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Medicine with low GCSEs - Access to Medicine route

I am wondering if there is a possibility to do Medicine with (genuinely) bad GCSE grades from 5 years ago, and I plan on resitting eng lang and maths. I'm a mature student (going to be 22 when I begin University in 2025).

GCSEs:
English Language - 5 (resitting this year to bump up to 6+)
English Language - 5
Music - 6
Spanish - 7
Mathematics - 4 (resitting this year to bump up to 6+)
Science - 4/5
History - 3 (...)
Drama - 5

I'm entering an access to he medicine course after already doing an access to nursing course (which has mostly similar biology modules and assignments) in which I got mostly distinction. Also when researching my uni options post access course I've noticed they have way lower/fewer requirements for mature students doing access courses which gives me a hint of hope.

If I ace my Access to Medicine course, increase my English Language and Mathematics and get a high score on my UCAT do I stand a chance?

I'm considering applying to:
University of Exeter
University of Southampton
University of Bristol
King's College (a reach I'm aware)
St. George's

If anyone has gone into medicine from an access to medicine course or with lower GCSE grades, I'd love to know how you did this etc!

Thank you!
Hey there, thanks for posting a question in the Medicine forum. :biggrin:

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Megathreads
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The "Which Medical School Should I Apply To?" Uberthread
The Ultimate 'Am I Good Enough For Medicine?' Angst Thread
Medicine A-Level subjects queries
Work Experience and Voluntary Work

2023 Applicants:
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2023 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2023 Entry
Medicine 2023 entry for resit / retake / gap year applicants
A100 Medicine for International Students 2023 Entry
Medicine Interview discussion 2023 Entry
2023 entry A100 / A101 Medicine fastest and slowest offer senders
Index of Individual Medical School Applicants' threads 2023 Entry

2024 Applicants :
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2024 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2024 Entry
GAMSAT 2024 / 2025 entry discussions megathread
UCAT 2024 Entry Discussions Megathread
Medicine 2024 entry for resit / retake / gap year applicants
A100 Medicine for International Students 2024 Entry
Medicine Interview Discussion 2024 Entry
2024 entry A100 / A101 Medicine fastest and slowest offer senders
Medical Schools Index 2024 Entry

2025 Applicants :
Official Thread: (Undergraduate) Medicine 2025 entry
Official Thread: Graduate Entry Medicine 2025 Entry
GAMSAT 2025 / 2026 entry discussions megathread
UCAT 2025 Entry Discussions Megathread


Other application years:
Official Thread: (Undergraduate) Medicine 2026 entry
Official Thread: Graduate Entry Medicine 2026 Entry

Useful Articles:
GCSE Requirements for Medicine
Everything you need to know about the BMAT
Work Experience as a Graduate or Mature student
Medicine Personal Statement Advice
Medicine Personal Statement Advice (Graduate Entry)
Interview Frequently Asked Questions
MMI Medicine Interview Tips
What to do after an unsuccessful first application
Funding medicine as a second degree

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Reply 2
Original post by leleupage
I am wondering if there is a possibility to do Medicine with (genuinely) bad GCSE grades from 5 years ago, and I plan on resitting eng lang and maths. I'm a mature student (going to be 22 when I begin University in 2025).
GCSEs:
English Language - 5 (resitting this year to bump up to 6+)
English Language - 5
Music - 6
Spanish - 7
Mathematics - 4 (resitting this year to bump up to 6+)
Science - 4/5
History - 3 (...)
Drama - 5
I'm entering an access to he medicine course after already doing an access to nursing course (which has mostly similar biology modules and assignments) in which I got mostly distinction. Also when researching my uni options post access course I've noticed they have way lower/fewer requirements for mature students doing access courses which gives me a hint of hope.
If I ace my Access to Medicine course, increase my English Language and Mathematics and get a high score on my UCAT do I stand a chance?
I'm considering applying to:
University of Exeter
University of Southampton
University of Bristol
King's College (a reach I'm aware)
St. George's
If anyone has gone into medicine from an access to medicine course or with lower GCSE grades, I'd love to know how you did this etc!
Thank you!

Hi,
I am in a similar situation and wondering whether taking a access to medicine course while re doing gcses is worth it.

Please do let me know if you get a response!!
Reply 3
Original post by Zainab93
Hi,
I am in a similar situation and wondering whether taking a access to medicine course while re doing gcses is worth it.
Please do let me know if you get a response!!

Hi, I've decided to actually take a year to properly get my GCSEs out of the way and UCAT (summer of 2025 for 2026 entry) and then get into my access course in September 2025! It's an added year however I believe it's worth it for the outcome and higher chances of things going my way if I take it slower!
Original post by leleupage
I am wondering if there is a possibility to do Medicine with (genuinely) bad GCSE grades from 5 years ago, and I plan on resitting eng lang and maths. I'm a mature student (going to be 22 when I begin University in 2025).
GCSEs:
English Language - 5 (resitting this year to bump up to 6+)
English Language - 5
Music - 6
Spanish - 7
Mathematics - 4 (resitting this year to bump up to 6+)
Science - 4/5
History - 3 (...)
Drama - 5
I'm entering an access to he medicine course after already doing an access to nursing course (which has mostly similar biology modules and assignments) in which I got mostly distinction. Also when researching my uni options post access course I've noticed they have way lower/fewer requirements for mature students doing access courses which gives me a hint of hope.
If I ace my Access to Medicine course, increase my English Language and Mathematics and get a high score on my UCAT do I stand a chance?
I'm considering applying to:
University of Exeter
University of Southampton
University of Bristol
King's College (a reach I'm aware)
St. George's
If anyone has gone into medicine from an access to medicine course or with lower GCSE grades, I'd love to know how you did this etc!
Thank you!

Keep persisting! Just know that there IS a possibility - a very slim one but still, don’t give up!! Also, some unis provide foundation years and then the standard 5 years - there are certain requirements though eg. Living in a rough area, bad school, poverty ect.
If that is not applicable to you then you could try do bio med and then transfer to medicine.
Hope that helps!!
Reply 5
Original post by Jasmine6789
Keep persisting! Just know that there IS a possibility - a very slim one but still, don’t give up!! Also, some unis provide foundation years and then the standard 5 years - there are certain requirements though eg. Living in a rough area, bad school, poverty ect.
If that is not applicable to you then you could try do bio med and then transfer to medicine.
Hope that helps!!

You're right! However, access course GCSE entry requirements for medicine are lesser than A level applicants because Access is for mature students etc! So Exeter for example only requires a 6 in English language (in regards to GCSEs) but just needs a higher UCAT score! And luckily I've gotten into contact with Access to Med students and many if not most have gotten into medical school which is encouraging. I am taking an extra year off to achieve my GCSEs and my UCAT to give myself a better chance so fingers crossed!

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