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 with a year zero for candidates who meet the eligibility criteria
BM (EU) BMedSc -five-year bilingual programme designed for German students 

What are your entry requirements?

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

How many places do you have? How many students apply per place?

Intakes: (BM5) 202; (BM4) 40; (BM6) 30; (BM(EU)) 24

For 2013 entry Medicine received around 5,500 applications for our programmes. The average number of applicants per place is 7 for BM5; 31 for BM4 and 19 for BM6.

What do you look for?

As well as academic criteria we also want to see evidence of non-academic criteria.

How important is work experience, what do I need?

For the BM4 and BM5 programmes you need to show you have learnt from experiences of interacting with people in health or social care settings - this could be 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 you could work/volunteer in a nursing home, homeless shelter, local hospice, work with people with special needs or a youth group.

If applying for the BM6 programme you need to have the ability to demonstrate a commitment to becoming a doctor but do not necessarily have to have had work experience in a health care setting. 

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

Do you require any admissions test?

All applicants for BM4, BM5 and BM6 must undertake the UKCAT Clinical Aptitude Test which is used alongside the other information as part of the selection procedure. Find out more about UKCAT 

For 2015 entry, applicants for the BM(EU) must undertake the Test für Medizinische Studiengänge (TMS). The TMS takes place once a year in May. Applications can be made from 1st of December to 15th of January prior to the test in May. More information can be found by visiting All applicants are expected to have taken the TMS in the year of application. You may still apply without a TMS score however, applications showing a current TMS score will be prioritised during the selection process. The TMS is only mandatory for applicants applying for 2014 entry onwards

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.

The IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) is available through local offices of the British Council. Further detailed information on Approved English Language Qualifications is included in our BMBS programmes prospectus.

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 attachments in hospitals in Southampton, Winchester and Portsmouth. In year four students are based mainly at Southampton General Hospital and undertake clinical attachments in local hospitals. In their final year students undertake clinical attachments in hospitals across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 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, for which transport is provided. The third year clinical attachments are undertaken in Southampton and Portsmouth. In their final year students undertake clinical attachments in hospitals across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 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, four 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. In their final year students are given the opportunity to swap one location or all attachments with a colleague during the allocations process.

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 Senior Tutor 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 attachments 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 five or six-year programmes will undertake a research study in the third year and will graduate with a BMedSc (Hons) 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 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. If you are made an offer on the BM programmes, you will be invited to attend an Offer Visit Day and tour the facilities. For security reasons 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 four.

In the final year, all UK-based students are expected to hold private accommodation in Southampton. They are also provided with student accommodation at most of the regional hospitals for their placements during final year (except at Southampton and Winchester).

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.

Are the numbers of students who can do the MMedSc flexible?

There are places for up to 25 students.  The MMedSc is not open to BM(EU) students.

How is the MMedSc regarded in comparison to the traditional intercalated BSc?

The MMedSc is new and though several other medical schools are introducing Masters Level programmes the Southampton MMedSc is the first integrated masters for medical students in the country.

What modules and projects can the MMedSc students choose from?

The MMedSc is designed to be flexible and to enable students to undertake modules and projects from across the University. While most students will take modules taught by Medicine or Biological Sciences, there may be the opportunity to undertake modules in Psychology, Sociology, Primary Medical Care, Public Health and from the new Institute for Life Sciences.

Pathways through the MMedSc will follow your interests and can include basic scientific disciplines such as Pharmacology, Neuroscience and Molecular Biology as well as more disease-orientated pathways such as Cancer Cell Biology and Respiratory Medicine.

Can a student apply to do the MMedSc at Southampton and to intercalate elsewhere?

Yes, but we will ask you what your first preference is.

What makes the MMedSc project more in-depth than the BMedSc project?

The MMedSc is longer (24 weeks versus 16 weeks) but we expect MMedSc students to take a more in-depth approach reflecting Masters level study.

Is the MMedSc worth doing if a student does not want to become a clinical academic?

The goal of the MMedSc is to introduce students to high quality research in Southampton and to give them advice about medical careers. A high percentage of the current intercalated students end up on academic programmes and we anticipate this will increase with the MMedSc.

Are students allowed to intercalculate elsewhere to do an MSc?

Yes provided the hosting university accepts this. However, students should select courses carefully to ensure that the timing is appropriate and consider how they will be financed as funding for masters courses is different from undergraduate courses.

What projects can MMedSc students do?

There is a wide range of projects available across the University. We expect most students will do a project within Medicine but it may also be possible to carry out a project in other areas by arrangement.

Please note that this information is correct at the time of publication (October 2011)

Undertaking F1 year overseas

The Wessex Foundation School does not facilitate the completion of the F1 year overseas.
Please be aware that if you undertake your F1 year outside the UK in posts that do not have the approval of your university medical school/local postgraduate deanery, you will not be eligible to apply for full GMC registration if you return to the UK in the future. The GMC cannot accept any other evidence in place of a Certificate of Experience and without this, you will only be able to apply for provisional registration on your return.
Further guidance is available from the GMC website. 

All BM(EU) students will undertake their F1 year in Kassel.


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