This profile of Birmingham 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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Birmingham offers a five-year integrated programme, taught via lectures, seminars, tutorials, and PBL. With a population of 5 million patients and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, an internationally acclaimed tertiary care centre, Birmingham offers a diverse environment for students to learn Medicine, with exposure to a variety of ethnic backgrounds, genders, sexualities, and socio-economic statuses. Students are taught by clinicians, researchers, and academics throughout the course, though the majority of learning occurs on clinical attachment from year three onwards. Anatomy is taught by prosection in small groups, rather than full body dissection.
Key information dashboard
For convenience, here is an at-a-glance summary of key information related to Birmingham medical school.
Links in this dashboard can help you check which other UK medical schools are similar to Birmingham with regard to points listed here.
Be sure to check our notes in sections below for more details about each of these points.
Birmingham medical school establishment date: 1825
Years of course: 5
Total medical students: 1935
Average year cohort: 387.0
Region: West Midlands
A Level typical offer:AAA
Advanced Higher typical offer:AA
IB typical offer:32 points
A Levels must include Biology and Chemistry.
GCSE results must include a minimum of grade B/6 in science, English and Maths
Note for Home applicants: An application score is calculated based on GCSE and UCAT results as well as contextual factors. A total of seven GCSE results are scored, including English, Maths and science. Birmingham's calculator gives prospective applicants feedback on the likelihood of success based on the academic factors used in selection.
Advanced Highers must include Biology and Chemistry.
Scottish Highers subjects not specified
IB applicants must achieve 6,6,6 at Higher Level, including Biology and Chemistry
Medicine students can be recruited via a number of outreach schemes; for more information, see Pathways to Birmingham.
As explained in discussion of outreach and 'Widening participation' on the website, this medical school has a range of resources and activities to "encourage school and college pupils to discover more about research and education in biomedical science and healthcare. We are committed to supporting all pupils, irrespective of their backgrounds and with the academic potential to achieve success on our degree programmes, to access and engage with an excellent higher education experience."
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'.
|Admission year||Total students admitted this year||Home places||International places|
|430 students in this cohort||390 Home students||40 International students|
|400 students in this cohort||370 Home students||30 International students|
|380 students in this cohort||355 Home students||25 International students|
|370 students in this cohort||340 Home students||30 International students|
|355 students in this cohort||335 Home students||20 International students|
|355 students in this cohort||330 Home students||25 International students|
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.
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.
Diverse teaching style, involving lectures, seminars, and PBL.
Early patient contact, starting from week two.
First two years involve learning structure and function of the body.
Prosection used to aid learning of anatomy.
Years 3-5 take place in teaching hospitals, involving clinical attachments in different specialties.
As explained on the website overview of learning, "At Birmingham Medical School your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials to self-study and peer group learning. Throughout your time on the MBChB your learning opportunities will expand and you will be introduced to laboratory work, practical sessions, bedside teaching, clinical experience and problem based learning (PBL)."
As explained on the university website, Birmingham supports "Enquiry-based learning [as] ... an approach in which learning is driven by a process of enquiry shared with the student. Depending upon the level and the discipline, it can encompass problem-based learning, evidence-based learning, small scale investigations, field work, projects and research. Enquiry-based learning enables students to take control of their learning as they progress through their degree programme...."
Intercalated BSc degrees are available for students that meet minimum academic criteria in medical exams. As explained in discussion of intercalation on this medical school's website: "At the Birmingham Medical School intercalation is optional. For some students the opportunity to study an area in depth and undertake research is extremely attractive. Other students are keen to qualify and work as a doctor as soon as possible. Both paths are encouraged at BMS. In order to intercalate, student will need to meet certain academic criteria which indicate that they are performing well on the medical degree programme."
Years one and two:
The first two years are systems based, teaching structure and function of the human body. Patient contact is a major source of learning in years one and two, beginning in the second week of the course. Student selected components are undertaken by students each year.
From year three onwards, teaching occurs almost exclusively in Teaching Hospital Trusts, encompassing primary and secondary care. Medical students are mentored by junior doctors, ensuring high quality clinical training. Intercalated BSc degrees are available for students that meet minimum academic criteria in medical exams.
Years four and five:
Years four and five provide training in specialties such as cardiology, neurology, surgery, and anaesthetics, with emphasis on preparing for FY1. A one month clinical elective occurs in year four, giving students the opportunity to observe the practice of Medicine anywhere in the world.
This chart highlights gender and disability data reported by Birmingham 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.
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||62.9% female students||37.1% male students||0.0% students with disability||100.0% students without disability|
|2016-17||62.3% female students||37.7% male students||0.4% students with disability||99.6% students without disability|
Formal medical education began at Birmingham in 1825, and it merged with Mason Science College in 1900.