Frequently Asked Questions: 4-year Graduate Entry Medicine course (A101 - 2020 entry)
The application process
What are the entry requirements for the GEM course?
Minimum entry requirements for GEM are:
- 2:2 Bachelor Honours degree in any subject discipline - a higher degree (Masters/PhD) will be accepted in lieu of a first degree.
- Sit the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) – this score will be used to help select candidates for interview.
- Attend an interview.
- Paid or voluntary work experience in a health-care related setting
(NB: A level grades not required)
How do I apply for the GEM course?
To apply for the 4-year Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) course, you need to:
- Take the GAMSAT test. The GAMSAT test can be taken on more than one occasion, however, results can only be used if the test has been taken during the two year period immediately prior to the beginning of the course commencing. For example, if you were aiming to start your studies in September 2020, you would need to have taken the test on one (or more) of the following dates: March 2018, September 2018, March 2019 or September 2019. Please note: In this example, it would not be possible to use results obtained in the March 2020 sitting of GAMSAT as this would be too late for 2020 entry. GAMSAT Applications can only be made via the GAMSAT website.
- Apply to UCAS using Course Code A101 (and institution code N84). The closing date is usually on the 15 October each year. Please contact the UCAS helpline for further details on: 0371 4680 468 or alternatively you can contact UCAS by Twitter, Facebook or visit the UCAS website where you will be able to complete an online application form (usually from May/June).
What kind of work experience do I need to do?
It needs to take place in a care-related environment where you will ideally interact with healthcare professionals and members of the public. The main focus for asking that applicants have work experience is to ensure that you are making an informed choice about your future career and are aware of the ups and downs of being involved in medicine.
There are many ways you can do this ranging from volunteering in a care home, working as a healthcare assistant in a hospital or being involved with some kind of project, charity or organisation. It would also be helpful if you are able to spend some time shadowing doctors in a local practice or hospital environment.
Whilst previous healthcare related experience is valuable, it is also important to have more recent experience (within the last 18-24 months). Candidates who meet the preliminary entrance requirements will be asked to outline the experience they have and this is used to help inform the selection of candidates for interview. In addition to helping inform your decision to apply and secure an interview, healthcare related work experience can be useful at the interview stage of the admissions process. The Admissions Panel generally prefer candidates to gain experience regularly over several months rather than one or two very short visits to a local hospital. The Panel will be looking for evidence of commitment and dedication on your part however, given the diversity and backgrounds of applicants, they will take personal circumstances into account such as the candidate’s age, ongoing educational, employment and family commitments.
Can I apply for the GEM course while I’m still completing my final year of my degree course?
You are most welcome to apply in your final year of university - many of our applicants do. Any place offered to you would be conditional on the basis of you obtaining a minimum 2:2 in your degree (or a 2:1 degree depending on the GAMSAT score obtained) and providing evidence to support this (such as a final transcript of studies or degree certificate) by 20 July prior to the course commencing.
How many applications do you receive each year?
At the start of the admissions process we tend to receive approximately 10 applications for every place. The odds are reduced quite considerably after applicants have completed GAMSAT successfully to approximately 1 in 3 being offered a place.
Can I defer my entry?
Permission to defer will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and the reason for deferral must serve to further prepare the candidate for a future career in medicine, for example, working with the Voluntary Service Abroad or International Health charities. Career development, personal travel (i.e. holidays), financial considerations or the completion of a first degree/other qualification are not considered 'exceptional' reasons for seeking a deferred place.
Questions relating to references
Your referee should know you well enough to write about you and to comment on your suitability for higher education.
References are usually written by someone who knows you academically. Most references will talk about you from a lecturer's or personal tutor's perspective:
- How you work academically
- How you interact with other students and teachers
Your reference does not have to be academic, but if you are studying or have recently left university, a reference from your tutor will be expected.
If you are a mature student and cannot obtain an academic reference, you should ask a responsible person who knows you to provide your reference. This could be an employer, training officer, careers adviser, a teacher on a recent relevant further education course, or a senior colleague in employment or voluntary work. The reference should be provided by a person who can offer an independent account of your abilities, therefore, they should not be provided by a relative or friend.
Can I send my CV in?
You are most welcome to send your CV to support your UCAS application for the Graduate Entry Medicine course (A101) however, please be aware that it will have very little influence with regards to the admissions selection process and will not be shared with the interviewers.
Please send your CV to:
The Admissions Coordinator
Derby Student Services Centre
The University of Nottingham Medical School at Derby
Royal Derby Hospital
Uttoxeter Road, Derby
DE22 3DT, UK
Queries relating to disabilities or health problems
The University of Nottingham welcomes students with disabilities. However, the School of Medicine has a special responsibility to ensure that all candidates admitted to the course will be eligible for registration by the General Medical Council on graduation (further guidance is available at www.gmc-uk.org).
We ask that applicants consider the following statements that describe our position with regard to certain personal circumstances that could make it difficult or impossible for you to practise as a doctor. A disability is a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Fitness to practise/Occupational Health queries
As you are probably aware, all applicants will be screened to ensure that they are 'fit to practise' as set down by the General Medical Council in its guidance to the medical profession, Good Medical Practice.
All offers are subject to the results of screening for Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Tuberculosis, two MMR vaccinations (or evidence of immunity to measles and rubella), and varicella vaccinations (for a history of having chicken pox).
In addition, you will need to have an Occupational Health Assessment. Occupational Health Assessments are provided by OH Works Ltd. based at the Health Centre in Lenton Hurst, (Building Number 52), University Park, Nottingham. Contact telephone number: 0115 951 4329
Please note: Occupational Health does not provide general practice services e.g. diagnose or treat non-occupational conditions, these should be referred to your General Practitioner.
Offers are also subject to a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
I have an international degree. Can you tell me what would be its equivalent classification with a UK degree?
Please contact UK NARIC who will be able to provide guidance on the comparability of your qualifications with those in the United Kingdom. Their contact details are:
68-70 Suffolk Road
Glos GL50 2ED
Tel: +44 (0)871 330 7033
Fax: +44 (0)871 330 7005
When will my conditional offer become unconditional as I need to sort out accommodation, etc?
Your conditional offer will officially become unconditional when the GEM Admissions team has received confirmation that all of your conditions have been satisfied. If you are aware that there are no circumstances in your past that will affect your DBS/ health checks, you have completed your degree and no events have occurred during the admissions period that could raise concerns about your conduct/fitness to practice then you can assume that you could go ahead and make the necessary preparations for starting the GEM course. However, you will understand that we cannot officially advise you to do this until all conditions are completed satisfactorily.
You will be contacted by our Admissions team as soon as your conditions have been met and subsequently your offer will be made unconditional.
Students on medical courses are able to apply for a bursary in the later years of their course. In Years 2-4 of the GEM course most English domiciled students will be eligible to apply for an NHS Bursary. This bursary has been made available specifically for those undertaking courses in graduate medicine and dentistry; in most cases it will cover your tuition fees and some living expenses. See further information.
Do you consider late entries via "clearing"?
As we receive such a large number of applications before the official closing date, we do not consider late applications. If, by chance, any places do become available before the start of the course, we will only consider those candidates who have previously been interviewed but were unsuccessful earlier in the year. We do not enter the UCAS clearing system.
If I make a change from another medicine course to Nottingham’s medicine course within the UCAS 14 day substitution criteria, would my application be considered?
If the change is made before the 15th October deadline for medicine, then we would consider your application. However if the change is made after the deadline, even if the original application was submitted through UCAS prior to the deadline, the application would be considered as a late application and your application would be unsuccessful.
How will I receive updates about my application?
It is the responsibility of the applicant to check their email inbox, including their junk/spam folder for any email correspondence from the university. We will use the email address you provide within your UCAS application. If we have requested information and don’t hear back from you by any deadline(s) given, we may not be able to continue assessing your application. There have been occasions where emails from us have gone straight into email junk folders. Therefore please be sure to check frequently for any correspondence from us. The university can’t be held responsible for missed communication, due to emails going into junk folders.
You need to achieve a minimum score of 55 in Section II and 55 in either Section I or III and a score of 50 in the remaining section. A cut-off total score is also determined each year and this usually depends on the overall standard of applicants taking the GAMSAT test, plus the number of applicants, places and interview appointments available. Interviews are usually offered to those who achieve the highest GAMSAT scores.
To date, these cut-off scores have varied from 58 to 65 between 2005 and 2018. A marginally higher cut-off score is usually applied for applicants who hold a 2:2 degree. The cut-off score for applicants who hold a 2:1, 1st or higher degree (e.g., a Master’s or PhD) is usually 5 points lower.
A PDF booklet about the test itself, the preparation for it and the scoring process can be found on the GAMSAT website.
GAMSAT score calculation
The GAMSAT results are calculated separately in 2 ways:
i. Total score = (section 1 + section 2+ 2 x Section 3)/4
ii. Total score = (Section 1 + Section 2 + Section 3)/3
We use the higher of either (i) or (ii).
What kind of courses does Nottingham offer to help with the GAMSAT examination?
The University of Nottingham does not offer any preparatory courses for the GAMSAT examination.
Candidates without a science background may wish to work through first year degree level chemistry and biology textbooks and an A-level physics textbook.
How many students who have a non-science background join the GEM course?
Approximately 30%-40% of our students are from non-science backgrounds and successfully pass GAMSAT.
GAMSAT is quite challenging, however, it is useful preparation for medical school and evidence suggests that GAMSAT scores are an effective predictor of some aspects of academic study.
When will I receive my GAMSAT score?
You will be notified of your GAMSAT score around mid-November and will be contacted by email to advise you of whether you have met the cut-off score. Candidates who have met the cut-off score and other criteria will be asked to complete a questionnaire concerning your work experience and education.
Will you accept a GAMSAT score that was taken in Australia or Ireland?
Yes, provided your results were obtained during the past two years. As the GEM interviews are usually held in December and before/following Easter, it would not be possible to use results obtained in March of the same year.
Request for extenuating circumstances/special consideration following release of GAMSAT scores
Unfortunately the University of Nottingham's GEM Admissions Team cannot take extenuating circumstances into account retrospectively as they are unable to predict how this would have affected your GAMSAT score.
When will I know about my interview date?
Letters inviting applicants for interview will be forwarded around November and February.
If you have any problems with this date, you will need to contact the Student Recruitment and Support Hub at +44 (0) 115-951-5559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I did not reach the required GAMSAT score for interview however I am committed to gaining a place to study medicine – what are my options?
Re-apply for the following year's entry.
Applicants can sit GAMSAT as many times as they wish but we will only allow them to be interviewed twice.
How do you select interview candidates?
When are the interview dates?
Interviews dates for 2020 entry are still to be confirmed, however, some provisional dates are listed below:
- Monday 16 December – Wednesday 18 December, 2019
- Monday 6 April – Thursday 9 April, 2020
- Wednesday 15 April – Friday 17 April 2020
What can I expect at the interview?
You will be interviewed by trained interviewers: clinicians, academics and lay people, in a multiple mini interview format. Interviewers will be drawn from a wide range of professions related to science, health services management, education and human resources.
You will be graded on your answers to questions based around the following themes:
- Are you realistic about what it means to be a doctor?
- Your interest in the field of medicine
- Your personal attributes necessary for the study and practice of medicine
What documentation do I need?
You will be asked to upload your degree certificate(s) where available. You will also be asked to present the following at interview:
- original copies of degree certificates
- proof of identity/address in three forms (suitable examples include: a passport, driving license, UK birth certificate, recent utility bill or bank statement)
Failure to provide original certificates before 20 July of the year of entry will result in your place being withdrawn.
All candidates who are given a conditional offer will be required to undergo checks with the Disclosure & Barring (formerly Criminal Records Bureau) and Occupational Health services.
What is the difference between the five-year course and the four-year course?
The five-year medicine course is designed for 18 year olds who are completing their A levels or equivalent. The four-year Graduate Entry Medicine course is designed for students who already have a first degree or are working towards a first degree.
On both courses the educational objectives are the same, namely to acquire the knowledge, skills and behaviour to allow the graduate to practise as a pre-registration house officer with the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (BM BS) degrees. In addition, all students on the five year course obtain a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSci) degree after three years.
Please visit the online prospectus for more detailed information about both the A100/A10L and A101 courses.
What is the process for admissions feedback, appeals or complaints?
The University of Nottingham receives a considerable number of applications per place and as entry is competitive, it is, regrettably, unable to make every applicant an offer.
Due to the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the University's policy on disclosure, the University will only correspond on any issue regarding an application with the applicant themselves, unless the applicant has provided written permission for the University to discuss their application with another person (e.g. a parent, guardian or school adviser).
Please see the Quality Manual for further information.
Please see the Accommodation Service website, which gives specific accommodation information for prospective GEM students at Derby.
Would you consider my application if I had previously been studying on a medicine course at either this or another Medical School and was unable to complete the course, even if I had extenuating circumstances?
Generally, we would not accept an application. However we would make our decision on an individual basis. Therefore, you must contact us before you make an application so we can review the situation and make an informed decision. If you apply to us without having made contact before making the application, we would not accept the application.