Course Comparison

Course BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
Award Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery - BMBS Bachelor of Science - BSc (Hons)
Duration 5 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

The following entry requirements take effect from the 2018 UCAS application cycle for 2019, and beyond, entry

Direct school leavers

The entry requirements below apply to you if you completed your GCE A levels, or equivalent qualifications, within five years of the start of the application cycle, e.g. qualifications completed since 2012 would still be valid when applying in 2017. If your qualifications fall outside these criteria please refer to the Non-direct school leaver section below.

All of the typical offers listed below are not necessarily the threshold for selection for interview. Other factors including the number of applications received and performance in the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) influence the threshold for selection for interview.

The school reserves the right to use all information on the UCAS form including evidence of social engagement and insight into medicine in the selection process for interview.

GCE A level

The typical offer is A*AA – AAB at GCE A level which must include an A grade in biology and one further science from chemistry, physics, maths, and psychology. Your third GCE A level can be from any subject area including the humanities, languages, music, sport, science and the social sciences. 

The University of Plymouth are committed to widening access (WA) and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply with us. The additional information gained through contextual data enables our admissions advisory panel to recognise a student’s achievements and identify their potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. The contextual data we will consult when determining to issue an AAB offer are listed below. Applicants will need to meet a minimum of three from the following WA indicators to be considered.

  • Living in a low participation neighbourhood as determined by your postcode (POLAR4 quintiles 1 & 2).
  • 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.
  • Attending or attended a low performing school/college whilst completing your level 3 qualifications in England 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       
  • In receipt of a UKCAT bursary – the admissions team will receive this data directly from UKCAT.
  • Being in receipt of free school meals - evidenced by a letter from your school or college submitted at the point of application to
  • Significant engagement in either our Peninsula Pathways programme or another widening access intervention.

Please note that the typical offer is not necessarily the threshold for selection for interview, which may vary depending on the number and quality of applications received by the faculty.


Applicants need to achieve 7 GCSE passes at grades A-C/9-4 which must include English language, mathematics and either GCSE double award science or two from single award chemistry, biology, or physics.

International Baccalaureate

The typical offer is 36-38 points overall including six in biology and one further science from chemistry, physics, maths, and psychology at the Higher Level.

Scottish Advanced Highers

Grades AAA-AAB including a grade A in biology and one further science from chemistry, physics, maths, and psychology.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma

A pass in the Diploma, plus grades A*A/AA in biology and one further science from chemistry, physics, maths, and psychology. General studies at A/AS level is not included within any offer.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma

D3, D3, M1 including biology and one further science from chemistry, physics, maths, and psychology at D3.

GCE A levels and Cambridge Pre-U Diploma

Applications will be assessed on an individual basis according to the subjects studied. Chemistry must be achieved at D3 in lieu of grade A at GCE A level. For a non-science subject a minimum grade M1 is required.

Applicants offering the following qualifications will need to take the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). Please see entry requirements for non-Direct School Leavers:

  • BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science
  • Advanced Diploma in Society, Health and Development
  • Access to HE Diploma (Science)

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:

Re-sit Applicants

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry welcome applications from re-sit applicants providing a minimum attainment has been achieved at the first attempt. For example: A level candidates need to have achieved ABB for medicine 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.

EU and EEA Countries entry qualifications

Please download the EU and EEA Countries entry requirements 2016.

UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)

As part of our commitment to a fair and transparent admissions process, the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry uses the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) in order to make more informed choices from amongst the many highly qualified applicants who apply for a place on the BMBS programme. UKCAT test results will be used, alongside the academic information contained on your UCAS form to select direct school leavers for interview. You will be required to meet a minimum overall target score which is set and reviewed annually by the Admissions Advisory Panel.

Please note: If you are re-applying for a second year with achieved grades, you will need to register and complete a new UKCAT test as part of your application.

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) threshold score applied to determine candidate selection for interview can alter each year and is influenced by overall candidate performance in the UKCAT and the number and quality of applications received. Below are examples of the score thresholds applied during the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 admissions cycles. Please note that all thresholds needed to be met.

Year of entry Verbal reasoning Quantitative analysis Abstract reasoning Decision analysis Overall
2013 entry 550 610 580 590 2560
2014 entry 504 612 599 713 2671
2015 entry 520 650 600 580 2600
2016 entry 530 650 610 600 2610
2017 entry - - - x 1870
2018 entry - - - - 2400
2019 entry - - - - 2330
The Peninsula Medical School will again be applying an overall target score methodology in this application cycle for entry next September to facilitate selection for interview. We do not currently include the SJT banding score.

If you have sat the UKCATSEN please be aware that you will need to provide standard evidence of your entitlement to this additional time by submitting;

  • If still in education, an official letter from your school, college, University that states that on the basis of a diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner, educational psychologist or specialist teacher the candidate is currently entitled to additional time in public examinations (or have had additional time in public examinations within the last 2 years);


  • If you are no longer in education, a post-16 year’s diagnosis or report from a qualified medical practitioner or educational psychologist that explicitly recommends additional time in public examinations.

UKCAT Website

Official UKCAT candidate preparation toolkit

Official UKCAT advice and information videos on YouTube

Widening access to Medicine

As part of our commitment to widening access to medicine, the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry undertakes a programme of outreach activities with local schools in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. For further information please visit

The School is also represented at the UCAS Higher Education Conventions in the UK.

Non-direct school leavers

The entry requirements set out in this section apply to you if your current suite of qualifications do not meet those published above in the Direct School Leaving section or more than five years has lapsed since achieving them.

Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT)

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry uses the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) as the entrance requirement for non-direct school leavers. GAMSAT assesses your academic aptitude for the study of medicine. Results from the test will be used alongside the other information contained on your UCAS form to select non-direct school leavers for interview. The results are valid for 2 years.

GAMSAT is a 5 ½ hour written test that assesses your reasoning in humanities, social science, biological science, physical science and written communication. As this test only assesses academic aptitude, if you're successful you'll still need to show us at interview that you have the appropriate personal qualities to train and practise as a doctor.

If you'd like to know more or to register for the test, please visit the GAMSAT website. If you'd like to know more or to register for the test, please visit the GAMSAT website. Although the school does not accept responsibility for the content, you may also find the following GAMSAT information leaflet of interest.

Below are examples of the score thresholds applied in previous admissions cycles.

  2013 entry 2014 entry 2015 entry 2016 entry 2017 entry 2018 entry
Section 1 55 55 56 51 55 55
Section 2 59 59 52 52 62 62
Section 3 50 50 54 60 61 61
Overall 64 65 65 64 65 63

International student admissions

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry welcomes and encourages applications from suitably qualified international students who are either self-funded, supported by scholarships from their respective governments, or sponsored by scholarship programmes operated by the British Council and similar funding bodies.

If you're an international applicant you need to meet the equivalent admissions criteria described for home students, with the exception that you do not need to sit the UKCAT test. Applicants applying with overseas qualifications should contact the Admissions Team at prior to submitting an application through UCAS. In addition international applicants need to be fully proficient in English language. All teaching at our School is in English, so if English is not your first language and you do not have a GCSE or IGCSE pass at grade A in English language, you must have one of the following qualifications:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band 7.5 or above with at least 7.0 in each of the speaking and listening sections, taken within 12 months prior to entry
  • IB score of 6 in English B at the standard level

We know that university life is a challenge for any student but especially when you're a long way from home. You'll the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry friendly and supportive. We have a nominated academic tutor to coordinate the induction and academic support provided to international students. International Student Advice (ISA) also provide support and can assist you with any non-academic issues affecting international students. There are also student welfare support and counselling services, wardens and student health centres on hand if you need them.

Students who have an offer of a place should apply under the Tier 4 (General Student) category. Further information is available on the UK Border Agency's website.

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: Typical offer of 112-128 points from a minimum 3 A Levels including grade B in Biology OR Human Biology and grade B in second science, for example: Physics, Chemistry, Maths Applied Science or Environmental Science/Studies. Excluding General Studies.

BTEC: DDM Applied Science, Medical Science acceptable provided they have at least 6 specialist units in Biology and Science (Maths, Chem, Phys) subjects. Please contact the admissions team if you require further advice.

International Baccalaureate: 28 overall to include 5 at Higher Level Biology and either Chemistry, Maths, Applied Science, Environmental Science or Physics.

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, medicine) with at least 45 credits at level 3, 30 must be at distinction level and come from at least two specialisms such as: maths, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology. The remaining 15 level 3 credits must be at merit from environmental science, psychology, science related subject. Must have GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C / 4 or above.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.