Different Routes into Medicine

Last updated: 10/04/2019

There are several ways to pursue a career in medicine and this page serves as a brief overview of these options. They are then explored in more detail in other parts of the Admissions Guide.

Students who are sure that they would like to become doctors can enter medical school on completion of their A levels. It is worth bearing in mind that other criteria needs to be fulfilled to win a place, such as performing well during interview and demonstrating an interest by organising appropriate work experience. Entry into medical school is dependent on achieving the A level grades that each university offer stipulates.

Students who miss their university offers due to lower A level grades can apply to do a foundation year at several universities. These programmes have lower entry requirements and serve as academic preparation for students to apply to medical school afterwards.

Not everyone’s first degree is a medical degree. Graduates who have completed previous university degrees can apply to medical school, with the option of either joining an undergraduate programme that lasts 5 years or a graduate entry programme lasting 4 years.

For those who have taken a break from studies or do not have the right A levels to apply to medical school, access courses are a way to ensure that they reach the right level of scientific knowledge required to pursue medicine. Even if you have embarked on a completely different career, you can still apply to medicine if you feel it is the right choice for you.

If you are interested in oral and maxillofacial surgery, you will be required to go to medical school to acquire your medical degree after qualifying as a dentist. The only difference with this situation compared to those that have already been mentioned is that dentists enter medical school at the start of the clinical year, rather than having to go through the preclinical years too.

With the spectrum of routes that are available, if you are interested in getting into medical school there is no reason why you should not consider applying if you are genuinely interested and believe that it is the right career choice for you.

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