Brighton and Sussex Medical School Review

Let's talk about Brighton and Sussex Medical School, what their admissions process is like, their campus, history, and more important information to consider before making your final decision in the application year.

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Welcome to our UK Medical School Review series. In this series, we work with current students to produce an in-depth overview of each UK Medical School, covering what it is like to study there, how the course looks and what you need to get in.

Today, we are focussing on Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), a Medical School formed through the partnership of the University of Brighton and University of Sussex. Alex, a Brighton and Sussex Medic, will share his experiences and insights as a current student throughout.

Overview Of Brighton and Sussex Medical School

About Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Brighton and Sussex Medical School opened in 2003, alongside other Medical Schools, in the British Government’s push to train more Doctors. Students are full members of both University of Brighton and University of Sussex, and had access to both sets of facilities. Initially, it had an intake of approximately 136 students and the curriculum was a heavily modified version of the University of Southampton course. Nowadays, it has an intake of over 200 students, and is one of the most competitive Medical Schools to gain a place at.

Brighton and Sussex offer a single Medicine programme: a standard Undergraduate 5-year course, culminating in the award of a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree (BMBS). There is no accelerated Graduate-entry course provided, nor Dentistry.

Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Brighton and Sussex Medical School Alumni

Notable alumni from BSMS include Jessica Eccles, Rosemary Sedgwick and Martin Perez-Andres.

Why did you choose to study at Brighton and Sussex?

“I chose BSMS because I was really attracted to the early clinical exposure and the style of teaching. To me, spending time around patients and in hospitals early on from first year seemed really important in helping to develop specific skills that you can’t learn purely from theory in lectures. I knew a few people who already went to BSMS before I chose it, and they played a big part in my choice, because they enjoy it so much. BSMS uses cadavers for anatomy teaching, which I liked the idea of – not all Medical Schools do this – and this year, cadaver dissection has been a major component in understanding and learning anatomy. Finally, Brighton is a really fun place to live – there’s always a lot going on and being near the sea was a big bonus for me.”

What is the best thing and worst thing about Brighton and Sussex Medical School?

“For me, the best thing about BSMS might be the worst thing for other people – I personally really enjoy the small size and the atmosphere you get from that. You can really get to know a lot of people in your year and also in other years; it is a very friendly Medical School. However, others might find the small size less enjoyable. Whilst Brighton town is a reasonable size, if you’re used to much bigger cities, then that might seem small too. There is also good student support from the school office, and each term there is the opportunity to give feedback about teaching, which the Medical School is receptive to.”

Medical School Rankings

The following link will take you to the Complete University Guide Medicine League Table. Here, you can see that the BSMS takes 32nd position with an overall score of 95%:


The table also highlights 100% graduate prospects for Brighton and Sussex Medics so there’s little to worry about once you graduate!

Rankings will, of course, differ between other tables; the Guardian includes different aspects to the Complete University Guide. When making your own decision on which table to look at, think about what you place more importance on, such as spending per student or career prospects. Keep in mind that all Medical Schools are highly ranked with excellent ratings across the board.

Brighton and Sussex Medical School Fees And Financial Support

The yearly tuition fees for Undergraduate Medicine at BSMS for home students are £9,250. For international students they are £39,158. Tuition fee loans are offered to all UK students by the Government and cover the course fees in full. Fees do not have to be paid up front. Financial support is available to all students are BSMS in the form of bursaries and advice and guidance from the University of Brighton Student Advice Service who are always happy to help students with statutory funding, accessing benefits and funds you are eligible for and making money go further.

What are the Brighton and Sussex living costs like?

“Whilst first year halls are within easy walking distance of campus and the Medical School, the centre of Brighton is about a 25-minute bus journey away. A 7-day student bus ticket is £16, and a one-way train ticket from campus to Brighton station is about £3. Quite a lot of people also cycle as their mode of transport. The cost of a pint in Brighton varies depending on where you go, but the Student Union bar on campus has pints for £3.50. The cost of University-run student accommodation for Medics ranges from about £124 to £167 per week (accurate at the time of writing).”

Not sure where to start with your Medical School application?

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Studying At Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Medicine theory at BSMS is taught using an integrated approach using lectures, seminars, group work, clinical skills practice and clinical symposia, IT-based learning, guided independent study and practical classes including anatomy using full cadaveric dissection. Brighton and Sussex encourage early patient contact, and as such, students are introduced to hands-on clinical experience from Year 1.

Theory is put into practice in the later years, with full-time clinical placement commencing from Year 3. Placements will take place in both primary and secondary care settings, with teaching practices from previous years continuing to support learning alongside placement. Students will be attend placement in locations within West Sussex, East Sussex and Redhill.

What is a week in first year like at Brighton and Sussex Medical School?

“Monday – lectures for most of the day, but the number of lectures would vary from week to week. Tuesday – this was our ‘clinical’ day, where in the morning we would have a small group seminar with our GP facilitator. In the afternoon, you rotate around a different session each week. This included a GP placement, basic life support training, an immersive ED experience, as well as various seminars on different topics such as inequalities in healthcare. Wednesday – lectures and/or SSC in the morning. SSC is the Student Selected Component, where you choose out of a selection of modules, and have 1 session per week on this. Your SSC changes each term and there is an assessment (varying formats) at the end of term. Lectures finish around or before midday on a Wednesday, so the afternoon is always free. Thursday – more lectures and small-group seminars. Friday – there is usually cadaver dissection, as well as lectures. On a few weeks, there would be a different type of practical, for example microbiology.”

Brighton and Sussex Medical School Degree Content

The course at BSMS is split into 3 Phases: Phase 1 includes Years 1-2, Phase 2 is Years 3-4 and Phase 3 is Year 5. It’s modular and spiralling – what you learn will be built upon in later years.

In Years 1 and 2, students will undertake a Student Selected Component (SSC) to explore chosen topics in further depth.

In either Year 1 or 2, BSMS implements its award-winning Time for Dementia programme in which students spend time with a person living with dementia. A similar programme, Time for Autism is conducted in Year 4 where similarly, students spend time with a family who has a young person on the autism spectrum.

Between Years 3 and 4 there is the option to intercalate for an intercalated degree should you wish to, it is not compulsory. This can take place either at Brighton and Sussex or at another institution.

Year 4 offers the opportunity to conduct your own research project in a field of your choice, supervised by a University of hospital team in that area.

Towards the end of Year 5, students carry out an Elective to gain further clinical or non-clinical experience either within the UK or abroad.

Below is a summary of the curriculum across the 5 years:

Summary of the curriculum:
Phase 1: Years 1 and 2:
  • Year 1:
    • Foundations of Health and Disease
    • Heart, Lungs and Blood
    • Nutrition, Metabolism and Excretion
    • Clinical Practice 1
    • SSC
  • Year 2:
    • Neuroscience and Behaviour
    • Reproduction and Endocrinology
    • Musculoskeletal and Immune System
    • Clinical Practice 2
    • SSC
  • Time for Dementia
Phase 2: Years 3 and 4:
  • Year 3:
    • Scientific Basis of Medicine
    • Therapeutics
    • Clinical placements
      • General Medicine, Acute Medicine and Cardiology
      • Surgery including Perioperative Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Orthopaedics and Urology
      • Elderly Medicine and Psychiatry
    • Clinical Foundation Course
  • Year 4:
    • Clinical placements
      • General Practice
      • ENT, Ophthalmology and Neurology
      • Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Sexual Health
      • Rheumatology and Dermatology
      • Oncology, Haematology and Palliative Care
      • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
      • Paediatrics
    • Research project
    • Time for Autism
Phase 3: Year 5:
  • Regional placements
  • Clinical and Professional Studies Online
  • Seminar Programme
  • Elective
  • Foundation 0 (Preparation for Practice)

What Makes Brighton and Sussex Medical School Unique?

What is unique about Brighton and Sussex Medical School?

“The most unique thing about BSMS is probably that as a student, you get access to all the facilities and resources of both the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. This means that as students we can use all the libraries of both separate Universities and be part of their respective societies and sports teams. BSMS is a fairly small Medical School compared to some others in the UK, which means it has a really lovely community feel to it. As part of MedSoc, there are regular socials, which are a lot of fun. Like some other Medical Schools, we have a Medic family system, where you get ‘parents’ who are second years and they give you advice with work and essays as well as doing fun, social things together. I personally became good friends with my Medic parents! We have a lot of societies – both related to Medicine and not – and also Medic sport teams, which are a lot more relaxed and social than doing sport with either Brighton or Sussex Universities. We have Varsity against Southampton, and this year Kent Medway as well. Another unique thing about BSMS is that it’s surrounded by the beautiful South Downs and Sussex countryside as well as being near a fun, buzzing city – so we really get the best of both worlds!”

Candidate Selection

Stage 1: applicants pre-screened against academic criteria.

Stage 2: candidates ranked according to their BMAT scores.

Stage 3: those who meet academic criteria and are ranked highest are invited for interview.

Stage 4: applicants attend interview.

Stage 5: scores from interview compiled and ranked with those scoring highest offered a place.

Brighton and Sussex Medical School Entry Requirements

Undergraduate Course

GCSEsgrade B/6 in English Language or Literature and Mathematics
A-Levels AAA including Biology and Chemistry
International Baccalaureate Diplomaoverall score of 36 points with grade 6 in Biology and Chemistry at Higher Level
Other qualifications acceptedScottish Highers, Irish Leaving Certificate

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Brighton and Sussex Medical School Personal Statement

BSMS do not use your personal statement at any point during the admissions process, however the content of it may be asked about in the interview so it provides a useful starting point for shaping answers.

It is important to know why you want to study Medicine, trying to be unique in your answer. Demonstrate your insight into the career: what you know it involves, how it works in the UK and skills required to be a good Doctor. This can often come from work experience or volunteering in healthcare-related settings, which is advisable to seek out, however BSMS are aware this can be difficult in current times and therefore also value other methods of showing commitment and motivation. When drawing on your experiences, remember to reflect on what you learnt and how that has shaped you rather than simply listing what you did.

Remember you are more than just your books! Include your hobbies and interests and how they make you into a well-rounded individual suitable for the role.

Ultimately, know your personal statement inside out and always be candid!

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Brighton and Sussex Medical School Admissions Tests


UCL previously required applicants to sit the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT), but since its removal in 2024, applicants for all medical schools in the UK are required to sit the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). No cut-off scores have currently been announced. 

Not sure about what to do in the UCAT? Start with our Introductory UCAT Guide!

Brighton and Sussex Medical School Interview

The number of students interviewed is roughly 3x the number of available places on the course. Interviews typically take place in January.

MMI Interview Style

Interviews take the form of Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). It consists of 5 discussions lasting 10 minutes each with a 1 minute break between each one. The whole circuit therefore lasts approximately 1 hour.

BSMS will likely ask you to reflect on work experience, along with the skills and values required of a Doctor. They recommend reading the Medical Schools Council’s core values and attributes document and work experience guidelines.

They will be assessing if you possess a realistic attitude to medical training and clinical practice; a commitment to quality of care, compassion and improving lives; the ability to communicate and work effectively in a team; ability to appreciate other people’s viewpoint; an appreciation of the need to treat people with respect and dignity and a willingness to accept responsibility.

If you’re feeling unsure about your interview skills, you can sign up for 6med’s Interview Bundle to learn everything you need to know to ace your interviews! 

Example Brighton and Sussex Medical School Interview Questions:

Extra-Curriculars at Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Outside of study time, what do most people get up to at Brighton and Sussex?

“Lots of people are involved with the Medic sports teams, including football, rugby, tennis, hockey, basketball and more. Teams will practice either on Brighton campus, which is right next to the Paddock Field halls or on the Sussex campus, quite near Lewes Court. There are a lot of other societies, including bouldering, which is popular. Being so near to Brighton beach is great, and is a popular place to spend time, as well as the Laines. Brighton has a large collection of various cafés, coffee shops and pubs. There is also a great nightlife in Brighton, and there are usually MedSoc socials once a week. These are a lot of fun and sometimes have themes. We are nearby several natural beauty spots, like Seven Sisters Cliffs and the Devil’s Dyke. Stanmer Park is within short walking distance of campus and first year halls and is great for walks or sitting in the sun! It also has cafes and places to get coffee inside.”

What is the Brighton and Sussex accommodation like?

“For Medics, there are two choices for University-run student accommodation – Paddock Field on the Brighton Falmer campus, or Lewes Court on the Sussex campus. Paddock Field is a 15-minute walk away from the Medical School building where we have most of our lectures and labs and is a 2-minute walk from the Falmer library. It is also a 3-minute walk away from the Watson building, which is where we have seminars once a week. Lewes Court, on the Sussex campus is also a 10–15-minute walk from campus, and about 5-10 minutes from the Sussex library, which is one of the bigger libraries that BSMS students have access to. All the rooms in Paddock Field are en-suite, whereas in Lewes Court there are different choices of room, with either a shared bathroom or an en-suite. Both accommodations are nice, and all Medics are normally put in flats all together. It is a 25-minute bus to get into the centre of town from both halls of residence. A lot of people also cycle, and there are bike lanes all the way into town.”

Brighton and Sussex Medical School Contact

Email: [email protected]

Tel:+44 (0) 1273 643528

Postal address:
Room 337,
Watson Building,
University of Brighton,

You can also visit:

Advice For Brighton and Sussex Medical School Applicants

What advice would you give to a first-year student starting at Brighton and Sussex Medical School?

“My biggest piece of advice is to get as involved as you can with everything, especially in Fresher’s week and in the first few weeks of term. Talk to as many different people as possible and try new things, even if it’s not your normal type of thing! It’s the type of thing that you hear all the time, but it’s so true. I’d also say try not to feel overwhelmed by the amount of content – it might seem like a lot at times, but if you stay consistent and don’t let it pile up until exams, then it’s very manageable. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially from friends in older years! And finally, really enjoy and make the most of it, especially in first year when you have the most free time!”

Check out our other UK Medical School Reviews:

Brighton and Sussex Medical School is an exceptional place to study, and we’ll help you get there.

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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.

With our Complete Bundle, we guarantee that you will get at least one offer to study Medicine, or your money back.

By Phoebe Baker

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