Graduate Entry Medicine Application Guide

Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) is becoming increasingly popular every year – but the application process is not as straightforward as you would hope. This is why we have created this guide to explain everything to you.

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Medicine is notoriously difficult to be accepted into.

Whether you haven’t received any Medicine offers this year or are considering a career change, there is a path into this field through Graduate Entry Medicine. 

But what exactly is this, and what does the application process involve?

What is Graduate Entry Medicine?

Graduate Entry Medicine is a pathway into Medicine for graduates and degree-holders.

The first Graduate Medicine courses began over 20 years ago, with the first ones offered by St George’s in London and the joint LeicesterWarwick course. It’s now a popular route, with around half of the UK’s Medical Schools offering a GEM course.

How Long is Graduate Entry Medicine?

A Medicine degree is usually five or six years; however, a Graduate Medicine course is usually accelerated so that it takes four years to complete.

Which Universities Offer Graduate Entry Medicine?

In the UK, there are currently 19 Medical Schools offering Graduate Entry Medicine courses. Of these, 11 of them will consider applicants with non-science degrees.

Below, you can see which universities offer Graduate Entry Medicine courses, how many places they have each year, which admissions test they require, and whether you need to have a science degree to apply.

University Approx. Number of PlacesWhat Admissions Test is Required?Do They Accept Non-Science Degrees?
Barts 39UCAT Yes
BirminghamNot recruiting for 2023 entry.UCATNo
Cambridge 39None.Yes
CardiffPlaces are only for students on one of four Feeder Stream degree courses.UCATNo
Chester New course – currently open to international applicants only.UCATNo
Dundee/St Andrew’s – ScotGEM 55GAMSATYes
Imperial College London Currently suspended while curriculum is being updated.UCATNo
King’s College London28UCATNo
Newcastle 25UCATYes
Nottingham 93GAMSATYes
Oxford 30UCATNo
Sheffield 15UCATNo
St George’s 70GAMSATYes
Swansea100GAMSAT for UK applicants; GAMSAT or MCAT for international Yes
Ulster 30GAMSATYes
WorcesterNew course – currently open to international applicants only.UCAT, GAMSAT or MCAT.Yes

How Competitive Is Graduate Entry Medicine?

We all know how notoriously difficult it is to get into Medical School but apply for GEM and the competition that you have to face increases massively.

Statistics show that GEM attracts around 10,000 applicants a year – making it the most competitive entry route into Medicine.

If we consider the University of Sheffield, for example, it has 17.6 applicants per place and 5.2 applicants per interview.

As another example of just how competitive GEM is, the University of Newcastle receives roughly 35 applicants per place. For interviews, it is around eight applicants per interview.

On its website Barts, states that it receives over 1,500 applications for its GEM course, and there are only around 39 places available.

Swansea and Warwick only offer GEM and have more places available – with Warwick offering 193 – but it’s still incredibly competitive to get accepted.

How Do I Apply For Graduate Entry Medicine Through UCAS?

You’ll be relieved to know that the GEM application process is virtually the same as that of the undergraduate course you’ve completed.

You apply through UCAS with a personal statement and reference in the same way you would have done for your first degree.

What is unique to Medicine degrees is the limit to the number of courses you can apply to as you’re only allowed to apply to four Medical Schools.

Unlike school-leavers though, applicants to GEM can apply to both Oxford and Cambridge.

You will need to sit an admissions test as part of your application. Which Medical School requires which admissions test is listed above.

Finally, you’ll be invited to attend an interview, either an MMI or Panel where you should be prepared to discuss your undergraduate degree.

You should touch on what you learnt and what you enjoyed and give an overall reflection of your time at university.

Interviewers will be interested to know why you didn’t decide to study Medicine straightaway.

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The Graduate Entry Medicine entry requirements

As with any degree, the specific entry requirements for Graduate Entry Medicine vary depending on which course you’re applying to.

In general, though, you will need the following:

Applying for Graduate Entry Medicine Without Science-Based Degrees

A really common question posed is whether you can do Graduate Entry Medicine with a non-science or humanities degree. The answer is that you absolutely can.

One of the best things about Graduate Entry Medicine is that the universities are looking for a bit of life experience and transferable skills in their students. The greatest tool a graduate student has is their maturity and experience, and you can gain both of those from a humanities or arts-based course as opposed to a pure science one.

As already mentioned above, 11 of the 19 Graduate Entry Medicine courses allow you to apply with a non-science degree.

Once again, these are:

  • Barts
  • Cambridge
  • Dundee/St Andrew’s
  • Newcastle
  • Nottingham
  • Southampton
  • St George’s
  • Swansea
  • Ulster
  • Warwick
  • Worcester

A couple of these are brand-new Medical Schools, only just accepting their cohorts, mixed in with some of the well-established Medical Schools in the UK.

This should act as a reassurance that some of the best, and most well-known Medical Schools, respect and appreciate the different experiences that people with non-science degrees can bring to the Medical field.

However, though all of these Medical Schools do not require a science degree, some do place a lot of weight on your A-Levels.

If we consider Cambridge’s Graduate Entry Medicine course, for example, they will accept a 2:1 in any honours degree, but there are quite strong A-Level requirements. As well as having at least AAA grades applicants must have Chemistry at grade A or above and one of Biology, Physics or Mathematics.

On the other end of the scale, Newcastle accepts those with a 2:1 in any honours degree with no requirements around A-Levels and GCSEs. However, quite a high UCAT threshold is necessary (this is usually around the 3000 mark), with additional points for work experience volunteering. 

Where to Apply for Graduate Entry Medicine Without Science A-Levels or GCSEs

It is possible to apply to study Graduate Entry Medicine without science A-Levels or GCSEs.

As mentioned above, one such place where you can do this is Newcastle.

Those applying to King’s College London do not require specific A-Levels or GCSEs – except if you are a Nursing graduate.

The University of Nottingham also does not score your school-leavers qualifications as part of your application (and actually has a lower degree minimum of 2:2).

For applicants to Barts, it is a little more complex, so it is important you check with them directly, as it depends on what degree you are applying with. For Bioscience degrees which contain sufficient Biology and Chemistry, there are no further A-Level requirements.

However, if you are applying with a non-science degree, candidates must have a minimum B grade in A-Level Chemistry or Biology, plus one other science also at grade B.

St George’s and Warwick are the final two Medical Schools that have no A-Level or GCSE requirements.

How Will My Personal Statement be Used?

It will likely be disheartening to know that your personal statement won’t actually be scored by the Medical Schools you are applying to.

On the whole, they are required to prove that you have a genuine interest in Medicine and outline any work experience that you have undertaken.

A number of Medical Schools use them to help inform questions on non-academic areas if you are invited to attend an interview.

Oxford is an exception to this and considers your personal statement alongside the other application materials, including the course-specific online Oxford Application Form, UCAS application and references.

Do I sit an Admissions Test for Graduate Entry Medicine?

In short, yes. If you are applying to study Graduate Entry Medicine, you’ll have to sit an admissions test.

There is one Medical School which is an exception to this, and it’ll likely be a surprise which one that is: Cambridge. 

There are two admissions tests that are used for Graduate Entry Medicine (the UCAT and GAMSAT) so make sure you know which ones you need to take for your chosen Medical Schools.

Do note that Swansea and Worcester also accept the MCAT but this is an admissions test sat by international students only.

The UCAT is required by 12 of the Medical Schools, these are:

  • Barts
  • Birmingham
  • Cardiff
  • Chester*
  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • Newcastle
  • Oxford
  • Sheffield
  • Southampton
  • Worcester*
  • Warwick

*Just a reminder that Chester and Worcester are only open to international applicants.

The different Medical Schools place differing weighting on the UCAT.

For example, King’s College London doesn’t have a threshold score in any particular year, instead the overall UCAT score averaged across the four subtests is given more consideration than the individual subtest scores.

The Situational Judgement Test is also taken into account when shortlisting.

Applicants to Barts will have their UCAT weighted against their academic ability in a 50:50 ratio. As a graduate this will be based on degree classification.

Another example is Sheffield where you must achieve a score of 2,430 or above to be given further consideration. Your SJT score is only considered for those who are invited to attend an MMI.


The final admissions test used for entry to Graduate Entry Medicine is the GAMSAT, this is used by eight Medical Schools, these are:

  • ScotGEM
  • Liverpool
  • Nottingham
  • St George’s
  • Swansea
  • Ulster
  • Worcester

For applicants to Nottingham, for example, to be considered for an interview you must achieve a minimum score of:

  • 55 in Section 2
  • 55 in either Section 1 or 3
  • 50 in the remaining section

Interviews are offered to the top percentage of candidates on their GAMSAT scores. This is dependent on them having provided evidence of work or voluntary experience in a healthcare setting.

If we also consider ScotGEM (the joint innovative course from Dundee and St Andrew’s) for 2022 entry their GAMSAT cut-off was an overall score of 57, with no subset lower than 50.

From this we can see that when applying for GEM with the GAMSAT you should be aiming for at least a 50 on each section of the test.

What is the GAMSAT?

The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test was introduced to the UK by St George’s Medical School in 1999.

The GAMSAT is a day-long test, which is divided into three sections:

  1. Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences – 62 multiple-choice questions, with 8 minutes of reading time and 92 minutes to answer.
  2. Written Communication – 2 essay questions, with 5 minutes of reading time and 60 minutes to answer.
  3. Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences – 75 multiple-choice questions, with 8 minutes of reading time and 142 minutes to answer.

The GAMSAT is offered twice a year in March and September. To be able to sit the admissions test you must be a bona fide prospective applicant to a course for which GAMSAT is a prerequisite.

There is no limit to the number of times a candidate may sit the GAMSAT.

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Interviews for Graduate Entry Medicine

Graduate Entry Medicine interviews are very similar to their undergraduate entry counterparts, however the expected standard of answer is much higher.

Therefore, your interview requires far more preparation to get your answers to a high enough quality to secure you a place at Medical School.

Similar to undergraduate interviews they can take several formats, either an MMI or traditional panel interview. Additionally, there may also be group tasks as part of an assessment/selection day.

MMI Interviews

Multiple mini-interviews (MMI) is overwhelming the more popular interview format used for Graduate Entry Medicine.

Of the Medical Schools with Graduate Entry Medicine, 13 of them will be conducting MMIs as part of their application process.

They are:

  • Cambridge
  • Cardiff
  • Chester
  • King’s College London
  • Liverpool*
  • Newcastle
  • Nottingham
  • Sheffield
  • ScotGEM
  • St George’s
  • Swansea
  • Ulster
  • Warwick

*Liverpool has not confirmed which format they will be using but has used MMI in the past.

Swansea’s format of an MMI is slightly different in that you have three 20-minute interview stations rather than around nine smaller ones.

Panel Interviews

This therefore means just four Medical Schools use panel interviews, however they each use them in different ways.

The universities that utilise this method are:

  • Barts
  • Oxford
  • Southampton
  • Worcester

Oxford uses panel interviews in its most traditional format, with candidates having to attend a 20–45-minute interview.

Applicants to Barts will attend an assessment centre which includes a panel interview as part of the process.

Similarly, applicants to Southampton attend a selection day which includes a 20-minute panel interview and an observed group task.

Worcester’s interview format is through semi-structured interviews which involves interviewers asking a list of questions and then follow-up questions that do not necessarily adhere to a pre-written script.

These are typically centred around your background/experience, demonstration of leadership and teamwork, and motivation to study Medicine. 

How Do I Fund Graduate Entry Medicine?

One of the biggest differences between Graduate Entry Medicine and standard undergraduate entry is how the course is funded.

A common misconception is that if you have a previous degree, you will be expected to self-fund the entire Medical course. This is not the case and there is funding available for graduates studying an accelerated course.

Graduates studying a four-year Graduate Entry Medicine course are entitled to more funding than a graduate studying a standard degree.

The following information is relevant to English students.

Year 1 Tuition Fee

Your tuition fees will usually be £9,250 per year, of this you will be responsible for paying £3,465 to the Medical School directly. Some will allow you to pay this termly or in instalments whilst others may expect it upfront.

If you are eligible for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England, you will be entitled to a non-means tested loan for the remainder of the tuition fee.

Years 2-4 Tuition Fee

For the remaining years of study, the NHS Bursary Scheme will pay the first £3,715 towards your tuition fee. The remaining £5,535 will be covered by a tuition fee loan from SFE.

This means, that over the four years you will only need to pay the £3,465 in your first year.

Year 1 Living Costs

If you are eligible for finance, you may be able to take out a loan towards your maintenance costs. The first £4,422 of this loan is non-means tested and the remainder is on household income.

Do keep in mind that the Student Loans Company considers any student who is over the age of 25, married or in full-time employment for three years to be an independent student. This means that your parents household income will not be assessed for the means testing and you’ll likely be awarded the full loan if your income is £0.

Years 2-4 Living Costs

Over the course of years two to four, the maintenance loan provided by SFE is reduced to £2,534.

You are also eligible for maintenance support from the NHS Bursary Scheme. The first £1,000 of this is non-means tested. Additional money is means-tested, with the maximum possible grant for a 30-week year being £2,643.

The majority of Medical Schools operate a longer academic year than this and an additional £84 per week is provided for any week over 30.

Students from other UK Nations:

Welsh Students

Funding for Welsh students is virtually the same as that of English students, apart from the living allowance from the Welsh equivalent of the NHS Bursary is identical to that of a fifth-year standard Medicine student.

This means you can apply for an additional maintenance loan for Years two to four.

Scottish Students

If you are studying the ScotGEM programme, your tuition fees will be fully funded. As for all the other GEM programmes, you will have to self-fund the tuition fee for the entire course.

You will be eligible for help with maintenance costs, though.

Northern Irish Students

Northern Irish students will have to pay the entire tuition fees themselves. Students are eligible for a maintenance loan from Student Finance NI to assist with living costs.


Hopefully all the information above has provided you with everything you need to know about Graduate Entry Medicine.

From knowing which Medical Schools offer a GEM course, to the entry requirements, and how to fund the course every aspect of what you need to know has been covered.

Applying to GEM in the UK is incredibly competitive, so make your choices wisely and consider all your options when doing so.

Not sure where to start with your Medical School application?

Our Complete Bundle provides support for your Personal Statement, UCAT, BMAT and Interview and guides you to a successful application.

complete bundle ps ucat interview

Back up your A-Level grades with a solid Dentistry Application.

Get full, comprehensive support for your Dental school application with 6med’s Complete Bundle. Access everything you need for success as soon as you sign up. 

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