How to apply for the MBChB in Medicine
Keele University School of Medicine is committed to graduating excellent clinicians. The admissions process is designed to select students with abilities and characteristics that indicate their potential to become excellent doctors.
Please note that 2022 entry criteria are currently under review. We advise all those considering applying to check this web site regularly for updates.
Please note that 2022 entry criteria are currently under review. We advise all those considering applying to check this web site regularly for updates.
It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that you meet academic and other requirements prior to applying. If we discover at a later date that you do not meet the entry criteria, your application will be cancelled, no matter how far through the process it has advanced.
The university primarily communicates with applicants via the email address that you have used on your UCAS application. It is the responsibility of applicants to regularly check this email account and ensure that university communications are not diverted to a spam/junk folder.
Please note the following points regarding applications for 2021 entry:
- All Home applicants must take UCAT* in the year of application and will also be required to submit a Roles & Responsibilities (R+R) form during the two weeks following the UCAS application deadline. Note: we do not rank applicants on UCAT scores and that the single cut-off point will be the same for all applicants, regardless of whether they have taken the test at home or in a test centre. Please also refer to the information regarding the selection process as Keele may use UCAT results in borderline cases when deciding which applicants to invite for interview.
- Applicants with a total UCAT score lower than 2280 or a situational judgement test (SJT) result in band 4 will not be considered.
- All applicants classed as overseas for fees** are required to take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) instead of the UCAT. This will be used instead of the R+R form to select for interview. ***
* For the latest advice on UCAT testing
** we expect that EU/EEA/Swiss nationals students starting in 2021 will be charged international fees and will not be eligible for tuition-fee or maintenance loans from the Student Loans Company - see EU Entry Criteria section. Where we are unsure of an applicant’s fees status you may be required to complete a fees assessment.
*** Please note that tuition fees for overseas students starting in 2022 may increase significantly over the 2021 level. We advise potential applicants to check you are able to commit to paying these fees before application.
Applications from students who have previously commenced study of medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine elsewhere will not be considered.
A100 - see A level re-sits
A104 only - students who were unsuccessful at interview or failed to get the required grades for 2020 entry may re-apply for 2021 entry.
Keele University School of Medicine is committed to graduating excellent clinicians. The admissions process is designed to select students with abilities and characteristics that indicate their potential to become excellent doctors. You should familiarise yourself with the principles of the NHS Constitution and the General Medical Council (GMC)’s Duties of a Doctor. Applicants who cannot demonstrate commitment to the values encompassed within the NHS Constitution will not succeed in gaining a place.
Studying for the Keele MBChB will require you to demonstrate and develop the professional attitudes required for a future career in clinical practice as defined by the GMC. You are required to treat your fellow students, academic and non-academic staff and the general public in a professional manner throughout the course of your studies. You will also need discipline to organise and self-direct your studies in keeping with our philosophy that learning is student-led.
Students must be aware that your behaviour outside the clinical environment, including in your personal life, may have an impact on your fitness to practise. Your behaviour at all times must justify the trust the public places in the medical profession.
All Home applicants applying for A100 will be required to submit a Roles & Responsibilities form shortly after the deadline for submission of UCAS applications. If you do not submit this form by the deadline your application will not be considered further. For more details see the Roles & Responsibilities section. Failure to meet any other deadlines for submission of documents during the selection process, or failure to respond to requests for additional information, may result in your application being cancelled.
All applications must be submitted via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The deadline for submissions is expected to be 15th October 2020 for entry in September 2021 or deferred entry in September 2022. Owing to the impact of the Covid19 pandemic, this deadline may be subject to change. However, we will not accept applications after the UCAS deadline.
We reserve the right to reject applications that are either incomplete or completed incorrectly. Applicants are reminded that you are required to declare all qualifications that have been completed, including those that were failed or achieved at low grades, in your UCAS application. If you are found to have withheld information on qualifications, we shall cancel your application and inform UCAS.
For A levels completed in 2020, you must include the grade awarded on the basis of school assessment even if you have chosen to sit supplementary exams in the autumn. You must inform the School of Medicine directly that you are sitting or have sat the supplementary exams so that we do not make final decisions on the basis of qualifications that have not yet been completed.
UCAS operates a similarity detection service for personal statements. If we see evidence that parts of your personal statement have been copied, shared with other applicants or provided by a third party we shall cancel your application.
There are two programmes at Keele leading to the award of the MBChB degree. Your application should include the institution code for Keele University (K12) plus the appropriate course code:
Places available 2020
Overseas (O/S) applications
Places available 2021
154 + 10 O/S
A104 (Health Foundation Year)*
(13 - not eligible)
Up to 20
* Note that as from 2020 entry this is now a widening access route only. You should only apply for one of these routes – please choose the most suitable route given your qualifications and circumstances.
School of Medicine Admissions Policy 2021 Entry
(for applications submitted in 2020 for entry in 2021 or deferred entry in 2022)
Keele University School of Medicine seeks to train excellent clinicians with the ability to practise in any branch of medicine or surgery, and with the highest level of commitment to patient care and professionalism. The school provides both undergraduate (MBChB) and postgraduate (certificate, diploma, masters and doctoral level) programmes and works closely with other schools and research institutes within the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences to provide research-based teaching and extensive opportunities for intercalated research degrees and postgraduate research. The MBChB programme has a strong emphasis on acquisition of professional behaviours, skills and knowledge that will prepare graduates fully for your future role, as defined by the GMC in Outcomes for Graduates. A high level of integration throughout the programme ensures that students develop a thorough understanding of how biological, behavioural and social sciences underpin and inform medical practice and professional development, as well as how problems encountered in practice and profession drive further learning.
Principles of selection
The aim of our selection processes is to recruit students with the greatest potential to graduate as excellent clinicians. The medical school admissions team is tasked with selecting those applicants with the potential to be the best doctors, not simply those with the highest levels of prior academic attainment. We are guided by current thinking on what makes a good doctor: for example the Role of the Doctor Consensus Statement, revised in 2014, outlines the unique combination of attributes and abilities doctors require. Keele University School of Medicine recognises the importance of a transparent and valid selection process, avoiding discrimination of any kind, and seeks to apply the Medical Schools Council’s Guiding Principles for the Admission of Medical Students, revised in 2010. The selection process leading up to the offer of a place on the MBChB programme operates entirely independently of any fitness to practise or fitness for study considerations. Only when an applicant has reached the stage of qualifying for the offer of a place will issues relating to health, disability or criminal record be taken into account. In common with all organisations within and funded by the NHS, Keele University School of Medicine adheres to the principles of values-based recruitment and will assess applicants for appropriate values throughout the student selection process.
When taking the decision to embark on a career in medicine it is advisable to consider the range of different careers within the medical profession, and the education and training these involve. Most UK graduates will go on to work as hospital doctors or in primary care for the NHS. Significantly, up to 50% of all UK medical graduates become general practitioners, providing comprehensive health care for the local community. There is a broad spectrum of careers across medical, surgical and other specialties, and it should be noted that while many of these specialties have historically been hospital-based, healthcare is moving towards a more community-centred model of delivery; consequently, doctors will increasingly be expected to deliver healthcare in a range of settings. It is important, therefore, that we recruit students with the potential to develop into the variety of different kinds of doctor who will be needed in the next generation.
To see how applications will be assessed, see The Selection Process.
General requirements for 2021 entry
- The standard offer for school-leavers will be 3 A levels at grades AAA.
- Requirements for other level-3 qualifications and all other detailed requirements are specified under the A100 or A104 menu.
- GCSE requirements should be met before applying.
- Re-sits: we will not normally consider applications from anybody who is currently in the third, or later, year of study for A levels, AS levels or other level-3 qualifications required for entry. If you are re-sitting your A levels, or have taken more than two years to complete them, you must wait until you have your final grades before applying, i.e. you will not be eligible to apply before the 2022 entry round. We will, however, consider a candidate who has already achieved the required grades but is taking additional subjects. For example, an applicant with achieved grades of AAA but with only one science would be considered if currently taking an additional A level to meet the subject requirements.
- For 2021 entry only, we will consider applications from students who were due to complete A-levels in 2020 but have decided to take final exams in 2021 rather than accepting grades based on school assessments. Students in this position must include your 2020 school-assessment-based grades in your application and must contact the School of Medicine directly to inform us of your intention to take final exams in 2021.
- We will not consider any applicant who is currently studying at university and due to graduate with an honours degree later than August 2021.
- We will not consider any applicant who has been excluded from another university course on academic, disciplinary or fitness-to-practise grounds, or who is in breach of financial or other obligations to another university.
- We will not accept requests to transfer from other degree programmes and will not accept applications to enter our programme at any level from students who have already commenced study of medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine/science elsewhere, regardless of the reasons for their failure to complete the previous programme. This includes students who have commenced study in other countries and wish to relocate to the UK.
The Medical Schools Council, Dental Schools Council and Pharmacy Schools Council maintain a database of students who have been excluded from medicine, dentistry and pharmacy degree programmes on fitness-to-practise grounds. This database may be accessed by two named individuals within the School of Medicine, of whom the Director of Admissions is one. Applicants will be checked against this database to ensure that students already judged unfit to practise are not considered for entry.
The A100 and A104 sections detail the minimum academic entry requirements for each programme. Any offer of a place will be conditional on fulfilment of these requirements. Please note, however, that fulfilment of the academic requirements alone is not sufficient to qualify for selection for interview. Please check our web pages for full entry criteria.
We accept applicants with qualifications accredited by Ofqual, Qualifications Wales/Cymwysterau Cymru, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (CCEA, Northern Ireland) or the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA, for Access to Medicine diplomas) – including those from other countries and UK-hosted international qualifications such as International A-levels
Other qualifications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis but must have appropriate English, mathematics and science qualifications as outlined in the A100 and A104 tabs and the International pages. Equivalences to English, Welsh and Northern Irish qualifications will usually be decided based on tables published by the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC).
Candidates are assessed on the information provided in the UCAS application, the R+R form (BMAT for international applicants) and the interview. Any significant personal extenuating circumstances accounting for a non-standard academic record – e.g. more than two years between beginning and completing A levels – should be declared in writing prior to application so that we can advise on whether your application will be considered. These details must also be declared in the UCAS reference and in the “exceptional circumstances” section of the R+R form. If these circumstances might qualify for special consideration, we shall contact your school, college or university to request supporting evidence [see Reference section].
The UCAS form must be completed fully and accurately. If a qualification is not declared in the UCAS application, we will conclude that it has not been taken. If any discrepancy is found between the grades stated in the UCAS application and those stated on certificates, the application will be rejected and UCAS will be notified of the discrepancy. Any offer made will be conditional upon achieving specified grades in the qualifications declared as being undertaken at the time of application. Candidates may not change the qualifications they are undertaking without notifying UCAS and gaining permission from the School of Medicine.
All home applicants for courses A100 and A104 must take the University 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. Note that in 2020 UCAT may be taken online at home as well as at Pearson Vue test centres. Please check whether you have the necessary computer equipment to take the test at home.
If you require extra time for the test owing to a specific disability (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dysorthographia or working memory deficit) you must apply to the UCAT office for approval to sit the appropriate test. Please see the UCAT website for details of the documentation you will need to submit to demonstrate eligibility for extra time or other special arrangements. If the access arrangements you require cannot be made available, please contact UCAT in the first instance to discuss possible options.
If it is impossible for you to take the test for geographical/political or health reasons you must contact the School of Medicine before applying to request consideration without a UCAT score. We will need to see confirmation from UCAT that it could not provide appropriate access arrangements for you.
Bursaries are available to cover the test fee for applicants from less well-off families. Please check the UCAT web site for details. We strongly advise applicants to apply for the UCAT Bursary if you are eligible, as this provides evidence of disadvantage that may be taken into account at other stages of the selection process.
Keele University School of Medicine may also make bursaries available to students in years 1 and 2 of the MBChB programme (and the Health Foundation Year, if relevant) who received a UCAT Bursary.
UCAT is not a test of knowledge. It is a test of cognitive abilities in the areas of verbal, numerical, abstract and interpretative reasoning. For this reason, it is not possible to prepare specifically for the questions that will come up in the test, although preparation is required to enable a sufficient number of questions to be answered under time pressure. Neither UCAT nor Keele University endorse or recommend any commercially available test preparation materials or courses. We would however encourage candidates to take the timed practice tests on the UCAT website to get used to the style of questions and to prepare for the time pressure of the test.
All applicants classed as overseas for fees must take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) in the year of application (i.e. in 2020 for 2021 entry or deferred entry in 2022).
Details of the test, along with fully timed practice tests, are available on the Cambridge Assessment website. At present we are unable to state threshold scores for this test. However, we shall take into account marks from all three sections of the BMAT, including both the content and quality of English scores for section 3.
Conditions of entry to the programme
Owing to the requirement to attend placements off campus from an early stage in the programme, students should have reached the age of 18 before commencing the A100 course or by 1 October of the year in which they start the course. Successful applicants who are too young to join the course will be made a deferred offer for the following academic year.
Please note that entry to the degree programme does not guarantee graduation. Furthermore, graduation is only the first stage in acquiring the right to practise as a doctor in the UK.
The Medical Schools Council issued a statement in August 2019 about postgraduate foundation training and beyond.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
Medicine, along with some other university courses, is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Applicants will therefore be required to apply through the university for an enhanced-level disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Following a ruling in 2013 by the Court of Appeal, the offences that will show up on this disclosure have changed from those previously appearing on a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosure. Applicants should find out whether any convictions or cautions you have received will appear. Applicants must bring photographic identification to interview so that your identity can be confirmed for the purposes of DBS applications. Failure to supply photographic evidence on the day of the interview will result in your being required to re-visit the university to present this identity documentation at a later date.
Any offence on an applicant’s DBS disclosure must be discussed with a pre-admission fitness to practise panel prior to the confirmation of the offer of a place. It is in your own interest to declare any offences to the School of Medicine at the earliest possible opportunity in order to avoid multiple visits to the university. In the event that significant issues are identified by the panel, you may be referred to a full meeting of the School of Medicine’s Health & Conduct Committee to determine whether the application should continue to be considered.
The university follows the DBS code of practice in these issues and can provide a copy of this code on request. The University also has a policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders, which will be made available to you should you wish to apply. Please note that having a criminal record is not necessarily a bar to obtaining a place on this course. However, deliberately withholding relevant details is likely to result in withdrawal of the offer of a place.
The school reserves the right to ask for further information about any criminal offence on an applicant’s record. It may not be appropriate for the school to adopt a blanket position refusing to consider an applicant outright: that is potentially unfair and discriminatory. However, once detailed circumstances are known, an application can be judged against faculty-wide student fitness-to-practise criteria that would apply once a student is admitted to the school. These have recently been formulated and are thought to be fully compliant with the law and with professional regulatory standards. They include public interest arguments (e.g. relating to child protection and sex offences) regarding whether a student could be considered a risk to patients and/or the public (including students and staff). This policy document stands as a university-wide position.
Prospective or current students who have been subject to safeguarding/child protection or professional misconduct procedures in previous roles, or have been removed from professional registers (e.g. for teachers, solicitors or accountants), may also be investigated for fitness to practise. If you are in this position, it is important to disclose the issues prior to admission and discuss them with a fitness-to-practise panel. Failure to do so will lead to the risk of exclusion from the course later on.
More information about fitness to practise can be found on the GMC’s website, where you can view the page on Medical Students – Professional Values and Fitness to Practise.
Students with disabilities applying for Medicine
If you have a disability and are thinking of applying to Keele School of Medicine, please contact the Admissions Manager for further advice prior to submitting your UCAS application, so that individual circumstances may be considered and support can be given. Applicants are advised to declare any special needs on the UCAS application form. Applications will then be considered in the usual way.
Keele University welcomes applications from students with disabilities and strives to provide an appropriate level of support to meet known individual needs. The University is committed to comply with the Equality Act 2010 and any guidance issued by the Medical Schools Council (Guiding Principles for the Admission of Medical Students, 2010) and the General Medical Council (GMC). We consider applications against the usual academic criteria. However we also take into account any limitations in accordance with the General Medical Council's fitness to practise requirement that students must meet the standards of competence, care and conduct as laid out in the GMC Good Medical Practice guide (2013). Anyone with a disability wishing to enter medical school is advised to read and reflect on this document.
If an application is of a sufficiently good standard, applicants will be invited to attend for interview. No candidate will be offered a place without interview. Applicants indicating a specific disability on your UCAS form may wish to be considered for reasonable adjustments. Any adjustments for the interviews must be requested in writing in order to be considered by the Admissions office. Once on the course students requesting reasonable adjustments should contact the central University Student Services in the first instance.
Following an offer all successful applicants are sent a health questionnaire. If a health condition is declared the Occupational Health Unit may invite you to discuss how you manage your disability or condition and what coping strategies you have developed, so that a judgement can be reached regarding your fitness to practise. It is advised that all conditions are declared as failure to do so will be considered to demonstrate a lack of probity.
Applicants should be aware that while appropriate measures can be taken to accommodate particular needs to enable you to study effectively in the theoretical and classroom components of the course, clinical practice placements may require alternative arrangements. Once registered, all students with declared disabilities will be offered an appointment with the School Disability Liaison Officer or our Disability Support Panel to discuss your needs.
The School of Medicine reviews all students' general progress regularly and will discuss with you any support issues related to your disability or condition. We operate a health and conduct committee. If it appears that your condition compromises safety in a clinical setting or that it is unlikely that they will be able to meet the fitness to practise requirements for registration with the GMC, then this will be discussed with you as soon as possible and appropriate guidance and support will be offered. This may result in a referral to the University's Fitness to Practise Committee, and possibly to your being unable to remain on your current programme.
The School of Medicine has an excellent Student Welfare Service which offers advice and support to students with disabilities. The Disability Link Officer of the School is happy to discuss individual queries via the Admissions Office.
Exam results & re-marks
Due to the Office for Students (OfS)/Health Education England (HEE) quota of places allocated to us as a medical school our numbers are tightly controlled. Therefore, when the A-level results are published in August 2021 we will make our decision based on those grades. If you don’t meet the academic terms of your offer and subsequently decide to appeal to the examination board for a re-mark, you must advise us of this immediately in writing. Our admissions policy states that we may defer entry to 2022 for applicants who do not initially meet the terms of their offer, but who do so after a re-mark. Any dispute over grades must be conducted between the student, her/his school or college and the relevant exam board or accrediting body. We will not respond to requests for special consideration from students or schools/colleges who feel that grades have been awarded inappropriately.
Note: this is a summary table for applicants with UK qualifications for A100. For full details see the drop down menus.
UCAT (excluding score below 2280 or SJT in band 4) (Home applicants)
Five x 7/A
- pass in any science practical endorsement
Advanced Highers - AB
Highers - AAAAB
National 5s - five x A
GCSE requirements - as above
HL 666; SL 665
Standard GCSE requirements apply. Alternatively Mid Years Programme (MYP) - five x 6s at MYP
|Irish Leaving Certificate||
Six x H1/H2
Junior Certificate - five x A
2.1 Honours degree
|Access to Medicine||
All 45 graded level-3 credits must be achieved at distinction, with a further 15 level-2/3 credits passed to complete the diploma
We accept any diploma within the Access to Medicine subject descriptor pilot. At present, these are expected to be:
We also accept the following Access to Medicine diplomas:
This programme is open to home and international students with appropriate school-leaving qualifications equivalent to UK A levels. It is also open to graduates with 1st or upper-2nd class honours degrees who meet additional requirements (see Honours Degrees, below). Students undertaking a recognised Access to Medicine diploma may also apply: please see Access to Medicine Diplomas, below, for details of the access programmes we recognise.
All Home applicants to A100 must take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) during the year in which they apply. International applicants must take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) during the year of application.
Please be aware that you must declare all of the qualifications that you completed.
GCSE: a minimum of five x 7/A with a minimum of 6/B in maths, English language and sciences
Please note all GCSE requirements must normally be met prior to application, with the exception of applicants undertaking Access courses with maths/English GCSEs simultaneously.
However, for 2021 entry only, students completing A levels or equivalent in 2021 who were scheduled to retake GCSEs in Year 12 in 2020 and were not awarded grades based on school/college assessments may apply with pending GCSE results. If you are in this position you must a) declare all achieved grades in your completed qualifications and b) include the relevant pending GCSEs in the list of qualifications not yet completed in your UCAS application. Any offer will be conditional on grades achieved in these GCSEs as well as your A level/equivalent.
- We require a minimum of five GCSE subjects at grade 7/A, not including short-course GCSEs
- Mathematics and English language must be passed at a minimum of grade 6/B
- All sciences are required and must be passed at a minimum of grade 6/B
- Biology, chemistry and physics (6,6,6)
- Combined science (6,6)
- IGCSE co-ordinated science (double award) (6,6)
GCSE Applied Science and IGCSE single award combined science are not an accepted as meeting our GCSE science requirement.
Students who have been educated outside the UK must be able to provide evidence of broad study of science – covering biology, chemistry and physics – up to the equivalent of Level 2 (approximately age 15–16) and will be required to have completed either a first-language English qualification incorporating assessment of reading, writing, speaking and listening or an appropriate qualification to demonstrate ability across these four areas, such as IELTS or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.
Combinations of subjects that do not fulfil these requirements (e.g. chemistry and biology without physics) will not be accepted, even if these were the only combinations offered by the school.
”Multiple entry” at GCSE will be dealt with by looking only at the GCSEs that are necessary to fulfil our minimum academic requirements for the programme. For example, students whose schools have entered them for multiple qualifications in the same subjects (e.g. combined science as well as any of biology, chemistry and physics) will only have the minimum required subjects taken into account; the grades for the additional GCSEs will be ignored. Please be aware that you must declare all of the qualifications that you completed.
UK applicants must have completed level-2 qualifications (GCSE or equivalent) that fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and are accredited by Ofqual, Cymwysterau Cymru or the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) for delivery in maintained schools: this includes appropriate sciences (combined science or three separate sciences), mathematics, and an English language qualification incorporating use and understanding of both written and spoken English.
Applicants who have taken non-GCSE level-2 qualifications in ICT – e.g. OCR National, BTEC Level 2 Diploma or Certificate/Diploma in Digital Applications (CiDA/DiDA) – should contact the Admissions Office before applying to confirm that they fulfil the academic requirements. We will not usually accept DiDA Unit 5 (games authoring). Other level-2 diplomas and certificates will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Please contact the Admissions Office before applying if you have these qualifications.
The specific science requirements, as well as the five x 7/A grade minimum, may be waived for applicants who have already achieved higher qualifications (A level or degree) at the discretion of the Director of Admissions, but this is not guaranteed and will depend upon what other evidence of science ability is presented. However, all entrants to the course must have a minimum of grade 6 (or B) in GCSE or equivalent English Language and Mathematics.
A level: AAA
GCSE requirements must also be met as above.
A levels in three subjects at grades of AAA are required, including:
- biology OR chemistry plus
- another designated second subject: biology, chemistry, economics, maths/further maths/statistics, physics, psychology
- a third academic subject: any except;
- pre-2018 non-academic A levels (general studies, citizenship, critical thinking)
- barred subject combination (i.e. further maths or statistics with maths)
Any science A level (biology, chemistry, physics) completed in England from 2017 must include a pass in the practical endorsement: without this endorsement the qualification will be judged to have been failed, regardless of the headline grade.
Key skills qualifications will not be considered in assessing academic ability.
Applications for 2021 entry are accepted from students who have already achieved grades of AAA from three A levels (including chemistry or biology and a designated second subject). Note that students may apply with achieved grades of AAA with only one designated first or second subject if they are currently taking a further A-level to complete the subject requirements. Any offer will be conditional on achieving a minimum of A in the additional A-level (see below).
Only one subject from a combination of maths/further maths/statistics will be considered within the three A levels.
Any science not taken at A level should be achieved at a 6/B at GCSE or equivalent.
A level re-sits
We require a minimum of three A levels or equivalent (e.g. International Baccalaureate) to be completed within a two-year period. Applicants who have taken more than two years to complete three A levels or equivalent must apply after completion of these qualifications with the required achieved grades. We will not consider applications from students currently in their third year of A level study unless they have already achieved the required grades and are taking additional subjects (see above). Anyone who has not achieved the required A levels within three years will not be considered.
For 2021 entry only, we will accept applications from students whose 2020 A-level examinations were cancelled and who have chosen to take the exams in summer 2021 (see General requirements for 2021 entry).
Candidates taking the Cambridge Pre-U diploma will be required to perform to a minimum of P1 standard in all components, including global perspectives and independent research (GPR). Principal subjects should be offered at grades of D3 M1 M1 or D2 M1 M2, with chemistry required at a minimum of M2. A second science (biology, mathematics or physics) and a third subject should also be offered, with no grades below M2. Scores for Pre-U short courses in modern languages will not be taken into consideration.
Up to two A levels may be substituted for Pre-U principal subjects. A levels must be achieved at a minimum of grade A and the overall principal grades should be equivalent to D2 A A or D3 A* A. The usual subject and combination exclusions apply to A level components.
The following combinations of subjects are not accepted: biology and sports science; mathematics and further mathematics.
National 5: minimum 5x A with minimum of B in maths, English language, biology, chemistry and physics
Higher: minimum of AAAAB, including chemistry/biology plus a second science both at A, to be achieved by the end of S5 (i.e. before applying)
Advanced Higher: minimum of AB from two subjects (both sciences) sat in S6 - any additional subject sat at Higher level in S6 must be achieved at grade B or higher
Any science subject not being offered at Higher or Advanced Higher level must have been passed at Standard/National 5 grade B/2.
For 2021 entry only, students who do not meet our requirements for Higher grades from S5 and intend to take Higher exams alongside Advanced Highers in summer 2021 may apply with pending S5 qualifications. All Highers that are to be sat at the end of S6 must be included in the qualifications not yet completed section of your UCAS application. School-assessed grades should still be included in the achieved qualifications part of the UCAS application. Any offer will be conditional on Higher as well as Advanced Higher grades.
Scottish Baccalaureate (science)
Grades of AA required in 2 Advanced Highers (including chemistry or biology) plus AA in interdisciplinary project unit and 1 higher. Chemistry or biology must be offered at Advanced Higher grade A.
Standard Grade/National 5 requirements must also be met.
Welsh Baccalaureate: AAA
We require an A grade Pass in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and two full science A-levels at grade AA taken within a two year period. Chemistry or biology is essential plus one subject from biology, chemistry, economics, maths/further maths/statistics, physics, psychology.
GCSE requirements must also be met: see above.
Applicants must offer Maths “5 hours” plus at least one science option. The subjects must include chemistry. Overall we require a final result of 78%.
English language requirements must also be met: please see details under 'Admissions Overview' if you do not have GCSE English grade B or above.
International Baccalaureate: HL 666, SL 665
Students undertaking the International Baccalaureate will be asked to achieve the IB Diploma with a score of at least 35 points from six academic subjects. Three grade 6 passes at IB Higher Level and grades of 6, 6, 5 at Standard Level are required. Higher Level subjects should include Chemistry or Biology, plus one from Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Maths (either Analysis & Approaches or Application & Interpretation) and a third rigorous subject. Any science not taken at the Higher Level must be offered at Standard Level grade 5 or GCSE grade B (or equivalent).
We will accept Standard Level AI or AA Maths, as long as the science requirements are met at Higher Level.
Points awarded for the Extended Essay or Theory of Knowledge are not taken into account but these components must have been completed.
Standard GCSE requirements apply. Alternatively Mid-Years Programme (MYP) Five x 6s at MYP to include maths and all the sciences at grade 5.
English Language (Language A) at Standard Level grade 6 is acceptable in lieu of GCSE English Language. Please see English Language Requirements under Admissions Overview if you do not have either of these.
Students holding an offer who achieve grade 4 or below in any subject, grade 5 in more than one subject at Standard Level or grade 5 in any subject at Higher Level will not have fulfilled the conditions of their offer; such students will be required to wait until the publication of A level results before receiving a final decision.
Irish Leaving Certificate: 6 x H1/H2
Students should offer six H1 or H2 grades at higher level, to include biology or chemistry plus two more of the following subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, agricultural science, mathematics/applied mathematics.
A minimum of five grade As are required at Junior Certificate with English, maths and all sciences offered at junior certificate level grade B as a minimum.
Honours Degrees: 2.1 plus 3Bs at A2 and maths and English language at GCSE 6/B
For application to course A100, graduates must have an upper second-class (2i) honours degree or better in any subject.
Graduates must meet the minimum requirement for GCSE grade 6/B in English language, maths and all sciences.
In addition, graduates must have achieved:
- A level (A2) grades of BBB, including chemistry or biology plus one further subject from: biology, chemistry, economics, maths/further maths/statistics, physics, psychology OR
28 IB points from six academic subjects, including the standard science/maths requirements at HL, with no subject grades below 4 and no more than one HL grade below 5. Higher Level subjects should include chemistry or biology, plus one from chemistry, biology, physics or maths and a third rigorous subject.
Equivalent-tariff grades will not be considered in lieu of BBB e.g. ABC.
- GCSE English language and maths and all sciences/double-award science at grade 6 (B) or better
- Graduate applicants with Scottish high school qualifications would normally require National 5 - minimum five x B with minimum of B in maths, English, biology, chemistry and physics, Higher - minimum of BBBBB, Advanced Higher - minimum of BB from two subjects (both sciences). Equivalent tariff grades will not be considered.
- Graduate applicants with Irish Leaving certificate require three subjects at H2 or better (including chemistry or biology and another from biology/chemistry/maths/physics plus three more at H3 or better. Equivalent tariff grades will not be considered. English language and maths should be achieved at Junior Certificate grade B.
Postgraduate qualifications (PGCert, PGDip, master’s degrees, doctorates) will not be taken into consideration in lieu of a 2i. We will not engage in discussions with applicants about this requirement.
Applicants with a 1st/2i honours degree but without the required A level subjects/grades or science GCSEs may be considered for the A100 course if they have taken the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) and achieved either:
- an overall score of 55 or more with a section III score of 58 or more supported by a score of 50 or more in all other sections, OR;
- an overall score of 58 or more with a section III score of 55 or more supported by a score of 50 or more in all other sections
Graduate applicants must also take the UCAT/BMAT as required.
Access to Medicine Diplomas: 45 Level 3 Credits at Distinction + 15 Level 2/3 Credits at pass
We accept any diploma within the Access to Medicine subject descriptor pilot. At present, these are expected to be:
- Bolton College (Open Awards)
- Dudley College (Open College Network West Midlands)
- College of West Anglia (CAVA)
- Harlow College (CAVA)
- Truro & Penwith College (CAVA)
- Ascentis-validated diploma distancelearningcentre.com
We also accept the following Access to Medicine diplomas:
- Manchester College (Open Awards)
- Stafford College (Open College Network West Midlands) (up to 2020)
- Sussex Downs College (Laser Learning Awards)
GCSE maths and English language at grade B/6 are also required.
All 45 graded level-3 credits must be achieved at distinction, with a further 15 level-2/3 credits passed to complete the diploma. No non-standard combinations of credits or extenuating circumstances for lower grades will be considered.
Students intending to undertake other Access to Medicine diplomas should contact the School of Medicine before enrolling. We shall assess these on a case-by-case basis.
Non-medicine Access to HE diplomas (e.g. Access to HE Science) will not be considered for entry to medicine at Keele.
Please note that Access to Medicine diplomas only provide evidence of the required academic ability. All applicants meeting the entry criteria will also be assessed on their relevant experiences in their Roles & Responsibilities form (see separate menu). We will not accept applications from those who have done an Access to Medicine course after achieving below 2i in a previous degree unless there is evidence of substantial subsequent experience in a healthcare-based and/or academically challenging career. This must be approved before application. In any case, we will not consider applications from candidates who have undertaken an Access to Medicine diploma less than three years after completing A levels, other level-3 qualifications or a degree. Access programmes provide an opportunity for people who have not previously had the chance to take the required academic qualifications.
My Journey Into Medicine: hear from some students who entered medicine through the Access route
Access to HE Diploma - Preparing adults for a medicine degree: Dr Gordon Dent, Director of Admissions at the School of Medicine, Keele University, discusses the new Access to HE Subject Descriptor for Medicine, and the benefits that Access students can bring to medical schools
EU students who want to study in the UK
Following the decision to leave the EU, nationals from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland will no longer be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in academic year 2021/22. It will not affect students starting courses in academic year 2020/21, nor those EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. It will also not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement.
This means we expect that EU students starting in 2021 will be charged international fees and will not be eligible for tuition-fee or maintenance loans from the Student Loans Company.
UK Nationals living in the EU
Higher and 19+ further education courses starting from 1 August 2021
For courses starting from 1 August 2021, you will continue to be eligible for home fee status and be able to access HE and FE student finance or be funded for a 19+ FE course as long as:
- you are living in the EEA or Switzerland on 31 December 2020, and either:
- you lived in England immediately before moving there, and you have lived in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK, or Gibraltar for at least the last 3 years before starting a course in the UK
- you did not live in the UK immediately before living there, and have lived in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK, or Gibraltar for at least 3 years before starting a course in England
- you have lived continuously in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK, or Gibraltar between 31 December 2020 and the start of your course
- the course starts before 1 January 2028
Applicants with EU qualifications
- All Applicants must meet minimum academic entry requirements: EU Country Requirements
- Please give us as much detail as you can on your UCAS form about exams that you have taken overseas. Applicants invited to interview will be expected to provide evidence of their qualifications
- All applications to Medicine (A100) should be made via UCAS (The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service in the UK)
- The deadline for all applications is 15 October for entry in the following September/October or deferred entry one year after
- All EU/EEA/Swiss national applicants will be considered as overseas for fees for 2021 entry and are therefore required to take BMAT in the year of application. The highest ranking will be invited to interview providing they meet the academic criteria. See https://www.keele.ac.uk/medicine/internationalstudents/
- However, owing to the late announcement, we will accept applications from EU/EEA/Swiss applicants with UCAT for 2021 entry only. Where any EU applicants for 2021 Entry have taken UCAT in the year of application, they will be required to complete a Roles and Responsibilities form after application. Applicants with total UCAT score below 2280 or with an SJT in Band 4, will not be considered.
Please note that our degree may not give any exemptions to those examinations required to practise medicine overseas.
English language requirements: see section below
Visit our international entry requirements page for details.
All UK applicants must have completed an English language qualification that meets the requirements of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 4 in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. Acceptable qualifications include GCSE (minimum grade B/6) and Level 1/2 Certificate (grade B) but not functional skills qualifications.
The multiple mini-interview includes assessment of the ability to use and comprehend spoken English. Applicants who have performed poorly in speaking & listening assessments within their English language qualifications should consider carefully whether they are likely to be able to meet the requirements of the interview.
Unless otherwise stated, applicants from the European Economic Area and Overseas who do not offer GCSE English language at the required grade must have one of the following:
- International English Language Testing Service (IELTS, academic) with a minimum score of 7.0 in each component taken at the same sitting
- Grade C1 (Advanced) or C2 (Proficiency) in the Cambridge English Assessments system
- ToEFL internet-based test (iBT or IBT Home Edition) with a minimum overall score of 100 with minimum subtest scores of reading 25, writing 27, speaking 23 and listening 25
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) minimum overall score of 65 with a minimum of 65 in each communicative skill
- Grade B in International GCSE (IGCSE) First Language English, with a minimum of grade 2 in Paper 5 (optional speaking & listening component)
- Grade 5 English language at standard level (SL) in the International Baccalaureate (IB) paper A1 or A2, or grade 6 in paper B
All applications must be submitted via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The deadline for submissions is expected to be 15 October 2020 for entry in September 2021 or deferred entry in September 2022. Owing to the impact of the Covid19 pandemic, this deadline may be subject to change. However, we will not accept applications after the UCAS deadline.
All Home fees applicants must:
- meet the minimum academic requirements (including GCSE/level-2 qualifications, A level or equivalent qualifications and UCAT, and
- return the Roles & Responsibilities form on time
These applications are assessed in detail by Admissions Tutors and Admissions Office staff.
The application will be assessed only on the information provided in the UCAS application and the Roles & Responsibilities Form, which is made available electronically after the UCAS deadline. It is vital that applicants provide us with an accurate and clear picture of the roles and responsibilities they have undertaken as an assessment of this will be a major factor in the selection of most students for interview.
We will not accept any additional supporting material (eg CVs, work portfolios, letters of recommendation) unless we have specifically requested it from the individual applicant.
All applicants who are Overseas for fees must:
- meet the minimum academic requirements (including GCSE/level-2 or equivalent qualifications, A level or equivalent qualifications AND
- take the BMAT in August/September or October/November 2020 and achieve a threshold score to be invited to interview.
Applicants will be assessed only on the information provided in the UCAS application and your BMAT score. We will not accept any additional supporting material (e.g. CVs, work portfolios, letters of recommendation) unless we have specifically requested it from the individual applicant.
The selection process
The highest-ranking applicants will be selected for interview. Typically, we receive 2000 or more applications each year. For 2021 entry we aim to interview around 700 applicants.
The selection process involves three phases: academic screen, shortlisting, and interview.
Phase 1: Academic Screen
All applications are checked to ensure that they meet the minimum academic requirement including UCAT/BMAT cut-off score.
See A100 or A104 drop down menus for minimum entry requirements.
For 2021 entry Home applicants with a total UCAT score below 2280 or with an SJT score in Band 4 will not be considered.
Phase 2: Shortlisting
Home applicants: shortlisting for interview is based on the Roles & Responsibilities form.
International applicants who are overseas for fees: shortlisting for interview is based on the BMAT score.
A proportion of Home applicant interviews will be allocated to students who demonstrate evidence of having overcome significant social, economic and/or educational disadvantage, see Widening Participation page.
Phase 3: Interview
It is our policy to interview approximately 700 applicants for entry to the 5-year course. Numbers for the Health Foundation Year will be in proportion to the number of places.
- Interviews are usually held at the School of Medicine building on the University campus. Each candidate will have a similarly structured multiple mini-interview. The interviewers are drawn from the university, local healthcare settings (hospital and community) and the wider local community. All interviewers have undergone specific training for interviewing prospective medical students.
- In the event that continuing periods of lockdown occur during the Covid-19 pandemic, we reserve the right to alter the form of the interview to allow all interviews to be conducted on an equitable basis under any restrictions that may be imposed.
- Interviews are likely to take place in blocks during the period December 2020–March 2021
- After the interview, applicants will receive the University’s decision via UCAS. Successful applicants will be invited to attend an offer holder day.
Keele currently uses UCAT results in borderline cases. Pre-interview, if the number of applicants with the same roles and responsibilities form score exceeds the number of interview slots available, these applicants will be ranked on their total UCAT score. In these borderline cases, the required UCAT score will depend upon the level of performance in the test among this group of applicants. Post interview we may also use the UCAT score to differentiate between applicants.
Applicants holding offers who narrowly miss achieving the required grades in their A levels (or equivalent level-3 qualification) may receive further consideration if there are places available. In these circumstances, the factors taken into consideration in allocating remaining places will include interview score and UKCAT score.
Feedback after application
Decisions on invitation to interview and offer of places are final. Unsuccessful applicants will inevitably be disappointed at not being offered a place. We will provide written general feedback on the basis of decisions at the time of notification that an application has been unsuccessful. However, owing to the high volume of applications received, we are only able to provide more detailed feedback after the admissions process is complete (after Easter).
There is no obligation on members of the admissions staff to provide reasons why an application was unsuccessful, other than to indicate whether it was on the grounds of submitting an incomplete application, failing to fulfil the minimum academic entry criteria or achieving an application/interview score below the required threshold. Queries regarding admissions procedures must be submitted in writing by the applicant. We will not discuss applications with anybody other than the applicant (eg parents, teachers, members of parliament, etc.) without signed, written authorisation from the applicant.
Anyone wishing to make a formal appeal should refer to the Appeals Policy.
The personal statement
The personal statement is important in your application to Keele because one of the stations in the multiple mini-interview (MMI) will involve discussion of your relevant experiences.
The interviewer will be able to question you on any of the following aspects of your personal statement so it is important that you address all of the points.
- Understanding of the role of a doctor
- Examples of regular hands-on experience involving supporting, helping or caring for people
- Depth of experience in one or more role(s) involving personal interaction
- Reflection on what was learnt from these experiences
- Ability to balance work and personal priorities
- Working in teams
- Communication (particularly outside your peer group)
Each application must be accompanied by a reference from a current or former educational institution. In general, any reference that is not from a current or former educational institution will be ignored. Applications from people who have not been engaged in some kind of formal study (school, college, undergraduate or postgraduate) in the previous 5 years will be scrutinised carefully to determine whether the applicant is likely to be suitable for university study. If the decision is favourable, a non-academic reference may be taken into consideration. It is strongly recommended that any applicant in this situation contact the School of Medicine before applying to discuss how her/his application would be viewed. Any application that does not include a reference could be rejected.
An academic reference is likely to be written by your head teacher, college principal, head of year or form tutor. We want to know what the writer of the reference thinks about you as a whole person, not merely about your academic achievements and potential. Please ensure that whoever is writing the reference sees a copy of these guidelines.
Referees should be aware that we expect to see more than a record of academic achievement. References indicating your strengths in the areas listed above are much more valuable than simple “school report”-style references. Also we rely on references to elaborate on any exceptional circumstances or exceptional achievements that we may wish to take into account. These must also be mentioned in the relevant section of the R&R form if you wish us to take these into consideration. For example if you are a young carer. Young carers are defined as ‘…children and young people who look after someone in their family who has an illness or disability, or is affected by mental ill health or substance misuse. Young carers take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.’
If you experience any extenuating circumstances at the time of your examinations, your school or college should report this immediately to the relevant examination boards so that any allowances can be made. If we consider that extenuating circumstances brought up in the reference should be taken into account formally in the assessment of your application, we shall write to your referee to request further details. Please do not send such details unsolicited.
We recognize that students intending to apply to medical school this October will have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We don't expect applicants to have any experience in hospitals or other healthcare settings and would not give any credit for such experience in scoring of the roles & responsibilities (R+R) form if it involves workplace shadowing.
The kinds of things included in the R+R form can come from any kind of experience, whether that is in caring settings, support for individuals orsmall groups with specific needs (e.g. in school/college or in the local community through voluntary groups, faith organizations, charities, etc.), leadership/mentoring/coaching roles (e.g. in sports teams, drama/music groups, etc.), employment with specific responsibilities (e.g. lifeguard, event steward/marshal) or any kind of public-facing employment.
This list is not exhaustive: we see very strong applications from students with no conventional medical "work experience". While social distancing is in place students may be contributing to your local community through activities such as delivering groceries to vulnerable neighbours, hosting online/phone chats for fellow students who might feel isolated, supporting care providers (hospices, residential homes, etc.) by participating in online activities to raise funds for charities whose shops have had to close, etc. You really just need to think about what kinds of things you do that demonstrate a commitment to helping and supporting others, and also explain how you have worked with other people to achieve this.
All 2021 applicants will be in the same position regarding work experience and so the required Roles and Responsibilities score for an interview is likely to be lower than it has been. Students also need to think about volunteering they have already done in any situation and responsibilities they have taken. Some students who have achieved high marks in the past have not had any contact with the health care sector and so this is not a requirement for a good R&R form. We also recommend you study the online guidance below to determine how you can best provide evidence on the experience you have had up until now.
Home fees applicants
Completing the Roles & Responsibilities (R&R) form is a very important part of the application process. It is the main means by which we make an initial assessment of your non-academic achievements and aptitude for a career in medicine.
A link to access the form will be sent to all relevant applicants on a rolling basis from Monday 5 October through to Friday 16 October. On logging into their portal, applicants can then select the R&R form link. Once a form is submitted the link will no longer be available (from the next time they log in). The form must be completed and submitted by 11.59pm (GMT) on Monday 2 November 2020. You will be sent an e-mail acknowledging receipt of your form.
Please note that these dates are based on a UCAS deadline of 15 October. You will be informed of new dates if the UCAS deadline for 2021 applications changes.
Late forms are not accepted under any circumstances, we therefore recommend that you submit your form early in case of technical problems. We also recommend you check that you receive the email confirmation that your form has been received. It is the responsibility of the applicant to check the form has been sent and received. If you do not receive the email acknowledgement or have any difficulties submitting the form please contact us immediately.
Admissions tutors will assess the Roles and Responsibilities form using the following criteria:
- commitment to one or more role(s) involving direct engagement with people, ideally with an element of care or support
- the value of the role(s) you undertook, in terms of contribution to the wellbeing of others and/or demonstration of appropriate personal characteristics
- the level of responsibility taken in any of the above roles
- a clear example of a situation where you did something that had a significant beneficial outcome for another person
- any exceptional achievements or circumstances
The Roles & Responsibilities form provides an opportunity for you to provide evidence of commitment and personal characteristics appropriate for a future doctor. In completing the Roles & Responsibilities form please note the following:
Four work experience roles and their detail
Roles and responsibilities can be paid or voluntary and do not have to be in the health sector. Credit may be given for caring for family members or friends if there is both a time commitment and depth of caring that goes above and beyond that which would be expected in normal family life. Mature students using their regular work for examples will need to demonstrate a level of commitment over and above their normal job role.
There is space on the form for credit to be given for up to four roles and responsibilities. If you have more than four to choose from then please use recent experiences (ideally within three years of application) and choose the most important. You do not need to write about every experience listed, but you should list every experience that you write about so this can be validated from the references provided. Maximum credit for duration of work experience is given for more than 160 hours, so if you have more it is better to concentrate on providing details of the experiences that required most commitment from you. Mature applicants in paid employment in caring roles will be likely to benefit from including some additional voluntary experience.
Although shadowing and observation may be useful in understanding the roles of a doctor, we will not give credit for it in assessing the Roles & Responsibilities form. "Work experience tourism" is discouraged: we expect applicants to have undertaken significant experiences within their own communities. In the space provided make sure you tell us some of the things you actually did and reflect on how you demonstrated the attributes required of a doctor, keeping in mind the values described in the NHS Constitution. You will not be credited for anything you watched somebody else do: only for things you did yourself. Please do not exaggerate your role, e.g. by stating that you performed or assisted with medical procedures while unqualified. Any suggestion that the safety of children or vulnerable adults might have been compromised by activities you claim to have undertaken will be investigated. This may result in the host organisation being referred to its regulator, or to your application being rejected.
Details of responsibility taken
We need to know about a responsibility you have undertaken. Clearly the expected level of responsibility will be different for school leavers, graduates and mature students. We don’t give credit simply for titles (e.g. head boy/girl, ranger/young leader, etc.): we need to know what you actually had responsibility for, whom you had responsibility to and how you exercised this responsibility in practice. Similarly, we don’t give credit for naming programmes that you have completed (e.g. Duke of Edinburgh Award): you must provide details of one or more responsibilities you discharged within the programme. Specific responsibilities are likely to gain more credit than general ones, and telling us something particular you have achieved as a result of taking on a responsibility is likely to help your application. It is better to write in detail about one responsibility than give us a list with little detail.
Give an example
Next you have the opportunity to give us a real example of something that you have done which has been a real practical help to someone else. Candidates who give us an example with an important benefit for someone from a sustained effort will attract more marks than those giving examples from a one-off incident. We do expect you to write (with appropriate regard for confidentiality) about an individual you have helped. In most cases students will do well to use examples to demonstrate their effectiveness when undertaking work experience, e.g. how an individual benefitted from the student’s engagement with them. Mature applicants who give an example from their normal work will need to demonstrate commitment over and above that expected in their job role. If the example used relates to family or friends, then the help given needs to be well above and beyond what would be expected from any friend or family member. Examples do not have to come from caring experiences. If you have made a positive difference to someone’s life through a supporting, mentoring or coaching role – whether in school/college, a community organization or a leisure group (sports team, drama group, etc.) – and this reflects a specific, sustained effort that you made for that person, this may also provide a good example.
Exceptional achievements or circumstances
Few students will achieve marks for exceptional achievements, but we know some young people do amazing things. If this is you, then make sure you write about it clearly so we can give you the credit. This section can also be used to highlight any exceptional difficulties or circumstances you have had to overcome. In most cases we would expect to find this reflected in the academic reference.
Some students may qualify for consideration on the basis of our widening participation programme if they are young carers. Young carers are children and young people who look after someone in their family who has an illness or disability, or is affected by mental ill-health or substance misuse. Young carers take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult. The tasks undertaken can vary according to the nature of the illness or disability, the level and frequency of need for care and the structure of the family as a whole. If you are a carer as defined above then you need to ensure this is clearly stated on the Roles & Responsibilities form, ideally with a comment about this in your reference.
We may choose to request verification of your statements from the contacts you have given, so it is very important that you provide us with an accurate picture of what you have achieved.
We regret we are unable to provide any additional information about what candidates should include on the Roles and Responsibilities form. Admissions Tutors will assess the R&R form using these criteria published on the website.
Draft Roles and Responsibilities Form 2021 - This 2021 draft form is for information only, do not submit this form.
Roles & Responsibilities form guidance notes 2021 entry for 2021 entry.
No applicant will be offered a place without attending for interview. Interviews usually take place on the Keele University campus. However, for 2021 it will be necessary to hold interviews online. Applicants who are offered an interview will be asked to select a morning or afternoon session and will have two separate 15-minute interviews; you will have two interviewers in each of the 15-minute interviews, so you will be interviewed by four different people.
We recommend that interviewees watch the MSC guidance below for advice on online interviews.
Interviews are scheduled to take place in December, January, February and March. More detailed information will be available to candidates invited for interview.
Our selection process requires candidates to be interviewed before any offer can be made. Approximately 700 applicants will be invited for an interview and approximately 400 offers made. Interview decisions will be communicated via UCAS Track.
The interview assesses a range of attributes of applicants, including
- Motivation/experiences informing your decision to pursue a medical career
- Empathy and insight
- Responsibilities and challenges of being a doctor
- Awareness of ethical issues in health and society
- Effective communication
One or more sections of the online interview may include role play.
Normally interviewees complete a separate test which will assess their ability to perform clinically relevant calculations. Unfortunately this will not be possible this year.
This is usually a pass/fail test, with candidates who do not achieve the pass score (≥8/20) judged unsuccessful at interview. If you find it difficult to achieve this score in the practice test (link below) you should think carefully about whether you will be able to cope with the medicine course at Keele or with a career that frequently requires you to perform quick calculations.
The decision on the offer of a place will be based primarily on the applicant’s performance at interview. Candidates with interview scores close to the threshold for an offer will be differentiated on the basis of UCAT/BMAT score or WP Status and/or evidence of educational/socio-economic disadvantage.
There may be a delay before we can confirm the outcome of your interview, as we must perform a certain proportion of interviews before being able to determine the threshold score for an offer. We anticipate that the earliest date we will be able to confirm a decision is January/February. Some candidates may be placed on a waiting/hold list as their performance at interview was close to our offer threshold. However, all final decisions will be submitted by the 31 March UCAS deadline. Offers are made on the basis of score at interview. In borderline cases UCAT score may be used to discriminate between tied candidates.
Successful candidates will be sent an email confirming their offer of a place, together with a health questionnaire. All offers made are conditional and may include both academic conditions and Occupational Health and Disclosure and Barring Service clearances. In February, March and April there will be Offer-Holder Days for those holding offers.
Anyone wishing to make a formal appeal against the outcome of an interview on grounds of procedural or technical irregularities should refer to the University’s Appeals Policy.
Keele University School of Medicine is committed to providing fair access to students from all educational and social backgrounds. To this end, contextual data is used in the admissions process.
The School of Medicine may also make bursaries available to students in Years 1 and 2 of the MBChB programme and the Health Foundation Year who received a UCAT Bursary.
To be eligible for widening participation consideration for A100, applicants require two or more contextual data flags arising from information on your UCAS application.
- Attended a school with an attainment 8 score below national average (level set on an annual basis)
And have one of the following:
- Be in receipt of a UCAT bursary
- Have spent time spent in local authority care (more than three months) within the last five years (i.e. in Years 9–13)
- Have refugee status
- Applicants from military families will be considered if you have attended a non-selective maintained school and meet the academic criteria
Applicants must still meet the normal entry requirements, including the required UCAT score, and be able to provide further information on request.
WP Applicants who are successful at interview may be eligible for a reduced grade offer.
We offer a 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). See our Health Foundation Year pages for details.
See our Widening Participation pages for more information about our WP activities, including guidance on a new collaboration between UK Medical Schools (UKWPMED), our Steps2Medicine programme, Medicine Careers Day, and MedPath initiatives.
The medical school also participates in the university open days each year.
What is the medical school’s view of applicants who are taking gap years?
The School of Medicine is happy to consider applications from those who want to defer their entry. If applying for deferred entry, we would expect applicants to show on their UCAS form how they intend to spend the year. If applicants decide that they wish to defer entry after they have already submitted their UCAS form, they must complete our online request form by 31 May. We would not usually consider requests to defer entry once examination results have been published.
Does the medical school consider applications from mature learners?
We encourage applications from mature applicants: either recent graduates or people who wish to change career. Please note that that you should have some experience of recent academic study (usually within the last 5 years). Those who have been out of education for a substantial period are encouraged to contact the Admissions Office for further advice. Please see entry criteria below.
How does the medical school deal with diverse applicants?
Keele University has adopted an equal opportunities policy which states that no student will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, gender (including gender realignment), marital status, sexuality, disability, religion, political belief, socio-economic background, parental status, age or trades union membership. The University is committed to a programme of action to ensure that this policy is fully effective.
What courses are available?
5-Year MBChB degree (Course Code A100)
This is a five year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme (MBChB) which is awarded by Keele University.
6-Year MBChB Health Foundation Year for Medicine (Course Code A104)
The Health Foundation Year is a new 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).
Applications will not be considered from those who have applied for direct entry into medicine and have been unsuccessful.
Do you use AS level or extended project qualification (EPQ) grades when assessing applications?
From 2016 AS grades will no longer be used when assessing applicants. EPQs are not taken into account when making decisions on applications but should be seen as useful preparation for the early stages of studying at university.
Do you use predicted A level grades when assessing applications?
No. We do not take any account of predicted grades.
Can I re-apply?
If you were unsuccessful at interview we would not normally consider an application from you in the following year.
If you fail the maths test but then would have been successful at interview, you may re-apply the following year.
If you applied and did not reach the interview threshold, you may submit a further application. We would suggest that those re-applying review the content of their Roles & Responsibilities form before re-applying.
We will not normally consider applications from anyone who is currently in their third year of study for A levels, or other level 3 qualifications required for entry. If you are re-sitting, or have taken more than two years to complete A levels or equivalent, you must wait until you have your final grades before applying. Anyone who has not achieved the required A levels within three years will not be considered.
Can I transfer from another medical school?
No. Transfers from other medical schools are not considered. Students who have failed assessments in degree programmes elsewhere or been excluded from professional degree programmes on fitness to practise grounds will not be considered. No extenuating circumstances will be taken into account and we will not enter into discussion with candidates about the grounds for their exclusion. We will not accept any applications from students who have previously commenced medical, dental or veterinary courses elsewhere (including in other countries), regardless of their grounds for failing to complete these courses.
We also do not consider applications from students on degree courses in other subjects who wish to transfer before completing their degree.
Will extenuating circumstances for lower exam grades/degree classifications be taken into consideration?
Applicants should report all extenuating circumstances to the relevant examination board at the time of the examinations. It is the responsibility of that examination board to make adjustments to grades or degree classes if appropriate. We will not respond to requests to consider circumstances involving policies or practices of schools, exam boards or regulators.
All requests to consider extenuating circumstances should be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you submit your request by 31 August then you should receive a decision before the UCAS Deadline. However if you submit your mitigation after 31 August we will be unable to provide you with a decision before the UCAS deadline i.e. you will not know whether we have accepted it or not.
Each mitigating circumstances submission is subject to the discretion of an Admissions Tutor or Admissions Committee, therefore an immediate decision cannot be given over the phone.
We cannot guarantee to consider mitigating circumstances submitted after 31st August or after the UCAS application deadline of 15th October.
Requests to defer entry
If applicants decide that they wish to defer entry after they have already submitted their UCAS form, they must complete our request to School of Medicine to defer entry form by 31 May. We would not usually consider requests to defer entry once examination results have been published.
Requests to switch institutions after the UCAS deadline (15 October)
We will not consider requests to swap UCAS choices from another institution to study Medicine at Keele after the UCAS deadline of 15 October.
What are the age restrictions?
Due to the clinical work which students will be involved in from an early stage in the course, applicants need to be at least 18 by the start of the course in the year in which they join Year 1 of the MBChB programme. Usually a deferred entry place for the following year may be offered to students who will not be old enough at that time. There are no upper age limits. Students at the School of Medicine come from a wide age range and have a variety of previous work and study experiences. We feel that having such a variety of students benefits everyone at the School.
How do I contact you?
Please get in touch with our admissions team.
Our address is: Admissions Office, Keele University School of Medicine, David Weatherall building, University Drive, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG
Telephone: +44(0)1782 733937
If you have applied for 2020 entry, we advise you to check the Applicants' Area of our website regularly. We are trying to keep this up to date.
Due to the recent decisions made regarding A levels, I would prefer to sit my exams in May/June of 2021. Will I still be eligible to apply or will this count as a re-sit?
Owing to the cancellation of public examinations in 2020, if you began Year 12 in September 2018 and plan to take final A level exams during the 2020–21 academic year these will be treated as your first attempt and you will be eligible to apply. Please note that you must include the grades you were awarded in 2020 (including practical annotation) within your UCAS application, however we will not use those grades in any decisions on your eligibility for interview or offer.
GCSE results/re-sits: My GCSE exams have been cancelled. If calculated grades come back lower than the required grades, should I be re-taking the year?
If you do not meet our GCSE requirements you should seek an opportunity to repeat the exams during Year 12, rather than repeat a year of study. All GCSE requirements should be met prior to application. The only exception is for those taking Access diplomas.