Swansea University Medical School

Founded in 2004, Swansea University Medical School offers a 4-year graduate-only programme, which accepts applicants from any discipline, providing they meet the minimum academic and GAMSAT requirements. Interestingly, the medical school also offers a scheme which aims to inspire students to consider practicing in rural and remote areas in the future – this is known as the Rural and Remote Health in Medical Education (RRHIME) Track. Through this scheme, selected students have the opportunity to have placements in rural General Practice and secondary care settings in Aberystwyth and Haverfordwest. Furthermore, non-Welsh speakers can even undergo a Welsh for Medicine Beginners course in order to improve their language skills!

Swansea University Medical School

Graduate Applicants Only

  • Minimum Admission Criteria
  • No. of places
  • Degree
  • GCSEs
  • A-levels
  • Exam
  • Interview
  • Work experience
  • 4-year programme
  • 75
  • At least 2:1*
  • Mathematics and English/Welsh at grade C
  • N/A
  • GAMSAT**
  • 30 minute written exercise AND 2 sets of 20-minute interviews
  • Essential
*Degree: will also accept those with 2:2 IF they also hold a postgraduate masters or PhD.
**GAMSAT: minimum score 50 with at least 50 in Paper 3

Swansea University Medical School offers a 4-year programme exclusively for graduate applicants. The course itself is split into two phases: Phase 1 (years one and two) and Phase 2 (years three and four). The curriculum is taught in an integrated fashion and mainly delivered through 96 clinical cases. Instead of being structured in body ‘systems’, clinical cases and other teaching are based on 6 key themes which last throughout the whole course.

The key themes are:

  • Behaviour
  • Defence
  • Development
  • Movement
  • Nutrition
  • Transport

During Phase 1, students spend most of their time (65 weeks) on ‘learning weeks’ where learning is delivered through cases. They also spend time in a community setting with one day every third week in General Practice.

Students spend the majority of their time on clinical placement in Phase 2, gaining experience in a variety of medical and surgical specialties, as well as specialty attachments such as Child Health and Psychiatry. However, there is still some element of case-based learning through ‘Case of the Week’ topics. Electives are undertaken during the third year of the course and students often spend these abroad.

Overall, students gain a lot of clinical experience:

  • weeks Clinical Apprenticeships
  • 35 weeks Specialty Attachments
  • 11 weeks Community-based Learning
  • 6 weeks Elective and 6 weeks Foundation doctor shadowing

The medical school also has a Rural and Remote Health in Medical Education (RRHIME) scheme which aims to increase awareness about working in rural and remote areas. Students who choose to pursue this are able to gain experience in rural areas – for example undertaking rural General Practice attachments or secondary care placements in Aberystwyth and Haverfordwest. Students also take their third-year elective in a rural and remote area, usually overseas. Students can join the RRHIME programme in first-year (though some can join in year two) by submitting a reflective application on why they would like to get involved. Those who show commitment to working in rural and remote healthcare environments after graduating will be given preference.

Swansea also runs a Pathways to Medicine scheme where Swansea graduates from the following courses are guaranteed an interview for the Graduate Entry Medicine programme, provided the minimum entry requirements are met:

  • Medical Genetics
  • Medical Biochemistry
  • Applied Medical Sciences


Applicants are expected to be predicted or have achieved:

  • At least an upper second class (2:1) in a degree from any subject
  • OR a lower second class degree (2:2) AND a postgraduate Master’s or PhD
  • Merit/Distinction in an integrated Master’s degree

A levels

There are no minimum A-level requirements for this course.


Applicants are expected to have achieved at least a C grade in GCSE Mathematics AND English or Welsh or its equivalent.

IB Eligibility

The medical school does not take results in these into consideration. Applicants are expected to have achieved at least a C grade in GCSE Mathematics AND English or Welsh (or equivalent).

Admissions Exam

Applicants are required to sit the GAMSAT Exam, and are required to achieve the minimum threshold for their application to be considered:

  • Minimum overall score of 50
  • Minimum score of 50 in Paper 3 (Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences)

The GAMSAT score will be used to determine whether the candidate will be offered an interview and depending on the results of the applicants applying, the score required to reach interview stage may be more than the minimum score for consideration.

Access to Medicine courses

Access to Medicine courses are not accepted.

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma The medical school does not take results in these into consideration. Applicants are expected to have achieved at least a C grade in GCSE Mathematics AND English or Welsh or equivalent. International Students

There are currently 5 places available for international students.

International applicants are required to be predicted or have achieved the equivalent of:

  • An upper class (2:1) degree or above in any subject
  • A merit/distinction in an integrated Masters
  • A lower class (2:2) degree AND a postgraduate masters/PhD
  • GCSE mathematics achieved at grade C or above

If applicants hold multiple degrees, it will be the most recent score which will be taken.

International applicants are also expected to sit the GAMSAT where they must achieve a minimum score of 59 (note that this is a higher minimum threshold than that required of UK/EU students) overall AND a minimum of 50 in Paper 3 (Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences). Once receiving their GAMSAT results, applicants must forward it to the medical school.

If you are applying as an overseas student and taken qualifications other than those listed above, please contact us by email ([email protected]) if you would like more information on the minimum grades needed to be considered for a place in Medicine at Swansea.

Policy on Re-applicants

The university accepts re-applicants.

Policy on Deferrals

The medical school does not accept deferred applications.


For 2017 entry, applications via UCAS for 2018/19 entry are open from 1st September 2017 and close on 15th October 2017 for home applicants. Interviews are held in January 2018.

International applicants apply in May 2018 and have interviews in June 2018.

Application Documents

  • Completed UCAS application form which must include confirmation that applicants have not already pursued a previous medical degree.
  • References must be either from an academic tutor or a work experience reference.


A candidate’s academic achievements, GAMSAT score, and performance at the selection centre will be taken into account during the selection process.

First applicants are screened to ensure they meet the minimum academic requirements. Those who do, are then ranked based on their GAMSAT scores. The candidates with the highest scores are offered a place at the selection centre which runs interviews in January for UK/EU applicants (June for international applicants).

The cut-off GAMSAT score varies each year depending on the quality and quantity of applications. However, it is usually around 58.


The interviews aim to assess candidates in the following domains:

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Coping with pressure
  • Insight and integrity
  • Passion for medicine/ resilience to succeed.

At the selection centre, candidates will first undergo a 30-minute written assessment, followed by a tour of the university. The written assessment will not test an applicant’s academic skills but will determine if applicants’ personal and academic qualities are suitable for a medical career.

Following the tour, candidates will then have two further interviews which are 20 minutes each. These interviews will be conducted by two trained interviewers, chosen from a group of doctors, academics, students and members of the public. During these interviews, the personal statement will be discussed.

Following the interviews, the overall performance of each candidate will be taken into account. Those who score the highest will be given an offer – usually in March for UK/EU students.

In 2016, there were 967 Home/EU applications of which 251 were invited for an interview. 101 offers were made for 72 places.

There were 18 overseas applicants of which 5 were interviewed and 4 were offered places.

In the Guardian University Guide 2018, Medicine at Swansea University ranks 9th.

In the Complete University Guide 2018, Medicine at Swansea University ranks 3rd.

In the QS World Rankings 2017, Swansea University is within the top 450-401st universities for Medicine.

  1. 1. What are the good things about studying Medicine at this university?

    Students at Swansea benefit from being part of a small cohort. This means that the teaching tends to be of a very high quality. There is also a huge sense of community between years, with each year arranging revision evenings for the years below, of their own accord. Having all completed a degree already, students tend to be more mature, and quickly adapt to studying the four-year course at Swansea.

  2. 2. What is not so good about studying Medicine there?

    Being a small cohort has both its benefits and its drawbacks. It is harder to slip under the radar at Swansea, so if you're struggling it'll be picked up fast. This can be both a blessing and a curse. Also, considering the course is a course compacted in to four years, the pace of learning is quite fast.

  3. 3. What advice do you have for someone thinking of studying Medicine there?

    The best advice we can give any student thinking of studying at Swansea is to visit one of the open days. You'll have a chance to get a much better feel for the school, as well as the opportunity to meet current students from different years, and teaching staff. Failing that, be sure to research the school in more detail to decide if it's right for you. Bear in mind that Swansea University Medical School is exclusively a graduate entry school.

  4. 4. Do you have any tips on how to get in?

    The most important things to consider when applying to Swansea are the teaching style, what it means to study in Wales, and most importantly, why you'd be well suited to being a medical student at the school.