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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Admissions

Admissions

Throughout the course of the BSMS Admissions Process we expect applicants to demonstrate not only their academic achievements and potential, but also a keen understanding of the core values and principles of the NHS. Read more about the core values and principles here. Each individual aspect of the process aims to determine whether prospective students possess the ability, attitude and personal qualities required to become a medical student and, afterwards, a doctor.

We have places for 193 UK/EU students as well as approximately ten places for international applicants. 

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

Please note: at no point in our Admissions process do we read or use applicants’ personal statements. 

Admissions at BSMS Infographic v3

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Entry requirements and contextual data

We would expect to see at least three As at A Level, including Biology and Chemistry. While some students are advised by their institutions to study either Maths or Physics as their third A Level, we encourage applications from students studying arts, humanities or social sciences as we recognise their value in broadening academic horizons.

For students studying the International Baccalaureate, we would expect to see an overall score of 36 including at least a grade 6 in both Biology and Chemistry at Higher Level.

In addition to this, we also expect a grade 6 or B in an applicant’s GCSE English (Literature, Language or both) and Maths.

For guidance on the different qualifications we accept, please visit our entry requirements page.  

If you are an international student, you can see an A-Z of international qualifications here. For further queries about entry requirements, you can take a look at the FAQ page of the Virtual Open Day. 

Read our FAQs here >

BSMS is firmly and passionately committed to ensuring the medical workforce is reflective of the patient population. We therefore carefully consider a number of contextual data flags to promote the widening of participation and access to medicine. These contextual data criteria are:  

  • Living in a neighbourhood with low participation in higher education or in an area within the bottom 20% of the Index of Mass Deprivation* 
  • Attending an 11-16 state school performing below the national average per Attainment 8* 
  • Applicant, parent or guardian in receipt of a means-tested benefit** 
  • Applicant is, or has been, in receipt of 16 to 19 bursary** 
  • Applicant is, or has been, eligible for free school meals between years 9 and 13** 
  • Applicant has an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP)** 

Further to this, applicants who are (or have been) in local authority care for more than three months will be invited directly to interview, subject to academic criteria. 

*Determined from information provided on UCAS application 
**Applicant will be invited via email to upload evidence of these criteria following the submissions of their UCAS application. 

Applicants satisfying two or more of the above criteria will be accepted with grades of AAB at A Level (including Biology and Chemistry) as well as GCSE grade C or 5 in English (Literature, Language or both) and Maths. For International Baccalaureate, we would accept an overall score of 35.   

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Work experience

While BSMS has no minimum requirement on the nature or amount of work experience applicants will need, we do expect a realistic understanding of studying medicine and what it means to be a doctor.

As well as this, applicants should have some experience of interacting with a wide variety of people and to understand the challenges of working in care environments. Above all, applicants will need to exemplify the key skills and attributes necessary to succeed at medical school and afterwards as a doctor.   

BSMS has recently launched a virtual work experience platform aimed at any students interested in studying medicine. Whether you’re just starting your application or looking for something to bolster it, this is the tool for you. 

Visit our virtual work experience >

The Medical Schools Council has also produced some useful guidance for prospective medicine students, including how to gain relevant experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, which you can access here > 

BACKGROUND IMAGE FOR PANEL

Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT)

The vast majority of medical schools require applicants to sit an admissions test before being considered for entry. For BSMS, this is the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT). 

Download an introduction to BMAT >

We believe the BMAT is a fair and transparent method for selecting for interview. It is not only a test of thinking skills, but also of knowledge and reasoning. It is important that applicants are able to demonstrate their ability to construct a clear argument and present it using a good level of written English; this can be evidenced in Section 3. 

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 through the rankings to fill our interview places. The cut-off score to determine who is invited to interview varies year on year; for 2019 entry all applicants who scored 16.1 out of 28 were invited to interview, while for 2020 entry the requisite score was 14.5. 

You can see a full breakdown of the national BMAT scores for the past two cycles by clicking on the years below. The average score for those who sat the BMAT in 2018 was 16, while those who sat the BMAT in 2019 averaged 15.5. 

2018 > 
2019 >

Please note that we will not consider applicants, without contextual data, whose BMAT score 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 

BSMS aims to offer 30% of its interviews to candidates with contextual data flags and thus applicants with contextual data are ranked separately. 

You can find BMAT resources, past papers and FAQs via the Cambridge Assessment webpage below, and you can see why the BMAT is used at BSMS in the video, also below.

Visit the Cambridge Assessment website > 

 

Interview

Once we have ranked the BMAT results, we will invite suitable candidates to an interview at BSMS. For the 2019/20 cycle, interview days were held in December, January and February. 

BSMS interviews are Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). Candidates will rotate round five separate discussions, on a number of different topics, each for ten minutes. Each discussion will be held with a trained assessor. For a clearer indication of what interview days are like at BSMS, you can access the candidate guidance document here > 

Elements of each discussion will be graded either Excellent, Good, Average or Inadequate. Each discussion is then given a score out of ten, which are then combined for a final global score out of 50. The scores out of 50 are then ranked and used to determine which candidates will receive offers.

You can see what to expect from an MMI discussion at BSMS by watching the video below. The interaction you will see is an example of an Excellent discussion. 

 

BACKGROUND IMAGE FOR PANEL

What happens next

We interview more than 700 candidates and roughly half will receive an offer.

This will be based on the strength of their interview score. Those who score very highly will be contacted sooner rather than later, with the remaining offers being allocated after the Admissions Board have met in March each year.  

After receiving and accepting an offer of study, applicants will then need to meet the conditions of their offer in order to guarantee themselves a place at BSMS.  

Back to main Virtual Open Day Hub >