26th August 2020

The government made the announcement after the A-Level results scandal that saw many students miss out on medical school places when the algorithm down-graded their results.

The government has agreed to boost funding and lifted the cap on the number of students who can study Medicine this year, following the recent u-turn on A-Level Results.

All students who achieved the required grades will be offered a place at their first choice university to study Medicine, the government announced. If the course is already full, students will be asked to defer a year.

“This pandemic has highlighted more than ever the importance of our fantastic healthcare services and the need to invest in them,” said Universities Minister Michelle Donelan. “I am pleased we are removing the cap on these courses and providing additional funding so more students can take up their places now and become our future doctors and healthcare professionals.”

But it’s not that simple, warns the Medical Schools Council. They said: “Whilst some schools might be able to take a modest increase in numbers, their ability to do so will be limited by specialist facilities for subjects such as anatomy, clinical placement opportunities and numbers of dental chairs, particularly in the latter years of the course.”

What Does This Mean for Me?

If your centre assessment grade meets the conditions of your original offer, you should get in touch with your preferred university to discuss what options are available to you. You can ‘self-release’ through UCAS from your existing offer, which will allow you to accept an offer from your preferred university.

If you got a place to study Medicine through clearing and you want to stick with that offer, you don’t need to do anything.

If your preferred university course is full, you may be offered a place if you defer entry until 2021.


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Why Has the Cap on Medical School Places Been Lifted?

On A-Level Results Day, many students found they’d missed the required grades to study Medicine and were forced to consider clearing. With strict limits on the number of Medicine students at each university, courses were either already full or filled during clearing.

When the government made its u-turn a few days after Results Day and scrapped the algorithm in favour of teacher-assessed grades, many prospective medical students were left in limbo.

While students studying other courses were reassured by universities pledging to honour all their offers, over-subscribed Medical Schools weren’t able to make the same promise, because there’s a tight cap on how many places they can offer.

The government has now agreed to increase funding and remove the cap on Medical School places.

Still Have Questions?

UCAS has a helpful video that answers the top three questions that students have been asking:

You can find out more details on this guide from the government.


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