Medical schools across the UK are notoriously difficult to get into. Medicine is a very popular course, so there is lots of competition for a limited number of places. If you are deciding which medical schools you want to apply to, you may want to choose strategically, based on the ones you are most likely to get into. It can be really frustrating trying to find all the relevant statistics and information – but this article is here to help!
This article will rank the top ten easiest medical schools to get into in the UK, based on acceptance rates and entry requirements. While this is a great place to start, it is a very subjective topic, and there are lots of factors to consider.
Disclaimer: The rankings displayed in this article are based only on acceptance rates. This means that they could be skewed by factors that haven’t been discussed in this article. We therefore strongly recommend that this ranking is not considered in isolation and should only be considered alongside other key factors.
Visualisation: Medical Schools Ranked by Acceptance Rate
Below you can find the visualisation of the easiest medical schools to go to based off acceptance rates and entry requirements (top – easiest, bottom – 10ᵗʰ easiest). The chart shows the acceptance rates for our top picks.
Keep reading for a detailed guide to some of the easiest medical schools to get into in the UK. This article includes plenty of information about acceptance rates, entry requirements, interview styles and more, to help you make an informed decision when applying to medical schools.
What are the easiest medical schools to get into?
This article contains a list of the ten easiest medical schools to get into, based mainly on general acceptance rates, with entry requirements taken into account. The data is from the academic year 2019/20 – while the rates change slightly year on year, they remain mostly stable, but it may be worth checking the latest data available before applying.
Additionally, this information is based on standard home applicants for undergraduate medicine courses, currently taking A-Levels. If one of these doesn’t apply to you, full information should be available on the linked websites. This includes other accepted qualifications and lower grade offers (for example, AAB instead of AAA) if there is contextual data to take into account.
This should be a useful guide if you are struggling with where to apply to improve your chances of success. That being said, bear in mind that getting into any medical school, including the ones listed here, is a huge achievement, and will require a lot of hard work.
Not only will you need high grades, but you will also take an admissions test and attend an interview. Have a look at this Think Student article for more about how hard it is to get into medical school.
Make sure to double check official university websites before applying, for information about the course itself as well as the admissions process. For a general guide to the medical schools with the best acceptance rates, keep reading!
10. University of Manchester Medical School
The University of Manchester is a very popular choice for aspiring medical students, and actually has a reasonable acceptance rate of 14.9%. Their medical school is the largest in the UK – more places means the competition ratios are less intense.
Their standard offer is AAA, with two science subjects, including Chemistry or Biology. Three A grades is, in fact, the normal pattern for most medical schools – to find out more about this, check out this Think Student article.
As mentioned, grades are unfortunately not the only thing you need to think about! There is a brief overview here, but for a complete guide to the medicine course at the University of Manchester, check out their website here.
Manchester’s medicine course requires the UCAT test. They use a cut-off score, but this changes every year depending on how well the pool of applicants has done.
You will also need to take part in an MMI interview. This style of interview is where you have several short stations, each with a different interviewer, and usually a different theme. It is the most common interview format among UK medical schools.
One reason Manchester isn’t higher on this list is the emphasis placed on GCSEs. You will need at least 7 GCSEs at grade 7/A or above. If you do not meet this, it may be better to look at other medical schools listed, which do not consider GCSEs as much. On the other hand, if you do have these grades, it can be nice to have a part of the application process already in the bag.
Although it is not necessarily the easiest medical school to get into, Manchester is a good option to consider. It is a prestigious university, but still has enough spaces available to improve your chances of getting an offer.
9. Hull York Medical School
Coming in at 9th is Hull York Medical School, a collaboration between the universities of Hull and York, with an acceptance rate of around 14.3%. Although this may not sound particularly high, and is in fact slightly lower than Manchester, other aspects of their application process help them make this list.
For example, their standard offer – as with many of the courses on this list – is three A grades at A-Level, which must include Chemistry and Biology. However, unlike lots of other medical courses, this isn’t a rigid requirement.
If you take an EPQ, and get an A, your offer can be lowered to AAB. Additionally, they will accept predicted grades of AAB, even if they want AAA in the real exams. For more detail about their entry requirements, and the course in general, check out their website here.
As with all medicine applications, you will also need to sit an entrance exam, and attend an interview. Hull York uses the UCAT admissions test, and ranks candidates on their score. For the interview, they use the MMI style.
Additionally, Hull York has a GCSE requirement of 6 GCSEs at a pass grade – in other words, grades 9 to 4, or A* to C. This is a more lenient threshold than Manchester, which is why Hull York is higher on this list.
However, as with before, it is best to look at your individual GCSE grades and see whether they match up to the required level. If they do, Hull York may be a good option – but if not, there are plenty of other universities on this list which do not look at GCSEs as much.
8. Lancaster University Medical School
Lancaster University has a renowned medical school, ranked first in the UK for research quality and graduate prospects in 2022, according to the Times Good University Guide. You may therefore be pleased to know that it comes in at 8th on this list, with an acceptance rate of 15.4%.
Their general offer is 3 A grades at A-Level, including two of Biology, Chemistry and Psychology. This may be lowered to AAB with an A in the EPQ.
Lancaster also has set GCSE requirements, including at least 8 passes. They assess these using a scoring system, and this, along with other necessary information about this course, can be found here on their website.
Although this can sound like a lot, you will know your GCSE grades before applying, so can take these requirements into account. If you meet them, along with the higher acceptance rate, this can make Lancaster a great choice.
Lancaster uses the less popular medical admissions test: the BMAT. This is taken in October, after you hand in your application, so it can feel riskier than applying with UCAT scores you already know. However, if you were not happy with your UCAT score, this can be an opportunity for a second chance.
Finally, you will need to take an MMI interview. Each station is scored and ranked, and the university uses this to make final decisions about offers.
7. Brighton and Sussex Medical School
A partnership between the universities of Brighton and Sussex, this medical school often ranks as one of the best for student satisfaction in the UK. With an acceptance rate of 15.9%, it makes it to number 7 on this list.
Their standard A-Level offer is AAA, including Biology and Chemistry. You may notice the same subjects come up a lot in medical school entry requirements. For more about subjects needed to study medicine, have a look at this Think Student article.
Brighton and Sussex place less emphasis on GCSEs during the admissions process, only looking at two. They ask for applicants to have at least a grade 6 in an English and Maths GCSE. For interviews, they use the common MMI format.
However, as with Lancaster, this medical school uses the BMAT as their admissions test. They have notoriously high cut-off scores for this, which may discourage you from applying. A detailed guide to their admissions process and course can be found here on their website.
6. Newcastle University School of Medical Education
Newcastle’s medical school has an above-average acceptance rate of 16.1%. However, the thing that stands out about this medical school is their subject requirements. While they do require 3 A grades at A-Level, these can be in almost any subject, and they do not take GCSEs into account.
Biology and Chemistry are not required, and there are only a few subjects that aren’t accepted. These can be found on their website here, along with lots of other information about the course.
The rest of the admissions process is fairly standard. You will need to take the UCAT admissions test, and attend an MMI interview, before getting an offer.
Overall, this makes Newcastle a great choice if you have weaker GCSEs, or if you chose to apply for medicine later than your peers and did not take the subjects required for many other universities. However, remember that not taking Biology or Chemistry at A-Level will mean extra work at the start of medical school, as most of the others on the course will have a higher level of scientific knowledge to begin with.
5. Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
This medical school forms part of Queen Mary University of London. Its applicant success rate is around 20%, considerably more than the average for medical schools across the UK. Although the key information is given here, have a look at their website here for all the details you need about their course and admissions process.
Barts and the London has a higher standard offer than most of the other universities in this ranking. They require A-Level grades of A*AA, including two science subjects, one of which must be Biology or Chemistry.
Given the comparatively high acceptance rate, this medical school still makes it onto this list. However, before choosing to apply here, this higher grade is definitely something to think about. You should consider how you have been finding the A-Level courses so far, and what your predicted grades have been like. If you are confident you can get the grades, this might be the choice for you.
In addition to this, you will need to have 6 GCSEs, of around grade 6 to grade 7. They also use the UCAT, with thresholds changing year on year as applicants score differently. While these statistics may be starting to sound familiar, Barts and the London does interviews a little differently.
Instead of the normal MMI setup, this medical school uses panel interviews. This is a more traditional format, with a panel of interviewers carrying out the whole interview, rather than multiple short stations with different interviewers.
You may feel that you might be better suited to a panel interview, for example, if you dislike having a short period of time to impress each interviewer. In this case, this medical school may be well-suited to your abilities, along with a higher acceptance rate, making it a great choice for you.
4. University of Glasgow School of Medicine
The medical school at the University of Glasgow comes in at 4th on this list, with an acceptance rate of 21.3%. This is a very good applicant success rate, for a university that often ranks highly for its medicine course. In fact, in 2023, the Complete University Guide ranked this course third in the UK, outranking all universities except Oxford and Cambridge.
With this in mind, Glasgow has very reasonable entry requirements. As you may be used to by now, they ask for A-Level grades of AAA, including Chemistry and another science subject.
It is worth noting that because this is a Scottish university, many applicants will have Scottish qualifications, such as SQA Highers. Check out their website here for more information if you are applying with these qualifications, and for any other information about this course.
This university also has low GCSE requirements. All they require you to have is a grade 6 in GCSE English, or an equivalent qualification. Additionally, if you have not studied Biology at A-Level, you will need to have a grade 6 at GCSE.
Glasgow medical school uses the UCAT admissions test in much the same way as other universities on this list. However, as with Barts, the interview itself may be slightly different. You can expect to have a panel style interview, lasting for about half an hour.
Whether you excel in this style of interview is highly dependent on you as an individual. It can be intense! If you think you will prefer this setup, and meet Glasgow’s academic requirements, it might be a really good option given its comparatively high success rate.
3. University of Lincoln Medical School
This medical school is a partnership with the University of Nottingham, facilitating a medicine course to be taught in Lincolnshire. It is one of the newest in the country – one of five medical schools that opened in 2019 to increase the places available for applicants. To read more about this, have a look at this article from The Medic Portal.
This is great news if you’re applying, because it lowers competition ratios. In fact, this medical school has an acceptance rate of about 25%. This great success rate, along with the standard offer of AAA including Biology and Chemistry, make this medical school an appealing choice.
However, they do have fairly stringent GCSE requirements. For this medical school, you will need at least 6 GCSEs at grade 7 or above, including Chemistry and Biology. Their website can be found here, with the full details about entry requirements and the course itself.
Along with this, you will need to complete all the other aspects of the application process that have been talked about in this article. The University of Lincoln uses the UCAT admissions test and MMI interviews to score applicants. The score needed each year changes as the cohort of candidates will have different abilities.
2. University of Sunderland School of Medicine
This medical school is another of the five opened in 2019. In partnership with the University of Keele, it has a focus on general practice work. If you are interested in becoming a GP, this could be a great choice for you – especially given its acceptance rate of 25%.
Their entry requirements are similar to Lincoln, but slightly more lenient. Your A-Level qualifications will still need to be 3 A grades, but you will only require one of Chemistry and Biology, as well as a second science subject. That being said, the majority of medical school applicants will take both subjects regardless.
For GCSEs, you will need 5 grades of 7 or above. They also have a fairly standard interview process, using the UCAT admissions test to help select for interview, and MMI interview styles. For all the information you need about their course, have a look at their website here.
Given the high success rate, if you think you are on track to meet the academic requirements, the University of Sunderland might be the best choice possible for applicants interested in the general practice area of medicine.
It is worth noting that, given the newness of Lincoln and Sunderland, competition ratios may increase as people become more familiar with the university. However, as of 2023, both are still great choices with high acceptance rates.
1. Queen’s University Belfast School of Medicine
Now for the big reveal…the number one place on this list goes to the medical school of Queen’s University Belfast, with an acceptance rate of about 22.2%. While this is slightly lower than the new medical schools above, this university has had a consistently high success rate over many years. This makes it the best overall option if you are looking to increase your chances of getting an offer.
The entry requirements are slightly different to most of the other universities on this list. They ask for A*AA for most applicants, including Biology and Chemistry, but there are various reasons this could be lowered. If you have taken an AS Level, or an EPQ, and achieved an A grade, your requirements should be lowered to AAA.
The GCSEs needed are also fairly unique to this university, but are not too wide-ranging. You will need a pass (grade 4) in GCSE Maths and Physics. Your GCSEs, along with results from the UCAT admissions test, will be scored to help select for an MMI style interview. For more on the admissions process and course, have a look at their website here.
While this may sound a little daunting, don’t be too put off! There are two main reasons this medical school claims top place: lots of places on offer, and applicant number below the average. Combined, these two factors improve your chances of getting an offer.
Multiple other websites carried out their own research and found Queen’s University Belfast to be the medical school that has the best odds, including Medical School Expert and Education Projects Group. If you think you can achieve the right grades, this could be the most strategic choice for many applicants.
Which medical school should you apply to?
Overall, you are the only person who can decide where to apply. This list should have given you a good idea of the general success rates, as well as some of the less competitive courses. However, you will know the most about your own ability, qualifications and what you want from a university.
There are many other things to consider. Perhaps sports are really important to you, or you want to research the wellbeing support available at universities. Use this ranking as a guide if you are looking to make a strategic application, but be sure to research individual universities and how well they fit with your own aims before you apply.
Does it matter what medical school you go to?
The first thing to be aware of is that all medical degrees in the UK are considered equally. Medical schools are registered by the GMC, the medical regulating body in the UK, and a degree from any institution on this list is worth the same, no matter the university ranking. For a full list of UK medical schools, check out this page from the Medical Schools Council.
You may therefore wish to improve your chances of getting an offer by applying to medical schools with high acceptance rates – and this article can help with that! However, remember that there are other things to consider.
You will still have to attend the university for at least five years, and it is important that you go somewhere you will enjoy. If you prefer a quiet, rural university, you may not be happy in a big town for such a long stretch of time, even if it is comparatively easy to get into.
Have a look at this page of the GMC website for more information on choosing and getting into medical schools.