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Brighton & Sussex Medical School


BSMS > Undergraduate > Applying to BSMS > Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Find out more information about our entry requirements, including our equivalent entry requirements and GCSE prerequisites, by selecting a qualification from the list below.

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BSMS requires all UK/EU applicants to sit the BMAT in the year of application in order to be considered for interview.

We feel that BMAT is a fair and transparent method for selecting for interview. We value that it is not only a test of aptitude, but also of knowledge. BSMS believes that it is important that applicants are able to demonstrate that they are able to construct a clear argument and present it using a good level of written English; this can be evidenced in Section 3. 

We believe that the BMAT allows applicants to put themselves in the spotlight; if you have the ability and talent to succeed in medicine then the BMAT gives you the perfect opportunity to show us, regardless of your background. BSMS scores the BMAT out of 28 (9 marks for Section 1, 9 for Section 2 and 5 marks for each element of Section 3) we then rank all applicants according to their total score out of 28 and work down the rankings to fill our interview places. For 2018 entry, applicants without contextual data who scored 16.3 or above were invited for interview (the cut off score will vary each year). 

To help you prepare for the test, BMAT have produced a number of very useful resources including guides to the content of the course and past test papers.

Read more >

You are required to register with BMAT assessment centres prior to the test. Please refer to the BMAT website for key dates and additional information. The results of the BMAT will be used to assess each application and will form part of the process to select applicants for interview. BMAT may also be used as a final discriminator if needed after interview.

If you feel that your performance on the day of the test was effected by extenuating circumstances you must apply to BMAT for Special Consideration.

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BSMS will not consider any requests for Special Consideration that have not followed the procedures detailed on the BMAT website.


We require all applicants to have obtained grade B or above or grade 6 or above in Maths and English Language or English Literature.

Contextual data

BSMS is committed to widening participation into medicine, so along with assessing your academic profile, we will also be looking for any contextual data that may enhance your application. If you are identified as having any two from the following key pieces of data, then you will be considered separately from the rest of our applicants. For these applicants, we willa ccept AAB at A-level (including Biology and Chemistry); and English and Mathematics at GCSE grade 5 or C.

  • You live in a neighbourhood that has low participation into higher education or live in an area that falls within the lowest 20% of the Index of Mass Deprivation. Eligibility will be identified by BSMS Admissions. 
  • You attended an 11–16 state school that performed below the national average at Progress 8 score. Eligibility will be identified by BSMS Admissions. 
  • You (or a parent or guardian) are in receipt of a means-tested benefit. Eligibility should be self-declared and evidence submitted via our admissions portal. All applicants will receive information on how to do this after submitting their UCAS application.
  • You are in receipt of the 16 to 19 bursary. Eligibility should be self-declared and evidence submitted via our admissions portal. All applicants will receive information on how to do this after submitting their UCAS application.
  • You are (or have been) eligible for free school meals at any point between Year 9 and Year 13 Eligibility should be self-declared and evidence submitted via our admissions portal. All applicants will receive information on how to do this after submitting their UCAS application.

Applicants who are (or have been) looked after in local authority care for more than three months will automatically be invited for interview, subject to satisfying academic criteria.

A Levels

Most standard offers for entry to BSMS are conditional on gaining three A grades at A-level (including Biology and Chemistry). For applicants with contextual data we will accept AAB. We do not specify the nature of the third A-level subject and the majority of our applicants will choose to study Maths or Physics; however we strongly encourage applications from students who study humanities or the arts as we recognise their value in broadening academic horizons.

It should be noted that General Studies is not acceptable at any level.

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

We welcome candidates who have successfully completed an Extended Project, recognising the effort that they have expended and the valuable skills and knowledge that they will have gained. However the EPQ will not form part of any offers that we make.

Scottish Highers

You will normally be required to have three Advanced Highers including Biology and Chemistry grades A or two Advanced Highers in Biology and Chemistry at grades A plus 2 Higher Level subjects at grades A.

Welsh Baccalaureate

We welcome applicants applying to us with the Welsh Baccalaureate. Normally you will be required to achieve an A grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma as well as 2 A grades at A-level to include both Biology and Chemistry.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate passed at Higher/Honours level with (old 2016 system) at least grades A1 A1 A2 A2 A2 A2 at Higher/Honours Level including grades A1 in Biology and Chemistry. Or at least (new system) grades H1 H1 H2 H2 H2 H2 H2 including H1 in both Biology and Chemistry subjects. You will also need at least (old system) grades B2 in English and Maths components of or (new system) grades at least H3/O3 or above in the Leaving Certificate at Ordinary/Standard Level.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

We very much welcome applications from students who have taken, or are taking, the International Baccalaureate Diploma. You will normally need to pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with 36 points overall to include both Biology and Chemistry at Higher level. A grade 6 must be achieved in both.

Other equivalent qualifications

A wide range of other academic qualifications equivalent to A levels, Advanced Highers and the International Baccalaureate are also welcome. If you are intending to offer such qualifications, please check on the BSMS admissions webpage for advice on their eligibility and the grades expected. If you have any further queries, contact our admissions team.

Graduate entry

You should hold, or expect to hold, a first or upper second class science degree and be able to demonstrate an adequate knowledge of biology and chemistry equivalent to A-level. This may be achieved through having studied these subjects to A-level or through relevant degree modules. Graduate entrants are assessed on their recent achievement and do not have to satisfy our normal entry requirements however our GCSE English and maths requirements must still be met. 

You should however note that the integrated nature of our degree in medicine does not normally allow advanced entry to a different year of the programme. As part of your academic assessment you will be asked to supply a transcript of your degree.

If you hold (or expect to hold) a first or upper second class honours degree but do not have the necessary knowledge of biology and chemistry, you should consider entry via the Access to Medicine route - see prospectus for more details.

Access to Medicine

The Universities of Brighton and Sussex share a commitment to, and a strong record of achievement in, the education of mature students. We seek to extend this commitment to mature entry to medicine.

Access to Medicine courses are an effective way for mature entrants who have not previously studied biology and chemistry at A level or at degree level to gain a qualification acceptable for entry into medical school. A pass at distinction level is normally required. In addition, we require students coming via this route to demonstrate proficiency in both English and Maths, both to a minimum level of GCSE grade B. Access to Medicine courses are not a substitute for previous poor performance in the relevant areas of science that are needed to study medicine. As such BSMS will not consider applications from any Access to Medicine students already holding qualifications in the relevant sciences graded at or below our standard entry requirements.

We advise those considering the Access to Medicine entry route to investigate carefully the success record of the courses to which they apply. Successful courses are likely to have selective entry policies, to require intensive full-time commitment to study and to have a differentiated outcome (eg, a pass with distinction or a percentage mark).

A Sussex-based Access to Medicine course is offered at Sussex Downs College, Lewes, developed in partnership with us. This course offers a guaranteed interview with BSMS. The curriculum includes Biology to A-level standard, Chemistry to above AS-level standard and a range of subsidiary subjects including Health Psychology, Medical Ethics, Mathematics, Physics, Methodoloy and Research. The course runs from September to June each year and applications should be made no later than the May/June of the year prior to the year of intended entry to medical school. For details call 030 300 39200.

There are also well-established Access to Medicine courses offered by College of West Anglia, King's Lynn, and City and Islington College. Access to Medicine courses are aimed at mature students who do not have the relevant science knowledge. They are not suitable for applicants who have just finished their school qualifications.

Details of the Access courses that BSMS recognises:

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Medical Schools Council's Access to Medicine guidelines:

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Pre Medical courses

Pre Medical courses are aimed at any applicant who did not manage to secure a place at medical school the first time around, did not meet the entry requirements, as well as international students who do not meet our initial entry criteria.

A place on a Pre Med course does not guarantee a place at medical school programme but may help with ensuring applicants meet the relevant academic requirements.

Applicants entering onto a pre medical course will be required to obtain a distinction overall as well as distinctions in each module. All applicants are also required to have grades B in English and maths GCSE, or if English is not their first language an IELTS of 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in each component.

Details about BSMS recognised Pre Med courses:

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International students

Applicants who are not ordinarily resident in the UK or EU are considered to be international. Applicants are advised to get in touch with the admissions team directly to see whether they are academically eligible before they apply. All applicants are also required to have grades B in English and maths GSCE, or if English is not their first language an IELTS of 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in each component. This must have been achieved no more than three years before the date that you intend to enrol with BSMS.

International applicants are not required to sit The BioMedical Admissions Test  (BMAT) or any other admissions test. Applications will be invited for interview based upon academic profile and the contents of the UCAS personal statement. The personal statement should not merely list activities and attributes but be able to clearly demonstrate why the information you choose to give enhances your application.

International applicants will be interviewed by a panel (not MMI); interviews will take place at BSMS or via video-link for students based overseas. Interviewers will have access to the applicant’s personal statement and may use the content as a source for questions. BSMS will aim to hold international interviews in February, but may interview at other times.

If offered a place to study at BSMS, international students are required to pay a £2,500 tuition fee deposit when they accept their offer.

International entry requirements >

International fees >


FAQs: Entry requirements

If you require further information about our entry requirements, please see our FAQ page.

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