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Queen Mary in Malta

Intercalated Degrees

All our students have the option of pursuing an intercalated degree

Intercalated Degrees

Why take an intercalated degree?

  • Courses leading to an intercalated degree offer students an excellent opportunity to think critically about, and to study more deeply, the scientific bases of the medical sciences. Experience has shown that those who have undertaken an intercalated degree gain a deeper knowledge of the underlying science as well as a greater understanding of their clinical studies.
  • The medical course is by nature vocational, and therefore stress the basic aspects of the topics they cover. It provides students with a set body of well-established knowledge on which they can rely during their training, without going into either the controversies or experimental evidence behind many of the areas of knowledge.
  • By studying for these courses you will be encouraged to pursue such ideas in greater depth. You will be taught by staff who have personal research experience in the topics and, therefore, speak with authority. There are also lectures by outside speakers and workshops where you can talk about new work.
  • In addition, you will undertake a research project supervised by a member of staff. This will give you the chance to experience the excitements and the difficulties of research. This not only provides a stimulating and challenging period of your training, but the performance of a research project will give you a very good appreciation of whether you may wish to pursue a research career after the finish of your medical training.

Who can take an intercalated degree?

Applications to study will be considered from post 2nd/3rd/4th year medical students for an iBSc or post 3rd/4th year for an MSc (or equivalent undergraduate award in UK/EU countries) who have passed all years to date. This includes those who have previously undertaken an undergraduate degree unless that course was itself an intercalated degree. Students must have passed their current year to take up an offer of a place on an intercalated programme.

Approximately 25 - 30 places at external medical schools will be available to post 2nd, 3rd and 4th year Queen Mary students. 

Please note all Queen Mary students must receive full written permission from the School of Medicine and Dentistry before they are permitted to intercalate. Full permission will be sent to students by the intercalated degrees administrator after the application period has ended in April/May 2023. Any prior permission should be considered provisional and liable to change until this has been received.

MSc Degrees for Intercalation

In addition, 20 masters (MSc) degrees have been identified as suitable for intercalation:

  • MSc Cancer & Clinical Oncology
  • MSc Cancer & Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • MSc Cancer & Molecular Pathology and Genomics
  • MSc Cancer & Therapeutics
  • MSc Clinical Drug Development
  • MSc Clinical Endocrinology
  • MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health
  • MSc Critical Care
  • MSc Mental Health: Cultural Psychology and Psychiatry
  • MSc Forensic Medical Science
  • MSc Gastroenterology
  • MSc Global Public Health and Policy 
  • MSc Healthcare Research Methods
  • MSc Laparoscopic Surgery & Surgical Skills
  • MSc Neuroscience and Translational Medicine
  • MSc Regenerative Medicine
  • MSc Dental Materials
  • MSc Dental Technology
  • MSc Experimental Oral Pathology (Oral Sciences)
  • MSc Oral Biology

There is now a formalised process for taking up masters degrees (MSc) during your intercalating year. However, it should be noted that these are extremely challenging degrees. As masters degrees are not necessarily just for intercalating students, you may find yourselves on courses with fellow students who have vocational experience as well as an academic interest in their field of study. The standard therefore is high. Only MSc degrees advertised as suitable for intercalation should be considered. All degrees in this range have been adapted for intercalation.

The minimum entry requirement for our MSc degrees will be 360 credits i.e. at least three years study on the MBBS/BDS course. 

Also, the School will require written evidence that all academic assessment on an external masters course is to be completed prior to your return to the MBBS/BDS course so that student progression on the MBBS/BDS programme is not compromised by the intercalating year.

Students should also consider that, as master degrees are of 12 months duration, students requiring resits and /or retakes will only be permitted to do so at the discretion of the Dean for Education. Should a student fail an MSc degree, the student would require approval for an interruption of studies of the MBBS/BDS, for the MSc degree to be retaken. The rejection by a student of taking the year again would mean a failed MSc, but no further consequences for the MBBS/BDS.

Students wishing to intercalate onto our MSc programmes from other countries than the UK may apply. Applications will be assessed by postgraduate admissions to ensure that the equivalency of a UK BSc i.e at least 3 years, with sufficient credits at the appropriate academic level as set out by Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, would be attained before intercalation. The usual procedures for application will also apply. 

You may also be interested in our MB PhD programme, which is designed for medical students, who are interested in clinical academic careers. You would join this 3-year programme after the third year of your MBBS Medicine degree to undertake a research-based PhD before returning to complete your MBBS degree. For more details visit the MB PhD web page or contact Cleo Bishop (

Note, offered courses may change ahead of the 2024 application period.

Further information

Dr Rosalin Bonetta
Malta lead for Intercalated Degrees

Dr. Jurgen Groet
Head of Intercalated Degrees

Visit the Queen Mary campus webpage on intercalated degrees for further information.

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