GCSE Requirements for Medicine
Wondering what the GCSE requirements for Medicine are? This page will guide you through GCSE entry requirements, including subjects and grades, for different medical schools.
Want to know more about the new GCSE scoring system? Find out more on our GCSE Reform page.
This page was last updated: 01/02/2018.
What Are Each University’s GCSE Requirements for Medicine?
Below is a table of different medical schools in the UK and their GCSE requirements for Medicine, including subject and grade requirements.
Please note that while we have tried to ensure that this information is kept as up to date as possible, entry requirements are subject to change. If you have any questions about GCSE entry requirements for Medicine, we suggest contacting the universities themselves.
|Aberdeen||English Language and Maths Grade 4; combination of 6-9 passes at GCSE expected, especially in science subjects. Biology is recommended; Physics is recommended (or Dual Award Science).|
|Aston||At least five GCSES at minimum grade B/6 including English Language, Maths, Chemistry, Biology (or Double Science).|
|Barts (Queen Mary, University of London)||All eligible applicants must have the following subjects at GCSE level, at grades AAABBB (777666 for GSCEs taken from 2015) or above (in any order) to include Biology (or Human Biology), Chemistry, English Language, and Mathematics (or Additional Mathematics or Statistics). The Science Double Award may substitute all sciences at GCSE.|
|Birmingham||An application will receive a score for academic achievement based on GCSE (or equivalent) results. The subjects that will be scored are: English (both English Language and English Literature), Mathematics (or one, but not both, of Methods in Mathematics and Applications of Mathematics), Science (either, both of Biology and Chemistry or Double Award Science), plus two additional GCSEs (any subject). For the subjects specified above, a minimum grade of B must be offered. It is expected that the scores allocated to the different grades will be in the ratio of 4:2:1 (for A*, A, B, respectively). For each of the two unspecified subjects, a score of 2 will be allocated when an A* grade has been obtained (lower grades will not receive a score).|
|Brighton and Sussex||English Language/Literature and Maths, Grade B / 6 or above.|
|Bristol||Mathematics at Grade A / 7 and English at Grade C / 4. In England, where numerical GCSE grades will start to replace letter GCSE grades, we will be aligning the two grading schemes as follows: 4 or 5 is C, 6 is B, 7 is A, and 8 or 9 is A*.|
|Cambridge||Grade C or above in Double Science and Maths (two single awards in Biology and Physics can be substituted for double science).|
|Cardiff||Your top 9 GCSEs (which must include English Language, Sciences and Mathematics) will be scored and should come to a minimum of 24 to 26 points. The points correspond to your grades: 3 points for A*, 2 points for an A and 1 point for a B.|
|Dundee||They require Biology, Mathematics and English at least to GCSE grade B.|
|Edinburgh||Grade B / 6 in Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics. Double Award combined sciences or equivalent at Grade BB / 66 may replace GCSE grades in sciences. Additional Applied Science and Applied Science will not be accepted.|
|Exeter||Grade B English Language.|
|Glasgow||A GCSE pass in English at 6 or above or Grade B is required.|
|Hull York||8 GCSEs at grade A*-C or equivalent, or grades 4-9 in the reformed GCSEs. English Language and Maths at GCSE grade B or above, or reformed GCSE grade 6 or above (with a Pass in Spoken English), or equivalent.|
|Imperial||Grade B / 6 in English Language. If candidates don't have this, GCSE English must be resat (and made clear on the application).|
|Keele||5A / 7s; Maths, English Language & Science GCSE at a minimum of grade B/6. Science/Core Science (including AQA Science A or Science B) plus Additional Science is acceptable as an alternative to Biology, Chemistry and Physics. If Further Additional Science has been taken, this must also be passed at grade B. IGCSE double-award Science is also acceptable. Applied Science is not an acceptable GCSE. Please note that physics – as well as Biology and Chemistry – must have been passed at the required level, either as a stand-alone GCSE or as part of double/triple-award science.|
|KCL||Chemistry and Biology, including Grade B/6 in English and Mathematics.|
|Lancaster||9 subjects: 15 points (A*/A = 2 points, B = 1 point), including at least Grade B in English, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry (or Core and Additional Science). Grade C must be achieved in all other subjects.|
|Leeds||At least 6 GCSEs at grades A* - B, to include the following: English Language; Maths; Dual Science/Double Science or Chemistry & Biology.|
|Leicester||At least Grade B in English Language, Mathematics and two sciences, including Chemistry, or Double Science. They do not specify a minimum number of A* grades at GCSE but do take GCSE performance into consideration when selecting applicants for interview, as competition for our places is so intense.|
|Liverpool||GCSEs in nine separate subject areas: attained by the end of Year 11 and at least a score of 15 points or better (where A*/A = 2; B = 1) from the nine and including: Core & Additional Science (or Biology, Chemistry, and Physics), English Language, and Mathematics (all at least grade B).|
|Manchester||For 2017 entry due to the phased introduction of GCSE reform in England they will accept a mixture of GCSEs. At least seven subjects are required at grade C or above; at least five must be at A or A*. These subjects must include Chemistry, Biology and Physics, or Double Science or Core and Additional Science. English Language and Mathematics are required at GCSE minimum grade B.|
|Newcastle||If Chemistry or Biology are not offered at AS/A-Level, they must be offered at GCSE with Grade A or 7.|
|Norwich||You must have a minimum of six GCSE passes at grade A/7 or above to include English Language, Mathematics and two Science subjects.|
|Nottingham||At least six GCSEs at grade A/7 including Chemistry, Physics and Biology or Double Science. (Applied Science is not accepted); GCSE Grade B / 5 in English Language and Maths.|
|Oxford||There are no specific GCSE requirements for Medicine, though higher grades can help to make your application more competitive. Successful applicants typically have a high proportion of A and A* grades. However, in order to be adequately equipped for the BMAT, and if Biology, Physics or Mathematics have not been taken to A-Level (or equivalent), applicants will need to have received a basic education in those subjects (for example at least a grade C/4 at GCSE).|
|Plymouth||Applicants need to achieve 7 GCSE passes at grades A-C which must include English Language, Mathematics and either GCSE single and additional science or GCSE Biology and Chemistry.|
|Queen's||GCSE Mathematics minimum grade C and either GCSE Physics minimum grade C or GCSE Double Award Science minimum grades CC are required if not offered at AS-level or A-level. In considering applications, GCSE performance in the best 9 subjects will be scored with 4 points awarded for an A* (grades 8 and 9 on the new 9-1 grading scale) and 3 for an A (grade 7).|
|Sheffield||At least eight GCSE subjects at grades A*- C. Of these, you must have six A/7 grades in GCSE subjects that have been taken in one sitting. GCSE passes at grade C/4 or above in Mathematics, English and the Sciences (which may be dual awards). The six A/7 grades may include Mathematics, English and the sciences.|
|Southampton||Six GCSEs at grade A or above, including either Maths, Biology and Chemistry, or Maths, Additional Science and Science. English Language is required at a minimum of grade B.|
|St Andrews||Minimum of five A grades in exams taken at one sitting. If Biology, Mathematics and English are not offered at A2 or AS Level, you must have a minimum GCSE grade B/5 or better. Dual award Science is not acceptable instead of GCSE Biology.|
|St George's||St. George's assign points for GCSE grades (A* - 58; A - 52; B - 46; C - 40; D - 34; E - 28). Overall, you should have 416 points from the top eight subjects (equivalent to an average of grade A). Subjects must include: English Language (minimum grade B), Maths and Dual Award or the three separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).|
|UCL||All UK candidates, or those who have received their secondary education in the UK, must offer GCSE (or IGCSE, O-level, IB or EB equivalent) at grade B/6 or above in both English Language and Mathematics. UCL expects all UK applicants to offer a modern foreign language (not including Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) at GCSE grade C/5 or equivalent. This requirement does not apply to international students. Candidates can be admitted if they do not offer a foreign language GCSE (and their application will not be disadvantaged), but they would be obliged to take a language course during their first year.|
Which GCSE Subjects are Required by Universities?
Medical schools require GCSE Maths, English and Sciences, and most require them at a minimum grade B. However, most medical schools stress that these requirements are minimum and most successful candidates will score As and A*s at GCSE.
Many medical schools also have specific requirements for science subjects, so make sure to check these on the individual medical school’s website. For example, some universities, like Cardiff, require either grades AA in Science and Additional Science (formerly Double Award Science) or equivalent, or AAB in Chemistry, Physics and Biology in any order. However, Edinburgh state that Additional Applied Science and Applied Science will not be accepted – make sure you know the GCSE requirements of each school so you can choose your subjects wisely.
As competition for medical school is highly competitive, it’s important to achieve the best results you can at GCSE. Not least because it will indicate which A-Levels you choose, but also because many medical schools look at your GCSE grades as the academic basis for interview, so make sure you work hard to the best of your ability!
Looking to Choose Your A-Levels?
You might find it useful to visit our pages on What A-Levels do you Need To Be A Doctor? and How To Choose Your A-Levels for Medicine for information on which subjects to choose – and those to avoid.
What A-Levels do you need to be a doctor
If you’re aiming to study Medicine, you’re probably wondering: what A-Levels do you need to be a doctor? You’ve come to the right place! After GCSE, it’s important that you select the right A-Level subjects to study – and we’re here to help.
This page will give you the answer to ‘what qualifications do you need to be a doctor?’ and will show you which A-Levels different universities require, so you can select your subjects accordingly. To compare different universities’ A-Level requirements (as well as other entry requirements, interview formats and BMAT scores), you can use our medical school comparison tool. You might also find it useful to read our blog on How To Choose Your A-Levels for Medicine.
This page was last updated: 01/02/2018.
What A-Levels do you need to be a doctor?
Below we’ve compiled a table of UK universities’ A-Level requirements. As you can see below, most schools require Chemistry and Biology, as well as one other science or subject of your choice.
|University||Which A-Levels does this school require?||Which A-Levels are not acceptable?|
|Aberdeen||Chemistry is required. One subject from Biology/Human Biology, Maths and Physics is required. One further A-Level in most other subjects.||General Studies or Global Perspectives & Research|
|Aston||Chemistry and Biology. The third subject can be any other subject, excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking. A pass in the practical element of your science A Levels is required.||General Studies and Critical Thinking|
|Barts and The London||Chemistry/Biology + Science or Maths (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Maths) + any other subject (General studies/critical thinking not acceptable). Biology and Chemistry to AS at minimum of B.||General Studies or Critical Thinking. Further Maths only acceptable to AS if taken with Maths|
|Birmingham||Chemistry and Biology (or Human Biology).||General Studies and Critical Thinking. Further Maths is not considered separately to Maths.|
|Brighton and Sussex||Biology and Chemistry mandatory. No specified third subject (encourage humanities/arts for broadening academic horizons).||General Studies and Critical Thinking|
|Bristol||Chemistry and another lab-based science.||General Studies and Critical Thinking. Certain combinations of subjects are not accepted: Bio & PE, Bio & Sport, Maths & Further Maths|
|Buckingham||Chemistry, one from Maths or Biology and a third subject. In the case of applicants who do not have Biology at A-Level, they should have studied the subject to AS level (or equivalent) and achieved at least a grade B.||General Studies and Critical Thinking.|
|Cambridge||Chemistry and one of Biology/Human Biology/Physics/Maths. At least one pass must be at A-Level.||Critical Thinking, General Studies|
|Cardiff||Chemistry and Biology. If you have not been able to take Chemistry and Biology at A2 you will need both subjects in some form, with a minimum of one of the subjects at A2 Level.||General Studies, Critical Thinking and Further Maths|
|Dundee||Chemistry and another science (Biology, Physics or Mathematics). Third subject can be anything except General Studies.||General Studies|
|Edinburgh||Chemistry and one subject from Human Biology/Biology (preferred), Mathematics and Physics. Only one of Mathematics or Further Mathematics will be considered.||General Studies|
|Exeter||Biology and Chemistry at grade A.||General Studies|
|Glasgow||Chemistry and one of Maths, Physics or Biology. Human Biology/Biology and Maths/Further Maths are not considered separate subjects at A Level.||General Studies, Critical Thinking and Global Perspectives & Research|
|Hull York||Biology and Chemistry. Human Biology/Biology and Maths/Further Maths are not considered separate subjects. Applications from students studying a third arts or humanities subject are strongly encouraged.||General Studies, Applied Science, Citizenship or Critical Thinking.|
|Imperial||Chemistry, Biology and any third subject (excluding vocational subjects, General Studies and Critical Thinking)||Vocational subjects, General Studies and Critical Thinking|
|Keele||Biology or Chemistry and another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths/Further Maths/Statistics).||Citizenship Studies, Critical Thinking, General Studies or any Applied A Levels are not accepted.|
|KCL||Biology and Chemistry||General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives|
|Lancaster||Biology and Chemistry are mandatory.||-|
|Leeds||Chemistry and two other subjects. Human Biology/Biology and Maths/Further Maths are not considered separate subjects.||While General Studies and Critical Thinking are welcomed as a 4th A2, they do not typically form part of an offer.|
|Leicester||Chemistry and Biology/Human Biology||General Studies and Critical Thinking.|
|Liverpool||Chemistry, Biology and a third academic A level.||Most (see exceptions below) of the non-clinical programmes welcome General Studies as one of three A levels upon which we make an offer. However, applicants may offer only one of General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies among their three A levels.|
General Studies is not considered for: Diagnostic Radiography, Life Sciences, Management School, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Orthoptics, Physiotherapy, Radiotherapy or Veterinary Science.
|Manchester||Chemistry or Biology/Human Biology; and|
One of the following subjects from Chemistry; Biology/Human Biology; Physics; Mathematics or Further Mathematics.
|Critical Thinking, Citizenship, General Studies or EPQ|
|Newcastle||Chemistry and/or Biology (including a pass in the practical element for lab-based sciences)||Critical Thinking or General Studies.|
|Norwich||Biology/Human Biology, one further science (Chemistry or Physics), with a third A level subject of the applicant’s choice.||General Studies and Critical Thinking|
|Nottingham||Chemistry and Biology, the third subject can be in any area.||Global Perspectives, Critical Thinking, Citizenship, General Studies|
|Oxford||Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics or Maths||Critical Thinking or General Studies.|
|Plymouth||Biology and one of Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Psychology||General Studies.|
|Queen's Belfast||Chemistry and at least one from Biology, Physics and Maths.||Critical Thinking and General Studies.|
|Sheffield||Chemistry and one of Maths, Physics, Biology or Psychology||Critical Thinking and General Studies are not accepted. Further Mathematics for candidates who hold Mathematics A Level are not considered.|
|Southampton||Chemistry and Biology.||Critical Thinking and General Studies, plus subjects with material that overlaps (e.g. Human Biology/Sports Studies/Physical Education) will not be accepted in combination|
|St Andrews||Chemistry and one of Biology/Human Biology, Maths/Further Maths or Physics||General Studies, Critical Thinking and Global Perspectives & Research. Only one of Mathematics or Further Mathematics will be considered for the 3 subjects required at Advanced Level.|
|St George's||Chemistry and Biology/Human Biology||General Studies and Key Skills.|
|UCL||Chemistry and Biology. The third subject is the student’s own choice.||General Studies or Critical Thinking.|
|UCLan||At least two science subjects, to include Chemistry, and a third academic subject.||-|
Subjects To Take: What A-Levels do you need to be a doctor?
Different universities, as you’ve seen above, require different A-Level subjects. Broadly speaking, most require Chemistry and Biology at A2 Level, so these are good subjects to take. Some medical schools, like Birmingham and Aberdeen, allow Biology to be substituted for Human Biology.
A popular choice for many students is to take these two subjects with Physics, as the three in combination will be suitable for almost all UK medical schools. Taking Chemistry and Biology without Physics should leave most medical school options open to you.
However, some medical schools do not specify their requirements beyond Chemistry and Biology. Brighton and Sussex, for example, state that for the third A-Level choice they encourage humanities or arts subjects to broaden academic horizons. Hull York, however, considers all third A-Level subjects to have ‘equal merit’.
It’s also important to remember that individual courses will have a range of different requirements (for example, courses at Swansea vary), so it’s a good idea to check the specifics before selecting a university or your subjects.
Subjects To Avoid: What A-Levels do you need to be a doctor?
A good general rule is that most medical schools do not accept A-Levels in Critical Thinking, General Studies or Citizenship Studies – so it may be best to steer clear of those!
At Liverpool, many of their non-clinical programmes welcome General Studies as one of three A-Levels – but they only allow one of these subjects from the pool of General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship Studies. General Studies is not considered for a variety of their programmes, including Diagnostic Radiography, Life Sciences, Management School, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Orthoptics, Physiotherapy, Radiotherapy or Veterinary Science.
It is also important to remember that subjects with overlapping content are often not considered – or only considered as one. This includes Maths and Further Maths, or PE and Biology, or Biology and Human Biology. Remember this when selecting your subjects!
What A-Levels do you need to be a doctor and how can you find out which schools require certain subjects? To find out more on comparing medical schools in terms of entry requirements, try visiting our comparison tool here.