Graduate Entry Medicine

Medistudents Team
June 12, 2024

There are a number of different routes into the medical profession, but if you’ve previously gained an undergraduate degree you’ll likely be considering Graduate Entry Medicine as the first option. This comprehensive guide will provide you with answers to the most common questions relating to Graduate Entry Medicine to help you decide if it’s the most suitable option for you.

You can also check out our Medicine Entry Requirements blog for more details about the different routes available.

What is Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM)?

Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) is a programme designed specifically as an entrance route into medicine for applicants with a bachelor’s degree. Some medical schools will specify that your bachelor’s degree must be science or health-related, but many accept a degree in any subject; you can find more details in our ‘medical school entry requirements’ section below.

Is Graduate Entry Medicine an Accelerated Medical Degree / 4 Year Medical Degree?

Graduate Entry Medicine is usually an accelerated programme offered over four years; however, some universities deliver it over five years, in line with Standard Entry Medicine timeframes.

Is Graduate Entry Medicine the same as Postgraduate Medicine?

Graduate Entry Medicine is an undergraduate degree, not a postgraduate degree, and will result in you gaining the same qualification as students undertaking a medical degree via alternate undergraduate routes.

How Hard is Graduate Entry Medicine?

Graduate Entry Medicine is a challenging route into medicine. As mentioned, you’ll be studying for the same qualification as students completing the Standard Entry Medicine programme, and therefore, the demands will be the same.

A few things may affect how difficult you find the course:

1. The duration of the programme: If you complete an accelerated programme, which is delivered over four years, you’re likely to find the demands greater than if you completed it over five years (the usual timescale for Standard Entry Medicine and offered for some Graduate Entry Medicine programmes). The four-year course is more intense and delivered over a longer period within each academic year.
2. Your previous degree: Although some medical schools will accept you onto a Graduate Entry programme with a bachelor’s degree in any subject area, you’ll likely find the programme more accessible if your previous degree was science or health-related.

How Much is Graduate Entry Medicine?

The tuition fees for Graduate Entry Medicine vary depending on the medical school; however, generally, they are around the maximum fee of £9,250 for the first academic year, with the possibility of the price increasing in line with inflation in subsequent academic years. Information about tuition fees for individual universities is available on the UCAS website or the university's website.

Graduate Entry Medicine Funding

Naturally, you may be concerned about how to fund your Graduate Entry Medicine degree. The funding available to support students varies depending on which route you take (a five-year course or an accelerated four-year course) and where in the UK you normally live.

To check what tuition fee funding you may be eligible for, visit the relevant student finance website below:

If you’re required to pay your tuition fees in full, remember that universities generally offer flexible payment plans, so you won’t be required to pay any contributions in one payment.

Additionally, you’ll be able to apply to the relevant Student Finance body if you live in England, Northern Ireland or Wales for the following:

  • Student Loan for Maintenance
  • Adult Dependants’ Grant
  • Childcare Grant
  • Parents’ Learning Allowance
  • Disabled Students’ Allowance
  • Travel Expenses for Medical Students

If you live in Scotland, you can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for the following:

  • Student Loan for Maintenance
  • Adult Dependants’ Grant
  • Lone Parent Grant
  • Disabled Students’ Allowance
  • Care Leavers' Grant

You may also be able to get additional support during your time at university if you’re struggling financially; however, this is generally only for unexpected hardship, so it’s likely that you’ll need to prove that you had finance in place to pay for your fees and your cost of living. The following offer financial support in these instances:

  • The University itself - usually in the form of hardship bursaries which you aren’t required to pay back
  • Charitable Organisations, for example The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund offer support if you’re in “exceptional and unexpected hardship due to ill health, disability or bereavement”

Why are Graduate Medicine Courses called A101 Medicine?

You may have seen Graduate Entry Medicine is also referred to as A101, which is frequently used as it’s the most common UCAS course code for the programme. Most universities listed below use this course code for their Graduate Entry Medicine programme, with the exception of King’s College London, Plymouth University and the University of Southampton, which use the course code A102.

Which Medical Schools offer Graduate Entry Medicine?

Graduate Entry Medicine

The following universities offer Graduate Entry Medicine programmes:

  • Bangor University (new for September 2024 entry)
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Chester
  • King’s College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Manchester
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Nottingham (September 2025 is the final year entry is being offered)
  • University of Oxford
  • Plymouth University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St Andrews
  • St George’s University of London
  • University of Surrey (new for Spring 2024 entry)
  • University of Swansea
  • Ulster University (was new for 2021 entry)
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Worcester

Medical School Entry Requirements

As with all programmes, the entry requirements for Graduate Entry Medicine vary between different medical schools. You will need to check the UCAS website and your chosen universities’ websites to ensure that you meet their entry requirements for the following areas:

  1. Previous Degree - including any subject requirements and grade
  2. A Level requirements
  3. Any work experience requirements

There may also be an admissions test included as part of the entry requirements (more details can be found within the ‘admissions test’ section below).

Do all Medical Schools have A Level Requirements?

For Graduate Entry Medicine, it’s less likely that your A Level results will be taken into consideration as part of the application process; however, there are some universities which do specify A Level subjects and grades within their entry requirements, so make sure you’re aware of these before applying.

Admissions Exams

The majority of medical schools that require an admission exam use either the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) or The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) was also previously used by universities, but this was discontinued in 2024.  

If your chosen universities require you to complete an admission exam, make sure you’re aware of the deadlines for registering and completing the test to avoid missing them.

Graduate Entry Medicine UCAT

The UCAT is a computer-based test, delivered in Pearson VUE test centres, and designed to identify mental ability, characteristics, attitudes and professional behaviours required for medicine.

The exam includes 5 sections: Abstract Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, Situational Judgement, and Verbal Reasoning. Our free AI-powered, adaptive question bank will help you to prepare effectively for all sections. Unlike traditional questions that give everyone the same questions in the same order, our AI-powered algorithm will carefully select questions based on your strengths and weaknesses within the syllabus and ensure that you focus on the areas that will make the biggest difference to your learning. The question bank dashboard (below) clearly shows you how you’re performing in each section and subsection of the exam, with your calculated skill level, total number of questions answered, number of questions answered correctly and response time for each. You can see which areas you have “mastered” and which areas you need to focus more time on!

Our complete guide to the UCAT provides more information about the requirements of the exam and how to prepare for it.

Graduate Entry Medicine GAMSAT

The GAMSAT is designed to assess your ability to use concepts in basic science, as well as your problem solving, critical thinking and writing skills. There are two GAMSAT test dates per year: March and September.

UCAT and GAMSAT Scores

What’s required in terms of UCAT and GAMSAT scores varies depending on the university. Some specify a minimum score, while others will compare scores from all their applicants, making the minimum vary each year, or don't outline a minimum at all. Whether your chosen universities provide a minimum result or not, if an admissions exam is an entry requirement, it’s important that you prepare well and achieve a high score, as it will be used within the selection process. To help you effectively prepare, check out the free Medibuddy AI-powered UCAT question bank, and preparation guide. For everything you need to know about registering, preparing for and completing the UCAT exam, visit our UCAT complete guide.

Graduate Preparing for Medicine Admissions Exams

Graduate Entry Medicine Personal Statement

Although personal statements are not usually scored, they play a significant role within the selection process, generally as part of the interview or before an offer is made, so it’s vital that it’s of a high standard and enhances your application. Your personal statement should identify your commitment and motivation to study medicine, as well as any relevant work experience and skills.

The following can be used as a checklist to ensure that your personal statement covers what will be expected:

  • Relevant work experience - even where this is not identified as an entry requirement, any relevant work experience will demonstrate not only your commitment to studying medicine, but also that you have an understanding of the demands of the profession.
  • Personal qualities which make you suitable to work within the medical profession, as well as skills such as problem solving and critical thinking.
  • Your interests outside of studying, for example sports, music, etc. - these are useful for demonstrating your ability to work individually and within a team, so make sure you use these to your advantage.
  • Understanding of key issues and the latest research - any nod towards additional reading you have undertaken will help to demonstrate your interest and understanding of the subject.
  • Any membership or involvement with relevant societies or clubs.

Check out our Medical Personal Statement blog, which provides more guidance on writing your personal statement and shares good advice and examples.

Non-UK Medical Schools

If you're looking to study medicine outside of the UK, the entry criteria for applicants can vary significantly. Make sure to research the requirements for your chosen route so you know what you need to achieve prior to applying. If you're worried about meeting the high standards of medical school entry requirements, check out medical schools that accept low GPA, as these may be a good option for you.

For support with all aspects of your medical school application, including entry requirements, the best medical schools and your interview, visit our dedicated ‘Applying to medical school’ section.