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Study Guide To Medicine

Entry Requirements For Medicine In The UK

A Levels and International Baccalaureate

Entry to medicine in the UK is extremely competitive and the number of places is strictly limited. Most medical schools require successful completion of A Levels or the International Baccalaureate (IB), with top grades in Biology, Chemistry and either Mathematics or Physics. In addition, overseas students have to demonstrate an English level equivalent to IELTS 7.0 (7.0 in each skill).

University Foundation Courses

University foundation courses provide an alternative route to medicine for international students who have not studied A Levels or IB. Entry requirements are lower for these courses, typically 5 subjects at IGCSE (grades A/B) or equivalent and IELTS 6.0 overall. However, they are accepted by a smaller number of medical schools, so progression options are limited compared to A Levels and IB. Students who are unable to progress to a degree in medicine may be offered progression to an alternative degree, such as Biomedical Sciences.

Pathways To UK Medical Schools

These pathway courses offer progression opportunities1 to medicine in the UK. Some also offer progression to medical schools outside the UK, including the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI).

  • University of Aberdeen

    Undergraduate Foundation (Medicine)

    MBChB at The University of Aberdeen


    University Foundation (Medicine)

    MBBS Medicine & Surgery at UCLan

  • Bellerbys International College

    University Foundation (Science & Pharmacy)

    Selected Medical Schools in UK & Ireland

  • University of Brighton

    Foundation Certificate (Medicine)

    BMBS at Brighton & Sussex Medical School.

  • Cardiff University

    International Foundation Year (Medicine)

    Medicine, Dental Surgery, Pharmacy, Optometry.

  • Bellerbys International College

    A Level Pathway (Medicine)

    Accepted by all UK Medical Schools


Alternative Pathways To Medicine

Students who are unable to progress to a medical degree at undergraduate level can still enjoy a career as a health professional by studying some of the alternative subjects listed below. These subjects will also give you the option of graduate entry to medicine after graduation.

How Much Does It Cost?

If you follow the foundation route, it will take 6 years to get a medical degree in the UK. Tuition fees start at around £18,000 - £20,000 per year for years 1 - 3, rising to £35,000 - £40,000 per year in the last three years. You will also need to budget between £1,000 - £1,200 per month for accommodation and living expenses.

Remember, if you need a visa to study in the UK, you will have to prove that you can pay your first year tuition fees and expenses in full before arriving in the UK. In most cases, you will have to present bank statements or a financial guarantee from a government sponsor when you apply for your visa. Without this financial evidence, your visa application will be rejected automatically.

Also In This Section

1 Whichever route you choose, A Level, IB or foundation, progression to a degree in medicine is not guaranteed. For successful progression, you will have to pass a competitive selection interview and admissions test (e.g. UKCAT or BMAT). It is also very important to demonstrate your interest and commitment through work experience and voluntary work in the health sector. Students who are unable to progress to medicine may be offered an alternative, for example Biomedical Science.

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