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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Entry REQUIREMENTS

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.

students study during lecture

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 – see below for further information – we will accept AAB (including Biology and Chemistry). Please be reassured that while many students are advised to study Maths or Physics by their schools or colleges, we do not specify the nature of the third A-level subject*. We actively welcome applicants who study subjects outside of the mathematical and physical sciences, as we recognise their value in broadening academic horizons.

*Please note that we do not except A-levels in General Studies, Critical Thinking or, if you are a non-speaker of English, an A-level in your original language of instruction.

BMAT

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

You are required to register with BMAT assessment centres prior to the test. We feel that BMAT is a fair and transparent method for selecting for interview, and value that it is not only a test of aptitude, but also of knowledge. It is important that applicants are able to demonstrate that they can 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.

We score the BMAT out of 28 (9 marks for Section 1, 9 marks 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. 

Please note that we will not consider applicants, without contextual data, whose BMAT scores does not fulfil ALL of the following criteria: 

  • Section one: a score of at least 3 or higher
  • Section two: a score of at least 3 or higher
  • Section three: a score of at least 2.5 C or higher 

For 2021 entry, home applicants who scored 17.8 and above and international applicants who scored 18.8 and above were invited to interview. Applicants meeting our contextual data criteria were ranked separately. Those meeting our minimum academic and BMAT (16.4 out of 28) requirements were invited to interview. The cut-off score for interview varies each year, since BSMS started to use BMAT to select for interview the cut off scores have been:  

  • 2020 entry: BMAT cut-off 14.7 or above. International applicants BMAT cut-off 15.8 or above
  • 2019 entry: BMAT cut-off 16.1 or above.
  • 2018 entry: BMAT cut-off 16.4 or above
  • 2017 entry: BMAT cut-off 17.3 or above
  • 2016 entry: BMAT cut-off 16.1 or above
  • 2015 entry: BMAT cut-off 15.1 or above 

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.

Find out more about BMAT resources >

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.

read more about special consideration >

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

GCSEs

We require all applicants, without contextual data, to have obtained at least a grade 6/B in English (Language or Literature) and Maths GCSEs. 

For applicants with contextual data, we will accept English (Language or Literature) and Maths GCSEs at a grade 5/C.

Please note we do not take any other GSCEs into consideration during our admissions process.

Widening participation and contextual data

Greater diversity within the medical profession is a goal that benefits us all. BSMS is committed to seeking out talented people who have the potential to become tomorrow’s doctors but who may not have considered it as a possibility, thus enabling medicine to better reflect the patient population.

As well as assessing your academic profile, we will also be looking to see whether you meet two or more of our contextual data criteria.  If you are identified as meeting any two elements of the criteria below, you will be eligible for our contextual data admissions offer and will be considered separately from the wider applicant pool.

Contextual data criteria

  • You live in a neighbourhood that has low participation into higher education (POLAR 4 quintile 1 or 2) or live in an area that falls within the lowest 20% of the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019.* 

Check your POLAR4 quintile here >

Check your Index of Multiple Deprivation Decile here >

  • You attended an 11–16 state school that performed below the national average according to Attainment 8.* 

Check your school Attainment 8 score here >

You (or a parent or guardian) are in receipt of, or have been eligible for a means-tested benefit.**

See the document link below for examples of means-tested benefits that we would accept.

View our means-tested benefits here > 

  • You are (or have been) in receipt of a 16 to 19 bursary. Read more here > **
  • You are (or have been) eligible for free school meals at any point between Year 9 and Year 13.**
  • You are (or have been) eligible for Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)**
  • You are (or have been) eligible for a Personal Independence Payment (PIP)**

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

We welcome applications from students with disabilities. For information about available support please visit our student support pages here. If you would like to speak to a member of our student support team, please email outreach@bsms.ac.uk.

* This will be determined from the information you provide on your UCAS form.

** All applicants will be invited (via email) to upload any evidence of the above criteria after we receive your UCAS application.

If you have any queries as to whether or not you meet our contextual data criteria, you can email medadmissions@bsms.ac.uk.

Admissions offer for applicants with contextual data

School leavers

A-levels 

For applicants taking, or who have already obtained three A-levels, we require predicted, or achieved grades of at least AAB. This must include Biology and Chemistry. Please be reassured that while many students are advised to study Maths or Physics by their schools or colleges, we do not specify the nature of the third A-level subject*. We actively welcome applicants who study subjects outside of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences, as we recognise their value in broadening academic horizons.

*Please note that we do not except A-levels in General Studies, Critical Thinking or, if you are a non-speaker of English, an A-level in your original language of instruction.

A-levels and a Level 3 Extended BTEC Certificate

For applicants taking, or who have already obtained, two A-levels in Biology and Chemistry, as well as a Level 3 Extended BTEC Certificate, we require predicted, or obtained grades of at least AA in your A-levels and a Merit in your BTEC qualification.

International Baccalaureate

For applicants taking, or who have already obtained the International Baccalaureate (IB) we require a predicted, or obtained score of 35. This must include Higher Level Biology and Chemistry, both at a grade 6.

GCSEs 

For all applicants meeting our two or more of the contextual data criteria, we require English (Language or Literature) and Maths GCSEs at grade 5/C or above. These are the only two GCSEs we look at.

Admissions offer for graduate applicants with contextual data 

Applicants currently studying for, or who already have a degree may also be eligible for a contextual data offer. Applicants will be eligible if they met two or more of the contextual criteria whilst they were studying GCSEs or A-levels, or who currently meet two of the criteria. For eligible applicants, we require English (Language or Literature) and Maths GCSE at grade 5/C or above. Please note we do not alter our grade requirements for degree qualifications.

Admissions offer for Access student applicants with contextual data 

Applicants currently studying for, or who already have an BSMS recognised access qualification (see here for list of recognised access courses) may also be eligible for a contextual data offer. Applicants will be eligible if they met two or more of the contextual criteria whilst they were studying GCSEs or A-levels, or who currently meet two of the criteria. For eligible applicants, we require English (Language or Literature) and Maths GCSE at grade 5/C or above. Please note we do not alter our grade requirements for access course qualifications.

Applicants scoring above our minimum requirements, will not have any advantage in our admissions process. Once we see that applicants have been predicted, or have achieved the minimum academic requirements, they move on to the next stage of our admissions process.

Selection for interview  

As part of our agenda to widen participation to medicine, we aim to reserve 30% of interviews for applicants with contextual data. To select for interview, we rank applicants based on their BMAT score, with top ranking candidates invited to interview. Applicants with contextual data are ranked separately from the wider applicant pool. 

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

Pass Scottish Advanced Highers with grades AAA including Biology and Chemistry. Or pass Advanced Higher Biology and Chemistry with grades A with at least grades A in two additional Higher Subjects. 

English and Maths requirements: grades B or above in National 5s English and Maths.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate passed at Higher/Honours level with (old system) at least grades AAAAAA at Higher/Honours Level including grades A in Biology and Chemistry. Or at least (new system) grades H1, H1, H2, H2, H2, H2 including at least H1 in both Biology and Chemistry subjects.

English and Maths Requirements: You will also need at least (old system) grades B2 in English and Maths or at least grade O3 or above in the Irish Leaving Certificate.

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. For widening participation applicants, we will accept 35 points total.

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.

Date of qualification

All qualifications should have been achieved no earlier than August 2012. BSMS reserves the right to make alternative offers where appropriate.

Graduate entry

Applications from graduates are welcomed. 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. As part of your academic assessment you will be asked to supply a transcript of your degree. 

You should note, however, that the integrated nature of our degree in medicine does not normally allow advanced entry to a different year of the programme. 

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.

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 applicants coming via this route to demonstrate proficiency in both English and Maths. For applicants without contextual data, we require at least a grade 6/B in English (Language or Literature) and Maths GCSEs. For applicants with contextual data, we will accept English (Language or Literature) and Maths GCSEs at a grade 5/C.  

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). 

Developed in partnership with BSMS, the Access to Medicine courses at East Sussex College (Lewes Campus) and Greater Brighton Metropolitan College offers a guaranteed interview with us.

Visit the East Sussex College website >

Download the Access to Medicine recognised courses document >

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 or 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 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 6 or 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.

Download details about pre med courses >

International students

Applicants who may not have 'settled' status nor are ordinarily a resident in the UK 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 6 or B in English and Maths GSCE (or recognised equivalents), 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 required to sit the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). Applicants will be invited for interview based upon meeting academic grade requirements and their BMAT score. The personal statement will not be used during the admissions process. 

International applicants will be interviewed by a Multiple Mini Interview during February and March, but may interview at other times. 

If offered a place to study at BSMS, international students are required to pay a £1,500 tuition fee deposit when they accept their offer.

International entry requirements >

International fees >

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FAQs: Entry requirements

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

Entry requirement FAQs >