What Is The Hardest Medical School To Get Into In The UK?
Advice & Insight From Medicine Application Specialists
When assessing which UK medical school is the toughest to get into, a true measure of objectivity is difficult. We could rely on admissions statistics, or we could rely on the grades and admissions scores of those who get into a given university. Here, we will see why the latter indicator makes more sense.
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If we used admissions rate as our indicator of difficulty, then Aston University would be the toughest in the UK for Medicine. It has only a 5% admissions rate. However, this must be seen in context. The average applicant to Aston is far weaker than the average applicant to many other medical schools. For example, the UCAT scores of those accepted ranged from 2060 to 3120.
The number of actual grades achieved by the entering class at GCSE was 76 A*s, 66 As, 44 Bs, and 29 Cs. This is a proportion of 0.35 – or put differently, 35% of grades at GCSE were A*.
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Let’s compare that to the academic profile of applicants and offer holders at the university that is truly the hardest in the UK. Oxford shortlisted 23% of its 2020 applicants for interview, and 9.2% of male applicants and 8% of female applicants would be successful in their quest for a place to study Medicine at Oxford – much more than at Aston. However, looking at the BMAT scores and GCSE scores of Oxford offer holders, we can understand why it is the hardest medical school in the UK.
The average BMAT score was 68.9%, and the mean number of GCSE A*s was 10.7. Additionally, the mean proportion of GCSE A* grades was 0.96 – or put differently, 96% of grades at GCSE were A*, not far from three times as many as at Aston.
This shows the danger of using admissions rate as the only marker of ‘difficulty.’ The admissions rate is dependent on the number of students that apply. Whilst more students applying does of course make it less likely that any given student will gain entry, and therefore makes the process harder, we have to consider the overall calibre of students applying to each university. It is highly likely that the vast majority of applicants to Oxford for Medicine would have been admitted to Aston, whilst it is unlikely that more than a very small handful of Aston applicants would have been successful in an application to Oxford – the hardest medical school to get into in the UK.