Universities and Colleges Admissions Service
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is an independent organisation that runs the centralised admissions service for higher education courses in the United Kingdom. In 2017, UCAS handled 2.85 million applications from almost 700,000 students. With the exception of a few private universities, virtually all UK universities use UCAS as their means of receiving applications. This means that both home (UK/EU) and international students who want to apply for an undergraduate degree at a UK university must do so through UCAS.
Application fees are £13 if you apply for a single course or £24 if you apply for two or more courses. While the application deadline is typically in January, your deadline is 15 October 2019 if you are applying for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, or Veterinary Science; or if you are applying to Oxford or Cambridge for any course.
All applications are made via the UCAS website (https://www.ucas.com). Here is a step-by-step guide of the application process and things you should look out for as a medical applicant.
Register with UCAS & create your profile
COURSE & UNIVERSITY
Fill in your course and university choices (up to five options allowed)
- Note: When applying to study Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, or Veterinary Science, only FOUR options are allowed. Thus, your fifth option can either be left blank or be used to apply for a different course e.g. Biomedical Sciences. Some universities allow you to apply to it twice in the same application – e.g. you may apply to UCL for MBBS Medicine A100, and use your fifth option to apply to UCL again for BSc Biomedical Sciences B990.
- Note: You are also not allowed to apply to both Oxford AND Cambridge as an undergraduate – pick only one.
- The universities you apply to will not know what your other four options were.
Fill in information about your past education and grades achieved
- Note: Some medical schools e.g. Queen Mary University of London use a points system known as the UCAS Tariff as part of their selection criteria. If you are applying to such universities, make sure that all your ‘tariffable’ qualifications e.g. Extended Project Qualification, BTEC Level 3, ABRSM Music Examinations are included in your application to ensure you obtain the highest possible UCAS Tariff score.
Fill in information about previous paid employments/jobs.
- Note: Unpaid work experience should NOT be included in this section – this belongs in your personal statement!
Your personal statement is an essay that will be sent to all the universities you apply to – this is your chance to tell them about your interest in Medicine, along with your achievements and your suitability for the course.
- Personal statements can only contain up to 4,000 characters (including spaces) or 47 lines – whichever comes first.
- You can save your UCAS form and come back to it anytime – so type your personal statement on a separate document first, and you can copy & paste your final draft into UCAS when you are ready to submit your application.
Note: All formatting is removed when you copy & paste your personal statement into the form provided, so don’t waste too much time on things like paragraphing!
See our Personal Statement Guide for more information.
This is where your referee submits an essay on your suitability for further study.
For more information, visit:
- Most schools/colleges have a system to make sure each student has a referee, but if you are applying independently, you need to find someone who is willing to write a reference for you. Once you do this, fill in your referee’s contact details in this section.
- Top tip: If you find yourself short of characters/lines to write about something important in your personal statement, speak to your referee to see if he/she will be willing to include this in your reference! However, note that universities tend to prioritise personal statements over references when going through applications, so make sure this is not a vital piece of information that definitely needs to be in your personal statement!
SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION
After you have submitted your application, you can track it using UCAS Track to receive updates on interview invitations, rejections, and conditional offers. UCAS will send you an email if your application status changes, so there is no need to refresh UCAS Track every day. Some universities require you to register for separate online accounts on their respective university portals, but they will make this clear by sending you an email – so make sure to check your inbox and spam mailbox regularly.
All the best!
Who we are [Internet]. UCAS. 2018 [cited 12 July 2018]. Available from: https://www.ucas.com/about-us/who-we-are
Medicine MBBS 5 Years (A100) - Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry [Internet]. Smd.qmul.ac.uk. 2018 [cited 12 July 2018]. Available from: