Lancaster Medical School Review

Let's talk about Lancaster 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 Lancaster Medical School, a research-intensive University and one of the smallest Medical Schools in the country. Lee, a Lancaster Medic, will share his experiences and insights as a current student throughout.

Overview Of Lancaster Medical School

About Lancaster Medical School

Lancaster University was established in 1964 following introduction as one the 7 new Universities announced in the 1960s. Medicine was initially taught in conjunction with the University of Liverpool, delivering their curriculum to a cohort of 50 students in 2006. 2012 saw the University approved to deliver its own medical degree independently from the University of Liverpool, and students beginning in 2013 were awarded a Lancaster University degree. Nowadays, the University hosts over double the original cohort size each year.

Lancaster University offer 2 Medicine programmes: a standard 5-year Medicine and Surgery Undergraduate course and a 6-year Undergraduate Medicine and Surgery with a Gateway Year course, both culminating in the award of a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree. Lancaster do not offer an accelerate Graduate-entry Medicine course, nor a Dentistry course.

Lancaster Medical School


Why did you choose to study at Lancaster?

“I chose my Medical School because it was less busy than where I lived (London). I wanted to explore what life was like outside London. I also enjoy nature and with Lancaster being close to the Lake District, there were plenty of opportunities to explore nature. My Medical School has early clinical contact (from Year 2) and this helped my confidence in talking to patients and practicing my clinical skills. Plus, it was my only offer and they accepted BMAT opposed to the UKCAT.”

What is the best thing and worst thing about Lancaster Medical School?

“Best thing – small cohort size allows me to get to know everyone and it is easier to connect with people in University group work. I like the early clinical placement as Year 1 gets a bit boring when it’s just textbooks, lectures and Anki. Year 2 offers a bit more variety to your week and I found it more motivating than Year 1. I enjoy working in the new Medical School building. It is very conducive to work in. I also like the focus that the Medical School has on GP as this is something I wanna go into in the future. I like the focus on holistic medicine by doing other subjects like Psychology, Sociology, Ethics and Law. Worst thing – PBL seems like a lot of independent work is thrown at you. I would prefer more teaching contact hours from the Medical School. We only get two sets of exams (one in January and one in June) but I would prefer to have more regular assessments to see which topics we need to work on in the future.”

Medical School Rankings

The following link will take you to the Complete University Guide Medicine League Table. Here, you can see that the Lancaster University Medical School takes 21st position with an overall score of 96%:


The table also highlights 100% graduate prospects for Lancaster 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.

Lancaster Medical School Fees And Financial Support

The yearly tuition fees for Undergraduate Medicine at Lancaster University are £9,250 for home students. For international students it is £41,195 per year. 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. Whether you are a home or international student, Lancaster believes that funding concerns shouldn’t stop students thriving and offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help with costs. The Finance team at the University are also always happy to offer support and advice to students.

What are Lancaster living costs like?

“Cost of a pint – £3, University halls – £140/week (campus costs are more expensive than in town), public transport return for a day – £2.80 (there are cheaper tickets if you buy it for the whole week or buy it for the whole year etc.), train – from Lancaster to London £67 (with a railcard). Living costs are cheaper than London.”

Not sure where to start with your Medical School application?

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What Is Studying At Lancaster Medical School Like?

Pre-clinical Medicine at Lancaster University is mainly taught using Problem-Based Learning (PBL). This involves working in small groups with experienced tutors to explore clinical scenarios from all angles, defining and achieving your own learning objectives. Alongside this, students engage in independent study to compliment the topics presented. Other forms of teaching include lectures and anatomy, taught through the use of virtual models and dissection. Early patient contact is also encouraged and students will attend community and hospital placements in these years.

In later years, theory is put into practice and clinical placement forms the majority of learning, rotating through a series of primary and secondary-care environments gaining experience of multiple specialities. Teaching, including PBL, continues to accompany placements. The setting for these placements include north and east Lancashire and south Cumbria.

Below is an example of a typical timetable for each PBL module provided by Lancaster University:


Here is a typical general timetable of Year 2 Medical Student provided by Lancaster University:


Lancaster Medical School Degree Content

The Lancaster Medical School curriculum covers 4 main themes: Medical Sciences; Health, Culture and Society; Population Health and Professional Practice. What you learn will be built upon in later years.

In Years 1 and 2 students undertake a Special Study Module (SSM) in which they explore subjects beyond the curriculum, developing skills in information retrieval, critical appraisal and report writing to prepare for future coursework assignments. These subjects can be chosen by the students in areas they find interesting and want to further experience in.

Students must complete the Professional Practice, Values and Ethics Case Analysis (PPVE) coursework which involves drawing on your own experiences on placement, reflecting on dilemmas for the healthcare professionals involved.

Final examinations are sat at the end of Year 4, allowing students to focus on preparing for their Foundation posts as Junior Doctors in Year 5.

A 4-week Elective is undertaken after final examinations, and can be conducted either within the UK or abroad in an area of your choosing to broaden experience.

Between Years 4 and 5, there is also the opportunity to complete an intercalate and achieve an intercalated degree.

The apprenticeship-style Final Year includes Selectives in Advanced Medical Practice (SAMPs) where students choose to undertake clinical placement in specialities they are interested in to explore potential medical careers.

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

Summary of the curriculum:
Year 1: Foundation of Medicine
  • 11 2-week PBL modules
  • Clinical Skills learning
  • SSM1
  • Community Clinical Training
Year 2: Learning to diagnose and manage illness
  • 15 2-week PBL modules
  • Hospital placement
  • Community Clinical Training
  • SSM2
  • Communication Skills sessions
Year 3: Learning to diagnose and manage illness
  • Clinical placements
    • Women and Children
    • Care of the Elderly
    • Managing Long-term Conditions (GP)
    • Therapeutics and Sexual Health
    • Community Mental Health
  • PBL
  • PPVE coursework
Year 4: Learning to diagnose and manage illness
  • 2 15-week clinical placement blocks
    • Block 1: Acute Adult Care
      • Acute Medicine
      • Medical Specialities
      • General Surgery
      • Surgical Specialities
    • Block 2: The Specialities
      • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
      • Psychiatry
      • Paediatrics
      • Palliative Care
    • PBL
    • Primary Care Clinical Teaching
    • Final exams
    • Elective
Year 5: Appenticeship-style, intensive clinical experience
  • Clinical placements
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Primary Care
    • Ward placement (shadowing FY1)
    • SAMP1
    • SAMP2

The Medicine with a Gateway Year allows students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who achieved lower grades than those required, a chance to study Medicine. They will undertake a Year 0 studying a range of modules designed to prepare you for studying Medicine and Surgery.

Upon successful completion of Year 0, these students join the students beginning the standard Undergraduate degree in Year 1.

What Makes Lancaster Medical School Unique?

What is unique about Lancaster Medical School?

“My Medical School is unique because we focus alot on non-medical science topics such as Psychology and Sociology. This helped me to see patients beyond their conditions. It also allows me to empathise better with my patients as I am better able to understand their experiences. Our understanding of the non-medical science topics are examined at the end of the year in a paper. In Year 3, we are tasked with courseworks on Sociology/Psychology and Ethics to apply our knowledge in a clinical context. We have a small cohort size (~100) so it is quick to know everybody and there’s a sense of community and familiarity that comes up with a small cohort size. Everyone helps each other as everyone knows each other. We have a new Medical School building separate from the main University campus. The location is surrounded by greenery and the interior is bright, modern with plenty of conducive study spaces.”

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.

Lancaster Medical School Entry Requirements

Undergraduate Course

GCSEsa minimum score of 13 points from 8 subjects (A-A*/7-9 = 2 points, B/6 = 1 point). The 8 subjects must include Core and Additional Science (or Biology, Chemistry and Physics), Mathematics and English Language. If Biology or Chemistry are not studied at A-Level then GCSE must be at least grade A/7.
A-Levels AAA including any 2 of Biology, Chemistry and Psychology. AAB with a B in a 4th subject or EPQ.
International Baccalaureate Diplomaoverall score of 36 points with at least 6 in 3 Higher Level subjects including any 2 of Biology, Chemistry and Psychology.
Other qualifications acceptedNational 5, Highers, Advanced Highers

Medicine with a Gateway Year Course

GCSEsgrade B/6 in Core and Additional Science (or Biology, Chemistry and Physics), Mathematics and English Language.
A-Levels ABB including Biology and Chemistry

Medical School application causing you confusion?

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

Lancaster Medical School Personal Statement

Lancaster Medical School do not assess your personal statement however they do expect to see, along with an excellent academic track record, a coherent and well-structured personal statement conveying a real impression of who you are and what skills you possess.

They want to know why you want to do Medicine and what steps you have taken to discover that it is the right career choice for you. Lancaster would like to see evidence of work experiences, reflecting upon what you learnt about being a Doctor and what attributes you gained that make you suitable for the role. They recognise that work experience in primary and secondary care settings can be difficult to achieve currently, and value volunteering/caring roles equally.

Lancaster would also like to see you demonstrate an understanding of what the NHS is and its core values, providing examples as to why these values are important and evidence that you share them.

You may be asked to draw upon your personal statement in the interview and therefore it’s important that you know it inside out and be candid!

When it comes to personal statement writing, 6med’s Personal Statement Bundle is your best bet for creating the perfect statement! 

Lancaster Medical School Admissions Tests


Lancaster 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). 

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

Lancaster Medical School Interview

The number of students interviewed is over double the available spaces on the course. Interviews typically take place January and February.

MMI Interview Style

The interview takes the format of Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). There are 12-15 stations, each approximately 5 minutes long.

Examples of what stations can involve include but are not limited to, a short interview, questions surrounding your career choice, work experience and suitability for a medical career and discussing a short paragraph or video clip.

An additional 20 minute station involves group work to assess your suitability for the PBL-centred curriculum.

During the interview Lancaster are looking for your suitability for the course, teamwork and leadership, NHS knowledge, realistic understanding of the career and reflection of your work experience.

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 Lancaster Medical School Interview Questions:

Extra-Curriculars at Lancaster Medical School

Outside of study time, what do most people get up to?

“Mostly society events. Either sport societies or non-sport societies. There also Medic societies such as MedSoc rugby, netball, football, basketball and running. This is free and usually take place once a week. Every now and then, there may be competitive matches with University colleges or other Universities/Medical Schools. Other Medical societies like Wilderness Medicine may host hikes to the Lake District or bouldering; this is also a popular extra-curricular activity that people like to do. Other things include going to a conference over the weekend to broaden their connections and bolster their CV. People also go back home to spend time with families and friends over the weekends. Sometimes people go on weekend holidays to Europe or other parts of the UK such as Scotland or the Lake District. Some people just stay at University accommodation to recover from a busy week! There are a lot of cool brunch places in Lancaster, for example Brew and Journey Social. Lots of chic coffee shops too dotted around Lancaster. There are also weekly markets in town where you can buy lots of food and drinks, and cool things to gift to people!”

What is the Lancaster accommodation like?

“Accommodations are organised by colleges. The accommodation at University is decent. Depending on what accommodation you request for dictates the prices. I stayed in a mixed 8-bedroom ensuite flat with a kitchen and storage room. The kitchen was spacious and we all had 2 cupboards and a counter each. The fridge and freezer space would be evenly split and there is enough room for everyone. The bed was a single bed with plenty of storage and there is built-in study desk too. Under the bed there is also storage. There is 24-hour porter service and you can contact them anytime if there are any issues. The room I stayed in was sound-proof. Every room has locks too for privacy. Distance from lectures etc. – usually you can either have teaching at the Medical School (about 10-minute walk from the main campus) or have it on campus (under 5-minute walk from my college which is quite centre of the main campus). The walk to the Medical School is really refreshing with lots of nature along the walk.”

Lancaster Medical School Contact

Email: [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0)1524 594547

Postal address:
Faculty of Health and Medicine,
Health Innovation One,
Sir John Fisher Drive,
Lancaster University,

You can also visit:

Advice For Prospective Lancaster Medical School Students

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

“Reach out to people in the year above! They are very helpful and will give you lots of advice to get through fist year. The first term of University can be tough so make sure you reach out to your friends/families/partner as much as you can. Go home before Christmas (if you can) to help with home sickness. Be super organised. If you are organised, you will be less stressed out! Engage with your peers. It’s not a competition, help each other out. At the end of the day, you will all be Doctors. Ask upper years for resources they found useful. Be strategic with preparing for exams. Know what they ask of you, the timings, the style of questions they ask. Use your holidays wisely to unwind from the stress of Medical School. Don’t neglect your extra-curricular activities as they are there to keep you sane. Enjoy the experience. You will meet a lot of nice people and learn a lot from tough experiences. It’s part of the University life. Medical School is a marathon not a sprint, so make sure you pace yourself!”

Check out our other UK Medical School Reviews:

Lancaster 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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