Guidance on applying for a healthcare programme in 2021

We are living in very uncertain times and we know that you will be concerned that the disruptions caused by COVID-19 do not impact negatively on selection and admission to your chosen programme. 

Applicants for entry in 2020

If you hold a conditional offer that includes academic requirements you will be aware that the UK government has cancelled summer examinations. You will receive a calculated grade for each subject and Ofqual is working with the exam boards as well as teachers’ representatives to finalise the approach. The UK government have provided guidance on this strategy.

Universities are waiting to receive further direction from government. In the meantime, we are also working on developing clear guidance that will address the many concerns that you have.

Prospective applicants for entry in 2021

We recognise that the curtailment of normal daily activities will impact on your preparations to make an application for one of our healthcare programmes. We are in the process of reviewing our selection processes for each programme and we are aware of the need to make adjustments to remove disadvantage to applicants. There are two areas of concern at present.


The relevant programmes (Medicine and Dental Surgery) are expecting applicants to offer a UCAT result. 

The UCAT consortium have released a statement about arrangements for delivering the UCAT in 2020.

Work Experience

We have been made aware that work experience and voluntary placements have been cancelled.

We want to reassure you that if you are unable to gain experience of work in a healthcare setting because of the impacts of COVID-19 you will not be at a disadvantage in our selection processes. We are in the process of updating our websites to reflect that commitment.

We recognise that experience in a healthcare setting can provide you with a great deal of insight into the profession you aspire to join. This can help you to decide if a career in a caring profession is right for you and also help you to identify the skills you need to develop.

In the absence of face-to-face experiences, it is important that you use other means to gain an understanding of the work and challenges faced by healthcare staff. Reports on the present situation in the national media highlight that healthcare staff are working under great pressure.You must recognise, however, that this situation is unprecedented and an understanding of a more routine life in healthcare can be gained using on-line resources.

We have prepared detailed guidance to enable you to develop your understanding of your chosen career.

Support for school and college students applying for healthcare degrees