Plymouth Medical School (PMD), also known as the Peninsula College of Medicine is a medical school originally formed by a partnership between the University of Exeter and the University of Plymouth, founded in 2000. Plymouth University started delivering their independent medical programme in 2013.

Plymouth Medical School is currently ranked 31st in the UK for medicine by the Complete University Guide 2024 and 24th in the UK by the Guardian 2024.

About The Course

Plymouth Medical School aims to develop tomorrow’s doctors with a patient centred experience and an environment that prioritises student satisfaction. 

Students are exposed to clinical experience from the start of year one and have the opportunity to engage in an intercalated degree to further explore a subject of interest.

Years one and two are spent primarily in Plymouth, later years are also in Plymouth but with a year in either Taunton or Torbay. Students also have the opportunity to engage with a student selected component (SSC) each year in which they will be able to develop further research skills.

Structure Of The Course

Year 1

The first year at Plymouth Medical School focuses on the scientific foundations of medicine. The curriculum is structured around the human life cycle, thus students will begin learning about human development from conception to old age. Finally, students learn through clinical experience in a range of community and hospital settings.

Year 2

Second year revisits the human life cycle but with an emphasis on disease and pathology. Students engage with a series of general practice placements in which students can learn about health issues from the patients and see teamwork in action.

Year 3

In year three, students enter their clinical years with a series of hospital and general practice placements. Third year focuses on ‘pathways of care’ with placements in acute care, ward care and integrated ambulatory care.

Year 4

Fourth year continues placements in ‘pathways of care’ focusing on acute care, palliative care/oncology and continuing care. Students further develop their clinical skills during their fourth year placements.

Year 5

The final year of medicine at Plymouth aims to prepare students for their foundation jobs by working on the job as a part of the healthcare team. Finally, students have the opportunity to undertake an elective placement in which they can learn about medicine in a different social or cultural context.

Academic Requirements

GCSEs: 7 GCSEs at pass grade (C/4 or above) which must include English Language, Mathematics and two science subjects.

A-levels: A*AA. A in Biology, A in a second science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths, or Psychology. General Studies is not accepted.

Scottish Higher: Not considered

Scottish Advanced Higher: AAA. A in Biology and one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology.

International Baccalaureate: 36-38 points. Higher Level 6 in Biology and Higher Level 6 in one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology.

IELTs (International applicants only): 7.5 with at least 7.0 in the Speaking and Listening sections.

Mitigating Circumstances

Resits policy: Candidates who have resat their A-levels are considered, however they must have achieved at least ABB in their first sitting.

Extenuating circumstances: Unfortunately, Plymouth do not consider any extenuating circumstances at any stage of their admissions process.

Deferred entry: Applicants wishing to defer their entry to medicine at Plymouth are considered, however, this wish must be stated on the original UCAS application.

Transfers: Students wishing to transfer to Plymouth from other medical schools are not accepted. However, internal transfers from Plymouth Biomedical Science or Human Biosciences are considered if they meet certain criteria.

Further Entry Requirements

Work experience: There are no requirements for work experience to be considered for Plymouth Medical School, however, it is always beneficial to gain some so that applicants understand what a course and career in medicine involves.

Personal statement: Personal statements are not scored or considered at Plymouth.

Admissions Process

Application to Plymouth Medical School must be done via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Deadlines for submission are earlier for medical courses, typically mid-October. This application will include all of your academic history as well as your personal statement and other qualifications/achievements.

Admissions Tests:

All candidates are required to sit the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in order to apply for Medicine at Plymouth. You can learn more about the UCAT in our guide. The Cut-off score used by Plymouth to determine who gets an interview changes year on year depending on the cohort performance, however previous years cut-off scores can be found below in ‘admissions statistics’. Please note that for the graduate entry course at Plymouth, the GAMSAT is used instead of the UCAT.
Your UCAT scores will be sent independently to your chosen universities. If your UCAT score meets the Entry Cut-off, an invitation to interview will be sent out. Around 700 applicants per year are interviewed for medicine at Plymouth.

Interview Type: MMI

Interview Topics: Plymouth uses Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI’s) for their interview stage of admissions. These consist of five stations and lasts approximately 55 minutes in total. Plymouth aims to assess qualities aligned with the NHS core values, looking for attributes such as communication skills, motivation, teamwork and resilience. These will likely be held online via zoom and take place between December and February.

You can learn more about interviews at Plymouth on our school-by-school guide.

Candidates who are successful in the interview stage can expect an offer from March.

Admissions Statistics

Total number of applicants: 2420
Total number of places: 155
Total number of entrants: 170
Acceptance rate: 7.02%


Home students: £9250 pa
Rest of UK: £9250 pa
International students: £22100 pa (in Year 1, £25,500 in Year 2 and £41,100 in subsequent years)

Teaching Methods

Teaching style: Plymouth delivers an integrated medical programme in which traditional teaching is mixed with clinical contact throughout the years. Teaching each year builds upon the knowledge learnt from previous years.

Intercalation mode: Medical students at Plymouth also have the opportunity to intercalate in a variety of degrees in either their third of fourth years. Intercalation gives students a second degree in a subject of interest relating to medicine in an extra year.

Graduate Prospects

100% of graduates from Plymouth Medical school were in full time employment or further study 15 months after graduating and with average earnings at this time being £34,000.


Is Plymouth Medical School Competitive?

The success rate for applicants to Plymouth is relatively low, even by medical course standards at 7%, when compared with other medical schools such as Sheffield with 32% or Oxford with 12.4%.

What is the UCAT score needed for Plymouth Medicine?

Although this changes each year depending on the cohort’s performance, the past two years required scores to receive an interview were 2680 and 2610.

Can you intercalate at Plymouth Medical School?

Yes, Plymouth offers a range of intercalation opportunities for their medical students, more can be found on their intercalation page.

What A-levels do you need for Plymouth Medical School?

The standard A-level offer for Plymouth is A*AA including Biology and a second science. However, students can be accepted with A-level grades of AAB if they meet ‘Widening Access’ requirements.


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