UCAS Application for Medical Schools

All applications for UK medical schools go through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). This section provides a guide to filling in the application form. This section covers:

  • How do I apply?
  • When should I apply?
  • How many universities do I apply to?
  • Do the universities that I've applied for know which other universities I've applied to?
  • How much does it cost to apply?
  • Do I need to apply through a school or college?
  • What is involved in the application form?
  • How do I write my personal statement?
  • Who should write my reference?

How do I apply?

All applications must now be filled in online, paper-based forms are no longer accepted. Do not fill in the form straight away, type out everything you are going to include in a word file and ask your teachers, family and friends to check it before you finally submit it. You can apply using the UCAS website.


When should I apply?

UCAS applications open in mid September. The deadline for UCAS applications is the 15th October for medicine. It is essential that your application is submitted UCAS by this date.


How many universities can I apply to?

You can apply to only 4 medical courses per year (rather than the standard 5 for other degrees). However, you can use the one remaining place on your form for courses other than medicine. This 5th choice is designed to give you a back-up if you don't gain a place at any of the four medical schools you applied to. Students either choose a subject they would like to do instead of medicine such as Biochemistry etc or some students leave it blank if they know they wont take the back-up option and will reapply the following year. 


Do the universities that I've applied for know which other universities I've applied to?

No. Each university that you have applied to does not know which other universities you have applied to. However, if you apply to more than one course at the same university, they will know that you have applied to two of their courses.


How much does it cost to apply?

If you are only applying to one course it costs £13. If you are applying to more than one course, it costs £24. 


Do I need to apply through a school or college?

No. If you are at school or college at the moment then you would normally apply with the help of your teachers. But if you are no longer in education, you can apply as an independent applicant, you don't need to be attached to a school or college.


What is involved in the application form?

The UCAS form will require the following steps:

  1. Register to UCAS Apply.
  2. Sign in and complete your personal details. 
  3. Additional info (UK applicants only)
  4. Student finance (UK and EU applicants only)
  5. Course choices
  6. Full education history
  7. Your employment history
  8. Write a personal statement
  9. View all the details
  10. Add a reference. Pay UCAS fee and send application. 

How do I write my personal statement?

Students can find writing a personal statement very difficult. Starting the personal statement is often the biggest challenge and fitting all your experience and why you want to study medicine into the strict line count can be very tricky. Visit the writing the personal statement section to find out more and for help with this.


Who should write my reference?

This very much depends on the universities you are applying to. Many universities require an academic reference, yet you may feel that a non-academic source would be more appropriate. The best advice is to contact the universities directly and follow their requirements. In some cases, it may be acceptable to send supplementary references but, again, you should check with each university.


Where can I get more help?

The UCAS website provides lots of detailed information about the application process. There is also a very helpful page on the UCAS website which specifically relates to mature students, including the options which may be available.