offer):

  • King’s currently offers 19 intercalated BSc programmes open to medical, dental and veterinary medicine students from King’s and other universities.
  • The MBBS programme considers that an intercalated year can be taken in year 4.

BSc programmes:

  • Anatomy, Developmental and Human Biology
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Medicine
  • Craniofacial and Stem Cell Biology
  • Endocrinology: Clinical and Molecular
  • Gerontology
  • Global Health
  • Health Care Management
  • History of Medicine
  • Human Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Imaging Sciences
  • Infectious Diseases and Immunobiology
  • Medical Ethics and Law
  • Medical Genetics
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology
  • Philosophy
  • Physiology
  • Psychology
  • Regenerative Medicine & Innovation Technology
  • Women’s Health

Open day dates:

  • 11 June 2016 (10:00-17:00) at Guy’s Campus
  • 09 July 2016 (09:00-17:00) at Guy’s Campus

Term dates:

  • Autumn Term: 19 Sep 2016 – 09 Dec 2016
  • Spring Term: 09 Jan 2017 – 31 Mar 2017
  • Summer Term: 01 May 2017 – 09 Jun 2017

MBBS Admissions:

Application process:

Entry requirements:


  • AAA at A-level (including Chemistry and Biology) and a further B at AS-level.
  • If only one of Chemistry or Biology is offered at A-level, the other must be offered at AS-level grade A.
  • Are welcome applicants who offer non-science subjects
  • Grade B in English Language and Mathematics if not offered at A or AS-level.
  • For graduate applicants an upper second class undergraduate honors degree (any subject), plus grade B at A level in Chemistry and Biology
  • Alternatively, a lower second class undergraduate honors degree with a postgraduate master’s degree with at least a merit.

Medicine Graduate & Professional Entry Graduate and undergraduate entry:

  • Degree must be in a science subject
  • At least an upper second class undergraduate honors, or a lower second class undergraduate honors degree combined with a postgraduate master’s degree with at least a merit.
  • Health service professionals without an honors degree but with appropriate post-qualification experience may be considered
  • Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing will be considered with at least two years nursing work experience

Extended Medical Degree Other:

  • Three A-levels, including Chemistry, Biology and any other subject.
  • Grade B at English Language and Maths, if not offered at A/AS-level.
  • Only Home/EU applicants are considered for this programme.
  • To be eligible applicants must be studying in an eligible nonselective state school or FE College in London, or be a participant of Realising Opportunities across England.


  • Applicants must be qualified dentists, registered with the UK General Dental Council.

Clinical transfer students – direct entry to Phase 3

  • For medical students from Oxford University who have obtained their BSc honors degree

Candidate Selection

  • UCAT: there is no threshold UCAT score in any particular year, for guidelines consider:
    • 2015 entry 630
    • 2014 entry 735
    • 2013 entry 695
    • 2012 entry 685
  • There are around 1,200-1,400 places for interview
  • To be consider for interview, selectors consider:
    • GCSE (or equivalent performance) – most important
    • The reference and the score in the UCAT – most important
    • Predicted or achieved A-level grades (or equivalent)
    • Personal statement
  • No offers are made without an interview

Interview procedure

  • Interviews are held between January and March and you must be available for interview in order to be considered for admission.
  • It is expected that candidates adopt the dress code required of clinical medical students at King’s.
  • The Interview:
    • Are in the format of multiple mini interviews
    • There are several “mini” interviews or stations
    • At each station, candidates are asked to respond to questions relating to a scenario and then move onto the next station in a timed circuit.
      • Station to assess values and personality based attributes: kindness, compassion and empathy, respect for the individual, privacy and dignity, advocacy, decision-making, team working and integrity.
      • Station to assess information handling and evaluation skills
      • Station to assess knowledge on topical medical issues.
      • Station to assess the candidates’ ability to deal with an ethical dilemma.
    • A standardized interviewer assessment score sheet accompanies each station.
  • The interview considered:
    • Communication skills
    • Interest in the subject and profession
    • Exploring general social and ethical issues normally health related
    • How the interviewee will contribute to the College as a whole.

Extra important information for candidates

  • All applications are carefully considered, and therefore you should not expect a response until the cycle has been completed in early May.
  • If you are made an offer for Medicine you will be invited to attend a post-offer Open Day.
  • Suitably qualified graduate applicants for our four-year Graduate/Professional Entry Programme A102 who are invited to interview may also be considered for the five-year programme A100.
  • All University of Oxford applicants are interviewed as part of the admissions process.
  • The application can be tracked using the “King’s Apply” online portal system.

Admissions contacts:

  • General enquiries – King’s College London Switchboard
  • Admissions enquiries:
    • Phone: +44 (0) 207 848 7000
    • Visit: Admissions Office Enquiries Team, based on the 7th floor of the James Clerk Maxwell Building, Waterloo Campus.
    • Live Chat: Undergraduate Admissions Live Chats every other Friday from 15.00-17.00.

Check out our Crash Courses:

BMAT Course
UCAT Course
Interview Course
2021-07-27T10:11:49+00:00London Universities|Comments Off on King’s College London

About the Author:

I'm a medical student at Cambridge University, and one of the co-founders of 6med. I created the BMAT Crash Course and Interview Crash Course, and helped code BMAT Ninja and UKCAT Ninja. If you need a hand with anything, feel free to give me a shout!