Oxford University Medicine Entry Requirements

Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by

Medicine: Academic Entry & Age Requirements

A-LEVELS

A*AA in three A-levels (excluding Critical Thinking and General Studies, and the international A-level in Thinking Skills) taken in the same academic year.

Candidates are required to achieve at least grade A in both Chemistry and at least one of Biology, Physics, Mathematics or Further Mathematics.

NB: If a practical component forms part of any of the A-levels taken, we expect candidates to have taken it and passed.

STANDARD OFFER (A-LEVEL)

Grades A*AA at A-Level, including Grade A in Chemistry and Grade A from Biology, Physics, Mathematics, or Further Mathematics.

No specification of the subject in which the A* is to be achieved should be made.

For an applicant offering four subjects, the third subject of the offer should not be specified.

4 A grade offers should not be made.

If the applicant has already achieved Grade A at A-Level in one or more of these subjects, the offer should be revised accordingly, but the candidate should still be required to achieve Grades A*AA in one academic year.

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE

Overall score of 39 (including core points), and scores of 7, 6 and 6 in subjects taken at Higher Level

Applicants are required to offer the following subjects at Higher Level:

  • Chemistry (compulsory) AND
  • At least one from Biology, Physics and Mathematics. If you choose to offer Mathematics at HL as part of fulfilling our requirements, note that we have no preference for either the Analysis and Approaches (AA) course or the Applications and Interpretation (AI) course.

CAMBRIDGE PRE-U

D2D3D3 in Three Principal Subjects taken in the same academic year

  • Chemistry (compulsory) AND
  • At least one from Biology, Physics, Mathematics, or Further Mathematics.

A D2 grade in a Principal Subject at Cambridge Pre-U equates to an A* grade at A-level (and a D3 equates to an A grade), so if one principal subject is being taken in place of an A-level a D2 or D3 grade will be used as an equivalent.

SCOTTISH HIGHERS AND ADVANCED HIGHERS

Our requirements for an applicant taking Scottish qualifications would typically be:

AA in Advanced Highers (taken in the same academic year) and AAAAA in Highers (taken in the same academic year)

Applicants are required to offer Chemistry (compulsory) and one (or more, if desired) from Biology, Physics or Mathematics as Advanced Highers.

BTEC LEVEL 3 EXTENDED DIPLOMA

Our requirements for an applicant taking BTEC qualifications would typically be:

  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science (to include units in Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry)
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science (to include units in Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry) plus 1 A-level
  • BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Applied Science (to include units in Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry) plus 2 A-levels (one of which must be Biology, Physics or Mathematics)
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate or Subsidiary Diploma in Applied Science plus 2 A-levels (one of which must be Chemistry)

We also accept applications from candidates with 2 A-levels in Chemistry and another science (Biology, Physics, Mathematics, or Further Mathematics) plus a BTEC Level 3 qualification in another subject.

Applicants will be required to achieve grades of D*DD or the equivalent.

We do not accept BTEC qualifications of any level in Health & Social Care or Sport & Exercise Science in place of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics or Further Mathematics.

IRISH LEAVING CERTIFICATE

For an applicant taking Irish qualifications, our entrance requirements translate to:

Leaving Certificate with a minimum of grades: H1H1H2H2H2H2 at Higher level; a strong academic track record would be expected in Chemistry (compulsory), plus at least one of Biology, Physics or Maths.

For those applying with qualifications gained prior to 2017: Leaving Certificate with a minimum of grades AAAAB1B1 at Higher / Honours level; a strong academic track record would be expected in Chemistry (compulsory), plus at least one of Biology, Physics or Maths. 

WELSH BACCALAUREATE

Applicants taking the Advanced Diploma in the Welsh Baccalaureate are expected to have studied three subjects at A Level as part of their qualification. Offers are conditional on achievement in the A Levels within the qualification rather than the overall Baccalaureate award.

EUROPEAN BACCALAUREATE

Average of 85% or more, with marks of 8 to 9 required in relevant subjects

Applicants are required to offer:

  • Chemistry (compulsory) AND
  • At least one from Biology, Physics and Mathematics.

We would also recommend that applicants take one of the practical science courses (Physics, Chemistry or Biology) as a complementary subject.

ITALIAN: DIPLOMA DI ESAME DI STATO (LICEO SCIENTIFICO) 

Applicants are required to offer the Liceo Scientifico and achieve an overall score of at least 95%; a strong academic track record would be expected in Chemistry (compulsory), plus Biology and/or Physics and/or Mathematics.

OTHER QUALIFICATIONS

We welcome applications from those studying towards qualifications other than those listed here, as long as they are considered equivalent to A-levels – in terms of both content and achievement.

We advise all non-A-level applicants to make it clear on their UCAS application form that they meet our requirements i.e. all subjects studied, and at what level, should be specified.

The University has provided some guidance on qualifications required from international applicants, see the  University listing of international qualifications.

Please note that, regardless of qualifications, we will require applicants to achieve particular excellence in Chemistry (compulsory), plus at least one from Biology, Physics, and Mathematics.

Any applicants unsure of their eligibility for the course should contact the Pre-Clinical Admissions Office for guidance.

ACCESS AND FOUNDATION COURSES

Access and Foundation courses can meet the basic requirements for entry to the Oxford pre-clinical course, with certain provisos. They will only be acceptable alternatives to A-level where you can demonstrate that:

  • The course covers the same content as the A-levels we ask for in our entry criteria (and to an equal standard), particularly for Chemistry (which is compulsory).
  • Entry to the course is competitive in nature.
  • The syllabus is assessed by formal written examination.
  • The result is classified (a pass at Distinction level will be required).

Realistically, only an applicant who is performing consistently well across all elements of an Access or Foundation course would be capable of competing for a place on an even playing field with other applicants who are taking A-levels or the IB.

Please note that it will be your responsibility to demonstrate to us that your course is a suitable alternative to A-levels. 

The Oxford Medical School does not recommend any particular Access or Foundation courses.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

All teaching at Oxford University is carried out in English (with the exception of some language-specific teaching) and tutors must be convinced that you have sufficient fluency in written and spoken English to cope with your course from the start.

The University has set certain entry standards concerning proficiency in the English language for those applying from non-English speaking countries; see the English language requirements website.

AGE REQUIREMENTS

Oxford Medical School now requires all applicants to be 18 years old by 1st November in the year they intend to start the course. Please see our FAQs for further details.

Graduate Entry Medicine Selection Criteria

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

ACADEMIC ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

The Graduate-Entry Medicine course (A101) is open to applicants with:

  • A degree in applied or experimental science (see here) – with a degree class of 2.1 or above (or a GPA above 3.5)
  • Passes at A-level of at least AAB with an A or A* in Chemistry (grade requirements apply if A-levels were taken within the last 5 years; applicants whose exams were taken more than 5 years prior to the year of application are not required to have AAB, although their grades will be assessed carefully at the shortlisting stage). See “GCSE and A-level requirements” below for further details and equivalent qualifications.

GCSE AND A-LEVEL REQUIREMENTS

  • Applicants must have A-level Chemistry (normally passed at A or A* if taken within last 5 years). Applicants with a degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry (2.1 or above) are exempt from this requirement.
  • Applicants must also have one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics at A-level.
  • Applicants with a degree in a subject other than bioscience must have a qualification in biology at GCSE or equivalent level.

INTERNATIONAL EQUIVALENT QUALIFICATIONS

International Baccalaureate:

  • Applicants must have an overall score of 36 (including core points) and scores of 6 in subjects taken at Higher Level.
  • Applicants are required to offer the following subjects at Higher Level:
    i) Chemistry (unless applicants have a degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry with a 2.1 or above)
    ii) At least one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics

Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers:

  • Applicants must have AAB with an A in Scottish Advanced Higher Chemistry if taken within last 5 years. Applicants with a degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry (2.1 or above) are exempt from this requirement.
  • Applicants must also have one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics at Scottish Advanced Higher Level.

European Baccalaureate:

  • Applicants must have average of 79% or more with marks of 8-9 required in relevant subjects
  • Applicants are required to offer Chemistry (unless applicants have a degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry with a 2.1 or above) and at least one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics.

OTHER QUALIFICATIONS

We welcome applications from those studying towards qualifications other than those listed here, as long as they are considered equivalent to A-levels – in terms of both content and achievement.

We advise all non-A-level applicants to make it clear on their UCAS application form that they meet our requirements i.e. all subjects studied, and at what level, should be specified.

The University has provided some guidance on qualifications required from international applicants – see the University listing of international qualifications.

Please note that, regardless of qualifications, we will require applicants to achieve particular excellence in Chemistry (compulsory), plus at least one from Biology, Physics and Mathematics.

Any applicants unsure of their eligibility for the course should contact [email protected] for guidance.

WORK EXPERIENCE

All applicants must show evidence of their genuine commitment and personal suitability to medicine as demonstrated through any relevant work experience in a health or social care setting.

GENERAL SELECTION REQUIREMENTS

CriteriaDomains
Academic abilityStrong evidence of academic ability and a strong academic track recordOriginality of thought or initiativeGood comprehension and verbal reasoningAbility to present ideas clearly in writingAbility to handle and interpret quantitative dataAbility to think analytically
Suitability for and commitment to medicineExcellent listening and communication skills; interest in and ability to communicate with people from all backgroundsA mature and professional attitude to work and to other people; ability to make and maintain good working relationships.Empathy; honesty and integrityAbility to organise life and workUnderstanding of ethical issuesRealistic understanding of the challenges of a medical careerAlignment of individual values and behaviours with the values of the NHS constitution
Personal suitability for the Oxford Graduate-entry Medicine courseStrong evidence of a proven and sustained interest in a scientific approach in the applicants’ disciplineIntellectual curiositySelf-motivationAbility to work as a mature, professional and independent learner.

STATISTICS FROM THE 2020 ADMISSIONS ROUND (FOR 2021 ENTRY)

In 2020 we received 319 UCAS applications of which 286 were complete and met the published selection criteria.

  • 60% of applicants were female (63% in 2019).
  • 23% of applicants resided outside the EU and 10% resided in the EU outside the UK.
  • 41% of applicants had not completed their first degree at the time of application, 27% had, or were completing, a Master’s Degree and 8% had, or were completing, a PhD/DPhil.
  • For those that had completed their first degree, 50% had a First Class Classification.
  • 29% of applicants had, or were completing, a degree in Biomedical Sciences, 20% in Chemistry or Biochemistry, 13% in Biology, and 12% in Mathematics, Physics or Engineering.

Overall, approximately 28% of applicants who made complete applications were shortlisted.

SHORTLISTING

As part of the process to decide which applicants are called to interview, UCAS forms and Oxford Application forms were scored based on the published selection criteria by two independent assessors. BMAT scores were also used to determine the shortlist: the mean BMAT score (section 1 and 2) for shortlisted applicants was 11.7 versus 9.9 for non-shortlisted applicants. Due to the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic, applications were considered without a BMAT score this year, if it was clear that the applicant had made every reasonable effort to take the test.

The applications of those who were just below the initial shortlist cutoff were reviewed by a Shortlisting Committee, taking into account any individual circumstances – both academic and non-academic – that might indicate that they should be further considered for the shortlist. In addition to information sent directly to the Course Administrator, the Committee considered over 50 notifications of Extenuating Circumstances/Special Considerations submitted via the Oxford or Cambridge Assessment processes. In cases where an applicant’s BMAT was affected (or where it was not possible for an applicant to take the test), decisions regarding shortlisting were based upon their application scores. 

INTERVIEWS & OFFERS

Each shortlisted applicant was interviewed at two colleges: the college of preference, or allocation if an open application was made, and one other. The number of applicants called for interview was set at approximately 2.5 applicants per place available.

Interviewers assessed each applicant against the selection criteria. Following interviews, colleges ranked all the applicants they had seen, on the basis of all information available to them at that time. After disclosure of the candidate rank from the second college, BMAT score and BMAT essays, colleges reviewed their ranking and submitted a final version. On the basis of this final ranking, applicants were provisionally assigned offers at a particular college, with the college the applicant had chosen (or had been allocated to) having first refusal. Admissions decisions were confirmed at a final meeting of college tutors.

Please note that colleges interviewed blind of college of choice (or allocation) and BMAT score.

Colleges made 31 quota offers, 2 deferred offers, and 4 open offers (which means that the applicant is guaranteed a place at Oxford to study Medicine, but will not be assigned to a final college until later in the year). The overall success rate was 13%.

  • The overall success rate for male applicants was 15%; the overall success rate for female applicants was 12%.
  • For those with an offer of a place, the mean BMAT score (section 1 and 2) was 12.25.
  • The success rate for applicants with a First Class degree was 16% (compared to 10% for those with a 2.i)
  • UK, EU and Outside of the EU had success rates of 15%, 4% and 11% respectively.
  • The success rate for those with a PhD/DPhil was 32% compared with 10% for those with a Masters and 12% for those without a higher degree.
  • Success rates for applicants with a Biomedical Sciences degree was 6%, compared with 19% for those with a Biochemistry or Chemistry degree, 19% for those with a Biology degree, 18% for those with a degree in Mathematics, Physics or Engineering.

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