Medicine at University - GCSE Requirements

(47 Posts)
surreymother Wed 22-Nov-17 18:54:53

My daughter wants to do a degree in Medicine and is happy to go to any university. At GCSE she has 3A*s, 3As, 2Bs, 1C, with the A*s being in Science, Maths & PE. Her teacher has told her that these are not high enough and you need 8A*s to study Medicine. However, according to many of the university prospectus these grades would be acceptable. Is her teacher wrong or are the published GCSE grades required just a minimum with the reality being that offers are only made to students with much higher GCSE grades?

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Wed 22-Nov-17 19:02:24

I think A* and A grades are the norm for Medicine. Did she do double or triple science? What A levels is she taking?

Woodenhillmum Wed 22-Nov-17 19:10:04

Predicted grades for A levels need to be A * or A s but all A * GCSEs are not necessary.Different universities score GCSEs/ Ukcat /Bmat with varying weighting .The student room has some advice on this .A* help but are not essential for all courses.

LineysBum Wed 22-Nov-17 19:29:42

Her teacher is incorrect about GCSEs.

Plus some university medicine courses ask for AAA at A level as long as they are Biology, Chemistry and 'preferably Physics or Maths'. (ie definitely Physics or Maths, and a cracking personal statement and relevant work experience.)

Best of luck to your DD.

Needmoresleep Wed 22-Nov-17 19:41:58

You certainly don't need 8 A*s, but whether these are good enough results depends partly on the school. If your DD is at St Paul's Girls, where almost everyone gets A* in everything, then no. If her school's results are generally below the national average it might be fine.

You then need to choose carefully. Bristol, for example, will make offers of AAB, and put a lot of weight on Personal Statement. Others will put weight on UKCAT or BMAT scores, or on GCSE/A level predictions. Luckily they are all different.

This kind person collated admissions policies for 2017. Things will have changed, but it gives you some idea.

LemonysSnicket Wed 22-Nov-17 19:44:44

Theyre not high enough.
My sister got 8A* at gcse and 3 A* A levels and was rejected by four schools and only accepted by one.

NorthernLurker Wed 22-Nov-17 20:00:55

That's not right lemony. The grades could be fine with strong ukcat/bmat and a level predictions.

My dd got two offers for medicine. She had 6a * and 6 a at gcse.


LineysBum Wed 22-Nov-17 20:06:56

Lemony, you can't get higher than those grades, so it can't have been the grades in themselves iyswim. Could it have been subject choice at A level, personal statement, appropriate social care work experience? It really is a combination of factors.

surreymother Wed 22-Nov-17 21:15:56

Thank you. That is really useful

OP’s posts: |
MedSchoolRat Wed 22-Nov-17 21:52:17

I'm sorry to sound like jobsworth. Isn't what you're discussing against all terms of use agreements? Your risk to take if so.

NorthernLurker Wed 22-Nov-17 21:52:59


MedSchoolRat Wed 22-Nov-17 21:53:48

ha! Stupid me, ignore last post, that belongs on another thread....

What I was gonna say here is that many Medic students have a C or even D lurking in their GCSE results - you can see for yourself from FOI requests.

Now I wonder if anyone will read that or have I confused you all, sorry.

Kez100 Wed 22-Nov-17 22:03:07

I know someone with one C (English language) but I don't know his other gcse grades - he received no offers BUT

He nailed amazing A levels, took a gap year full of relevant stuff, and reapplied. Received four interviews and four unconditional offers!

So, all is not lost if it's her dream.

Kez100 Wed 22-Nov-17 22:04:33

Actually, I also know a recently qualified medic with a C in French. Again, I don't know his other grades.

hibbledobble Wed 22-Nov-17 22:26:14

What is the c in? Generally at least a b is required in maths and English language. How many science gcses?

While medical schools may have lower minimum requirements, it's worth bearing in mind that these are the absolute minimum and competition is incredibly tough, and many/most candidates have a string of A*s.

In short, it's not impossible to get into medical school, but will require a lot of work on other aspects of the application.

hibbledobble Wed 22-Nov-17 22:27:07

I would also recommend applying to less competitive medical schools eg hull York, Nottingham

LoniceraJaponica Wed 22-Nov-17 22:29:58

"Plus some university medicine courses ask for AAA at A level as long as they are Biology, Chemistry and 'preferably Physics or Maths'"

DD is applying to med school at the moment and has 5 A*, 3 A and 2 B. Some medical schools prefer the third A level to be and arts or humanities subject to show a breadth of education.

NorthernLurker Thu 23-Nov-17 08:15:23

Nottingham less competitive? Really? Not sure about that.

Needmoresleep Thu 23-Nov-17 09:04:38

I agree with Lurker. Birmingham, Cardiff and Nottingham are ones to look at if you have strong GCSEs. So avoid if you don't. They are all competitive, though admittedly some more than others. Unsurprisingly Bristol, which sets some of the lower hurdles in terms of academic or aptitude test achievement, has one of the highest application/lowest acceptance rates.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Thu 23-Nov-17 09:10:54

lonicera, that's interesting, do you mind sharing which places prefer a humanities subject as the third A level? DD3 will be applying for medicine, but I'm not totally convinced A level Maths is her thing, and that she'd get a much better grade in a different subject. I'm currently being contradicted by the school's careers woman and "everything" DD has read online. Thanks smile

LoniceraJaponica Thu 23-Nov-17 10:44:08

I suggest you look at York

NorthernLurker Thu 23-Nov-17 12:43:39

Dd1 had maths, biology and chemistry at a level and history at a-s. She got offers from Dundee and Liverpool, rejected by Sheffield and Newcastle. Another girl at her school dropped maths and did psychology as her third and she had offers from Leeds and Manchester.

maddiemostmerry Thu 23-Nov-17 12:50:56

She needs need to look carefully at each med school requirements and apply sensibly.
Relevant work experience(care home etc) and what she learns from it on statement.

My son is a 4th yr med student. GCSE A* A and a couple of B's.

Its a really complex process, people with better grades than his got rejections.

hibbledobble Thu 23-Nov-17 13:17:39

What makes you think Nottingham isn't less competitive?

I know people who were accepted there, and rejected from all their other choices. I even know of someone who was initially rejected by Nottingham, then recalled as too many had rejected them.

I would advise against applying to Oxbridge and the London medical schools with poor grades, especially UCL and Imperial.

Needmoresleep Thu 23-Nov-17 13:40:07

Hmmm, Nottingham was the only pre-interview rejection DD received. Ditto she knows plenty who got Oxbridge/UCL/Imperial but not Bristol or others.

Again, look at entry requirements, and play to your strengths. Notts was always risky for DD as she did not have a great UKCAT and "only" 7 A*s at GCSE. Equally some of her very academic friends (she was at a school where about 90% of GCSEs were A*) must have done very well on BMAT and headed off to UCL/Imperial/Oxbridge but perhaps did not have as much practical experience or communication skills and got rejections elsewhere. DD in contrast had bags of experience/volunteering/shadowing and lots of good extra-curricular and school leadership, and is now at Bristol. She has been surprised how many there are on contextual offers, and how few are from the London private school bubble. (A good thing - I hear that is not the case with Oxbridge.) This gives her a bit of an initial head start in terms of work organisation, but the assumption is that in a year or so it will be hard to spot who came in with which grades. Statistics suggest very few fail, so they will all be good enough.

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