When talking about applications to Medicine as a graduate, it’s often referred to as ‘postgraduate medicine’. The reality is, a medicine degree is still an undergraduate (UG) degree, regardless of whether it’s completed as a graduate or direct school leaver at 18. As a graduate you are fortunate to be able to apply to both degree programmes.
A100 Medicine is intended for direct school leavers. The course is 5 years long and funding is provided by Student Finance England if it is your first degree. Applicants to an A100 course usually need to meet GCSE, A-Level, work experience and admission test requirements to be considered for interviews and offers.
Applying to an A100 Medicine degree as a graduate:
Many A100 medicine degrees will accept those with degrees already completed to their programmes. It is important to remember that the course is 5 years long (a year longer than most GEM programmes) and you still need to meet the course degree requirements. A100 would count as a second degree, there is no funding through Student Finance England for the tuition fees. Students may qualify for the maintenance loan but would have to self-fund the £9,250 annual, tuition fees themselves. This is usually a big disadvantage to graduates and a reason why many do not apply to the A100 courses. The bonus of an A100 degree is that the admission test (UCAT) cut off is often a lot lower than those needed for the Graduate Entry courses.
Graduate Entry Medicine:
A101 Graduate Entry Medicine is an accelerated course specifically designed for graduates who have already achieved a degree or are in their last year of study. The course is 4 years long and whilst students have to pay £3,500 towards their first year tuition fees, the rest is covered by Student Finance England, NHS England and they are eligible for the maintenance loan and NHS bursary too. Graduates are expected to have met their degree, A-Level and sometimes GCSE requirements, as well as work experience and admission test cut offs.
Whilst GEM seems like a far better option for graduates, it’s a LOT more competitive than A100 Medicine and the cut offs for admissions exams (GAMSAT/UCAT) are a LOT higher.
How competitive is it?
Each year, roughly 10,000 applicants apply for GEM. The number of places available changes each year but is roughly 900. Some of the GEM courses also can’t be applied to unless you meet specific requirements e.g. Cardiff is part of a feeder-scheme that is only available to students from select Welsh universities and completing certain degrees. This restricts the number of places available even further.
Recent statistics show that there can be up to 35 people applying for each place on a single GEM programme (QMU, Barts).
For every place, there can be up to 11 people interviewing for the single offer ( Cambridge University).
Where to apply?
It’s always sensible to apply to universities that cherry-pick your strengths. If you scored exceptionally well in the UCAT, Newcastle A101 is a good choice. Their UCAT cut off this year was higher than 3020 which is stupidly high – keep in mind that the UCAT is scored out of 900 in each section, so 3600 is the maximum score attainable. A score of 3020 would put you in the 96th percentile, meaning that you scored higher than 96% of candidates. Meaning that Newcastle A101 targets the top 4% of UCAT candidates.
If you scored particularly well in the GAMSAT you could apply to Exeter A100 as their cut off is 66. Whereas, for a GEM course, you could apply to Swansea with a score of 62. Likewise, if you scored on the lower side of the GAMSAT, you would apply for places such as Nottingham A101 who have their cut off at around 58/59.
It’s important to remember that this year has shown a significant increase in both the number of applicants and the admission exam cut offs.
Is getting an interview good?
Yes! Of course it is! Medicine is still the most competitive degree programme that you can apply for. An interview can be the last hoop that you have to jump through to be offered that much desired place (if a graduate)!
There are 10,000 applicants each year and the majority of those are not invited to interview due to missing their grades/ degree classification, do not meet the admissions test cut off or do not have the relevant work experience. Getting to an interview is a huge achievement. The University of Nottingham claim that they cut the applicant numbers down by 80% simply by rejecting those that do not meet their GAMSAT cut off for the year. They then invite the top 20% of applicants to fill in a work experience questionnaire before shortlisting to interviews.
Can I apply to both A100 and A101 courses?
Yes and you should. If you meet the requirements for an A100 course and feel comfortable with working whilst you are learning, then an A100 course shouldn’t be hardship. Apply to a mix of A100 and A101 courses that suit your strengths and give you the best possible chance at interview.