APPLYING TO MEDICAL SCHOOL

Medicine Entry Requirements

WRITTEN BY
Medistudents Team
September 28, 2022

Are you applying to study medicine in 2023 and looking for an easy way to compare medicine entry requirements for different universities? If so, this comprehensive guide is for you! Here you’ll find medicine entry requirements and admission exams for every university, as well as a breakdown of the different medical courses available, personal statement guidance, and much more.

How to get into medical school UK

There are a number of different routes into the medical profession so it’s worth exploring the different options and what is most suitable given your qualifications and experience. The section below breaks down the different course types available at UK medical schools.

Medicine Course Types

Standard Entry Medicine (UCAS code: A100)

This is usually a 5 year course, although some universities deliver it over 6 years. You may also find different abbreviations, such as MBBS or MBChB, depending on the institution, but the outcome with all is a bachelor’s degree in medicine.

Graduate Entry Medicine (UCAS Code: A101)

Also known as the Graduate Entry Programme, this is usually a 4 year accelerated degree, although some universities do deliver it over 5 years. The programme is available to applicants who have a bachelor’s degree. Some medical schools will specify that this must be a science or health related degree, but many accept a bachelor’s degree in any subject, so it’s important that you check the entry requirements for individual institutions. You can find a full breakdown of this information in our graduate entry medicine guide.

Medicine with a Gateway Year

This is usually delivered over 6 years, with a ‘Gateway’ or foundation year incorporated into the course; however, some institutions offer the foundation year as a stand alone course, which then allows you to progress on to the Standard Entry Medicine course. The route is the result of a widening participation initiative and is open to UK applicants who do not meet the entry requirements for Standard Entry Medicine but who could be identified as having barriers to their learning.

The entry requirements are usually one or two grades lower (at A Levels / Scottish Highers) than those required for Standard Entry Medicine. However, it's essential that you also meet specific widening participation criteria. The criteria is generally centred around where a student lives and what school they attend; for example, if you live in an area of low progression to higher education. Personal circumstances are also usually considered within the widening participation criteria, for example, if you have spent time in local authority care.

The criteria varies slightly per university so it’s essential that you check individual institutions’ entry requirements and it is worth noting that some are local widening participation initiatives and are therefore only available if you live local to the university.

Medicine with a Preliminary Year (UCAS Code: A104)

Similar to the courses offering a ‘Gateway Year’, this route delivers an additional year (sometimes referred to as a foundation year) prior to the completion of the 5 year Standard Entry Medicine course, making it a 6 year delivery in total. However, this differs from the ‘Gateway Year’ route as it is intended for students who achieve the required entry grades at A Level but who do not have the required science subjects. The additional year provides you with the necessary science required in order to access Standard Entry Medicine.

Currently the only institute offering this route is the University of Manchester.

Medicine Course Requirements

Entry requirements vary depending on the route taken. As mentioned above, Medicine with a Gateway Year requests lower A Level / Scottish Higher grades than Standard Entry Medicine (usually one or two grades lower) if you meets specific widening participation criteria; whereas, Medicine with a Preliminary Year omits the specified science subjects requested but requires the same grades as Standard Entry Medicine.

Generally, Graduate Entry Medicine requests a minimum 2:1 in a previous bachelor’s degree, with some universities specifying that this must be a science or health related degree. The only exception to this is the University of Nottingham, which requests a minimum 2:2. Some universities also specify that a 2:2 will be accepted if you’ve completed further postgraduate study, for example, a Master’s or PhD. Often you can apply during your final year of your bachelor’s degree and obtain a conditional offer, so it’s worth checking with your chosen university if you’re currently studying for a degree. The entry requirements for A Level / Scottish Higher and GCSE grades varies significantly for Graduate Entry Medicine, with some universities outlining minimum requirements for grades and/or specific subjects studied and some not scoring them at all within the entry requirements, so again it’s important to check the requirements for individual medical schools. You'll find all of this information in our Graduate Entry Medicine blog.

Checking Medicine Entry Requirements

A Level Requirements / Scottish Highers Requirements

For Standard Entry Medicine applicants are generally required to complete A Levels / Scottish Highers in either Chemistry and Biology (plus an additional subject) or Chemistry or Biology and one of either Chemistry, Biology, Human Biology, Maths or Physics (plus an additional subject). UK medical schools will also usually outline subjects which will not be accepted as a third A Level, these tend to include General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship.

For entry on to the Standard Entry Medicine programme, the majority of universities request AAA at A Level, although there is some variation with some accepting slightly lower grades than this and others requesting higher.

For Scottish Highers AA is generally required for Advanced Highers; however, there is variation between institutions with some universities accepting AB and some requesting 3 Advanced Highers ranging from AAA - BBB, so it’s important that you check the requirements for individual universities.
The table below provides an overview of the entry requirements for all universities offering Standard Entry Medicine for 2023:

Medical School A Levels Scottish Highers
Required Subjects Grades Required Subjects Grades
University of Aberdeen Chemistry plus at least one from Biology, Maths or Physics plus one other AAA Chemistry plus two from Biology/Human Biology, Maths and Physics plus two others AAAAB
Anglia Ruskin University Chemistry or Biology plus one of either Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics plus one other AAA Grades AA from Biology and/or Chemistry and another science subject Advanced Highers: AAB
Aston University, Birmingham Chemistry and Biology AAA* Chemistry and Biology Advanced Highers: AAA*
University of Birmingham Biology/Human Biology and Chemistry AAA but typical offer A*AA No details provided No details provided
Brighton and Sussex Medical School Biology and Chemistry AAA No details provided No details provided
University of Bristol Chemistry plus one from Biology, Physics, Maths or Further Maths AAA (ABB for graduates with 2:1 and A must be in Chemistry) Advanced Highers: Chemistry plus one from Biology, Physics or Maths AAAAB
Advanced Highers: AA
Brunel University London Chemistry or Biology plus one from Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Maths AAB Not accepted Not accepted
University of Buckingham None specified ABB No details provided No details provided
University of Cambridge Chemistry plus one from Biology, Physics or Maths. Three science/maths subjects needed for some colleges. A*A*A No details provided No details provided
Cardiff University Biology and Chemistry AAA No details provided No details provided
University of Central Lancashire Chemistry plus at least one other science subject AAA No details provided No details provided
University of Dundee Chemistry plus one from Biology, Physics or Maths. ABB – AAA Chemistry plus one of Biology, Physics or Maths. AAABB – AAAAB
University of East Anglia Biology/Human Biology or Chemistry AAA Biology or Chemistry Advanced Highers: BBB
Edge Hill University Biology and Chemistry AAA Biology and Chemistry AAAAB
The University of Edinburgh Chemistry plus one from Biology/Human Biology, Maths or Physics AAA Chemistry plus two from Biology, Maths/Applications of Maths or Physics AAAAB
University of Exeter Chemistry and Biology AAA Chemistry and Biology at grade A AAAAB
Advanced HIghers: AAB
University of Glasgow Chemistry plus one from Biology, Maths or Physics AAA Chemistry and Biology plus either Maths or Physics AAAAA – AAAABB
Hull York Medical School Biology and Chemistry AAA Biology and Chemistry AAAAB
Advanced Highers: BBB
Imperial College London Chemistry and Biology AAA Not accepted Not accepted
Keele University Biology or Chemistry plus one from Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Maths/Further Maths/Statistics, Physics, Psychology A*AA Chemistry or Biology plus a second science subject AAAAAA
Kent and Medway Medical School Chemistry or Biology plus one from Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Psychology, Physics, Computing or Computer Science AAB No details provided No details provided
King’s College London Biology and Chemistry A*AA Advanced Higher Biology and Chemistry AAA plus AA at Advanced Higher (same subjects do not count)
Lancaster University Any 2 of Biology, Chemistry and Psychology AAA – AAB Advanced Higher Biology and Chemistry AAAAB plus AA in Biology and Chemistry at Advanced Higher level
University of Leeds Chemistry or Biology plus Physics or Maths if Chemistry is not taken AAA Biology and Chemistry AAAAB
University of Leicester Chemistry or Biology plus one from Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Psychology AAA Chemistry or Biology plus one from Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Psychology at Advanced Higher level Advanced Highers: AAA
Lincoln Medical School (University of Nottingham Lincoln Pathway) Biology/Human Biology and Chemistry AAA Biology (A), Chemistry (A), English Language and Maths AAAAB
University of Liverpool Chemistry plus one from Biology, Physics or Maths AAA – A*AB (A*A must be from the required subjects) Chemistry and one from Biology, Physics and Maths AAAAB
University of Manchester Chemistry or Biology/Human Biology plus one from Chemistry, Biology/Human Biology, Physics, Psychology, Mathematics or Further Mathematics AAA Chemistry or Biology plus a second science (from Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Psychology or Physics) AAAA
Advanced Highers: At least two (AA)
Newcastle University None specified AAA None specified AAAAA
University of Nottingham Biology/HumanBiology and Chemistry AAA English Language, Maths and the sciences plus Advanced Highers in Biology and Chemistry AAAAB
Advanced Highers: AA in Biology and Chemistry
University of Oxford Chemistry and at least one of Biology, Physics, Maths or Further Maths A*AA Advanced Highers: Chemistry plus one from Biology, Physics or Maths AAAAA plus Advanced Highers AA
University of Plymouth Biology plus one from Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Psychology AAB – A*AA Biology plus one from Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Psychology at Advanced Higher level Advanced Highers: AAA – AAB
Queen Mary University of London Biology or Chemistry plus one from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths A*AA No details provided No details provided
Queen’s University Belfast Chemistry and Biology/Human Biology A*AA No details provided No details provided
University of Sheffield Chemistry or Biology plus one from Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Psychology AAA Advanced Highers: Chemistry or Biology plus one from Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Psychology AAAAB plus AA at Advanced Highers level
University of Southampton Biology plus one from Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Environmental Studies or Geography AAA
(BBB for Widening Participation route)
Biology plus one from Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Environmental Studies or Geography Minimum AAAAB
(BBBBC for Widening Participation route)
University of St Andrews Chemistry plus one from Biology, Maths or Physics AAB Chemistry plus one from Biology, Human Biology, Maths or Physics AAABB
Advanced Highers: BB
St George’s, University of London Chemistry and Biology/Human Biology AAA – A*AA Chemistry and Biology AAA
Advanced Highers: AA
University of Sunderland Biology or Chemistry plus one from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths/Further Maths/Statistics AAA No details provided No details provided
University College London Biology and Chemistry with one at grade A* A*AA Advanced Highers: Biology and Chemistry Advanced Highers: AAA

*ABB (with A in Chemistry or Biology) may be accepted if you meet specified widening participation criteria. See Aston University’s website for more details.
Hopefully the table above has helped you to easily compare medicine entry requirements for different universities. Before applying, you should always check the requirements on UCAS or the individual medical school’s website, for any potential changes or additional requirements not included above.

GCSE Requirements / Scottish National Requirements

For Standard Entry Medicine applicants are generally required to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs graded 6 (B) or above; although this does vary, with some medical schools requesting a higher minimum number of GCSEs and some requesting lower minimum grades (4 / C). Universities also normally identify minimum grades for Science subjects, Maths and English.

Medical Applications

Applications for UK medical schools are submitted through UCAS. The deadline for submitting your UCAS application for 2023 entry is 15 October 2022.

Applications to study medicine generally include the following elements:

  • Predicted A Levels / Scottish Highers
  • GCSEs / Scottish National Grades
  • Personal Statement (more information below)
  • Entry / Admissions Test (only applicable for some universities - see below for a full list)

If your UCAS application is successful you’ll then be invited to an interview at the university: all UK medical schools carry out interviews before offering applicants a place on the programme. Generally the interview method is a series of mini interviews and/or panel interviews; at this stage your personal statement may be referred to or used as a basis for questions and you’ll be given an opportunity to discuss any work experience you have carried out. Again, the requirements for work experience varies across the universities: some medical schools request that you have work experience which gives you an insight into the healthcare profession, whereas others just want experience of working directly with people, although in a supportive or caring role will be an advantage. Whatever your work experience, it is vital that you can reflect on what you have learnt and how the experience has developed behaviours and skills required in the medical profession.

You can find more information and guidance on the medical school interview process in our multiple mini interview (MMI) guide. And for help to prepare effectively for your interview, check out our complete guide to medical school interviews, with a breakdown of the different types of interview used, common questions and topics you’ll encounter and how to approach them.

Personal Statements

Generally personal statements are not scored and are often not read prior to offering an interview; however, they are in some cases used as part of the interview process or before an offer is made, particularly where applicants have similar qualifications. As personal statements are generally referred to at some stage of the application process, they should identify your commitment and motivation to study medicine, as well as any work experience and skills that are relevant. Our Medicine Personal Statement blog has lots of useful information and tips for writing a successful statement.

Entry / Admissions Test

The majority of UK medical schools include an admissions test as part of their entry requirements, with the exception of the University of Buckingham Medical School and the University of Central Lancashire Medical School. There are three admissions tests, meaning you may need to complete more than one depending on the medical schools you are applying for and the test required for each.

It’s important that you check registration and completion deadline dates for each test to ensure these are not missed. This information is listed on the individual test websites, along with past practice papers, question banks and further resources to support preparing for the admissions test. A link to each of the websites is included below.

The admissions tests are:

UCAT Admissions Test

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is used as part of the application selection process as a way of identifying applicant’s mental ability, characteristics, attitudes and professional behaviours required for medicine. The UCAT is a computer-based test, which is delivered in Pearson VUE test centres. You will be given your results on the day of the test and a copy will also be sent to your chosen medical school after the UCAS deadline.

You can find more information in our UCAT 2023 – Complete Guide, as well as our UCAT Preparation and UCAT Practice blogs, or our quick tips on preparing. To help you prepare effectively for the UCAT, sign up to our AI-powered, adaptive question bank, to gain access to thousands of UCAT questions which are personalised to your learning needs.

BMAT Admissions Test

Preparing for Medicine Admissions Tests

The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is used as part of the application selection process to assess an applicant's ability to apply scientific and mathematical knowledge, their problem solving and critical thinking skills, and their written communication skills. For 2022, the deadline to register is 30 September, and the only available test date is 18 October.

The BMAT is a two hour written test which is divided into three sections:

Section Question format Time given
Section 1: Thinking Skills 32 multiple choice questions 60 minutes
Section 2: Scientific Knowledge and Applications 27 multiple choice questions 30 minutes
Section 3: Writing Task One writing task from a choice of 3 questions 30 minutes

GAMSAT Admissions Test

The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is predominately used for applicants for Graduate Entry Medicine, although some medical schools use UCAT or BMAT, and a small number use GAMSAT for Standard Entry Medicine programmes. GAMSAT assesses an applicant’s ability to use concepts in basic science, as well as their problem solving, critical thinking and writing skills. There are two GAMSAT test dates per year: March and September. You must register and complete the GAMSAT before submitting your UCAS application.

A full list of universities and medical schools that require UCAT, BMAT or GAMSAT admissions test is below:

Medical School Entry / Admissions Test
University of Aberdeen UCAT
Anglia Ruskin University UCAT
Aston University, Birmingham UCAT
University of Birmingham UCAT
Brighton and Sussex Medical School BMAT
University of Bristol UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
Brunel University London UCAT
University of Buckingham None
University of Cambridge BMAT
None for Graduate Entry Medicine
Cardiff University UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Graduate Entry Medicine
University of Central Lancashire None
University of Chester – Graduate Entry Medicine Only UCAT
University of Dundee UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
University of East Anglia UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
Edge Hill University UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
The University of Edinburgh UCAT
University of Exeter UCAT
GAMSAT (for applicants who do not have GCE A Level or equivalent results or completed A Levels more than two full academic years ago)
University of Glasgow UCAT
Hull York Medical School UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
Imperial College London BMAT
Keele University UCAT (UK applicants – Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
BMAT (International applicants)
GAMSAT (graduate applicants not meeting A-Level/GCSE requirements; must also sit UCAT or BMAT, as appropriate)
Kent and Medway Medical School UCAT
King’s College London UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine, Graduate Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
Lancaster University BMAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
University of Leeds BMAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
University of Leicester UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
Lincoln Medical School (University of Nottingham Lincoln Pathway) UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
University of Liverpool UCAT for non-graduates
GAMSAT for graduates
University of Manchester UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Preliminary Year)
Newcastle University UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Graduate Entry Medicine)
University of Nottingham UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
GAMSAT for Graduate Entry Medicine
University of Oxford BMAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Graduate Entry Medicine)
University of Plymouth UCAT
GAMSAT for graduates or more than five years since current qualifications were achieved
None for Medicine with a Foundation Year
Queen Mary University of London UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Graduate Entry Medicine)
Queen’s University Belfast UCAT
University of Sheffield UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine & Graduate Entry Medicine)
University of Southampton UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine, Graduate Entry Medicine & Medicine with a Gateway Year)
University of St Andrews UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine)
GAMSAT (Graduate Entry Medicine)
St George’s, University of London UCAT (Standard Entry Medicine
GAMSAT (Graduate Entry Medicine)
University of Sunderland UCAT
University of Surrey – Graduate Entry Medicine Only UCAT
Swansea University - Graduate Entry Medicine Only GAMSAT
Ulster University – Graduate Entry Medicine Only GAMSAT
University College London BMAT
University of Warwick - Graduate Entry Medicine Only UCAT
University of Worcester – Graduate Entry Medicine Only UCAT

Please note: where it is not directly specified, the admission test listed is for Standard Entry Medicine.

Top 10 medical schools in the UK

Top 10 Medical Schools in the UK

The following list of the Top 10 medical schools in the UK is taken from The Guardian's Best UK universities for medicine – league table (2023).

  1. University of Cambridge
  2. University of Aberdeen
  3. University of Edinburgh
  4. Imperial College London
  5. University of St Andrews
  6. University of Oxford
  7. Swansea University
  8. Brighton Sussex Medical School
  9. Keele University
  10. University of Glasgow

For more detailed information see our Best Medical Schools blog.

All information and entry criteria are correct for the academic year 2023.