Studying at UCL Medical School

Overview

University College London is home to UCL Medical School, one of the largest in the country with a yearly intake of 334 medical students. The degree follows a six-year programme inclusive of an integrated BSc (except for graduate entrants) with the widest range of intercalation BSc opportunities in the UK, giving you plenty of opportunity to explore your interests. Clinical experience is integrated throughout the course, beginning the the early years and culminating in full-time clinical attachments in later years. Years 1 and 2 explore the basic clinical sciences using a systems-based approach.

UCL have a holistic selection process, considering not only BMAT score but also previous academic attainment and values (such as teamwork and leadership) displayed in other areas of your application. Therefore UCL is an ideal choice for candidates with good BMAT scores with all-round strong academics and extra-curricular achievements.

Key Points

  • BMAT
  • London
  • Integrated Course
  • Compulsory Intercalation

Insider’s Guide to UCL Medical School from Ayman, UCL Medical Student

What makes UCL unique to other medical schools?

It offers full body dissection which is regarded as one of the most enjoyable and valuable aspects of the preclinical course. There is also a compulsory integrated year which would allow me to pursue an individual subject of my choice in much greater detail, allowing me to pursue my own interests. The style of teaching is also more theory based in pre clinical years which for me meant that it was easier to apply this later on. It is such a large university situated in the centre of London, the range of opportunities available to you are unparalleled.

Course Structure at UCL Medical School

Year 1 at UCL Medical School

First year at UCL Medical School begins with a plethora of pre-clinical modules that will form the foundation upon which clinical knowledge will be built throughout the remainder of the course. These modules range from anatomy to medical ethics. There is also a ‘Clinical Skills and Practical Procedures’ module to allow for early exposure to key clinical skills, thereby giving you the time to build those skills through the next 6 years. The key elements of the first year curriculum are:

  • Fundamentals of clinical science- Anatomy and Imaging
  • Clinical Skills and Practical Procedures
  • Doctor as Data Scientist
  • Pathological Sciences
  • Use of Medicines
  • Clinical Communication
  • Ethics and Law

Year 2 at UCL Medical School

Year 2 takes place in a series of sequential blocks focussed on pathophysiology, amongst other clinical topics. These core topics underpin the disease pathology that you will encounter in the later years of the degree. Some of the modules that you will partake in are:

  • Movement and Musculoskeletal Biology 
  • Neuroscience and Behavior 
  • Endocrine Systems and Reproduction
  • Genetics
  • Development and Cancer

Year 3 at UCL Medical School

Year 3 is a fan favorite at UCL as students get to participate in an intercalated degree. This means that, for one year, you have complete control over the direction of your academic pursuits. From Medical Philosophy to Anthropology and so much more, you have the opportunity to gain an additional degree in any subject that takes your interest.

Year 4 at UCL Medical School

Following the iBSc, UCL Medical students embark on 3 years of clinical training. This takes the format of broad categories within clinical care, such as community, ward and emergency healthcare. Year 4 gives you the opportunity to put into practice everything you’ve learnt over the last few years whilst making a tangible difference to the patients you’ll meet on the wards. Everybody has something to teach, from nurses to patients themselves!

Year 5 & 6 at UCL Medical School

Years 5 and 6 cumulatively form a “transitionary” period where students are encouraged to practice, in real-time, making evidence based clinical decisions in a hospital setting. In the final 2 years of training, you will become well-equipped to handle life as a junior doctor in the NHS.

Teaching Style at UCL Medical School

What is the general teaching style at UCL? E.g. is it PBL/Traditional? etc.

It is more traditional with a distinct split between pre-clinical and clinical years, so earlier on in the course you learn more theory and feel more comfortable later on when it comes to applying this. However, there are opportunities for early patient contact and for meeting health professionals, to allow you to keep preparation for the practice of medicine firmly in sight.

Does UCL offer dissection?

Yes, full body dissection

Does UCL offer a BSc? If so, how is the BSc year?

Yes, it is compulsory. The BSc year is a great opportunity to branch out and explore something niche that you are interested in.

What is the pre-clinical / clinical split like? Do you get early clinical exposure?

There is a distinct split between pre clinical and clinical years, so earlier on in the course you learn more theory and feel more comfortable later on when it comes to applying this. However, there are opportunities for early patient contact and for meeting health professionals, to allow you to keep preparation for the practice of medicine firmly in sight.

Social Life at UCL Medical School

What are the clubs and societies like? What is the social life like?

Because UCL is such a large university situated in the heart of London, there is such a diverse range of clubs and societies. There is really something for everyone and clubs and societies are a great way to meet other people. The social life is great, and is reinforced through clubs and societies that will run socials throughout the year.

About the university Compare

Key Information
Email [email protected]
Phone number 020 3108 8235
Course Information
Teaching style Integrated
The first two pre-clinical years take a system-based approach with early patient contact. During the third year, students study on an integrated BSc in a range of disciplines.
Course length 6 years
BSC Yes, compulsory
An intercalated BSc degree is included in the MBBS programme during the third year.
Courses offered One course offered:
A100 Standard Entry Medicine - 6 years
Graduate entry No
Foundation or access No
University Life
Local area Bloomsbury, London
Located in central London students benefit from everything the capital has to offer. Teaching takes place at some of London's busiest hospitals including UCLH, the Royal Free and Whittington Hospital.
Social life Studying in London you will benefit from a fantastic night life, from student bars and nightlife to beautiful parks with great walking and cycling trails. London has so much to offer with its rich culture. UCL also offers fantastic student groups from sports clubs, both competitive and recreational, as well as all types of social and cultural clubs that you can join and meet like-minded individuals.
Interview
Interview style Panel
Interview dates Dec-Mar
Interview topics
  • Intellectual curiosity and potential
  • Motivation for a career in medicine
  • Awareness of medical news and issues
  • Expression of arguments
  • Attributes to being a good doctor including personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Communication skills
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Admissions Tests
    UCAT N/A
    BMAT BMAT Required
    From 2023 entry the BMAT will be used alone to select candidates for interview. Previously predicted grades were considered so historic BMAT data may not be accurate for the 2023 cycle.
    For 2022 entry the average BMAT of an interviewed candidate was 5.8, 5.8, 3.3A
    GAMSAT N/A
    Academic Requirements
    GSCE GCSEs not considered beyond minimum requirement
    Minimum requirements: grade B/6 in both English Language and Maths
    A-level A*AA
    Subject requirements: Chemistry and Biology
    Retake policy Candidates may re-sit GCSE subjects in order to meet the GCSE requirements. Graduates who re-sat A levels before their degree will also be considered. Otherwise, re-sits are not considered.
    Scottish highers AAA
    Additional requirements: A1A at Advanced Higher including Chemistry and Biology
    Scottish advanced A1AA
    Subject requirements: Chemistry and Biology
    Alternatively A1A at Advanced Higher (including Chemistry and Biology) and AAA at Higher is acceptable
    IB 39 points
    Subject requirements: 3 Higher Level subjects totalling 19 points including Biology and Chemistry at grade 6
    All subjects should be offered at grade 5 minimum
    Bachelor's Degree (Gradutes Only) 2:1 Honours degree
    Additional requirements: AAB at A-Level including Biology and Chemistry
    Statistics
    Applications in 19/20 2400
    Interviews in 19/20 685
    Offers in 19/20 535
    Success rate in 19/20 approx 1 in 5

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    Post as “Anonymous”

    319 Comments

    AnonymousMedic Mind Tutor

    18 October 2021

    UCL has said in multiple FOIs and emails that as long as you meet the minimum requirements for GCSE, other GCSE subjects/grades will not affect your application. – meaning GCSEs are not used for selection beyond the minimum requirements

    4
    2

    Anna CharlotteMedic Mind Tutor

    23 July 2022

    You’re right. From the 2023-entry cycle, the BMAT will be the only consideration for interview shortlisting providing you meet the minimum academic requirement. In previous admissions cycles a candidate’s prior academic achievement was also assessed.