Health Foundation Year for Medicine

Our Health Foundation Year for Medicine is 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).

Students entering the Foundation Year will undertake a range of modules to bring their academic level up to an equivalent standard to that of direct entrants to year 1 of the Medicine A100 course.

This programme is intended for school-leavers, i.e. applicants who are currently studying A-Level or equivalent qualifications. It is not open to graduates, students who have already commenced or completed another HE programme, or applicants with international fees status.  The reduced academic requirements apply only to applicants who are currently in their second year of A-level or equivalent study (i.e. year 13) or the year immediately following this.

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.

Group 1

Applicants must meet all the following -

  • Ordinarily resident in the UK
  • Attended a non-selective maintained school for GCSEs and a maintained school for A-Levels (we recognise that generally non-selective schools and sixth-form colleges may use some form of selection for students wishing to undertake A-Levels) 
  • Attended a school for GCSEs with an attainment 8 score below national average (level set on an annual basis: for 2025 entry the 2022-23 school performance measure is used).

For schools without an attainment 8 score only, 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.

For home-schooled applicants who are therefore without an Attainment 8 Score, we will use the POLAR4 quintile of your home postcode rather than of the examination centre where you sat the exams.

Group 2

Applicants must also meet one of the following -  

  • Parent(s) or guardian in receipt of means-tested benefit(s) for a minimum of three months within your last five years of schooling
    (i.e. in Years 9–13)
  • Time spent in local authority care (more than three months) within the last five years (i.e. in Years 9–13)
  • Eligibility for free school meals at any point in Years 9–13
  • Receipt of 16–19 bursary for purpose other than meals
  • 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.

Students on the Keele Steps2Medicine scheme or those currently in 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 schools for GCSE and A Level (or equivalents) and meet the academic criteria. 

GCSE Requirements

Five GCSEs at grade 6/B including double/triple-award science or three separate sciences. If Maths and English Language (including a pass in speaking and listening) are not included in the five at grade 6, then a minimum of 5/C is required. 

Level 3 qualification requirements

Qualification Requirement
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 D in BTEC Extended Certificate with BB at A level (including chemistry or biology)
T Levels Distinction in Health, Healthcare Science or Science, with a minimum of B in the core component and a minimum of merit in the occupational specialism
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

As the course is intended for school-leavers, Access to HE students should apply for the A100 Medicine course. Note that only Access to HE Diploma (Medicine) qualifications complying with the QAA subject descriptor for medicine are accepted. 
Applicants who meet the social and educational criteria for the Health Foundation Year but meet the academic criteria for the Medicine A100 course are strongly advised to apply for A100 as they are unlikely to benefit from the additional year of study. If successful at interview, they may qualify for a reduced offer. See our widening participation information section for more details. 

Reapplication for 2025

Applicants can only reapply to Keele once.  Any further applications will not be considered.

All applicants must take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in the year of application (i.e. in 2024 if applying in October 2024 for 2025 entry). 

Details of the test, along with fully timed practice tests, are available on the UCAT website

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, , as this will also count as evident of group-1 eligibility criteria for A104. Please check the UCAT website 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.

For 2025 entry, applicants who meet the essential (eligibility) criteria, academic requirements (GCSEs and registration for accepted level-3 qualifications) and minimum UCAT requirement will be ranked for invitation for interview on the basis of the UCAT score and personal statement as described for the A100 programme. We are unable to state in advance the threshold score for interview, as this will depend on the scores achieved by the new cohort of applicants.

The university primarily communicates with applicants via the email address that has been used on the UCAS application. It is the applicant's responsibility to regularly check this email account and to ensure that university communications are not diverted to a spam/junk folder. Details of the admissions process and updates on the application are also provided in the Applicant Portal. It is the applicant's responsibility to check here for regular updates too. 


Applicants who meet all of the following criteria will normally be selected for an interview:

  • Essential Criteria
  • Academic requirements (GCSEs and registration for accepted level-3 qualifications)
  • UCAT requirement 

In the event that further selection is required, the UCAT score and personal statement will be used as described for the A100 programme.

We expect interviews will be conducted online using Microsoft Teams. Instructions for accessing online interviews will be provided but it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure you have access to the necessary technology to complete the interview. Please ask for help from your school/college if you are not confident that your own technology is adequate. Advice on online interviews is offered by the Medical Schools Council.  

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 and avoiding discrimination. 

The interview will address the attributes listed in the person specification, with additional emphasis on the broader roles and responsibilities of doctors, including ethical & legal responsibilities, factors affecting public health, and the relationship between healthcare and social care. 

We reserve the right to alter the form of the interview to allow all interviews to be conducted on an equitable basis. 

Interviews are likely to take place during the period December 2024 to April 2025. 

Successful applicants will be informed of their offer through the UCAS Hub. All offers will include requirements to complete occupational health checks and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearances. 

The Occupational Health team will contact all applicants who accept their offer regarding the health checks. 

The Admissions team will contact all applicants who accept their offer regarding their DBS clearance. 

Successful applicants will be invited to attend an Applicant Visit Day. 

In order to progress onto the five year MBChB Medicine programme students need to achieve:

Semester 1 modules - 40% pass (45 credits)

Semester 2 modules - 70% progression mark (75 credits)