A101 BM Medicine (BM4, graduate entry) (4 yrs)

Our BM4 course enables graduates in any subject to achieve a BM degree in four years, drawing on existing knowledge, skills, understanding and life experiences. The programme leads to a qualification that allows graduates to register provisionally with the General Medical Council (GMC).

Programme Overview

Medical students need to study a wide range of science and social science disciplines that underpin medical knowledge, understanding and practice. The BM4 curriculum has been designed to encourage students to link their knowledge and understanding across disciplines and to integrate the theory and practice of medicine. The additional skills and life experience bought by graduates to the course have enabled the development of an innovative curriculum which will enable achievement of the BM degree in four years.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All applications must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) by 15th October in the year prior to entry. For more information see Entry requirements and How to apply.

We are unable to consider transfer applications for any of the BM programmes.

Programme Structure

In the first two years the curriculum is based on a series of clinical topics. You will have the opportunity to undertake clinical placements, group work (in graduate groups) and lectures, which link directly to each of the clinical topics.

Four levels of biological organisation will help you to structure your learning around clinical topics, running from cells and molecules to the population and society.

Three themes - Communication, Diversity and Teamworking, Leadership and Patient Safety- underpin the curriculum and relate directly to medical practice.

The graduate groups meet on a regular basis and focus on the relevant clinical topics. For each topic you will work in your group with a facilitator. At the beginning of each clinical topic the groups discuss related written or video resources alongside the learning outcomes for the week, allowing you to organise your learning accordingly.

In the first two years the normal University academic year will apply, except for a two-week clinical attachment, plus an additional two days. The first two years have some aspects in common with problem-based learning (PBL) courses. For example, you will work in your graduate group to plan how you will achieve the learning objectives. However, not all clinical topics are based on cases outlined on paper: some use video material, whilst real patients contribute to others.

During years three and four you will work alongside BM5 students on clinical attachments. In the second half of the degree, for both the BM4 and the BM5 programmes, the holidays are shorter, but with at least four weeks break over the summer.

Clinical experience in years one and two

Your experience will comprise two or three clinical sessions each week in both hospital and community settings. You will undertake hospital clinical work at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, which employs dedicated clinical teaching staff. The placements focus on relevant clinical topics, but you will be able to take advantage of other learning opportunities. These sessions will help you to develop your clinical skills and to see clinical work in practice.

Key facts

    • Four-year programme
    • Explicit links to clinical topics from year one
    • Clinical work from the outset, in a dedicated hospital clinical base
    • Regular group work in the first two years
    • Clinical apprenticeship in the final year

“The BM4 course contains all the best elements from a problem-based learning course, with additional lectures and integrated clinical experience from day one. My study at Southampton and Winchester has been a wholly positive experience, as they are both friendly, welcoming places with excellent resources, and help is available whenever it’s needed.”

Susan Baker, BM4 student

Entry requirement

Typical entry requirements


A minimum grade C in mathematics, English and double award science (or equivalent). You may offer qualifications which are equivalent to GCSE.

A Levels:

Chemistry at grade C or above.  Alternatively, AS level chemistry and biology/human biology at grade C or above.


An upper second-class honours degree in any subject.

We expect graduate students to have developed effective study and academic skills which will enable you to complete an accelerated medical programme. This includes the ability to think critically.

Every graduate, whether with an arts or science degree, brings a unique set of knowledge, skills and understanding to the programme.

For example, graduates with science, arts and humanities degrees will share their knowledge and understanding in the discussion of an individual patient's experience of illness from a range of different but equally valuable perspectives.

All graduates on the BM4 and BM5 programmes are selected on the basis that they will have sufficient science knowledge and understanding to cope with their studies, and the science requirements are identical.

Non-academic entry requirements

In addition to academic entry requirements, during the selection process, the selectors will look at your UCAS personal statement and reference for evidence of non-academic criteria.

You will be asked to demonstrate that you:

  • are self-motivated and have initiative
  • are literate and articulate
  • are able to interact successfully with others
  • have learnt from your experiences of interacting with people in health or social care settings - this may draw on what you have learnt from your own life experiences (e.g. friends and family), or from more formalised activity (e.g. paid or voluntary work, or work shadowing)

In addition you will need to show you understand and respect the NHS values.  The NHS constitution outlines the values of those working in the NHS and our selection methods aim to identify people who have those values of compassion, team working and  treating others with respect and dignity.

UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)

All applicants to the BM programmes are required to take the UKCAT in the summer prior to making an application. Any applicant who has not taken the UKCAT will not have their application considered further.

The UKCAT focuses on exploring your cognitive powers, as well as other attributes considered valuable for healthcare professionals. If your application to medical school is not successful and you re-apply the following year, you will be required to re-sit the UKCAT.

Find out more about how the score is used.

For further information on the UKCAT please visit their website.

EU applicants

EU applicants are expected to fulfil the same academic and non-academic criteria as home applicants, and you can do so through a wide range of qualifications.

If you are an EU applicant and English is not your first language, you should offer one of the University of Southampton's recognised tests in English language. Test scores must date from the last two years. Your score should be equivalent to IELTS 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 7.0 in each component.

Offers to EU students are made from the UK quota. 

International applicants are not eligible to apply for this programme.

Selection process:

No more than four choices from the possible five available through UCAS should be used for medicine programmes. The remaining choices can be used for alternative courses (without prejudice to your application) when applying to Southampton. You may apply for more than one of our BM programmes (e.g. BM5 and BM6, or BM4 and BM5), but these would count as two choices for medicine.

For full details of the UCAS application process please visit

Please note that there is an application fee.

Our Selection Process is changing.  Once details of the process are available the information will be published on our website

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

You will study on the programme over four years full-time which leads to a qualification that will allow you to gain provisional registration as a medical practitioner with the GMC.

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

The first two years are made up of four university semesters (30 weeks) with three additional weeks in year two for a full-time clinical attachment and an ethics and law course. Years three and four occupy 44 and 40 weeks respectively.

The curriculum is made up of core material and other areas where you have some choice over what you study. These are called Student Selected Units (SSUs) and appear in years two, three and four.

Learning and teaching

Clinical topics in the first two years

In the first two years the curriculum has been designed around a series of clinical topics and these form the framework for learning. You will undertake clinical placements, group work (Graduate Groups), lectures and practical sessions which directly link to each of the clinical topics. Four levels of biological organisation, running from cells and molecules to the population and society, aim to help you structure your learning around and between clinical topics. Four themes, communication, ethics and law, working with diversity and leadership and team working underpin the whole of the curriculum and relate directly to medical practice.

Substantial clinical experience in the first two years

You will have 2-3 clinical sessions each week in both hospital and community settings.
There is a clinical base for BM4 students in the hospital at Winchester where there are identified clinical teaching staff, and a range of general practices is also involved. The clinical sessions allow you to observe medical care related to the relevant clinical topic, and also to begin to develop your clinical skills. You are also able to follow up areas of interest and take advantage of other learning opportunities.

Graduate Groups

You will meet on a regular basis with other students in a Graduate Group, working on the relevant clinical topics with a facilitator. A substantial amount of work will take place in these groups. At the beginning of each clinical topic you will discuss 'trigger' material to help you understand what you need to learn and why, agree in the group on the learning outcomes to be worked on, and then organise your learning around these.

Learning with BM5 students

In the first two years you will attend some lectures and other teaching sessions with the BM5 students. In the third and fourth years you will work alongside the BM5 students on all your clinical attachments, and will take the same examinations.

Dispersed final year attachments and work shadowing

In your final year you will attend, in rotation, clinical attachments based in a variety of NHS Trusts outside Southampton. After your final examination, prior to starting work as a Foundation Year 1 doctor, you will have an opportunity to shadow a doctor already in this post.

Inter-professional learning

Another innovative theme of this programme is leadership and team working which includes interprofessional learning. The New Generation Project Common Learning Programme (CLP) involves medical students learning alongside other student health and social care professional groups including nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, social work, radiography, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry. There are three Interprofessional Learning (IPL) Units which are positioned and integrated across the five year programme.

The learning structured around clinical topics has some features in common with problem-based learning (PBL) courses; for example, you will work in Graduate Groups focusing on the learning outcomes. However, unlike most PBL programmes, not all learning about the clinical topics is triggered by cases outlined on paper: some may use actual patients or video material. A range of resources are available to help you; for example, people who are available to support your learning, and web-based resources.


All students are allocated a personal tutor, in addition to a pastoral tutor associated with each cohort. A range of learning and web-based resources are available to support you in your academic work.

Responsibilities of Southampton Medical Students

A medical student is studying not only for a university degree but also a professional qualification. Upon successful completion of the training he/she will not only have the BM degree but also be able to practise as a doctor. The training, therefore, is conducted in an environment that requires medical students to behave throughout their training in ways that are consistent with the principles of medical professional practice. Find out more

Career Opportunities

Once you have successfully completed your programme, you can register provisionally with the GMC and progress to employment in the NHS and the Foundation Programme (a two-year training programme for newly qualified doctors).

As part of Medicine you will be able to take advantage of exciting opportunities to work with other healthcare professionals, which will be invaluable as you prepare to join the healthcare teams of the future.

Whether you choose to be a physician or a surgeon, a general practitioner or a clinical scientist, or you follow any other path, our degrees represent the first stage in a rewarding career as a doctor. Each programme provides a comprehensive and balanced curriculum to enable you to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge that you will need as a newly qualified doctor.