University: UCL
University: UCL

University College London (UCL), in conjunction with King’s College London, was a founding member of the University of London. Each year, 322 students (both undergraduates and graduates) are admitted to the medical course at UCL. They will have the advantage of commencing their medical training at the world’s largest Academic Health Science Centre, with teaching at three main campuses in and around central London. There are many renowned and highly respected alumni from the medical course at UCL, including Josephine Barnes, the first female president of the British Medical Association, and Michael Mosley, the well-known BBC Science television presenter. The course is structured around systems-based learning in the first two years, and an integrated BSc forms the third year of the programme. There are a wide range of subject choices for this BSc and applications in the second year of the programme are competitive. Graduates can skip this integrated BSc year, effectively taking the 6-year course in 5 years. For those students who excel, there is an option to join the MB PhD programme, to complete a PhD before starting the intensive clinical years of the medical degree programme. Anatomy is taught via dissection and prosection, and there is early patient contact integrated into the course. The final year of the course focuses on ‘Preparation for Practice’, in order to help students prepare for the transition to becoming a Foundation doctor.

University: UCL

Undergraduate Applicants

  • Minimum Admission Criteria
  • No. of places
  • Degree
  • GCSEs
  • A levels
  • Exam
  • Interview
  • Work experience
  • 6 year programme
  • 322
  • N/A
  • Min. B in Maths and English*
  • A*AA
  • BMAT
  • Panel
  • Essential

Graduate Applicants

  • Minimum Admission Criteria
  • No. of places
  • Degree
  • GCSEs
  • A levels
  • Exam
  • Interview
  • Work experience
  • 6 year programme (can be completed in 5 years)
  • 322
  • 2:1
  • Min. B in Maths and English*
  • A*AA/AAB
  • BMAT
  • Panel
  • Essential
*GCSEs are considered as part of the selection formula, so in reality higher grades are likely to be needed

Undergraduates can apply to the 6-year programme, which includes an integrated BSc, taken in the 3rd year. There are a wide range of degree subjects that this can be in, and applications are competitive. For those students who excel in this year, there is an option to do a PhD before moving into the clinical years of the Medicine degree.

A/AS levels and GCSEs

The typical A level offer is A*AA, which should include Chemistry and Biology and one of these subjects should be at grade A*. A levels should be completed within 2 years. Although not a requirement for applying, UCL encourages applicants to undertake the Extended Project Qualification in order to develop skills in research. If this is not available at the applicant’s school, then the applicant is encouraged to show that they have developed these skills independently.

GCSE Mathematics and English to at least grade B are essential requirements, however most applicants offer in the region of 10 A*/As. In the new style of GCSEs, this is an equivalent of a score of 6. Also for applicants from the UK, they should also have a GCSE to grade C (equivalent score of 5 in new style GCSE) in a modern language. If an applicant does not have this, they can still be admitted to the programme, on the condition that they take a language course in their 1st year.

IB

39 points in total are required from applicants with the IB. High Level subject grades should add up to at least 19 points and must include Biology and Chemistry, each with a minimum score of 6. Note that any scores below 5 are not acceptable. If Mathematics and English are not offered as part of the IB, these are required to GCSE grade B.

Admissions Exam

The BMAT is required for all applicants. The test is only valid for one year.

Access to Medicine courses

The College of West Anglia provides the only acceptable Access to HE Diploma (Medicine) for entrance to UCL. Applicants must achieve at least 28 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, with the remaining credits in the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

This course is suitable for candidates returning to study after a break or those who did not study the necessary science subjects in their original A levels (i.e. students with a non-science background who now intend to change career path). It is not suitable for candidates who did study the required A level or IB subjects but did not achieve sufficiently high grades.

Other Diplomas (inc. BTEC)

The Cambridge Pre-U is accepted as an alternative to A levels. Grades D2,D3,D3 are required in three principle subjects. Chemistry and Biology required with one at D3.

BTEC diplomas are not accepted.

Widening Participation

UCL run an outreach programme which aims to inspire Year 8 and 9 students from non-selective state schools to consider a career in Medicine. They run events at the university and also arrange healthcare professionals to deliver talks in local schools, to give young potential applicants, not only an idea about what a career in Medicine involves, but also time to think about how to achieve the entry criteria necessary.

International Students

UCL offers a foundation programme for international students preparing for undergraduate degrees in Medicine, Science and Engineering – the University Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering (UPCSE). This course is suitable for students who need to meet the entry criteria for entrance into the 6-year medical degree programme, but who have not undertaken the IB or A levels. Note that this programme is not a substitute for those who have taken the IB or A levels but failed to achieve the necessary standard. Applicants to the 6-year medical programme are more likely to be successful after completing the UPCSE, compared to those applying whilst on the course. This is because these students have already secured the required grades, and have had additional time to pursue work experience and the opportunity to improve their English while attending UCL.

There are 24 spaces per year for international students on the 6-year programme. Applicants should usually have taken the same qualifications as UK students (e.g. A levels or the IB), but it is acceptable for candidates to have taken these exams in their home country. The university gives preference to non-EU applicants from countries where there are no medical schools, or where discrimination reduces their access to medical school. If an international student does not have GCSE English to at least grade B, there are several ways of demonstrating suitable English language proficiency (see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/application/requirements/accepted-english-qualifications), but the IELTS is the preferred option, with an overall grade of 7.5 and a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests.

Applicants must study Chemistry, Biology and English as part of the UPCSE and should also have studied Mathematics at GCSE/IGCSE – where a grade B will be required. More information can be found on: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/clie/preparatory-certificates.

If you are applying as an overseas student and taken qualifications other than those listed above, please contact us by email (enquiries@themsag.com) if you would like more information on the minimum grades needed to be considered for a place in Medicine at UCL.

Policy on Re-applicants

The university will not consider re-applicants who have previously reached the interview stage but not secured a place. If you applied previously but were not selected for interview at that time, you are welcome to re-apply. You should complete a new UCAS form and re-take the BMAT if you are re-applying to UCL. Note that they consider more than one gap year as a disadvantage when re-applying, as well as declining an offer to study Medicine elsewhere.

Policy on Deferrals

Students are welcome to apply for deferred entry if they would like to take a gap year. Making an application on this basis does not affect your chance of being selected. However requests to defer made after an offer has been made are not normally granted. UCL expects candidates to plan their gap year constructively, and they would expect you to be able to talk about your ideas for the year at interview.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applications via UCAS for 2018/19 entry for both undergraduate programmes are open from 6th September 2017 and close on 15th October 2017.

APPLICATION DOCUMENTS

  • Completed UCAS application form
  • UCL may ask for references or letters from whoever supervised your work experience so it is advisable to obtain these in advance so that you have them ready if requested

SELECTION PROCESS

Your entire application will be read by several members of the UCL admissions team and you will be assigned a ‘priority’ score for selection for interview, based on the following:

  • Your predicted academic grades and your past academic performance including GCSE results or equivalent (note that most undergraduate applicants have around 10 GCSEs at A* and A grades).
  • Evidence of independent learning skills (this could be shown by undertaking the Extended Project Qualification, studying Open University modules, or undertaking extra-curricular reading or research)
  • Work and voluntary experience – UCL place particular value upon experience in a healthcare setting, experience in a laboratory setting, and also working with the sick, disabled, young children and the elderly. Personal experience of healthcare and illness is also valued. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to reflect on these experiences.
  • Demonstration of your motivation to study Medicine and an appropriate attitude
  • Other interests, such as sports, music, or any activity which has broadened your horizons/general education
  • Evidence of teamwork, leadership and communication skills
  • Your referee’s assessment of academic ability, study skills, motivation for medicine and personal qualities.
  • BMAT scores - high scores in each section will strengthen an application. There is no cut-off score for this exam, though candidates with scores that are below the average for their cohort are less likely to be successful. For information on how the BMAT is scored, please see this link: http://www.admissionstestingservice.org/images/270697-bmat-explanation-of-results-2015.pdf. Note that the average scores for the cohort will be posted on the Medical School website in November/December.

INTERVIEW

The UCL interview is conducted by a panel of 2-3 people, who are usually made up of academic university staff, senior medical students, or ‘lay’ panel members (which may include local GPs or Heads of 6th form colleges). Interviewers will have a copy of your BMAT essay, and a discussion of this essay may form part of the assessment.

Interviewers score the candidate for the following qualities:

  • Intellectual potential (intellectual curiosity and robustness)
  • Motivation for (and understanding of) a career in medicine
  • Awareness of scientific and medical issues
  • Ability to express and defend opinions, which may include discussion of BMAT essay topic
  • Attitude, including factors such as flexibility, integrity, conscientiousness
  • Individual strengths (e.g. social, musical, sporting interests or activities)
  • Communication skills (verbal and listening skills)

For 2017 entry, UCL received 1685 Home/EU applications, of which 656 were invited for interview. 446 offers were made for 2017 with 59 offers made for deferred entry.

There were 615 international applicants of which 88 were invited for interview. 50 applicants were offered places for 2017 entry with an additional 10 applicants being given offers for deferred entry in 2018.

Medicine at UCL is ranked 7th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2018.

It is ranked 7th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2018.

It is ranked 9th in the world by the QS World University Rankings in 2017.

Graduates can apply to the same 6-year programme as undergraduates, but the integrated BSc year can be waived, and the programme thus completed in 5 years. For those candidates who excel academically in their first two years; they can be given the option of integrating a PhD into their Medicine degree.

Degree and A levels

Graduates should have at least a 2:1 in any discipline from a UK university. Degrees from outside the UK are not accepted.

A level Biology and Chemistry should be offered. If A levels were taken prior to the candidate’s degree, the typical grades should be ABB. If the candidate has sat the relevant A levels after their degree, the typical grades should be A*s and As. Note that some candidates who have taken sufficient Biology and Chemistry modules in their degree may have the A level requirements waived, but this will be a very small number and candidates who are considering this option, should submit their degree transcript to the admissions department for consideration, well in advance of the application deadline.

GCSEs

All UK graduates are expected to have at least grade B (equivalent of a grade 6 in new style GCSEs) in GCSE English and Mathematics, as well as a grade C (equivalent of a grade 5 in new style GCSEs) in a modern language.

IB Eligibility

As for A levels, Chemistry and Biology should be offered at Higher Level as part of the IB. IB qualifications taken prior to the candidate’s degree should have grades 6,5,5 at Higher Level; those taken after their degree should be grade 7 or 6.

Admissions Exam

The BMAT is required for all applicants. The test is only valid for one year.

Access to Medicine courses

The College of West Anglia provides the only acceptable Access to HE Diploma (Medicine) for entrance to UCL. Applicants must achieve at least 28 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, with the remaining credits in the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

This course is suitable for candidates returning to study after a break or those who did not study the necessary science subjects in their original A levels (i.e. students with a non-science background who now intend to change career path). It is not suitable for candidates who did study the required A level or IB subjects but did not achieve sufficiently high grades.

International Students

There are 24 places in total for international students on the medical programme. Applicants should usually have taken the same qualifications as UK students (e.g. honours degrees, A levels or the IB etc.), but it is acceptable for candidates to have taken these exams in their home country. The university gives preference to non-EU applicants from countries where there are no medical schools, or where discrimination reduces their access to medical school. If an international student does not have GCSE English to at least grade B, there are several ways of demonstrating suitable English language proficiency (see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/application/requirements/accepted-english-qualifications), but the IELTS is the preferred option, with an overall grade of 7.5 and a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests.

Note that graduates with degrees from outside the UK are not able to apply for the programme.

If you are applying as an overseas student and taken qualifications other than those listed above, please contact us by email (enquiries@themsag.com) if you would like more information on the minimum grades needed to be considered for a place in Medicine at UCL

Policy on Re-applicants

The university will not consider re-applicants who have previously reached the interview stage but not secured a place. If you applied previously but were not selected for interview at that time, you are welcome to re-apply. You should complete a new UCAS form and re-take the BMAT if you are re-applying to UCL. Note that they consider more than one gap year as a disadvantage when re-applying, as well as declining an offer to study Medicine elsewhere.

Policy on Deferrals

Students are welcome to apply for deferred entry if they would like to take a gap year. Making an application on this basis does not affect your chance of being selected. However requests to defer made after an offer has been made are not normally granted. UCL expects candidates to plan their gap year constructively, and they would expect you to be able to talk about your ideas for the year at interview.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applications via UCAS for 2018/19 entry for both undergraduate programmes are open from 6th September 2017 and close on 15th October 2017.

Application Documents

  • Completed UCAS application form
  • UCL may ask for references or letters from whoever supervised your work experience so it is advisable to obtain these in advance so that you have them ready if requested

SELECTION PROCESS

Your entire application will be read by several members of the UCL admissions team and you will be assigned a ‘priority’ score for selection for interview, based on the following:

  • Your predicted academic grades and your past academic performance including GCSE results or equivalent
  • Evidence of independent learning skills (this could be shown by undertaking the Extended Project Qualification, studying Open University modules, or undertaking extra-curricular reading or research)
  • Work and voluntary experience – UCL place particular value upon experience in a healthcare setting, experience in a laboratory setting, and also working with the sick, disabled, young children and the elderly. Personal experience of healthcare and illness is also valued. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to reflect on these experiences.
  • Demonstration of your motivation to study Medicine and an appropriate attitude
  • Other interests, such as sports, music, or any activity which has broadened your horizons/general education
  • Evidence of teamwork, leadership and communication skills
  • Your referee’s assessment of academic ability, study skills, motivation for medicine and personal qualities.
  • BMAT scores - high scores in each section will strengthen an application. There is no cut-off score for this exam, though candidates with scores that are below the average for their cohort are less likely to be successful. For information on how the BMAT is scored, please see this link: http://www.admissionstestingservice.org/images/270697-bmat-explanation-of-results-2015.pdf. Note that the average scores for the cohort will be posted on the Medical School website in November/December.

INTERVIEW

The UCL interview is conducted by a panel of 2-3 people, who are usually made up of academic university staff, senior medical students, or ‘lay’ panel members (which may include local GPs or Heads of 6th form colleges). Interviewers will have a copy of your BMAT essay, and a discussion of this essay may form part of the assessment.

Interviewers score the candidate for the following qualities:

  • Intellectual potential (intellectual curiosity and robustness)
  • Motivation for (and understanding of) a career in medicine
  • Awareness of scientific and medical issues
  • Ability to express and defend opinions, which may include discussion of BMAT essay topic
  • Attitude, including factors such as flexibility, integrity, conscientiousness
  • Individual strengths (e.g. social, musical, sporting interests or activities)
  • Communication skills (verbal and listening skills)

For 2017 entry, UCL received 1685 Home/EU applications, of which 656 were invited for interview. 446 offers were made for 2017 with 59 offers made for deferred entry.

There were 615 international applicants of which 88 were invited for interview. 50 applicants were offered places for 2017 entry with an additional 10 applicants being given offers for deferred entry in 2018.

Medicine at UCL is ranked 7th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2018.

It is ranked 7th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2018.

It is ranked 9th in the world by the QS World University Rankings in 2017.

  1. 1. What are the good things about studying Medicine at this university?

    I chose UCL because it is one of the few medical schools left where you get to do human dissection to learn anatomy, and this was a very enriching experience and am glad I had this opportunity. Another plus about the course at UCL is the fact that we all get the chance to do a BSc (in fact it is a mandatory part of the course here), and we got to choose from over 30 different options. I chose Policy, Communication and Ethics which I greatly enjoyed. Coming to London to study also has a number of advantages in terms of student networking and opportunities to get involved in societies and research. If you are not overwhelmed by choice, it's a great place to be!

  2. 2. What is not so good about studying Medicine there?

    UCL is a massive university and my year at the medical school alone is around 400 people. It can make it a very intimidating and isolating experience and had I the choice again I might choose to go to a smaller, more friendly environment for my university experience.

  3. 3. What advice do you have for someone thinking of studying Medicine there?

    I would suggest you visit as many places as you can and don't base your decision on league tables (they don't mean much once you're at medical school). Look at student satisfaction rates and talk to as many people who have gone through the experience as you can. I think picking the right med school is more about matching your personality to a place than where is meant to be best.

  4. 4. Do you have any tips on how to get in?

    Only those that you've probably heard many times at this stage: write a good personal statement that reflects who you are and your motivation rather than just your achievements; get as much work experience as you can, and try to keep your head in the interview!