Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Two students observe surgery
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

aPPLYING to BSMS

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
  • 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.

 

Admissions process

Our linear step-by-step process can be seen in the simple infographic below.

Please note that applicants’ personal statements will not be read or used at any point during our undergraduate admissions process.

Admissions at BSMS Infographic v4

 

For 2025 admission cycle

Your application must be submitted through the UCAS system at ucas.ac.uk by the required date in October 2024.

This allows a maximum of four applications to UK medical schools.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS >

In 2024, the total number of applicants and the breakdown into home/international:

Total: 1,522
Home: 1,103
Overseas: 419

The total number of interviews and the breakdown into home/international:

Total: 756
Home: 684
Overseas: 72

The total number of offers made and the breakdown into home/international:

Total: 406
Home: 384
Overseas: 22

 

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 identify as meeting any two elements of the criteria below and are classified as being a home fee paying student, you will be eligible for 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 > *Once downloaded, please refer to column F for your IMD Decile.

  • 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)**

Applicants that have been in local authority care will automatically be invited for interview subject to satisfying eligibility criteria which can be found here and academic criteria. 

We welcome applications from students with disabilities. For information about available support please visit our student advice pages here. If you would like to speak to a member of our student advice 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.

Find out more about admissions offers for applicants with contextual data >

 

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

Entry requirements 

Entry requirements for 2025 entry

A-Levels

AAA to include Biology and Chemistry at Advanced Level (excluding general studies and critical thinking). For applicants with contextual data, 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 applicants with contextual data, we will accept 35 points. 

UCAT

We use the UCAT, after assessing academic qualifications, to select for interview.
For our 2025 entry admissions cycle, you must achieve an SJT Band score of 1, 2 or 3. We will score the UCAT out of 2700. This is broken down to 900 marks for Verbal Reasoning, 900 marks for Decision Making and 900 marks for Quantitative Reasoning. We will not use scores from the Abstract Reasoning subtest. We then rank all applicants according to their total score out of 2700 and work down the rankings to fill our interview places. UCAT may also be used as a final discriminator if needed after interview.

Full list of qualifications >

FAQ: Entry requirements >

Fitness to Practise >

Work experience

BSMS does not place requirements on the amount and type of work experience a prospective medical student should have. However, in line with the Medical Schools Council Work Experience Guidelines, we do expect candidates to:

  • have a realistic understanding of medicine and what it means to be a doctor 
  • have had some experience of engaging with a wide range of people and understand the realities of a caring profession 
  • display some of the skills and attributes essential to being a successful doctor, including teamwork, leadership, good communication skills, resilience, and empathy. 

The Medical Schools Council sets out some useful work experience guidelines for prospective applicants to medicine which can be downloaded below. 

DOWNLOAD WORK EXPERIENCE GUIDELINES > 

In addition to the work experience guidelines, the Medical Schools Council have produced a document which outlines the core skills, values and attributes needed to study medicine. Referring to this resource may be useful when preparing for interview. 

DOWNLOAD CORE VALUES AND ATTRIBUTES DOCUMENT > 

There are many free online resources that can help provide you with a realistic insight into medicine, such as the BSMS Virtual Work Experience or the RCGP’s Observe GP. With regards to demonstrating core values and attributes, these can be demonstrated through a wide range of activities such as volunteering in a charity shop, having a part-time job in hospitality, playing in a sports team, or helping to run an after-school club. It is your responsibility to reflect on your experiences to identify the skills you have utilised and developed whilst considering their relevance to medicine. Please be reassured that you do not need to have experience of working, volunteering, or observing in a clinical setting. 

VISIT THE BSMS VIRTUAL WORK EXPERIENCE >

BACKGROUND IMAGE FOR PANEL

Fitness to practise 

The General Medical Council (GMC) requires that all new doctors are fit to practise medicine. To meet this requirement, all doctors are required to possess certain defined clinical skills. Consequently, while applicants with an impairment or health condition are welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis, those who are unable to meet the GMC’s criteria cannot be admitted.

Find out more about fitness to practise here >

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. 

What do we mean by care leaver?

A care leaver is someone who has spent time in any of the following: 

  • foster care
  • residential care (children’s home)
  • under a Special Guardianship Order
  • supported accommodation outside of the family 

Who is entitled for extra support? 

  • Students need to be under the age of 25
  • To have been in local authority care for three months or more since the age of 11.
  • Studying for their first undergraduate degree

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 above.

Accommodation

BSMS students may live in halls 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.

Find out details of the available accommodation options here >

*Students may be asked to move to different halls during the summer period due to event bookings on the campuses. At the University of Sussex, you will remain on the same campus.

Bursaries 

The University of Brighton provides financial support to students starting in 2022 from lower-income families, as well as a Care Leaver’s bursary and Estranged Student’s bursary to eligible students. To find out more information please follow the link below.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BURSARIES HERE >

Hardship Fund

Care leavers are a priority group in receiving support from the University of Brighton Hardship Fund. If during your studies, you unexpectedly experience financial difficulties you can make an appointment with a Money Advisor. 
University of Brighton: brighton.ac.uk/brighton-students/your-student-life/finances/hardship-funding

Pastoral support

Once you arrive at BSMS a member of our Student Advice 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.

Read more about the pastoral support available > 

Useful contacts 

BSMS

For support during the application process please contact: Claire Johnson (Widening Participation and Outreach Manager): c.johnson2@bsms.ac.uk.

Once you have accepted your place with us, or have arrived with us, please contact: Tabitha Ellwood (Student Welfare Advisor): T.Ellwood@bsms.ac.uk

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 - belong@sussex.ac.uk

Other support

Below are links to external website that may be able to provide you with support:
Chances for Children: Buttle UK: buttleuk.org
Become: The Charity for Children in Care and Young Care Leavers: becomecharity.org.uk
The Care Leavers Foundation: thecareleaversfoundation.org
Capstone: Care Leavers Trust: capstonecareleaverstrust.org
StandAlone: Supporting People that are Estranged: standalone.org.uk
The Scholarship Hub: thescholarshiphub.org.uk

University students walking on Falmer campus with the Checkland Building behind

International students

Applicants who are not ordinarily 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 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 >

BACKGROUND IMAGE FOR PANEL