Where To Apply With Average GCSE Grades?

With the limitation of applying to only 4 medical schools, it is important to tactically consider your options. Most universities consider an applicant’s A-level and GCSE grades, as well as their required aptitude test score. One shortfall for many students is the GCSE requirements of some medical schools. These GCSE requirements between universities can vary significantly, making it difficult to navigate. To add to the confusion, with the new number grading system there is a discrepancy between some universities’ requirements. For example, some universities express wanting grade B or 5 whereas others state grade B or 6. 

Some universities place a lesser emphasis on the number of GCSEs and the grades required for consideration. These options would be more suitable for candidates with moderate GCSE grades.

In this article, we will be looking at universities requiring average GCSE grades, however, if you want to find out where to apply with high GCSE grades, have a look at this article. 

 

Medical School GCSE requirements
University of Aberdeen School of Medicine and Dentistry  No minimum number of GCSEs stated. Grades 9-6 / A*- B expected, especially in sciences. Biology and physics recommended (or dual award science).

Must include:

  • 6/B in English language
  • 6/B in Maths

Notes:

Academic attainment/predictions make up 30% of scoring.

Anglia Ruskin University School of Medicine Minimum of 5 GCSEs required at grades 9-6 / A*- B

Must include:

  • 6/B in English language
  • 6/B in Maths 
  • 6/B in two science subjects (Biology / Chemistry / Physics)

Notes:

Once minimum academic requirements are achieved, UCAT is solely used for interview selection, with shortlisting points for living or studying in the East of England region, with further points for Essex.

Aston University Medical School Minimum of 5 GCSEs required at grades 9-6 / A*- B

Must include:

  • 6/B in English language
  • 6/B in Maths
  • 6/B in Chemistry and Biology OR 66/BB in double science

Notes:

GCSEs alone or GCSEs and A levels account for 2/3s of overall score used for ranking for interview selection.

The grades are given a score: A* (9/8) = 4, A (7) =3, B (6) = 2, C (5) = 1. Predicted A levels are not scored. Achieved A Levels are scored. A* = 4, A = 3, B = 2.

Cardiff University School of Medicine Minimum of 9 GCSEs required. Points system is used for the four subjects below including the 5 best other GCSE results. No results below 6/B are scored. No cut off points

Must include:

  • 6/B in English language OR Welsh language
  • 6/B in Maths
  • 6/B in Chemistry and Biology OR 66/BB in double science

Notes:

If an applicant cannot take 9 GCSEs due to school policy, they must offer a minimum of 7 GCSEs and are advised to email Cardiff admissions for advice. Academic score considered for interview selection. GCSEs are scored as 9/8/A* = 3 points, 7/A = 2 points, and 6/B = 1 point. A-levels and other degrees are also scored with a maximum of 27 points possible.

Edge Hill University Medical School Minimum of 5 GCSEs required.

Must include:

  • 6/B in English language
  • 6/B in Maths
  • 6/B in Chemistry and Biology OR 66/BB in double science

Notes:

Once minimum academic requirements are achieved, UCAT is solely used for ranking for interview selection.

The University of Edinburgh Medical School Best 8 GCSEs grades are scored.

Must include:

  • 6/B in English language
  • 6/B in Maths
  • 6/B in Chemistry and Biology OR 66/BB in double science

Notes:

Academic score makes up 25% of ranking.

Scoring system for GCSEs used: Any Bs or lower = 1, all 7s/As and up to five 8s/A*s = 2, and 7s/As and more than five 8s/A*s = 3. A levels also scored with a total potential score of 10.

Hull York Medical School Minimum of 6 GCSEs required at grades 9-4 / A*- C

Must include:

  • 6/B in English language
  • 6/B in Maths

Notes:

GCSE results account for 30 points out of 100 for interview selection. Best 6 GCSEs are looked at.

University of Leeds School of Medicine Minimum of 6 GCSEs required at grade 5/B or above.

Must include:

  • 5/B in English language
  • 5/B in Maths
  • 5/B in Chemistry and Biology OR 55/BB in double science

Notes:

Academic achievement and BMAT used for interview selection.

University of Leicester Medical School 8 GCSEs are scored if you have predicted A-levels.

Must include:

  • 6/B in English language
  • 6/B in Maths
  • 6/B in Chemistry and Biology OR 66/BB in double science

Notes:

If your school did not permit you to take 8 GCSE subjects, the university requires formal evidence from the school to support this before 1st October of the application cycle. Academic achievement is scored and used for interview selection. 

Applicants with achieved A-levels will be invited to interview with at least 6/B in the 4 mandatory GCSE subjects above and the relevant A-level and UCAT criteria.

Maximum academic score is 32 points.  GCSEs will be scored as follows: A* A = 4 = 3 B = 1 C = 0.

Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry  Minimum of 7 GCSEs at grades 9-4 / A*- C

Must include:

  • 4/C in English language
  • 4/C in Maths
  • 4/C in Two sciences (Chemistry / Biology / Physics) OR double science

Notes:

Academic achievement and UCAT play a role in interview selection.

St George’s, University of London  Minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades 9-6 / A* – B.

Must include:

  • 6/B in English language
  • 6/B in Maths
  • 6/B in Science (double or triple award science)

Notes:

Once minimum academic requirements are achieved, UCAT is solely used for ranking for interview selection.

 

Achieving the minimum GCSE grades outlined in the table above will be enough for any student to be considered for interview selection. However, as can be seen in the notes, some universities such as Aston and Cardiff use a scoring system to rank students. Therefore, students with higher GCSE grades would be more competitive than those with lower GCSE grades. On the other hand, other medical schools do not take GCSEs into account past meeting the minimum criteria, such as Edge Hill and Anglia Ruskin. Using this knowledge when deciding your university choices can greatly increase your chances of success.

The requirements of medical schools can vary on a case-by-case basis for example depending on extenuating circumstances, therefore it is always important to contact medical school admissions directly if you are unsure on their entry criteria. More information on GCSE entry criteria can be found on the respective university web page and on the Medical School Council website.

We go through this with our Elite Programme FutureDoc students in-depth when we help them with their medical school applications. If you would like to find out more about the Elite Programme, you can apply here.

 

Written by Mohamed Morgan