Entry Requirements MBChB Graduate Entry (four-year)

Medicine Interviews

The entry requirements listed on this page are applicable to 2021 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 accepted onto the course.

Please note: Applicants who are classified as international for fees are not considered for this course.

For 2021 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') and applicants who have completed their degree will be at an advantage. A minimum of a 2:1 must be achieved normally
  • 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
  • If you are undertaking a higher degree, you are 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 a UK degree
  • 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 patient management (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. Degrees that are focused primarily on Chemistry are not accepted. A number of degrees in specialised healthcare disciplines are also not accepted. These include: Audiology, Chiropractic, Forensic Science, Optometry, Osteopathy, Podiatry, Speech and Language Therapy.

See also general entry requirements.

Secondary school qualifications

  • We will score A Levels or equivalent school-leaving qualifications (see 'Selection for Interview')
  • We adjust the scoring for applicants who attended a contextual school (see ‘Consideration of Contextual Information’ below)
  • 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 scored.

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 do not set a threshold score
  • Please visit the UCAT website www.ucat.ac.uk for all information about the test, including test delivery, important dates, information on bursaries available and policies on exemptions and extenuating circumstances. We recommend very strongly that you take advantage of the practice tests, which are available on this site
If you are granted an exemption from the test or UCAT are unable to make adjustments to the test, you must contact our medicine admissions office to explain your circumstances. 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 and/or postgraduate study or training.

  • We will score the amount of time spent in the activity (see 'Selection for Interview')
  • We will consider experience whether or not it is relevant to medicine. 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. If your full-time activity was curtailed by the impact of COVID-19, we will consider your application as if it had continued.
  • Activity that takes place prior to or during a first degree will not be considered
  • It is important that dates (employment; study) are recorded accurately on a UCAS form. We will not contact applicants for whom any information is unclear

Consideration of Contextual Information

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

Applicants who attended 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

When we assess your application 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 normally offer evidence of high academic achievement in a more recent and higher qualification other than the one affected by extenuating circumstances

Repeat medicine application: 

  • We will consider you if you applied to Birmingham Medical School and were rejected following interview but 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 studying on any course that concludes after August 31st of the relevant UCAS application cycle

Previous Medicine study

  • We do not consider applicants who have previously studied medicine in the UK or elsewhere, whether the course was completed or not

Data from previous application cycles

To find out information from previous application cycles, please download our application statistics document.

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.

  • You must apply for Year 2 entry on the Graduate-entry course (A101), which must be indicated on the UCAS application.
  • We do not use UCAT or any other aptitude test
  • We would expect normally that you must have achieved MJDF or MFDS, though we recognise that COVID-19 has had an impact on the examinations for these qualifications. Our expectation is that you will gain either MJDF or MFDS by 31st July 2021 
  • You must offer substantial evidence of clinical practice in the UK post-graduation. The impact of COVD-19 is expected to be a small proportion of your time as a registered dentist
  • 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
  • The number of places on this programme will depend on the availability of clinical placements