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Medical schools have minimum requirements in GCSE English, Maths and Sciences as well as three A levels with high grades achieved or predicted in all of them. Studying Chemistry and Biology enables you to apply to any UK Medical school. To maximise your chances of a successful application, it is important to match your choice of application with your GCSE results and A levels offered as well as your strengths in the other entrance criteria mentioned below. Places at medical schools are highly competitive.

UCAT and BMAT are aptitude tests taken in the summer or autumn of the year you apply and need careful preparation.

You will also need to spend time on work experience in a clinical setting and/or volunteering with practical experience in a caring or public-facing role. This will be integral to your UCAS personal statement and at Medical School interviews.

At Downside, a medical society is available for Sixths Formers committed to investigating medical issues and ethics, to provide a forum for discussions, and to help with interview practice. In Lower Sixth we ensure interested students are aware of the challenges of UCAT and BMAT.

In addition to the Academic Enrichment Programme, which is open to all pupils, we also provide a tailored support and guidance programme.

  • There is a weekly mentoring session for all medics where pupils can share ideas and discuss current issues facing the medical industry in the UK at present. These meetings will enable each pupil to engage in an intellectual conversation about topical issues, and the mentor will also provide pertinent advice about the application process, including their personal statement and choice of college, as well directing pupils towards relevant wider reading. In addition, pupils are required to prepare papers for discussion at these meetings on a range of topics.
  • Our range of academic societies help pupils to develop an intellectual curiosity about their learning; events include talks by outside speakers, special events, trips, conferences, and group discussions. Pupils are expected to attend academic society events.
  • We support the pupils with their respective admissions tests, either the BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) or UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test).
  • Pupils enjoy a comprehensive programme of mock interviews, including the annual Mock MMI (multiple mini interviews) event in November which Downside hosts for aspiring medics from schools throughout the southwest, and where pupils are put through their paces by leading medical professionals.


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