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A guide to intercalation

What is an intercalated degree? How do you find a course? Wondering if it's right for you? Find the answers to all this and more in our guide to intercalating during your Medicine degree.

What is an intercalated degree?

Intercalation is where you take a year out of your Medicine studies to undertake an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. For some medical schools this is compulsory, but for many others it is optional.

Whilst intercalation is not a pre-requisite on our Medicine programme, we encourage all our students to consider this option to broaden your skills and knowledge and explore a new subject area.

When can you intercalate?

At Hull York Medical School, you can intercalate after your second year (to study an undergraduate programme) or after your third year (to study either an undergraduate or a Masters programme).

The benefits of intercalating

Choosing to intercalate brings many benefits:

Broaden your horizons

Whether you study a Bachelors or a Masters, intercalation is an opportunity to broaden your horizons, study a subject you are passionate about or help you to decide where your passion lies.

Develop research and academic inquiry skills

Gaining a Masters degree whilst studying medicine shows not only your motivation to your studies and self-development, but also your ability to work at a much higher level, as you will develop useful research skills while working in an academic environment.

Stepping stone to a career as an academic clinician (ACF)

If you are considering a career as an academic clinician, intercalation is an important step on this path. An intercalated BSc qualification is often cited as a minimum requirement for entry onto academic foundation programmes, for many specialty-training pathways.

Helping the NHS

Health Education England (HEE) has noted that there are many benefits to students intercalating, including delivering more mature, well-rounded graduates into the NHS. In addition, the HEE mandate from the Department of Health requires Health Education England to develop a workforce that “embraces research and innovation and to explore opportunities for students to intercalate onto MSc programmes as part of their education”.

Dr Walter Mercer-Holland


Gaining a MSc in Clinical Anatomy and Education was an unrivalled opportunity in my intercalation year. Not only will it help me to achieve my aspirations of becoming involved in medical education in the future alongside pursuing my passion for anatomy, but it will also be of value when applying for jobs and specialist training once I finish my Medicine degree.
2020 Medicine graduate, intercalated in MSc in Clinical Anatomy and Education

Dr Walter Mercer-Holland

International intercalation

International intercalation is possible but there are additional considerations that you need to consider over and above those of intercalation within the UK, if you have not already done so:

  • The concept of intercalation is unique to the UK. You are unlikely to find dedicated one year intercalated BSc options so you will typically be exploring one year postgraduate or research focused degree programmes.
  • Ensure your funding route will support an international intercalation. Some funding bodies only support learning within the UK. Talk to your funding body early.
  • Entry requirements/qualification for programmes differ between countries. Check that you meet the requirements.
  • Confirm the programme dates. This is important for all programmes but particularly important for postgraduate programmes as they typically run September to September. You will need to check you are able to return to your Medical School for the start of the next academic year.
  • Be aware of non-academic considerations. These may include but are not limited to many of the considerations related to international travel/living and studying abroad, such as language, visas, and insurance. This will be unique to you and is your responsibility to research.

How to find a course

We offer a comprehensive suite of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes on which you can intercalate.

If you are interested in furthering your knowledge of anatomy, medical education, pharmacology or public health, then we can provide you with an intensive, comprehensive and hugely rewarding year of study in these areas.

We have also developed the Intercalate website which lists all the intercalation programmes at other institutions in the UK.

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for our courses are listed on each programme page, please visit your programme for details.

The tuition fees for courses vary depending on the programme and the institution. Please check tuition fees with your chosen course provider.

Scholarships, bursaries and finance

There are a number of funding opportunities to help with costs and support you to intercalate during your Medicine degree. 

Students wishing to intercalate are able to apply for financial support via the appropriate undergraduate or postgraduate finance body, depending on your programme of choice. You can find out more about funding on the British Medical Association website.

Things to consider about intercalation

There are many benefits to intercalating, however there are factors to consider, including:

  • The financial implications of an extra year of study
  • Whether you wish to prolong your training for an extra year

There are a number of opportunities within an undergraduate Medicine programme to develop skills that you might develop during an intercalated degree. This includes undertaking extra research as part of your degree.


Contact us

If you have any questions about intercalating with us, please contact us:


Telephone: +44 (0)1904 321360