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.

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UCAT Universities

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 UniversitiesUCAS Course Code
  A20University of Aberdeen ย A100, A201
  A60Anglia Ruskin University A100
  A80Aston University A100
  B32University of Birminghamย A100, A200
  B78University of Bristol A100, A108, A206, A208
  C15Cardiff University ย A100*, A200
  D65University of Dundee ย A100, A104, A200
  E14University of East Anglia  A100, A104
  E42Edge Hill University A100, A110
  E56University of Edinburgh A100
  E84University of Exeter  A100*
  G28University of Glasgow  A100, A200
  H75Hull York Medical School ย A100, A108
  K12Keele University  A100*, A104*
  K31Kent and Medway Medical School A100
  K60King’s College London  A100, A101, A102, A202, A205, A206
L23University of Leeds A100, A101, A200
  L34University of Leicester A100, A199
  L41University of Liverpool A100*, A200
  M20University of Manchester ย A104, A106, A204, A206, A300, A301
  N21University of Newcastle A100, A101, A206
  N84University of Nottingham  A100, A10L, A108, A18L
  P60Plymouth University  A100*, A206*
  Q50Queen Mary University of London ย A100, A200
  Q75Queen’s University Belfast  A100, A200*
  S18University of Sheffield A100, A101, A200
  S27University of Southampton  A100, A101, A102
  S36University of St Andrews  A100, A990
  S49St George’s, University of London ย A100, BB96
S84University of SunderlandA100
ย  S85University of Surreyย A101
  W20University of Warwick  A101
W80University of WorcesterA101
List Of Medical Schools Requiring The UCAT

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 UniversitiesHow 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 UniversityNo 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 UniversityNo minimum score. UCAT scores form 1/3rd of the interview invitation criteria with academic scores forming the remaining 2/3rds.
University of BirminghamApplicants 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 BristolUCAT 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 UniversityNo 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 EdinburghEach 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 SchoolThe 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 analysed.
University of LeedsThe university has just announced that they will be using the UCAT (instead of the BMAT) in their application process. As of yet, they have not announced a cut-off score.
University of LeicesterThe 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 LiverpoolApplicants 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 NewcastleMinimum 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 SheffieldCut-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 SunderlandApplicants’ 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.

Total 25002499251124832485
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    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.

    BMAT vs UCAT
    Oxford is one of the Universities that requires BMAT

    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 or 6 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!

    Frequently Asked Question

    โ†’What is UCAT?

    UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) is an admissions test used by many medical schools in the UK and Australia to assess the cognitive abilities, attitudes, and professional behaviours of applicants to medical programs.

    โ†’Which medical schools require UCAT?

    Several medical schools in the UK and Australia require applicants to take the UCAT. Some of these schools include the University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Edinburgh, University of Liverpool, University of Sheffield, and University of New South Wales.

    โ†’What is the importance of UCAT in the medical school application process?

    The UCAT is an essential part of the medical school application process, and many schools use it to shortlist applicants for interviews. It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your cognitive abilities, professional attitudes, and personal qualities, which are crucial for a career in medicine.

    โ†’What is BMAT?

    BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) is another admissions test used by some medical schools in the UK, Europe, and Asia to assess the scientific knowledge, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills of applicants to medical programs.

    โ†’Which medical schools require BMAT?

    Several medical schools in the UK, Europe, and Asia require applicants to take the BMAT. Some of these schools include the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University of Oxford, University of Edinburgh, and University of Hong Kong.

    โ†’What is the difference between UCAT and BMAT?

    The main difference between UCAT and BMAT is the skills they assess. UCAT primarily assesses cognitive abilities, attitudes, and professional behaviours, while BMAT focuses on scientific knowledge, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Additionally, UCAT is a computer-based test, while BMAT is a paper-based test.

    โ†’Can I take both UCAT and BMAT?

    Yes, you can take both UCAT and BMAT if you are applying to medical schools that require either or both tests. However, it is essential to check the requirements of your preferred schools to determine which test(s) they accept.

    โ†’Can I prepare for UCAT and BMAT?

    Yes, you can prepare for both UCAT and BMAT by practicing with official practice tests, familiarising yourself with the test format, and improving your time management skills. It is also helpful to read widely, stay up-to-date with current affairs, and practice problem-solving skills. There are several UCAT and BMAT preparation courses and resources available online and offline.

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