Course Comparison

Course BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with Foundation (Year 0) BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
Award Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery - BMBS Bachelor of Science - BSc (Hons)
Duration 6 years 3 years
Course type Full-time Full-time
Placement (with placements) (+ optional placement)
Location Plymouth Plymouth
Provider Peninsula Medical School School of Biomedical Sciences
Entry requirements

We aim to build a picture of the circumstances that may have adversely affected an applicant’s education and academic potential. When assessing an application we will consider a range of educational, social, family, and individual characteristics and experiences. Applications for this course will therefore only be considered if the contextual entry requirements listed below are met alongside the academic criteria.

Applicants for this course must not meet the A level and GCSE grade requirements for the five-year BMBS Medicine (A100) course. However, if you meet either the GCSE or A level requirements for A100 but not the other, then you would be considered for the foundation course.

  • GCSE
    At least five GCSE passes (grades A–C/4–9) to include Maths, English Language and either Biology and Chemistry or Double Award Science. Plus suitable Level 3 qualifications as outlined below.
  • A level
    BBB to include Biology and at least one other science from Chemistry, Physics, Psychology and Maths.
  • BTEC National Extended Diploma
    DDM. Must contain units covering sufficient Biology and another science.

  • BTEC National Diploma
    DM. Must contain units covering sufficient Biology and another science. To be accompanied by GCE A level Biology at grade B.

  • Access to Higher Education at level 3
    45 level 3 credits with a minimum of 33 at Distinction and 12 at Merit, including a minimum of 15 in Biology.

  • Welsh Baccalaureate
    A Pass or grade B in the WB in addition to BB at GCE A Level, which must include Biology and one other science from Chemistry, Physics, Psychology and Maths.

  • Scottish Qualifications Authority
    Advanced Higher grades BBB to include Biology and one other science from Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, and Maths.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
    H2, H2, H3, H3, H3, H3 to include Biology and a second Science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology.
  • International Baccalaureate
    International Baccalaureate IB Diploma score – 28–32 minimum including 5 at higher level in Biology and one other science from Chemistry, Physics, Psychology and Maths.
  • UCAT
    Not required for this course.

We welcome applications from direct school leavers, students who have not achieved a first degree and refugees currently residing in the UK. All applicants must have met the entry criteria outlined above no more than five years prior to submitting a UCAS application.


Other UK qualifications
Other UK qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and you are advised to contact the Admissions team on +44 1752 437333 or email:

Extended entry requirements

Re-sit Applicants

We welcome applications from re-sit applicants providing a minimum attainment has been achieved at the first attempt. Minimum attainment in the majority of cases cannot exceed more than 2 grade drops from our published typical offer. For example: A level candidates applying for the Medicine with Foundation Year need to have achieved BCC in the first attempt. For other qualification re-sit criteria please contact the admissions team at Please note that applicants undertaking re-sits must achieve their final qualification profile for consideration in no more than three academic years i.e. allowing for 1 re-sit year attempt only.

Centre Assessed Grades

We appreciate that the past few months have been very challenging, emotional and disappointing due to the unprecedented process in which this year’s Level 3 qualifications have been awarded. With this in mind, the University of Plymouth will be flexible with the way we consider applicants who have been awarded Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs). If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Admissions Team on

International student admissions

We welcome and encourage applications from suitably qualified international students with proven disadvantage who are in receipt of a bursary for fees from their country of origin. International applicants need to meet the equivalent admissions criteria described for home students. Please note that from 2021 entry applicants from the EU will be considered international students for fee paying purposes and may be required to obtain a visa to allow study in the UK.

All teaching at our school is in English, so if you are an international applicant and you do not have a GCSE or IGCSE pass at grade A in English language, or a suitable English as a first language qualification, you must have one of the following qualifications. If you are unsure whether your English Language qualification is suitable, please contact

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band 7.0 or above with at least 6.5 in each of the speaking and listening sections taken within 12 months prior to entry.
  • IB score of 5 in English B at the standard level.

Contextual entry requirements

All applicants, in addition to meeting or exceeding the published academic criteria above will need to meet a minimum of four from the following seven contextual indicator options:

  • POLAR4
    Living in a low participation neighbourhood as determined by your postcode (POLAR4 quintiles 1 and 2).
  • Indices of Mass Deprivation
    Living in an area categorised as being in Indices of Mass Deprivation (IMD) 1–4 or 20% most deprived as determined by your English postcode. Northern Ireland postcode, Scottish postcode, and Welsh postcode.
  • School type
    Attending or attended a state or scholarship funded school whilst completing your level 3 qualifications (scholarship to fee paying school only) – evidenced by school letter submitted by applicant at the point of application to

  • School performance
    Attending or attended a low performing school/college whilst completing your level 3 qualifications e.g. 16–18 performance in the ‘below’ or ‘well below average’ classifications. If you attend a secondary school or college in Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales, please contact

  • UCAT, EMA or 16–19 bursary
    In receipt of one or more of these bursaries. Bursary entitlement to be evidenced by an official award letter or a school letter submitted at the point of UCAS application to

  • Free school meals
    Being in receipt of free school meals – evidenced by school letter submitted by applicant at the point of application to

  • In care/care leaver
    Being in care or a care leaver – evidenced by school letter submitted by applicant at the point of application to

Subject to the quantity and quality of applications received, the faculty reserves the right to refer to additional contextual indicators in order to select suitable applicants for interview. These additional contextual indicators could include being a Carer, Refugee, belonging to a Romany/Gypsy/Traveller community, or being a local resident in the South West of England. Please note this additional list is not exhaustive and is for indication purposes only.



Candidates that meet the necessary admissions requirements, as above, will be invited to attend an interview before an offer is made. The interview will follow our standard BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (5 Year) course selection method. Details of the interview process can be found here.


Selection and admissions process

We have outlined our selection and admissions process, providing information from interviews to deferred entry.

Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise

Please view our Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise page.

A level: Normal minimum entry requirements are 112–128 points from three A levels, biology/human biology grade B and one other relevant science subject at grade B, such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, applied science or environmental science/studies. General studies not accepted.

BTEC: DDM Applied Science and Medical Science are acceptable provided they have at least six specialist units in biology and science (mathematics, chemistry and physics) subjects. Please contact the admissions team if you require further advice.

International Baccalaureate: 30 points, including five in Higher Level biology plus five in a Higher Level second science.

IELTS: Overall average score of at least 6.0, with a score of at least 6.0 in all elements.

Access Courses: Pass Access (e.g., science, combined science and medicine) with at least 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at distinction level and come from at least two specialisms, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and psychology. The remaining 15 level 3 credits must be at merit from environmental science, psychology, or a science-related subject. Must have GCSE English and mathematics at grade C/4 or above.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Transfer to BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Sciences: Stage two students have the opportunity to apply for a limited number of year-long placements in accredited NHS labs and transfer to BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science after year two. Transfer is not guaranteed, with applicants having to successfully complete a competitive behaviours-based interview, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and an Occupational Health (OH) assessment. Students applying to transfer to the BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science degree will need an overall IELTS average score of 7.0 with 6.5 in the writing and speaking sections or a GCSE Grade C/4 minimum in English language.

Placements with NHS employers will be for 40 weeks full-time (or the equivalent of 40 weeks). While on placement, ABMS students complete the IBMS portfolio of competence, and ABMS graduates are eligible to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration and the protected title of ‘Biomedical Scientist’ for employment in Band 5 positions within the NHS.