A-levels 2021 News and Medical School Requirements

Admissions

2020-12-14

Students in England sitting GSCEs and A-levels will be given extra support for next summer’s exams.

Update January 2021: GSCE and A-level examinations have been cancelled for 2021. This article will be updated once more details become available on how the teacher assessed grades will be allocated.

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What extra support is being provided?

The government has previously announced that next summer’s exams will be delayed by three weeks to maximise the teaching period. On 3rd December 2020, further measures were introduced in recognition of unprecedented disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The following extra measures will be implemented:

  • Grades will be awarded more generously so that students sitting exams this year are not disadvantaged.
  • The level of generosity given will be fair across the different subjects. Therefore, your choice of subjects will not advantage or disadvantage you.
  • In January, you will receive details on exam topics so that you can focus your revision.
  • For some exams, you will be allowed to take exam aids like formula sheets.
  • Students who are clinically vulnerable will be able to sit exams at home.

What happens if I miss my assessment due to COVID-19?

If you miss an assessment due to COVID-19 (illness/quarantine/self-isolation), the following contingency measures will be in place:

  • If you miss one or more exams but have completed a part of qualification, you will receive a grade.
  • If you miss all assessments in a subject, a contingency paper will be available after the main exams.
  • For exceptional circumstances where you miss all your papers, a ‘validated teacher informed assessment’ can be used.
  • Further details will be provided in 2021.

This is a welcoming move that gives students and parents a clearer idea of how different circumstances will be considered and arrangements will be made.

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Formative mock exams are even more important now

As seen above, you may end up in a situation where you may miss an exam but still be awarded a grade based on the past performance. This places even greater emphasis on the formative assessments and therefore, you should aim to perform well consistently throughout the year. 

If you haven’t already done so, read our blog article on 8 A-levels Study Techniques You Need to Know.

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What A-levels Are Required for Medicine?

Most medical schools require AAA grades but each have different subject requirements, which can get confusing. Find out exactly what each medical school requires below.

Medical School

A-level Grades

Required Subjects

Aberdeen

AAA

Chemistry and one from biology, human biology, maths or physics achieved at same time.

Anglia Ruskin

AAA taken within two years prior to application.

Chemistry or biology, and one of either biology, chemistry, maths or physics.

Aston

AAA-AAB

Chemistry and biology (including passing the practical elements).

Barts

A*AA

Chemistry or biology and a second science subject (chemistry, biology, physics or maths). Any third subject except further maths, general studies and critical thinking.

Birmingham

AAA

Biology and chemistry

Brighton and Sussex

AAA

Biology and chemistry

Bristol

AAA

Chemistry and one of biology, physics or maths.

Buckingham

AAB

Chemistry and biology

Cambridge

Typical offers are made to A*A*A.

A level passes in chemistry and one of biology, physics and maths.

Cardiff

AAA

Chemistry and biology

Central Lancashire

AAB

Chemistry, another science subject, and a third academic subject.

Dundee

AAA

Chemistry and another science, achieved in one sitting.

Edge Hill

AAA (third subject may be B if biology or chemistry is at A*).

Biology and chemistry, with passes in the practical elements.

Edinburgh

AAA

Chemistry and one of biology/human biology, maths and physics.

Exeter

AAA

Biology and chemistry

Glasgow

AAA

Chemistry and one of maths, physics or biology. If biology is not taken at A2 level, then must have biology A grade at AS level. General studies, critical thinking and global perspectives & research not accepted.

Hull York

AAA in the first sitting.

Biology and chemistry

Imperial College London

AAA

Chemistry and biology

Keele

AAA

Biology or chemistry, plus another from biology, chemistry, economics, further mathematics, mathematics, physics, psychology or statistics.

Kent and Medway

AAB

Chemistry or biology, plus another from chemistry, biology, maths, psychology or physics. General studies and critical thinking not accepted.

King's College London

A*AA

Chemistry and biology

Lancaster

AAA

Two of biology, chemistry and psychology.

Leeds

AAA

Chemistry or biology. Physics or maths if chemistry is not taken.

Leicester

AAA (A*AB considered if you have an A in chemistry or biology)

Chemistry or biology plus another from biology, chemistry, physics or psychology. General studies, citizenship studies or critical thinking not accepted.

Liverpool

AAA

Chemistry, one of biology, physics or mathematics, and a third academic subject.

Manchester

AAA

Chemistry or biology/human biology plus another from chemistry, biology/human biology, psychology, maths or further maths.

Newcastle

AAA

No requirement for science subjects. General studies, use of maths, world development, communication and culture and critical thinking not accepted.

Norwich

AAA

Biology/human biology or chemistry, including a pass in the practical element of science A levels. General studies and critical thinking not accepted.

Nottingham

AAA

Biology/human biology and chemistry.

Nottingham - Lincoln

AAA

Biology/human biology and chemistry. Pass in science practical elements.

Oxford

A*AA (in one sitting)

Chemistry and one of biology, physics or maths. Critical thinking and general studies not accepted.

Plymouth

A*AA-AAB

Biology and one of chemistry, physics, maths and psychology.

Queen's Belfast

A*AA-AAA

One of the following: 1. AAA at A-level and A in a fourth fourth AS level subject, including chemistry and one of biology, maths or physics. 2. A*AA including chemistry and biology/human biology. 3. A*AA including chemistry and either maths/physics and AS level biology grade B.

Sheffield

AAA (in one sitting)

Chemistry or biology and another science (biology, chemistry, maths, physics or psychology). Further maths, critical thinking, general studies not accepted.

Southampton

AAA

Biology and one other science (including passing the practical elements).

St Andrews

AAA

Chemistry and one of biology, maths or physics.

St George's

AAA

Chemistry and biology

Sunderland

AAA-AAB (completed within two years)

Chemistry or biology plus a second science.

UCL

A*AA

Biology and chemistry.


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