Biology, ecology and biomedical science at Brighton

University of Brighton biosciences blog

Biomedical Science – An Alternative Route To Medicine

Biomedical Science – An alternative pathway in to medicine

Some of the most common questions I receive as an online ambassador are potential students asking whether it’s possible to transfer from Biomedical Science in to a medicine degree. While the answer is yes, having done so myself, the process can be confusing. So, I’ve decided to write this blog post to explain it, as well as clarify a few things I wish I knew when I started.

Hopefully this will make it a bit easier for those of you considering medicine!

Explaining Brighton’s guaranteed interview scheme

As Brighton students, we are in the fortunate position of having a partner medical school, Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS). Brighton offers a program to facilitate transfer of well performing Biomedical, Biological and Pharmacy students from Brighton to BSMS known as the guaranteed interview scheme.

This scheme gives students that meet certain criteria a guaranteed interview with the BSMS admissions team. Two versions of this scheme are available, one for transfer in your first year, and one for third year. The criteria are as follows for students attempting to secure an interview in their first year:

  • GCSE grade B or equivalent in maths and English.
  • An overall IELTS score of 7.0 with at least 7.0 in all sections if English isn’t your first language.
  • AAA at A-level, all obtained in one sitting including Chemistry and Biology.
  • If you took the International Baccalaureate, 36 overall with grade 6 in Higher level chemistry and biology.
  • Excellent term 1 class attendance record.
  • A 70% average for term 1 modules.

As you can see, the academic requirements for this version of the scheme are quite high and is mostly aimed at applicants who perhaps didn’t initially consider an application to medicine in the first place.

If like me, your A-level results aren’t quite strong enough then the third-year interview requirements are slightly less strict:

  • GCSE grade B or equivalent in maths and English.
  • An overall IELTS score of 7.0 with at least 7.0 in all sections if English isn’t your first language.
  • An average of 70% in your second-year modules.
  • At least an upper second-class degree.

Both versions of this scheme offer applicants the chance to interview for a place at BSMS, starting from the first year of the medicine degree. It is important to stress that admission is not guaranteed but once you’re at the interview stage admission is entirely based on how well you perform during the interview.

Other necessary points for a successful application

Applicants seeking entry to BSMS, or other medical schools, will also have several other criteria to meet for a successful application.

Applicants will be required to complete some form of medical admissions test in the year they apply; the exact test will depend on the university you’ve applied to. For example, for BSMS, it’s the BMAT, and the University of Brighton is an official test centre making it easy for students to sit here.

In addition, you will be required to make a UCAS application to the medical school by the 15th of October in your year of application. Finally, you will have to show evidence of healthcare experience or volunteering in your UCAS personal statement and have an academic reference from one of your lecturers.

Some final things to consider

While this blog is focused on transferring from Brighton to BSMS, applicants are free to make an application to any medical school, although the exact requirements will differ somewhat depending on the university!

Also, BSMS only offer a 5-year medicine degree, which may not suit any graduate applicants who would like to apply for a 4-year graduate entry medicine course.

Finally, there is a slight difference in funding between applicants who switch in their first versus their third year. Applicants changing in their first year would receive the usual amount of funding from student finance, however those in their third year are only eligible for a maintenance loan and receive no support for their tuition fees. Therefore, third year applicants should strongly consider their financial situation and may wish to begin saving early to save any stress!

Hopefully this blog was helpful to any potential students seeking a transfer to medicine, and I wish you all luck with your applications!


Jamie Mccluskey • July 23, 2019

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