The UK government has recently announced that it will fund hundreds of extra places for medical and dental courses this year.
If you are intending to study medicine or dentistry, keep reading below to find out the answers to all your questions.
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Compared to last year, there will be ~250 more places available for medical and dental schools.
In total, around 9,000 medical and dental school places will be available in England, subject to universities’ capacity to expand, such as clinical placement opportunities and anatomy teaching facilities.
Medicine and dentistry are highly popular courses. To ensure that each student receives the appropriate placement and training throughout their studies, there is a strict cap on enrolment, which makes medicine and dentistry ultra-competitive.
In 2021, an unexpectedly high number of students qualified for an offer to study medicine or dentistry due to inflation in teacher-assessed grades and a record number of applicants to these courses.
In response, the government has decided to provide extra funding to medical and dental schools across England and to increase the number of available places. More students than ever will now have the opportunity to study medicine and dentistry.
Medical and dental courses have traditionally had a surplus of suitable and qualified candidates who missed out on their places.
A modest increase in the number of places means some of these capable students will get an opportunity to study their dream course and contribute to the NHS workforce in the long-term.
This depends on the capacity of each medical and dental school to provide specialist teaching resources and clinical opportunities. It is unknown at this stage which universities will be able to accommodate more students.
We will update this article as soon as more information becomes available.
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Overshooting from this year’s offers will result in more students being forced to defer to next year. While more places for 2021 entrants will absorb some of this pressure, it is expected that the competition for medicine and dentistry will be higher for free spaces not pre-allocated to deferred students.
If funding is sustained through to 2022, there may be more spaces available to alleviate some pressure next year. However, there is no guarantee of this.
In this context, it is likely that the UCAT cut-off scores will be higher for 2022.
It is unclear at this stage which universities will be able to offer extra places, and how universities that offer both standard and graduate entry courses will allocate their extra places.
The extra places will only be available to students who have met the grade requirements and hold a firm offer.
If you don’t have an offer, you can consider a number of Plan B options, including: