Updated: Sep 27, 2020
By Harini Suren
King’s is known by everyone as one of the most diverse, vibrant and well-respected universities of London, and the medical school is certainly no different. The MBBS degree offered is a 6 year course including a compulsory intercalated BSc, taught by leading doctors and scientists at London’s best teaching hospitals. The cohort is a large one, at around 400 students, but the environment could not be more friendly and exciting, and certainly not cut-throat.
The medicine course at King’s is an integrated course split into 3 stages and an iBSc. Year 1 is Stage 1, which provides a foundation in biomedical sciences mostly taught through lectures, in addition to small group tutorials, workshops and labs. There is truly no better way to learn anatomy than human cadaveric dissection, and King’s is one of the few medical schools able to provide that opportunity.
Stage 2 is comprised of Year 2 and 3, where you study pathological diseases alongside hospital, GP and psychiatry placements. This is when you can first put your knowledge and clinical skills into practice with real patients, by taking histories and performing examinations. In the SSCs, you would choose to study any subject in depth, whether that be global health or modern foreign languages. The iBSc is in Year 4, where you are able to graduate with a whole extra degree in one year. There are many options for choice, from humanities to medical sciences, and it may prove hugely beneficial not only for applying for your future job, but also if you are interested in academic research. Stage 3 is comprised of the final 2 years, where you are trained to become a foundation doctor and have the opportunity to undertake an elective study abroad.
If you want to learn at one of London’s busiest and best teaching hospitals, there’s already Guy’s Hospital at your doorstep. King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals are also part of the GKT with specialties in Trauma, Neurology and Psychiatry. Evelina London’s Children Hospital also provides brilliant teaching facilities for King’s and is only a stone’s throw away from the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. The doctors are leading in their fields and many are more than willing to individually invite you to watch surgeries, observe your clinical skills and give guidance. In your SSCs or iBSc, you have the chance to work alongside scientists and publish your own research paper with enough dedication!
Guy’s Campus (for medical, biomedical and dentistry students) will become your second home as a King’s medic. The NHH library is always open with plenty of resources and individual rooms for booking. The Shed is a great place to grab some lunch with friends and play a quick game of ping pong between lectures. Underneath this is the legendary Guy’s Bar, which every King’s student must visit for the highly entertaining Sport’s Night. Student support at King’s is invaluable, not only from personal tutors but also older students. There are also a huge variety of societies, from the infamous GKT sports societies, to The Rolling Tones Acappella group, to the Hot Chocolate Society. As cliché as it sounds, there really is something for everyone.
No one can deny that London is not a cheap place to live, but with budgeting and student discounts there really is no better place to experience the student life. If you’re hungry after a workshop, just cross the road for a delicious meal at the renowned Borough Market. The nightlife is incredible with night transport, and if you know where to go, a pint isn’t a bad price. There are many secret coffee shops for a cosy study spot and the beautiful Sky Garden for a day out. Even winter is wonderful with ice skating at the Natural History Museum or Christmas shopping at Oxford Street. And that’s just a glimpse into what London can offer.
Medicine is one of the toughest and longest degrees, so the right university choice is absolutely vital. There is no such thing as the most “prestigious” medical school, and it is important to choose one where you would enjoy their teaching method and the social life. Hopefully reading this was helpful to see whether King’s is for you, and best of luck in your application!