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The University of Southampton
MedicineUndergraduate study

Frequently asked questions

Applying to study Medicine at Southampton? Here are some of our most frequently asked questions.

The Admissions process

Which programme should I apply for?

Details of all our programmes can be found on our website where prospective applicants can download our Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery Programmes Brochure

BM5 BMedSc - five-year programme
BM4 - four-year graduate entry programme
BM6 - six-year widening access programme. Eligibility criteria applies
BM (EU) BMedSc -five-year bilingual programme open to European students bilingual in German and English

What are your entry requirements?

For entry requirements for the BMBS programmes see our entry requirements page

How many places do you have?

Intakes: (BM5) 210; (BM4) 48; (BM6) 32; (BM(EU)) 24

What do you look for?

As well as academic criteria we also want to see evidence of non-academic criteria. Please view the entry requirements page.

How important is work experience, what do I need?

For our programmes you need to show you that you are motivated to study medicine and have the experience and personal qualities to be successful in this career. – Good evidence may include work experience, paid employment and personal experience, both in and outside health and social care settings. This might include helping to look after an ill family member or friend or could be voluntary/paid work or work shadowing. It can be difficult to obtain experience in a hospital setting so consider other settings such as a nursing home, homeless shelter, local hospice, work with people with special needs or a youth group.

All of the above applies to the BM(EU) but there is also a requirement for nursing experience.

Further information on entry requirements for the BM(EU) can be found at

Do you require an admissions test?

All applicants for BM4, BM5 and BM6 must undertake the UKCAT (Clinical Aptitude Test) . Find out more about how the UKCAT is used here

What if English is not my first language?

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you have reached a satisfactory standard in an approved English language test. We require an IELTS level of 7.0 overall with a 7.0 in each component, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University, achieved in the past two years.

Do I have to be 18 to apply for Medicine?

Due to early clinical contact, students must be a minimum of 18 years of age when they start our medical degree programmes.  Applicants who apply but are under 18 at the start of the programme will be considered for a deferred place or advised to reapply as appropriate. The start date is the beginning of induction.  There are no upper age limits.

The BMBS programmes

When will I get to see patients?

BM5, BM(EU) and BM4 - within the first few weeks of year one.

BM6 - in year zero you will go on day placements every other week usually as part of a pair or small group. Placements will take place in both primary and secondary care around the Southampton area.

Where will I be based?

BM6: In year zero students are taught on the Highfield Campus and Southampton General Hospital and attend placements in the local area.

BM5: In years one and two students are taught on Highfield campus and Southampton General Hospital. Students also undertake Medicine in Practice sessions at the hospital or local GP surgeries for which transport is provided. In year three, students undertake clinical placements in hospitals in Southampton, Winchester and Portsmouth. In fourth and final year students undertake clinical placements in hospitals across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Jersey, Surrey and Sussex.

BM4: In years one and two students are taught on Highfield campus and Southampton General Hospital and also attend Winchester Hospital one day per week, plus some sessions with GPs out at practices, for which transport is provided.   In the second half of year two, students are based at Basingstoke Hospital and undertake placements in Medicine, Surgery and Primary Medical Care at GP Practices. The year four and five clinical placements are undertaken in hospitals across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Jersey Surrey and Sussex. 

BM(EU): After their initial induction in Kassel, Germany, students are taught in the UK alongside BM5 students. In year three students return to Germany and for the next three years are mainly taught at Klinikum Kassel and other local health care facilities. BM(EU) students return to Southampton during years three and five for revision and assessments.

Can I choose where I do my attachments?

No. Students are allocated to a mixture of clinical attachments in order to give a variety of clinical settings, different hospitals and locations across the specialties.

What are the assessments like?

Students undertake a variety of assessments throughout the programmes - methods include in-course assignments; multiple choice papers; one-best answer papers; problem solving and short notes papers; spotters; clinical attachment assessments plus clinical examinations including Assessments of Clinical Competence (ACC) and OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examinations). Students also undertake assessments for a variety of student-selected units, and will be assessed on their group work and by their peers at various stages.

What support is available for medical students?

All medical students are allocated a Personal Academic Tutor and are introduced to the Senior Tutor team on arrival who will help you to settle in and obtain the help and support you need. Academic and administrative staff are also available to assist students with day to day issues.

A range of learning and web-based resources are also available to support you in your academic work.

The University Student Services Centre provides advice and information for students on issues such as fees and accommodation. Support is also provided for students with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, and the University also offers a wide range of support services. For more information visit the University website

How many hours a week do medical students do?

All programmes are full-time. In BM6 year zero students are normally taught over three days.

The BM5 & BM(EU) programmes are full-time and based around students undertaking about 40 hours of learning activity each week including about 22 hours scheduled activity and about 18 hours of non-scheduled activity (comprising tutor-directed and self-directed activity). Students follow a 30-week year in the first two years with normal University vacation periods. From year three onwards, students are based in hospital settings and undertake full-time placements including some early starts/late finishes.

The BM4 programme is full-time. In the first two years the normal University academic year will apply, except for a two-week clinical attachment, plus an additional two days. For all programmes, the academic years from year three onwards are also longer with much less vacation time.

What will I graduate with?

Students graduate with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS) degree - this equates to other medical degrees such as MBBS. Those undertaking the BM5, BM6 or BM BM(EU) programmes will undertake a research study in the third year and, if successfully completed, will graduate with a BMedSc (Ordinary) as well as the BMBS degree.

The University of Southampton

How can I visit the University of Southampton?

The University of Southampton runs open days, usually in July and September each year and you are encouraged to attend one of these to see the University and attend talks from different academic schools. Unfortunatley it is not possible to arrange individual visits to Medicine.

Will I get accommodation?

All full-time, registered undergraduate students are offered a place in halls during their first year of study providing they meet the criteria as outlined on the accommodation website.

BM6 students can apply for University accommodation in both year zero and BM5 year one providing they meet the criteria outlined on the accommodation page.

During the BMBS programmes, students will undertake commutable clinical attachments whilst living in halls/private accommodation up to and including year three.

In Year 4 and 5, all UK-based students are expected to hold private accommodation in Southampton. They are usually provided with student accommodation at the majority of the regional hospitals for their placements during Year 4 and 5, excepting hospitals that are within commutable distance. .

What about fees and living costs?

BM6 year zero students receive a £1,000 bursary in their year zero. Find out more about fees and funding.


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