St George’s, University of London (legal name St George’s Hospital Medical School, informally St George’s or SGUL), is a medical school located in Tooting in South London and is a constituent college of the University of London. St George’s has its origins in 1733, and was the second institution in England to provide formal training courses for doctors (after the University of Oxford). St George’s affiliated with the University of London soon after the latter’s establishment in 1836.
St George’s is closely affiliated to St George’s Hospital and is one of the United Hospitals.
Originally established in 1733 in Lanesborough House at Hyde Park Corner (now the site of The Lanesborough hotel), in central London, the college moved to its current home in Tooting, South London, in 1980, where it shares a site with St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust. Following Quality Assurance Agency inspections St George’s gained a score of 23 out of 24 for its teaching of medicine — the highest of any of the London medical schools. The inspections report was published in January 2000 and the course, curriculum and teaching methods at St George’s have changed since then.
In December 1986, it was discovered that a computer program used to process student applications at St. George’s, written by Dr Geoffrey Franglen in 1979, had been discriminated against non-Caucasians and women by deliberately downgrading their scores by up to 20 points. A Commission for Racial Equality inquiry found that this unfairly deprived 60 candidates a year from places during this time, as well as finding that various senior academics were aware that the program was discriminatory several times between 1982 and 1986, but did not take any action.
St George’s was the first institution in the United Kingdom to offer a four-year graduate entry Medicine degree based on the program from Flinders University with which it has an exchange program. The first intake was in 2000 with 35 students and the course has since been emulated by many other universities. Entry to the course is highly competitive with candidates being required to sit the GAMSAT as part of the application process.
The St George’s campus is located in the Tooting area of south-west London, and shares a site with St George’s Hospital, a 1,300 bed major trauma centre.
Teaching facilities at the campus include clinical skills laboratories and a patient simulator allowing students to practice based on real-life situations including surgical and medical emergencies. The university library houses approximately 42,000 books and subscribes to over 10,000 journals.
There is an on-site sports centre including a sports hall, three squash courts, and weights and fitness rooms.
St George’s offers foundation and undergraduate degrees at its site in Tooting in medical, biomedical and healthcare sciences, including: Biomedical Science BSc (Hons), Biomedical Science Foundation Degree, Healthcare Practice DipHE and BSc (Hons), Healthcare Practice Foundation Degree, Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences) BSc (Hons), Medicine (four-year graduate stream) MBBS4, Medicine (five-year) MBBS5, and Medicine (six-year) MBBS6, Physician Associate Studies MSc.
St George’s, in partnership with INTO University Partners, has also formed a joint venture, INTO SGUL, to offer a Foundation in Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences for international students whose qualifications do not allow direct progression into Bachelors level study in the UK, and a six-year MBBS and a four-year graduate stream MBBS programme specifically for international students, with clinical placements overseas. The first student cohort on each international MBBS programme entered St George’s in September 2012.
Outside of the UK, the MBBS4 is also offered in Nicosia, Cyprus, through a partnership between St George’s and the University of Nicosia. The new programme was inaugurated and the first student cohort commenced in Nicosia in September 2011. The programme at the University of Nicosia features international clinical placements in Israel and the USA.
St George’s offers numerous research and taught postgraduate degrees.
The Students’ Union organises various activities including fancy dress discos and a Rag Week, the annual series of fund-raising events. In recent years the Union has become more politically aware and shown greater interest in National Union of Students and British Medical Association activities.
Each new student at St George’s is assigned a ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ in the year above. These ‘parents’ act as mentors for the new students, giving them advice about the course, often tutoring them when needed, as well as buying them drinks during Freshers’ Week and beyond. Over the years the family expands to include siblings, uncles, aunts, grandparents etc., spanning all the years of the various courses.
The university owns one hall of residence, Horton Halls, a large modern site which first opened to new students in late September 2007, replacing St. George’s Grove the old hall of residence.