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Medicine with poor GCSE and A-Level

Hi all,
I'm in my 30s and have decided that after 12 years, I want to finally apply to GEM/ undergrad med in the UK. I didn't achieve great GCSEs or Alevels. I obtained a D in english language and sat applied sciences, not triple. I also got DDE in alevel but obtained a first class hons at uni in exercise science and then worked for several years as a physio assistant in the NHS before studying for the MSc in physio pre reg, where I obtained a distinction. Since then, I've worked as a specialist physiotherapist in both the UK and Australia. I was a late bloomer academically for sure.

Has anyone had experience where they've had really poor gcse / alevel grades and still got into GEM or even undergrad medicine with a background as a HCP? I don't really want to have to resit these exams as a mature student, I'd rather focus my attention on UKCAT and gamsat.

I know the university websites basically have an entry requirement section, but given my further degrees and experience in healthcare, I feel this could at least back up my application otherwise I'm limited to only 1-2 universities in the UK who don't consider A-levels / gcse in their prerequisite.
Thanks.
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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Medicine A-Level subjects queries
Work Experience and Voluntary Work

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Official Undergraduate 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

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Official Undergraduate Medicine 2024 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2024 Entry
GAMSAT 2024 / 2025 entry discussions megathread
UCAT 2024 Entry Discussions Megathread
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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

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


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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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Original post by Natoyle93$
Hi all,
I'm in my 30s and have decided that after 12 years, I want to finally apply to GEM/ undergrad med in the UK. I didn't achieve great GCSEs or Alevels. I obtained a D in english language and sat applied sciences, not triple. I also got DDE in alevel but obtained a first class hons at uni in exercise science and then worked for several years as a physio assistant in the NHS before studying for the MSc in physio pre reg, where I obtained a distinction. Since then, I've worked as a specialist physiotherapist in both the UK and Australia. I was a late bloomer academically for sure.
Has anyone had experience where they've had really poor gcse / alevel grades and still got into GEM or even undergrad medicine with a background as a HCP? I don't really want to have to resit these exams as a mature student, I'd rather focus my attention on UKCAT and gamsat.
I know the university websites basically have an entry requirement section, but given my further degrees and experience in healthcare, I feel this could at least back up my application otherwise I'm limited to only 1-2 universities in the UK who don't consider A-levels / gcse in their prerequisite.
Thanks.


Hiya, I did not get high enough grades to study medicine originally but if you have a degree with at least a 2.1 you are able to do medicine at some universities. I know some uk universities still require an A etc for example university of Bristol still requires an A in chemistry despite having a degree but there are lot of options even if you have lower alevel grades!
Reply 3
Original post by Natoyle93$
Hi all,
I'm in my 30s and have decided that after 12 years, I want to finally apply to GEM/ undergrad med in the UK. I didn't achieve great GCSEs or Alevels. I obtained a D in english language and sat applied sciences, not triple. I also got DDE in alevel but obtained a first class hons at uni in exercise science and then worked for several years as a physio assistant in the NHS before studying for the MSc in physio pre reg, where I obtained a distinction. Since then, I've worked as a specialist physiotherapist in both the UK and Australia. I was a late bloomer academically for sure.
Has anyone had experience where they've had really poor gcse / alevel grades and still got into GEM or even undergrad medicine with a background as a HCP? I don't really want to have to resit these exams as a mature student, I'd rather focus my attention on UKCAT and gamsat.
I know the university websites basically have an entry requirement section, but given my further degrees and experience in healthcare, I feel this could at least back up my application otherwise I'm limited to only 1-2 universities in the UK who don't consider A-levels / gcse in their prerequisite.
Thanks.

A minimum requirement is a minimum requirement, and if you don't meet it, you will be rejected. But there are quite a few GEM courses that do would be happy with your grades as they stand or just adding a 6 in Eng Lang and maths at GCSE.
Chester, Carlisle, Kings, Liverpool, Newcastle, nottingham, Barts (if your degree has enough science), SGUL. Swansea, Surrey, Warwick , Worcester, Ulster currently but they are reviewing it, possibly Soton, depended on your actual GCSEs.

So plenty of options but a few will require a resit of Eng Lang/maths GCSE
Reply 4
Original post by GANFYD
A minimum requirement is a minimum requirement, and if you don't meet it, you will be rejected. But there are quite a few GEM courses that do would be happy with your grades as they stand or just adding a 6 in Eng Lang and maths at GCSE.
Chester, Carlisle, Kings, Liverpool, Newcastle, nottingham, Barts (if your degree has enough science), SGUL. Swansea, Surrey, Warwick , Worcester, Ulster currently but they are reviewing it, possibly Soton, depended on your actual GCSEs.
So plenty of options but a few will require a resit of Eng Lang/maths GCSE


Thank you

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