Entry Requirements - Medicine and Surgery (five-year)

Student revising with laptop and paperwork

The entry requirements listed on this page are applicable to 2024 entry.

All applicants must:

  • Apply through UCAS
  • Offer acceptable academic qualifications
  • Sit the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in year of application
  • Attend an interview if invited

A complete application must be submitted to UCAS by the deadline. We will not consider supplementary information received by the university after this deadline.

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.


Most applicants are classified correctly and easily as either Home or International, however there are some applicants where the situation is more complicated and we will need to investigate their fee status. If necessary, the University of Birmingham Admissions Office will contact you and send you a form to fill in. If you do not complete the form your application will not be considered further. 

If you are unsure of your fee status, please see our Fee Assessment Questionnaire.

A levels

  • The standard offer is A*AA, including Biology/Human Biology and Chemistry. Applicants must be predicted a minimum of AAA. We do not have a preference of a third A Level.
  • For applicants who attend a contextual school (see: 'Use of Contextual Data'), the offer is AAA. Applicants must be predicted a minimum of AAB.
  • Three A level subjects must normally be taken in the final year of secondary school
  • General Studies, Critical Thinking and EPQ are not accepted as a third A level. We do not consider EPQ as part of selection and we do not consider Further Maths in addition to Maths A Level.
  • AS grades will not be used for selection
  • The A Level thresholds must be achieved in the first sitting for these qualifications, even if they are in unrelated subjects.


All Home/EU applicants must offer a qualification that is equivalent in standard and type to GCSEs. International applicants please see the ‘International applicants’ section.

A total of seven GCSEs must be offered, which will be scored (see 'Selection for Interview'). 

Please note we cannot accept applicants who do not meet these requirements, regardless of any extenuating circumstances that may have impacted on your studies (see below for information on extenuating circumstances).

The required subjects are:

  • English Language at grade 6/B or higher. English Literature is not required but is one of the identified subjects that we will score
  • Mathematics (or one, but not both, of Methods in Mathematics and Applications of Mathematics) at grade 6/B or higher
  • Biology and Chemistry or dual award science at grade 6/B or higher


All applicants must sit the UCAT test in their year of application. For applicants who live in a country where the test is not offered, you will normally be expected to travel to take the test. Please visit the UCAT website for information about the test, including important dates and information on available bursaries. We recommend that you undertake the practice tests available on their website. Please note we do not have a minimum UCAT cut-off score, but you can find information on our selection to interview process here. 

Access Arrangements:

  • A number of amendments to the test format are available for candidates who require adjustments (for example, extra time). For information on access arrangements, and details on how to supply evidence to support your request for an adjustment, please visit the UCAT - Access Arrangements website
  • For applicants whose evidence to support an adjustment is approved, we will not be informed of this by UCAT (for example, we will not know that you have taken the UCATSEN)
  • If approval for an adjustment is not provided by UCAT, they will advise us of this. We will not accept your result and your medicine application to the University of Birmingham will be cancelled. This is because it is unfair to accept a result where a candidate has received significant, unwarranted advantage over other candidates
  • There are some adjustments that cannot be accommodated by UCAT (for example, readers or scribes). If UCAT informs you they cannot meet your needs you must contact us to explain your request and the reasons for making it. We will advise you if we will accept an application without a UCAT result. Please note that you must inform us well in advance of the UCAS application deadline for medicine as we will not extend it for any reason

For selection for interview, we will assign a score to the total of the four subtests (see ‘Selection for Interview’). The result from the Situational Judgment Test will be used at the interview stage (see ‘Medicine Interviews’).

International Applicants and Home Applicants with non-UK Qualifications

We have up to 28 places available for students who are assessed as international for fee-paying purposes. There are a number of factors that determine a fee status, and it is not a matter of choice. If your fee status is in doubt, we will need to resolve this before we can consider an application further.

If you are unsure of your fee status, please see our Fee Assessment Questionnaire. Please note that where there is doubt over your fee status (for example, you are a UK national living outside the UK or a foreign national living in the UK), the university will investigate your fee status before your application for medicine is considered. It is necessary to respond whether or not you agree with the university's preliminary assessment of your status. If you do not return the completed questionnaire, your application will not be considered further. If your fee status cannot be defined in time you may lose out on the opportunity for an interview.

For qualifications not listed below, please search for your country information here. 

All international applicants must:

  • Provide a strong personal statement
  • Offer acceptable academic qualifications
  • Sit the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in year of application
  • Attend an interview if invited
  • Have excellent written and spoken English. The university’s standard English requirements are minimum standards, which may be raised through competition:
    • IELTS - 7.0 overall with no less than 7.0 in any band
    • TOEFL - 95 overall with no less than 23 in any band
    • Pearson Test of English (PTE) - PTE 67 in all four skills
    • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015) - Proficiency Minimum overall score of 185, with no less than 185 in any component
    • Further information can be found here.

Your school-leaving qualification must be equivalent to A Levels. We are flexible for those international applicants studying in an educational system with no qualification equivalent to GCSE and those who do not offer GCSEs will not be disadvantaged. 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.

International Baccalaureate:

  • Higher level: 7,6,6 from Chemistry and Biology and one other approved subject. 
  • Standard 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
  • If you have studied the Middle Years' Programme, please provide these results
  • The IB grade thresholds must be achieved in the first sitting for these qualifications, even if they are in unrelated subjects.

Other Accepted qualifications:

  • United Kingdom: Many international applicants offer UK qualifications. Our standard A-Level/IB requirements will apply. For GCSE/IGCSEs, a minimum of grade A must be offered in Science, English and Maths
  • Europe:
    • European Baccalaureate: 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.
    • Republic of Ireland. 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.
    • A range of other national qualifications will be considered.
  • Australia. Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER), or equivalent: An overall score of 96. Relevant subjects must be offered at excellent grades
  • Canada. Grade 12 High School Diploma: The exact requirement depends on the Province/Territory. For Ontario, for example, 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 Year 11
  • Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination CAPE: Grade 1 in four subjects, including Chemistry and Biology. Top grades in Secondary School Certificate must have been achieved also
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education: The grade requirements are: 5, 5 in Chemistry and Biology; 5 in Mathematics and English; Minimum of 4 in all other subjects (except Chinese) with an overall score of 5*55
  • India (ISC, CBSE, Maharashtra Boards): Standard XII: Overall score 85%, including Biology and Chemistry with 85% in one of these (minimum requirements). Standard X: 85% in Biology, Chemistry, English and Mathematics (minimum requirements)
  • Malaysia: SPM (GCSE-equivalent) – minimum of A/A+ in Science, English and Maths. STPM (A Level-equivalent) – grade A*AA across subjects studied, must include Biology and Chemistry
  • Mauritius: Both O and A Levels are equivalent to UK qualifications. We will expect a minimum of grade A in Science, English and Maths
  • Singapore: NUS High School Diploma – 3.8/5.0, with minimum of 3.8 in Biology and Chemistry; Polytechnic Diploma – 3.4/4.0, to include Biology and Chemistry
  • United States: Combined SAT1 score of 1380 or ACT score of 29. Three AP subjects at grade 5, including Biology and Chemistry or three SAT subject test scores of 700, 700 and 700, including Biology and Chemistry. We will also accept appropriate combinations of SAT and AP scores
  • 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

We also consider qualifications not listed above, as long as they are equivalent to A*AA at A Level and include the study of Biology and Chemistry. We also require good grades in Mathematics (equivalent to GCSE grade 7/B).

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.

Alternate Academic Qualifications

International Baccalaureate

  • Higher level: 7,6,6 from Chemistry and Biology and one other approved subject. 
  • Standard 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 (IB) = 8/8 (GCSE); 6 (IB) = 7 (GCSE); 5 (IB) = 6 (GCSE). A minimum of 5 must have been achieved in Science, English and Mathematics

Cambridge Pre-University Diploma

  • D3, D3, D3 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: Two subjects (Chemistry and Biology) must be offered (grade requirements: AA) 


  • Please note we have discontinued our graduate entry course. Our current programme is designed for school leavers however we do accept graduates on to the programme. Please note international graduates will be considered according to the mechanism described for international applicants
  • Degree: Achieved or predicted first or upper second class degree in any subject from a recognised institution. Please contact us if you are unsure if we will consider your non-UK institution
  • School qualifications: GCSE – typically a minimum of grade A/B in Science, English and Mathematics (these conditions can be waived if you have completed a degree taught in English, a science-based degree, and/or a degree with a significant quantitative component); A Levels – typically a minimum of ABB, including, normally, both Biology and Chemistry. If you offer a degree with biomedical science content at a level greater than 50% we will normally require only one of Biology or Chemistry
  • You must offer a relevant qualification (i.e. of minimum A Level standard relating to biology and chemistry) that is no more than 5 years old by the start date of the programme
  • Academic results will not be scored. Applicants who meet the threshold academic requirements described above will be ranked according to UCAT score. 
  • The personal statement must describe evidence of a high level of commitment to medicine (particularly through voluntary experiences) and strong personal qualities, evidenced by significant and substantial extracurricular involvement. We recognise that face-to-face experiences may not be offered subsequent to the impact of COVID-19. View our support for students applying to healthcare degrees page.

BTEC, Access Courses and Foundation Programmes

We do not consider any of these qualifications.

Qualified Dentists wishing to pursue a career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

We offer an accelerated 3-year MBChB programme for qualified dentists who have completed MJDF/MFDS and who wish to pursue a career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS). Each year, up to 5 successful applications are admitted to Year 3 of our standard programme if spaces are available.

Applications must be made via the UCAS system, which opens for new applications in September and has a deadline of 16th October for entry the following year. Applicants should choose the University of Birmingham as one of their UCAS options and apply for the A100 undergraduate Medicine & Surgery programme, clearly indicating that they wish to begin in Year 3. The personal statement should also indicate that the applicant is to be considered for the accelerated programme, wishes to pursue a career in OMFS, and detail all relevant experience. UCAT is not required to apply for this programme and shortlisting for interview is undertaken by an expert panel.

Mature Applicants

Birmingham Medical 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 five years will have elapsed between the most significant and relevant qualification and the start date of the course. If more than five years have elapsed since your degree, then your work since your degree will be considered. 

If your work does not provide you with sufficient responsibility in areas of healthcare practice or biomedical science, you must offer a qualification relating to Biology and Chemistry that is A level standard.

Use of Contextual Data

We incorporate contextual information into our calculation of an application score. The approach described below is correct for 2024 entry. The way in which we use contextual information for 2025 entry and onwards is currently under review.

Applicants who attend a state (not independent) school that meets our threshold for either GCSE or A Level (see below), or those who have been in receipt of free school meals (FSM) during their secondary education will receive a contextual score. The score we allocate is based on the POLAR4 quintile determined by your home postcode.

Our offer for a contextual applicant (irrespective of POLAR4 quintile) is AAA.

How we identify a contextual school

We use published school performance data to identify contextual schools. It is important to note that the majority of non-selective state schools are included.

Contextual thresholds


  • Contextual measure: Attainment 8 (average score per pupil)
  • Score for inclusion: <54.8

A Levels 

  • Contextual measure: QCA points per A level subject
  • Score for inclusion: <34.65 points

If you studied at a school that meets our contextual criteria for GCSEs and/or A Levels, you will receive a score for the contextual element. Please contact your school provider or search for your school on gov.uk for more information.

POLAR4 data

POLAR (Participation of Local Area) represents the rates of participation in higher education (HE) in a local area (defined by postcode). All areas are ranked according to this rate and segregated into quintiles. If your area is in quintile 1, this means you live in the lowest 20% of local areas in terms of rates of entry to HE.  

You can look up your POLAR4 quintile from the Office for Students website: OFS Postcode Lookup.

We will use your home postcode on your UCAS application to identify the quintile. If you have moved recently, we will accept, with evidence, the previous postcode. Otherwise, we will ask to see evidence of your home postcode (where you live normally) at interview. The postcode information is not relevant for applicants who do not/have not attended a contextual school.

Widening Participation and Pathways to Birmingham

The Medical Schools Council Selecting for Excellence report identified the need for Medical Schools to introduce and enhance schemes to improve social mobility into the medical profession. In fact, two of the activities run by the University of Birmingham are featured in this report as examples of good practice. The University of Birmingham established and has successful schemes in place to support Year 12 and 13 students in their progression to university and beyond. For further information, please visit our Pathways to Birmingham website.

Students who successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme and apply to the University of Birmingham will receive special consideration. If your application is successful, you will receive two offers from the University of Birmingham, the standard offer and an alternative offer. The alternative offer is three grades below the standard offer. Students may also be eligible to receive the Pathways to Birmingham Scholarship and Bursary.

If you are a Pathways to Birmingham applicant who applied before the deadline and have not received an update on your application by 1st January, please contact outreach@contacts.bham.ac.uk. 

Extenuating Circumstances and Gap Years

Extenuating Circumstances

We may be flexible over the route to achieve our academic requirements but we will not reduce the thresholds as it is not possible to quantify the effects of extenuating circumstances on academic grades. 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 at a crucial time in your A Level studies. Following discussion and receipt of independent evidence it is possible, for example, that we may consider applicants who study A Levels over 3 years. Please get in touch with us with third-party evidence by the UCAS deadline if you believe that extenuating circumstances may apply in your situation. 

 Please note that extenuating circumstances affecting examination performance 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 appropriate. For all other situations you are advised strongly to discuss your circumstances with the medicine admissions team in good time and you should not apply until a decision has been made. If evidence is submitted to us after the UCAS deadline we will unfortunately not be able to engage in any discussions about its acceptability.

Gap Years

Approximately 5-10% of our students have taken a gap year. You will not be at a disadvantage if you apply for deferred entry or apply 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.

Resit grades and Repeat Medicine Applications

Resit grades

These are not considered except as detailed in 'extenuating circumstances'. Please note we do not accept resit grades for GCSEs, A Levels, or equivalent qualifications.

If you are sitting A level examinations for the first time following your calculated grades during the period of disruption caused by Covid-19, these grades will not count as resits.

Repeat medicine application 

We will consider those applying for Medicine for a second time, who didn't previously get invited to interview. 

We will not consider anyone whose application to Birmingham Medical School has been rejected previously following an interview. This policy may be waived for those who offer evidence of significant extenuating circumstances at the time of interview or sustained significant activity since the last application. This may include completing an undergraduate degree or undertaking two to three years of full-time work. 

We do not consider applicants who have studied medicine previously under any circumstances.

Disabilities and Reasonable Adjustment

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 here regardless of any disability. All students, including those with disabilities, have to be able to meet the outcomes for graduates defined 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.

Should support arrangements be required at interview and/or during study, for instance for dyslexia, we will allow extra time in non-clinical examinations where we are able to do so. However, please note that we do not allow extra time for clinical examinations where, for example, you are asked to take a history and examine a patient.

Late Applications (Post 16 October) and Transfers From Other Courses/Universities

Late applications (post 16 October deadline)

We will not consider late applications under any circumstances, and we have not historically been part of UCAS Extra or Clearing.

Transfer from another degree programme or University

We do not accept transfers from other degree programmes. We do not consider applicants who are currently studying medicine. If you are studying another degree course, this must be completed within the application cycle. If you withdraw from another course before applying, you must discuss the circumstances with us before you apply and one of the factors we will take into consideration is academic performance on the degree course. As indicated above, we will consider applicants who wish to study medicine following graduation.

If you are interested in undertaking an elective at Birmingham Medical School, please send your elective enquiry via email to mbchb-elective-admin@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Data from Previous Application Cycles

To find out information from previous application cycles, please download our application statistics document [PDF, 60kb].