Entry Requirements MBChB Graduate Entry (four-year)

Medicine Interviews

The entry requirements listed on this page are applicable to 2020 entry. Please see the ‘Selection for Interview’ section for information on how we use these criteria.

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.

Please note, applicants who are classified as international for fees are not considered for this course.

For 2020 entry, the following qualifications and other relevant factors will be considered in our selection process:

Undergraduate degree

  • Applicants must offer a Life Science subject*
  • We will score the result (see 'Selection for Interview') but a minimum of a 2:1 must be achieved normally
  • We do not require that the degree is completed however applicants with an achieved result will receive an advantage
  • If you do not offer an acceptable first degree, we will consider a taught Masters qualification in a biomedical science discipline (only). This must be completed and a Merit result achieved. The result of the first degree will still be factored in to our process
  • Applicants with higher degrees (MSc, PhD) do not normally receive advantage in the selection process (except, see 'Consideration of Skills Development' below) but are required to complete any postgraduate qualification successfully
  • Any applicant who is undertaking a higher degree is required to have completed all components of the assessment process (including receiving formal approval of corrections for a Masters or PhD thesis) before the end of August of the same application cycle
  • Non-UK degrees: We must have unequivocal evidence that your result places you at a level at least equivalent to the threshold degree requirement for UK degrees
  • We expect that no more than five years will elapse between the most recent and relevant qualification and the start date of the course. We will waive this requirement for anyone whose:
    • Full-time employment involves clinical work with substantive responsibility for patients (we will not waive the requirement for a role as a Health Care Assistant, for example)
    • Full-time work or study requires substantial links with the science basis of medicine (we will not waive the requirement for a role as a technician, for example)

* We want our students to start the course with a good knowledge of human biology, including cellular processes and systems organisation and functions. The amount of clinical training is also a factor that we take into consideration. The degrees we regard as generally suitable include: 

  • Biochemistry/Medical Biochemistry 
  • Biomedical Science 
  • Dentistry 
  • Human Biology/Physiology/Pharmacology 
  • Adult Nursing
  • Pharmacy 
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology (British Psychological Society accredited programme)

Many other degrees may be suitable, but variations between different degree programmes will require each programme to be looked at individually (i.e. syllabus assessed). These include: 

  • Biological Sciences degrees with minority of content relating to vertebrate physiology
  • Sports Science/Sports Studies

Please note that though we are flexible over our definition of a Life Science degree it must be recognised that we do not offer remedial teaching for those students with limited understanding of human biology.

See also general entry requirements.

Secondary school qualifications

  • We will score A Levels or equivalent school-leaving qualifications (see 'Selection for Interview')
  • Biology or Chemistry is required normally
  • Where the highest qualification in English or Maths is at GCSE, grade A/7 is normally required. We will consider equivalencies.
  • BTEC, Access qualifications and Foundation degrees are not considered.

UCAT

  • All applicants must sit the UCAT in their year of application
  • We will consider the total score from the four cognitive subtests in our process of selection for interview. We will use the Band score for the SJT component at the interview stage
  • We will rank the scores of our applicants, segregate them into deciles and allocate a score to each decile (see 'Selection for Interview'). We advise that the cut-off scores for each decile will be similar to those provided on the UCAT website
  • We do not set a threshold score
  • Candidates living in a country where the test is not offered will normally be expected to travel to take the test
  • Please visit the UCAT website www.ucat.ac.uk for information about the test, including important dates and information on bursaries available. We recommend very strongly that you take advantage of the practice tests, which are available on this site
Access Arrangements:
  • A number of amendments to the test format are available for candidates who require adjustments (e.g. 25% extra time)
  • The evidence in support of an adjustment must be supplied to UCAT by the deadline they provide and must be approved by them
  • For all candidates whose evidence to support taking an alternative format is approved, we will not be informed of this by UCAT (i.e. we will not know that you have taken the UCATSEN, for example)
  • If approval is not provided by UCAT, they will advise us of this. We will not accept your result for an amended test format 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 (e.g. readers or scribes). If UCAT inform you they cannot meet your needs you must contact the University of Birmingham 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 because we will not extend it for any reason

Consideration of Skills Development

We wish to recognise the development of relevant skills through employment, voluntary work and/or postgraduate study or training.

  • We will score the amount of time spent in the activity (see 'Selection for Interview')
  • We will consider a wide variety of experience (relevant to medicine or not) and therefore we will not attempt to quantify its significance. Hence, work in a restaurant will receive the same recognition as PhD study, for example
  • We will count only periods of full-time activity lasting 6 months or more that have been completed by the UCAS application deadline. For any period of time, we will not consider combinations of activities that add up to full-time equivalent.
  • Activity that takes place prior to a first degree will be considered
  • It is important that dates (employment; study) are recorded accurately on a UCAS form. We will contact applicants under consideration for whom any information is unclear, requesting details of their activities

Consideration of Contextual Information

We will adjust our A Level scoring mechanism for applicants who attend a contextual school for A Levels (see 'Selection for Interview') because we recognise that the educational setting can influence achievement.

Applicants who attend a state (not independent) school that meets our threshold for A Level will be included in this category.

A Level Contextual Threshold

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

View the list of schools that meet our contextual criteria. If you studied at one of these schools you will be included automatically in our contextual category if you apply.

Care Leavers

We will adjust our scoring mechanism for Care Leavers.

Experience of public care is defined as previously being looked after by a local authority, foster parents/other family members, at home with their parents under the supervision of social services, in a residential children’s home or in another residential setting such as school or secure unit, or someone who has experienced a period of three months in the care of the local authority between the ages of 8 and 18.

For all applicants who meet this definition:

  • We will apply the contextual A Level scores irrespective of the school attended (see 'Selection for Interview')
  • We will adjust the score we allocate to the degree result as follows:
    • 2:1 or 1st: 8 points
    • 2:2: 4 points
    • Predicted 2:1: 2 points

Additional information

We will take account of the length of undergraduate and postgraduate training leading to the certificate of completion of training for doctors.

Extenuating circumstances: 

  • We will consider only very serious life events, such as, a protracted illness that has required substantive support from health professionals
  • We will make no attempt to quantify the impact of the circumstances on academic results
  • We will expect that the relevant examination boards have taken the circumstances into consideration and there will be only isolated examples where they need to be further considered
  • If the examination board has permitted an extra year of study then we will accept this (with appropriate evidence)
  • 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. We will not consider evidence submitted after the UCAS deadline
  • You must offer evidence of high academic achievement in qualifications other than those affected by extenuating circumstances

Repeat medicine application: 

  • We will consider you if you applied to Birmingham medical school and were rejected following interview only if 3 years have elapsed since the previous application. At this time you will not be at a disadvantage
  • We will consider you at any time following the previous application if you were rejected without interview

Re-sit grades: 

  • These are not considered (except, see extenuating circumstances above)

Transfer from another degree programme: 

  • We do not consider applicants who are currently studying on any course that concludes after the end of the relevant UCAS application cycle or have previously studied medicine in the UK or elsewhere

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. 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.

International students

This full 4-year course is open to home/EU students only. 

Applicants must have excellent written and spoken English. In line with the requirements for applicants from the UK, normally we expect grade A in English at GCSE (or equivalent). Please note that the university’s Standard English language requirements are minimum standards, which are likely to be raised through competition.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

MBChB Course for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Applicants

We offer approximately five places on a three-year training course for qualified Dentists who wish to pursue a career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 

The following principles apply to selection for interview.

  • We do not use UCAT or any other aptitude test
  • You must have achieved MJDF or MFDS
  • You must offer substantial evidence of clinical practice in the UK post-graduation
  • It is necessary for you to demonstrate commitment to and understanding of a career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, including evidence of academic engagement with the speciality (audits and/or publications)
  • International applicants can be considered

You must apply for Year 2 entry on the Graduate-entry course (A101), which must be indicated on the UCAS application. The number of places on this programme will depend on the availability of clinical placements