Health Foundation Year for Medicine

We are now offering an exciting gateway route into medicine for students from some under-represented groups. This course offers standard medical training with the addition of a foundation year (a total of six years).

The Health Foundation Year is aimed at students whose educational and social experiences have prevented them from achieving the GCSE requirements for our standard course (A100) and provides additional teaching in the first year to enable them to catch up. Students entering the Health Foundation Year will undertake a range of modules and at the end of the foundation year will need to achieve 70% or above in all these modules in order to progress to the five-year MBChB programme.

Applicants who meet the social and educational criteria for the health foundation year but meet the academic criteria for A100, are strongly advised to apply for A100 as these candidates are unlikely to benefit from the additional year of study. They should qualify for an automatic interview and, if successful, a reduced offer. See our widening participation information section for more details about applying for A100.

Note: This route is no longer open to graduates, or students who have already commenced or completed another HE programme, or overseas candidates.


Applicants must meet the following Essential Criteria from Group 1 and 2 to be considered for this route. Applicants must provide evidence of meeting the essential criteria at the point of application. We will send you an email to request this information. 

Re-application for 2021

Students who were unsuccessful at interview or failed to get the required grades for 2020 may re-apply for 2021.

Group 1: Essential criteria
  • Ordinarily resident in the UK
  • Attended a non-selective maintained school for GCSEs and A levels
  • Attended a school with an attainment 8 score below national average (level set on an annual basis).
  • For schools without an attainment 8 score we will consider schools where the % of students on free school meals is above the national average OR if this is not available, we will consider POLAR 4 data, quintile 1 of the school.
Group 2: Any one of the following
  1. Parent(s) or guardian in receipt of means-tested benefit(s)
  2. Time spent in local authority care (more than three months) within the last five years (i.e. in Years 9–13)
  3. Eligibility for free school meals at any point in Years 9–13
  4. Receipt of 16–19 bursary for purpose other than meals
  5. Receipt of UCAT bursary. Bursaries are available to cover the test fee for applicants from less well-off families. We strongly advise applicants to apply for the UCAT Bursary if they are eligible. Please check the UCAT web site for details. 

In addition: 

  • Students on the Keele Steps2Medicine scheme or those leaving local authority care will be eligible for consideration for this route and should include this information in their UCAS application.
  • Applicants from military families will be considered if they have attended a non-selective school and meet the academic criteria.


We advise applicants to read these pages in conjunction with our Medicine admissions pages.

Qualification Requirement
GCSEs 5 GCSEs at grade B/6, including double/triple-award science or three separate sciences (including a pass in practical endorsement)
minimum of C/5 in maths and english language (including a pass in speaking and listening)
A levels   BBC from three A levels including chemistry or biology
BTECs DDM in BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science, Health & Social Care, or Sport & Exercise Science
or DM in BTEC Diploma plus B in A level (chemistry or biology)
or M in BTEC Foundation Diploma plus BB in two A levels (including chemistry or biology)
or D in BTEC Extended Certificate with BB at A level (including chemistry or biology
Scottish Highers    Advanced Higher: minimum of BB from two subjects (including biology or chemistry)
Higher: minimum of BBBBB and
National 5s: 5 x B including sciences; minimum of C in maths and english language

All home/EU applicants for courses A100 and A104 must take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in the year of application (i.e. in 2020 for entry in 2021 or deferred entry in 2022). Details of the test, along with fully timed practice tests, are available on the UCAT website. Please note the test dates and ensure that you can complete the test within the range of dates. Allowances will not normally be made for inability to take the test (or poor performance) owing to illness, family circumstances, etc., if it would have been possible for you to take the test on an alternative date. Please note that you cannot take the test more than once in a single calendar year.

Bursaries are available to cover the test fee for applicants from less well-off families. We strongly advise applicants to apply for the UCAT Bursary if they are eligible. Please check the UCAT web site for details.

Applicants with a total UCAT score lower than 2280 or a situational judgement test (SJT) result in band 4 will not be considered.

Applications must be made through UCAS by the deadline of 15 October.

A104 applicants who meet all of the eligibility criteria will normally be selected for an MMI interview.