MB BCh Graduate Entry Medicine

Course Overview

The stand alone Graduate Entry Medicine Programme (MB BCh) in Swansea is unique in Wales, and one of a small group of similar programmes of medical study in the UK. It is an innovative, 4-year accelerated medical degree open to graduates of any discipline who have achieved, or expect to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours Degree, a lower second class PLUS a Postgraduate Masters or other higher degree or a merit or distinction in an integrated Undergraduate Masters degree. Applicants applying with an integrated Undergraduate Masters degree are required to achieve a Distinction (equivalent to a first class honours) or Merit (equivalent to an upper second class honours).

Key Features

The Graduate Entry Medicine Programme is a fully independent four-year programme based primarily in Swansea and west Wales, although students may undergo placements in other parts of Wales if they wish.  We have designed an integrated medical curriculum, where the basic biomedical sciences are learnt in the context of clinical medicine, public health, pathology, therapeutics, ethics and psycho-social issues in patient management. This, together with a high emphasis on clinical and communication skills, will provide you with everything you'll need to practise medicine competently and confidently.  

The curriculum, with its learning weeks and clinical placements, is intentionally not structured in a conventional ‘body systems’ approach but is designed to reflect the way in which clinicians approach patients and how patients present to doctors.

This innovative approach will help you to develop a way of thinking and of engaging with information that mimics that used in clinical practice. As you work your way through learning weeks, clinical placements and practical sessions, you will acquire knowledge and build up your repertoire of clinical understanding and skills. Themes and strands, which run longitudinally throughout the Programme, will help you make links with other aspects you are learning, and with things you have previously considered as well as how all this relates to clinical practice.


Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.

Year 1 (Level 4)

HE Level 4 Degree / HECert

Students choose 150 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
PM-239FSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as Scholar and Scientist 1
PM-240FSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as a Practitioner 1
Optional Modules

Choose Exactly 50 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select according to English or Welsh speaking placements.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
PM-241FSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as a Professional 1
PMW241FSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Meddyg fel Gweithiwr Proffesiynol 1

Year 2 (Level 5)

HE Level 5 Degree / HEDip

Students choose 150 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
PM-349DSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as Scholar and Scientist 2
PM-350DSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as a Practitoner 2
Optional Modules

Choose Exactly 50 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select according to English or Welsh speaking placements.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
PM-351DSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as a Professional 2
PMW351DSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Meddyg fel Gweithiwr Proffesiynol 2

Year 3 (Level 6)

HE Level 6 Degree / Honours

Students choose 150 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
PM-358ISemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as Scholar and Scientist 3
PM-359ISemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as a Practitioner 3
Optional Modules

Choose Exactly 50 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select according to English or Welsh speaking placements.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
PM-360ISemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as a Professional 3
PMW360ISemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Meddyg fel Gweithiwr Proffesiynol 3

Year 4 (Level 6)

HE Level 6 Degree / Honours

Students choose 150 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules

None found.

Optional Modules

Choose Exactly 50 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select module depending on English or Welsh speaking placements requested

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
PM-369CSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as a Professional 4
PMW369CSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Meddyg fel Gweithiwr Proffesiynol 4

Year 4 (Level )

Students choose 150 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
PM-367CSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as Scholar and Scientist 4
PM-368CSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as a Practitioner 4
Optional Modules

Choose Exactly 50 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select according to English or Welsh speaking placements.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
PM-369CSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Doctor as a Professional 4
PMW369CSemester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)50Meddyg fel Gweithiwr Proffesiynol 4


The Programme consists of Phase I (Years 1 + 2) and Phase II (Years 3 + 4).  Each year is mapped onto GMC Tomorrow’s Doctors 2009 (TD09), where 3 Modules – Scholar and Scientist, Practitioner and Professional, reflect the TD09 outcome areas.

The programme involves a spiral, integrated curriculum structured around 6 body system ‘Themes’ - Behaviour, Defence, Development, Movement, Nutrition and Transport - with 96 clinical cases presented in 70 ‘learning weeks’ (65 in Phase I and 5 in Phase II). 

There is a high level of clinical contact:

  • 39 weeks Clinical Apprenticeships
  • 35 weeks Specialty Attachments
  • 11 weeks Community Based Learning
  • 6 weeks Elective, 6 weeks Shadowing

Phase I
Learning Weeks (Case based, includes Integrated Clinical Method)
Community-Based Learning (CBL) in General Practice for one day every third week
LOCS - Learning Opportunities in the Clinical Setting
Early Apprenticeships (1-3)

Phase II
Case of the Week (Case Based Learning Weeks)
Clinical Apprenticeships
Intermediate Apprenticeships (4-6)
Assistantships (7-9) (Medicine, Surgery and Primary Care)
CBL in Year 3
Specialty Attachments in Years 3 and 4 – Seven 5 Week placements in Acute Medicine, Acute Surgery, Rehabilitation and General Medicine, Women’s Health, Child Health, Mental Health, Sub-Specialities of Medicine and Surgery
Elective at end of Year 3 (6 Week Clinical Placement mostly taken overseas)
Shadowing period at end of Year 4 prior to F1 (6 Week Clinical Placement where students “shadow” F1 doctors in their allocated post in Wales or join the all-Wales ‘shadow’ programme)

Entry Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply for Graduate Entry Medicine, you must be classed as a ‘home student’ (i.e. UK or EU citizen) and have not already pursued another medical degree (fully or in part).  All applicants much have achieved, or be predicted to achieve, the following by 31st July 2016:

  • either an upper second (2.1) or first class degree** in any subject
  • or a merit or distinction (equivalient to 2.1 or first) in an integrated undergraduate masters degree
  • or a lower second (2.2) PLUS a Postgraduate Masters or PhD 
  • GCSE Mathematics and English/Welsh at grade C or above (or equivalent)

**Degrees awarded in countries other than the UK can be accepted if they are confirmed to be equivalent to awards in the UK system.  If you hold more than one undergraduate degree, the result from the most recent degree is considered


You must also achieve a minimum overall GAMSAT score of 50, together with a minimum of 50 in Paper 3 (Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences) in order to be considered.  


Providing the entry requirements are met, all applications are treated fairly and consistently upon their merits. We recognise that candidates may have to be denied admission because of the intensity of competition for a limited number of places, despite satisfying all of the eligibility criteria above.

Interviews will be offered to candidates that meet an overall cut-off score in the GAMSAT, which is determined annually once all scores have been received. For entry in 2015, the overall cut-off score used was 58.


Graduate Entry Medicine is not open to:

  • International Students
  • Applicants who have previously enrolled on a medical degree
  • Transfers from other medical courses

How To Apply

With competition for places on the Graduate Entry Medicine Programme so fierce, and only 72 places available each year, it's good to know that you've got everything in order before you start. Here's how the process works...

All applications are made via UCAS twelve months in advance of the intended study period.

All applications are scrutinised and considered on their own merits and selection is based upon three main factors

  1. Your academic achievements (please see our  UCAS Application Checklist
  2. GAMSAT score
  3. Performance at interview 



Applications are made a year in advance of intended study so if you plan to commence the Programme in 2016, you must sit the GAMSAT in September 2015 and apply through UCAS before 15th October 2015.  Only those who meet the eligibility criteria explained above are eligible for consideration. 


You must have a suitable reference in place on your UCAS form, this can be:

  1. an academic reference
  2. or an employment or work experience reference

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2016/17 are as follows:

UK/EU International
MBBCH Full-time £9,000

Tuition fees for years of study after your first year are subject to inflationary increases for International students and at the capped fee rate as set by the UK Government for UK/EU students.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

The tuition fees do not cover the costs of purchasing books or stationery, printing, thesis binding or photocopying costs.

There are no mandatory additional costs specified for this course.

Telephone Contact Numbers

You must ensure that your telephone contact numbers are included and in place on your UCAS form.


GAMSAT is a professionally designed and marked selection test for medical schools offering graduate-entry programmes open to graduates of any discipline. You will need to sit GAMSAT if you intend to apply for entry to the GEM Programme here in Swansea.  There are no exemptions from the GAMSAT test.  

GAMSAT evaluates the nature and extent of abilities and skills gained through prior experience and learning, including the mastery and use of concepts in basic science, as well as the acquisition of more general skills in problem solving, critical thinking and writing. For more information visit GAMSAT


What do I need to do?

Prior to applying to Swansea through UCAS, you are required to sit the GAMSAT and to achieve a minimum overall score of 50, with a minimum score of 50 in section 3 (reasoning in biological and physical sciences) in order to be eligible for consideration. The test costs £228 and this fee must be paid in full at time of registration.  You must register to sit the GAMSAT through GAMSAT UK (this is in addition to your UCAS application) - dates for 2015 are listed below. All applicants will sit the GAMSAT on the same date at test centres located across the UK, including Bristol, Swansea, London, Nottingham and Sheffield. Once you have sat the GAMSAT, you may use this score for your application for two application cycles – the year in which you sit GAMSAT and the following year.


For more information, or to apply for the GAMSAT examination, please contact GAMSAT UK directly.  


GAMSAT has released the dates for 2015 application cycle.  


Test Day – Wednesday 9 September 2015

Registrations Open – Monday 25 May 2015
Registrations Close –Friday 31 July 2015
Late Registrations Close –Monday 10 August 2015 (late fee of £60 will be charged in addition to the registration fee)

Specials Applications Close - Monday 10 August 2015
Admission Tickets issued – Wednesday 26 August 2015

Results are released during November 2015

For more information, or to apply for the GAMSAT examination, please contact GAMSAT UK directly.  

UCAS Application Form Checklist

To help you with your application, we have created a  UCAS Application Checklist for Graduate Entry Medicine (A101)


Please ensure that you have checked your UCAS Form thoroughly against the checklist so that we can process your application.  We regret that failure to complete all information could invalidate your application.

How we decide

Applicants, who meet the minimum entry requirements are ranked based upon their GAMSAT scores. The applicants who have scored most highly are then invited to attend the selection centre at the College of Medicine in January. We interview up to 250 candidates a year for the 70 places we have available. We will attempt to inform all applicants whether they have been successful at this stage of the selection cycle by November or December, depending on interview dates. 

Format of the Selection Centre

After an introduction and a “setting the scene” session, you will be asked to sit a written assessment of 30 minutes duration. This is not designed to assess your academic ability, but to try and identify those applicants whose personal and academic qualities are suitable to a career in medicine.

Following the written assessment, you will have a tour of the university. You will learn more about the course and see life here at Swansea through the eyes of a medical student. It is not just about Swansea deciding if you are right for our course, but also the opportunity for you to see if Swansea is right for YOU.

After lunch, you will then be invited to attend two separate interviews, each of 20 minutes duration, conducted by a pair of trained interviewers taken from our highly trained panel of doctors, academics, students and members of the public (lay) interviewers. Your personal statement will be considered and discussed during your interview.

The interview process is designed to take account of the personal and academic qualities needed as a doctor, as set out in ‘Good Medical Practice’, and the capacity to meet the outcomes of ‘Tomorrows Doctors’. In summary these are:


  • Communication Skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Coping with pressure
  • Insight and Integrity
  • Passion for medicine/resilience to succeed


Once the interviews are completed, we will assess the overall performance of each candidate. Due to the very competitive nature of the selection process, it is only those candidates who score highest who will be offered a place at Swansea. Formal offers will be made from March 2016 onwards.

Deferred Entry

We do not accept applications for deferred entry. 

Extenuating Circumstances

We do not accept extenuating circumstances.  

We are unable to take into account any extenuating circumstances affecting academic performance, as these should already have been taken into account by the examination boards of the awarding bodies concerned, prior to you applying to Swansea.

Are you fit to practise?

All medical students during their training, and indeed all doctors once qualified, remain subject to scrutiny regarding fitness to practise throughout their professional lives. This ensures that they are fit to continue in their chosen career. 

For your safety, as well as the safety of your future patients, you will be required to undergo an Occupational Health Assessment, which includes a Fitness to Practise assessment, as well as a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prior to beginning your studies on the Graduate Entry Medicine Programme. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) offer an update service which lets applicants keep their DBS certificates up to date online and allows employers to check a certificate online. For more information, visit the DBS website

GMC Important information for applicants

Information for applicants

At the end of the undergraduate course you will receive your MB ChB (or equivalent) degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council, subject only to its acceptance that there are no Fitness to Practise concerns that need consideration. Provisional registration is time limited to a maximum of three years and 30 days (1125 days in total). After this time period your provisional registration will normally expire.

Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work. To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate course through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis. So far, all suitably qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme, but this cannot be guaranteed, for instance if there were to be an increased number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates.

Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You need full registration with a licence to practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.

GMC Important information (cont)

Although this information is currently correct, students need to be aware that regulations in this area may change from time to time.

There is some discussion about whether to remove provisional registration for newly qualified doctors. If this happens then UK graduates will receive full registration as soon as they have successfully completed an MB ChB (or equivalent) degree. It should be noted that it is very likely that UK graduates will still need to apply for a training programme similar to the current Foundation Programme and that places on this programme may not be guaranteed for every UK graduate.

In addition the GMC is currently considering whether to introduce a formal assessment that all doctors would need to pass in order to be granted full registration. Although no firm decision has been taken as to whether or when such an exam will be introduced applicants should be aware that the GMC envisages that future cohorts of medical students will need to pass parts of a new UK Medical Licensing Assessment before the GMC will grant them Registration with a Licence to Practise.



GMC provisional registration

GMC provisional registration for newly qualified doctors

The relevant paragraphs from the General Medical Council publication 'Medical students: professional values and fitness to practise' are shown below.

Point 60. Medical schools should inform students, as part of their admissions procedures, through student handbooks, and also as part of their fitness to practise guidance and procedures, that the GMC is responsible for decisions regarding registration. It must be made clear to students that the GMC will consider any issue that calls their fitness to practise into question. This includes anything that happened before or during their undergraduate years, and any decisions made by a fitness to practise panel or university. Medical schools should make students aware, before they apply for provisional registration with a licence to practise, of the requirements in the GMC’s declaration of fitness to practise.

Point 61. If there is a concern that a student may be refused registration, the GMC may be able to give advice on the possible outcomes of registration based on the disclosed facts of the case. In these circumstances, the GMC may be able to indicate whether a student would be able to register at some point in the future; but this would not bind the GMC to a particular decision at the point of registration. Given the tight timelines for entering the Foundation Programme, advice should be sought as early as possible before applying for registration with a licence to practise.

Find out more here.

Equal Opportunities

Swansea University is an equal opportunities institution and actively encourages applications from persons of all ability. For Medicine, each application is assessed on an individual basis, on the candidate’s ability to fulfill the learning outcomes and skills and competencies required to complete the MB programme and as required by the GMC document, ‘Tomorrow’s Doctors’. The GMC requires all medical schools to ensure that the applicant is able to complete in full the medical curriculum, and when considering applicants with disabilities, the College follows the advisory guidelines set out by the GMC in their document ‘Gateways to the Professions’ (this can be accessed on the GMC website). The University monitors carefully the selection process, in order to ensure that no applicants are disadvantaged.

There is no fixed upper age limit for entry onto the Graduate Entry Medicine Programme.  However, we do advise that all applicants carefully consider not only the length of the programme, but the subsequent demanding nature and intensity of a career in medicine, and the long term commitment that is required after successfully completing the course.

IMED Directory

The International Medical Education Directory (IMED) is a free web-based resource for accurate and up-to-date information about international medical schools that are recognized by the appropriate government agency in the countries where they are located.

Click here to see Swansea's entry

Rural and Remote Health

The Rural and Remote Health in Medical Education (RRHIME) Track aims to increase the numbers of students and doctors practising in rural Wales and raise awareness amongst the GEM students of the benefits and realities of living and working in rural and remote areas. 

Practice in rural, remote and underserved areas can offer varied and interesting benefits to a doctor’s career. However, these areas are often perceived as challenging environments in which to practise medicine and this perception contributes to difficulties recruiting doctors to such areas. This is a particular challenge for Wales, which has large rural areas and a shortage of speciality trainees and qualified doctors, particularly in some specialities. Research indicates that early and deep (‘immersive’) experience of rural healthcare by medical students and trainee doctors may facilitate their retention in the rural environment , . There is also demonstrated value to teachers and preceptors of having medical students and trainees in rural practice.

Welsh Language Provision

All students who choose to study at the Medical School have the opportunity to:

Opt for a Welsh language interview when applying for a placeHave a Welsh-speaking personal tutor, where availableSubmit some assignments through the medium of Welsh

Those not able to speak Welsh will be given the opportunity to follow our Welsh for Medicine beginners course, and be given support and guidance if they desire to learn more about Welsh language and culture.

For more information, please contact Dr. Heledd Iago - h.f.iago@swansea.ac.uk - 01792 602402 or visit our dedicated web pages.  

About the Medical School

Established in 2001, Swansea University Medical School aims to be an internationally-recognised centre of excellence in research and medical education. It is dedicated to equipping tomorrow's doctors and life scientists with the necessary skills and experience to address the major healthcare challenges faced globally.  

Visit the Medical School's website to find out more.