medical schools council


Brokerage programme to be introduced by DfE for oversubscribed medical schools


Medical schools congratulate applicants on achieving their required grades for medical school in record numbers this year.

The Medical Schools Council is also delighted that the government has recognised the UK’s need for additional doctors and dentists and has agreed to fund additional places. Additional places will only be available to accommodate UK students who have met the conditions of their offer and hold a firm or insurance offer at a university with pressure on places.

Medical schools are committed to maintaining high standards of education and training and are working with the government to ensure applicants who have successfully achieved their offer to study medicine are able to take up their place at medical school. One limiting factor to the expansion of medical school places is the availability of clinical placement opportunities for students throughout all years of the course. Currently, the sites where high-quality clinical placements are available, together with the facilities required to support medical education, are not exactly aligned with oversubscribed medical schools.

For this reason medical schools have jointly agreed to support a brokerage programme led by the Department for Education (DfE) so that applicants who have met the conditions of their offers at oversubscribed medical schools will be given the opportunity to move to different medical schools. Students that choose to move medical schools will receive a payment of £10,000 for the inconvenience. The method for distributing this funding will be confirmed in due course.

Medical schools across the country are working together to facilitate the DfE brokerage programme and are looking forward to welcoming their new students and to supporting them over the coming years.

Professor Malcolm Reed, Co-Chair of the Medical Schools Council, said:

“Medical schools welcome the government’s decision to increase the number of medical school places to ensure that those students who have met the terms of their offer can study medicine. This year, we have seen applications to medicine courses rise by 20%, and many more applicants have met the terms of their offers than forecast. Medical schools recognise the need to bolster the future NHS workforce and by supporting this brokerage programme have committed to ensuring that expansion considers the need to maintain high quality medical education and training for all future doctors.”


Notes to editors:

  1. The Medical Schools Council is the representative body for UK medical schools. The council is made of the heads of UK medical schools and meets in order to shape the future of medical education in the UK.
  2. Unlike the majority of university courses, medicine and dentistry have tightly restricted entry numbers, determined by Government. In response to this year’s unprecedented situation the government has adjusted the cap on medicine and dentistry places in England so that applicants who have met the terms of their offer after achieving the required grades can study medicine and dentistry. For more information, see here.
  3. The brokerage programme is led by the Department for Education.
  4. The MSC has produced a briefing summarising UCAS data on confirmed places for undergraduate medicine applicants. Read the briefing here.
  5. For more information on this press release, please contact Lucy Chislett, Communications Officer, on 02074195427 or email


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