UCAS: Your Application Guide

To apply for medicine you have to go through UCAS, which is the worldwide portal for UK

Applications. The deadline for medical, dental and veterinary medicine applications are the same as the

Oxbridge deadline: 15th October 2017 (For non-medical courses the deadline is later: 15th January 2018). Below we discuss the requirements and the process of applying

Grades and Tests Required

  • 3 full A levels, or equivalent, is the minimum requirement. Chemistry is nearly always essential, and Biology is often a specific requirement. Check out our university profiles for more information on individual medical school requirements.
  • UK medical schools also usually accept International Baccalaureate (IB) and European Baccalaureate (EB) qualifications. 
  • Some medical schools require that you take additional tests such as the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT), the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) and the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test GAMSAT.
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Application Process

When using UCAS you will need to start by filling out an application, which includes your personal statement, academic history, working history (if applicable), as well as your choices of medical courses. With UCAS applications you have a maximum of 4 choices of medical course, and a 5th option to apply for a different course, such as Biomedical Science or Pharmacy. Many students opt for a subject such as these as their fifth subject for applying for post-graduate medicine. In addition to this, so universities with medical schools offer top performing students the opportunity to convert to medicine after their 1st year. However, this is event more competitive than getting into medical school using the standard route. 

How do I Apply?

Your school or college will help you with your UCAS application, giving you teacher references and

guiding you on important deadlines. You will have your own UCAS log in online where you

can track your offers. If you are applying as a post-graduate applicant you will need to register as an independent applicant on the UCAS website, and ask either a university personal tutor, supervisor or colleague for a reference to support your medical application. As a school applicant you need not worry about finding a reference as it will usually be your form tutor or head of year. 

Teacher Reference

Your UCAS advisor at school will write a reference for you. Normally they should be willing to send this to you, and you can request to have an input. If you have something you could not fit into your personal statement, ask them to include it. 

Scored 90+ UMS at AS level? Ask them to mention it. 

Scored very poorly in exams? Ask them to exclude it and focus on other strengths, such as your commitment to the student community and passion for science and medicine. 

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    Personal Statement

    Your personal statement is an opportunity to demonstrate to the admissions team why you want to study medicine and why youโ€™d make a brilliant medical student. You need to make your personal statement interesting, showing enthusiasm and passion for a career as a doctor. You need to talk about your work experience, volunteering, extracurricular activities, reasons for choosing medicine and more. Below is a little timeline for helping you to write and develop your personal statement.

    Before Summer – try to do your 1st draft before you break up for summer, so your teacher can guide you and check it.

    Summer Holidays– work on developing your personal statement, and sent it around to people to check

    September– finalise your personal statement so it is finished and ready to be submitted for the UCAS deadline.

    15th October– UCAS deadline for applications

    Medical school competition:

    Competition for places at medical school is high, and even higher for graduate entry courses. Looking at overall number of UCAS applicants, we have seen the highest number of applicants in the last 5 years in the latest application cycle, with 22,340 applicants for an anticipated 7,391 places available across the country. When you take into account that applicants can only apply to 4 institutions and each has a different number of places available and different entry requirements, it isnโ€™t as simple as these numbers representing your chances of application success. 

    Application Year2010201120122013201420152016201720182019
    Number of Applicants 21,39022,25021,65022,13022,74020,39020,10019,21020,73022,340

    *figures taken from UCAS website


    Frequently Asked Question

    โ†’What is UCAS?

    UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is an independent organization that manages the application process for UK universities and colleges. UCAS acts as a central hub for students to apply for higher education courses in the UK.

    โ†’When should I start my UCAS application?

    You should start your UCAS application in the summer before your final year of secondary school or college. The UCAS application system opens in early September, and the deadline for most courses is in mid-January.

    โ†’What documents do I need to prepare for my UCAS application?

    You will need to prepare your personal statement, your academic transcripts, and the details of your reference. You may also need to provide additional documents, such as a portfolio or language proficiency certificates, depending on the course and the university’s requirements.

    โ†’What is the UCAS tariff system?

    The UCAS tariff system is a way of converting different qualifications and grades into a numerical value that universities can use to compare applicants. Each grade is assigned a certain number of points, and the total points are used to calculate an applicant’s overall tariff score.

    โ†’What happens after I receive an offer from a university?

    After you receive an offer from a university, you will need to decide whether to accept or decline the offer. If you receive multiple offers, you can choose which one to accept as your firm choice and which one to accept as your insurance choice. You will also need to meet any conditions of the offer, such as achieving certain grades in your exams.

    โ†’What are the benefits of using UCAS for my university application?

    Using UCAS for your university application allows you to apply to up to five universities or courses with one application. It also provides a standardized application process and allows you to track the progress of your application.

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