Photo of Lancaster University Medical School

This profile of Lancaster highlights this medical school's entry requirements, typical offers, student numbers, competition ratios, teaching and learning methods, course structure, demographics and history.

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Summary overview: 

Lancaster has one of the smallest medical programmes in the UK, with an intake of only 129 students each year. Problem based learning (PBL) forms a major part of the integrated five year curriculum, with clinical contact offered from the offset.


Key information dashboard

For convenience, here is an at-a-glance summary of key information related to Lancaster medical school.

Links in this dashboard can help you check which other UK medical schools are similar to Lancaster with regard to points listed here.

Be sure to check our notes in sections below for more details about each of these points.

Lancaster medical school establishment date:

Years of course:

Total medical students:

Average year cohort:

North West

Subject prerequisites:

Biology (strictly required)
Chemistry (strictly required)
Maths (acceptable option)
Physics (acceptable option)
Psychology (acceptable option)

Interview format:

Admissions test:

A Level typical offer:

Advanced Higher typical offer:

IB typical offer:
36 points

General teaching method:
Integrated, PBL

Anatomy teaching:
Virtual dissection table

Intercalation mode:
Optional intercalation

Entry requirements

Work experience expectations:

Specific experience not required though applicants must show evidence of research into a medical career.
Insight is more important and voluntary placements in hospices, residential homes etc, where there is interaction with vulnerable people, is just as valuable as shadowing doctors.
Reflection on work and voluntary experience will be explored at interview.
After interview, attempt to verify work and voluntary experiences discussed in the applicant's personal statement.

Admissions test: BMAT

Once GCSE and/or A-Level requirements are met, students are ranked on overall BMAT score.
Calculated by adding together the scores from Sections 1, 2 and 3
Cut-off score usually below BMAT average, around 10.5

Personal statement usage:

Personal statement is not used as a separate part of selection process, but may be used as part of the interview.

Interview type: MMI

The MMI consists of three circuits.
“Circuit A consists of stations where you will be given a different task or questions to answer. You will have exactly 5 minutes at each station and then you will be asked to move to the next station. You will have 5 minutes between each station.”
“Circuit B consists of stations where you will have 5 minutes to read and think about some information, followed by 5 minutes to discuss with an interviewer. You will have 5 minutes between each station.”
“Circuit C consists of 10 minutes to read a problem-based learning scenario and make some notes followed by 5 minutes to discuss it with an interviewer. You will have 5 minutes between your preparation and discussion stations.”
Interviews will be conducted via Zoom for the 2021 admission cycle.

Coursework subjects expected: Biology (strictly required), Chemistry (strictly required), Maths (acceptable option), Physics (acceptable option), Psychology (acceptable option)

For more details about subjects expected by this medical school, see the notes below regarding typical offers.

Typical offers

A Level typical offer: AAA-AAB
A Levels must include any two of Biology, Chemistry or Psychology.
The three subjects must be taken in one sitting after two years of study.
AAB offer given if three A-levels (as above) plus an EPQ, 4th AS-level or 4th A-level subject at B.
GCSE requirements:

GCSEs must include at least eight subjects, including English Language, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics (or Core and Additional Science).
Minimum score of at least 13 points from 8 GCSEs, where A*/A or grades 7-9 = 2 points and B or grade 6 = 1 point.

Advanced Higher typical offer: AA

Advanced Highers must include Biology and Chemistry.

Scottish Higher typical offer: AAAAB

Scottish Higher results must include 5 subjects taken after one year of study, including Biology (A) and Chemistry (A).

National 5 requirements:

National 5 results must include at least 7 subjects, including English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics; minimum grades AAAAABB.

International Baccalaureate typical offer: 36 points

IB applicants must achieve 6,6,6 required at Higher level, including any two of Biology, Chemistry or Psychology.
Minimum of 5 required in three Standard level subjects.

Notes about Widening Access:

As explained on the website, this medical school has a contextual offer scheme for applicants who meet two or more widening participation criteria.
Lancaster also runs a range of activities, including a Summer School, to help widening participation students prepare to apply.

Total students and cohort sizes at UK medical schools

For uniform comparison of medical student admissions each year across all UK medical schools, we rely on annual reports from the Office for Students (OfS) entitled 'Medical and dental intakes'.

Total medical students: 455 Total years of course: 5 Years data reports available: 5 Average cohort per year: 91.0 Percentage of Home students in latest cohort: 96.7% Percentage of International students in latest cohort: 3.3%
Recent cohort admissions data: 
Admission year Total students admitted this year Home places International places
150 students in this cohort 145 Home students 5 International students
130 students in this cohort 125 Home students 5 International students
70 students in this cohort 65 Home students 5 International students
55 students in this cohort 50 Home students 5 International students
50 students in this cohort 45 Home students 5 International students
45 students in this cohort 40 Home students 5 International students

Competition data

Competition ratio data reported here is from the 2019-20 admissions cycle, as confirmed by MedSchoolGenie Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from this period.

Please note: Due to ongoing impact of Covid-19 since March 2020, UK medical schools have not yet released competition ratio data for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. Applicants should keep in mind that coronavirus-related lockdowns and other restrictions affected the entire UK education sector, so competition ratios were most likely distorted during 2020-21. MedSchoolGenie will update here when further competition data becomes available.

Ratio of Home applicants per interview: 
Ratio of Home applicant interviews per place: 
Ratio of Home applicants per place: 
Ratio of International applicants per interview: 
Ratio of International applicant interviews per place: 
Ratio of International applicants per place: 

Applicant percentages of success

From reported competition ratios, it's possible to calculate percentages of success at various stages of the application process.

Numbers of applicants competing in latest admissions cycle

Based on reported numbers of applicants securing places, we can use competition ratios to estimate how many applicants have been competing at each stage of the most recent admissions cycle.

Please note: Estimates of competition factors from 2020 onwards may be less reliable than in previous years because UK medical schools have not yet reported competition ratios for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. MedSchoolGenie will update here when more recent data on competition ratios becomes available.

Total number of all applicants in latest admissions cycle: 1143
Number of Home applicants in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of Home applicant interviews in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of Home applicants securing places: 
Number of International applicants in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of International applicant interviews in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of International applicants securing places in latest admissions cycle: 

Teaching and learning

Predominant teaching style: Integrated, PBL

Problem-based learning, lectures and clinical anatomy teaching
Virtual dissecting table.
Patient contact from year 2.
As explained in its overview of teaching, students learn "through problem-based learning, lectures and clinical anatomy teaching. Problem-based learning is a form of small group learning. In groups of usually 7 or 8, you will explore realistic patient-based scenarios that resemble the clinical situations you may face in the future as a doctor. Your group will identify what you need to learn in relation to the scenario, and then you will independently research the topics, drawing on resource lists, seeking information and critically appraising its worth. An experienced tutor facilitates group discussions and feedback meetings to ensure that you learn the appropriate breadth and depth of material. In later years, in some instances, you will use real patients as a stimulus for your learning in place of written scenarios, but using the same problem-based learning process."

Anatomy teaching method: Virtual dissection table Intercalation mode: Optional intercalation

As explained in discussion of intercalation on this medical school's website, "Between Years 4 and 5 of the MBChB programme, you will have the option to take a year out from your studies to complete an intercalated degree. Intercalation provides you with an opportunity to study a subject related to medicine at greater depth or engage in academic research for a year. If you decide to complete an intercalated degree, you will suspend studies on the MBChB programme for a period of twelve months whilst you undertake studies for a BSc, an MSc, an MRes or an MPhil degree. You will then return to the MBChB programme at the beginning of Year 5."

Overview of course structure

Year One:
Year one of the course features two eleven week PBL modules, introducing students to the normal structure and function of the body. Anatomy and clinical skills are taught weekly in year one, run in parallel with communication skills sessions to prepare students for the handful of GP placements, organised for first year students.
Year Two:
The second year at Lancaster introduces students to disease processes through further PBL modules, with two days per week spent on hospital placements. Students can choose an area of particular interest for the ‘Special Study Module' SSM1, supervised by a consultant.
Year Three:
Year three teaches students to diagnose and manage illness through PBL and clinical rotations. Students complete coursework in a ‘Health, Culture, and Society' module, expanding on concepts in sociology and psychology.
Year Four:
Year four sees students undertake two fifteen week placements, in specialties such as acute medicine, general surgery, paediatrics, and palliative care.
Year Five:
The fifth and final year at Lancaster involves a further 35 weeks of clinical placement, including an opportunity to shadow a current FY1 to prepare for Foundation training.

Reported demographics

This chart highlights gender and disability data reported by Lancaster to the General Medical Council (GMC), which has compiled this information into spreadsheets as part of its medical school annual return (MSAR) data sets.

Please note this data is retrospective, and that future numbers can vary from preceding years.

Demographic data collection: 

For comparison, we also include below all demographic data reported by this medical school to General Medical Council.

Reporting year Female students Male students Students with declared disability Students without declared disability
2017-18 61.5% female students 38.5% male students 6.5% students with disability 93.5% students without disability
2016-17 62.3% female students 37.7% male students 6.2% students with disability 93.8% students without disability

Medical school history

Lancaster University Medical School admitted its first cohort of students in 2006. Until 2013 it delivered the University of Liverpool School of Medicine MBChB curriculum to 50 undergraduate students per year. In 2012, the General Medical Council approved Lancaster'srequest to begin delivering its own medical degree independently from the University of Liverpool.

Medical school location

Lancaster Medical School
Lancaster University
United Kingdom
Geographic region: