Medical Sciences at St Catherine’s is a large, friendly community with on average six undergraduates per year studying on the three-year pre-clinical course, culminating in a first degree in Medical Sciences. Many of these students will continue as graduate students at the College for the second stage of the course (a three-year clinical course which leads to the BM, BCh), although entry to this involves a separate application, for which the students get help and advice from College tutors. We usually have two to three students on the four-year accelerated BM, BCh course for graduates in applied or experimental science subjects. Catz also has a large number of postgraduates working towards MSc and DPhil degrees. In addition there is a group of students studying Biomedical Sciences.
We encourage networking across the different groups. Preclinical and Biomedical Science students may have joint tutorials related to their research project work. They and the graduate entry students all attend and share in the organisation of the student-run journal club and also the meetings of the Biomedical Society. We also hold various social events, such as the ‘Welcome Party’ at the start of each term for all students and a range of tutors, in which preclinical and first year graduate-entry students have the opportunity to hear first-hand about the later parts of training to become a doctor.
Where possible, students on the pre-clinical course are given the opportunity to visit our clinical tutors in the clinics and theatres to see patients early in their course.
The pre-clinical Medical students at St Catherine’s benefit from the close proximity to the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre (MSTC), which is where most of the Faculty-based lectures, practicals and classes are held.
St Catherine’s provides an extensive range of course text books in our college library, which has ample space for study. It also has convenient opening hours (to midnight during term) for any last minute essay revisions.
St Catherine’s provides tutorial teaching across the curriculum in Medical Sciences, with tutors covering the main pre-clinical subjects and a number of clinical specialities. The range of interests covered by tutors at the College encourages students’ scientific curiosity in the various research areas. Tutors provide support in various ways as the pre-clinincal students work through their research project in their third (Final Honours School) year. We place particular importance on helping students to develop their generic life skills, and therefore incorporate written and verbal communication skills into our teaching programmes at St Catherine’s.
The tutors provide pastoral as well as academic support to the students, and have regular meetings with them to ensure that help is available when needed.