General Information and FAQs

This page outlines some general information for Medical School applications in the UK. A lot of this can simply be Google’d but hey.

When is the deadline for applications?

The deadline is the 15th October, and has been for years. It doesn’t matter what year it is – that’s been the deadline for as long as I can remember. Yes, it is earlier than the ‘normal’ UCAS deadline.

I’m late for the deadline! What do I do?

Unfortunately, applications made after the deadline will almost certainly not be considered. All you can do is either think of applying abroad or wait it out another year.

How do I apply?

Through UCAS.

I’m about to select my GCSE options. What subjects should I take?

It really does not matter what you select for GCSE, as long as you have the Sciences, Maths and English. The grades you achieve are much more important than the subject choice – ideally, you want to be aiming for as high as possible. I would suggest taking at least 9 GCSEs, and to aim to score at least B’s in the core subjects mentioned above.

What A-Levels should I take?

This is a question that sparks a lot of debate. There are some things to clear up:

  • You will NOT have an advantage for doing all Sciences/Maths – with the exception of Cambridge Medical School.
  • You will NOT ‘stand out’ for doing a non-science subject because ‘it makes you different’. In the past, UCL and Peninsula Medical School (which has now split into Plymouth and Exeter) stated that it would give you a small advantage, but this is no longer the case. As far as I know, there are no Medical Schools that explicitly say they like applicants to have non-science subjects.
  • There is no need to do more than 3 A-Levels unless you absolutely want to. Again, it will give you no advantage if you do. I personally did more than 3 – not because it gave me an advantage, but because I was unsure about what I wanted to do at Uni. I therefore selected my favourite subjects. There is little justification for doing more than 3, however, so I don’t recommend it.
  • You pretty much NEED to have Chemistry A-Level. It’s even more important than Biology (although it makes no sense to me – there is way more Biology than Chemistry in Medical School).

Therefore, I suggest picking Chemistry, Biology and a subject of your choice. Just make sure that subject is something academic, and not something like General Studies as it won’t be accepted.

Wait, so I don’t need Biology for A-Level?

Technically, you don’t. I would question if you would enjoy Medicine if you don’t like the human aspects of Biology, however.

Do I need to do any entry tests?

Yes, you will either need to do the UKCAT or the BMAT. Most Medical Schools use the UKCAT, whilst a select few use the BMAT. Please see the dedicated pages for these for more advice.

Is it important for me to go to Oxbridge/Imperial/UCL?

In a word: No.

I’m not being biased either out of spite – I go to one of the Medical Schools mentioned in this question. All Medical Schools in the UK are approved by the GMC and, provided you manage to get through, will allow you to register as a doctor. In fact, for your first job as an F1 after you graduate, the Medical School you attended is hidden.

This also means that league tables are practically useless for Medicine.

I have another question!

Ask in the comments!


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