Course types

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Medical degrees can have different names, but they fit in to four types.

Standard Entry Medicine

The Standard Entry Medicine course is usually five years long, but in some institutions it is six. It can have different abbreviations, such as MBBS or MBChB, but all result in the bachelor’s degree in medicine.

Graduate Entry Medicine

The Graduate Entry Medicine course is open to those with a previous bachelor’s degree, achieving a minimum of 2.1. Some schools may accept a 2.2. Many universities require the previous degree to be health-related, but not all. It is usually a four-year accelerated degree but in some universities it is a five-year course. It is also known as the Graduate Entry Programme. Some graduate courses are open only to students from the UK or European Union.

Medicine with a Preliminary Year

This course takes the form of a five-year Standard Entry Medicine with an additional year at the start, making a six-year course. It is also known as Medicine with a Foundation Year, or similar.

This course is designed for those who achieved highly at A level, or equivalent, but who did not take the required science subjects. The grade requirements tend to be three As at A level, achieved in one sitting. This extra year gives students the necessary science training to catch up. It is not a means of boosting the grades of those who do not meet the entry requirements of standard entry medicine. Please note that many of these courses are open only to UK and European Union students.

Medicine with a Gateway Year

These medical degrees are designed for students who are of high ability but who may have had barriers to their learning due to their circumstances. The courses can take this into account in different ways, for instance by using ‘adjusted criteria’ to change the entry requirements for some applicants. Please note that these courses are open to UK students only.