Cardiff School of Medicine is a major international university specialising in both teaching and research in human health. Cardiff Medicine Course provides students with the opportunity to experience patient contact early on and excellent career prospects in both research and the medical field. 

About The Course

Cardiff runs a 5-year medical programme known as C21 (MBBCh). The C21 programme prepares its students to build their clinical and scientific knowledge to further integrate with placements and practical learning. Cardiff’s medical programme also provides a great focus on clinical skills with both simulated and real-life scenarios to practise in. 

Throughout the course, students have the opportunity to experience both hospital and community care in Wales. There is a chance for students to study abroad, select their own components and intercalate. In addition, there are also research studentships that consist of short and long term projects, for those who are involved with the Cardiff University Research Society.

The C21 programme is divided into 3 phases.

Structure Of The Course

Year 1-2

Phase 1 covers both Year 1 and Year 2. During Phase 1, students will learn and expand on core science modules with some aspects of clinical practice and skills.

In years 1 and 2, students are supported by facilitators in small group settings. During this period, students will learn the basic and clinical science through the themes of the ‘Chronological Life Course’. Every unit of study lasts about two weeks and involves a series of patient cases.

The primary delivery of teaching in Phase 1 will be Case-Based Learning (CBL). CBL allows students to learn the foundations of clinical science and view patient cases in small teaching groups 

Year 3-4

Phase 2 covers Year 3 and Year 4. In Phase 2, there will be a greater emphasis on patient care through clinical placements and university projects to integrate the clinical knowledge learnt in phase 1.

In year three and four, the knowledge built in the first two years is built upon through increased time in hospitals and GP series. Learning is focused on the patient experience as you observe patients along the care pathway from community to hospital settings and back into the community setting.

Alongside placements, students will revisit scientific knowledge taught in earlier years and build upon it, with an increased focus on diagnostic methods, management and treatment of common diseases and pathophysiology.

In Years 3 and 4, students will get the opportunity to learn through clinical placements in GP settings and hospital sites in Wales. There is a higher emphasis on patient-centred care in Phase 2, whilst building on the foundation pathology of common medical conditions.

Year 5

Phase 3 covers Year 5. During Phase 3, most of the students’ learning will be in clinical settings and placement with a focus on consolidating knowledge and skills needed so that the transition to becoming a Foundation doctor is smooth.

In the final year of the C21 programme, the focus shifts to having a more active role in various clinical settings, with further consolidation of medical knowledge and clinical skills.

Students will carry out a variety of assessment modes throughout their time as medical students. Regular progress tests in the format of single best answer and written papers will be sat each year alongside additional short answer papers, coursework, practical assessments and clinical portfolios.

Academic Requirements

GCSEs: English Language or Welsh Language at Grade B/6 or equivalent, Double Science at Grade BB/66 or achieved a Grade B/6 in Biology and Chemistry, Maths at Grade B/6 and five other GCSEs at Grade B/6 or equivalent.
Critical Thinking, General Studies, and Citizenship Studies are not accepted as part of the other GCSEs.

A-levels: AAA In three A Levels (including Biology and Chemistry). A pass grade must also be achieved in the practical element of science subjects.

Scottish Higher: AAAAA -

Scottish Advanced Higher: AA Chemistry and Biology

International Baccalaureate: 36 points. Overall score of 36 (excluding Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay component), including 19 at HL. A minimum of Grade 6 is required in Chemistry and Biology. If you are a graduate applicant, an overall score of 32 in IB is required, including the above subject requirements.

IELTs (International applicants only): A score of 7.0 overall with a minimum of 7.0 in speaking and a minimum of 6.5 in all other subskill sections.

Bachelor's Degree (Graduates only): Any graduate applicant will require a minimum of 2:1 in their degree (or equivalent). Applicants must be in their final year of completing their degree. If you are a graduate applicant, you must have a minimum of BBB in three A Levels (or equivalent) and meet the GCSE requirements. Alternatively, an overall score of 32 in IB is required, including the regular subject requirements.

Further Entry Requirements

Work experience: Non-academic criteria will be considered for applicants who have reached the academic points threshold. Work experience will be recognised and considered by Cardiff Medical School and students will be expected to show their commitment and passion to passion through their work experience.

Personal statement: Non-academic criteria will be considered for applicants who have reached the academic points threshold. This will be based on Personal Statement and the Academic Referee’s statement. Work experience and volunteering participation will be recognised and considered by Cardiff Medical School when reviewing the Personal Statement.

Admissions Process

All achieved qualifications will receive points in a scoring system. Points are received for 9 GCSE subjects (including Chemistry, Biology, English Language and Mathematics). Additional points will be scored for A-Level grades and any degree qualifications. Degree Points: If you are applying with a degree and have met the minimum GCSE and A Level requirements, you will have met the maximum academic points threshold. A Level Points: A* = 3 points A = 2 points GCSE Points: 9, 8, A* = 3 points 7, A = 2 points 6, B = 1 point

Admissions Tests:

All applicants (including international and graduates) are expected and required to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test in the year of their application. Results from previous years will not be accepted and the UCAT may be used as part of the assessment procedure. There is currently no cut-off score for UCAT but due to competition, the score will likely depend on scores of the cohort. Academic qualifications will be prioritised however, UCAT scores are used in the admission process when there is a large number of applicants with exceptional academic points.

Interview Type: MMI

Interview Topics: Applicants who have achieved the required academic points will be shortlisted for interview from December 2023 – February 2024. Interview offers are sent through email with a link to book your interview. Once your preferred date and time for the interview have been chosen, it normally cannot be changed.

Those who are unsuccessful in this round of applications will be notified as soon as possible after all decisions about interview offers have been made. 

The interview format for Cardiff Medical School is MMI (multiple mini-interviews). There are 2 types of MMI stations: verbal and written. All interviews will be conducted online via the Zoom platform and questions will vary to test applicants on a wide range of qualities and attributes that are deemed necessary and important for future medical students and doctors to possess. 

The GMC guide can aid in preparation for good medical practice. Other commonly tested interview topics include: 

  • Motivation and view of a career in medicine. 
  • Empathy Scenarios 
  • Contribution to university life 
  • Ethical Scenarios 
  • Balancing both sides of an argument

A combined score from both the verbal and written stations will be determined for each applicant. You can read more in our Cardiff Interview Guide.

Admissions Statistics

Total number of applicants: 4424
Total number of places: 305
Total number of entrants: 299
Acceptance rate: 6.76%


Home students: £9000 pa
Rest of UK: TBC
International students: £43700 pa (There is currently a 7.5% cap on international applicants. This equates to around 25 places in Year 1. Financial support is available for applicants who meet the criteria. For more information, check out Cardiff University’s undergraduate funding page.)

Teaching Methods

Teaching style: Cardiff delivers integrated teaching in partnership with the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University, whilst clinical placement teaching takes place in hospitals and General Practices across the whole of Wales.

Intercalation mode: Cardiff offers a great opportunity for students to intercalate between Year 3 and 4 or Year 4 and 5. The university offers a variety of intercalated BSc and MSc opportunities in courses such as Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Pathology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology and many more. The intercalated degree allows students to venture out into different interests in research and other aspects of clinical medicine.

Graduate Prospects

The C21 (MBBCh) programme is recognised under the General Medical Council and all successful graduates may apply for a provisional registration under the GMC. 

In 2019, 100% of the graduates from the C21 programme had successfully secured either employment or further study. On average, 15 months after the course, the average earnings for graduates are £34,000. Approximately 96% of students say they are using what they learnt during their studies in their current work



Are Welsh applicants treated differently from other UK applicants?

Cardiff Medical School recognises the under-representation of Welsh students enrolled in Medical Schools and now accepts Welsh-domiciled students as part of their contextual application. 

Does Cardiff Medical School look at predicted grades?

Predicted grades will not be assessed in the application for medicine.

What is the current cut-off score for Medicine in Cardiff?

Cut-off scores vary from cohort to cohort and depend on the calibre of students applying that year. Academic, non-academic, UCAT achievements and interviews will all be taken into consideration in the decision-making process for an offer.

Can I reapply to Cardiff for Medicine following an unsuccessful application cycle?

Yes! If the applicant meets the minimum academic and non-academic requirements for Cardiff Medical School, they are able to reapply for the next application cycle. However, for the Graduate Entry Medicine programme, re-application can only be submitted once.


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