Medicine courses in the UK

Introduction to Medicine

If you are really enthusiastic about qualifying as a medical doctor, then you can apply to study Medicine at a UK university. Large numbers of international students are offered places each year. You will need to have good grades and have studied some subjects in science. The typical grades most UK medical schools require are 3 GCE ‘A’ levels each at A grade, including chemistry or biology, an IB of 38 or equivalent. Proficiency in the English language is also necessary and proof of an IELTS score of 7.0 is entailed may be asked for.

It is also possible to enter medical school in the UK as a graduate. You will need high grades in a relevant bachelors degree plus work experience, which should be at least one day a week in a hospital, health centre or similar caring establishment. You will be expected to have a broad comprehension of the philosophy and workings of the UK National Health Service (NHS).

Entry to medical school is competitive. You will have to demonstrate your motivation for and commitment to studying, researching and working in this field. Students are normally interviewed and it is advisable to prepare well for this. Some medical schools will also expect completion of a clinical aptitude test, UKCAT.

Careers in Medicine

Once qualified, students can specialise in many different areas such as:

  • Anaesthetics
  • General Practice
  • Medicine
  • Pathology
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiology
  • Surgery

Medicine Entry Requirements

Undergraduate: Most medical schools in the UK are located in universities that are linked to teaching hospitals. To enter at under-graduate level you will normally need a minimum of 3 GCE ‘A’ levels all with A grades and including Chemistry or Biology.

International students will require proof of proficiency in English. An IELTS score of no less than 6.5 across all four categories - reading, writing, speaking and listening – with an overall 7.0 score is generally sought by most universities.

Foundation: An alternative route into qualifying as a medical doctor is via a specialist 2 year undergraduate programme which leads onto Foundation training which lasts another 2 years.

Once undergraduate study of two-years has been completed, medical students will then move on to Foundation training, lasting another two-years. This brings together medical school graduates, other postgraduates and various health care providers. Once completed, you will move into your specialist training path.

Speciality Training: Once you have completed four-years of study you have to decide on which area you wish to specialise in. This is extremely competitive, so you must work hard to ensure you can secure a place in the area you wish to focus on. Training here can last for anything up to seven years, and upon completion you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion Training (CCT).

Other options: If you have achieved good grades and done 12 years of schooling, but have not obtained the necessary science and English qualifications to access an undergraduate course in medicine, there are other options such the International Foundation course operated by INTO in London who have links with St George’s Hospital in London and various universities. The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) offer a one year foundation leading to a Medicine. There are many other options. 

UK Clinical Aptitude Test

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is part of the selection process of some UK medical and dental schools. It is an online test covering:

- Verbal Reasoning. Assesses ability to think logically about written information and arrive at a reasoned conclusion: 21 minutes, with 11 passages to read and 44 questions.

- Quantitative reasoning. Assesses ability to solve numerical problems: 24 minutes, 9 tables, charts, graphs etc. as information and 36 questions.

- Abstract reasoning. Assesses ability to infer relationships from information by convergent and divergent thinking: 13 minutes and 55 questions.

- Decision Analysis. Assesses ability to deal with various forms of information to infer relationships, make informed judgements, and decide on an appropriate response: 32 minutes, 1 scenario full of information and 28 questions (basic calculator provided)

- Situational Judgement. Measures your responses in situations, and your grasp of medical ethics: 27 minutes and 67 questions on 20 scenarios.

UKCAT must be taken by applicants at the following universities:

Where can I study Medicine in the UK?

Learn more about the best Medicine universities in the UK below:

Apply to study Medicine

If you are interested in learning more about studying Medicine in the UK, arrange your free consultation today. Don't forget the Medicine Service provides interview practice with a doctor who sits on the admission panel of a UK medical school.

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