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. This comprehensive guide will provide you with answers to the most common questions relating to Graduate Entry Medicine 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 (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; you can find more details in our ‘medical school entry requirements’ section below.
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.
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:
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 can be found within the ‘admissions test’ section below).
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 exam 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 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 AI-powered, adaptive question bank will help you to prepare effectively for all sections. Unlike a traditional questions which gives everyone the same questions in the same order, our AI-powered algorithm will carefully select questions based on your personal strengths and weaknesses within the syllabus, and ensure that you focus on the areas which 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!
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.
What’s required in terms of UCAT scores, GAMSAT scores and BMAT 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 our AI-powered, adaptive 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.
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.
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.
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