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General Information

An advantage of the Cambridge medical course is that it provides a year of specialist study in any one of a wide range of subjects. An enormous range of courses is available in year three. You may take in-depth courses in many of the subjects studied in your first two years; these are offered in the NST Part II courses. Alternatively, you may wish to combine depth with breadth and the opportunity to study new subjects by taking advantage of the broad range of options in NST Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS). Finally, you may choose to take courses in something rather different, such as Anthropology, Law, Management Studies or Philosophy.

In making your choice for your third year, it is essential that you consult your Director of Studies.

Preparing for Patients

As a Part II student the majority of your work will be for the Tripos rather than your 2nd MB. However, this does not mean that your essential medical education can be neglected. Whether you are reading NST Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences, NST Single Subject Part II or participating in a different tripos you must meet the commitments of your medical course.

You will continue the clinical strand of your course, Preparing for Patients C and D. PfPC (Non-clinical Community Experience) takes place over the year 2/3 Long Vacation and is debriefed by college supervision in the Michaelmas term of your third year. PfPD (Continuity of Care) is a longitudinal study undertaken throughout the third year.

Further information may be obtained through the Preparing for Patients Programme. PfP is a 2nd MB subject, and you are required to pass all four strands before entering Clinical School.

Your Director of Studies, and the "Part II Subjects Fair" in March of your second year will help you make the decision about what to study for Part II. If you are a CGC or an affiliate student (if you have already graduated), you skip this year.

Courses available in 2024-25

NST Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS)

NST Part II BBS is open to all students, whether Natural Scientists, Medics, or Vets. It offers students the opportunity both to continue existing subjects and to take up new ones, providing an exceptionally broad range of possibilities across the biological and biomedical sciences. This is a particularly valuable opportunity for students who do not wish to continue in experimental science after their first degree. Students take a Major Subject and a Minor Subject. Instead of a lab project, all BBS students write a dissertation of not more than 6,000 words on a subject associated with either the Major or Minor subject taken.

You can view a copy of the latest BBS Student Handbook on the BBS webpage linked above. Please note some combinations of Major and Minor subjects are prohibited because of timetable clashes.

Natural Sciences Tripos, Part II Single Subject

Entry in certain Part II subjects is limited and departments publicise their own selection procedures. The courses available to students with a biological/medical/veterinary background are

Another Tripos

Other subjects that have proved popular with Medics and Vets in the past include:

You might also consider another Tripos such as Computer Sciences, Engineering, Modern and Medieval Languages, or English if you are suitably qualified. Your Director of Studies, and the Director of Studies at your College in the subject, will be able to advise you.

Remember To Consult Your Director Of Studies

Part II Subject Fair

Every year the Faculty Board of Biology organises a Fair to inform second-year students of the options open to them in their third year. There is an in -person subject fair and a supporting Moodle site with course information and details of any virtual events or Q&A sessions available. You can self-enrol to the Moodle site by searching Part II subject fair, this site will be open after the division of Lent Term.

Overall class following the Part II

From Easter 2023, all students will receive an overall class following completion of their Part II year.  The overall class may incorporate marks from the Part IA or Part IB years as well as the Part II marks.  The Natural Sciences Tripos will produce an overall class based solely on the Part II mark i.e. your overall class will be the same as your Part II class.  However other Triposes may have different overall classing methods, and in choosing a Part II you should consult the course literature or contact the relevant Course Organisers for information on this.