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GCSE Requirements for Medicine

Wondering what the GCSE requirements for Medicine are? This page will guide you through GCSE entry requirements, including subjects and grades, for different medical schools.

Want to know more about the new GCSE scoring system? Find out more on our GCSE Reform page.

This page was last updated: 23/10/2018.

Applying for 2019 entry? See all 2018 Medical School Open Days>>

See different medical school entry requirements

What Are Each University’s GCSE Requirements for Medicine?

Below is a table of different medical schools in the UK and their GCSE requirements for Medicine, including subject and grade requirements.

Please note that while we have tried to ensure that this information is kept as up to date as possible, entry requirements are subject to change. If you have any questions about GCSE entry requirements for Medicine, we suggest contacting the universities themselves.

UniversityGCSE Requirements
AberdeenGrade 5 passes in English and Maths are required. Biology is recommended; Physics is recommended (or Dual Award Science). A combination of Grade 6-9 passes at GCSE is expected, especially in science subjects.
AstonThe normal requirement is a minimum of five GCSEs/IGCSEs at grade B / grade 6 or above, which must include English language, mathematics, chemistry, biology or double science (or overseas equivalent).
Barts (Queen Mary, University of London)777666 or AAABBB. Must include: Biology or Human Biology; Chemistry; English Language; Mathematics or Additional Mathematics or Statistics. Science (Double Award) may substitute any individual science.
BirminghamAn application will receive a score for academic achievement based on GCSE (or equivalent) results. The subjects that will be scored are: English (both English Language and English Literature), Mathematics (or one, but not both, of Methods in Mathematics and Applications of Mathematics), Biology and Chemistry (or dual award science), plus two additional GCSEs (any subject). For the subjects specified above, a minimum grade of B/6 must be offered and the scores allocated to the different grades will be in the ratio of 4:2:1 (for A*, A, B/8,7,6, respectively). For each of the two unspecified subjects, a score of 2 will be allocated when an A*/8 grade has been obtained (lower grades will not receive a score). The total GCSE score will be scaled to a maximum of 6.0. Therefore, when this is combined with a score for the UKCAT result (see below), the combined maximum score is 10.0. Note that GCSE grades are weighted much more (60%) in this scoring mechanism.
Brighton and SussexThey require all applicants to have obtained grade B or above or grade 6 or above in Maths and English Language or English Literature.
BristolAdvanced numeracy requirement (A in GCSE Maths or equivalent) and Standard literacy requirement (C in GCSE English or equivalent).
CambridgeThere are no GCSE (or equivalent) requirements for entry to Cambridge. GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, but within the context of the performance of the school/college where they were achieved.

Applicants have generally achieved high grades in subjects relevant to their chosen course, and most students who apply have at least four or five As or A*s at GCSE (7 is considered equivalent to an A in the new grading structure; and 8 and 9 is considered equivalent to an A*). However, there are always exceptions and we don’t require a minimum number of As/A*s at GCSE.
CardiffAll applicants must achieve the minimum requirements at GCSE. Applicants will receive a score based on their best nine GCSEs. This score will include the following subjects: English Language - 6 (B); At least one of Mathematics or Numeracy - 6 (B); Science - Either, 66 or BB in Science and Additional Science (formerly Double Award Science) or equivalent or 66 (BB) in Chemistry and Biology. Or, 66 (BB) in Core Science and one of Additional Science or further Additional Science. Other subjects not stated above, to make a total of nine, at a minimum of grade B.
DundeeWe also require biology, mathematics and English at least to GCSE grade B / 6, if not studied at A-level (A2). Achievement at GCSE and AS level will also be taken into account.
EdinburghGrade B / 6 in Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics. Double Award combined sciences or equivalent at Grade BB / 66 may replace GCSE grades in sciences. Additional Applied Science and Applied Science will not be accepted. All examination grades must be obtained at the first attempt of each subject.
ExeterEnglish Language at grade C or higher.
GlasgowGCSE English at Grade B (or Grade 6 or above).
Hull YorkWe require applicants to have at least 8 GCSEs A*/9 - C/4 or equivalent. GCSE English Language grade B/6 or above; GCSE Maths grade B/6 or above.
ImperialGrade B / 6 in English Language. If candidates don't have this, GCSE English must be resat (and made clear on the application).
Keele5 A/7s; Maths, English Language & Science GCSE at a minimum of grade B /6. Science/Core Science (including AQA Science A or Science B) plus Additional Science is acceptable as an alternative to Biology, Chemistry and Physics. If Further Additional Science has been taken, this must also be passed at grade B/6. IGCSE double-award Science is also acceptable. Applied Science is not an acceptable GCSE. Please note that physics – as well as biology and chemistry – must have been passed at the required level, either as a stand-alone GCSE or as part of double/triple-award science.
KCLGCSE grade 6/B in both English and Mathematics required.
LancasterMinimum score of 15 points from 9 subjects (A or A* = 2 points; B = 1 point). The 9 subjects must include Core & Additional Science (or Biology, Chemistry and Physics), Maths and English (grade B or above).
LeedsGCSE: 6 A* - B, including chemistry and biology (or dual science/double science), English language and mathematics, dual/double science, or science and additional science, or chemistry and biology.
LeicesterYou must have achieved at least a grade B or 6 in English Language, Mathematics, and two sciences (including Chemistry and Biology) or Double Science, achieved in your first sitting - unless in the case of significant mitigating circumstances that have been previously accepted by the admissions tutors. We do not specify a minimum number of A* or 8/9 grades at GCSE. However, we do take GCSE performance into consideration when selecting applicants for interview, as competition for our places is so intense.
LiverpoolGCSEs in nine separate subject areas: attained by the end of Year 11 and at least a score of 15 points or better (where A*/A = 2; B = 1) from the nine and including: Core & Additional Science (or Biology, Chemistry, and Physics), English Language, and Mathematics (all at least grade B). Preference may be given to applicants with a higher GSCE score. Two points is the maximum score awarded in each subject area (e.g. Only one of Maths and Further Maths will be considered and 2 points at most will be available for Dual award GCSEs except for Dual Science for which up to 4 points may be awarded). Short course GCSEs will at most receive half the points of a full GCSE but two short courses can be offered in place of a full GCSE.
ManchesterWe require at least five GCSEs at grade A or A*. English Language, Mathematics and at least two science subjects are required at GCSE minimum grade B. If Dual Award Science or Core and Additional Science are offered, the minimum required is BB. If you are resitting any GCSE subjects, you must explain the circumstances that prompted this. We do not currently accept short courses; however, Level 2 BTEC qualifications are acceptable (at distinction grade or above) in lieu of one GCSE. Due to the phased introduction of GCSE reform in England, we will accept a mixture of GCSE grading scales. We can confirm our position in terms of equivalencies: A* = 8; A = 7; B = 6; C = 4.
NewcastleIf only one of Biology and/or Chemistry is offered at A level, the other should be offered at GCSE grade A or 7 (or Dual Award Science grade A or 7). Once the academic criteria have been met, academic achievement is not considered further in subsequent parts of the application process e.g. additional A levels or A* results or additional GCSE results are not considered.
NorwichAll applicants must have a minimum of six GCSE (or EU / International equivalent) passes at grade A/7 or above to include English, Mathematics and two Science subjects. GCSE short courses are not accepted. Repeat GCSEs are accepted. Our GCSE requirements apply to all applicants. If required, when considering your application, we will usually review your best 9 results. We will include only one maths, up to two English and up to three single science subjects or a double science award.
NottinghamAt least six GCSEs at grade 7 (A). If you are taking sciences as individual subjects then 7(A) is required in biology and chemistry, plus one of either physics or maths passed to grade 7 (A) with the other being grade 6 (B) and a minimum of grade 6 (B) in English language. If you are taking the Double Science, the requirement is 7,7 or if you are taking the Triple Science 7,7,7 is required, and maths and English language must both be passed at grade B (6).
OxfordYou would be expected to hold a broad range of GCSEs, in both sciences and arts subjects. You should have top results - that is mostly A*s for your application to be competitive. On average, our applicants hold around 80% of GCSEs grades at A* and have 8.5 A* grades - although successful applicants may have a higher proportion of A*s than this.
PlymouthApplicants need to achieve 7 GCSE passes at grades A-C/9-4 which must include English language, mathematics and either GCSE double award science or two from single award chemistry, biology, or physics.
Queen'sGCSE performance in the best 9 subjects will be scored with 4 points awarded for an A* (grades 8 and 9 on the new 9-1 grading scale), 3 points for an A (grade 7), 2 points for a B (grade 6) and 1 point for a C (grades 4 and 5). From 2021 entry, in view of the re-alignment of the A* with a Grade 9, scoring will change to 4 points for a Grade 9 and 3 points for Grades 7 and 8. GCSE Mathematics minimum grade C and either GCSE Physics minimum grade C or GCSE Double Award Science minimum grades CC are required if these subjects are not offered at AS-level or A-level.
SheffieldYou should have at least five grade A (grade 7) GCSE subjects; GCSE passes at grade B (grade 6) or above in Mathematics, English and at least one science subject (which may be dual awards); The five A grades may include Mathematics, English or a science subject; Acceptable science GCSEs include: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology, Sciences (dual awards).
SouthamptonSix GCSEs at grade A or above, including either maths, biology and chemistry, or maths, additional science and science. English language is required at a minimum of grade B.
St AndrewsMinimum of five A grades (grade 7 in numerical grading) at GCSE to be taken at one sitting (those with achieved Advanced Levels, may be considered with less than five A grades (grade 7 in numerical grading) at GCSE). If Biology, Mathematics and English are not offered at Advanced (A2) or AS Level, each must normally have been passed at GCSE grade B (grade 5 in numerical grading) or better. Dual award Science is not acceptable in lieu of GCSE Biology.
St George'sA minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade 6 ( or grade B ) or above. Must include: English Language, Maths and Science (Double or Triple Award Science).
Sunderland5 subjects at grade A (7) with a minimum of grade B (6) in Maths, English Language, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Dual science accepted.
UCLAll UK candidates, or those who have received their secondary education in the UK, must offer GCSE (or IGCSE, O-level, IB or EB equivalent) at grade B or above in both English Language and Mathematics. For candidates taking the new style of GCSEs with numerical outcomes rather than letter grades, the requirement is for a score of 6 in both English Language and Mathematics. UCL expects all UK applicants to offer a Modern Foreign Language (not including Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) at GCSE grade C or equivalent (the requirement for the new style of GCSEs with numerical outcomes will be score of 5).

Which GCSE Subjects are Required by Universities?

Medical schools require GCSE Maths, English and Sciences, and most require them at a minimum grade B. However, most medical schools stress that these requirements are minimum and most successful candidates will score As and A*s at GCSE.

Many medical schools also have specific requirements for science subjects, so make sure to check these on the individual medical school’s website. For example, some universities, like Cardiff, require either grades AA in Science and Additional Science (formerly Double Award Science) or equivalent, or AAB in Chemistry, Physics and Biology in any order. However, Edinburgh state that Additional Applied Science and Applied Science will not be accepted – make sure you know the GCSE requirements of each school so you can choose your subjects wisely.

As competition for medical school is highly competitive, it’s important to achieve the best results you can at GCSE. Not least because it will indicate which A-Levels you choose, but also because many medical schools look at your GCSE grades as the academic basis for interview, so make sure you work hard to the best of your ability!

Looking to Choose Your A-Levels?

You might find it useful to visit our pages on What A-Levels do you Need To Be A Doctor? and How To Choose Your A-Levels for Medicine for information on which subjects to choose – and those to avoid.


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