The last three years saw a record number of people applying to study Medicine, with 26,820 applicants for 2023 entry, 29,710 applicants for 2022 entry and 28,690 applicants for 2021 entry. The downward trend from last year has continued: for 2024 entry, there were 24,150 applicants.
This shows that the spike in Medicine applications that began during the pandemic has largely disappeared. There were only 430 more applicants this year than for 2020 entry.
The number of people reapplying for Medical School this year is 3,580. That’s a big step down from last year’s 5,010 reapplicants.
Like the number of applications overall, the number of reapplications is also slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels. There were only 530 more reapplicants this year than in 2020.
This still means that if you’re a first-time applicant for Medicine, you’re competing against a lot of reapplicants nowadays. These reapplicants might have taken measures to boost their application during their year out, e.g. by doing extra work experience, improving their Personal Statement and resitting the UCAT or BMAT.
During the pandemic, the Student Office’s cap on medicine places was lifted, so there were around 10,500 places available to study Medicine across the UK.
The cap was reimposed last year, so now there are around 7,100 Medicine places available for home applicants and 500 for international applicants. This reduction in the number of places will have a far larger impact on the overall competition for places than reductions in applications.
For future Medicine applicants, there is no suggestion that the cap will be raised again in the coming years by the current government.
With the number of applications still high despite the downward trend, plus the cap on the number of places, competition for 2024 entry Medicine is going to be fierce.
At this point in the application cycle, you should be doing everything you can to prepare for Medical School interviews. To make sure you stand out, get to grips with the interview format of your chosen university, try lots of practice questions, and make sure you understand NHS hot topics and medical ethics.
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