What you need to know!

Medicine is one of the most competitive courses that students can apply to in the UK. There are a number of ways in which applying/studying Medicine differs from most undergraduate degrees. Those interested in studying this challenging course need to be clear on these differences to give themselves the best chance of securing a place.

Why Medicine is a bit different

  • The course is longer than most degrees (lasting at least five years) 
  • There is a significant amount of practical work on placements in medical settings
  • The application (through UCAS) needs to be in much earlier - 15th October
  • You can only select four Medicine courses on your UCAS application, your fifth option, if you have one, must be a different subject
  • You will usually need to demonstrate that you have completed relevant work experience
  • Applicants usually need to sit additional admissions tests (UKCAT/BMAT)
  • You will be interviewed (in person or online) for a place


You will need excellent grades to get onto a Medicine degree with most applicants having strong GCSE results and at least AAA at A-Level. Chemistry is usually an essential subject with at least one other science. Many successful candidates will opt to take Biology and one (or both) of Physics/Mathematics. Some successful applicants do have one non-science A-Level and entry requirements vary a bit between Universities so you need to check their  websites for the latest information. 

Which Medical School?

There are over 30 medical schools in the UK. Although the entry grades are universally high with an expectation of strong Science/Maths grades, the way in which the course is taught and structured can vary significantly. For example, some courses rely more on case studies or problem-based learning and some are renowned for being particularly strong in a certain field of medicine such as tropical disease or oncology. You only get to apply for four Medicine courses on your UCAS application so it is important to do your research to make sure you select the right choices for you.   

Check out out summary guide below.

We would also recommend you look at the links. 

 British Medical Association 

The General Medical Council

The Medic Portal

Want to experience a taster of what it might be like to study Medicine?

The 'Medicine: A Day in the Life' event was organised to give potential medicine applicants in Year 12 a taste of what lectures at medical school would be like, the chance to consider clinical scenarios including emergency medicine and medical ethics and the opportunity to hear from current medicine students about their applications and experiences on the course.  The event hosted a range of panelists including Dr Giles Yeo, a Principal Research Associate who undertakes research into obesity, and Dr Ahmed Hankir, a Senior Research Fellow and psychiatrist who spoke about mental health and psychiatry.  Dr Elisa Galliano, a University Lecturer and Fellow and Director of Studies in Natural Sciences spoke about her work in neuroscience and gave students a taster of a first year lecture while Dr Elizabeth Fistein, the Director of Studies in Professional Practice, posed ethical questions to the students. There were over 300 participants from across the UK who attended live. The webinar recording is available to watch here:

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Summary For Medicine 2021 Entry

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