There’s Nowhere Like London

This week’s blog post, written by Nicola Berkley from our London Medicine division, explores the unique advantages of studying medicine and dentistry in the capital. Thanks Nicola!

It may be stating the obvious but when it comes to higher education, place is important. For nearly every one who has experienced higher education, memories of their time studying at university will not just be about lectures, exams and reading lists, but will also include memories associated with where the learning took place. And studying in a city like London provides a backdrop and environment like no other.

Whatever subject a student is focusing on, studying it in London can enrich and enhance the experience. An English literature student can walk through the neighbourhoods that Woolf or Dickens describe, and see a performance of Shakespeare at the Globe theatre.  A Business or Finance student can benefit from close proximity to the City of London and other financial districts by making the most of networking and internship opportunities. A Law student can sit in on high-profile trials at courts such as the Old Bailey or the Royal Courts of Justice.

But perhaps no subject is as embedded in the place where it is studied than medicine. By its very nature studying for a degree in medicine means students become involved with the place where they live. A degree in medicine typically takes five or six years to complete, and for much of this time students combine university-based learning with undertaking clinical placements. They will carry out placements in hospitals, GP surgeries and other locations, working alongside health professionals and interacting with patients and their families. Students will also complete Student Selected Components (SSCs) which are an integral part of the curriculum and which give students the opportunity to study areas that are of particular interest to them.

While these experiences are common to medical students throughout the UK, students at London’s five medical schools have the opportunity to benefit from the unique opportunities the city can offer. London’s huge and varied population, its position as a research hub attracting the best researchers from across the globe, and the cityscape itself give medical students access to a range of experiences. A few examples of these comprise:

Medical schools in London can also interact with the city in creative, and perhaps unexpected, ways. For example, students at St George’s take advantage of London’s art galleries, as outlined in this case study:

On 18 June, students and medical school colleagues from across London will come together to present and share case studies, including the examples above. “There’s Nowhere Like London”: celebrating what is unique about studying medicine & dentistry in London will showcase what the city can offer.  A panel discussion will also take place, exploring the different ways in which medical schools and their students interact with London and with their local communities, and how these opportunities can be maximised.

This event is open to all and forms part of London HE Week. For further details and to register, visit