Southampton University founded its School of Medicine in 1971 and now offers three main Medical programmes based at the University of Southampton and Southampton General Hospital.

Southampton is currently ranked 30th in the UK for medicine by both the Complete University Guide and the Guardian in 2024.

About The Course

Southampton’s five-year Medicine course has been taught for over 40 years, with an innovative learning approach to help prepare students into a lifelong journey in Medicine. The programme is split into four phases, with a variety of teaching methods such as lectures, tutorials, coursework, placements and independent learning.

At Southampton, students study at one of the UKs leading teaching hospitals, Southampton General Hospital, in addition to purpose built facilities on campus.

Highlights of studying medicine at Southampton include working as a healthcare support worker to gain unique experience in a multi-professional team, a research project in the third year and the opportunity to take an elective in year five anywhere in the UK or abroad.

Southampton also offers a six-year medical programme with a foundation year and a four-year programme for graduate entry students.

Structure Of The Course

Year 1-2

The first two years are named the ‘fundamentals of medicine’. Teaching is structured around bodily systems such as Cardiopulmonary, Nervous System and Gastrointestinal System. Within each system, students learn about anatomy, physiology, pathology and pharmacology.

Clinical experience starts from year one through the ‘Medicine into Practice’ module where students are able to learn and practice history-taking and examination skills in both primary and secondary healthcare settings.

Year 3

Year 3 at Southampton, ‘progression into clinical practice’, introduces students to more clinical environments. This starts with a 16-week module in which students are able to conduct their own research project. This is followed by 24 weeks of clinical placements on:

  • Primary Care and Long-term Conditions
  • Medicine and Elderly Care
  • Surgery and Orthopaedics

Year 4

Year 4, ‘developing clinical practice’, involves placements in more specialised areas of medicine such as acute care, child health, obstetrics & gynaecology and psychiatry.

Year 5

Year 5 initially involves finishing off the placements from year four and then students move to the phase ‘preparing for independent practice’. This involves an eight week elective, in the UK or abroad and an assistantship shadowing foundation doctors to prepare for the start of their jobs.

Academic Requirements

GCSEs: Applicants must hold seven GSCEs at grade B/6 or above, including English language, mathematics and either biology and chemistry, combined science, or science and additional science.

A-levels: AAA - Students with contextual data may be offered AAB to ensure all candidates are assessed fairly. To include A level Biology and one additional science. Acceptable science subjects are Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Environmental Studies or Geography. Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.

Scottish Higher: AAAAB Assessed on a case by case basis, but generally, S5 minimum requirements include Chemistry and Biology

Scottish Advanced Higher: AB (plus an additional subject at Advanced Higher or Higher at A or B) To include Chemistry and Biology.

International Baccalaureate: 36 points with 18 at Higher level. To include 6 in Biology and one additional Science. Acceptable science subjects are Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Environmental Studies or Geography.

IELTs (International applicants only): An overall score of 7.0, with 7.0 in each component.

Bachelor's Degree (Graduates only): 2.1 or above in addition to four GCSEs at grade C/4 including English language, mathematics and either biology or chemistry (or combined science).

Further Entry Requirements

Work experience: May include work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings.

Personal statement: Personal statements are considered in the admissions process for Southampton as they can form part of the questions in the interview.

Admissions Process

Application to Southampton 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 Southampton. Candidates will be ranked according to their UCAT score to determine who is invited to interview. It is useful to note that Southampton do not consider the SJT component of the UCAT at any point in their admissions process. In 2020, the lowest UCAT score required to be invited to interview at Southampton was 2570.

Interview Type: Traditional

Interview Topics: Southampton interviews take place on specified selection days in January and February. The style of the interviews are ‘panel’, in which students have a roughly 20 minute session with two or three interviewers.

Interviews at Southampton aim to assess the following qualities in their candidates:

  • Self-motivation and resilience
  • Reflectivity on life experiences
  • Effective communication
  • Successful interpersonal interaction skills
  • An understanding of the values of the NHS

In addition, make sure you are familiar with your personal statement as some questions may be based on it.

You can learn more about interviews at Southampton in our school-by-school guide.

After the interview, candidates are considered for offers based both upon their interview performance and once again, their UCAT score. Successful applicants can expect an offer by March.

Admissions Statistics

Total number of applicants: 1615
Total number of places: 202
Total number of entrants: 250
Acceptance rate: 15.48%


Home students: £9250 pa
Rest of UK: TBC
International students: £28900 pa (£56,600 annually for Years 3, 4 and 5.)

Teaching Methods

Teaching style: Teaching at Southampton Medical School is blended, meaning students learn through a variety of teaching methods. This includes lectures, tutorials, coursework and independent study. Additionally, as students progress through the course, more teaching comes from clinicians through their clinical placements.

Intercalation mode: Students have the option to intercalate in a Masters of Medical Science between Years 3 and 4. 

Graduate Prospects

100% of graduates from Southampton Medical School were in full time employment or further study 15 months after graduation with average earnings being £35,000 annually.

Additionally, 95% of graduates feel that they are using what they learnt in their studies in their current work.


How hard is it to get into Southampton Medical School?

All medical schools in the UK are very competitive to get into. However, Southampton has a slightly higher success rate at 37.6% compared to some other medical schools such as Plymouth at 7% and Oxford at 12.4%.

What UCAT score is needed for Southampton?

UCAT scores required to receive an interview change year on year as applicants are ranked according to their score. However, for 2020 and 2021 admissions these were 2570 and 2680 respectively. 

How many medicine courses does Southampton offer?

Southampton offers three different medical programmes. Firstly, the undergraduate course (BM5) which is five years long. Secondly, the accelerated graduate entry course (BM4) which is four years and only available for applicants who have completed an undergraduate bachelor’s degree. The third course available is Medicine for widening participation (BM6) which is six years long with a foundation year that offers a medical course for applicants with lower entry requirements.

How long is Southampton's Undergraduate Medical programme?

Southampton’s Undergraduate Medical programme is five years long.

Is Southampton a Russell Group University?

Yes, Southampton is one of the 24 research-led universities in the Russell Group.


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