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What A-Levels Do You Need to be a Doctor?⠀

If you’re aiming to study Medicine, you’re probably wondering: what A-Levels do you need to be a doctor? You’ve come to the right place! After GCSE, it’s important that you select the right A-Level subjects to study – and we’re here to help.

This page will give you the answer to ‘what qualifications do you need to be a doctor?’ and will show you which A-Levels different universities require, so you can select your subjects accordingly. 

To compare different universities’ A-Level requirements (as well as other entry requirements, interview formats and BMAT scores), you can use our medical school comparison tool. You might also find it useful to read our blog on How To Choose Your A-Levels for Medicine.

This page was last updated: February 2019.

See different medical school entry requirements

What A-Levels do you need to be a doctor?

Below we’ve compiled a table of UK universities’ A-Level requirements. As you can see below, most schools require Chemistry and Biology, as well as one other science or subject of your choice. 

University Which A-Levels does this school require?Which A-Levels are not acceptable?
AberdeenChemistry 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 RuskinChemistry or Biology; and one of either Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics, plus one other. We require a pass in the practical elementGeneral Studies and Critical Thinking
AstonChemistry 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 and The LondonMust have either Chemistry or Biology + another Science or Maths (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Maths) + third A-Level in any other subject General Studies or Critical Thinking. Further Maths (if Mathematics is included in your A-levels
BirminghamChemistry and Biology (or Human Biology). General Studies and Critical Thinking. Other non-standard subjects may not be accepted. Please contact admissions directly for advice.
Brighton and SussexBiology and Chemistry mandatory. No specified third subject (encourage humanities/arts for broadening academic horizons).General Studies
BristolChemistry mandatory and either Biology, Physics or Maths. Third A-Level can be any other academic subject.Not Specified
BuckinghamChemistry, one from Maths 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. General Studies
CambridgeChemistry and one of Biology/Physics/Maths. Most applicants have at least three science/mathematics A-Levels and some Colleges require this and/or particular subjects. See College websites for details.Not Specified
CardiffChemistry and Biology. Applicants undertaking Science GCE A levels where a separate practical endorsement is reported will require a pass in this element. General Studies, Critical Thinking and Further Maths
DundeeChemistry and another science (Biology, Physics or Mathematics). Third subject can be your own choice, there is no preference. General Studies
Edge HillA-Level requirements to be announced.
EdinburghChemistry and one subject from Biology, Mathematics and Physics (Biology preferred). Only one of Mathematics or Further Mathematics will be considered. Human Biology may replace Biology.General Studies
ExeterBiology and Chemistry. General Studies
GlasgowChemistry and one of Maths, Physics or Biology. Human Biology/Biology and Maths/Further Maths are not considered separate subjects at A Level.General Studies, Critical Thinking and Global Perspectives & Research
Hull YorkBiology and Chemistry. with a pass in practical experiments for reformed A levels completed in 2017 or later. Human Biology/Biology and Maths/Further Maths are not considered separate subjects. For the third subject, they consider all subjects equally, including arts or humanities subjects.General Studies, Applied Science, Citizenship or Critical Thinking.
ImperialChemistry, Biology and any third subject.General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
KeeleBiology or Chemistry and another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths/Further Maths/Statistics plus a third academic subject. Maths/Further Maths/Statistics are not accepted in combination.
Any science A level (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) completed in England from 2017 must include a pass in the practical endorsement.
If only two sciences are offered, the science subjects not offered at A level are required at GCSE grade B (or 6) or above.
Citizenship Studies; Critical Thinking; General Studies; any AQA Applied A level (Applied Art & Design; Applied Business; Applied ICT; Applied Leisure Studies; Applied Science; Applied Travel & Tourism; Science in Society; Use of Mathematics); any Edexcel Applied A Level (Applied Art & Design; Applied Business; Applied ICT; Engineering; Health & Social Care; Leisure Studies; Media; Performing Arts; Travel & Tourism); any OCR Applied A level (Applied Art & Design; Applied Business; Applied Health & Social Care; Applied ICT; Applied Leisure Studies; Applied Performing Arts; Applied Science; Applied Travel & Tourism); any WJEC Applied A level (Applied Business; Applied ICT; Applied Science). Key skills qualifications will not be taken into account in assessing academic ability.

KCLBiology and Chemistry. NOTE: If you are taking linear A levels in England, you will be required to pass the practical endorsement in all science subjects.General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives
Kent and Medway1st A level group: Chemistry or Biology
2nd A level group: Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Psychology, Physics
3rd A level group: Any other A Level
General Studies/ Critical Thinking
LancasterBiology and Chemistry are mandatory. Only one of Maths or Further Maths will be considered. General Studies, Critical Thinking and native language A-Levels
LeedsChemistry 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.
LeicesterChemistry and one of Biology, Physics or Psychology. If you study Mathematics and Further Mathematics, you may only count one of these grades towards your potential offer. If a modern language is one of your A-level subjects, we will ask for a declaration as to whether you are a native or home speaker of that language. Do not accept 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 practical tests, where assessed separately). The third A-Level can be in any subjectGlobal Perspectives, Critical Thinking, Citizenship, General Studies
LiverpoolChemistry, Biology and a third academic A-level.General Studies
ManchesterChemistry or Biology/Human Biology; and
One of the following subjects from Chemistry; Biology/Human Biology; Physics; Mathematics or Further Mathematics.
A combination of three sciences is equally acceptable at A-level. However, our offer will not include combinations of very similar subjects, for example, Biology and Human Biology or Maths and Further Maths together.
Where the science offered includes a practical element that must also be passed.
Critical Thinking, Citizenship, EPQ, Key Skills or General Studies
NewcastleChemistry and/or Biology (including a pass in the practical element for lab-based sciences). 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).Critical Thinking or General Studies.
NorwichThree As including Biology/Human Biology. Science A levels must include a pass in the practical element.General Studies and Critical Thinking
NottinghamBiology (or human biology) and Chemistry (a pass is required in science practical tests, where assessed separately). The third A-Level can be in any subjectGlobal Perspectives, Critical Thinking, Citizenship, General Studies
OxfordChemistry and at least one of Biology, Physics or 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.
PlymouthBiology and one of Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Psychology. Your third GCE A level can be from any subject area including the humanities, languages, music, sport, science and the social sciences. General Studies.
Queen's BelfastChemistry + at least one from: Biology/Human Biology, Physics and Maths. A maximum of one VCE/Applied subject. A-level Mathematics and Further Mathematics cannot be counted together at A- Level.Critical Thinking and General Studies.
SheffieldChemistry or Biology and one other science (Maths, Physics, Biology/Human Biology or Psychology). The combination of Chemistry and Biology is acceptable. Critical Thinking and General Studies are not accepted. Further Mathematics for candidates who hold Mathematics A Level are not considered.
SouthamptonChemistry and Biology. Critical Thinking and General Studies, plus subjects with material that overlaps (e.g. Human Biology/Sports Studies/Physical Education) will not be accepted in combination
St AndrewsChemistry and one other from Biology, Mathematics or Physics. Does not have a preference for the third Advanced Level subject. Human Biology may replace Biology.General Studies, Critical Thinking and Global Perspectives & Research. Only one of Mathematics or Further Mathematics will be considered for the 3 subjects required at Advanced Level.
St George'sThree subjects to include Chemistry and Biology or Human Biology.General Studies and Key Skills.
SunderlandBiology or Chemistry plus another designated science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths/Further Maths/Statistics) and a third academic subject. Any science A Level (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) completed in England from 2017 must include a pass in the practical endorsement.Citizenship Studies, Critical Thinking, General Studies, any AQA Applied A Level (Applied Art and Design, Applied Business, Applied ICT, Applied Leisure Studies, Applied Science, Applied Travel and Tourism, Science in Society, Use of Mathematics), any Edexcel Applied A Level (Applied Art and Design, Applied Business, Applied ICT, Engineering, Health and Social Care, Leisure Studies, Media; Performing Arts, Travel and Tourism), any OCR Applied A Level (Applied Art and Design, Applied Business, Applied Health and Social Care, Applied ICT, Applied Leisure Studies, Applied Performing Arts, Applied Science, Applied Travel and Tourism), any WJEC Applied A Level (Applied Business, Applied ICT, Applied Science). Key skills qualifications will not be taken into account in assessing academic ability.
Swansea Graduate only.-
UCLChemistry and Biology. The third subject is the student’s own choice.General Studies or Critical Thinking.
UCLanAt least two science subjects, to include Chemistry, and a third academic subject.-
WarwickGraduate only.-

Subjects To Take: What A-Levels Do You Need to be a Doctor?

Different universities, as you’ve seen above, require different A-Level subjects. Broadly speaking, most require Chemistry and Biology at A2 Level, so these are good subjects to take. Some medical schools, like Birmingham and Aberdeen, allow Biology to be substituted for Human Biology.

A popular choice for many students is to take these two subjects with Physics, as the three in combination will be suitable for almost all UK medical schools. Taking Chemistry and Biology without Physics should leave most medical school options open to you.

However, some medical schools do not specify their requirements beyond Chemistry and Biology. Brighton and Sussex, for example, state that for the third A-Level choice they encourage humanities or arts subjects to broaden academic horizons. Hull York, however, considers all third A-Level subjects to have ‘equal merit’.

It’s also important to remember that individual courses will have a range of different requirements (for example, courses at Swansea vary), so it’s a good idea to check the specifics before selecting a university or your subjects.


Wondering what A-Level grades you need for medical school? See all med school entry requirements here!

See medical school entry requirements

Subjects To Avoid: What A-Levels Do You Need to be a Doctor?

A good general rule is that most medical schools do not accept A-Levels in Critical Thinking, General Studies or Citizenship Studies – so it may be best to steer clear of those!

At Liverpool, many of their non-clinical programmes welcome General Studies as one of three A-Levels – but they only allow one of these subjects from the pool of General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship Studies.

General Studies is not considered for a variety of their programmes, including Diagnostic Radiography, Life Sciences, Management School, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Orthoptics, Physiotherapy, Radiotherapy or Veterinary Science.

It is 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. Remember this when selecting your subjects!

What A-Levels do you need to be a doctor and how can you find out which schools require certain subjects? To find out more on comparing medical schools in terms of entry requirements, try visiting our comparison tool here.


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