Foundation Medicine courses are generally for students who don’t meet the typical entry requirements for an Undergraduate Medicine degree, but still demonstrate academic potential. It’s just one of the various pathways to Medicine
that you may want to consider when choosing a Medical School
What Is A Foundation Medicine Course?
Whereas a typical Undergraduate Medicine course takes five years to complete, a Foundation Medicine course includes an extra year, sometimes called a ‘foundation year’ or a ‘gateway year’.
There are two main types of Foundation Medicine courses:
- Medicine with a Foundation Year: A 6-year course that begins with one year of science-based teaching, after which you can join the standard 5-year undergraduate programme.
- Extended Course: A 6-year course with teaching spread out over the six years, which means you’ll be taught the basics alongside the more advanced material.
At certain universities, it’s also possible to do a standalone Foundation course. This is a shorter course taught over one to three years, designed to give you a foundation in science and boost your Medical School application.
Which Medical Schools Offer Foundation Courses?
The following Medical Schools offer Foundation Medicine courses.
- Aberdeen University – Gateway2Medicine: A 1-year course for Scottish applicants from widening access backgrounds. It guarantees students a place on year 1 of the university’s undergraduate Medicine programme afterwards, as long as they do well during the course and perform satisfactorily in the UCAT and MMI interview.
- Bristol University – Gateway to Medicine: A widening participation course for students who have the potential to become a Doctor but don’t meet the standard academic entry requirements to apply for the 5-year undergraduate Medicine course.
- Dundee University – Gateway to Medicine: A 1-year course designed to support you towards the 5-year degree course if you meet relevant criteria. As far as possible, what you study will be tailored to your personal academic needs and aspirations.
- Edge Hill University – Medicine with Foundation Year: This course is for students from the North West of England who have the potential and aspiration to become Doctors, but whose background means they are unlikely to meet the entry requirements for the 5-year course. You can transfer to the Medicine course if you pass all assessments and meet the course requirements.
- Hull York Medical School – Medicine with a Gateway Year: A widening participation initiative designed to facilitate access to Medicine for those from underrepresented backgrounds. On successful completion, you’ll automatically progress to their 5-year Medicine course.
- Keele University – Health Foundation Year for Medicine: A gateway route into Medicine for students from some underrepresented groups. Successful completion of the foundation year allows you to progress to the 5-year degree course.
- King’s College London – Extended Medical Degree Programme: For students who are studying A-Levels or Access to Medicine at a non-selective state school, or who are participants of Realising Opportunities across England. You’ll receive an introduction to medical study with additional support in your first two years.
- Lancaster University – Medicine and Surgery with a Gateway Year: For candidates who are not eligible to apply directly to the Medicine and Surgery degree programme, and who fulfill widening participation criteria or have significant mitigating circumstances. The foundation year will prepare you to progress onto the Medicine course.
- Leeds University – Gateway Year to Medicine: A course specifically for students from widening participation backgrounds hoping to take their first steps into Medicine. You’ll move onto the 5-year Medicine course if you reach the grades required and complete the Gateway year.
- Leicester University – Medicine with Foundation Year: For students who wish to study Medicine at the University of Leicester, but whose background makes it less likely that they will be able to meet the entry requirements of the 5-year course. You’ll progress to the Medicine course once you complete the Foundation year.
- Liverpool University – Foundation to Human and Animal Health Professions (Medicine): A year zero foundation programme, designed for mature students who have been out of formal education for some time or who have taken non-traditional qualifications. It leads to access onto a Medicine and Surgery MBChB programme.
- Manchester University – Medicine with Foundation Year: This allows you to spend a year preparing for the 5-year Medicine course if you don’t have the appropriate science qualifications for direct entry.
- Nottingham University – Medicine with a Foundation Year: For students who want to study Medicine but don’t meet the typical entry requirements. The Foundation year gives you the benefit of small class sizes, and upon successful completion of the year, you will transition into the standard Medicine course structure.
- Norwich Medical School (UEA) – Medicine with a Gateway Year: This Foundation course is designed for students whose circumstances or educational opportunities have prevented them from realising their academic potential. The Gateway year will equip you with the academic skills and knowledge needed to progress onto the 5-year Medicine course.
- Plymouth University – Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with Foundation: An alternative entry route into Medicine for able students whose education has been impacted by adversity. Students successfully completing the Foundation year will enrol directly onto the 5-year Medicine course.
- Southampton University – Medicine BM6 Widening Participation: This course is designed to widen participation in Medicine. For example, you may be able to apply if you or your parent/guardian receive benefits, or if you are the first in your family to apply for a higher education course.
- St Andrews University – Gateway to Medicine: This course is designed to promote the uptake of higher education, specifically the study of Medicine, among groups that are traditionally under-represented at university. It is open to students resident in Scotland. Those who pass the course will transfer into the six-year Medicine course.
- University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) – Foundation Entry Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery: Open to international students only, the Foundation year will provide you with the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to progress onto to the 5-year Medicine course.
Alternatives To Foundation Courses
Some other Med Schools offer standalone Foundation courses, which are shorter courses designed to boost your Medical School application. Some will even earn you an interview for Medical School once you’ve finished. The following universities offer standalone Foundation Courses:
- Bradford University – Foundation in Clinical Sciences/Medicine: A 1-year course for students who wish to progress onto the BSc in Clinical Sciences or apply to Medical School, but do not have the science A-Levels or the entry requirements for direct entry. Clinical Sciences has a formal link with Sheffield Medical School. Several other Med Schools accept the Foundation Year, but you need to seek advice directly from the individual Med Schools about this.
- Buckingham University – Certificate in Medical Foundation Studies: A 9-month course for students who wish to study any of the university’s BSc (Hons) Allied Health or Health Sciences programmes, but do not meet the entry requirements and require additional prep. CertHE Medical Sciences (Pre-Med): A 9-month course developed for students who wish to enhance their application to Medical or Dental School. Graduates are awarded a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) in Medical Science qualification.
- Aston University – Pathway to Healthcare Programme: An 18-month course that you complete alongside your A levels. It’s made up of subject taster days, work experience and A-Level revision bootcamps – plus academic tutoring and specialist interview prep workshops. Students who complete the course will be eligible for a contextual Medicine offer from Aston.
Is A Foundation Course Right For Me?
A Foundation course might be right for you if:
- You didn’t take multiple/any science subjects at A-Level.
- You didn’t get top grades at A-Level.
- You meet specific widening participation criteria.
Different courses have different eligibility criteria, so make sure you check this before making any application decisions.
How Do I Apply For A Foundation Medicine Course?
You have to apply for a Foundation Medicine course via UCAS, just like you would for a standard degree. Before you apply, make sure you check the criteria for each course.