Want to Study Medicine – UK Students

If you are thinking about studying medicine what are the routes available to you and how do you get into Medicine? These are one of the most competitive graduate courses and many students end up not receiving any placement offer. This should not put you off as there are different routes to studying medicine. We have put to together this guide to help any prospective students thinking about studying medicine to consider all the different options and make the necessary preparations.

UCAS Application Statistics
In 2021 entry there were 28,690 applications to UK medicine courses but only around 9500 places available. Each year the number of applications to Medicine courses are increasing but the number of places is not increasing at the same rate. Hence you need to have a backup plan.

Applying for Medicine Courses
We have identified different application routes you may need to consider and plan for so that you can increase your chances of getting into Medicine.

  1. Apply through UCAS to study Medicine in UK.
    • You can apply for up to four medicine courses (usually 5-6 years)
    • Fifth option must be non-medicine (e.g. Bio Medical Science)
    • Requires additional UCAT or BMAT tests depending upon the University selected
    • Have medical works experience or completed suitable training courses
    • UCAS Extra and UCAS Clearing does offer an alternative option where students have not received any offer or cancelled their offer. However, for medicine courses this route is very unlikely to lead to successful offers.
  2. Apply through UCAS to study alternative Medicine related courses
    • Bio Medical Science and other suitable courses (usually 3-4 years). Can be chosen as the fifth option as part of your Medicine course applications.
      • Some courses after one year allow you to transfer to Medicine course but this is very competitive and only a small percentage achieving high grades get a chance
      • Complete the course and apply for Medicine as a second degree.
        • Standard 5+ years Medical degree. In England you’ll have to pay the tuition fees yourself for the first four years (usually £9,250). Can apply for living costs via student finance. Fifth year you’ll be eligible for support from NHS Business Services Authority for living cost and tuition fee support.
        • Accelerated 4-year graduate entry programme. In England you’ll have to pay the first £3,465 in first year yourself and apply for student finance for the rest. Years 2 to 4 you’ll be eligible for support from NHS Student Bursaries.
        • More Information

  3. Take a GAP Year and apply through UCAS following year to study Medicine in UK. The chances of success the next year is not guaranteed.
    • Success would depend upon the number of students applying that year
    • Your exam results for A Level or other course
    • Your UCAT or BMAT scores
    • Additional works or travel experience during GAP year

  4. Apply to Study Medicine abroad

Further Resources
There are different tools and resources available to do your research around different Universities offering Medicine courses, their ranking and student feedback. Listed below are few websites but more tools may be available from your career’s advisor or college.