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Applying to Medical School  · Nov. 16, 2018

Medicine Resit Policy: Everything You Need to Know

The unthinkable has happened. You have opened your AS or A2 results, and have failed to achieve what you expected. There are a whole host of reasons why an applicant may not achieve the required grades, and we know that even the brightest and best can have a few off days that can lead to a lower final grade. We often hear from people who have missed their offer, or not achieved what they needed to at AS, and are devastated that they won’t be able to get into medical school. They have heard from Sandra, who was told by Charlie, who was told by John at the Post Office that medical schools don’t accept A-level resits. Never mind, better luck next time, find something else to do.  However, let me make it clear now that THIS IS NOT THE CASE!

If you have the desire to study Medicine, there are still many options available to you. This blog will expel some of the myths surrounding this topic, and give some clear and practical advice for applicants who have not met their required grades and are considering resitting. 


Clarifying terms

First, it is important to note that this blog is for applicants who would be required to resit their A-levels WITHOUT mitigating circumstances. While each school of medicine will judge what constitutes mitigating circumstances, a few examples are listed below. If one of these applies to you, or if some other major event has led to you not achieving the grades you were anticipating, then your chances of being accepted without disadvantage at almost all UK medical schools are high. You may wish to contact the medical school on question directly, as they will be able to give more information on your specific circumstances.

  • Close family bereavement before or during study
  • Debilitating illness
  • Change of school or system, or other educational disruption
  • Adverse domestic circumstances

Further, resitting individual exams within the 2-year period of study will generally not inhibit entry to any medical school in the UK. The exception here is if many resits are required, as this may indicate that the applicant is not going to be able to keep apace with the requirements of a medical degree.

This blog is only true for applicants applying to undergraduate medicine, i.e. A100 courses, not postgraduate A101 courses. 

Where are my chances highest?

Disclaimer: Each medical school has its own academic entry requirements, and so each has its own policy on A-level resits. We have compiled information from every medical school in the UK, both from their websites and from calling the admissions offices, to provide you with details of their medicine resit policy as of November 2018. While we are confident in the accuracy of this information, it is important to note that this is a dynamic environment, and schools can and frequently do update their selection process information. You are advised to confirm before applying.

There are currently five medical schools in the UK who accept applicants from applicants who have resat one year of their A-levels without any disadvantage. This means that the grades achieved by these resit applicants are considered equally with students who did not resit their A-levels, and therefore these schools may increase the likelihood that these applicants will receive an offer. Note that this does not cover applicants who have been forced to resit two or more years of study. These schools are:

  • Aston Medical School
  • University of Exeter Medical School
  • Lancaster University Medical School
  • University of Sheffield Medical School
  • Southampton Medical School 

On top of these 5 schools, there are a further 10 who will accept applications from those who have resat one year of their studies, provided certain criteria are met, or may otherwise disadvantage resit applicants in the admissions process. These schools are:

  • Brighton and Sussex - If you have retaken your AS year, you can apply provided you are predicted AAA or above in your third year. If you are retaking your A2, they will accept an application if you are predicted to achieve AAA or above in the resit year, or if you have already completed your third year and achieved AAA or above.
  • University of Bristol - One resit in any one subject is accepted.
  • Hull York Medical School - Provided applicants did not achieve lower than BBB in their first sitting, resit results are accepted without discrimination. Any lower than this and evidence of extenuating circumstances will be required.
  • Keele University School of Medicine - Applicants who have re-sat their A-levels can only apply with achieved grades, not predicted grades. They will then be considered against other applicants.
  • King’s College London - Resits are acceptable. However, non-resit applicants are considered as more competitive applications.
  • University of Liverpool - Resits are accepted but the offer may be conditional on higher A-level grades than the typical offer (e.g. minimum A*AA, rather than AAA). Applicants must have scored a minimum of ABB in their first sitting and must reflect on this in their personal statement. For help on this, why not use ourPersonal Statement Service! 
  • University of Manchester – While Manchester do welcome applications from those re-sitting, applicants may only re-sit one of either Year 12 or Year 13. Grades A*AA are required for resitting applicants, with an A* in one of the science subjects. 
  • Norwich Medical School - Any applicant resitting all or part of an A level is required to include their original grade on the UCAS application form. A level resits will only be considered if a minimum of ABB or A*A*C was achieved in the first sitting. 
  • University of Plymouth, Peninsula Medical School - Applications from resit applicants are welcome providing a minimum of ABB has been achieved at the first attempt. 
  • Queen’s University Belfast - Resit candidates are only considered if they previously held an offer from Queen’s at the first attempt and made it their conditional firm choice. In addition, they must have achieved A*AB/AAA at A-level or AAB at A-level plus A in a fourth AS-level at first attempt. The offer for repeat candidates is currently either A*AA or AAA at A-level plus A in a fourth AS level. Only two attempts at A-levels are allowed.


Where are my chances lowest?

Of the 33 medical schools currently offering medical degrees in the UK, 19 of them will not accept applications from applicants who have had to resit a year of their a-levels, without extenuating circumstances. These therefore represent schools that applicants without these circumstances should avoid applying for, to ensure they do not waste an application. These schools are:

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Bart’s and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (Queen Mary University of London)
  • University of Birmingham
  • Buckingham Medical School
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Leicester
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • University of St Andrews
  • St George’s Hospital Medical School
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University College London

What about applying as a graduate, instead?

If you have missed your grades and do not want to resit a year, there is always the option of undertaking a different degree and then applying to Medicine as a graduate. While this is an attractive option in many ways, as it shows you are capable of studying at degree level and gives you more time to fill your CV with medical work experience, it should be noted that some medical schools require graduate applicants to have obtained certain A-level grades, too.

Medical School Resit Policies: Sources of information

UniversitySource of information Date gathered
University of AberdeenPhone call with the admission office 12/11/2018
Aston Medical SchoolUniversity website07/01/2018
Barts and the London
University website07/01/2018
University of BirminghamUniversity website07/11/2018
Brighton and Sussex
University website07/11/2018
University of BristolUniversity website07/01/2018
Buckingham Medical School Phone call with admission office07/11/2108
University of CambridgeUniversity website07/11/2018
Cardiff UniversityUniversity website07/01/2018
University of DundeeUniversity website07/11/2018
University of EdinburghUniversity website07/11/2018
University of ExeterUniversity website07/11/2018
University of Glasgow

University website

Hull YorkUniversity website07/11/2018
Imperial College LondonUniversity website07/11/2018
Keele UniversityPhone call to the admissions office 12/11/2018
King's College LondonUniversity website07/11/2018
Lancaster UniversityUniversity website07/11/2018
University of Leeds University website07/11/2018
University of LeicesterUniversity website07/11/2018
University of LiverpoolUniversity website07/11/2018

University of Manchester

University website07/11/2018
Newcastle UniversityUniversity website07/11/2018
Norwich Medical SchoolUniversity website07/11/2018
University of NottinghamUniversity website07/11/2018
University of OxfordUniversity website07/11/2018
Plymouth UniversityUniversity website07/11/2018
Queen's UniversityUniversity website07/11/2018
University of SheffieldUniversity website07/11/2018
Southampton Medical SchoolUniversity website07/11/2018
University of St AndrewsUniversity website07/11/2018
St George'sUniversity website07/11/2018

University of Central Lancashire

University website07/11/2018
University College LondonPhone call to the admission office12/11/2018

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We hope that you have found this information for medical school resit policies helpful, if you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us at


Mr Gerens Curnow

Mr. Gerens Curnow is a Medical Student from the University of Exeter. He is the winner of the Educator Development Committee Award from the Association for the Study of Medical Education.  He has given lectures to 70-100 A-level students on medical school applications. Additionally, he is the author of three of our Medical School Application Guidebooks.

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