Effective interprofessional working, which is widely considered as essential to high-quality health care, is influenced by the attitudes of health care professionals towards their own and other professional groups. Relatively little is known, however, about interprofessional attitudes, particularly of students in health care professions. This study aimed to increase our understanding of students' attitudes towards their own and other professional groups on entry to a programme of professional education. Hypothesised relationships between stereotypes, professional identity and readiness for professional learning were tested by means of a questionnaire survey of 933 undergraduate health care students drawn from five health care groups (medicine, nursing, dietetics, pharmacy and physiotherapy) within a multi-faculty UK university. Positive statistically significant correlations were found between stereotypes, professional identity and readiness for interprofessional learning. As predicted, students identified strongly with their own professional group at the start of pre-registration education. They were also willing to engage in interprofessional learning. More unexpected was the positive association found between heterostereotype and professional identity scores. There are potential benefits of introducing active interprofessional education activities at an early stage of professional preparation to capitalise on students' positive attitudes towards their own and other professional groups.