It’s important that you take GCSE requirements into account when you’re applying for Med School. Some will place a heavy weighting on GCSE grades when they’re shortlisting candidates for interview, while others will look more closely at other elements of your application.

GCSE Requirements For Medicine

When you’re choosing a Med School, you need to remember that most require GCSEs of a particular standard in English, Maths and Sciences. Many of them state they will accept a minimum grade 6 in these subjects, but stress that successful applicants will typically achieve grades 7-9 at GCSE.

It’s important to know the GCSE requirements of different Med Schools so you can check that you meet the criteria of any that you want to apply for. Before making any decisions with your application, make sure you check the university websites for specific details of their requirements. 

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GCSE Subject Requirements

We’ve looked into the GCSE requirements which are currently listed on Med School websites, and this is what we found.

English Language

A majority of Med Schools (around 28 of them) specify that you’ll need grade 6 or above in GCSE English Language to apply there. The only Med Schools which say you can apply with a grade 4 are Bristol, Exeter and Leeds – and St Andrews says grade 5.

Med Schools generally don’t mention a requirement for English Literature, apart from Birmingham which says: ‘English Literature is not required but is one of the identified subjects that we will score.’

Maths

Most (around 27) Med Schools say that you’ll need grade 6 or above in GCSE Maths. The only Med Schools which state you can apply there with a grade 4 in Maths are Leeds and Queen’s Belfast – and St Andrews states grade 5.

You might find that certain Med Schools have different GCSE requirements for Maths if you are taking the subject for A-Level.

Sciences

Because Med Schools expect applicants to be taking at least one science subject for your A-Levels, you might find that their GCSE science requirements are less specific. For example, some don’t specify a GCSE requirement for Chemistry/Biology, because they already expect you to be taking A-Level Chemistry/Biology. Or they might ask for a higher grade in any science subjects that you aren’t studying for A-level, e.g. Lancaster says that if you are not taking A-Level Chemistry, then your GCSE in Chemistry must be at least grade 7.

For GCSE Chemistry, around 14 Med Schools state they require a grade 6 or above, two ask for grade 7 (Lincoln and Nottingham), and one says at least grade 4 (Leeds).

For GCSE Biology, around 15 Med Schools mention a requirement of grade 6 or above, two specify grade 7 (Lincoln and Nottingham), one says at least grade 5 (St Andrews), and one asks for a minimum of grade 4 (Leeds).

A smaller number of Med Schools mention GCSE Physics – six want you to have a grade 6 or above (Keele, Kent Medway, Lancaster, Liverpool, Sheffield and Sunderland), and one asks for grade 4 (Queen’s Belfast).

If you haven’t studied individual sciences at GCSE, around 21 Med Schools mention on their websites that they will accept Dual Award Science/ Double Science instead.

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What Should I Do Next?

If you have very strong GCSEs, you might want to focus on applying for Med Schools which place a greater emphasis on these grades. 

On the other hand, if you are less confident about your GCSE grades, you might want to shortlist Med Schools which have less competitive GCSE requirements – or which place more emphasis on other elements of your application like A-Levels or the UCAT and BMAT.

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