A Comprehensive Guide to UCAT Medical Schools
The UCAT has been part of the admissions process for many medical and dental schools for several years. Since admission to these schools are so competitive, the UCAT has allowed them to use yet another measure to distinguish between candidates. This, however, also means that students must think carefully when choosing their schools. Applicants have their UCAT scores far before they submit their applications via UCAS and this gives students an upper hand as you can now analyze your score to pick universities whose requirements mirror your strengths.
To help you through this process, we have listed every medical school that uses the UCAT alongside how they use it and what scores you should aim for in building a strong application.
A total of 30 of UK medical schools use the UCAT, making up the majority of UK medical and dental schools.The table below includes all of these courses and their UCAS codes. This list is correct as of January 2022.
|UCAT Universities||UCAS Course Code|
|A20||University of Aberdeen||A100, A105, A201|
|A60||Anglia Ruskin University||A100|
|B32||University of Birmingham||A100, A101, A200|
|B78||University of Bristol||A100, A108, A206, A208|
|C15||Cardiff University||A100*, A104, A200, A204|
|D65||University of Dundee||A100, A104, A200, A204|
|E14||University of East Anglia||A100, A104|
|E42||Edge Hill University||A100, A110|
|E56||University of Edinburgh||A100|
|E84||University of Exeter||A100*|
|G28||University of Glasgow||A100, A200|
|H75||Hull York Medical School||A100, A101|
|K12||Keele University||A100*, A104*|
|K31||Kent and Medway Medical School||A100|
|K60||King’s College London||A100, A101, A102, A202, A205, A206|
|L34||University of Leicester||A100, A199|
|L41||University of Liverpool||A100*, A200|
|M20||University of Manchester||A104, A106, A204, A206|
|N21||University of Newcastle||A100, A101, A206|
|N84||University of Nottingham||A100, A10L, A108, A18L|
|P60||Plymouth University||A100*, A206*|
|Q50||Queen Mary University of London||A100, A101, A110, A120, A200|
|Q75||Queen’s University Belfast||A100, A200*|
|S18||University of Sheffield||A100, A101, A200|
|S27||University of Southampton||A100, A101, A102|
|S36||University of St Andrews||A100, A990|
|S49||St George’s, University of London||A100|
|S84||University of Sunderland||A100|
|W20||University of Warwick||A101|
Starred courses above indicate that applicants to these programs may be required to sit additional exams. Furthermore, if you’re a graduate applying for standard-entry courses please bear in mind that sometimes you will be required to sit a different admissions exam to school leavers so it’s always best to double check this with the university themselves.
How UCAT Universities use your score
Knowing how individual universities use the UCAT can help you aim for specific scores if you have a dream university in mind or can help you apply strategically once you have sat the UCAT and received your results. The table below details how each UCAT university analyzes the score in it’s application process.
|UCAT Universities||How do they use the UCAT score|
|University of Aberdeen||No minimum score. All scores are listed in ascending order with interview invites sent out from the top-down. The SJT score is not used except to distinguish between candidates with the same UCAT score.|
|Anglia Ruskin University||No minimum score. All scores are listed in ascending order with interview invites sent out from the top-down. Anyone with a band 4 in the SJT will be automatically excluded.|
|Aston University||No minimum score. UCAT scores form 1/3rd of the interview invitation criteria with academic scores forming the remaining 2/3rds.|
|University of Birmingham||Applicants are given a numerical score based on their UCAT decile, academic scores and personal statement at a 35%, 45% and 25% weightage respectively. UCAT deciles are formulated retrospectively with the highest scorers in first decile (therefore, scoring the maximum number of points). The decile cut-offs vary based on the course you apply to and your applicants status (home vs EU vs international) – check out the 2020-21 cut-offs here.|
|University of Bristol||UCAT is weighted at 100%. The cut-off for interview invites change every year and in 2020, sat at 2690 and above.|
|Cardiff University||No minimum cut-off score. No information available regarding how scores are analyzed.|
|University of Dundee||No minimum cut-off score. No information available regarding how scores are analyzed.|
|University of East Anglia||The minimum score of those invited to interview varies each year with the lowest score of a successful candidate in 2020 being 1980.|
|Edge Hill University||No minimum score. All scores are listed in ascending order with interview invites sent out from the top-down. Anyone with a band 4 in the SJT will be automatically excluded.|
|University of Edinburgh||Each section (including the SJT) is scores individually and these scores are added to the academic performance of the candidate with the top overall scores invited for interview.|
|University of Exeter||UCAT only counts for 25% of the selection process whilst academic achievements make up the remaining 70%.|
|University of Glasgow||SJT scores are not used. If basic academic requirements are met, students are ranked based on their UCAT scores with the top scorers receiving interview invites until the invites run out. For 2020, the minimum UCAT score at which applicants received an offer was 2620.|
|Hull York Medical School||UCAT scores are given points out of 40, with the SJT worth up to 15 points alone. This is used in conjunction with points given for academic scores (out of 30) with top scorers being invited to interview.|
|Keele University||Applicants must score above the cut-off of 2280. Band 4 SJT scores are not accepted.|
|Kent and Medway Medical School||The cut-off sits at 2470 and a SJT band 3 or above. This is subject to change for 2022 entry and so, the university must be consulted prior to applications.|
|King’s College London||The UCAT and academic scores form the most important part of the applications process, however, no quantitive information is given as to how the scores are analyzed.|
|University of Leicester||The cut-off sits at a UCAT score above the bottom 2 deciles (2370 for 2021 entry) and a SJT Band 3 or above. UCAT scores in the top 5 deciles for that year will most certainly get an invite to interview.|
|University of Liverpool||Applicants must have scored SJT Band 3 or above. If so, the UCAT score itself is ranked in ascending order with top scorers invited to interview.|
|University of Manchester||SJT Band 4 scores are automatically excluded from the admissions process whilst Band 3 scores rarely result in interview invites so a SJT band 1 or 2 is preferable. UCAT scores are adjusted for educational and socio-demographic variations to help find talent from various socioeconomic backgrounds.|
|University of Newcastle||Minimum cut-off varies depending on the amount of applications received. For 2021, the cut-off sat at 2820.|
|University of Nottingham||SJT Band 4 scores are automatically rejected. The remaining sections of the UCAT are individually marked by the university to ensure that minute variations in points don’t disadvantage students. VR is worth double the points as any other section in the UCAT. Calculate your application points for Nottingham here.|
|Plymouth University||Cut-off sits at 2400.|
|Queen Mary University of London||UCAT and academic scores are weighted at 50% each and those with summative scores in the first 3 deciles will be invited to interview.|
|Queen’s University Belfast||QUB uses a points-based system that doesn’t take the SJT into account except to distinguish between very similar candidates. Calculate your own admissions points here.|
|University of Sheffield||Cut-off is 2430 and the SJT score is considered but it’s unclear how.|
|University of Southampton||No minimum score. All scores are listed in ascending order with interview invites sent out from the top-down.|
|University of St Andrews||To get invited to interview at St. Andrews, you need a total score that falls within the top 400 scores globally. This typically sits at 2400.|
|St George’s, University of London||The minimum score for SGUL is 500 in each section. The SJT is not used to distinguish between applicants.|
|University of Sunderland||Applicants’ UCAT scores must fall within the top 8 deciles of that year’s UCAT scores. SJT band 4 scores will be automatically excluded from consideration.|
|University of Warwick||UCAT score analysis at Warwick is done in two stages. Only those with VR scores above the national mean for that year’s cohort will proceed to stage 2. In stage 2, a points-based system is used, including points given for the entire UCAT score. In the past, scores in the range of 2570 were the minimum at which applicants have been invited to interview.|
For further information, take a look at our medical schools comparator tool to look at previous UCAT cut-off scores.
What is a good UCAT score?
To begin with, the UCAT scoring system can seem confusing. We have an entire article dedicated to explaining how it works here. In brief, the UCAT has four cognitive subsections (Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning and Decision Making) which are all scored on a scale of 300-900. This score is combined to give you your overall score, which you may sometimes see reported as an average. The final section (Situational Judgement) is scored independently to the other sections, with its score given as a banding 1-4.
Realistically, there is no one score that will solidify your chances of getting invited to interview because your score is used in conjunction with various other factors to determine your suitability for medical school.
Our top tip is to analyze the average scores from the last few years below and aim to score above these. Keep in mind that these are mean scores which suggests that there have been successful candidates who have scored under these grades.
UCAT vs BMAT
It can be difficult deciding which admission test is a better choice for you. The different test types suit different kinds of students, so it’s a good idea to research each test first to see which you might be better at.
From the table above the UCAT allows you to apply to the vast majority of UK medical schools. Ultimately this decision is going to come down to personal preference and where you want to study for the next 5+ years. Remember it is entirely possible to take both the BMAT and the UCAT in a single year. Many students opt to sit the BMAT after receiving a disappointing or borderline UCAT score and find they do much better. So don’t feel like you have to pick just one or the other!