Published on September 11, 2023

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Oxford Medical School Guide – MedicHut

Oxford Medical School Guide

Oxford University is the oldest university in the English speaking world, dating back to as early as 1096. It is one of the world’s leading academic institutions, with a prestigious medical school. It has a rich history in the discovery of novel treatments. The year group at Oxford Medical School is small, creating a close-knit environment and a sense of community.

Medicine at Oxford is a 6 year degree, split into 2 stages. The course structure is traditional, involving a distinct pre-clinical and clinical phase. During the three-year preclinical stage, students study for a BA Honours Degree. Students then progress to the three-year clinical stage, following a series of clinical rotations. Students gain a comprehensive knowledge of medical science, before applying this to the clinical environment.

Academic Entry Requirements for Oxford Medical School


GCSEsThere are no formal GCSE requirements for Medicine.GCSEs are relied on heavily for short-listing for interview. There is no GCSE cut-off, however most applicants hold a range of GCSEs in both science and art subjects. On average, our applicants hold around 80% of GCSEs passes at grades 8 or 9 (A) and have 8.5 passes at grades 8 or 9 (A) – although successful applicants may have a higher proportion than this.
A LevelA*AA  A*AA in three A-levels (excluding Critical Thinking and General Studies) taken in the same academic year.
Required subjects: Chemistry with at least one of Maths, Further Maths, Biology or Physics.
Advanced HighersAA (taken in the same academic year, in Chemistry, and one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics). Also Highers: AAAAA (taken in the same academic year)AA (taken in the same academic year, in Chemistry, and one from Biology, Physics, or Mathematics) plus Highers: AAAAA (taken in the same academic year)
IB39 points. This must include scores of 7, 6 and 6 at Higher Level. Candidates are required to take Chemistry and at least one of Biology, Physics or Mathematics to Higher Level.
See University Website for further details regarding other qualifications

Admissions Test

Oxford Medical School uses the UCAT. The UCAT forms part of the short-listing for interview process. It is the only measure available which has some capacity to predict student’s aptitude for the course.

Only the applicant’s overall cognitive subtest score is used to short-list for interview.

2024 is the first year that Oxford are using the UCAT. Hence there is no information about previous successful or cut-off scores.

Work Experience

While some work experience in hospitals is theoretically desirable, Oxford Medical School recognises that it may be very difficult to arrange. Therefore there is no absolute requirement for work experience. Furthermore, any form of voluntary work would be beneficial in the context of applying for Medicine. Oxford give examples such as helping out in a hospital, at an old people’s home, St John’s Ambulance, or work with a charity or overseas agency.

Personal Statement

Assessment of personal statements generally occurs after the shortlisting process for interview. For Oxford, the personal statement is an important part of the application, allowing the candidate to discuss interests, achievements and ambitions. The statement is not formally scored. However it is read carefully and provides a focus for questions which may be asked at interview. Therefore it is important that the personal statement is an accurate, factual and truthful account of the candidate’s activities and motivation for studying Medicine. Applicants should not be shy about mentioning mitigating circumstances.

The personal statement should not be a written account of everything the candidate has taken. Quality over quantity is key. Oxford Medical School are keen to learn about the applicant as an individual, not just their academic qualifications. The statement should also discuss the personal characteristics which make the candidate suitable for a career in Medicine.

For further details about the personal statement, please consult the University website.


GCSE performance and UCAT results form the basis for shortlisting candidates for interview, in which a numerical ranking is established. Only the overall cognitive subtest score from the UCAT is used. The situational judgement score is not used at this stage of the process.

Candidates receive interviews at two colleges. Where possible one of these colleges will be the college of choice (or random if the candidate made an open application). The college where the second interview is held, is randomly allocated.

The number and format of interviews at each college may be different, but the selection criteria are common to all colleges. At least two academics and at least one practising clinician will interview candidates.

Graduate Entry at Oxford Medical School

Oxford Medical School offers a Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) program for students who already have a degree. The course duration is 4 years, and students will graduate with a BM BCh upon successful completion of the program.

30% of applicants receive an interview, with 12% of the overall applicants being successful. The average is intake is 32 students per year.

The Graduate-Entry Medicine course (A101) is open to applicants with:

  • A degree in applied or experimental science – with a degree class of 2.1
  • Passes at A-level of at least AAB with an A or A* in Chemistry

Students must have a degree in an experimental science subject. Graduates in subjects other than bioscience must also have biology or dual-award science at GCSE, or an equivalent qualification.

The general selection criteria include academic ability, suitability and commitment to Medicine and personal suitability for the Oxford Graduate-entry Medicine course.

Allocation of places will be based on the information on the application form, an appraisal of the referees’ statements, the UCAT score, and performance at interview.

The entry requirements are listed in full on the Oxford University website. This includes the list of international academic qualifications and ‘experimental science’ degrees.

International Students Entry Requirements for Oxford Medical School

International students applying to Oxford Medical School must meet the same academic requirements as home/EU students. Consult the University website for the complete list of accepted qualifications.

International students must sit the UCAT and submit a personal statement. The candidate must also meet the appropriate English language proficiency requirements.

Successful candidates will be short-listed for interview on the basis of academic achievement and the UCAT.

How many places are there for home and international students at Oxford Medical School?

There is a finite number of places for home (UK/EU) and overseas (international) students at Oxford Medical School. There is a Government-imposed quota of fourteen overseas students per year for entry to Medicine as a whole (graduate, undergraduate and clinical courses) at Oxford.

For the Undergraduate Medicine Course, 295 applicants identified as international for fee-paying purposes submitted complete applications for 2024 entry. Following shortlisting, 35 of these applicants received an interview and 9 applicants received an offer for 2024.

For the Graduate Entry Medical Course, only one or two places are likely to be available for overseas students. So far the quota has not in practice been a limiting factor in selection. Please consult the Oxford University Website for further information and statistics.

Oxford Medical School Ranking

Oxford Medical School consistently ranks among the top medical schools globally. Its reputation for academic excellence, research output, and clinical training programs contributes to its high rankings in various university league tables and medical education assessments. According to the Complete University Guide, Oxford Medical School currently ranks as the 2nd in the UK. According to the Guardian University Rankings for 2024, Oxford is also the overall 2nd best university in the UK.

It is important to remember that university rankings are subjective and based on differing criteria. Whilst rankings can be a factor in deciding which medical schools to apply to, a holistic approach is essential. Consider which universities you would thrive in the most, using a range of criteria.

Oxford Medical School Fees

The fees for Oxford Medical School are £9,250 for home students throughout the entire duration of the course.

The fees for international students is £43,670 in pre-clinical years and £57,690 in clinical years.

Oxford Medical School Acceptance Rate

In 2023, Oxford Medical School received 1500 UCAS applications. Of these, 1350 applicants were eligible to apply and had registered for the appropriate admissions test.

The number places for interview is fixed at around 425. This is approximately 2.5 shortlisted applicants per place available and in 2023, 31.8% of applicants received an interview.

In 2023, colleges made 153 quota offers, 2 deferred offers and 15 ‘open offers’.

Oxford Medicine Programmes

A100 – 6 year full time Undergraduate Medicine Course. Students graduate with a BA Honours in addition to their medical degree upon successful completion.

A101 – 4 year full time Graduate Entry Medicine Course, with students graduating with their medical degree upon successful completion.

Oxford Medicine Course Structure

The University of Oxford uses a traditional teaching style and the course is 6 years long. This involves splitting the teaching into pre-clinical and clinical.

Students learn the core scientific foundations of Medicine in first and second year. Students complete an intercalated degree in the third year. Finally, students enter the clinical school from years 4 to 6. During this time, students develop their clinical reasoning and practical skills in a range of clinical environments.

Oxford Medical School Teaching Style

Small group teaching is a large part of the teaching at Oxford. This involves 3-4 students and an academic. During these sessions, students may discuss essays, practical questions and the current topics of study. This ensures that students receives academic support tailored to their individual needs.

The first two years of Oxford involve essay writing. Oxford promote a broad understanding of key medical topics and to draw links between them, whilst developing skills in appraising and writing academic literature. Whilst this may initially daunting, students receive good support.

Oxford does not offer full body dissection, and instead uses prosection to teach anatomy.

Students complete the Clinical Part of the Course at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, local primary care environments and through further teaching by the university academic staff.

Oxford Medical School Term Dates

For pre-clinical students, ie) years 1-3, the term dates follow the standard University term dates. This involves three terms, all of a duration of eight weeks.

Michaelmas – Oct-Dec
Hilary – Jan – March
Trinity – April – June

After entering the clinical phase of the course, ie) years 4-6, Michaelmas has two parts, the first part lasting from late summer with a break in September, and part two until December. Hilary and Trinity term remain similar, but extending longer into the summer. This is to accommodate the range of clinical experience necessary for successful training as a doctor.

Oxford Medical School Hospitals

Students can expect to rotate through a series of clinical environments in and around Oxford during their clinical years. This includes the John Radcliffe Hospital and the Churchill Hospital.

The first clinical year involves placement during different specialties such as GP, laboratory medicine, general medicine and surgery.

In the next clinical year of study, students rotate through specialties. This includes ophthalmology, psychiatry, geriatrics, dermatology, palliative care, primary health care, orthopaedics, women’s health, emergency medicine and paediatrics.

In the final year, students undertake further rotations in general medicine, surgery and may undertake various clinical options.

Oxford Medical School Elective

During the final six months of the course there is a ten week period of elective study. Students may study any topic relevant to medicine either in the United Kingdom or abroad during the elective. Most students opt to travel overseas for clinical attachments, some pursue research and some arrange attachments in the UK. Students present either a poster or an oral presentation at the Electives’ Conference during the final week of the course.

Oxford Medical School Interview Format

Short-listed applicants receive interviews at 2 colleges, usually one of which includes the college that the applicant applied directly to. This generally occurs over a period of 2 days. Oxford provides accommodation during this time for those who need it. The number of interviews and their format varies between colleges.

This is a panel format interview. Generally, two academics and a practising clinician will conduct the interview. This is an opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of medical sciences, their commitment to Medicine, scientific appraisal and reasoning and to discuss their interests. The interviewers will often start with a concept covered at A-Level and gradually add layers of complexity to the given topic.

Oxford Medical School Interview Questions

The purpose of the interview at Oxford is to gauge the candidate’s understanding of medical science and scientific enquiry.

The Oxford Medical School website details many example questions with examples of the types of responses expected from successful applicants.

‘Put these countries in order by their crude mortality (deaths per thousand of the population): Bangladesh, Japan, South Africa, the UK.’

Interviews for Medicine aim to gauge candidates’ understanding of the science underpinning the study of medicine, as well as skills in scientific enquiry. This question invites candidates to think about a public health question and epidemiology that can be approached in many different ways, without necessarily knowing anything about specific mortality rates around the world.

We would expect the initial discussion to probe the differing causes of death that contribute to mortality rates – such as those ‘Western diseases’ heart disease and cancer – and how they compare to those found in developing countries (high infant mortality, infectious diseases, poor nutrition, high rates of HIV etc.). The majority of candidates will expect Bangladesh or South Africa to have the highest crude mortality rate, and will be surprised to find that it is in fact Japan.

The viruses that infect us are totally dependent on human cells for their reproduction; is it therefore surprising that viruses cause human diseases?’

Like most good interview questions, this could be a starting point for any number of interesting conversations. Most candidates will have a reasonable understanding that viruses are essentially parasitic genetic entities, but the interviewers are not really looking for factual knowledge.

Why are you suited to the teaching style at Oxford?

In a tutorial-style discussion, strong candidates will engage with the paradox that viruses need us for their own reproduction, and yet cause us damage. They might point out that some of our responses to viral infection (such as sneezing) favour the spread of the virus. The interviewer might steer the discussion towards viral infections associated with high mortality, and the idea that any virus that killed off its host entirely would run the risk of extinction – unless it could infect other host species too. Candidates may have come across examples of viruses that jump from non-human animals to human hosts in this way.

Oxford uses a traditional teaching style, with the course split into pre-clinical and clinical years. A distinct teaching method at Oxford is the tutorial: small-group teaching with an academic or clinician, encouraging discussion and personal academic support. Ensure that you have read about and understand these styles of teaching, and think about what skills and qualities you have that will suit you to this teaching style. Think not only about what you can bring to the university, but also what you feel the university can bring to your academic journey.

Tell me about a disease you’ve been learning about during your A-Level studies.

Oxford medical interviews tend to have a scientific focus, with emphasis placed both on your ability to talk about topics you have already studied and topics that may be unfamiliar to you. For example if you decided to talk about diabetes in response to this question, the interviewer may give you some information regarding disease management and ask for your thoughts. Practising reading about topics that you are unfamiliar with will help you get used to analysing new information scientifically. Ensure that you have a strong grasp on topics that you’ve covered during your A-Level studies while preparing for this interview, to make sure that you have a good grounding in the basic science you may be expected to cover.

Oxford Medical School Summer School

Oxford offers a Medicine Summer School, intended for Year 12 students who attend state schools in the UK. Consult the University website for further information.

Life as a Medical Student at Oxford Medical School

Overall, the first two years of preclinical studies are intense. The phrase ‘work hard, play hard’ is often used by pre-clinical tutors. During the week your schedule will consist of lectures and practicals from 9 am-5 pm, with small group teaching sessions (tutorials) often having to take place in the evening.

All students may pick from a range of option modules in third year, this allows for a personalised approach to your learning journey. In third year the number of contact hours is significantly less. There is more time for independent study, and more free time generally to become involved with other parts of the university outside of your course.

The clinical years focus more on placement, either hospitals or GP practices.

Social life at Oxford Medical School

The myth that Oxbridge students don’t have time to socialise is false. Whilst work is demanding, there are clubs and societies within the college and also at the level of the University. This means there is lots to get involved with, no matter what level of experience you are at! Additionally, the college environment means it is especially easy to make and spend time with friends. The year groups at Oxford Medical School are also small. This allows for a tight-knit year, frequent socials within the Medical School and familiar faces throughout your time on the course.

Societies and Clubs at Oxford Medical School

Oxford has over 400 clubs and societies, both at the college level and university level. These are an essential part of university life and a great way to form strong friendships. These may be academic, musical, sports-related, dramatic, cultural, amongst many more. There is something for everybody.

Intercalated Degree at Oxford Medical School

The course at Oxford is a 6 year degree. Students will complete a 3 year BA Honours degree during the three year pre-clinical phase of the course, and then complete the MBChB after successful completion of the final three clinical years of the course.


Does Oxford Medical School Offer a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Degree?

Whilst the course at Oxford is a 6 year intercalated degree, students achieve a BA Honours upon successful completion of the first three years of the course.

How Much of the Oxford Medical School Course is Clinical vs

Oxford have a traditional course structure, with a strong pre-clinical and clinical phase to the course, each lasting three years.

Does Oxford Medical School Offer Medicine Scholarships?

Oxford have a strong commitment to ensuring that anybody who has the academic ability to gain a place to study should not be held back by their financial circumstances. Oxford offers one of the most generous financial support packages available for UK students, and this may be further supplemented by support from the student’s college.

Is Oxford Medical School a Good Medical School?

Oxford is a prestigious and top ranking medical school with excellent student satisfaction. The University has an incredible history and is situated the beautiful ‘City of Dreaming Spires’. Oxford is a unique place, making for a special experience at Medical School.

Support with Getting Into Oxford Medical School Medical School

UCAT Tutoring

2024 is the first year that Oxford University is using the UCAT. Whilst the typical cut-off scores for interviews are not yet known, Oxford Medical School has always been competitive and this year is likely to remain similar. MedicHut has great opportunities to help tutor students in their UCAT.

Medicine Personal Statement Tutoring

Whilst personal statements are not used to shortlist candidates for interview, the personal statement is very important at the interview stage, so candidates are able to describe the interests and the insight they have into Medicine. Therefore the personal statement is important, and MedicHut is able to support candidates with their application.

Medicine Interview Tutoring

After short-listing, a candidate’s performance at interview is important to gain an offer, and the interview style at Oxford is unique. MedicHut are able to assist applicants with their preparation for interview at Oxford.

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