What alternative routes to medical school (or dental school) are available if you do not have great A-levels or GCSE grades? or you’ve been rejected after applying the first time?
If you are reading this article you are probably aware of the normal way of getting into medical or dental school; you apply during your A-levels or Pre-Uni Diploma for a place in one of the 26 schools that require the UKCAT. However, the following are alternative routes to medical school or dental school:
1. Medical or Dental Degrees with Foundation Years
These are extended medical or dentistry programmes offered by some universities to widen the diversity and accessibility to Medicine or Dentistry. The degree includes an additional year to their normal counterparts. These programmes normally run for six years rather than the usual five, allowing the students learn at a slower pace and with greater support. The entry requirements are also typically lower so this route is worth considering if you do not have strong enough grades.
2. Graduate-Entry Medicine or Dentistry
These are fast track degrees in medicine or dentistry offered by some universities. These programmes are designed for graduates or healthcare professionals with equivalent academic qualifications to study medicine or dentistry. These courses are typically four years and allow students by-pass the first stage of the conventional medical or dentistry degrees and achieve their qualification quicker. Many universities that offer graduate medicine require applicants to take the GAMSAT so this route is worth considering if you are a university graduate; some universities will consider applicants with a non-scientific degree.
3. Studying Abroad
There are more applicants that wish to study medicine or dentistry than there are available places in the UK, you could consider studying abroad. The percentages of prospective students who manage to get medical or dental school are about 10% to 20%. Studying medicine at the best medical schools abroad is possible. For students who can speak French, there are respected medical schools abroad (Belgium, Canada, France, Romania,) that offer medical, dental, pharmaceutics, veterinary programs in French for international students. Medical schools with French medical courses in Romania have more offers and are really affordable. You might want to consider this route if you can speak another language. There are universities that teach in English so do not rule anything out.
4. BMAT or GAMSAT Medical Schools
There are many medical and dental programmes that do not require the UKCAT as part of their application process. I would recommend taking the time to also research these options, they might actually be a more suitable or an easier route for you to study medicine or dentistry. These routes might be worth considering if you aren’t very good at reasoning tests and prefer to be tested more on your scientific knowledge.