Whether you are a UK, EU or international applicant; to apply for a place at an undergraduate course in a UK university, you will need to make an application through an online system called UCAS. Applying for a place at a UK medical school is no different and is also done through UCAS.

What is included in the UCAS application?

The online UCAS form will require you to input your personal details, academic achievements, predicted grades (unless you have already achieved all your grades), your personal statement, a reference and if necessary your admissions test results e.g. UKCAT score. You can apply to a maximum of four medical schools in one annual application cycle and on top of this, an additional non-medical course as a backup. It would almost always be wise to use up all four choices of medical schools to increase your chances of acceptance to at least one medical school. This can be done tactically, for example having one of the four medical schools a university that does not use the BMAT in case you do not do as well as anticipated in this exam and at least one of the choices a university which has lower A level requirement in case you do not achieve your predicted grades.

Note that your one UCAS application will be sent to all of the medical schools you apply to (and any non-medicine courses you apply to also). This means that all the medical schools and any non-medicine courses will all receive the same personal details, personal statement (a few universities will let you send a separate statement), reference etc. Only the universities which use them will receive your UKCAT, BMAT, GAMSAT information unless the score is explicitly stated in your personal statement or reference.

How much does a UCAS application cost?

In 2017 a UCAS application cost £13 for someone applying to one course and £24 for someone applying to multiple courses.

Is the process the same for international applicants?

International applicants also apply for medicine via UCAS. The process is slightly different and involves considering funding, visas etc. and most universities have a limited quota of international students they will accept per year. See our free guides for international applicants to UK medical schools or for studying medicine abroad for more information.

When can I apply to study Medicine via UCAS? When do people typically apply to study Medicine?

UCAS applications for medicine typically open on the 1st of September and close usually on the 15th October. This deadline is several months earlier than the deadline for applying to other courses with the exception of dental, veterinary or Oxbridge courses which also have this earlier October deadline. Most applicants to medicine will be second year college or sixth form students who are applying by the mid October UCAS deadline during their second year of studying for their A Levels. This will be with the intention of starting Medical school in the September of the next year.

Alternatively if they applied for “deferred entry” this means that they will take a gap year so that they do not start medical school in the September just after taking their final A level exams but instead start on the September the following year i.e. a year after their final A-level exams finish. See our free deferred entry guide for more details on this common type of application.

Other common times to apply to medical school are:

1. After completing A-levels. This could be your first time applying for medicine or your second time if you were not successful at the first attempt. If you applied after you had your A-level results, you would have the slight advantage of having actual grades and not just predicted grades as well as more time to gain work experience and other achievements. However, this would work against you if you did not get excellent grades.

2. After completing or whilst studying another degree. Again this could be the first time you applied for medicine or the second, third etc. Graduate entry for people who already have a bachelor’s degree either in a science/health related field or a non-science/health related field has become increasingly popular. Entry this way is very competitive. You could apply to a standard entry 5 year medical course or to a special graduate course which is a shorter duration e.g. 4 years instead of the typical 5 years for someone without an existing degree. Often this simply means direct entry to the second year of a normal 5 year medical degree, usually with some support from the university to ensure that the transition is smooth. You will graduate with a completely equivalent medical degree. A handful of universities have a limited number of very competitive places per year for their high achieving typically science degree students of a particular year. For example students who have completed the first year of their degree, or in their final year or graduated etc to transfer directly to the universities medical course. Newcastle, Exeter, St Georges, Dundee are all examples of universities who offer such routes in various forms. For more information see our graduate entry to medicine guide.

Note that most medical schools will require you to be at least 17 or 18 years old by the time it is your first day starting medical school. There is no upper age limit to start medical school in the UK. Throughout the UK there are large numbers of medical students (and all types of university student) who are not the typical 18 or 19 year old post college/sixth form students. Approximately 100,000 students (of all course types) enrol on to a higher education course in the UK each year.

Prepare for your Interview with Medicine Answered

At Medicine Answered we aim to do everything we can to maximise your chances of gaining entry into your chosen UK or international medical school. We offer a range of services which are unique from our competitors as they are created and delivered exclusively by doctors who themselves gained entry into all four medical schools. This unique 100 percent success rate gives them the perfect expertise to help your application stand out. We offer specialist one day medical school interview courses and also one on one medical school interview tutoring which can be done in person or online. We also offer an excellent 360° application review service.

You can book a place on our Medical School Interview Course, or our specialist tutoring sessions via our website. Alternatively, if you require any further information do not hesitate to contact us.