There are 45 medical schools in the UK that are recognized and registered with the medical schools council. There are five such schools in Scotland, two in Wales, two in Northern Ireland, and the remaining thirty-six schools are in England. If you are hoping to get into one of them, it is a good idea to not only know which ones are a good fit for you, but also to find out how competitive they are so that you should know that you know how hard you need to work to make your medical school application stand out. This blog has a comprehensive list of all fourty-five medical schools in the UK, their acceptance rates, and entrance exam requirements. It also provides some tips to help you find the right medical school for you and increase your chances of getting admitted.
Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa.
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Before we start looking at the admission statistics, it should be noted that the tables below list the medical schools in the UK that offer a medicine program leading to a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, the acceptance rates of the institutions that make this information available, and information about the entrance exams that they require. Not all 45 medical schools are included in these tables because some of them only offer graduate and/or postgraduate courses. For example, although the University of St Andrews in Scotland is a medical school, it only offers pre-medical, PhD, and MSc (Res) research degree programs in medicine. For this reason, it has been excluded from the list below.
Furthermore, Over the past few years, the UK government launched an initiative to increase the number of medical schools places available in order to address the lack of doctors in specific areas of the United Kingdom. As a result, several new medical schools have recently opened, and others continue to open. Since these medical schools are still relatively new, not much is known regarding their admissions process or what they are looking for in applicants. For example, the University of Chester medical school will be welcoming its first class of medical students in the fall.
Medical Schools in the UK
Wondering how to apply to medical schools in the UK?
What is the best medical school in the UK?
The best medical school is the one that is right for you. According to the General Medical Council (GMC), every UK medical degree is equal, and going to a medical school at a university that is considered more prestigious will not affect your prospects after graduation when it comes to medicine. So when it comes time to decide which medical schools to apply to, it is more important to focus on finding a school that will allow you to thrive academically and socially rather than concentrating on school rankings or prestige.
Furthermore, one of the most common reasons students face med school rejection is applying to the wrong schools. Think about it this way: as a student, you want several things from your future medical school. You are looking for a school that offers a medicine program, most likely a bachelor's degree in medicine. You may be looking for a school whose school fees are within a specific range, that has a particular type of campus, etc.
Universities are the same. Each one has different requirements, and places emphasis on different entry criteria because they are looking for a specific type of student to join their campus community. Some schools are looking for community-minded students who will participate in campus activities, while others are more research oriented and look for students who show an interest in academia. Other schools may be more focused on getting students from specific areas of the UK as those areas may need more doctors. It varies greatly depending on the institution.
Therefore, it is important to include some time in your medical school application timeline for researching the various schools that offer the program you want so that you can understand what they are looking for, what they have to offer, and their admissions process. Having this information early will allow you to strategize and ensure you are applying to the best medical schools for you.
Writing your personal statement for medical school? Check this out!
How to choose the right medical school for you
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) gives you the option of selecting up to four medical schools to apply to because medicine is such a competitive field in the UK, as evidenced by the admissions statistics we went through earlier in this blog. To maximize your chances of getting into one of these competitive medical schools, you need to be strategic about your choices and select the schools that that offer places based on your strengths.
We understand that it can be quite tricky to determine which schools are best for you when you have so many different options. So here are four things that we recommend you pay special attention to when you are trying to make your decision:
It may seem obvious that you should at least meet the entry requirements of the schools you are applying to, but considering the competitive acceptance rates of medical schools in the UK, you need to do more than that. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee you admission. So, it is important to understand the medical school requirements and exceed them if you want to get into medical school.
Academic grades: To get into medical school in the UK, you need a strong academic background. Most universities require you to achieve specific grades in order to be considered for admission. For example, Barts, UCL, and Oxford all require A*AA on your A-levels, and other competitive universities like Cambridge need A*A*A. You should consider the grades that you currently have and compare them to the requirements of the school you are interested in. If you are still completing your A-levels, then some of the strategies used to get into medical school with a low GPA in North America may be helpful to you.
Furthermore, while medical schools in the UK care more about your A-level grades than GCSE scores, schools like to get a full picture of your academic background, so your GCSE scores may play a role in the admissions decision. This is especially true if you are applying to a highly competitive program, as they may use your GCSE scores to differentiate between students who are otherwise tied.
Typically, you simply need to have a grade of B or above in a science subject for your GCSEs, but we recommend verifying the admissions policy of the school you are applying to carefully as some schools are more specific about the science subject in question. For example, the University of Edinburgh will not accept GCSEs in Applied Science and Additional Applied Science. So, if you only have the required grade in one of those subjects, then you may want to consider other options.
Entrance exams: Most medicine programs require students to take the UCAT (previously known as the UKCAT) to be eligible for admission. However, a few medical schools, such as the Imperial College London, require the BMAT instead. Furthermore, graduate-entry programs typically ask applicants to submit a GAMSAT score, which is the same exam that you would take if you wanted to get into medical school in Australia or New Zealand.
These entrance exams are quite challenging, so you will need to make time to prepare and study for them. Some schools have a minimum score that students need to have in order to be considered for admission, but most schools do not have a pre-set minimum score requirement. Instead, they decide on a new minimum score every year by ranking the qualified applicants' scores. This means that you should aim to have the highest score possible to improve your chances of admission.
You should also consider the fact that the UCAT has a situational judgment test component that medical schools pay special attention to. Most medical schools will not admit candidates who were given a band 4 on this section of the UCAT. So if you have trouble with situational judgment tests, you may want to consider looking at schools that also accept the BMAT since you are likely to have a higher score on that entrance exam. Or, you can reach out to a medical school admissions tutor for assistance in preparing for the UCAT.
Extracurricular activities: Having relevant experiences can significantly impact your medical school application. Some schools look at your medical school resume as just a regular component of your application, like your UCAS personal statement. Still, others, like Keele medical school, pay particular attention to your activities.
You should verify the admission policy of the schools you are interested in to find out about the level of experience that they expect from applicants. This will help you figure out if you should be looking for clinical research opportunities for premedical students or if you need to ask to shadow a doctor in order to gain more experience and improve your application.
Another important thing to consider when you are looking for medical schools is the learning style that works best for you. Medical schools in the UK have three main course types -traditional, integrated, and Problem Based Learning - PBL.
Most schools use a combination of all three, but there is always one that is most prominent in their curriculum, and it is important that you know which one it is. Typically, this information will be included in the school prospectus and the school website.
Knowing which of the three-course types a university offers will allow you to compare it to the learning methods that have worked best for you in the past and determine if a school is right for you. For example, if you've realized that you are more of a hands-on learner, attending a school with an integrated or PBL course type would probably be best for you. In contrast, with a traditional course type, the first two years may be especially challenging even if you use high-yield study techniques.
Location is an especially important consideration for several reasons:
Where university rankings are usually based on factors that are largely irrelevant to your experience at medical school, such as research output, student satisfaction rankings are about the experiences that previous or senior students of an institution have had. This can be an important consideration because it tells you what to expect from the medical school that you are considering.
Many universities publish surveys or survey results on their websites to get you started. We recommend taking a look at that information and attending open days if possible so that you can meet some of the students. Some schools even give you the opportunity to chat with senior students right on their website, so take advantage of that. This feature can be especially beneficial if you are planning to study in the UK as an international student and you need to learn more about what to expect when you get there.
Do not hesitate to ask questions about the program and about life as a student of that university. Enquire about extracurricular activities, the amount of support that is given to students, the professor's availabilities, the social scene, and anything else that is of interest to you. Remember that you will most likely be spending at least three years in this institution, so you should want to find out if it is a place where you can get a good education and have a good experience.
It is safe to say that getting into medical school in the UK is not an easy task, but with the right strategies, it is possible. If you want to beat the competition and maximize your chances of getting into medical school, you need to take some time to research and carefully consider the different schools that you can apply to. You should do this before you start preparing your application since the UCAS timeline can get quite confusing.
Picking the wrong school can result in a rejection letter instead of admission for qualified applicants. So make sure you look at the school's entry requirements, location, and course type to see if it would be a good fit.
1. How many medical schools are there in the UK?
There are 45 medical schools in total, but not all of them offer an undergraduate medicine bachelor's program. Only the -- listed in the tables above do. The rest have premedical, Msc and PhD programs in medicine.
2. How competitive is medical school in the UK?
It is quite competitive. Some universities have acceptance rates below 10%, meaning that for every 100 applications they receive, less than ten applicants are offered admission. You must pick the right school and have a stellar application if you want to be one of them.
3. Is getting into medical school in the UK easier or harder than in the US?
Admission to medical school in both countries is extremely competitive, but the average medical school acceptance rates in the US are lower than those in the UK.
4. Do medical schools in the UK accept international students?
Yes! Most medicine programs in the UK not only accept, but actively welcome international students. The admission requirements for international students vary, so it is important to very the school's entry requirements for international students.
5. Should I take the UCAT or BCAT?
You should take the exam that is required by the schools you are interested in and that you feel most prepared for. If you are not sure which schools you want to apply for yet, then you should prepare for the UCAT as it is more common than the BCAT.
6. What UCAT score do I need to get into medical school in the UK?
The minimum score that you require will depend on your chosen school. That said, it's important to remember that even the schools that don't have a minimum score requirement have expectations, and they will be comparing your score to the other candidates'. So, the higher your score, the better.
7. What should I consider when I am choosing my medical school?
Consider the location of the school in question, their program and entry requirements, as well as the number of places they have, and their acceptance rate. If you need help researching different schools or deciding which ones may be a better fit for you, consider working with a medical advisor.
8. Do University rankings matter?
When it comes to medicine, the university’s ranking makes little to no difference to your prospects after graduation. So, keep that in mind as you decide which medical school would be right for you.
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