What to do if you don’t get the A-level requirements for Medicine
As it gets closer to A-level results day, anxiety begins to set in and you may find yourself asking the question, “What if I don’t get the A-level requirements for medicine?” Hopefully, this blog will help you to feel a little more relaxed and ensure you have a back-up plan if things don’t go the way you want them to.
If you’ve missed the A-Level grades, you should pick up the phone and call the admissions team as soon as possible, so you can explain what’s happened. If you’ve only just missed your offer, some medical schools are willing to still offer you a place. After all, they need to make sure they’ve got the right number of students and since they gave you an offer, you did manage to impress them!
The sooner you do this, the better. That’s because there’ll be lots of students trying this and some medical schools will offer these few places (if any) on this on a first-come-first-served basis.
Head over to UCAS track and see if Medicine has gone into clearing. If it has, it’s time to get yourself in there and grab your chance of getting in that way. If you don’t see any Medicine courses, you may want to see if any other courses seem appealing to you, which that brings us to the next option…
You know what nurses do, and you’re an expert on doctors – but did you know that the Allied Health Professions (AHPs) are the third largest workforce in the NHS?
AHPs are highly-qualified health professionals who work independently to provide care to a wide variety of people. They assess, diagnose, treat, and discharge patients in acute hospitals, communities and social care settings. Could this be a good alternative for you?
You also have the option of taking another course and reapplying for Medicine as a graduate. You may have applied for a course as your 5th choice with this in mind, or if not there’s always the option of looking for courses listed on UCAS for Clearing.
This option will help you, because when it comes to reapplying for Medicine after completing your undergraduate degree, your application will be judged on the basis of what you got for your degree and not your A-Level results.
Another option is for you to apply for a foundation year, which are run by various medical schools. Some foundation years are for students who didn’t do Sciences at A-Level and others are for those that didn’t achieve the top A-Level grades.
Check out our guide to Foundation Medicine for more information. It’s definitely worth researching this properly as if you’re still determined to go for Medicine, this will only add one year on to you getting there as opposed to a minimum of three years if you choose to do another degree first.
This one is at the bottom of the list because it’s the one that students are least inclined to do, but it certainly is still an option. Before you go for this option, it’s worth being aware that not all medical schools will accept students who have re-sat their A-Levels.
There are many that are happy to give you a shot if you do re-sit, but often require an explanation as to why you didn’t achieve the grades the first time around.
Ultimately, there are many different pathways that can lead to doing Medicine. Nothing can be an obstacle and if you really want to go for it, there is always a way! If you don’t get the grades, just consider it as a minor inconvenience and find your way around it. Best of luck with results!
Words: Masumah Jannah
Masumah is a 1st year medical student at the University of Manchester. She writes a blog documenting her experience through medical school and also giving tips to aspiring medics: lifeofamedic.com
If you didn't manage to get the A-level grades you were hoping for, and didn't get into your universities to study medicine, don't worry – you can still become a doctor! Find out how with our handy guide.