A100 BMBS Medicine and BMedSc (BM5) (5 yrs)

Our BM5 programme is an established undergraduate degree course, which is taught full-time over five years and leads to a qualification that allows graduates to register provisionally with the General Medical Council (GMC). The BMBS degree (equivalent to MBBS and MBChB) is recognised by the GMC in line with all other medical qualifications from UK medical schools.

Programme Overview

Our integrated, systems-based BM5 and BMedSc course is distinctive in many ways.  You will learn from contact with patients in a variety of clinical settings from the first few weeks of your course.

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 the Entry requirements tab on this page and How to apply. 

Programme Structure

In the first two years you will learn about the major physiological systems of the body and within each system, you will integrate your learning of anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, physiology, pharmacology, the social sciences and public health medicine in a clinical context.

You will undertake student selected units in medical humanities and public health interventions, and a Research module to prepare you for your year 3 research project. in Year 2 you will undertake a placement as a Healthcare Support Worker to gain insight into multi-professional team working in hospitals

In year three you will undertake a research study; choosing a topic from a wide variety of disciplines, with either a clinical, biomedical, educational or social sciences basis, working in the University research labs, hospital wards, general practices or in the community. You will then undertake clinical placements in hospitals and general practice in the Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester areas. The focus will be on the effects of clinical disorders on patients and their families, continuing the development of your clinical abilities and the reinforcement of systems courses and social science teaching.  On successful completion of this year you will be awarded a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSc) award

In year four you will undertake placements in a range of clinical specialities in Southampton and a range of hospitals around the region.  

In your final year you will gain experience in a wide range of hospitals, communities and general practices in the south of England and have an opportunity to undertake an elective placement in an area of your choice. You will be attached to a variety of clinical teams on an apprenticeship basis, learning the skills required to begin your Foundation Programme. Your Final examination will be taken in the spring, after which you will undertake a compulsory "preparing for practice" phase of the programme to ensure you are ready to start work before graduation.

We provide many opportunities for medical students to work and learn alongside other health professional students during their clinical placements.

Clinical experience 

In years one and two you will have contact with patients in hospitals, in general practices and in their own homes, and you will learn to take a medical history and examine patients as part of the Medicine in Practice course. In year two you will be on a regular placement working as part of the healthcare team as a Healthcare Support Worker. In years three, four and five, clinical attachments form a significant part of the programme.

Intercalated degree 

In addition there are a limited number of places available for BM5/6 medical students who wish to take an intercalated classified honours master's level degree (Master in Medical Science). Studying for the intercalated master's degree takes place between years three and four, extending the BM programme by one year. Applicants will be selected on the basis of their performance during the BM programme. This provides a particular opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career as a Clinical Academic doctor.

Key facts

    • Integrated, systems-based method of teaching
    • Clinical work from the first few weeks of the programme
    • Opportunity to work with other health professionals
    • An in-depth study
    • Clinical apprenticeship

Entry requirement

Typical entry requirements


A minimum of seven GCSEs at grade A, including mathematics, English Language and double award science (or equivalent). You may offer qualifications which are equivalent to GCSE. (Please view the Acceptable Qualifications section in our Prospectus or contact the Medicine Admissions Office for further information).

Mature non-graduate applicants

Non-graduate applicants over the age of 21 are expected to offer the following: 

GCSEs: A minimum grade C in mathematics, English Language and double award science (or equivalent). You may offer qualifications which are equivalent to GCSE. (Please view the Acceptable Qualifications section in our Prospectus[SA1] or contact the Medicine Admissions Office for further information).

 [SA1]Include link

A Levels:

AAA, including chemistry and biology, plus either grade A at AS Level in a subject not studied at A2 or grade A in the Extended Project Qualification. General studies and critical thinking are not accepted. Subjects with material that overlaps (e.g. human biology/sports studies/physical education) may not be offered in combination at A2 level.

Graduate applicants

Degree: An upper second-class honours degree in any subject. For further information regarding your first degree, please visit our BM4 page.

A levels: Chemistry at grade C or above.  Alternatively, AS level chemistry and biology/human biology at grade C or above where chemistry has not been taken to A2.

GCSEs or equivalent: A minimum grade C in mathematics, English and double award science (or equivalent).  You may offer qualifications which are equivalent to GCSE (Please view the Acceptable Qualifications section in our Prospectus or contact the Medicine Admissions Office for further information).

Non-academic entry requirements

In addition to academic entry requirements, you will be assessed against our non academic criteria.

Applicants must be able to show they:

– Are self-motivated and resilient

– Have reflected on and learnt from life experiences (this may include, work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings)

– Can communicate effectively

– Are able to interact successfully with others

– Can demonstrate an understanding of the values of the NHS constitution

UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)

Applicants are ranked by UKCAT score and invited to a Selection Day, provided they meet our academic criteria

Please note that the UKCAT score of those applicants attending a Selection Day varies year on year and as such it is not possible to give applicants an indication of the score that is required to attend a Selection Day.

For further information, please visit our UKCAT page.

EU and international applicants

EU and international 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 international or 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.  

As an international student you will be able to complete your undergraduate studies with a Tier 4 (General) student visa. 

On graduation you may apply to undertake a two-year Foundation Programme and apply to register with the GMC. You will still require a Tier 4 visa to undertake a Foundation programme.  For further information, please visit this link.

If you want to continue working in the UK after this you will need to change your immigration status to Tier 2 for which you will require a job offer from a Tier 2 licenced sponsor. Please see this link.

for more information about how to change your immigration status from Tier 4 to Tier 2.

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.

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


Typical course content

The programme is split into four distinct phases. The Fundamentals of Medicine phase takes place over the first two years and is made up of four University semesters; the Progression into Clinical Practice Phase takes place in year 3 and occupies 41 weeks. The Developing Clinical Practice phase takes place through Year 4 (37 weeks) and the first half of Year 5 and ends with the Year 5 examinations. The final phase - Preparing for Independent Practice - takes place in the second half of Year 5 and finishes with Graduation. Year 5 is of 47 weeks total duration.

The programme is modular; modules are assigned credits for the European Credit Transfer Scheme (ECTS). The programme is totally integrated to award the BM and BMedSc degree. The BMedSc degree can only be awarded alone as an exit degree. There are defined exit points with appropriate academic awards after successfully completing each year of the programme, which you may apply for if you leave the programme. All modules on the programme are core and must be passed in order to progress and graduate. There cannot be compensation between any modules in any part of the programme.

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

Learning and teaching

Teaching and Learning Methods

Teaching is integrated so that the natural, social and behavioural scientific disciplines are taught together in a clinical context. Three themes run through the programme: Communication, Diversity, and Team Working, Leadership and Patient Safety.

Specific teaching and learning methods used include: lectures, tutor led tutorials, practicals, guided self-study, problem solving scenarios, role play, projects, group work, portfolios, study packs, eLearning, patient-based learning.

Clinical teaching takes place from the start of the programme, and occurs in groups and singly in a wide variety of NHS and non-NHS settings.

Assessment methods

A range of assessment methods are used depending on the learning outcomes being assessed.

Coursework will include: essays, reports, posters, project reports and presentations. Examinations will include written tests and tests of clinical performance.

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

As a medical student, you will be able to take advantage of opportunities for multi-professional learning, which will be essential 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 knowledge, skills and professional attitudes and behaviours that you will need as a newly qualified doctor.

Outcome of the course

At the end of the undergraduate course you will receive your BMBS degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council, subject only to its acceptance that there are no Fitness to Practise concerns that need consideration. Provisional registration is time limited to a maximum of three years and 30 days (1125 days in total). After this time period your provisional registration will normally expire.

Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work. To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate course through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis. So far, all suitably qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme, but this cannot be guaranteed, for instance if there were to be an increased number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates.

Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You need full registration with a licence to practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.

Although this information is currently correct, students need to be aware that regulations in this area may change from time to time.

There is some discussion about whether to remove provisional registration for newly qualified doctors. If this happens then UK graduates will receive full registration as soon as they have successfully completed a BMBS (or equivalent) degree. It should be noted that it is very likely that UK graduates will still need to apply for a training programme similar to the current Foundation Programme and that places on this programme may not be guaranteed for every UK graduate.

In addition the GMC is currently considering whether to introduce a formal assessment that all doctors would need to pass in order to be granted full registration. Although no firm decision has been taken as to whether or when such an exam will be introduced applicants should be aware that the GMC envisages that future cohorts of medical students will need to pass parts of a new UK Medical Licensing Assessment before the GMC will grant them Registration with a Licence to Practise.