Course Comparison

Course BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery FdSc Human Biosciences
Award Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery - BMBS Foundation Degree in Science - FdSc
Duration 5 years 2 years
Course type Full-time Full-time
Placement (with placements) -
Location Plymouth PETROC
Provider Peninsula Medical School PETROC
Entry requirements

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 2015 would still be valid when applying in 2020. If your qualifications fall outside this criteria please refer to the 'Non-Direct School Leaver' section below.

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

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.


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.

Plus suitable level 3 qualifications as outlined below.

GCE A level

The typical offer is A*AA – AAB at GCE A level which must include an A grade in Biology and A in 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.

If you are looking to apply with AAB

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. 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 or eligible for a UCAT bursary at the time of sitting your UCAT. UCAT bursary entitlement is to be evidenced by an official award letter submitted at the point of UCAS application to
  • 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 our Peninsula Pathways PLUS programme.

Please note that, within the AAB requirement, applicants must be predicted or have achieved A in Biology and A in a second Science as listed above.

International Baccalaureate

The typical offer is 36–38 points overall including Higher Level 6 in Biology and Higher Level 6 in one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths, and Psychology.

Scottish Advanced Highers

AAA-AAB including a grade A in Biology and one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths, and Psychology.

We are unable to consider Scottish Highers for entry onto this course.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge can be considered at grade A or B alongside A Level grade A in Biology and grade A in one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Psychology.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma

D3, D3, D3 – D3, D3, M2 including D3 in Biology and D3 in one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths, and Psychology.

Other UK qualifications

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
  • Advanced Diploma
  • Access to HE Diploma

Extended entry requirements

Re-sit Applicants

Re-sit applicants are considered for this course. Please note that, in order to be considered with predicted grades, a minimum of ABB must be achieved on first sitting. Where ABB is not achieved on first sitting, applicants must re-sit the required qualifications and apply once suitable grades have been achieved. Applicants with re-sits must achieve a suitable qualification profile on first re-sit attempt. For other qualification re-sit criteria please contact the Admissions Team at

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 amending the way we consider applicants who have been awarded Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs).

If you have received CAGs that are in line with our entry requirements, along with the required GCSE and UCAT results, we would encourage you to submit an application as normal.

If you were unsuccessful in meeting the required grades through CAGs, your application will be considered as follows:

  • If you are sitting A level exams in the autumn of 2020, we will consider this your first attempt at A levels and you will be able to apply with predicted grades, which will need to be provided by your school, college or tutor. Your CAGs will not be considered.
  • If you are sitting A level exams in the summer of 2021, we will consider this your second attempt at A levels. In this instance, we will apply a resit grade requirement which will be more flexible than our usual threshold of ABB on the first attempt, allowing three grade drops over three subjects (BBB) or three grade drops over two subjects (ABC). You will need to apply with predicted grades for your summer 2021 exams from your school, college or tutor.

Qualifications completed outside of the UK

Please contact the Admissions Team if you have studied outside of the UK so we can advise on the suitability of your qualifications.

University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)

As part of our commitment to a fair and transparent admissions process, Peninsula Medical School uses the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in order to make more informed choices from amongst the many highly qualified applicants who apply for a place on the BMBS programme. UCAT test results will be used alongside the above listed qualifications 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 that the UCAT is valid for 12 months and must be sat in the year of application.

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) threshold score applied to determine candidate selection for interview can alter each year and is influenced by overall candidate performance in the UCAT and the number and quality of applications received. Below are examples of the score thresholds applied during the 2017–2020 admissions cycles and the requirement for 2021 entry. 

Year of entry Verbal reasoning Quantitive analysis Abstract reasoning Decision analysis Overall
2017 entry - - - - 1870
2018 entry - - - - 2400
2019 entry - - - - 2330
2020 entry - - - - 2390
2021 entry - - - - 2400


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

  • If you are 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.

UCAT Website

Official UCAT candidate preparation toolkit

Official UCAT advice and information videos on YouTube

Widening access to Medicine

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

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 Leavers section or more than five years has lapsed since achieving them. Please note that you do not need to have completed degree level study to sit the GAMSAT.

Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT)

Peninsula Medical School 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 are the only academic qualification that will affect the shortlisting process and previous qualifications will not be considered. 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.

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

  2016 entry 2017 entry 2018 entry 2019 entry 2020 entry 2021 entry
Section 1 55 55 55 52 55 47
Section 2 62 62 62 56 55 48
Section 3 61 61 61 51 58 54
Overall 65 63 63 63 63 66

International student admissions

Peninsula Medial School 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, including the UCAT. Applicants applying with overseas qualifications should contact the Admissions Team at prior to submitting an application through UCAS. 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.

In addition, international applicants need to be fully proficient in the English language. If English is your first language, we will accept your home country’s equivalent of a GCSE grade A/8 in English Language providing it is at Level C1 or above according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Students whose first language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by achieving one of the following qualifications:

  • IELTS band 7.5 or above with at least 7.0 in each of the Speaking and Listening sections (taken within 12 months of entry).
  • lGCSE or GCSE English Language (as a first language) grade A. A supplementary statement confirming inclusion of the Speaking and Listening components will be required for IGCSE 0500.
  • IB score of 6 at the ordinary level in English Language (as a first language). 
We know that university life is a challenge for any student but especially when you're a long way from home. We pride ourselves on being friendly and supportive and 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.

Student visas

If you have an offer of a place at the Faculty of Health you will need to apply under the Tier 4 (General Student) category unless you have an alternate visa which allows study or a suitable UK passport. 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.

For detailed selection and admissions process guidance please review our technical manual for the current application cycle.

Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise

Please view our Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise page.