Medicine (graduate-entry/ accelerated) | University of Oxford
Medical research, Old Road Campus
Medical research, Old Road Campus
Credit: John Cairns. This image comes from Oxford University Images

Medicine (graduate-entry/ accelerated)

This page is about the graduate-entry/ accelerated medicine course (A101). This course is an intensive four year medical course and has been designed for graduates who are trained in applied or experimental sciences. To find out about our standard-entry medical degree please visit the A100 page.

About studying Medicine

The practice of Medicine offers a breadth of experiences impossible to find in any other subject. Every day brings different patients with different needs. It’s a great choice for scientists who strive to understand and apply research findings to improve the lives of the patients in their care. It offers a meaningful career that is prestigious, secure and relatively well paid.

However, practising Medicine can be arduous, stressful, frustrating and bureaucratic and it’s not suited to everyone. You need to be sure that Medicine is the right choice for you. These pages will help you work that out, but there’s no better way to find out for sure than by gaining insight of medical practice by seeing it in action and talking to those who provide healthcare. Studying Medicine because that is what is expected of you is never a good idea: make sure that your motives for choosing to do so are well reasoned.


The four-year graduate-entry/ accelerated course (UCAS code A101 BMBCh4) is open to graduates who already have a degree in an experimental science subject.

After a two-year transition phase covering basic science and clinical skills, the accelerated programme leads into the final two years of the standard course and to the same Oxford medical qualification as the standard (six-year) course. The four-year course is designed specifically for science graduates, and places a strong emphasis on the scientific basis of medical practice.

Structure of the graduate-entry/ accelerated course (A101)

The first year

The first year of the course builds on your science background to cover most of the basic science that is needed for medicine, as well as essential clinical skills such as taking a clinical history and performing a basic physical examination. The aims of this year are for you to cover the core of medical science and clinical skills in which all medical students must be competent, to understand the application of science to clinical practice, and to gain experience in applying science and clinical skills to the process of diagnostic problem-solving.

The second year

The second year builds on the basic science and clinical skills of the first year and leads to periods of more intensive clinical practice. By the end of this year, you should be able to recognize common disease patterns in medicine and surgery and be capable of reaching a diagnosis of the commoner illnesses. You should also be able to plan first-line clinical investigations. A nine-week clinical pathology ("Laboratory Medicine") block is interspersed with the clinical attachments. The science teaching continues throughout the year, oriented more directly towards clinical practice. You will be expected to review clinical trials and clinical research reports, and to appraise the application of such reports to clinical practice.

The third year

For the final two years you will be fully integrated into the main stream of the standard clinical course. The third year consists of a series of attachments to clinical specialties such as orthopaedics, paediatrics and psychiatry. The aim of this year is to provide an overview of the major specialties within medicine, to allow you to recognize common complaints and to develop an understanding of when it is appropriate to refer a patient for specialist treatment. You can read more about this year of study on the clinical course pages of the Study Medicine website.

The fourth year

The final year of the course is designed to prepare you for life after qualification, with teaching specifically aimed at practical matters of diagnosis and management. During the year there are also opportunities for special study, with blocks set aside for you to pursue areas of particular academic interest (normally this takes place within Oxford), and a ten-week elective period, which most students choose to take overseas. The final examination is in February of the final year, allowing several months before the formal end of the course for you to concentrate on preparing for practice in your Foundation Years. You can read more about this year of study on the clinical course pages of the Study Medicine website.


A vast array of speciality training pathways is available after obtaining a medical qualification, ranging from General Practice or emergency medicine through obstetrics or ophthalmology to paediatrics or psychiatry.

Of course, you need not remain confined to the clinic, ward or the operating theatre: the lecture theatre or the laboratory could also beckon. Some of our graduates end up leading the education of the next generation of doctors or directing biomedical research. You don’t need to know right now what you want to do when you qualify: the Medical School organises careers sessions for final-year clinical students and helps students learn about and apply for foundation house officer posts.

BM BCh graduates are entitled to provisional registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) with a licence to practise, subject to demonstrating to the GMC that their fitness to practise is not impaired.

Tzveta is currently training to be an oncologist. She says: ‘Many universities can teach you how to be a foundation doctor. Oxford taught me how to work through problems carefully and logically from first principles, and gave me the theoretical grounding to be able to do so. I had the opportunity to read key papers in my subject, then discuss them with the academics who had published them. Most importantly, Oxford taught me that I was capable of much more than I imagined or believed. Though I have gone from essay crises to night shifts, from finals to Royal College exams, the focused determination it instilled within me remains, driving me through any challenges faced along the way.’

Kanmin graduated from pre-clinical medicine in 2003. He is now a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Academic Clinical Lecturer in ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, undergoing 50:50 surgical retina fellowship training and translational research into gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases. Kanmin says: ‘The weekly essays and tutorials with world-leading academics in the colleges were an invaluable experience. In those intimate ‘mind sparring’ exercises, you go beyond the standard curriculum and probe the boundaries of the fundamental science behind modern medicine. In this way, Oxford nurtures not only sound medical practitioners but also future explorers and leaders in medicine… Of course, studying medicine at Oxford involves a lot of hard work. But the opportunities are also there to take part in the most vibrant student society/club life, whatever your hobby or background.’

Related courses

Students interested in this course might also like to consider Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Human Sciences or Chemistry.

Entry requirements for the graduate-entry/ accelerated course (A101)

  • First degree: The course is open only to graduates in applied and experimental science, including bioscience, chemistry, experimental physics and engineering. Check the list of courses that are typically acceptable. If your degree is not listed, or if you are unsure whether it is acceptable, please follow the steps outlined on the Medical Sciences website to find out more.
  • A levels (or equivalent): In addition to your degree, you must also have two science A-levels, or equivalent qualification, of which one must be chemistry (unless you have a chemistry degree). If your degree is in a subject other than bioscience, you must also have a qualification in biology at GCSE or O-level, or dual-award science GCSE, or an equivalent qualification.

If English is not your first language you may also need to meet our English language requirements.

All candidates must also take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) as part of their application. Please see the how to apply tab for further details. No student is admitted without interview. Any shortlisted candidate, including those from overseas, will be expected to come to Oxford for interview in December. 

Successful candidates must meet our requirements for health and fitness to practise.

Oxford University is committed to recruiting the best and brightest students from all backgrounds. We offer a generous package of financial support to Home/EU students from lower-income households. (UK nationals living in the UK are usually Home students.)

Fees for the graduate-entry/ accelerated course (A101)

These annual fees are for full-time students who begin this undergraduate course here in 2019.

Year 1 students:

Fee statusPre-clinical course fees
(Channel Islands and Isle of Man)

Pre-clinical fees are charged in year 1 of the graduate-entry/ accelerated course (A101), although there are clinical elements of study throughout the course.

Fees for the later years have not yet been confirmed but please note that these may be different from the pre-clinical fees. Clinical fees are charged in years 2 to 4 of the graduate-entry/ accelerated course (A101). As a guide, these are the annual fees for students who will complete the pre-clinical stage of their course and progress to the clinical years in 2019. 

Year 2, 3 and 4 students:

Fee statusClinical annual course fees
(Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
c. £27,585
(Figure still an estimate, to be confirmed by the Islands governments.)

For more information please refer to our course fees page. Fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

Living costs

Living costs at Oxford might be less than you’d expect, as our world-class resources and college provision can help keep costs down.

Living costs for the academic year starting in 2019 are estimated to be between £1,058 and £1,643 for each month you are in Oxford. Our academic year is made up of three eight-week terms, so you would not usually need to be in Oxford for much more than six months of the year but may wish to budget over a nine-month period to ensure you also have sufficient funds during the holidays to meet essential costs. For further details please visit our living costs webpage.

Financial support


For comprehensive funding information for medical students, please see here.  

(Channel Islands and Isle of Man)

Islands students are entitled to different support to that of students from the rest of the UK.

Please refer the links below for information on the support to you available from your funding agency:

States of Jersey
States of Guernsey
Isle of Man


Please refer to the "Other Scholarships" section of our Oxford Bursaries and Scholarships page.

Fees, Funding and Scholarship search

Additional Fees and Charges Information for Medicine

Graduate Entry Medicine (A101)

Graduate Entry Medicine students study for extended terms. You will therefore need to budget for higher living costs, as you will be required to be in Oxford for longer than the standard terms. (See the likely range of living costs for an additional month in Oxford.) 

  • Year 1 – 30 weeks
  • Year 2 – 40 weeks
  • Year 3 – 48 weeks
  • Year 4 – 48 weeks, including 10 weeks elective study (see below)

For more information about fees and funding for this course, please see Funding for UK/EU Medical Students.

Elective study

Each final year student has a period of 10 weeks for elective study within the overall 48 weeks of the course. (This is year 4 for A101 students.) Your elective study may be conducted in Oxford, elsewhere in the UK, or anywhere in the world provided the content of the placement is appropriate experience for medicine. Approval must be granted by the Director of Clinical Studies.  A student who stays in Oxford for their elective would be expected to incur no additional costs apart from their living costs. Many students opt to travel outside the UK in which case the additional cost is on average around £3,000, but may be lower or higher depending on location (very occasionally a student has spent up to £9,000.) Students who have not completed the core training in clinical medicine may be required to follow a prescribed course of study in Oxford for all or part of their 10 week elective instead of arranging a placement.  There are opportunities to apply for additional financial support which varies depending on the destination proposed.  This support is usually around £300 to £500 towards travel costs.

The application process for the graduate-entry/ accelerated medicine course (A101) is slightly different to those for the standard course. Please read this page carefully to ensure you take all the steps you need to make an application. For more information about any of the application stages please visit the Medical Faculty website.

Applying to A101

Applications for the accelerated, graduate-entry medicine course must be made both through UCAS (online) and direct to the University (on a supplementary form); this means applicants have two forms to complete. Please note that we cannot consider applications that are incomplete: you must complete both a UCAS application and an Oxford application form by the deadline in order to apply.

UCAS form

  • Your UCAS form should be completed online, and must list Oxford as one of your choices: the course code for the fast-track medical course is A101 (the course title is BMBCh4).
  • You must complete your UCAS application by 15th October 2018 for the course beginning in September 2019.
  • If you wish to express a preference for a particular college, you should do so on your UCAS form.

University application form

Application forms for the University are available online, together with notes explaining how to complete your application. As part of completing this form you will have to provide:

  • a personal statement explaining why you wish to study medicine here and why you think you are suited to medicine
  • the names and positions of two referees, at least one of whom should be familiar with your most recent academic performance; these referees should not be the same as the referee on your UCAS application

Further details of how to complete the University application form can be found here. The application form must be completed by 6pm, 15th October 2018. Please be aware that your referees will also need to provide their references before this deadline, in order to complete your application. We cannot consider applications that arrive after that date.

Written test 

All applicants must take the Biomedical Sciences Admissions Test (BMAT) as part of their application.

Candidates for A101 graduate-entry/ accelerated medicine may choose either the September or October/November sitting of the BMAT. Test-takers must not take the test twice in one application round. 

Everything you need to know, including guidance on how to prepare, can be found on the BMAT page

Written work 

You do not need to submit any written work when you apply for this course

What are tutors looking for?

Please note that competition to study Medicine at Oxford is particularly strong. There are only 30 places for accelerated/ graduate-entry medicine and only 19% of applicants are shortlisted for interview each year. For more information about the selection criteria used, please visit the Medical Faculty website.

Application conditions 

Oxford conforms to the UK Department of Health’s requirements regarding immunisation status and the GMC’s conditions on Fitness to Practise, and a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check. Students may be refused entry to, or be removed from, the University’s Register of Medical Students on grounds that may be either academic or non-academic (for instance health or conduct). Applicants should be aware that some practical studies involving living animal tissue are an obligatory component of the course.

Fitness to Practise advice and support: General Medical Council
University of Oxford Occupational Health Service

Note that students must have reached their 18th birthday on or before the first day of full term in the first year of the course. 

Suggested reading

Prospective students for Medicine may like to start by looking at this Introductory Reading for Medicine. You may also be interested in the Oxford Medical School Gazette.


Foad Mohamed

Watch a series of short videos of students talking about some aspect of their time at Oxford.


'I was attracted to the strong scientific grounding of the Oxford medical course. The Pre-clinical course enables you to gain in-depth knowledge of the science behind clinical practice while experiencing the primary scientific research that fuels medical progression. The first year encompasses organisation of the body and so includes dissection – an incredibly useful tool in learning anatomy! Being lectured by people who are world leaders in their field is awe-inspiring and gives an edge to my learning. I’m currently in my third year and love the freedom and self-direction of my research project. I am developing skills as a scientist which will be useful in clinical practice, while also getting to grips with topics that fascinate me. I’m doing an option called ‘Infection and immunity’, and love being able to trace current developments in the field and apply them to potential future therapeutic applications. There is also a clinical aspect provided by the doctor-patient course. I found this valuable in helping me to develop good communication skills, as I learnt how to take patient histories and interact with patients under the guidance of a practising GP.'


He now works in the field of biotechnology. He says:

‘Although I studied medicine as an undergraduate and qualified as a doctor in 2004, I have not remained working in clinical medicine in the NHS, instead building my career in small high-growth biotechnology companies in the UK, California, and France. My time as an undergraduate at Oxford was hugely influential in seizing interesting scientific and business opportunities well outside the boundaries of a typical medical career in the NHS.’


The most unexpected thing about my course:

'Writing essays. I wasn't expecting to be writing as many as I did (two or three a week) but find them a good way to solidify my knowledge.'

I wish they'd told me when I was applying to university...

'That tutorials are by far the most helpful thing and they are rare in universities around the country. Also, the number of opportunities that are available to you at Oxford.'

The best thing that Oxford did for me:

'Friends - the people here are amazing and you can have fascinating chats with them. Events are really fun in Oxford and they are often in venues that you know have so much history.'

My favourite Oxford memory is...

'Doing the charity Jailbreak event, when me and my friend hitchhiked from Oxford to Dover, Brighton and then back again.'


The most unexpected thing about my course:

'I was surprised by how relaxed the tutors were. I was expecting tutorials to be official, scary and have a general feeling of impending doom about them! But practically straight away I found that my tutors were people I could easily talk to about anything at all, and they had absolutely no problem with me saying outright that I was clueless about certain topics. I've even had chocolates, cakes and wine during tutorials - supplied by my very tutors themselves!'

I wish they'd told me when I was applying to university...

'Well, in terms of Oxford I wish that I'd been told about how varied the people really are. Open days and interviews don't give an accurate representation, as the other students who are attending are always a bit more reserved than they would usually be. I was actually tempted to choose to go to UCL because I was extremely concerned that I would be too different to everyone at Oxford in terms of my sense of humour and general whimsicality to make any friends at all. Luckily, I chose Oxford and am so glad that I did because I couldn't imagine having better friends!'

The best thing that Oxford did for me:

'I'm a Moritz-Heyman Scholar, so probably that. Money has always been an ongoing problem throughout my life and no one really wants to ask when they need help. It's meant that I can afford to do everything that my peers are doing and experience Oxford to the fullest. Also, the scholarship requires me to undertake a level of voluntary work, which is great because it's forced me to look into the Oxford Hub, through which I've made more friends and had some really fun experiences.'

My favourite Oxford memory is...

'Oh gosh, there are so many... I would say nights out because I love experiencing the nightlife. But Medics' Dinner was amazing: a completely free, three-course meal with wine with all the other medics at my college and tutors.'

Contextual information

The Key Information Sets provide a lot of numbers about the Oxford experience – but there is so much about what you get here that numbers can’t convey. It’s not just the quantity of the Oxford education that you need to consider, there is also the quality – let us tell you more.

Oxford’s tutorial system

Regular tutorials, which are the responsibility of the colleges, are the focal point of teaching and learning at Oxford. The tutorial system is one of the most distinctive features of an Oxford education: it ensures that students work closely with tutors throughout their undergraduate careers, and offers a learning experience which is second to none.

A typical tutorial is a one-hour meeting between a tutor and one, two, or three students to discuss reading and written work that the students have prepared in advance. It gives students the chance to interact directly with tutors, to engage with them in debate, to exchange ideas and argue, to ask questions, and of course to learn through the discussion of the prepared work. Many tutors are world-leaders in their fields of research, and Oxford undergraduates frequently learn of new discoveries before they are published.

Each student also receives teaching in a variety of other ways, depending on the course. This will include lectures and classes, and may include laboratory work and fieldwork. But the tutorial is the place where all the elements of the course come together and make sense. Meeting regularly with the same tutor – often weekly throughout the term – ensures a high level of individual attention and enables the process of learning and teaching to take place in the context of a student’s individual needs.

The tutorial system also offers the sustained commitment of one or more senior academics – as college tutors – to each student’s progress. It helps students to grow in confidence, to develop their skills in analysis and persuasive argument, and to flourish as independent learners and thinkers.

More information about tutorials

The benefits of the college system

  • Every Oxford student is a member of a college. The college system is at the heart of the Oxford experience, giving students the benefits of belonging to both a large and internationally renowned university and a much smaller, interdisciplinary, college community.
  • Each college brings together academics, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and college staff. The college gives its members the chance to be part of a close and friendly community made up of both leading academics and students from different subjects, year groups, cultures and countries. The relatively small size of each college means that it is easy to make friends and contribute to college life. There is a sense of belonging, which can be harder to achieve in a larger setting, and a supportive environment for study and all sorts of other activities.
  • Colleges organise tutorial teaching for their undergraduates, and one or more college tutors will oversee and guide each student’s progress throughout his or her career at Oxford. The college system fosters a sense of community between tutors and students, and among students themselves, allowing for close and supportive personal attention to each student’s academic development.

It is the norm that undergraduates live in college accommodation in their first year, and in many cases they will continue to be accommodated by their college for the majority or the entire duration of their course. Colleges invest heavily in providing an extensive range of services for their students, and as well as accommodation colleges provide food, library and IT resources, sports facilities and clubs, drama and music, social spaces and societies, access to travel or project grants, and extensive welfare support. For students the college often becomes the hub of their social, sporting and cultural life.

More about Oxford’s unique college system and how to choose a college

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