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Admissions information for studying Medicine at Cardiff

Medic student in scrubs

What must be on my UCAS application?

All applicants must complete all sections of the UCAS application. In addition, a personal statement which includes information supporting suitability for a medical course and an academic reference are essential.

What do I include in a personal statement?

For all applicants the personal statement should include:

  • 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.

Experience and reflection in a caring environment can be demonstrated by reflecting on any work experience carried out (examples include care homes, helping out with younger pupils in school, helping out with clubs, etc).

The Personal Statement is screened, but not formally scored.

What does the School of Medicine think of a gap year?

We welcome a constructive gap year as it gives you an opportunity to travel, gain work experience or carry out charity work etc. We recognise that a gap year can broaden your skills and experience. With the cost of living, earning money before university may also be helpful.

How competitive is it to get into Medicine in Cardiff?

The competition has become even more fierce over the past few years. As well as the number of applications going up, the proportion of these applicants with excellent academic results has also increased. Unfortunately, many excellently qualified applicants are rejected because of this competition for a set number of places.

We have had around 4600 applications each year over the last 2 years. We interview 1100 applicants. We have given offers of a place to 520 applicants following the interview this year.

There are around 300 medical school places for Year 1 (including UK and Overseas).

As part of the Selection Process, you would only receive an offer if you have had an interview.

How many overseas places do you have for Medicine?

Like most traditional Medical Schools across the UK, we have a 7.5% cap on overseas places. This means we have around 25 places in year 1.

Are Welsh applicants treated differently to English (rest of UK) applicants?

All Medical Schools across the UK have contextualisation criteria, and the majority include their local areas within this. Given the geography and population of Wales and the under-representation of Welsh students studying in Medical Schools across the UK, Cardiff School of Medicine recognises Welsh-domiciled applicants as one of their contextualised groups.

Further information on Cardiff University’s contextual admissions.

Medical education in Wales is funded by Welsh Government and the Centre for Medical Education within the School of Medicine recognises the need to ensure that public money in Wales is spent to improve the health of the nation of Wales, in addition to the wider UK.

The School of Medicine has responsibilities regarding widening access to medicine and supporting the diversity of the healthcare workforce, and these are also key considerations in reviewing applications to medical school.

Like all Medical Schools in the UK, the number of medical student placements is capped in line with the funding available.

Why do you treat contextualised applicants differently?

Having a diverse medical student population promotes a holistic empathetic approach to patients, ensures we are selecting doctors representative of the population they will be serving, are more likely to work in communities similar to those they are from and in specialties that are struggling.

Groups of students who are under-represented at medical school are encouraged to apply. There are many groups that are under-represented. Social mobility is improved through education.

How are applications scored?

Applicants are regarded as Welsh-domiciled, Rest of UK-non-contextualised, contextualised Rest of UK, Widening Participation (WP) and overseas.

WP applicants who have taken part in either the Step-Up programme, Doctoriaid Yfory (DY) or the Sutton Trust programme are given a guaranteed interview. Find out more about our WP strategy.

Points are given for achieved grades only. 9 GCSEs are assessed which must include a Maths GCSE, English Language, Biology and Chemistry (or Double Science).

A*/8/9 = 3 points

A/7 = 2 points

B/6 = 1 point

No grades less than a B/6 are scored.

If you are applying with completed A levels, the points for these grades are added to your GCSE score. Once you have achieved over 27 points you are considered alongside those with GCSE and degree level (2:1) achieving this maximum score. Having a fourth A Level is not a requirement and will not enhance your application.

If you are applying with an Honours Degree (minimum 2:1) and have also achieved the minimum GCSE and A level requirements, you will achieve the maximum academic score and are considered alongside those achieving maximum academic scores with GCSEs or A levels.

At this point, wholly dependent on the number of applicants achieving highest scores, if this is more than we are able to interview (around 1100) we introduce a UCAT cut-off score.

What is the cut-off score for Medicine in Cardiff?

Cut-off scores for interviews (academic and UCAT) are determined by the competitiveness (i.e. calibre) of the number and quality of the applications we receive each year. For example, before COVID, we did not need to use a UCAT cut-off because both the number and competitiveness of applicants meant that we could interview solely based on using an academic score to cut-off to achieve our interviewees.

The academic and / or UCAT cut-off score will vary year to year and may vary between the different groups to ensure there is representation from each group.

What is your UCAT cut-off score?

A UCAT cut-off score is only used if we have too many applicants sitting on excellent academic scores.

The UCAT cut-off score is not predetermined and is unrelated to the previous year’s cut-off. It cannot be predicted and is solely used to identify the 1100 to interview.

The cut-off score may be different for the different groups to ensure that there is representation from each group.

What subjects must I have?

GCSEs: Maths, English Language, Biology and Chemistry (or Double Science) at grade B/6 or higher.

A levels: Chemistry and Biology and a third A level (the third A level can be Welsh Baccalaureate).

Graduate entry: 2:1 at the (honours) degree, ABC or BBB at A level (including Chemistry and Biology) and minimum required GCSEs at grade B.

Do you look at predicted grades?

Predicted grades are not considered at any stage of the Selection Process

Do you look at AS level grades?

AS level grades are not considered at any stage of the Selection Process

Do you have a Graduate Entry programme?

The only Graduate Entry applicants we would consider for a 4 year course are those doing one of our agreed Feeder Stream routes (applicants must be on the specific Feeder Stream route from Cardiff Bioscience, Cardiff Medical Pharmacology, Bangor Biomedical Sciences or USW Biomedical Sciences). All other graduates would have to apply for the 5 year A100.

Do you accept BTECs and T levels?


Do you accept re-sits?

We accept re-sits at GCSE level within a year after they were originally taken (except English Language which can be taken any time).

We do not accept A level re-sits. (Welsh applicants can re-sit AS level subjects).

Do you accept the EPQ?

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is not considered at any stage of the Selection Process

What about extenuating circumstances?

These must be sent to the Central University by the deadline specified to be considered by the Admission Group. We are not able to adjust academic grades that have been given by any awarding bodies (you should contact the relevant Exam Board). In exceptional cases (if evidence is provided) we may allow a re-sit.

I’m unsure what my fee status will be, can you help?

An applicant’s fee status is set by the University, in accordance with the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations and with the University’s guiding principles of fee assessment.

Please see details of Cardiff University’s fee status policy and complete the Fee Assessment Questionnaire.

For further queries please contact

When will I hear if I have an interview with Cardiff University?

We review all applications thoroughly once the October deadline has passed. This process can take many weeks. Therefore, we cannot give an exact timeframe on when applicants will be informed whether they have been successful in receiving an invitation to interview. We will only contact applicants once all applications have been reviewed.

If you have not heard from us by mid-December, please contact us at:

Will the interviews be in person or online and what will the format be?

The interviews will be in the format of Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) which involves several individual stations with themed questions.

We generally ask questions relating to the course in Cardiff, ethics, your understanding of a career in medicine, the NHS, working in teams, self-directed learning, motivation, empathy, resilience, and communication.

The interviews for entry 2024 will be online. We are currently reviewing the interview process and therefore it is likely that we will be doing verbal interviews only and may include 6 stations.

Can I do my interview through the medium of Welsh? How do I apply for this?

Yes. Anyone can sit their MMI through the medium of Welsh or bilingually. There will be a set number of interviews offered through the medium of Welsh/bilingually. You will need to ensure that you choose one of these dates when registering for your interview.

What is a bilingual or Welsh interview at Cardiff University School of Medicine?

Bilingual and Welsh MMIs are essentially the same, in the sense they are conducted as one interview. You can switch from Welsh to English, and vice versa in these interviews. All interviewers will be happy to conduct the interview in either Welsh or English and you are welcome to switch languages at any time. You will not be granted any additional points for speaking Welsh, nor will they be taken away if you switch languages at any time during the MMIs. You might wish to conduct one station in Welsh and another in English. This will not affect your score in any way.

All questions in the MMI interviews are available in Welsh so you can complete the whole interview through the medium of Welsh if you choose.

I applied to Cardiff for Medicine last year and didn’t get a place. Can I reapply this year?

Yes, you can reapply as long as you meet our minimum entry requirements for the year you are applying. You will need a current UCAT score.

If re-applying from a Step-Up/Doctoriaid Yfory (DY) or Sutton Trust or GEM programme you will need to inform the relevant programme leads so that your details are provided to us. You can only re-apply once from one of these programmes.

I attended a Step Up/Sutton Trust programme, how will you know?

We receive a list of applicants who have attended within the last year.

If you attended in a previous year and are making a reapplication, we would advise you to contact the programme and let them know you are re-applying so that they can provide us with your details.