skip to content

Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


This course is not open for online applications. If you would like to enquire about this course please do so using the 'Ask a question' button.

Medicine should be an accessible career for anyone with the appropriate ability and motivation. The Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) in Pre-Medical Studies has been developed in collaboration with the medical schools at the University of Cambridge, University of East Anglia (Norwich) and Anglia Ruskin University (Chelmsford) and aims to expand access to undergraduate medicine degrees to mature students in the East of England. Studied over 11 months, this full-time course mirrors the intensity of a medical degree whilst allowing students to fit their studies around everyday life. 

The CertHE is delivered at Level 4 in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) in England, and students will be awarded a 120 credit University of Cambridge award.

Successful completion of the CertHE does not guarantee entry to medical school but it is a recognised entry qualification at Cambridge, UEA and ARU. It is not currently recognised by other UK medical schools.

Up to 12 tuition fee bursaries of £2,500 will be available to eligible applicants. Find out more via the 'fees and funding' tab below.

If you missed our Virtual Open Day, you can view a recording here.



Entry requirements 


To be considered for this course you must hold the minimum level 2 qualifications required for entry to medicine:

6 GCSE subjects at grade B/6 to include:

  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • at least two Sciences (one to be Chemistry) OR Core Science OR Additional Science OR Double/Dual/Combined Science Award.

Evidence of these qualifications should be in the form of transcripts/certificates uploaded at the point of application. If you do not have access to your supporting documentation at this stage, you may apply without them, but please note that they must be submitted before you can be enrolled on the course. For more details contact the course team who will be able to offer you more advice and guidance.

Please note that we will not consider students currently studying at level 3 or recent School Leavers for this Pre-medical Studies programme. This includes, but is not limited to: A-level, BTEC, IB, ILC, Welsh Bacc, Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers or Access Diploma. However, consideration may be given to candidates who studied some time ago and who achieved ‘good’ grades.

If you already hold a higher education qualification e.g. Certificate of Higher Education, Diploma of Higher Education, a Bachelor’s degree or postgraduate qualification you are unlikely to receive funding entitlement for this course and we would encourage you to explore your options with the Student Loans Company before applying.

This CertHE is not a route to re-enter medical school after being excluded or leaving a medical course without an ‘interruption to studies’ plan. Applicants will be asked to confirm this as part of the application process and the excluded students database will be consulted before making offers.

In addition, the course is only open to UK nationals or those with permanent right to remain in UK. It is anticipated the course will have a regional catchment with students residing in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, although we will consider applications from students based around the UK, while noting the CertHE is only recognised by the University of Cambridge, UEA and ARU.

Selection process

Please note that all shortlisted applicants will be interviewed prior to an offer being made.The interviews will be held in-person in Cambridge, should COVID-19 public health regulations allow. Alternatively, they will be held online via Zoom.

The purpose of the interview, which will last 30-40 minutes, will be to assess your motivations and suitability for the course of study.


It is essential that when applying for the course you demonstrate a good understanding of medicine, the scope of practice of doctors and personal motivation to undertake a medical degree and career. This will be assessed through your online application and, if shortlisted, an interview.

Experience, in a paid or voluntary capacity, working with the general public, children, the elderly or people with special needs will also help to strengthen an application. This includes experience gained in healthcare or social care settings.

Applicants with previous professional experience in health and social care settings are encouraged e.g. healthcare assistant, paramedic technician, combat medical technician, laboratory technician.

We suggest that applicants explore the personal and academic qualities needed by a doctor (as set out in Good Medical Practice - and reflect on their suitability before applying. You may also wish to consult the GMC Outcomes for Graduates 2018 ( and Promoting Excellence ( ).

Applications from those with refugee status are accepted; we would encourage applicants to discuss their pre-requisite qualifications with the course team before

Before commencing this course, applicants holding an offer for the CertHE will need to undergo and clear a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check. The cost of this will typically be covered by the course.

English language requirement

If English is not your first language, you need to be able to prove you meet the University of Cambridge English language requirements on application. Please refer to our English language requirements for Undergraduate Certificates, Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas pages for further information.


Technical requirements

A significant amount of course content will be delivered using video-based teaching platforms and a dedicated course Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

You will therefore need to have access to:

- the internet via a computer, laptop, tablet or other smart device. 

- speakers or headphones in order to hear any pre-recorded material

- a webcam and microphone for interactive online sessions delivered over Zoom

Supporting evidence

There are a number of documents that you will need to provide to support your application to the CertHE in Pre-Medical Studies.

  1. Copies of GCSE certificates in English Language, Mathematics, and Science (uploaded as pdfs). It is beneficial to upload these alongside your application in the first instance, but we understand that in some cases it may take some time to access them, and they can therefore be uploaded later if necessary. However, if your application is successful and you are offered a place on the CertHE in Pre-Medical Studies you must provide evidence of your GCSEs before you enrol on the course.
  2. A personal statement of no more than 500 words written directly into the available space on the application form For further information about the personal statement please see the ‘FAQ’ section at the bottom of the page.
  3. If you are made an offer, please note that you will be expected to provide proof that you are a UK National or have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

In addition, please note that due to the entry requirements of medical schools in the UK we will request an enhanced DBS check on behalf of all offer holders prior to enrolment, and your consent for this will be requested during the application process.

Course dates

01 Sep 2022 to 31 Jul 2023

Course duration

1 Year

Apply by

31 May 2022

Course fee



Qualifications / Credits

120 credits at FHEQ4

Course code