- Number of A levels required:
- Typical offer:
- A*AA. Candidates should have predicted AAA including Biology and Chemistry (NB. Human Biology is acceptable as an alternative to Biology).
- General Studies:
- not accepted. Critical Thinking is also not accepted. Other non-standard subjects may not be accepted. Please contact us for advice.
All applicants must:
- offer acceptable academic qualifications (see below) and
- sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) and
- attend for interview if invited.
Information for International (including EU) applicants is provided in the international section.
The Admissions Process
All applicants who meet the academic and non-academic conditions of an offer will be offered a place on the course.
For an applicant who meets our academic requirements following the release of A Level results as a result of a re-mark, we will offer a place if one is available. If not, we will amend the offer to deferred entry.
Selection for interview
Before you apply and to help you make an informed decision, we have created an interview calculator tool. By entering your GCSEs, A Levels and UKCAT, this tool allows you to see if you are likely to be interviewed for our Medicine and Surgery programme. Please note that this tool is a guide only. To find out more, please visit your personal undergraduate page.
- Our A Level / IB requirements are described below.
- An application will receive an overall score, which is the sum of weighted scores for each of the academic and UKCAT components (see below for a description of how each component is generated). The weightings will be: academic – 70%; UKCAT – 30%. Applicants will be ranked according to this score. Applications from graduates (see below) and those classified as international for fees (see below) will not be scored.
- The number of interview places will define the threshold application score but it is not possible to determine the threshold score in advance. It may be necessary to rank applicants who receive the same threshold score, in which case we will use GCSE results (using the criteria defined below).
- The personal statement is not scored but a decision will also be based on ensuring that an applicant provides sufficient evidence of commitment, motivation and relevant personal qualities (see “Preparing to apply for Medicine”).
All A2 modules of three subjects must be undertaken in Year 13.
- Chemistry and Biology (or Human Biology) required
- Candidates studying four A Levels:
- If all A Level subjects are examined for first time in Year 13, the offer will be AAAB (Biology and Chemistry must be at grade A)
- If an A Level is completed in Year 12 at grade A or above (or more than 50% of the modules have been examined), the offer for the remaining subjects studied in Year 13 will be AAA (plus grade A for the subject that was not fully completed in Year 12)
- Selection for interview will neither be influenced by taking more than three subjects nor by achieved AS or A Level grades.
- General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted. Other such subjects may not be accepted. Please contact us for advice.
- Mathematics: If you are studying a single Mathematics A Level and you wish this subject to be included in an offer requirement you must follow a curriculum that involves the study of three modules in Year 13. Each of these modules must contribute to the final A Level Mathematics result and must be studied and examined for the first time in this year. The following applies to students who also study Further Mathematics:
- We will consider a module combination that leads to an A Level in Mathematics and an AS Level in Further Mathematics after two years of study (Years 12 and 13).
- Three modules must be studied in Year 13. The module results may contribute to either the Mathematics A Level or the Further Mathematics AS Level.
- The Mathematics component of an offer will be based on achieving A/A* in A Level Mathematics and A in AS Level Further Mathematics.
- AS grades (if they are available) will not be used for selection for interview.
- All Home/EU applicants must offer a qualification that is equivalent in standard and type to GCSEs. International (non-EU) applicants, please see below.
- An application will receive a score for academic achievement based on GCSE (or equivalent) results.
- The subjects that will be scored are: English (both English Language and English Literature), Mathematics (or one, but not both, of Methods in Mathematics and Applications of Mathematics), Biology and Chemistry (or dual award science), plus two additional GCSEs (any subject).
- For the subjects specified above, a minimum grade of B must be offered and the scores allocated to the different grades will be in the ratio of 4:2:1 (for A*, A, B, respectively). For each of the two unspecified subjects, a score of 2 will be allocated when an A* grade has been obtained (lower grades will not receive a score).
- The total GCSE score will be scaled to a maximum of 7.0. Therefore, when this is combined with a score for the UKCAT result (see below), the combined maximum score is 10.0. Note that GCSE grades are weighted much more (70%) in this scoring mechanism.
We cannot define accurately a GCSE grade profile that will be acceptable. Based on applications received in 2015 and 2016, we are able to indicate a threshold total score of 7.0 for selection for interview. Please note that this is for guidance only. Two examples are provided of applicants who achieve a score of just over 7.0 (based on the UKCAT decile profile for 2016 applicants):
GCSE and UKCAT score
| Applicant 1
||2 x A; 5 x A *
| Applicant 2
||5 x A; 2 x A*
All applicants must sit the UKCAT test in their year of application. Candidates living in a country where the test is not offered will normally be expected to travel to take the test. Please visit the UKCAT website (www.ukcat.ac.uk) for information about the test, including important dates and information about bursaries available. You can also access practice tests.
Please note that in 2017, the UKCAT will include the new Decision Making subtest. We will use the score from this component and so we will calculate the score we attribute to your UKCAT result based on the combined score from all four subtests.
If you have taken the UKCATSEN, you must provide us with the evidence for eligibility when you attend for interview. The evidence we will accept is:
- For applicants in education: An official letter from school, college or university that states that on the basis of a diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner, educational psychologist or specialist teacher you are currently entitled to additional time in public examinations (or have had additional time in public examinations within the last two years).
- For applicants no longer in education: A post-16 year’s diagnosis or report from a qualified medical practitioner or educational psychologist that explicitly recommends additional time in public examinations.
Use of UKCAT data:
UKCAT data - 2016 applicants
Total UKCAT Score (scaled to reflect 4 subtests)
*The scores for our 2016 applicants have been scaled up to take account of the new Decision Making subtest in 2017.
We expect that each section will be weighted equally, but until we receive applicants’ scores we cannot define the weighting of the contribution of each section of UKCAT to the total score.
- Because we are also factoring in the academic scores there will not be a UKCAT score (or decile) that correlates with receiving an offer. We provide guidance in the GCSE section.
- The band score for the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) component of UKCAT will be used at the interview stage (see: Outcome of Interview)
Alternative Academic Qualifications
Cambridge Pre-University Diploma
- D3, D3, D2 from three subjects, including Biology and Chemistry
Scottish Certificate of Education
- Highers: Five subjects at grade A including, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and English.
- Advanced Highers: Three subjects including Chemistry and Biology must be offered (grade requirements: AAB)
- The course is designed for school leavers but we will accept 5-10 graduates on to the programme each year.
- Achieved or predicted first or upper second class degree from a UK-based institution (normally).
- School qualifications: GCSE – minimum of grade A/B in Science, English and Mathematics; A Levels – minimum of AAB (including, normally, Biology and Chemistry).
- Academic results will not be scored. Applicants who meet the threshold academic requirements described above will be ranked according to UKCAT score. For 2016 entry, the minimum UKCAT score among the graduates accepted for interview was 2500 (scaled to represent four subtests).
- Life Science graduates may be eligible for our graduate-entry course. Qualified dentists who have completed MJDF/MFDS and who wish to pursue a career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery may be admitted to the second year of this course if spaces are available.
BTEC, Access Courses and Foundation Programmes
We do not consider any of these qualifications.
Use of School Contextual Data
A proportion of those invited for interview will be identified, in part, using the school contextual data provided by UCAS, as described below. Applicants must meet the contextual threshold for GCSE to allow us to relax academic thresholds for selection for interview. But, if an applicant meets the contextual threshold for both GCSEs and A Levels and passes the interview, they will receive an offer of AAA whether or not they are included in the contextual category.
- Contextual measure: Percentage of students who achieve 5 A*–C grades, including English and Mathematics
- Threshold (maximum): 70%
- Minimum grade requirements: The scoring process is as described for standard applicants. All applicants who meet the contextual threshold and are not selected via our standard mechanism will be ranked according to their overall score for their application (academic plus UKCAT). By definition, the threshold overall score will be lower for contextual applicants but we can not predict by how much.
- Contextual measure: QCA points per A level subject
- Threshold (maximum): 35 points
Non-academic offer requirements
All accepted candidates will be required to complete a health declaration form, and some will be contacted by an Occupational Health Physician where appropriate.
The UK Government Health Authorities require that all medical students must be screened to ensure that they are not carriers of the hepatitis B virus. All applicants who accept an offer must:
- undertake a screening blood test for Hepatitis B
- if negative, they must start a course of immunisation
- thereafter provide certified evidence of these
Prospective students are strongly advised to take the blood test in good time.
The UK Government Health Authorities recommend that all medical students should be offered screening for a number of blood-borne viruses (Hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus as well as Hepatitis B). You should be advised that any health care worker who is infected with any of these viruses (or who cannot prove that they are not infected) is not able to undertake exposure prone procedures when qualified (which are defined as ‘those invasive procedures where there is a risk that injury to the worker may result in the exposure of the patient’s open tissues to the blood of the worker.’). The MBChB Course at Birmingham is a non-Exposure-Prone Procedure course, so students with Hep C and/or HIV will not reflect any risk to patients during the course. Therefore, students who are positive or decline the offer of a blood test will still be permitted to continue on the programme. Medical students may, however, engage in exposure-prone procedures on a voluntary basis (for example, during their elective). If this is the case, students are required to be screened.
For further information about these requirements, please see: Medical and Dental Students: Health clearance for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and Tuberculosis.
The College of Medical and Dental Sciences will reimburse students with financial hardship for up to £200 of the cost of their vaccinations. If you meet the eligibility criteria for a Chamberlain Award from the University of Birmingham, you are advised to obtain receipts for any health checks that you have had to pay for. Once you commence the MBChB programme at the University of Birmingham, you may then apply for reimbursement from the College, up to the cost of £200.
Students will be required to complete a successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before admission to the programme.
All students are required to sign the Fitness to Practise Code of Conduct prior to entry, details of which will be forwarded with an offer letter.
Medical students are expected to attend the entire course, which includes some evening, night and weekend work.
Opportunities for candidates with disabilities
We take a positive view of what candidates with disabilities can achieve as future medical professionals and take seriously our obligation to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that all students with disabilities can successfully complete their studies. All applicants will be assessed up to and including the interview on the basis of the criteria outlined above regardless of any disability. We address the issue of disability with all applicants who are invited for interview. You must contact us if you are in doubt about how we will take your disability into account. All students, including those with disabilities, have to be able to meet the competency thresholds set by the GMC. If you declare a disability we will invite you to work with us to explore how best we can support your studies.
The School welcomes applications from mature candidates, but will take account of the length of undergraduate and postgraduate training which has to be undertaken. In addition, we expect that no more than four years has elapsed since the most significant and relevant qualification.
We may be flexible over the route to achieve our academic requirements but we will not reduce the thresholds. We will consider only very serious life events occurring at an important stage in education; such as, absence from education for a significant period of time through illness or unexpected death of a close family member. Following discussion and receipt of independent evidence, we may, for example, consider applicants who study A Levels over 3 years. Please note that extenuating circumstances during exam periods should be presented to the relevant examination board(s) for consideration. We will not consider further mitigation regarding exam results beyond that which the examination board has deemed as suitable.
Taking a year off
Approximately 10% of our students have taken a gap year. You will not be at a disadvantage if you apply for deferred entry or after you have completed your school qualifications. If you intend to do this, however, we expect that the year is used to broaden your experience either by working, travelling, voluntary service or some other activity. We do not expect all of your experiences to be directly related to medicine but your healthcare involvement must be on-going. Your personal statement must leave us in no doubt that you will be engaged fully in significant activity.
Repeat medicine application
We will not consider anyone whose application to Birmingham medical school has been rejected previously following interview. Otherwise, we will consider those applying for medicine for a second time (see: Taking a year off). We do not consider applicants who have studied medicine previously.
These are not considered (except, see extenuating circumstances)
Transfer from another degree programme
We do not consider applicants who are currently studying medicine or any other degree programme. As indicated above, we will consider applicants who wish to study medicine following graduation.
English Language requirements
Applicants must have excellent written and spoken English. Please note that the university’s standard English language requirements are minimum standards, which may be raised through competition. As a minimum, the English language IELTS, for example, must be 7.0 in each component.
European Union applicants
There are a number of factors that determine fee status but EU Nationals may be considered as ‘home’ students for fee-paying purposes (see below). Because UK-based applicants are selected on the basis of results in the UKCAT and in each of two national qualifications (for example, A levels and GCSEs), home/EU applicants from outside the UK must offer examination-based qualifications that are equivalent to these as well as UKCAT. Some examples are below:
Irish Leaving Certificate
Minimum of grade H1 in four subjects including Biology and Chemistry. For the Junior Certificate, Grade A must be achieved in six subjects including Biology, Chemistry, English and Mathematics
Overall score of 85%, with a minimum of 85% in the sciences, to include Chemistry and Biology as full options. Evidence of meeting this standard must be provided for interim results.
We require that qualifications are not broad-based and are obtained through assessment of performance in formal, national examinations. For guidance, the following qualifications are not acceptable on their own without, for example, A-levels. These include: Austrian Matura; Bulgarian Diploma; French Baccalaureate (including OIB); German Abitur; Greek (including Cypriot) Apolytirion; Italian Esame Di Stato; Lithuanian Brandos Atestats; Netherlands "Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs" (VWO) Diploma; Norway “Vitnemål for Videregående Opplæring “; Polish Matura; Portugese Diploma de Ensino Secundario; Romanian Baccalaureate; Spanish Título de Graduado en Educación Secundaria Obligatoria (ESO) and Título de Bachiller; Swedish Slutbetyg från Gymnasieskolan (School Leaving Certificate).
- Higher level: 766 from Chemistry and Biology and one other approved subject (in any order)
- Subsidiary level: The subjects must include English and Mathematics if not offered at the higher level (Maths Studies is acceptable).
- Minimum of 32 points must be attained
- You must provide results either from the Middle Years' Programme or an acceptable GCSE-equivalent qualification. MYP results will be scored according to the following equivalencies to GCSEs: 7 = A*; 6 = A; 5 = B. A minimum of 5 must have been achieved in Science, English and Mathematics
We have up to 28 places available for students who are assessed as international for fee-paying purposes. For more information on fee status, please visit www.ukcisa.org.uk. Please note that where there is doubt over your fee status (for example, you are a UK national living outside the EU), the university will investigate your fee status before your application for medicine is considered. If your fee status cannot be defined in time you may lose out on the opportunity for an interview.
The school-leaving qualification must be equivalent to A Levels. We will try to be flexible for those international applicants studying in an educational system with no qualification equivalent to GCSE. But, it must be recognised that it is difficult to make an effective judgment of academic potential based on predicted grades alone. School results must be provided as an absolute minimum.
Selection process for international applicants:
- Academic results will be studied to ensure minimum academic standards are met (see below for specified qualifications). These minimum standards may be raised through competition.
- All applicants who meet the threshold academic standards will go forward to the next stage of selection
- Applicants will be ranked according to UKCAT results (see above). Based on applications received in 2015 and 2016, we are able to indicate a threshold total score of 2350 (from four subtests) for selection for interview.
- The final stage of selection is an assessment of your non-academic qualities, which will be made based on the evidence provided in your personal statement (see “Preparing to Apply for Medicine” above)
Accepted qualifications include:
- United Kingdom: Many applicants offer UK qualifications, GCSE/IGCSE: a minimum of grade A must be offered in Science, English and Maths.
- Australia. Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER), or equivalent: An overall score of 99.6. Relevant subjects must be offered at excellent grades.
- Canada. Grade 12 High School Diploma: A minimum of 90% in each of six Grade 12 subjects, including Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and English, to include a minimum of 93% in Biology and Chemistry. We will expect that the same performance has been achieved in Year11.
- Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination CAPE): Grade 1 in three subjects, including Chemistry and Biology. Top grades in Secondary School Certificate must have been achieved also.
- Hong Kong Diploma: The grade requirements are: 5*, 5 in Chemistry and Biology (any order); 5 in Mathematics and English; Minimum of 4 in all other subjects.
- India*: Standard XII: Overall score 85%, including Biology and Chemistry with 90% in one of these (minimum requirements). Standard X: 85% in Biology, Chemistry, English and Mathematics, with preference to applicants with 90% in Biology and Chemistry (minimum requirements). (*ISC, CBSE, Maharashtra Boards)
- Malaysia: SPM (GCSE-equivalent) – minimum of A/A+ in Science, English and Maths. STPM (A Level-equivalent) – grade A in each subject, including Biology and Chemistry.
- Mauritius: Both O and A Levels are equivalent to UK qualifications. We will expect a minimum of grade A/A* in Science, English and Maths.
- Singapore: NUS High School Diploma – 4.0/5.0, with minimum of 4.1 in Biology and Chemistry; Polytechnic Diploma – 3.9/4.0, to include Biology and Chemistry
- United States: Combined SAT1 score of 1950. Three AP subjects at grade 5, including Biology, Chemistry and another Group A subject.
- West Africa Examinations Council: Senior School Certificate – Min of B2 in Science, English and Maths. A Levels or the IB must also be offered.
Please note that the following qualifications are not accepted: Iran – Pre-University Certificate or Kuncur; Kuwait – Al Thanawaya; Pakistan - Higher Secondary Certificate; Saudi Arabia – Thanawiyan.
More information about international entry requirements are provided here. Please be aware that the academic qualifications described within these pages may not be acceptable for medicine entry. You must contact the Admissions Tutor by email to ask about qualifications not listed above.