Peninsula Medical School

BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with Foundation (Year 0)

An exciting new course offering an alternative entry route into medicine for able students whose education has been impacted by adversity. Using a Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach, this course begins the journey towards the development of the academic, personal and professional skills needed for a career in medicine.

It aims to aid the transition to university through building a strong sense of belonging within the medical student community, as well as introducing you to our learning, teaching and assessment methods. Students successfully completing Year 0 will enrol directly onto Year 1 of the standard 5 Year BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery course with no further selection process.

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First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.


Progression routes

You are able to progress to selected courses within the School of Biomedical Sciences:

Key features

  • £1,000 bursary available in year zero for each new entrant to the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with Foundation course (6 Years).
  • Offers an alternative entry route to medicine for those whose academic potential has been adversely affected by educational and social factors.
  • A strong inter-professional study component which incorporates experiential learning in community healthcare.
  • Provides supported learning designed to develop students in all aspects required to thrive in their future medical study.
  • Delivers shared teaching with the BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science with Foundation Year to raise academic standards in science and facilitate collaborative learning.
  • Direct enrolment onto Year 1 of the standard BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery course without further assessment, subject to successful completion of Year 0.
  • Responds to the University, government and GMC mission to ensure medicine is a career open to all and that doctors of the future reflect the communities they serve.

Course details

  • Year 0
  • Teaching will be delivered across a mixture of shared and bespoke core modules. Shared modules are delivered in collaboration with the School of Biomedical Sciences. 

    Semester 1 – compulsory modules

    FMD001 – Molecules to Cells – shared (20 credits)
    Introduction to key aspects of genetics, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology that will underpin your later learning.

    FMD002 – Introduction to Human Physiology – shared (20 credits)
    Provides a grounding in key aspects of human anatomy and physiology that underpins later learning in pathophysiology, pathology and developmental biology.

    Semester 2 – compulsory modules

    FMD004 – Interdisciplinary and Team Based Learning – shared (20 credits)
    Develops key skills required for working in multidisciplinary teams through encouragement to work with peers to problem solve and manage tasks.

    MED001 – Active Life Sciences Learning – bespoke (20 credits)
    Introduction to the practical and professional skills required to study medicine; studying anatomy, neuroscience, sociology and psychology, learning about interaction with patients and how to integrate learning from different disciplines.

    Two further bespoke modules will run across both semester 1 and 2:

    MED002 – Workplace related hot topics in Medicine
    Gives a grounding in understanding how the health and community services work, particularly in terms of how people work together in teams to provide integrated healthcare for patients. This module is linked to workplace observations and community projects.

    MED003 – Learning Skills for Medicine
    Learning how to adopt an independent, managed, reflective and active approach to studying medicine, and scientific communication.

    For information about the remaining five years of this course, please refer to the BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery course page.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BMBS with Foundation Year 0 Programme Specification 4659

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff


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.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,400* £14,000*

*Please note this is the international tuition fee rate for Year zero only. International tuition fee rates charged for Years 1-5 of the BMBS with Foundation are significantly higher than the rate charged for year zero. Please visit the BMBS course page for an indication of these fee levels. International fee rates are not fixed at the point of entry and will be subject to annual inflationary rises.

NHS Student Bursary Services Authority Bursaries

Currently, all home and EU students have their fee liability for Year 5 met by the NHS in the form of a non-repayable bursary. In addition to this, the NHS BSA also offer a means tested maintenance bursary which is paid monthly to the student.

Year 0 bursary
All new entrants enrolling for the BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with Foundation (6 Years) course will be entitled to a bursary of £1,000 from the Penninsula Medical School. This award will be paid directly to the student in two equal instalments in December and February. 

If you are experiencing financial difficulty throughout the duration of your course, please contact the Student Funding Unit for advice.

How to apply

All applications must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All applications for the BMBS with foundation course must reach UCAS between the 1st September and the 15th October annually.

The UCAS code for the Faculty of Health is P60 PLYM.

For more information contact the Admissions Team: 

Admissions Team
Faculty of Health
The John Bull Building
Plymouth Science Park
PL6 8BU 

Tel: +44 1752 437333  Fax: +44 1752 517842



From the very latest electronic patient simulators and 3D human anatomy models to our web-based Managed Learning Environment and extensive library and learning facilities, you'll benefit from exceptional facilities throughout your degree.

Find out more about our facilities

Teaching and learning

Our teaching approach balances the core knowledge and skills you need to practise as a doctor with the flexibility to focus on the specialist themes and topics that interest you the most.

Find out more about teaching and learning

Widening access

As part of our commitment to widening participation to medicine, dentistry and health courses, we undertake a series of initiatives in order to raise aspirations and awareness.

Find out more about access and participation

Chris Gummow – Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery graduate

Coming from an entirely non-medical background with no contacts in that sphere, until that point, I had always doubted whether I would be able to get into medical school.”

Read more about Chris' journey.


Whether it’s working as a doctor in the NHS or taking your skills to developing countries, we’ll work closely with you throughout your degree to give you all the advice you need to take your career in the direction you’d like.

Find out more about your career opportunities