How to Get Into Oxford for Medicine

Medicine is one of the most competitive courses at Oxford University. On average, just 9% of applicants were successful in receiving an offer to study Medicine at Oxford from 2019 to 2021, and the application process is designed to be very challenging.

If you’re thinking of applying for Medicine or just curious about what it takes to get into the highest ranked university in the UK for Medicine, this guide contains everything you need to know – from entry requirements to tips on how to prepare from our expert medical admissions tutors.

Don’t forget to check out our other articles on how to get into Oxford and what to do if you don’t meet Oxford’s entry requirements!

The Profs’ medical admissions tutors have first-hand experience of the admissions process and what is required to succeed at each stage. More than 95% of students who work with The Profs receive an offer from their first or second choice university thanks to our dedicated support. Reach out to our team today to maximise your chances of success.

What is the Medicine course at Oxford like?

Oxford is ranked as the best university in the UK for Medicine and has a prestigious reputation around the world. Studying Medicine at any university is a significant undertaking and is among the most rigorous degree courses, and this is especially true of Oxford’s. Its Medicine course lasts for either 3 (BA) or 6 years (BM BCh) and provides a thorough intellectual training as well as clinical experience.

Terms 1-3 (Year 1)
CoursesAssessment
Organisation of the body
Physiology and pharmacology
Biochemistry and medical genetics
Population health: medical sociology
Patient and doctor course
Computer-based assessments; four written papers
Terms 4-5 (Year 2)
CoursesAssessment
Applied physiology and pharmacology
The nervous system
Principles of pathology
Psychology for medicine
Patient and doctor course
Computer-based assessments; four written papers
Terms 6-9 (Years 2-3)
CoursesAssessment
Two options (from a range of 11, including Cardiovascular science, Pharmacology and signalling, Immunity and Infection)
Essay
Research project
Principles of clinical anatomy (timing under review)
Written papers; submitted essay and research project report; oral presentation of research project; qualifying exam in Principles of clinical anatomy (computer-based assessment) (under review)

At the start of the third year students can apply to the Oxford Clinical School to undertake their clinical training.

What are the entry requirements for Medicine?

Medicine is an extremely competitive course at Oxford and applicants are required to achieve excellent grades and show potential for being an outstanding medical professional. The table below shows the entry requirements for Medicine:

QualificationGradesSubject requirements
A LevelsA*AA overallAt least a grade A in both Chemistry and at least one of Biology, Physics, Mathematics or Further Mathematics
International Baccalaureate (IB)39 (including core points) with 766 at Higher LevelCandidates are required to take Chemistry and at least one of Biology, Physics or Mathematics to Higher Level.

Worried that you won’t achieve the necessary grades to study Medicine at Oxford? The Profs’ A level and IB tutors can help. We have extensive experience helping students excel in their coursework and final exams and achieve the entry grades for this competitive course. Reach out to our team for support.

Which admissions test do you need for Medicine?

All applicants are required to take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) when applying for Medicine at Oxford. The BMAT is a medical admissions assessment that assesses your thinking skills, essay-writing skills, and scientific knowledge. It is among the most challenging of university admissions tests and requires lots of tailored preparation. To make your application as competitive as possible, you must have an excellent track record of success. This should include your GCSEs, A levels and BMAT score. Worried? Don’t be. We have expert BMAT tutors with a history of getting students top grades.

To find out more about what is included in the BMAT and how to prepare, check out our helpful guide via the button below. If you’re looking for more intensive support from a BMAT expert, reach out to our medical admissions team today.

Important notice: The BMAT is discontinued as of 2024. It has been confirmed that no UK medical school will be using an alternative admissions test, hence the standard UCAT will be required by all universities. Read this article on the UCAT for more information.

Insider tip: You should be aware of the average scores for your required admissions test e.g. the average scores of those invited for an interview as well as those who receive an offer. These differ from year to year, so check your specific test within the current date so that you know what to work towards. Aim above the average scores of interviewees and offer holders to make your application as competitive as possible. Also, check that there have been no changes to your test format. For example, the PAT and Oxford’s Geography admissions test have recently changed so past papers for them might not be relevant. Also, be aware of different sections and skills within your admission test. For example, the TSA is split between a Q/A section and an essay section so you should be prepared for both and avoid leaning too heavily into your weaker or stronger side.

What score do you need to get in the BMAT for Oxford?

Unlike most other universities, Oxford does not publish any BMAT cut-off scores. Oxford also does not consider each section of the BMAT separately and instead, ascribes its own weighting to each section of the BMAT, before converting the scores into a mean adjusted score using this weighting.

In 2021, Oxford weighted sections 1 and 2 (each 40%) more highly than section 3 (20%). The average score of applicants offered a place in 2021 was 68.3%. To learn more about how Oxford calculates its mean adjusted scores, read its shortlisting process page.

Again, there’s no need to be underprepared for the BMAT. We have specialist BMAT tutors with amazing track records of success.

Important notice: The BMAT is discontinued as of 2024. It has been confirmed that no UK medical school will be using an alternative admissions test, hence the standard UCAT will be required by all universities. Read this article on the UCAT for more information.

How hard is it to get into Medicine at Oxford?

Getting into Oxford to study Medicine is very difficult. Just 9% of applicants were offered places in 2021, despite 25% being offered an interview, so places are extremely competitive. Not only do you need to achieve the grade requirements and score highly in the BMAT, but you also need to submit a brilliant personal statement and perform well in the interview. There are so many aspects to consider, and all of them carry important weight. University admissions, especially Oxbridge admissions, are our thing. So, if you’re looking for experts to guide you through this application process, it’s us!

The Profs’ medical admissions tutors can help you improve your chances of getting into Oxford to study Medicine. Thanks to our network of experienced tutors, many of whom are top university graduates and ex-admissions officers themselves, we have the very latest and best knowledge on what Oxford is looking for in top Medicine applicants and how to excel in a medical interview. Get in touch with us today to chat with a member of our team about how we can help you.

Which type of interview does Oxford use for Medicine?

Oxford still follows the traditional panel format (rather than an MMI format), so you’ll need to research common questions and practise interview techniques to maximise your chances of success. Interviews for other subjects also tend to follow this traditional panel format, but what each department is looking for will differ, so it’s best to work with an expert to tailor your preparation accordingly.

Find out more about how to prepare for a Medicine interview in this helpful guide.  You can also check out our video on how to prepare for a university interview!

Practising with one of our excellent interview training experts who understands the Cambridge admissions process is the most surefire way to improve your interviewing abilities and maximise your chances of success.

What are the fees for Medicine at Oxford?

The table below shows the fees for Oxford’s Medicine course for both home (UK) and overseas students:

Student statusCourse fees (per year)
Home£9,250
Overseas£39,740

You can find out more information about what fees you will pay on Oxford’s fee status page. You can also use Oxford’s fees, funding and scholarship search to see the funding options available to you.

4 tips on how to get into Medicine at Oxford

1. Prepare thoroughly for each stage of the admissions process

When applying to study Medicine at Oxford, there are many stages of the medical admissions process to consider, and you should prepare for each one thoroughly.

  • Your grades – preparation for your Medicine application really starts from the moment you begin your GCSEs and A levels (or equivalent). Many other top universities don’t check your GCSE grades so this is something to be aware of with Oxford. It is imperative that you have an excellent academic history with top GCSEs and A levels in order to be considered for a place at Oxford, so you should be aiming for A*AA in your A levels (or equivalent) as a minimum.
  • Your UCAS application – the first official stage of your Medicine application is completing your UCAS application online. As well as your grades, this includes your personal statement. This is the first chance you’ll get to showcase your suitability for Medicine and prove to Oxford that you are interested and committed to the subject areas. Your personal statement needs to stand out from the crowd and be as specific as possible to Medicine and Oxford itself. Why are you the perfect fit for this course at Oxford? Check out our previous article on how to write a winning personal statement. Top tip: Have a driving mission statement – what do you want to do with this degree and what impact would you like to have on the world?
  • The admissions test – Oxford requires applicants to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). Just like any other exam, the UCAT is a test of your knowledge and skills and requires lots of preparation. Read this article on the UCAT for more information.
  • The interview – Oxford uses panel interviews to assess its Medicine applicants. Although 25% of applicants make it to interview, just 9% of applicants are successfully offered a place, so it’s important to seek professional help to prepare effectively.  Oxbridge interviews are far different from most other university interviews and require a very specific approach, and Medicine interviews are their own niche too! Our interview training experts have a lot of experience and inside information on exactly what Oxbridge interviewers are looking for. We also have a previous article on Medicine interviews and a guide on completing Oxbridge interviews here.

Note that all students applying to university for 2023, 2024 or 2025 will still be required to submit a UCAS personal statement as normal. However, from January 2025 onwards (October 2024, for Oxbridge applicants), there will be changes to the UCAS application process and students will no longer be required to write a personal statement. Instead, all applicants will answer a series of shorter, more tailored questions provided by UCAS.

2. Make sure you’ve got work experience

Work experience is an essential part of your Medicine application. Not only does work experience show your passion and commitment to the profession, but it also gives you valuable real-life experience and skills necessary to succeed in the application process and on a medical degree course. Oxford in particular values applicants with work experience, especially Medicine candidates, as this is a competitive course that requires real-world skills.

It can take some time and effort to secure medical work experience placements, however, if you do your research, there are plenty of opportunities available. Some ideas for finding work experience in the medical industry include:

  • Visiting local charity shops, pharmacies, hospitals or GP surgeries, handing in your CV and enquiring about placements/internships/volunteering/shadowing
  • Using Google to find the necessary contact information for nearby labs, charities or care homes
  • Signing up to volunteer websites and filling in as many application forms as possible

If possible, aim to get a range of work experience, including at least one week in a primary healthcare setting, such as a GP surgery, and another couple of weeks in a secondary healthcare setting, such as a hospital. You’ll need to start early and plan your time well, as you will largely be limited to school holidays, some weekends, and after school.

Once you secure one placement, ensure you make a good impression by dressing the part and getting stuck in. You should also try to make additional connections while on your placement, as this may help you to line up further placements in the future.

For more tips on getting work experience check out our article on the medical application process in general. You can also speak to one of our Medicine tutors who have plenty of advice as well as some connections.

Also, don’t forget to take part in lots of relevant extracurriculars too! Oxford will compare you to your peers, and as the Oxford Medicine programme is extremely competitive, your competitors will have lots of experience under their belts. You need to keep up with this! Have you taken part (or better yet, led) any activities demanding skills relevant to Medicine e.g. lifeguarding or first aid?

You can stand out by mentioning scholarships, awards, class prizes, the percentile you were ranked in your class (if your school offers this), and competitions such as the Intermediate Biology Olympiad. In fact, connecting with PhD students can be a brilliant way to show a detailed interest in research.

3. Read widely and stay up to date with medical news

Throughout each stage of your application, Oxford’s admissions officers will ultimately be looking to see if you would make a great medical student and an outstanding medical professional. Part of this assessment is to ensure that successful applicants are genuinely passionate and tuned in to the medical industry.

Ahead of writing your personal statement and attending your panel interview, make sure that you keep up to date with news in the medical community, especially updates about the NHS and health policy. This will allow you to keep up with discussions and debates you may be asked about in your interview and offer valuable insights. Some resources that will help you do that include the New Scientist and the BMJ.

You might choose to talk about huge new phenomena, like COVID19 and Monkey Pox which are having a huge impact on the medical industry. However, if you’re going to talk about concepts which are common knowledge it’s best to get as specific as you can so that you don’t sound like the candidate before and after you. On this note, check what research, vaccines, medicine, and other contributions Oxford is making to the medical industry (historically as well as recently). You might want to reference this, where relevant, in your personal statement or have it in your pocket for the interview.

Medical ethics are also a key area that you will likely be asked about in a panel interview. Ethics are important when it comes to managing relationships with patients and making difficult decisions as a doctor. Make sure you have read about key ethical concepts in Medicine and what it takes to be a good doctor ahead of your interview.

Tip: Find job postings online for doctors at private and NHS practices/hospitals, and study the job description in detail. There should be a definition of the institution’s ethos and/or what kind of characteristics they’re looking for.

Show that your understanding of the course is beyond comprehensive by talking about very specific and complex concepts. The best way to do this is to do your research and go beyond the curriculum and A level understanding. If you take the time to read a large breadth of quality literature around Medicine, you can reference academic texts or textbooks and analyse them to demonstrate that you are able to work at university level. Be careful not to read the most popular texts that most medical students might point to. Express something unique to your personal interests. Or find something unknown, underrated, niche, and/or peculiar to talk about.

Appearing curious, stimulated and enthusiastic will present you as the type of student Oxford’s Medicine course wants. After all, they only want to invest in students who are hungry and will stay motivated throughout their degree. Remember, our Medicine tutors can guide you through each step of Oxford’s Medicine application.

4. Seek help from an expert Medicine admissions tutor

Medicine is one of the most competitive courses at Oxford, an already ultra-competitive university. It requires you to perform well in multiple stages to be in with a chance of securing an offer. Unfortunately, schools and colleges are oftentimes unequipped to provide specialist Medicine and/or Oxford admissions preparation due to a lack of experience, expertise or resources. As a result, we advise seeking a professional Medicine or Oxford admissions tutor to help you through the process.

The Profs’ medical admissions tutors have many years of experience helping students develop their academic profiles, tailor their application to Oxford’s admissions criteria, prepare for the admissions exam, and excel in the interview. Many of our Oxford admissions tutors have studied at Oxford University or worked in Oxford admissions. If you work with one of The Profs’ tutors, you are over three times more likely to get into Oxford.

Gain invaluable independent study skills that will prepare you for a Medicine course at an elite UK university, as well as a deeper and broader understanding of the skills and knowledge needed to study and pursue a career in Medicine. Reach out to our experienced team today to get started.