Choosing the Right Medical School (Graduate Entry)

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If you’re thinking of applying to medical school this September you’re probably starting make choices about which universities you want to apply to. Choosing the right medical school is really important as they all have different requirements so you should choose ones which play to your strengths. In this post i’m going to summarise which universities offer graduate entry medicine (GEM) in the UK and their requirements. I’ll also be giving you some points to consider when choose the right school.

I think an important thing with GEM is to apply strategically. By this I mean reflecting on yourself as an applicant and then choosing a university which selects candidates based on strengths which you have. For example, If you have done a lot of healthcare based experience or even paid work as a HCA you might want to consider applying to Warwick because they require a minimum of 70 hours.

You can also be strategic by making your choice based on which entrance exam the university requires. In my case, I was applying during third year of university and so I decided to only apply to UCAT universities. This was mainly to make sure that I still had time to put the effort required for my degree.

The main aspect which differentiates each medical school is which entrance exam they use. I’ll be splitting the universities up according to that. I’ve put some extra info next to some universities with things I learnt about them during my application.

Universities written in red accept non-science degrees, those written in black only accept candidates with a science background. If you want to apply to a school which only accepts science degrees be sure to check they accept your specific degree on their website.


  • Barts (Queen Mary)40 places. UCAT score must be in the third decile and this is ranked 50:50 with your other academics. Require minimum of a 2:1.
  • Dundee/ St Andrew’s (only situational judgement)55 places. For GEM Dundee and St Andrew’s offer the course as a joint university. Require minimum of a 2:1.
  • Kings College London28 places. ” Either a minimum 2:1 (upper second class honours) undergraduate degree (or international equivalent) in a Biosciences subject; OR a minimum 2:1.undergraduate degree in Nursing and A Level Chemistry at grade A, subject to the Degree in nursing covering sufficient life sciences “
  • Newcastle25 places. Require minimum 2:1.
  • Southampton48 places. Require minimum 2:1.
  • Warwick193 places. They use your academics and UCAT score in order to select people for interview. Once you’re at the interview it is almost completely based on that. Warwick is also quite work experience heavy. The year I applied they wanted a minimum 70 hours work experience (in a healthcare environment and one experience can’t count for more than 50 hours) with references for each experience. Require minimum 2:1.
  • Birmingham 60 places. I also applied to Birmingham and I was told by admissions that although it isn’t a requirement they do tend to favour people who have already finished their degree. This was the case the year I applied but I would encourage you to call and ask if you’re concerned. It also would be worth asking other universities the same question. Require minimum 2:1.


  • Cambridge (only if applying to undergrad as well)41 places. Require minimum 2:1.
  • Imperial – entry suspended for 2020 entry (not clear what is happening with 2021 entry).
  • Oxford 30 places. Require minimum 2:1.


  • Cardiff – (only accept people from feeder courses).
  • Dundee/ St Andrew’s
  • Liverpool29 places. Require minimum 2:1.
  • Nottingham93 places. Require minimum 2:2.
  • St George’s 50-70 places. Require minimum 2:1.
  • Swansea 90 places. Require minimum 2:1.


  • Cambridge (GEM)I applied to Cambridge last year (for 2020 entry) and got an email saying that people who were invited to interview with a pending degree had A*AA at A level and those who had already finished their degree had lowest AAA at A level. Although this isn’t strictly in their requirements and it probably varies each year it’s something to consider. They also require you to fill out a separate form with all work experience and what you learnt from it. I actually found this quite useful because it meant I could tell them about things I had to leave out of my personal statement. When you send them back the form you must also include a scan of your original transcript Don’t leave this until the last minute like I did, sometimes it can take several days to get a transcript!

This is by no means a fully comprehensive list of everything you need to know but it is a good starting point. I would also check the websites for specific A-level requirements (they don’t all have them but some do so be careful!). Once you’ve narrowed down the choices of where you want to go I recommend writing down a couple of questions and then spending an afternoon calling the admissions teams.

Another great tool to help decide which medical school will suit you is the internet! There is loads of useful information on the student room, YouTube videos and blogs.

I hope this was useful! I’m planning on doing more posts about which resources to use and how to get through the application process 🙂

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1 comment

  1. Hi,
    ScotGEM requires GAMSAT according to the website and you missed out Sheffield for students who fit the criteria.
    Also, I think Birmingham may ask for UCAT?

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