Medicine

This policy provides information on admissions requirements, selection policies and procedures for undergraduate medical courses leading to the MBBCh award in Cardiff University’s School of Medicine for 2019/2020 entry.

At the beginning of each admissions cycle, the Admissions Group reviews the previous cycle and recommends to the Board of Medical Studies any changes in policy or the selection criteria. This policy and the selection criteria will not normally be changed during an admissions cycle. Competition for a place at Medical School is intense. For example, the University receives approximately 3,000 applications for c300 places; of these, approximately 1,500 were invited to interview.

All applications must be made through UCAS, details of which can be found on the UCAS website. Applications can be made either in English or Welsh languages, and applicants can elect in which of these languages they wish to receive correspondence. Applicants are advised that no more than four choices from the possible five can be used for medical programmes. Cardiff University is not made aware of applicants' other chosen universities, but is aware of an individual's application for other courses at Cardiff University. Application for such other courses in Cardiff University does not affect the way that an application for Medicine is considered in any way. All applications are subjected to verification procedures for fraud and plagiarism.

The closing date for all applications each year is 15 October. Applications received after this date will not usually be considered.

Details of the minimum academic requirements for consideration for entry into the MBBCh course are outlined below. However, lower levels of academic achievement may be considered if there are exceptional extenuating circumstances.

Exceptional extenuating circumstances must be documented on an extenuating circumstances notification form which must be submitted directly to the Admissions Officer (medadmissions@cardiff.ac.uk) at the School of Medicine by 15 September. It is expected that exceptional extenuating circumstances relating specifically to previous performance in examinations will already have been notified to the relevant Examinations Board, and that the classification of the relevant award will already have been moderated accordingly.

All undergraduate applicants (and graduate applicants for A104) (other than those resident in exempt countries) are required to take the national UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UK-CAT) during July-October. Test results obtained in previous years are not accepted. Comprehensive information on this (including specimen test questions) can be found on the UKCAT website. No absolute minimum threshold score is required.

All graduate applicants (for A100 and A101) are required to sit the GAMSAT examination prior to applying, in order for their application to be considered.

All applicants must have an acceptable English language qualification.

The Advanced Diploma in Society, Health and Development is not accepted for entry into the Medicine Programmes.

Applicants who have previously failed to complete a Medicine degree programme at another university will not be considered.

It is expected that all applicants will provide evidence of prior academic capability in publicly validated examinations, eg GCSE, IGCSE. This should be included on the UCAS application form.

For applicants with UK qualifications, only those that are defined in the National Database of Accredited Qualifications are acceptable.

A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate

A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate requirements can be found in Course Finder.

GCSE requirements

All applicants must achieve the minimum requirements at GCSE. Applicants will receive a score based on their best nine GCSEs. This score will include the following subjects. Post A level applicants receive additional credit for achieved A levels.

GCSE subjectsMinimum requirements
English Language6 (B)
At least one of Mathematics or Numeracy6 (B)
ScienceEither, 66 or BB in Science and Additional Science
(formerly Double Award Science) or equivalent.
Or, 66 (BB) in Chemistry and Biology. Or, 66 (BB) in Core Science and one of Additional Science or further Additional Science. 
Other subjects Other subjects not stated above, to make a total of nine, at a minimum of grade B.
GCSE Welsh first language and second language is accepted and can be offered as one of the nine subjects as long as the English Language minimum above has been met.
GCSE Human Biology will be considered but not in conjunction with standard GCSE Biology.
Level 2 certificates such as the Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA), Applied Business, ICT (examining board) and the Diploma in Digital Applications (DiDA) will be considered as contributing one additional, separate subject in lieu of a GCSE during academic scoring.
Subjects NOT consideredLevel 2 BTECs.
NVQs.

Extra information applicable to A100 and A104

Extra Information for GCSEs:

Certified GCSE resit results will be considered only if completed within 12 months of the first sitting.
GCSE Dual Award subjects, other than GCSE dual award Science will only be counted as one subject during the overall assessment.

Cardiff University does not formally recognise locally developed GCSE equivalent qualifications for admission to the University and these qualifications will be explicitly excluded from any selection scoring processes for admission to the University.
Applicants who were unable to take 9 GCSEs, ie if the school or college did not allow for an applicant to sit 9 GCSEs, must email medadmissions@cardiff.ac.uk to discuss this before making an application.

Applicants taking examinations under an English examination board are required to have Mathematics at a minimum of grade 6. Applicants taking examinations under WJEC are required to have either Mathematics or Numeracy at a minimum of grade B. We will also accept one extra Mathematics subject alongside Mathematics or Numeracy from Additional Mathematics, further Mathematics or Statistics, if it is to the advantage of the applicant.

Extra information applicable to A2 Level:

For applicants offering Mathematics and/or Statistics at AS and/or A2 level only one will count towards meeting the conditions of an offer.
Critical Thinking is not accepted at A2 level.
General Studies is not acceptable at A2 Level.
A fourth A2 Level subject will not enhance your application.
Cardiff University recognises the Edexcel International Advanced Level qualification as equivalent to other GCE A level qualifications.
AVCE or applied GCE qualifications are accepted provided that the subject requirements at A2 and AS Level are also satisfied.
The school will not consider applications where additional Level 3 Qualifications (ie International Baccalaureate, Welsh Baccalaureate) are undertaken post A-Level, in lieu of A-level grades not being achieved first time round unless there are exceptional circumstances and have been taken within a two year study period.

Other qualifications

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome, as are those who may have combinations of qualifications or other relevant work/life experience. If you would like to know the entry requirements for a specific qualification not listed here, please contact our admissions team on either medadmissions@cardiff.ac.uk or +44(0)29 2068 8113.

Applications from mature students through UCAS are welcomed. In view of the limited amount of space available on the UCAS form, mature applicants are advised to send an additional full curriculum vitae directly to the Admissions Office at the time of applying via UCAS. This C.V. should include the applicant's entire academic and professional background since entering secondary education and include activities undertaken each year since leaving school or college. The attention of mature applicants is drawn to the statement relating to the duration of the training programme.

Mature students who are pursuing a QAA Recognised Access to Science course or Access to Medicine course will be considered on an individual basis for entry to the Foundation Year Medicine (six year) scheme of study (A104). This entry qualification is considered acceptable for those applicants who were unable, e.g. for personal reasons, to continue their formal education at school or college post-16. It is not an acceptable qualification for applicants who have sat, but failed to achieve, the necessary grades at GCE A2 Level, BTEC qualifications, degrees, etc.

All graduate applicants should have achieved a minimum of grade 6 (B) in GCSE Mathematics grade 6, (B) in GCSE English Language and Biology and Chemistry 66 (BB). At GCE A2 Level, they are expected to have achieved a minimum of BBB/ABC grades. Graduate applicants must have, or expect to achieve, an upper second class Honours classification in their first degree.

A100 5 year programme:
Graduates should have Chemistry and Biology at A2 Level. Science graduates who do not hold GCE A2 Level qualifications in Biology or Chemistry may be considered for the A100 programme. They will be required to provide details of specific modules from their degree courses and will then be considered individually by the Admissions Group. Further details can be obtained from the Admissions Office. See information under Admissions Tests.

A104 6 year programme:
Graduates who do not have the appropriate science background may be considered for the A104 (6 year) Foundation Programme. See information under Admissions Tests.

N.B. Graduates applying for either the A100 or A104 programme will only be considered for entry into the first year of the programme.

Applicants must have completed their degree or must be in the final year of their current degree programme in order for their application to be considered.

Dental graduates

Dental graduates normally enter into the second year of the medical course. Applicants are required to have completed further postgraduate training obtaining appropriate professional qualifications. Applicants should submit a full CV (curriculum vitae) to the Admissions Office at the time of making their UCAS application.

Please note that all dental graduates who are applying to study Medicine will be considered for A101 only. See information under Admissions Tests.

Applications through UCAS from international students are also welcome. In common with all UK medical schools, the number of places available for international (non-EU) students is limited. Applicants should have an awareness of the healthcare system in the UK and the nature of the medical training.

While the majority of international applicants offer International Baccalaureate or GCE A2 Level subjects, some other international qualifications are acceptable.

International applicants are required to offer a recognised English Language qualification.

All applicants who are being considered for programmes of study leading to the MBBCh degree, including international applicants, will be required to attend an interview.

All applicants to Cardiff University School of Medicine should be prepared to travel to the UK for an interview. Cardiff University is unable to meet any expense incurred.

International applicants should ensure they have adequate financial resources to support them throughout the medical course. The University will require a financial guarantee that all fees can be met. It is unable to offer any scholarship to help students meet these costs.

As part of the admissions process, a survey is sent to all applicants with a Fees status of overseas. The purpose of this survey is to ensure all overseas applicants are fully aware of their funding arrangements, and to draw attention to the potential consequences related to funding that may arise if the course is failed or if the individual must leave the course for any reason. If an individual receives the survey; completion is mandatory. Completion of this survey will not affect an application. Applicants from non-European Union (non EU) or European Economic Areas EEA must satisfy the requirements of Tier 4 of the Points-based Immigration System of the UK Border Agency.

Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS)

Admission to the MBBCh programmes includes special provisions for the protection of the public and for ensuring a prospective doctor's honesty, integrity and probity. It is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) Section 4 (2) (Exemption) Order 1975, DHSS Circular HC (88) 9 Guidelines Regarding Child Protection and Police Checks.

UK applicants will be required to complete the Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure process at the ‘Enhanced’ level. International applicants and those from EU countries should provide a Certificate of Good Conduct, in English Language from the police or appropriate legal authority from their country of residence. Those who have been resident in the UK for longer than one year will also be required to complete the Disclosure and Barring Service process. All information provided will be treated in absolute confidence.

Detailed information will be given to successful applicants. Information on the Disclosure process can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service website.

Enrolment onto the course cannot take place until clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service check has been received.

Applicants are required to disclose all police cautions, reprimands, bind-overs and warnings, in addition to formal offences and convictions. These, and any issues raised by the Disclosure and Barring Service report, will be dealt with according to the University's Policy for Determining Applicants’ Fitness to Practise and Eligibility to Pursue Regulated Programmes of Study. Failure to disclose relevant information may lead to an offer being withdrawn. The School will follow the principles outlined in “Medical Students: Professional Values and Fitness to Practice” published by the GMC. It will consider fitness to practice of a potential medical student in relation to how it may have an impact on patient and public safety and on the public’s trust in the medical profession. Cardiff University School of Medicine will also consult with the GMC, where necessary.

All applicants are advised to submit a full disclosure of any offence prior to submitting an application either by email or letter to the Admissions Office.

Health check

Successful applicants will be required to undergo a Health Check which is carried out independently by the University’s Occupational Health Service. Health questionnaires will be sent to successful applicants with offer packs in April/May which must be completed and returned fully and honestly. A history of serious ill health will not preclude a career in medicine unless the condition impinges on professional fitness to practise, in which case it will be considered in accordance with the University's Policy for Determining Applicants’ Fitness to Practise and Eligibility to Pursue Regulated Programmes of Study. Students with long term health problems should contact the Medical School Admissions Department for advice prior to submitting an application. If appropriate, an informal (and confidential) discussion with an Occupational Health Physician can be arranged.

Enrolment on to the course cannot take place until the Occupational Health Service has received and approved an applicant's health questionnaire.

If an applicant has a health issue that they are not sure may impact on their ability to study or practise they are strongly advised to seek advice.

Blood-borne viruses and other infectious diseases

Infection with a transmissible blood-borne virus (eg Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV) is not a contra-indication to admission provided there are no other significant health problems. Students carrying an infection will be able to complete the course and obtain General Medical Council registration, but some specialities may not be open to them during training or in their subsequent career. National guidance that is current at the time of admission will be followed. Detailed information may be obtained from the Occupational Health Service.

All students will undergo screening for blood-borne viruses and tuberculosis shortly after enrolment and those that are non-immune to Hepatitis B will be required to complete a full immunisation programme before becoming involved in clinical procedures. This can be administered by the Occupational Health Service. Cardiff University has responsibility for ensuring that the programme is completed. However, prospective students might enquire beforehand with their local General Practitioner or Travel Centre to begin the vaccination programme before joining the university (a charge may be made for this) as a delay in acquiring Hepatitis B immunity may delay when a student is allowed to commence clinical teaching.

This is a specific four year Graduate Entry to Medicine (GEM) programme for applicants who are currently enrolled on one of the Feeder Stream courses:
i. BMedSci Degree in Medical Sciences from the University of Bangor (B100)
ii. BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences Degree, from the University of South Wales (B901)
iii. BSc (Hons) Medical Pharmacology degree, School of Medicine, Cardiff University (B210)
iv. BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences degree, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University (BC97)

The Feeder Stream programmes have been developed as part of Cardiff University’s commitment to widening access to Medicine enabling a small number of selected students within the above programmes to join the feeder stream, taking on additional modules and graduating from these programmes with a first or upper second class honours degree, to enter the second year of the five year A100 Medical programme.

Applicants applying from these routes will need to have fulfilled all the minimum requirements as outlined in Appendix A for Graduate entry.

The selection process from these feeder courses is dependent on academic and non-academic achievement, as well as performance at interview in line with the selection for all other applicants.

Students wishing to progress from one of the above feeder streams to the four year graduate entry medicine programme (A101) will be subject to the Admissions Criteria, published by the School of Medicine, in the year that the student starts their officiated feeder course and not the year of entry to the 4 year graduate entry medicine programme (A101).

Cardiff University School of Medicine has standardised entry criteria for feeder stream applicants to the A101 programme (see Appendix A, section h (ii).) These will apply to all students entering the feeder stream courses from September 2014.

Applicants to the A101 course must have sat the GAMSAT prior to application.

Please note that all dental graduates who are applying to study medicine will be considered for A101 only and will also need to sit the GAMSAT and not the UKCAT.

There are three stages to the selection process. Members of Cardiff University's School of Medicine Admissions Group are involved at all stages.

Academic requirements

In order to establish an applicant’s potential to cope with the academic requirements of the programme, the initial assessment consists of screening applications according to whether they meet the specified minimum academic requirements shown in the Appendix of the Admissions Policy. In the absence of documented exceptional extenuating circumstances provided at the time of application, applications that do not meet these minimum requirements will be deemed unsuccessful and will be notified of this decision by UCAS as soon as possible. The remaining applications will be ranked according to their overall prior certificated academic qualifications, eg GCSE and GCE A2 Level grades, Baccalaureate points, or degree classifications. From this ranking students will be identified for assessment of non-academic attributes and for interview. This means that not all applicants who have met the minimum academic requirements will proceed to the next ‘non-academic’ stage of the selection process; it will depend on their ranking (and consequently, the competition).

Non-academic requirements

Applicants who meet the minimum academic requirements and are sufficiently highly ranked academically are assessed on non-academic criteria according to the information contained in their Personal Statement and the Referee’s Report given on the UCAS Application Form. Applications are reviewed by trained selectors and the following are assessed:

  • insight into a career in Medicine
  • evidence of experience and reflection in a caring environment
  • evidence and reflection of personal responsibility
  • evidence of a balanced approach to life
  • evidence of self directed learning.

All applicants are expected to have an appreciation of the length of the training programme and the career structure, and how this relates to their own situation and circumstances.

The University recognises that opportunities for certain types of work experience and participation in some non-academic activities will vary according to individual circumstances, including an applicant's cultural or socio-economic background, or the activities available in their local area. Selectors are, therefore, not prescriptive about the ways in which the non-academic selection criteria may be demonstrated.

Selectors will also consider additional information such as that provided by schools or the applicant, particularly that relating to documented exceptional extenuating circumstances, if this is provided at the time of applying through UCAS.

Interviews

See "Selection interviews" section.

Final selection

The final decision to offer a place is made by the Admissions Group. Applicants will be advised of decisions by UCAS, and also in writing by the School Admissions Office.

Decisions reached by the Admissions Group are final.

Feedback to applicants

The University is committed to providing unsuccessful applicants with the opportunity to receive appropriate feedback about their applications. Feedback will be automatically provided to applicants.

Confirmation of a place

The examination results of applicants taking standard UK qualifications and who are holding conditional offers at Cardiff University will be transmitted electronically by UCAS to Cardiff University in August and the Admissions Office will review the grades obtained. Applicants with other qualifications, such as graduates and international students, are responsible for ensuring that the Admissions Office is informed of their results immediately after they are published and provide copies of relevant certificates. Applicants who have met the terms of their offer will be notified by UCAS, and subsequently in writing by Cardiff University.

Those who have failed narrowly to meet the terms of their offer are referred to the Admissions Group for review. The Group will take into account all information available relating to the application, including documented exceptional extenuating circumstances if appropriate, before making a decision as to whether the student should be offered a place. It should be noted that exceptional extenuating circumstances relating directly to examination performance will normally be expected to have been disclosed to the relevant Examination Board and to have been dealt with in the grading or classification of results. UCAS and the Admissions Office will notify the applicant of the decision. The Admissions Group decision is final.

A Taster Day for Medicine only is held each summer. Offer holder days are held in March each year.

Find out more about School of Medicine Open Days.

UKCAT: All undergraduate applicants applying to the A100 and A104, and graduate applicants applying to the A104 (other than those resident in exempt countries) are required to take the national UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT). Comprehensive information on this (including practice questions) can be found on the UKCAT website. We do not have a minimum threshold score for the UKCAT, however the UKCAT score may be used as part of the assessment procedure.

GAMSAT: All graduate applicants (apart from those applying to A104) will be required to sit the GAMSAT examination prior to applying, in order for their application to be considered. Graduate applicants (apart from those applying to A104) are not required to sit the UKCAT. We do not have a minimum threshold score for the GAMSAT, however the GAMSAT score may be used as part of the assessment procedure.

No offers are made without interview. Interviews are offered to applicants who achieve the highest positions according to their academic and non-academic rankings. Applicants are required to attend a multiple mini interview.

Selection for interview is based on academic performance. For those selected for interview, applicants will attend a 9 station multiple mini interview. These interviews will take place throughout December and January.

Applicants will rotate around the 9 stations in turn. Each station will last 8 minutes. The interviews focus on exploring the personal qualities and attributes important in developing good doctors in the future. Invitations to interview will be sent via email with a link to our online booking system. No offers for a place to study Undergraduate Medicine at Cardiff University will be made until all interviews have been completed to ensure all applicants have an equal opportunity.

Interviewers receive training and guidance on the form and conduct of the interviews, including equal opportunities and diversity training.

It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure they are physically and mentally fit for the interviews. Retrospective adjustment for a weak performance will not be made.

Any extenuating circumstances that may affect an applicant's performance at interview must be stated when booking the interview. Any aspects of the interviews that an applicant feels may have not been fairly or properly applied must be brought to the attention of the Admissions Group on the day of interviews and not retrospectively.

Failure to attend without good cause will be seen as an application being withdrawn.

Cardiff University School of Medicine is committed to widening access and welcomes applications from students of all backgrounds. The academic and non-academic attainment of a candidate will be reviewed against educational performance data and socio-economic background to provide admissions tutors with a more complete overview of an applicant’s attainment and potential. The School may include Welsh Culture, society and Welsh Language qualifications as part of the assessment criteria. The School will consider this information when deciding whether to call a candidate for interview. It will not use this information to make lower or differential offers to any particular group of students.

Find out more about contextual data and its use.

Applicants who have failed to achieve the A level offer of AAA (or equivalent) at first attempt will not usually be considered. We will consider applications where modules have been re-sat in either AS level or A level, on the understanding that they are completed within the standard two-year A level period. Re-sits for applicants whose A levels have been completed and the grades awarded will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Those whose under-achievement was due to extenuating circumstances, and have previously applied to study Medicine at Cardiff, should provide supporting evidence of their circumstances, and evidence that the relevant Examination Board has been notified. If the relevant Examination Board has been notified, further consideration will be given.

Cardiff University School of Medicine will consider applicants seeking deferred entry. Applications are made through UCAS in the usual way. The UCAS form should be amended clearly to show the intention to defer at the point of application. The individuals personal statement should include an indication of the reasons for wanting to defer entry. Deferment of entry for a period longer than 12 months is not permitted.

Applicants accepting deferred places are expected to make arrangements for contact with the Medical School to be maintained if they are travelling overseas.

Deferment requests post-application will not normally be considered unless there are changes in an applicant’s situation and are at the sole discretion of the Admissions Group.

Cardiff University School of Medicine will not normally accept transfers to its undergraduate medicine programmes.