What is intercalation?

Intercalation is an additional year of study on top of your Medicine degree programme and an opportunity to explore a new area in greater depth, gain new knowledge and develop new skills.

Some medical schools have a mandatory intercalation year as part of their Medicine programme, but not all – students at Hull York Medical School for example can opt to intercalate onto an undergraduate programme after their second year, or onto a postgraduate programme after their third year.

Intercalation is a big commitment – both financially and personally – so it’s a really good idea to read up as much as possible about it, research courses, and speak to academics as well as students who have intercalated.

Intercalation is nonetheless an exciting opportunity to broaden your skills and knowledge base and pursue an area of interest outside of your programme of study and it can have a positive impact on your future career. An intercalated BSc for example is often cited as a minimum requirement for entry onto academic foundation programmes, for many specialty training pathways. If you have your heart set on a chosen career path, make sure you do your research beforehand so you can make an informed choice about intercalation.  

Intercalation isn’t for everyone however and whether you intercalate or not is up to you, unless it’s a compulsory part of your Medicine degree. If you decide not to intercalate, you should not be worried about it having a detrimental impact on your career. At Hull York Medical School, for example, we provide students with opportunities to gain extra points for their Foundation Programme application in other ways during the course of the MB BS programme.

To help you decide whether or not to intercalate, you might find the following websites useful:

Hull York Medical School – Guide to Intercalation


The Medic Portal