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Selection Criteria & Guidelines

BSc Academic selection criteria

Academic selection criteria for students wishing to take an intercalated degree.

Medical students' selection criteria

  • Completion of 2, 3 or 4 years of the MBBS course (1 or 2 years of a graduate entry programme). Completion of years 3 and 4 for MSc applicants.
  • Passes in Parts 1, 2 and 3 MBBS (as relevant to the year of intercalation).
  • Applicants for Pre-Hospital Medicine and Sports & Exercise Medicine must have completed a minimum of 3 years of the MBBS programme.

Dental students' selection criteria

  • Completion of 2, 3 or 4 years of the BDS course
  • Passes, in Parts 1, 2 and 3 BDS (as relevant to the year of intercalation).
  • Completion of all continuous assessment to interview date (Term 10).
  • Satisfactory annual progress reviews.
  • Applicants for Sports & Exercise Medicine must have completed a minimum of three years of the BDS programme. Dental students are not eligible to apply for the Pre-Hospital Medicine course

All students - selection criteria

  • Normally, no referrals in any of the clinical firm grades undertaken
  • Satisfactory performance in and completion of, all SSCs prior to intercalation.
  • Students who have applied to do an intercalated degree and who exceed or closely approach these criteria will be asked to attend an interview for a place on an intercalated course
  • Acceptance on the course will be conditional on a satisfactory performance in the interview that will determine the final ranking as outlined in these guidelines.
  • Veterinary students are not eligible to apply for the Pre-Hospital Medicine course

Masters Degrees - Selection Criteria

Entry criteria for intercalating medical students to established 1 year on site Masters courses:

  • Successfully completed at least 3 years of the MBBS, MbChB or equivalent medical course
  • (for clinically based Masters this must include the equivalent of one year of patient based teaching (in hospital/GP practices/clinics)).
  • Passed year 3 or 4 exams immediately prior to entry at the first opportunity.
  • Demonstrate a clear and unequivocal interest in the field by written application +/- interview.
  • For students internal and external to QMUL it is confirmed that the beginning of the first term for the following year starts after all the QMUL Masters assessments are completed.


Detailed application guidelines

Students applying from within Queen Mary

MBBS and BDS students are only permitted to study for an intercalated degree if they:

  • Submit a completed application form to the appropriate officer of the School of Medicine and Dentistry by the annual deadline. You are allowed up to three internal choices which should be ranked in order or preference. Those applying for an external course or courses (as many as desired) are allowed two additional internal choices. Students applying for MSc degrees should apply for the MSc via the Postgraduate Taught Programmes Portal
  • Meet the academic criteria (see: Academic selection criteria) agreed by the School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) for intercalating students.

When competition for places on courses exists, students will be ranked according to their aggregate performance in previous examinations and other numerically marked assessments of performance up to and including the end of the academic year before they apply for the intercalated degree. All examination marks carry equal weighting. In December this information will be available to all students eligible to apply.

In the case of intercalated degrees within Queen Mary University of London, all students who meet the selection criteria will be interviewed by at least 2 members of staff on their first choice course. If a student does not gain a place on his or her first choice course he or she may be interviewed by staff on their second and, possibly, on courses to which they have given a lower priority.

Those wishing to apply for an external course will be interviewed by the head of intercalated degrees and one other member of staff. This procedure is independent of any selection process stipulated by the external course(s) or institution(s) to which a student applies.

All interviews will be assessed as follows:

  • Commitment and keenness
  • Coherence and clarity in answering questions
  • Breadth and depth of background knowledge
  • Specific knowledge about the course

The aggregate examination marks, scaled to a maximum of 67/100, and the marks for the interview, scaled to a maximum of 33/100 will be added together to produce a combined total out of 100. Therefore academic performance will have a weighting twice that of interview performance.

As last year the number of intercalated places is greater than in previous years so, if a student is keen and they meet the selection criteria outlined above, it is certainly worth applying. Those applying for the limited number of external intercalated courses are assessed by exam marks and interview in the same way. However, given the small number of these places on offer (approximately 20 - 25 as mentioned above), competition for them is extremely high.

Students who fail to demonstrate adequate commitment at interview will not be accepted for an intercalated degree. If the interviewers give 5 or fewer marks out of the total available at interview they will not be accepted onto the course, whatever their academic standing.

Any student who fails to meet this threshold and who still wishes to have a place on the degree in question, will then have the right of appeal provided they have suitable grounds. Details of the appeals procedure are available. All students will have right of access to their own interview marks.

Students who have not gained a place on their first choice of course may be asked to attend an interview for a course to which they have applied as a second or, possibly, third choice. This will provide the opportunity for those who have been unsuccessful in gaining a place on an oversubscribed course to gain a place on a course for which there is less demand, provided that they have a sufficiently high combined ranking (i.e. interview and exams).

Students who have not been accepted onto a course may be put on a waiting list (see below) ranked according to the procedure described above. If a place becomes available it will be offered to the highest ranking student remaining on the waiting list.

Intercalated courses will normally interrupt the MBBS or BDS studies for no more than a single academic year and will lead to the award of a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree. MSc degrees interrupt the MBBS or BDS for one calendar year. There must be no overlap between the MSc degree and return to the MBBS/BDS degree. Written evidence of this is required.

Where possible, students will be encouraged (although not obliged) to undertake SSCs appropriate to the intercalated degree that they wish to apply for.

The SMD will always try to offer intercalated places to the maximum number of eligible students as possible. However in years where there are an exceptional number of applicants - either to certain courses or from certain study years - we reserve the right to cap students based upon the combined ranking of academic and interview score. Should there be a large number of applicants to intercalate at external institutions, some lower ranked applicants may necessarily be placed on a waiting list while we await response.

Students wishing to intercalate via study within QMUL

Providing the above selection criteria and ranking conditions are met, all students enrolled on the 5 year MBBS, GEP or BDS at (QMUL) are eligible to study for an Intercalated BSc or MSc degree within QMUL - subject to payment of appropriate fees - as an integral component of their initial degree registration.

Applicants who are offered places on more than one internal course may accept only one offer. If all the places on a particular course are filled additional applicants who have been interviewed may be placed on a waiting list and will be informed of this. Any places which subsequently become free as a result of a student turning down an offer of a place, for instance to accept a place on another course, will then be offered to those on the waiting list, starting with those of the highest ranking and working downwards.

Students wishing to intercalate via study at institutions other than QMUL

Those students wishing to pursue an intercalated degree elsewhere in the University of London (or in any other UK Higher Education Institution) are also subject to the above criteria and guidelines. In addition, these students must obtain the permission of the Dean for Education of the SMD (or his nominated deputy) to interrupt MBBS or BDS studies for the duration (normally one year only) of the intercalated programme.

The proposed programme must be a recognised intercalated degree programme for medical and/or dental students and must be acceptable to The SMD. The SMD may set conditions that must be met before studies at QMUL may be resumed.

There is a quota, limiting the number of places available for intercalation outside QMUL (it is anticipated that 20 - 25 will be given permission for the academic year 2018/19). Permission to interrupt studies will then be granted on a competitive basis in which the combined ranking will be based on examination and interview performance as described above. This interview will be conducted by two members of the SMD academic staff, usually including the head of intercalated degrees. It is entirely separate from any interview that may be required by staff at the external institution at which an application is made.

Given the limited number of external places available, in most years no more than 40 students will be interviewed. These will be the 40 highest ranking students (academically) who have applied for permission to intercalate externally.

Students will be permitted to apply both for internal and external courses.

However, if a place has been offered and accepted on an internal course permission to intercalate externally will not be given.

Similarly, if a place is offered and accepted on an external course and if the Dean for Education (or his nominated deputy) has given permission for the student to undertake the course, that student will not be eligible for acceptance on an internal course.

If, as is sometimes the case, a student who applies for both or an external and an internal course is offered an internal place before hearing from the external institution whether their application has been successful, the internal place will be held open for them until the results of their external application are known. If a student is obliged to apply for an external course before he or she no knows if permission will be granted for them to intercalate externally, they may, on application to the student office obtain a letter giving them provisionalpermission to intercalate, subject to their achieving a sufficiently high ranking after they have been interviewed by SMD staff.

A provisional letter of permission can be requested from the Intercalated Degrees Administrator, Leonie Davidson. Please e-mail any such requests from your QMUL account and include your name, student number, and the course and institution being applied to.


Guidelines and selection criteria for students applying from outside

A limited number of places will be available for external students. In future years these numbers may be adjusted to reflect any changes in the relative numbers of QM students who wish to intercalate externally and external students who wish to do an intercalated degree at QM.

Normally, external students will be assessed in a similar manner to internal applicants. External applicants will be asked to provide with their application a transcript of their examination results to date and, where available, their academic ranking. They will then be assessed on the basis of their interview, with due account taken of their examination performance as shown in their transcript.

In the event a course is oversubscribed and there is a tie for a place then home students will take precedence. Note that should we receive an exceptional number of applications from external students, they may be shortlisted prior to interview.

Every effort will be made to find accommodation for students intercalating from an external medical or dental school.

More about accommodation at Queen Mary.

Information on the appeals procedure may be found here

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