Photo of University of Sunderland campus

This profile of Sunderland 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: 

Admitting their first intake of medical students in 2019, the University of Sunderland has one of the newest medical schools in the UK. Utilising an innovative spiral curriculum, students revisit core themes in increasing clinical detail each year, aided by Problem Based Learning. Most teaching is delivered via small learning groups, lectures, and seminars.  Anatomy teaching is aided by models and portable ultrasound machines, with an Anatomage Table enabling virtual cadaveric dissection. It should be noted that Sunderland offers generous scholarships, in the forms of cash and free accommodation. Sunderland's course is divided into three phases.


Key information dashboard

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

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

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

Sunderland medical school establishment date:

Years of course:

Total medical students:

Average year cohort:

North East and Cumbria

Subject prerequisites:

Biology (acceptable option)
Chemistry (acceptable option)
Maths (acceptable option)
Physics (acceptable option)
Statistics (acceptable option)

Interview format:

Admissions test:

A Level typical offer:

Advanced Higher typical offer:

IB typical offer:
35 points

General teaching method:
Integrated, PBL

Anatomy teaching:
Not specified

Intercalation mode:
Optional intercalation

Entry requirements

Work experience expectations:

Work experience should show communication and leadership skills.
Roles that involve working with customers or clients requiring support, assistance or service are favoured.

Admissions test: UCAT

Scores must be within top 8 deciles.
Applicants with SJT band 4 are not considered.
Interviews allocated based on UCAT, R&R, & academic requirements.

Personal statement usage:

Not assessed - roles and responsibilities form required.

Interview type: MMI

Candidates are assessed on: Motivation for a career in Medicine, empathy and insight, awareness responsibilities and challenges of being a doctor, awareness of ethical issues in health and society, resilience, effective communication, and numeracy.

Coursework subjects expected: Biology (acceptable option), Chemistry (acceptable option), Maths (acceptable option), Physics (acceptable option), Statistics (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 Level coursework must be completed within two years, including Chemistry or Biology plus another science subject (Physics, Maths / Further Maths / Statistics)
Only one subject from a combination of Maths or Further Maths or Statistics will be considered within the three A Levels.
A Level grades must be achieved in one sitting.

GCSE requirements:

GCSE results must include 5 subjects at grade A (7), with a minimum of grade B (6) in English Language, Maths, and the Sciences (double award science, triple award science or three separate sciences).

Advanced Higher typical offer: AB

Advanced Highers must include two subjects (both sciences) sat in S6.
Any additional subject sat at Higher level in S6 must be achieved at grade B or higher

Scottish Higher typical offer: AAAAB

Scottish Highers must include Chemistry or Biology plus another science at grade A, to be achieved by the end of S5

National 5 requirements:

National 5 results must include a minimum of 5 A grades, with a minimum of grade B required in English Language, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

International Baccalaureate typical offer: 35 points

IB applicants must take six subjects, including Chemistry / Biology plus a second science at Higher level.
Grades of 6,6,6 at Higher level and 6,6,5 at Standard level are usually required.
No grades below 5 are accepted.

Notes about Widening Access:

As explained on the website, Sunderland is committed to Widening Participation and has initiatives to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Eligible students attending the Online Medicine summer school are guaranteed an interview, subject to meeting the GCSE, A Level and UCAT requirement.

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'.

Sunderland is a recently established medical school, where complete data on student numbers over five years is not yet available.

Total medical students: 150 Total years of course: 5 Years data reports available: 2 Average cohort per year: 75.0 Percentage of Home students in latest cohort: 100.0% Percentage of International students in latest cohort: 0.0%
Recent cohort admissions data: 
Admission year Total students admitted this year Home places International places
100 students in this cohort 100 Home students 0 International students
50 students in this cohort 50 Home students 0 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.

Note: Sunderland currently does not accept International applicants, so in our interactive charts and tables 'international applicants per interview' and 'International applicants per place' are recorded as zero.

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: 
Not specified
Ratio of International applicant interviews per place: 
Not specified
Ratio of International applicants per place: 
Not specified

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: Not specified
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: 
Not specified
Number of International applicant interviews in latest admissions cycle: 
Not specified
Number of International applicants securing places in latest admissions cycle: 
Not specified

Teaching and learning

Predominant teaching style: Integrated, PBL

Integrated, spiral curriculum.
Course formed in partnership with Keele University.
Small cohort of 100 students per year.
Inter-professional learning experiences, with allied health professions.
Scholarships available for disadvantaged students.
As explained in its overview of teaching, students at this medical school "will be taught mainly in small class sizes and learning groups but will also experience a range of other learning methods including lectures, seminars and self-directed learning.... Our programme is modern and forward thinking, using Problem Based Learning in a spiral curriculum that builds complexity year-on-year."

Intercalation mode: Optional intercalation

As explained in discussion of intercalation on this medical school's website, "Intercalation is available as an option after Year 2 as a BSc degree or Year 4 as an MSc degree. You will have the opportunity to undertake a course at the University of Sunderland, or at another University, subject to permission by the School of Medicine."

Overview of course structure

Phase one (years one and two):
Phase one takes place in years one and two, covering fundamental biomedical and behavioural science. Students receive very early clinical contact, supported by teaching on communication skills, clinical skills, and professionalism.
Phase two (years three and four):
The second phase is set in years three and four, revisiting biomedical science from phase one in more detail. Learning is integrated through numerous clinical placements, including specialties such as Psychiatry, Paediatrics, and Surgery. Student selected components are also available in phase two, allowing students to specialise in areas of particular interest.
Phase three (year five):
Phase three takes place in the fifth and final year at Sunderland. Students undertake a comprehensive assistantship in order to prepare for entry into the foundation programme. Clinical rotations include General Practice, Geriatrics, and Surgery.

Reported demographics

This chart highlights gender and disability data reported by Sunderland 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.

 As a new medical school, Sunderland has not yet reported demographics data.

Demographic data collection: 

Medical school history

Sunderland is new medical school where the first cohort of students started in September 2019.

Medical school location

School of Medicine
The University of Sunderland
Edinburgh Building, City Campus, Chester Road
United Kingdom
Geographic region: