If you want to have the broadest choice of Med Schools, it’s a good idea to take A-Level Physics alongside Biology and Chemistry.
It’s important to know that opting for humanity or art subjects at A-Level won’t rule you out of getting a place to study Medicine. In fact, some universities, like Brighton and Sussex, encourage this to broaden academic horizons – and Hull York considers all third A-Level subjects to have equal merit.
Most Medical Schools do not accept A-Levels in Critical Thinking, General Studies or Citizenship Studies – so you should avoid these subjects.
It’s also important to remember that subjects with overlapping content are often not considered – or only considered as one. This includes Maths and Further Maths, or PE and Biology, or Biology and Human Biology.
Below we’ve compiled a table of UK universities’ A-Level requirements. This was recently updated – but please always check directly with each Medical School for the latest information.
|University||Which A-Levels does this school require?||Which A-Levels are not acceptable?|
|Aberdeen||Chemistry is required. One subject from Biology/Human Biology, Maths and Physics is required. One further A-Level in most other subjects. Check with Medical Admissions Office if in doubt about suitability of a subject. Combinations of Chemistry, Biology plus a Non-Science subject are as acceptable as all-science combinations.||General Studies or Global Perspectives & Research.|
|Anglia Ruskin||Chemistry or Biology; and one of either Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics, plus one other. They require a pass in the practical element||General Studies and Critical Thinking.|
|Aston||Chemistry and Biology. The third subject can be any other subject. A pass in the practical element of your science A Levels is required.||General Studies and Critical Thinking.|
|Barts (Queen Mary)||Two of Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Maths.||General Studies or Critical Thinking.
Further Maths, if Mathematics is included in your A-levels.
|Birmingham||Chemistry and Biology.||General Studies and Critical Thinking.
Other non-standard subjects may not be accepted.
|Brighton and Sussex||Biology and Chemistry are mandatory. No specified third subject, but they encourage humanities/arts for broadening academic horizons.||General Studies or Critical Thinking.|
|Bristol||Chemistry is mandatory and either Biology, Physics or Maths. Third A-Level can be any other academic subject.||Not Specified.|
|Brunel||Chemistry or Biology and a second science including Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Mathematics. The third subject can be any other academic subject.||General Studies.|
|Buckingham||Chemistry and/or Biology and a third subject. In the case of applicants who do not have Biology at A-Level, they should have studied the subject to GCSE level and achieved at least a grade B.||Not specified.|
|Cambridge||Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics or Maths. Most applicants have at least three science/mathematics A-Levels and some Colleges require this and/or particular subjects. Check the college websites for details.||Not specified.|
|Cardiff||Chemistry and Biology. You will need a pass in the practical element.||Not specified.|
|Dundee||Chemistry and another science such as Biology, Physics or Mathematics. The third subject can be your own choice, there is no preference.||General Studies.|
|Edge Hill||Biology and Chemistry are mandatory, with passes in the physical elements of both.||General Studies, Critical Reasoning, Citizenship and Key Skills.|
|Edinburgh||Chemistry and one subject from Biology/Human Biology, Mathematics and Physics - Biology is preferred. Only one of Mathematics or Further Mathematics will be considered. Human Biology may replace Biology.||Not specified.|
|Exeter||Biology and Chemistry.||General Studies.|
|Glasgow||Chemistry and one of Maths, Physics or Biology.||Not specified.|
|Hull York||Biology and Chemistry, with a pass in science practicals. The third subject, all subjects considered equally apart from Further Maths and Human Biology.||General Studies,Applied Science, Citizenship or Critical Thinking.|
|Imperial||Chemistry, Biology and any third subject.||General Studies and Critical Thinking.|
|Keele||To include Chemistry or Biology and a second subject, in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, Psychology or Maths/Statistics/Further Maths, plus a third academic subject.||General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship. A-Level Maths/Further Maths/Statistics in combination.|
|Kent and Medway||Must include Chemistry and/or Biology. If both Chemistry and Biology are not offered there must be one other from Physics, Maths, Psychology or Computer Science.||Critical Thinking and General Studies.|
|King's College London||Biology and Chemistry You will be required to pass the practical endorsement in all science subjects.||General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives.|
|Lancaster||Any 2 of Biology, Chemistry and Psychology||General Studies, Critical Thinking and native language A-Levels.|
|Leeds||Chemistry or Biology. If Chemistry is not offered then Biology must be offered with either Physics or Maths at A-Level. Human Biology/Biology and Maths/Further Maths are not considered separate subjects.||While General Studies and Critical Thinking are welcomed as a 4th A2, they do not typically form part of an offer.|
|Leicester||Chemistry or Biology with Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Physics or Psychology. Only one of Mathematics and Further Mathematics count towards your potential offer. This is the case with Biology and Human Biology too.||General Studies, Critical Thinking, Global Perspectives (Cambridge Pre-U) or the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate.|
|Lincoln||Biology (or Human Biology) and Chemistry, a pass is required in science practicals. The third A-Level can be in any subject||Global Perspectives, Critical Thinking, Citizenship, General Studies.|
|Liverpool||Chemistry together with either Biology, Physics or Mathematics and any third academic subject.||General Studies.|
|Manchester||Chemistry or Biology/Human Biology and one of the following subjects: Chemistry; Biology/Human Biology, Physics, Mathematics/Further Mathematics. Practical science elements must also be passed. Offers will not include combinations of very similar subjects, such as Biology and Human Biology or Maths and Further Maths together.||Critical Thinking, Citizenship, EPQ, Key Skills or General Studies - although taken in addition to three suitable academic subjects could help strengthen your application.|
|Newcastle||Chemistry and/or Biology with a pass in the practical elements. If 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).||General Studies, Use of Mathematics, World Development, Communication and Culture and Critical Thinking.|
|Norwich (UEA)||Biology/Human Biology or Chemistry. Science subjects must include a pass in the practical element.||General Studies and Critical Thinking.|
|Nottingham||Biology/Human Biology and Chemistry, a pass is required in practical tests. The third A-Level can be in any subject||Citizenship Studies, Critical Thinking, General Studies, or Global Perspectives.|
|Oxford||Chemistry and at least one of Biology, Physics, Maths or Further Maths. If a practical component forms part of any of the A-levels taken, we expect candidates to have taken it and passed.||Critical Thinking or General Studies.|
|Plymouth||Biology and one of Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Psychology. The third subject can be from any subject area including the humanities, languages, music, sport, science and the social sciences.||General Studies.|
|Queen's Belfast||Chemistry and at least Biology/Human Biology, Physics or Maths. Mathematics and Further Mathematics cannot be counted together.||Critical Thinking and General Studies.|
|Sheffield||Chemistry or Biology and one other science such as Physics, Maths, Biology/Human Biology or Psychology. The combination of Chemistry and Biology is acceptable.||Critical Thinking and General Studies and Further Mathematics for candidates who hold Mathematics A-Level.|
|Southampton||Biology and one additional science, with a pass in any practical elements. Acceptable science subjects are Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Environmental Studies or Geography.||Critical Thinking and General Studies, plus subjects with material that overlaps such as Human Biology/Sports Studies/Physical Education.|
|St Andrews||Chemistry and one other from Biology, Mathematics or Physics. There is no preference for the third subject. Human Biology may replace Biology.||General Studies, Critical Thinking and Global Perspectives & Research. Only one of Mathematics or Further Mathematics will be considered.|
|St George's||Three subjects to include Chemistry and Biology or Human Biology.||Not specified.|
|Sunderland||Biology or Chemistry plus another science subject such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths/Further Maths/Statistics and any third academic subject. There must include a pass in any practical elements.||Only one subject from a combination of Maths or Further Maths or Statistics will be considered.|
|UCL||Chemistry and Biology, the third subject can be anything.||General Studies or Critical Thinking.|
|UCLan||At least two science subjects which include Chemistry and any third academic subject.||Not specified.|
With the cancellation of exams, A-Level grades will be awarded by teacher assessment instead.
Last year saw a record level of top achievers at A-Level grade. When you combine this with news of a 21% increase in Medicine applications, it’s clear that academic excellence isn’t enough to stand out.
While it’s essential you choose the best A-Levels that meet entry requirements – both in terms of subject and grades – you also need to write a compelling Personal Statement and focus on scoring highly in UCAT and BMAT if you want to get shorlisted for interview.
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