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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


The deadline for booking a place on this course has passed. Please use the 'Ask a Question' button to register your interest in future or similar courses.

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 on successful completion 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 the University of Cambridge, UEA and ARU. It is not currently recognised by other UK medical schools. 

Up to 12 tuition fee bursaries of £3000 will be available to eligible applicants wishing to try and progress to medical school. Find out more via the 'fees and funding' tab below. 



Entry requirements  


There are no formal academic entry requirements for this course but as it is taught at university level applicants should be able to read, write and speak English fluently. Please also note that if you intend to apply to medical school after completion of this course, you must have the following minimum level 2 qualifications and be able to evidence this when you apply: 

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. 

We are particularly interested to receive applications from individuals resident in the East of England with an interest in progressing to medical school and who possess the required level 2 qualifications. 

Please also note that whilst not a requirement of entry to this course, you will also be required to undertake an Enhanced DBS check if you apply to medical school.  

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 advise 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 student's database will be consulted before making offers. 

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.  

The CertHE is only a recognised qualification for application to medical school at the University of Cambridge, UEA and ARU. 



The course is aimed at mature students over the age of 21 at the point of entry. 

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 help 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 welcome and these applicants are encouraged to discuss their pre-requisite qualifications with the course team before applying. 


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 

Unless otherwise stated, teaching and assessment for ICE courses are in English. If your first language is not English, please refer to our Information for Applicants pages for further guidance.

Course dates

01 Sep 2023 to 31 Jul 2024

Course duration

1 Year

Apply by

22 May 2023

Course fee


Course director

Academic Directors, Course Directors and Tutors are subject to change, when necessary.


Qualifications / Credits

120 credits at Level 4

Course code