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Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, commonly known as Barts, is a medical and dental school in London, England.[1] The school was formed in 1995 by the merger of the London Hospital Medical College (the first school to be granted an official charter for medical teaching in 1785) and St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College (the oldest remaining hospital in the United Kingdom, having been founded in 1123, with medical teaching beginning from that date).

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry coat of arms.svg
MottoAmara lento tempera risu
Motto in English
Temper the bitter things in life with a smile
Established1123 (St Bartholomew's Hospital)
1785 (London Hospital Medical College)
1843 (St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College)
1995 (Merger of medical colleges with Queen Mary and Westfield College)
Parent institution
Queen Mary University of London
PresidentLord Mayor of London
WardenSteve Thornton
NewspaperThe Vulture
AffiliationsUniversity of London Edit this at Wikidata
Barts and the London SMD Logo.svg

The school exists on two main sites, having a presence at the site of both of the former colleges at and near their respective hospitals, St Bartholomew's Hospital (in Smithfield in the City of London and nearby in Charterhouse Square), and the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel with an additional site at Queen Mary's main (Mile End) campus.[2] A new building (Blizard Building), named after the founder of The London Hospital Medical College, Sir William Blizard, was completed in 2005 at the Royal London site, and houses research laboratories and is the main site for medical undergraduate teaching.

The school is affiliated with Queen Mary University of London, a constituent college of the federal University of London, and a member of the United Hospitals.[3]

As of 2018, the school had 2,235 undergraduate and 1,175 postgraduate students, for a total of 3,410 students.[4]



London Hospital Medical CollegeEdit

1877 wood engraving of the London Hospital Medical College

The medical college at the London Hospital, now known as the Royal London Hospital, opened in 1785. It was England's first purpose-built medical school, pioneering a new kind of medical education, with an emphasis on theoretical and clinical teaching. The teaching premises were expanded in 1854, when buildings in Turner Street were built and opened, which are still in use today. For many years it functioned as an unincorporated general medical school of the University of London, until it was incorporated as the London Hospital Medical College on 30 March 1949.[5] A dental school also opened at the London Hospital in 1911, acquiring the new dental institute and expanding student numbers during the 1960s. Dental education developed during the 1970s, increasing collaboration between dentists and other professionals.

St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical CollegeEdit

Records of students at St Bartholomew's Hospital date back to at least 1662, although a purpose-built lecture theatre at the hospital was not built until 1791, and it wasn't until that 1822 the governors formally approved the provision of medical education within the hospital.[6][7] Later a residential college was established, which moved to premises at Charterhouse Square in the 1930s. The medical college was formally established in 1843, and was incorporated as St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College on 26 July 1921.[8]


Both colleges were admitted to the University of London in 1900, and a close association between the two was developed following the Royal Commission on Medical Education in 1968, with new links with the then Queen Mary College being established at the same time. In 1989 the pre-clinical teaching at the two colleges was merged and sited in the Basic Medical Sciences Building at Queen Mary (where it stayed until 2005, when it was moved to the Blizard Building at the Whitechapel campus). The two colleges officially merged in 1995, along with Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, now known as Queen Mary University of London, forming the combined entity known as Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

In 2016, the school reached an agreement with the government of Malta to open a satellite campus on the island of Gozo, with a purpose-built medical school and anatomy centre to be built on the Gozo General Hospital campus. The first students were admitted in 2017, and the buildings are due to be completed in 2019.[9]


The school serves a diverse population in East London and the wider Thames Gateway, with the differing demographics of East London in contrast to other areas of the country providing the school with a unique teaching opportunity. Consequently, many of the school's research efforts are focussed on conditions that are prevalent or endemic to the local area, for example, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, tuberculosis and other chronic lung diseases, HIV, oral disease, and cancer.

St Bartholomew's Hospital is a recognised area of excellence in the fields of cardiovascular and cancer research, whereas the Royal London Hospital is London's leading trauma and emergency centre. To continue and sustain this standard of care, planning permission was awarded in March 2005 for a £1 billion redevelopment and expansion of the Royal London. Upon its completion in 2011, the Royal London Hospital will consolidate its position as London's leading trauma and emergency care centre, will have one of Europe's largest renal services and the capital's second biggest paediatric service. St. Bartholomew's Hospital is also currently being refurbished and refitted in order to continue its specialised approach to cardiovascular and cancer care. A further £100 million has been invested in creating leading-edge research facilities at both the Whitechapel and West Smithfield/Charterhouse Square campuses.

The school has six research institutes:

  • Barts Cancer Institute,[10] which researches cancer and inflammation, experimental cancer medicine, haemato-oncology, cancer stem cells and ageing, molecular oncology and imaging and tumour biology.[11] The director is Nick Lemoine.[12]
  • Blizard Institute, which focuses on surgery, paediatrics, cutaneous, diabetes, gastroenterology, haematology, infectious diseases neuroscience, pathology and health sciences.
  • Institute of Dentistry, where research and teaching into adult oral health, oral growth and development, and clinical and diagnostic oral sciences occurs.
  • Institute of Health Sciences Education, which is responsible for the teaching of pre-clinical medical sciences to medical students along with research in medical education and community based medical education.
  • William Harvey Research Institute is a research facility focussing on biochemical pharmacology, orthopaedic diseases, endocrinology, genomics, clinical pharmacology and translational medicine and therapeutics.
  • Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine researches preventive medicine, epidemiology, mathematics and statistics, psychology and psychiatry.


A unique aspect of the Barts curriculum is the use of problem-based learning, which was first developed at McMaster University Medical School in the 1960s. Barts uses this method as part of an integrated curriculum as opposed to one that is solely or predominately based on problem based learning. Students work in groups with a tutor on a clinical case or problem, and use problem based learning to supplement the knowledge they acquire during their lectures.


The standard undergraduate Medicine course is a 5-year course, which results in the award of an MBBS degree. Students also have the option of extending their studies by a further year in order to study for an intercalated BSc in a range of related subjects. This is usually done after the 2nd, 3rd or 4th year.[13]

Students who already have a science or health-related degree and who wish to study Medicine can also choose to apply to the Graduate Entry Programme (GEP). This is a 4-year course, with the first two years of the standard undergraduate course being condensed into one. The remaining years of the course are identical to the undergraduate course.[14]

Associated hospitalsEdit

Research Assessment Exercise 2008Edit

The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) is one of the few ways in which the academic quality of British medical and dental schools can be compared and ranks research by two principal measures: the proportion of work graded 4* and 3* – world-leading or internationally recognised respectively – and the Grade Point Average (GPA) across the whole profile of the submission.

The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), published in December 2008, confirmed Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry as one of the leading medical and dental schools in the United Kingdom. For medicine, the school ranked top in the quality of its research in London, and fourth nationally (behind University of Edinburgh Medical School, School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge and Oxford University Medical School); for dentistry, the school was awarded joint first ranking (along with Manchester).

According to the rankings published in the Times Higher Education, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry was consistently ranked in the top five nationally for the following categories:

  • Dentistry was ranked 1st equal with Manchester, based on 3* and 4* outputs, and 2nd overall on Grade Point Average out of 14 dental schools.[16]
  • In Cancer, Barts and The London was ranked 3rd out of 14 submissions in terms of 3* and 4* outputs and joint 5th in the UK overall.[16]
  • The Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, returned in Hospital Subjects, was ranked joint 1st with University of Edinburgh Medical School and Cambridge in terms of 3* and 4* outputs and was joint 7th overall out of 28.[16]
  • The Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, returned in Epidemiology and Public Health, was 2nd out of 21 in terms of 3* and 4* outputs, and 3rd overall.[16]
  • In Health Services Research, Barts and The London's Institute of Health Sciences Education was ranked 4th overall out of 28.[16]
  • The William Harvey Research Institute, returned in Preclinical and Human Biological Sciences, was ranked 3rd in terms of 3* and 4* outputs, and 4th overall out of 13.[16]


The medical school has scored highly in a number of independent rankings in recent years, placing it in the top 10 of medical schools in the United Kingdom:

The dental school has also been ranked highly:

  • ranked 3rd by The Complete University Guide (2017)[18]
  • ranked 3rd by The Guardian (2017)
  • ranked 4th by The Times and The Sunday Times (2017)


Admission to both the medical and dental schools is highly competitive.[19] Over 2,500 applications to study medicine are received by the school each year.[20] Of these, 800 candidates are interviewed and approximately 440 offers are made.[20] For dentistry, over 700 applications are received, of which 250 candidates are interviewed and approximately 150 offers are made.[21]

The school accepts A-levels, the International Baccalaureate Diploma, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers, Cambridge Pre-U and the European Baccalaureate as entry qualifications. Both the medical and dental degrees are open to graduate students, with a minimum of a 2:1 required.[20][21] Applicants must sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test which is used alongside the UCAS application to determine selection for interview.[20][21] The school also accepts medical students from the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, the International Medical University Malaysia and St Andrews aiming to complete a 3-year direct clinical entry programme. Students applying to this scheme do not need to apply by 15 October deadline and are not required to take the UKCAT.[22]

Students' associationEdit

Barts and The London Students' Association (BLSA) is the students' union for the medical and dental school, a largely independent arm of Queen Mary Students' Union (QMSU) formed when the student unions of St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School and the London Hospital Clubs Union merged with QMSU at the time their parent bodies merged in 1995. The Students' Association has a very distinct culture from that of QMSU, with its own clubs and societies for most sports and activities, competing in the National Association of Medics' Sports against other schools and universities. The Barts and The London Students' Association is led by a sabbatical student president.

Notable peopleEdit

Notable staffEdit

Notable alumniEdit

Fictional alumniEdit

  • Harold Legg – Doctor in the British soap opera EastEnders from 1985 to 1997, making guest appearances in 2000 and 2004.
  • Dr. Watson – Sherlock Holmes's companion and "biographer": not only did the two first meet in the pathology laboratories in 1881, but Watson studied and met his friend Stamford (who was Watson's "dresser" – the equivalent nowadays of the surgical houseman) at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in the mid/late 1870's.

See alsoEdit


A.^ ^ Coincidentally, the concurrent years 2015/16 and 2016/17 saw the election of two people named W Atkins as BLSA President.


  1. ^ "About Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry". Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  2. ^ "Find US". Barts and The London website. Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  3. ^ "University of London: Queen Mary University of London". Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Number of students at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry". WhatDoTheyKnow. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Queen Mary and Westfield College Act 1995". Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  6. ^ "St Bartholomew's Medical College Green". London Gardens Online. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  7. ^ "St Bartholomew's - our history". Barts Health NHS Trust. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  8. ^ "St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College". Women at Queen Mary. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Prime Minister visits new medical school building in Malta". Queen Mary University of London. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Barts Cancer Institute". Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b c d e f "RAE 2008 : Publications : 2009 : RAE2008 subject overviews". Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  17. ^ "Rankings and league tables". School of Medicine and Dentistry. BATL. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Rankings and league tables". School of Medicine and Dentistry. BATL. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  19. ^ "Frequently asked questions (MBBS and BDS)". School of Medicine and Dentistry. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  20. ^ a b c d "Medicine MBBS 5 Years (A100)". School of Medicine and Dentistry. Archived from the original on 12 September 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  21. ^ a b c "Dentistry BDS 5 Years (A200)". School of Medicine and Dentistry. Archived from the original on 12 September 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  22. ^ "Policy for Admissions to Undergraduate Programmes in Medicine and Dentistry 2014/15" (PDF). Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  23. ^ 'WATKINS, Prof. Hugh Christian', in Who's Who 2012 (London: A. & C. Black, 2012)

External linksEdit