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The UK is one of the most desirable destination for aspiring medical practitioners. With competitive medical programmes, and certificates recognised by many other countries, getting into a top medical programme in the UK is no easy task.

The UK boasts a number of excellent options for aspiring medical students, and is an especially attractive destination as it allows students to study it from the undergraduate level. According to Times Higher Education, 3 of the top 5 medical schools are in the UK: University of Oxford (#1), University of Cambridge (#3), and Imperial College London (#4).

Applying to medical school in the UK is challenging as students are required to have stellar grades as well as perform well in standardized tests such as the UCAT or BMAT. While an excellent academic track record can get your foot in the door, that is not enough to secure an admission offer. Students will need to demonstrate their motivation and additional experiences volunteering and job shadowing in their personal statement. If successful, they will later be invited to the interview stage, where motivation, personal character qualities and a sense of ethics and knowledge of the medical field will be tested.

There are over 30 medical schools in the UK, all of which boast a great track record for aspiring doctors. Out of those, 25 are recognized by the Singapore Medical Council, allowing alumni to practice medicine in the country.

Aspiring students must apply through UCAS that allows a maximum of 5 university options: 4 medical schools and 1 non-medical school.

Deadline: October 15th for Fall entry in the following year

Academic Requirements

  • A Levels: A*, A*, A
  • IB Program: 40+, 6s and 7s in HL
  • Coursework: Chemistry, Biology, Math, Physics

Extracurriculars, school clubs, and leadership positions demonstrating teamwork skills, empathy, and communication will help your applications stand out. It is highly recommended for students to have volunteering experiences, especially ones that are related to medical or care settings.

Students are considered competitive if they completed doctor shadowing in clinics or hospitals prior to applying.

Standardised Testing Requirements

Students applying to medical schools in the UK are reqired to take either the UCAT or the BMAT, depending on which schools you are applying to.

UCAT

  • Register for the UCAT (June 20, 6AM BST)
  • Prepare for the UCAT (From Jan to end of June)
  • Take the UCAT (From July 10 to September 28)
  • Application Deadline (Deadline: October 15th, 6PM London Time)
  • Interview (if shortlisted) (From January onwards)

Between the UCAT and the BMAT, the UCAT is more aptitude-based, and have a longer list of schools using it such as: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, etc. A good UCAT score is from 2800 onwards.

BMAT

  • Prepare for the BMAT (Jan onwards)
  • Register for the BMAT (From September 1st to September 30th)
  • Take the BMAT (in Oct/Nov – TBA)
  • Application Deadline (Deadline: October 15th, 6PM London Time)
  • Interview (if shortlisted) (From January onwards)

The BMAT will test your knowledge and writing ability. While it’s not as popular as the UCAT, very competitive schools such as Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, UCL and Leeds use the BMAT instead of the UCAT. While this is subjected to change in 2024 onwards, you are still required to pay attention to the BMAT for the time being. 7 is considered a good score.

Other Application Requirements

Personal Statement

The personal statement is an essential part of the UCAS application that showcases an applicant’s ability to write as well as their preparedness for medical school. The personal statement should be no longer than 4,000 characters including spaces. It outlines:

  • Motivation to study medicine
  • Academic prowess in medicine-related subjects
  • Accounts of shadowing experiences
  • Volunteering, teamwork skill, and empathy demonstration

Letter of Recommendation

The UCAS application requires students to submit a letter by a referee. Typically, this is completed by the school and the referee is one of your teachers. The recommendation should be academic in its nature, and ideally come from a teacher who knows you well and taught a medicine-related

Interview (If shortlisted)

Competitive applicants will be shortlisted to participate in an interview conducted by the school of their choice either in the UK or in the region. Interviews are either one-on-one, panel, or Mixed Multiple Interviews (MMI) where candidates rotate around several stations with questions. Topics covered in interviews are:

  • Personal character qualities and fit for medicine
  • Motivation to study medicine
  • Knowledge of the field
  • Knowledge of the NHS and public health
  • Medical ethics and situational judgement
  • Teamwork
  • Role play
  • Motivation to study at the specific university

Notable Medical Programmes In The UK

There are many notable medical programmes in the UK, for the full list – consult the official ranking

University of Oxford

  • Grades: A*AA in A Levels or 39+ in the IB with 766 HL
  • Standardized Testing: BMAT
  • Ranking: #1

University of Cambridge

  • Grades: A*A*A in A Levels or 40-42 in IB with 776 HL
  • Standardized Testing: BMAT
  • Ranking: #3

Imperial College London

  • Grades: AAA in A Levels or 38+ in IB
  • Standardized Testing: BMAT
  • Ranking: #4

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With the help of Prep Zone’s experienced trainers and dedicated admissions consultants, hundreds of students are able to achieve high standardised test scores and gain acceptance into their preferred medical schools each year.

Our well-rounded expertise allows us to provide students with fully customized preparation timelines which will ensure their score improvement. Our admissions consultants work closely with parents and students to handle the entire profile preparation process from beginning to end.

Looking for a way to gain admission to the best medical schools in the world? Get in touch with us today and let us help you realize your dreams.

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