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Brighton & Sussex Medical School


BSMS > Undergraduate > Applying to BSMS

Applying to BSMS

We expect our students to become compassionate practitioners who are really in touch with their patients and committed to the core values of the NHS. You must possess the abilities, the commitment and the personal qualities necessary to become an excellent doctor.

In assessing your application, we will look for evidence of:

  • academic achievement and potential
  • BMAT score
  • a realistic attitude to medical training and clinical practice
  • a commitment to quality of care, compassion and improving lives
  • the ability to communicate and work effectively in a team for the benefit of patients
  • the ability to appreciate other people’s point of view
  • an appreciation of the need to treat people with respect and dignity
  • a willingness to accept responsibility.


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

* 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

Admissions offer for applicants with contextual data (School leavers)

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.

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 applicants with contextual data (Graduates) 
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 applicants with contextual data (Access students)
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.

Care leavers

BSMS is committed to supporting students that are care leavers. In this section you can find out about the support available, alongside details of the relevant contacts to assist you both during your application and once you have started your studies. 

Application process

When you submit your application, we will contact you and ask you to upload documentation to prove that you are in Local Authority Care, or have been previously, for a minimum of 3 months. Once we have established this, and if you meet the academic requirements, we will guarantee you an interview at BSMS. Details of our contextual data entry requirements can be found at > 


Students that study at BSMS have the choice to live either on the University of Brighton campus, or the University of Sussex campus during their first year. Due to the nature of the course medical students are grouped together in certain blocks on the campuses where possible. As a care leaver you are able to stay in accommodation* for 52 weeks of the year.

Details of the available accommodation options can be found here:

*Students may be asked to move to different halls during the summer period due to event bookings on the campuses. For the University of Brighton this may include moving to halls within the city centre or Moulsecoomb. At the University of Sussex, you will remain on the same campus.

Financial Support for Students starting in 2020*

BSMS care leavers may be entitled to receive the University of Sussex ‘Sussex Bursary’. Read more about the bursary at If you have a household income below £25,000 you will automatically receive this bursary.

On top of the Sussex Bursary, students will also be eligible for the following support available:

A package of support comprising:

  • £2,000 per year of study
  • Welcome pack worth approximately £150
  • Sports/leisure membership worth approximately £140 per year.

On graduating you will receive:

  • Graduation ceremony package worth approximately £150
  • £500 exit bursary to assist with clothing/travel for interviews.

Students that live on either the University of Brighton or the University of Sussex campus will be eligible for this support.

*Please note: every year university bursaries and support are reviewed so this could vary for students entering after 2020.

Hardship Fund

Care leavers are a priority group in receiving support from the universities’ Hardship Fund*. If during your studies, you unexpectedly experience financial difficulties you can make an appointment with a Money Advisor. 

University of Sussex:

University of Brighton -

*Please note you can only apply to one of the Universities’ Hardship Funds.

Pastoral Support

Once you arrive at BSMS a member of our Student Support Team will be in contact with you to arrange a ‘welcome meeting’ to discuss how you are settling in. They can provide a variety of support whilst you are studying. You can read more about the pastoral support available here: >

Please email Tabitha Ellwood (Student Welfare Advisor) at if you have any questions

Useful contacts 


For support during the application process please contact: 
Claire Johnson (Widening Participation and Outreach Manager) - or tel: 01273 641841

Once you have accepted your place with us, or have arrived with us, please contact:

Tabitha Ellwood (Student Welfare Advisor)  –

University of Brighton

If you are considering living on the University of Brighton campus, the following contact will be able to provide you with information and support before you arrive:
Amy Adams (Outreach Officer) - or tel: 07792396266.

University of Sussex

If you are considering living on the University of Sussex campus, the following contact will be able to provide you with information and support before you arrive:
Melinda Finn (Retention and Progression Manager) - or tel: 01273 678865.

Other support

Below are links to external website that may be able to provide you with support:

Chances for Children: Buttle UK -

Become: The Charity for Children in Care and Young Care Leavers -

The Care Leavers Foundation -

Capstone: Care Leavers Trust -

StandAlone: Supporting People that are Estranged -

The Scholarship Hub -

A group of gowned-up students standing in a dissection session

Entry requirements 2021

Entry requirements for 2021 entry


AAA to include Biology and Chemistry at Advanced Level (excluding general studies and critical thinking). For widening participation applicants we will accept AAB. 

Scottish Highers

AAA to include Biology and Chemistry at Advanced Higher Level.

International Baccalaureate

36 points with both Biology and Chemistry at minimum grade 6 at Higher level. For widening participation applicants we will accept 35 points. 


All applicants must take the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT).

Full list of qualifications >

FAQ: Entry requirements >

Fitness to Practise >


BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT)

We require all 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 applicants for interview. We value that it is not only a test of aptitude, but also of knowledge. We believe 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 of the test.

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 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 2019 entry, applicants without contextual data who scored 16.1 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. We thoroughly recommend that you acquit yourself with the below materials.

Preparing for BMAT

BMAT on the test day

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 affected by extenuating circumstances you must apply to BMAT for Special Consideration. 

Read more about special consideraton >

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

Admissions process

For 2020/21 admission cycle

Your application must be submitted through the UCAS system at This allows a maximum of four applications to UK medical schools. Applications must reach UCAS by 6pm on 15 October 2020.

Find out more about the admissions process >

University students walking on Falmer campus with the Checkland Building behind

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 within three years of their BSMS enrolment date. 

more about entry requirements for international Students >

IT requirements

We strongly recommend that all incoming BSMS students ensure that they bring a suitable laptop computer with them to enable them to make the most of the learning opportunities at BSMS.

Please download our minimum Windows or Mac laptop specfication to find out more.

Download laptop specification >


Contact details

Undergraduate admissions enquiries


T: +44 (0)1273 643528 / 643529 / 641966 

Room 333/334, Watson Building, University of Brighton, BN1 9PH