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Applying to Medical School in the UK - UCAS Application

Updated on December 18, 2017
DrCharles95 profile image

I'm Charles and i'm currently a medical student at Newcastle University studying medicine.

Quick Application Tips

  • Earlier the better!
  • What type of course are you going to apply to e.g. 5 years? 4 years?
  • Make sure your application meets the course requirements
  • Choose a course that is suited for your ideal learning style – e.g. traditional? PBL? Integrated?
  • Researching medical schools and their admissions policy is key at this stage.
  • Admission test vs grades (Admission test score cut offs, Grade requirements, All rounder's)


Give Yourself Time!

  • The biggest advice I can give you is to start early!
  • Personal Statement – Ideally this should be the first thing you should do – if you start it early it gives you time to correct and change things – especially if you have any new work shadowing or volunteering along the way it gives you time to change things.
  • If you want a medical student/doctor to check your personal statement, it is more helpful for them and yourself to give it to them IN GOOD TIME – gives them time to check it properly and alter things as they would know what an admissions team would expect from a good personal statement – they have done it before!
  • UCAS –it’s a long and tedious process – especially if you don’t have your grade certificates to hand it gives you time to find them.
  • Your academic reference – your tutor at university will require you to let them know in advance that you would like them to write you a reference (a lot of them are researchers after all) so let them know during the summer of the year you want to apply and when they receive your UCAS request it can be done quickly.
  • Some universities require details from the people you have shadowed/worked for/volunteered for therefore it is also a good idea that you ask them in advance before providing their details too.
  • Open days? They will help you learn more about the medical school you want to apply to.
  • If you don’t want to attend open days (a lot of university’s do open days specifically for medicine and dentistry) give yourself time to research all the medical schools you could apply to.
  • Submit your UCAS application at least a week before the deadline.

Medicine Courses

There is the 5 year and the 4 year (GEM) course. You also need to consider teaching style; Traditional learning, PBL and integrated. Finally consider the admissions test; UKCAT, GAMSAT & BMAT.

4 Year Course Vs 5 Year Course Length

University students are able to apply for the 5 year course – this is the course that school leavers apply to (18+) – you are required to pay £9250 per year fees for the full 5 years (as you have already done a degree before) – the 5 year course has more places available (depending on the uni but generally they do) so you have a higher chance of getting a place.

4 year course – Graduate entry medicine course – required to pay £3,465 in the first year – the next 3 years the NHS will pay the first £3,715 towards the University tuition fee. For the remaining amount £5,535 you will be able to apply to Student Finance England for a tuition fee loan.


Application Requirements


Look at the academic requirements – does the course require a first or 2:1?

Previous academic requirements

Some universities require A level chemistry e.g. Liverpool at grade B, others require a level chemistry however if you have taken a degree (e.g. biomedical science) with sufficient chemistry involved they will accept your application e.g. Southampton – it’s worth emailing universities first to ask hence giving yourself sufficient time to plan ahead.

Some universities allow ANY discipline to study medicine e.g. Warwick.

Work experience

A lot of universities are quite lenient with work experience in that they require more volunteering than work shadowing – Warwick however, has a list of requirements for you to be able to submit an application – 70 hours of work experience with 20 hours from work shadowing and 50 hours from volunteering or care based work.

Further requirements include which work experience is allowed and which isn’t e.g. baby sitting and caring for a sick family member isn’t allowed however being a HCA is.

Taking the time to know the ins and outs of the universities requirements is crucial otherwise you will have wasted an application.

Example of Work Experience Requirements - Warwick


© 2017 Munyaradzi Charles Mupinga


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