I think it’s worth starting by saying that no medical school is “easy” to get into. Medicine is such a competitive university course to be accepted into, and there are so many hurdles to jump through (work experience, high grades, volunteering, extra exams – to name a few!). You need to put a lot of time and effort into trying to secure a place. As such, this article isn’t necessarily about naming the easiest medical school to get into in the UK, but about how competitive the Medical Schools in the UK are and which of them are statistically least competitive.
Don’t forget that the ease of your application shouldn’t be the only thing that guides your university choice. Although obviously, don’t apply to a university that requires A-level Maths if you haven’t done it.
Make sure you think about other things, too, like location, teaching styles, course content, early placements and university life too. We have an article about how to choose a Medical School on our website so have a look at that as well.
UK Medical Schools Competitiveness Overview
- Highest number of applicants per interview, Lancaster University, 3.8
- Lowest number of applicants per interview, University of East Anglia/University of Plymouth, 1.4
- Highest number of applicants per place, University of Bristol, 13.7
- Lowest number of applicants per place, Queen Mary University of London, 3.8
- Most available spaces, Imperial College London, 492
- Fewest available spaces, University of Lincoln, 80
- Highest acceptance rate (for UK students), Queen’s University Belfast, 26.10%
- Lowest acceptance rate (for UK students), University of Bristol, 7.30%
- 1st Highest rate of offers given, Queen Mary University of London, 59.61%
- 2nd Highest rate of offers given, Hull York Medical School, 50.79%
- 3rd Highest rate of offers given, The University of Sheffield, 44.61%
- 1st Lowest rate of offers given, Cardiff University, 9.10%
- 2nd Lowest rate of offers given, University of Oxford, 9.62%
- 3rd Lowest rate of offers given, University of Leeds, 15.85%
- 1st Highest number of applicants, University of Bristol, 3696
- 2nd Highest number of applicants, Imperial College London, 3365
- 3rd Highest number of applicants, University of Birmingham, 3339
- 1st Lowest number of applicants, University of St Andrews, 659
- 2nd Lowest number of applicants, Aston University, 979
- 3rd Lowest number of applicants, Lancaster University, 986
This section contains a lot of information to give you an overview of how competitive various universities are with details such as how many offers universities give, how many places there are and how many students normally apply to them each year.
Again, remember that these statistics should not be the only thing that guides your university choices. However, they could be very useful in helping you narrow down choices or choosing between a few universities that you’re finding hard to distinguish between.
Applicants per interview
In terms of the number of applicants per available interview, Lancaster University has the highest number, with 3.8 applicants per 1 interview space, making it the most competitive for an interview. If you’re worried about some of the contents of your application but confident you can smash it at an interview, then apply to a university that has less competition to get an interview.
At the other end of the spectrum, the least competitive medical school to get an interview at is tied between the University of East Anglia and the University of Plymouth, which both only have 1.4 applicants per 1 interview space (the odds there are really in your favour for getting an interview!).
How you interpret or use this information depends on how likely you think it is you will reach an interview. If you’re confident you have a really strong application, don’t be scared to go for a university with a higher number of applicants per interview spot. However, if you’re worried one area of your application might be a little bit weaker, you may want to boost your chances by going for a university with less applicants per interview place.
The most Competitive Medical Schools in the UK
The University of Bristol, Imperial College London and the University of Birmingham can all be viewed as the most competitive because they have the highest number of applicants.
However, the University of Lincoln is the medical school with the least number of places available (but good if you don’t do as well in your UCAT) so could also be viewed as competitive.
Rate of offers given
Universities with the lowest rate (%) of offers for the number of applicants are Cardiff University, the University of Oxford and the University of Leeds. These percentages range from 9.1-15.9%, showing that the vast majority of applicants are rejected.
At the reverse end of this, there are other universities which much higher rates of offers (%) for the number of applicants. For example, Queen Mary University of London gives offers to almost 60% (59.61%) of applicants, which is actually pretty incredible odds for medical school applications. This drops to 50.79% for Hull York Medical School and then 44.61% for the University of Sheffield.
Lowest number of applicants
If you’re really scared about the competition from other candidates, the universities which seem the least popular (have the lowest number of applicants) are firstly the University of St Andrews, then Aston University and then Lancaster University.
Side note: The reason why the University of St Andrews may be less competitive is that you can’t complete your whole degree at St Andrew’s. Only the preclinical years, after which you receive a BSc and are transferred to another university to complete clinical years.
All of this information can seem really overwhelming so take your time to go through it slowly, and again remember you decide how much weight you want to place on this and which other factors are important to you.
Some other quick reminders to make sure you apply to your “easiest” medical school:
UCAT / BMAT requirements
Make the right choice – UCAT versus BMAT. If you hate writing essays, maybe don’t go for BMAT. If your UCAT score isn’t so strong, be sure to apply to universities that don’t care so much about it.
Equally, if you do really well in your UCAT, be sure to use this to your advantage! We have a whole separate article on this if you want to find out more.
Interview processes (multiple mini interviews/panel interviews / no interview)
If you think you can shine at interviews, then make sure to apply to a university that runs them. Make sure to read up about the different interview styles – if the multiple mini interviews set up sounds really daunting to you, and you think you’re going to freeze – avoid it!
If you thrive in a time precious fast-paced situation, then consider MMI Medical Schools. Multiple mini-interviews might really work to your advantage and help you to secure your place at medical school.
This might sound really obvious, but please, PLEASE don’t waste a precious application spot on a university where you don’t meet the academic requirements.
Double-check GCSE requirements (some universities calculate scores to determine cut-offs, so make sure you take the time to calculate these) and make sure you’ve got the right A-levels (some universities require Maths or Physics. Some only need Biology or Chemistry so it can really vary). Good luck!
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