The Harvey Medicine and Surgery Course is the first medical course in Italy taught in English, a six-year single-cycle Master’s Degree combining Bachelor and Master degrees. It was named after William Harvey (1578-1657), seventeenth-century British physician, a pioneer in correctly understanding and describing the circulatory system.

Arising from the need for an international (i.e. English language) medical school in Italy, the curriculum combines the long-established Italian teaching methods with the modern paradigms of interactive learning. In fact, Harvey trainees mature into well-rounded doctors through a new wide-ranging programme of study and extensive practical training in the renowned Pavia clinics and their research laboratories. This includes a rigorous and practical seminar programme provided by Harvey’s carefully selected local and international lecturers, and represents a precious chance to share ideas and learn mutually from one another thanks to the one-on-one personal approach that small study groups offer.

Ultimately, the Course aims to educate a new generation of physicians to a rigorous, scientific understanding of the causes of disease (biological and social), the mechanisms of disease development and progression and rational approaches to prevention and cure; by the end their studies, Harvey graduates will have built a solid scientific basis for continued training that will be vital for the reception and understanding of future medicine.

Moreover, thanks to the high percentage of international students, a multicultural friendly ambiance blossoms every academic year: more than 40% of the enrolled students indeed come from both European and extra-European countries. The University also enjoys a strong tradition of international student and teacher exchanges: in addition to European and international motility programmes, bilateral agreements with European and extra-European universities enable students, including Harvey undergraduates, to broaden their perspectives and get in touch with several other realities. 

Finally, several extra-curricular and interdisciplinary activities from which Harvey undergraduates can freely choose - some accessible based on academic merit - are offered every year by the University, and include courses on transversal skills and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), research scholarships and an embedded MA programme in Medicine Enhanced by Engineering Technologies (MEET programme - find more details at the bottom of this page).

The Harvey Course is numerus clausus (restricted access), with 143 available places per year, as set by the Italian Ministry of Education (check the Access requirements section for more information).

Brochures and guides


The first three years provide a strong foundation in scientific methodology and recent medical advances, notably from molecular studies of living systems and disease processes. The syllabus includes standard key subjects and several new core subjects that widen the student’s understanding of the scope and challenges of modern medicine. Lectures emphasize that health promotion and disease control depends both on advances in medical science as well as social policy. Additionally, students engage in practical laboratory-based work in order to develop a strong science-based approach to medicine.



The study materials build on modern and rigorous principles of clinical science for better diagnosis and treatment. Clinical training includes effective communcation with patients and staff, accurate clinical histories, physical examinations and improved differential diagnosis by interpretation of additional data (imaging, laboratory-based, proteomics, etc). With an emphasis on personalized precision medicine, clinical lecturers blend theoretical and practical knowledge to engage in systematic case-based discussions and offer strong internship programs guided by the students’ needs, aspirations and choices. The course encourages a critical approach to medicine and timely feedback in a comprehensive and constructive manner. The Harvey course hosts grand rounds and specialty seminars to portray the latest available evidence-based practices. This builds a strong foundation for life-long learning of basic science, clinical research and medical practice.

Find the complete list of the courses on the Study plan page.

The MEET programme is open to students enrolled to the 2rd year of both Golgi (Italian-taught) and Harvey medical courses. The aim of this programme is to provide highly-motivated, selected medical students with basic knowledge in information and communication technologies for healthcare, biomedical engineering, radiomics and medical robotics, as well as biostatistics and bioinformatics.

Students will attend additional courses for a total of 48 credits delivered in Italian starting from the third year up to the sixth year. Eventually, students will prepare a thesis project and will be awarded a Master Universitario di Secondo Livello (EQF level 8) conjointly by the Universities of Pavia and Pisa and the University Schools for Advanced Studies of Pavia and Pisa.

Every year, the Faculty of Medicine publishes an admission call that includes the selection criteria and application modalities.