Photo of University of Bristol Medical Sciences building

This profile of Bristol 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: 

The University of Bristol Medical School offers a five-year, integrated medical curriculum, aiming to equip graduates for the changing landscape of Medicine in the 21st century. Teaching is delivered through lectures, seminars, independent study, and clinical placements, with the proportions of each changing over the five years of the course. Anatomy is taught by prosection.


Key information dashboard

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

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

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

Bristol medical school establishment date:

Years of course:

Total medical students:

Average year cohort:

South West

Subject prerequisites:

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

Interview format:

Admissions test:

A Level typical offer:

Advanced Higher typical offer:

IB typical offer:
36 points

General teaching method:
CBL, Integrated

Anatomy teaching:
Dissection, Prosection

Intercalation mode:
Optional intercalation

Entry requirements

Work experience expectations:

While not a requirement for the course, applicants are encouraged to obtain a minimum of two weeks’ work experience to gain some insight into their potential vocation. 
Work experience may be discussed at interview.

Admissions test: UCAT

All subtests, except SJT, are considered with other academic qualifications.
UCAT cut-off for interview was 2730 in 2019, though this changes every year.

Personal statement usage:

Personal statement is not assessed, but may be used to differentiate between applicants who have achieved the same UCAT score.

Interview type: MMI

MMI assesses each candidate’s skills and professionalism. The entire process will last around 60 minutes. Candidates are given 1 minute to read instructions, and 5 minutes to complete each station.

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

A Levels must include Chemistry and either Biology, Physics or Maths.

GCSE requirements:

GCSE results must include minimum of grade A on Maths and grade C in English Language.

Advanced Higher typical offer: AA

Advanced Highers must include Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics or Maths.

Scottish Higher typical offer: AAAAB

Scottish Higher subjects not specified

National 5 requirements:

National 5 results must include minimum of grade A in Maths and grade C in English Language.

International Baccalaureate typical offer: 36 points

IB applicants must achieve 18 points required at Higher level, with 6,6 in Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics or Maths.

Notes about Widening Access:

As part of 'Widening Participation', some applicants may be eligible for lower contextual offer of ABB / AAC.  
This contextual offer must include A in Chemistry and A/B in Biology, Physics or Mathematics.
As explained in discussion of 'Widening participation' on the website, Bristol's "mission is to diversify the student body at the University of Bristol by empowering and supporting prospective students from underrepresented backgrounds to access university".

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: 1315 Total years of course: 5 Years data reports available: 5 Average cohort per year: 263.0 Percentage of Home students in latest cohort: 92.7% Percentage of International students in latest cohort: 7.3%
Recent cohort admissions data: 
Admission year Total students admitted this year Home places International places
275 students in this cohort 255 Home students 20 International students
275 students in this cohort 255 Home students 20 International students
270 students in this cohort 250 Home students 20 International students
250 students in this cohort 230 Home students 20 International students
245 students in this cohort 225 Home students 20 International students
250 students in this cohort 230 Home students 20 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: 4658
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: CBL, Integrated

Helical approach featuring case-based learning (CBL). 
Body systems are revisited every year in additional detail.
Hospital placements from third year onwards.
Anatomy teaching in small groups by medically qualified demonstrators, using cadaveric material and living anatomy (dissection is optional)
As explained in its overview of teaching methods, "Teaching is provided through a blend of lectures, practical exercises, small-group tutorials, case-based discussions and clinical work with doctors and healthcare professionals in a variety of settings. These can include primary care, outpatient clinics, hospital wards, the operating theatre and delivery suites."

Anatomy teaching method: Dissection, Prosection Intercalation mode: Optional intercalation

As explained in discussion of intercalation on this medical school's website, which lists intercalated degrees available at Bristol and funding options,  "University of Bristol Medical and Veterinary students can only intercalate between years 3 and 4 of their programme for either a BSc/BA or Masters."

Overview of course structure

Years one and two:
Years one and two deliver most teaching through lectures, seminars, and case based scenarios, with over 50% of learning through independent study. Concepts of health and wellbeing are explored, alongside disease processes and differential diagnoses. There are a handful of clinical placements in the first two years at Bristol, giving students exposure to primary care and secondary care.
Year three:
In the third year of the course the majority of teaching is delivered through clinical placements. Students will observe elective and emergency patient care, learning about management of common conditions. Intercalation is available between third and fourth year.
Years four and five:
The final two years at Bristol focus on lifelong patient care, from birth to the end of life. Emphasis is placed on preparation for FY1, with teaching on management of medical emergencies and coping with uncertainty.

Reported demographics

This chart highlights gender and disability data reported by Bristol 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 64.4% female students 35.6% male students 9.8% students with disability 90.2% students without disability
2016-17 63.1% female students 36.9% male students 9.4% students with disability 90.6% students without disability

Medical school history

Bristol Medical School was originally established in 1833, and later became amalgamated with University College, Bristol in 1893.

Medical school location

Bristol Medical School
University of Bristol
5 Tyndall Avenue, First Floor
United Kingdom
Geographic region: