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Biomedical Sciences

Oxford is extremely strong in biomedical subjects taught from a physiology point of view, especially in Neuroscience and its modern developments.

The emphasis on human and mammalian physiology appeals to many applicants, in contrast to the more general biology in Biological Sciences. It can lead into laboratory research or one of Oxford’s excellent MSc courses in Neuroscience or Pharmacology or Integrated Immunology or Research methods in Psychology. It also prepares people for far wider fields such as Sports Science, Law or Management, and these days is regarded as an excellent launch point for the highly competitive Graduate-Entry medicine courses.

For further information about Biomedical Sciences at Oxford, see the Medical Sciences website and the Biomedical Sciences page on the Oxford University website.

Yearly Intake

At Keble: 3
At the Faculty: 39

Past Admissions Feedback

Every year tutors prepare detailed feedback about the admissions process.
Links to the text from the last three years can be found below.

Feedback 2023 (College) (pdf)
Feedback 2023 (University) (pdf)
Feedback 2022 (College) (pdf)
Feedback 2022 (University) (pdf)
Feedback 2021 (College) (pdf)
Feedback 2021 (University) (pdf)

The Course at Keble

Keble is strongly committed to Biomedical Sciences and has in-house tutor expertise to match this diverse and vibrant course. We are keen to foster a vibrant Biomedical community within the college and take a minimum of three freshers each year – more than practically any other college, and currently have ten Biomedical Scientists in residence. Keble is very conveniently located for Biomedical Science students: we are the closest undergraduate College to the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre and to the Department of Physiology Anatomy and Genetics, and to the University’s science libraries.

Complete and up-to-date information on the course can be found at the subject’s page on the University admissions site. The first year comprises courses in systems biology (Behaviour, Brain and Body) as well Molecules and Cells (including Genes). There is additional teaching in numerical and scientific skills (Mathematics and Statistics, Chemistry and Physics) essential to the course. Prelims at the end of this year require you to sit exam papers in each of these three subjects.

During this first year you will choose your Finals course from two possibilities: CELLS & SYSTEMS BIOLOGY or NEUROSCIENCE, each of which allows you great flexibility on the emphasis you would like to place on specific areas. The first two terms of the second year comprise courses offered by the five main departments: Anatomy, Physiology and Genetics, Biochemistry, Experimental Psychology, Pathology, and Pharmacology. They lead to the Part 1 examination towards Finals. Suitable choices from among these prepare you for the Advanced Options in the third year. Both Finals courses require study-in-depth in areas of your choice, plus an integrated (“synoptic”) view of your chosen Option. A main feature is the compulsory research project and dissertation. This is normally done in an Oxford lab (almost anywhere that has bioscience relevance).

We are interested in people who can think quickly, clearly and critically, and who can connect different pieces of evidence with their background knowledge. The interviews include assessments of your academic potential to benefit best from the style of education we provide here as well as of general personal qualities. The selection criteria include: intellectual curiosity: keenness to understand the reason for observations; problem-solving; critical thinking analytical approach; ability to work with others in a tutorial group; communication in a tutorial context; motivation: a well-informed and strong desire to study Biomedical Sciences. We abide by the Faculty’s selection criteria and entrance requirements.