The Student Room Group

Doubts about medicine

Hello, this is my first (and hopefully last) time posting on the medicine forum. I'm a year 12 student and I am really wanting to study medicine and become a doctor in the future. However my GCSE grades aren't going to be competitive at all when I apply next year (I'm not a contextual student btw, and probably won't fit the criteria for foundation years):
8- RE
7- Biology
7- Chemistry
7- English Lit
6- English Lang
6- Maths
6- Physics
5- History
L2D- Business

I made my decision to apply for medicine at the beginning of year 12 so I don't have any long term volunteering, but I'm planning to do some in a hospital/care home environment. I've also got some hospital and care home work experience already. I'm planning to work really hard on my A-levels (biology, chemistry and physics), UCAT, personal statement interviews etc and I'm setting up my own medicine club at school and want do a bunch of unique supercurriculars/wider reading.

I'm just really worried that even if I do well on all this stuff, and apply strategically to schools that don't rank/score GCSES, I'm not going to get a place in medicine because my GCSE grades aren't competitive at all (I don't wanna say bad but that is the truth ig).

Also my parents know that I want to get into medicine and they say they support me but they constantly remind me that I got low GCSEs and they say I can never make it into top schools (I'm not even planning on applying to Russell groups, I'm at least that self aware) so it really brings my confidence down (this is actually the reason I'm posting this)

Although there are many challenges to face as a doctor, I want to work hard and dedicate my time to the study of medicine and hopefully getting to treat patients. I just want advice from anyone who has applied with low GCSES/is applying because I don't want to delude myself into thinking I have a chance if I really don't, and save myself the pain of rejection. I don't want to study anything else other than medicine, but if I don't even have a chance I would to find out now.

Thanks for reading, please offer advice if you can and have a happy new year -alphamedic
Hey there, thanks for posting a question in the Medicine forum. :biggrin:

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The "Which Medical School Should I Apply To?" Uberthread
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Work Experience and Voluntary Work

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Official Undergraduate Medicine 2023 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2023 Entry
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A100 Medicine for International Students 2023 Entry
Medicine Interview discussion 2023 Entry
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Index of Individual Medical School Applicants' threads 2023 Entry

2024 Applicants :
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GCSE Requirements for Medicine
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Reply 2
Original post by alphamedic
Hello, this is my first (and hopefully last) time posting on the medicine forum. I'm a year 12 student and I am really wanting to study medicine and become a doctor in the future. However my GCSE grades aren't going to be competitive at all when I apply next year (I'm not a contextual student btw, and probably won't fit the criteria for foundation years):
8- RE
7- Biology
7- Chemistry
7- English Lit
6- English Lang
6- Maths
6- Physics
5- History
L2D- Business

I made my decision to apply for medicine at the beginning of year 12 so I don't have any long term volunteering, but I'm planning to do some in a hospital/care home environment. I've also got some hospital and care home work experience already. I'm planning to work really hard on my A-levels (biology, chemistry and physics), UCAT, personal statement interviews etc and I'm setting up my own medicine club at school and want do a bunch of unique supercurriculars/wider reading.

I'm just really worried that even if I do well on all this stuff, and apply strategically to schools that don't rank/score GCSES, I'm not going to get a place in medicine because my GCSE grades aren't competitive at all (I don't wanna say bad but that is the truth ig).

Also my parents know that I want to get into medicine and they say they support me but they constantly remind me that I got low GCSEs and they say I can never make it into top schools (I'm not even planning on applying to Russell groups, I'm at least that self aware) so it really brings my confidence down (this is actually the reason I'm posting this)

Although there are many challenges to face as a doctor, I want to work hard and dedicate my time to the study of medicine and hopefully getting to treat patients. I just want advice from anyone who has applied with low GCSES/is applying because I don't want to delude myself into thinking I have a chance if I really don't, and save myself the pain of rejection. I don't want to study anything else other than medicine, but if I don't even have a chance I would to find out now.

Thanks for reading, please offer advice if you can and have a happy new year -alphamedic

If you do really well in your A levels and UCAT, there are plenty of options where your GCSEs will not be an issue - including Russell Group unis, though this makes no difference at all for med.
Just avoid those that score GCSEs, but Cambridge, Newcastle, Imperial, UCL, SGUL, Barts, Southampton, Aberdeen, ARU, BSMS, Edge Hill, Exeter, Plymouth, Glasgow are all options if you do very well on admissions tests and get excellent predictions
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by GANFYD
Original post by alphamedic
Hello, this is my first (and hopefully last) time posting on the medicine forum. I'm a year 12 student and I am really wanting to study medicine and become a doctor in the future. However my GCSE grades aren't going to be competitive at all when I apply next year (I'm not a contextual student btw, and probably won't fit the criteria for foundation years):
8- RE
7- Biology
7- Chemistry
7- English Lit
6- English Lang
6- Maths
6- Physics
5- History
L2D- Business

I made my decision to apply for medicine at the beginning of year 12 so I don't have any long term volunteering, but I'm planning to do some in a hospital/care home environment. I've also got some hospital and care home work experience already. I'm planning to work really hard on my A-levels (biology, chemistry and physics), UCAT, personal statement interviews etc and I'm setting up my own medicine club at school and want do a bunch of unique supercurriculars/wider reading.

I'm just really worried that even if I do well on all this stuff, and apply strategically to schools that don't rank/score GCSES, I'm not going to get a place in medicine because my GCSE grades aren't competitive at all (I don't wanna say bad but that is the truth ig).

Also my parents know that I want to get into medicine and they say they support me but they constantly remind me that I got low GCSEs and they say I can never make it into top schools (I'm not even planning on applying to Russell groups, I'm at least that self aware) so it really brings my confidence down (this is actually the reason I'm posting this)

Although there are many challenges to face as a doctor, I want to work hard and dedicate my time to the study of medicine and hopefully getting to treat patients. I just want advice from anyone who has applied with low GCSES/is applying because I don't want to delude myself into thinking I have a chance if I really don't, and save myself the pain of rejection. I don't want to study anything else other than medicine, but if I don't even have a chance I would to find out now.

Thanks for reading, please offer advice if you can and have a happy new year -alphamedic

If you do really well in your A levels and UCAT, there are plenty of options where your GCSEs will not be an issue - including Russell Group unis, though this makes no difference at all for med.
Just avoid those that score GCSEs, but Cambridge, Newcastle, Imperial, UCL, SGUL, Southampton, Aberdeen, ARU, BSMS, Edge Hill, Exeter, Plymouth, Glasgow are all options if you do very well on admissions tests and get excellent predictions


Thanks. How about Keele University? I’m pretty sure I fit their entry requirements as an L2D is the same as a grade 7 but I’m not exactly sure.
Reply 4
Original post by alphamedic
If you do really well in your A levels and UCAT, there are plenty of options where your GCSEs will not be an issue - including Russell Group unis, though this makes no difference at all for med.
Just avoid those that score GCSEs, but Cambridge, Newcastle, Imperial, UCL, SGUL, Southampton, Aberdeen, ARU, BSMS, Edge Hill, Exeter, Plymouth, Glasgow are all options if you do very well on admissions tests and get excellent predictions


Thanks. How about Keele University? I’m pretty sure I fit their entry requirements as an L2D is the same as a grade 7 but I’m not exactly sure.
Keele need 5+ a/7 at GCSE. I don't know if your L2D would be counted for this, so contact them and ask
Reply 5
Here is what the MSC have said:

2018 entry:
A minimum of five full GCSEs or equivalent level-2 qualifications at grade
A, with a minimum of grade B required in English Language, Maths, and double-award science, triple-award science or three separate sciences.
A minimum of five Scottish National 5 qualifications at grade A, with a minimum of grade B required in English Language, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.


2024 entry:
GCSE or Scottish National 5: minimum of five at grade 7/A or higher; English language, maths and sciences (combined science or biology, chemistry & physics) must be achieved at a minimum of grade 6/B.

They basically are the same but the wording is different so I’m really confused if my grades fit the entry requirements or not.
Original post by alphamedic
Here is what the MSC have said:

2018 entry:
A minimum of five full GCSEs or equivalent level-2 qualifications at grade
A, with a minimum of grade B required in English Language, Maths, and double-award science, triple-award science or three separate sciences.
A minimum of five Scottish National 5 qualifications at grade A, with a minimum of grade B required in English Language, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.


2024 entry:
GCSE or Scottish National 5: minimum of five at grade 7/A or higher; English language, maths and sciences (combined science or biology, chemistry & physics) must be achieved at a minimum of grade 6/B.

They basically are the same but the wording is different so I’m really confused if my grades fit the entry requirements or not.

you always go with the latest so 2024 is more upto date they update it every year best way to know is email the school you will probably get a response late next week or the following week as they are on break
Reply 7
Original post by lilysilly_5454
Original post by alphamedic
Here is what the MSC have said:

2018 entry:
A minimum of five full GCSEs or equivalent level-2 qualifications at grade
A, with a minimum of grade B required in English Language, Maths, and double-award science, triple-award science or three separate sciences.
A minimum of five Scottish National 5 qualifications at grade A, with a minimum of grade B required in English Language, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.


2024 entry:
GCSE or Scottish National 5: minimum of five at grade 7/A or higher; English language, maths and sciences (combined science or biology, chemistry & physics) must be achieved at a minimum of grade 6/B.

They basically are the same but the wording is different so I’m really confused if my grades fit the entry requirements or not.

you always go with the latest so 2024 is more upto date they update it every year best way to know is email the school you will probably get a response late next week or the following week as they are on break


Thanks. I’m just worried because Keele is my main choice of schools as it is by far the most convenient for me and I like their course style but if I don’t fit their entry requirements I’m kinda screwed.
Original post by alphamedic
you always go with the latest so 2024 is more upto date they update it every year best way to know is email the school you will probably get a response late next week or the following week as they are on break


Thanks. I’m just worried because Keele is my main choice of schools as it is by far the most convenient for me and I like their course style but if I don’t fit their entry requirements I’m kinda screwed.
Its not that bad even if you dont meet it you get over it i was thinking keele for awhile but got over it when i realised i dont meet the requirements i thought about it and i just want to study medicine and dont care too much about the school or i wont really set anything in stone until i have my ucat results and make a list of schools i can apply to ill be picky then
Reply 9
Original post by alphamedic
Hello, this is my first (and hopefully last) time posting on the medicine forum. I'm a year 12 student and I am really wanting to study medicine and become a doctor in the future. However my GCSE grades aren't going to be competitive at all when I apply next year (I'm not a contextual student btw, and probably won't fit the criteria for foundation years):
8- RE
7- Biology
7- Chemistry
7- English Lit
6- English Lang
6- Maths
6- Physics
5- History
L2D- Business

I made my decision to apply for medicine at the beginning of year 12 so I don't have any long term volunteering, but I'm planning to do some in a hospital/care home environment. I've also got some hospital and care home work experience already. I'm planning to work really hard on my A-levels (biology, chemistry and physics), UCAT, personal statement interviews etc and I'm setting up my own medicine club at school and want do a bunch of unique supercurriculars/wider reading.

I'm just really worried that even if I do well on all this stuff, and apply strategically to schools that don't rank/score GCSES, I'm not going to get a place in medicine because my GCSE grades aren't competitive at all (I don't wanna say bad but that is the truth ig).

Also my parents know that I want to get into medicine and they say they support me but they constantly remind me that I got low GCSEs and they say I can never make it into top schools (I'm not even planning on applying to Russell groups, I'm at least that self aware) so it really brings my confidence down (this is actually the reason I'm posting this)

Although there are many challenges to face as a doctor, I want to work hard and dedicate my time to the study of medicine and hopefully getting to treat patients. I just want advice from anyone who has applied with low GCSES/is applying because I don't want to delude myself into thinking I have a chance if I really don't, and save myself the pain of rejection. I don't want to study anything else other than medicine, but if I don't even have a chance I would to find out now.

Thanks for reading, please offer advice if you can and have a happy new year -alphamedic

Honestly those aren’t too bad at all, I don’t have the number system but I think those translate to about an A*, 3 A, 3B, 1 B/C and I’m not sure about the Distinction one. You also did well in Chem and Bio. I’d say as others have mentioned don’t apply to schools who weigh GCSEs a lot like Cardiff and Oxford. I know you said you weren’t thinking much about Russel group unis, but I’m sure some of them would be ok to apply for if you really want to (I’d avoid Cambridge and the big London unis tho since they tend to be extremely competitive and high requirements). It’s not impossible by any means. Just try to get some volunteering and work experience in the next few months, do best you can in school to get good predicated grades and revise well for the admissions tests. Once you know these factors you’ll know how competitive you can be. There are so many unis you can try for Medicine that aren’t Russel Group so it is pretty open. Plus you seem to be doing well with super curriculars and stuff (I’ve also got a medicine club so if you could give me any tips on activities please do!). And if you still really feel like you don’t think you have a chance there are other allied healthcare careers you can go down such as nursing which aren’t as competitive academically.
just to clarify you can apply to Cambridge (wouldnt recommend unless you went to a bad secondary school) However you can apply to every single London university apart from kcl it scores gcses, london unis are competitive but gcses arent what does that its alevels and ucat/ previously bmat results ik someone in ucl with the exact same gcse results as you also for medicine Russel group even without medicine russel group doesnt matter all medical schools are equal
Reply 11
Original post by study23!
Original post by alphamedic
Hello, this is my first (and hopefully last) time posting on the medicine forum. I'm a year 12 student and I am really wanting to study medicine and become a doctor in the future. However my GCSE grades aren't going to be competitive at all when I apply next year (I'm not a contextual student btw, and probably won't fit the criteria for foundation years):
8- RE
7- Biology
7- Chemistry
7- English Lit
6- English Lang
6- Maths
6- Physics
5- History
L2D- Business

I made my decision to apply for medicine at the beginning of year 12 so I don't have any long term volunteering, but I'm planning to do some in a hospital/care home environment. I've also got some hospital and care home work experience already. I'm planning to work really hard on my A-levels (biology, chemistry and physics), UCAT, personal statement interviews etc and I'm setting up my own medicine club at school and want do a bunch of unique supercurriculars/wider reading.

I'm just really worried that even if I do well on all this stuff, and apply strategically to schools that don't rank/score GCSES, I'm not going to get a place in medicine because my GCSE grades aren't competitive at all (I don't wanna say bad but that is the truth ig).

Also my parents know that I want to get into medicine and they say they support me but they constantly remind me that I got low GCSEs and they say I can never make it into top schools (I'm not even planning on applying to Russell groups, I'm at least that self aware) so it really brings my confidence down (this is actually the reason I'm posting this)

Although there are many challenges to face as a doctor, I want to work hard and dedicate my time to the study of medicine and hopefully getting to treat patients. I just want advice from anyone who has applied with low GCSES/is applying because I don't want to delude myself into thinking I have a chance if I really don't, and save myself the pain of rejection. I don't want to study anything else other than medicine, but if I don't even have a chance I would to find out now.

Thanks for reading, please offer advice if you can and have a happy new year -alphamedic

Honestly those aren’t too bad at all, I don’t have the number system but I think those translate to about an A*, 3 A, 3B, 1 B/C and I’m not sure about the Distinction one. You also did well in Chem and Bio. I’d say as others have mentioned don’t apply to schools who weigh GCSEs a lot like Cardiff and Oxford. I know you said you weren’t thinking much about Russel group unis, but I’m sure some of them would be ok to apply for if you really want to (I’d avoid Cambridge and the big London unis tho since they tend to be extremely competitive and high requirements). It’s not impossible by any means. Just try to get some volunteering and work experience in the next few months, do best you can in school to get good predicated grades and revise well for the admissions tests. Once you know these factors you’ll know how competitive you can be. There are so many unis you can try for Medicine that aren’t Russel Group so it is pretty open. Plus you seem to be doing well with super curriculars and stuff (I’ve also got a medicine club so if you could give me any tips on activities please do!). And if you still really feel like you don’t think you have a chance there are other allied healthcare careers you can go down such as nursing which aren’t as competitive academically.


Thanks. I guess in the future I’ll have a clearer idea of where to apply. I’m starting the medicine club in January so I’m just planning to make a medicine application timeline and so some stuff about medical ethics and research some good book recommendations e.g. This Is Going To Hurt. I’m doing it by myself so it’s pretty difficult but as long as you’re helping people and showing some initiative I think that’s important.

A Level 2 Distinction at GCSE is equivalent to an A/7, meaning I’d have a total of 5 GCSEs at a grade A which is what Keele wants. I also fit their other minimum GCSE requirements. Do you think this counts?
Reply 12
Original post by lilysilly_5454
just to clarify you can apply to Cambridge (wouldnt recommend unless you went to a bad secondary school) However you can apply to every single London university apart from kcl it scores gcses, london unis are competitive but gcses arent what does that its alevels and ucat/ previously bmat results ik someone in ucl with the exact same gcse results as you also for medicine Russel group even without medicine russel group doesnt matter all medical schools are equal


It’s funny cause from the start of the year up until recently I was so set on Cambridge and doing a traditional course, but every applicant is probably gonna have straight 9s so there’s no point. I know at the end of the day if I get in I’ll become a doctor and that is most important I was just thinking that if I got into Cambridge and studied there it would be easier for me to go abroad e.g. Australia since they would see that I went to Cambridge?
Reply 13
Original post by alphamedic
Original post by study23!
Original post by alphamedic
Hello, this is my first (and hopefully last) time posting on the medicine forum. I'm a year 12 student and I am really wanting to study medicine and become a doctor in the future. However my GCSE grades aren't going to be competitive at all when I apply next year (I'm not a contextual student btw, and probably won't fit the criteria for foundation years):
8- RE
7- Biology
7- Chemistry
7- English Lit
6- English Lang
6- Maths
6- Physics
5- History
L2D- Business

I made my decision to apply for medicine at the beginning of year 12 so I don't have any long term volunteering, but I'm planning to do some in a hospital/care home environment. I've also got some hospital and care home work experience already. I'm planning to work really hard on my A-levels (biology, chemistry and physics), UCAT, personal statement interviews etc and I'm setting up my own medicine club at school and want do a bunch of unique supercurriculars/wider reading.

I'm just really worried that even if I do well on all this stuff, and apply strategically to schools that don't rank/score GCSES, I'm not going to get a place in medicine because my GCSE grades aren't competitive at all (I don't wanna say bad but that is the truth ig).

Also my parents know that I want to get into medicine and they say they support me but they constantly remind me that I got low GCSEs and they say I can never make it into top schools (I'm not even planning on applying to Russell groups, I'm at least that self aware) so it really brings my confidence down (this is actually the reason I'm posting this)

Although there are many challenges to face as a doctor, I want to work hard and dedicate my time to the study of medicine and hopefully getting to treat patients. I just want advice from anyone who has applied with low GCSES/is applying because I don't want to delude myself into thinking I have a chance if I really don't, and save myself the pain of rejection. I don't want to study anything else other than medicine, but if I don't even have a chance I would to find out now.

Thanks for reading, please offer advice if you can and have a happy new year -alphamedic

Honestly those aren’t too bad at all, I don’t have the number system but I think those translate to about an A*, 3 A, 3B, 1 B/C and I’m not sure about the Distinction one. You also did well in Chem and Bio. I’d say as others have mentioned don’t apply to schools who weigh GCSEs a lot like Cardiff and Oxford. I know you said you weren’t thinking much about Russel group unis, but I’m sure some of them would be ok to apply for if you really want to (I’d avoid Cambridge and the big London unis tho since they tend to be extremely competitive and high requirements). It’s not impossible by any means. Just try to get some volunteering and work experience in the next few months, do best you can in school to get good predicated grades and revise well for the admissions tests. Once you know these factors you’ll know how competitive you can be. There are so many unis you can try for Medicine that aren’t Russel Group so it is pretty open. Plus you seem to be doing well with super curriculars and stuff (I’ve also got a medicine club so if you could give me any tips on activities please do!). And if you still really feel like you don’t think you have a chance there are other allied healthcare careers you can go down such as nursing which aren’t as competitive academically.


Thanks. I guess in the future I’ll have a clearer idea of where to apply. I’m starting the medicine club in January so I’m just planning to make a medicine application timeline and so some stuff about medical ethics and research some good book recommendations e.g. This Is Going To Hurt. I’m doing it by myself so it’s pretty difficult but as long as you’re helping people and showing some initiative I think that’s important.

A Level 2 Distinction at GCSE is equivalent to an A/7, meaning I’d have a total of 5 GCSEs at a grade A which is what Keele wants. I also fit their other minimum GCSE requirements. Do you think this counts?


At this point I think I’m just trying to convince myself that my GCSEs fit the entry requirements
Reply 14
Original post by alphamedic
Honestly those aren’t too bad at all, I don’t have the number system but I think those translate to about an A*, 3 A, 3B, 1 B/C and I’m not sure about the Distinction one. You also did well in Chem and Bio. I’d say as others have mentioned don’t apply to schools who weigh GCSEs a lot like Cardiff and Oxford. I know you said you weren’t thinking much about Russel group unis, but I’m sure some of them would be ok to apply for if you really want to (I’d avoid Cambridge and the big London unis tho since they tend to be extremely competitive and high requirements). It’s not impossible by any means. Just try to get some volunteering and work experience in the next few months, do best you can in school to get good predicated grades and revise well for the admissions tests. Once you know these factors you’ll know how competitive you can be. There are so many unis you can try for Medicine that aren’t Russel Group so it is pretty open. Plus you seem to be doing well with super curriculars and stuff (I’ve also got a medicine club so if you could give me any tips on activities please do!). And if you still really feel like you don’t think you have a chance there are other allied healthcare careers you can go down such as nursing which aren’t as competitive academically.


Thanks. I guess in the future I’ll have a clearer idea of where to apply. I’m starting the medicine club in January so I’m just planning to make a medicine application timeline and so some stuff about medical ethics and research some good book recommendations e.g. This Is Going To Hurt. I’m doing it by myself so it’s pretty difficult but as long as you’re helping people and showing some initiative I think that’s important.

A Level 2 Distinction at GCSE is equivalent to an A/7, meaning I’d have a total of 5 GCSEs at a grade A which is what Keele wants. I also fit their other minimum GCSE requirements. Do you think this counts?
That probably counts, I think you can email their admissions office to check. And thanks for the tips on the club 😊
Reply 15
Original post by study23!


Thanks. I guess in the future I’ll have a clearer idea of where to apply. I’m starting the medicine club in January so I’m just planning to make a medicine application timeline and so some stuff about medical ethics and research some good book recommendations e.g. This Is Going To Hurt. I’m doing it by myself so it’s pretty difficult but as long as you’re helping people and showing some initiative I think that’s important.

A Level 2 Distinction at GCSE is equivalent to an A/7, meaning I’d have a total of 5 GCSEs at a grade A which is what Keele wants. I also fit their other minimum GCSE requirements. Do you think this counts?

That probably counts, I think you can email their admissions office to check. And thanks for the tips on the club 😊

No problem. Are you also in Year 12?
Reply 16
Original post by alphamedic
That probably counts, I think you can email their admissions office to check. And thanks for the tips on the club 😊


No problem. Are you also in Year 12?
No problem. Yes I’m also year 12 😊

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