There are a number of different routes into the medical profession but if you’ve previously gained an undergraduate degree it’s likely that you’ll be considering Graduate Entry Medicine in the first instance; our guide will provide you with all the information to help you to 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.
Graduate Entry Medicine or GEM is a programme designed specifically as an entrance route into medicine for applicants who already have a bachelor’s degree. Some medical schools will specify that your bachelor degree must be science or health related, but many accept a degree in any subject; we have more details about which degrees individual institutions accept in our ‘medical school entry requirements’ section.
Usually Graduate Entry Medicine is an accelerated programme, offered over four years; however, some universities deliver the programme over five years, in line with Standard Entry Medicine timeframes.
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.
Graduate Entry Medicine is not an easier route into medicine. As mentioned already, 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:
The tuition fees for Graduate Entry Medicine varies depending on the medical school; however, generally it is 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.
The funding available for students undertaking Graduate Entry Medicine 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.
The table below provides details of the different funding available for tuition fees for the academic year 2020 (details for 2021 have not yet been published):
Remember, universities generally offer flexible payment plans, so you won’t be required to pay any contribution towards tuition fees in one payment.
For both routes you’ll also be able to apply to the relevant Student Finance body if you live in England, Northern Ireland or Wales for the following:
If you live in Scotland you can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for the following:
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:
You may have seen Graduate Entry Medicine also referred to as A101, this is frequently used as it’s the most common UCAS course code for the programme; all universities listed below use this course code for their Graduate Entry Medicine programme, with the exception of King’s College London, which uses the course code A102.
The following universities offer Graduate Entry Medicine programmes:
As with all programmes, the entry requirements for Graduate Entry Medicine vary between different medical schools. You will need to ensure that you meet your chosen universities’ entry requirements for the following areas:
There may also be an admissions test included as part of the entry requirements (more details about this is within the ‘admissions test’ section.
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.
Although it’s always best to check the UCAS website to ensure that you meet your chosen universities’ entry criteria before submitting your application, the below information shows you at a glance each medical school’s entry requirements, to help you to compare different universities more easily:
Further information about the programmes provided and the entry requirements for each university can be found on their individual websites or the UCAS site.
From the table above you can identify which universities require you to complete an admissions exam as part of their entry requirements for Graduate Entry Medicine. The majority of medical schools which do require an admission exams use either the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) or The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT), with the exception of the University of Oxford, which uses the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT).
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 these.
The UCAT is designed to identify mental ability, characteristics, attitudes and professional behaviours required for medicine. It’s a computer-based test, which is delivered in Pearson VUE test centres; you must register between May and September and complete the test between July and October. Our complete guide to the UCAT 2020 provides more information about the requirements of the UCAT and how to prepare for it.
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.
The BMAT is designed to assess your ability to apply scientific and mathematical knowledge, your problem solving and critical thinking skills, and your written communication skills. There are two test dates per year: one in early September and one in late October/early November. In both cases your registration should be completed at least a month prior to the test, although late registrations were possible until the UCAS application deadline on 15 October 2019 for the October/November test for 2020 entry.
The required results for admission exams varies depending on the university, with some specifying a minimum score, while others will compare scores from all their applicants, making the minimum vary each year, or not 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.
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 work experience and skills that are relevant.
The following can be used as a checklist to ensure that your personal statement covers what will be expected:
Check out for our Medical Personal Statement blog which provides more guidance on writing your personal statement and shares good advice and examples.
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