Routes into general practice: Applying to medical school

If you’ve decided that you want to be a GP, the first step is to study medicine at university. This information gives you an overview of the process. Medical Schools Council has more detailed and up to date advice and information.


Getting into medical school is highly competitive, so make sure you’re likely to achieve the entry requirements. You have a choice of 33 UK medical schools but you are only allowed to put four on your UCAS application. Your fifth choice can be used for a different subject.

Your UCAS application include a strong personal statement. To support your application, it’s important to have some sort of work experience. This will help you demonstrate that you have developed an understanding of medicine.

Clinical work experience is not essential but some experience working with other people in a caring or service role is desirable. Any voluntary or paid work is also relevant. If you can show what skills and experiences you’ve gained and how it might help you whilst training and once qualified it’s relevant.

Entry requirements

The first entry requirement for all medical schools is to excellent exam results throughout your school career.

Most schools will ask you to take an admissions test. This will either be the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) or the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT), but check entry requirements in prospectuses or through the [UCAS website](LINK).

After you have submitted an application and completed an admissions test you’ll normally be asked to attend an interview. This will assess your interpersonal skills.

If you are a mature student, the entry requirements are like those for school leavers, though some universities will expect you to show evidence of recent study or experience. For example, a science degree or nursing qualification.

If you’re a graduate, you might be expected to have obtained at least a 2:1. Some medical schools only accept certain degree subjects, check with the school you are applying to.

Next: Attending medical school

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