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Admissions policy - A101 Graduate Entry Medicine


The contents of this policy statement are neither an exhaustive nor an exclusive list of issues relating to the A101 admissions process. This policy is regularly updated and is subject to change.

It is important that the process of student admissions onto the medical programmes at The University of Nottingham is free from unlawful discrimination of any kind.  The following guidelines are based on those prepared by The University of Nottingham Medical School Admissions Committee (A100 five-year course).  These guidelines are consistent with The University of Nottingham Code of Practice on Admissions and Recruitment.

The admissions process for Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) is overseen by the Academic Lead for Admissions with administrative support provided by the Admissions Officer.

The Policy is reviewed and updated when necessary on an annual basis; copies will be provided to staff involved in any aspect of student selection for the GEM course. 

Fair Admissions

The following play no part in the GEM admissions process:

  • Being from a medical background
  • Being related to or an acquaintance of a member of the Medical School or University
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Religious or philosophical belief
  • Marital or parental status
  • Social background or class or school
  • Ethnicity
  • Country of origin (although only students who are deemed to have UK 'home status' are eligible to apply for a Home place on the course).

Maintaining records

Keeping Data

Records relating to applications to the GEM Course will be kept for a limited time.  All applicants whether successful or not are able to access information contained on UCAS forms during the application period (from October - April/May the following year).  All interview materials (including notes made by interview panels) remain confidential to the Student Services & Course Administration Centre; this information is not generally released to students as it would compromise the integrity of the structured interview programme.  Individual feedback on interview performance will be provided in the form of z-scores appertaining to the key attributes assessed.

General statistical information will be collated each year.  This anonymised data is used for analysis/planning purposes.  Examples of data collated include gender ratios, analysis of first degrees and average age of applicants.  The University Planning Unit will use applicant statistics in order to monitor its widening participation objectives.


Policy development and committees

Lines of Communication and Committees

Derby Admissions Strategy Group

GEM Course Admissions Policy is defined at a local level by the Derby Admissions Strategy Group (DAG, chaired by the Academic Admissions Lead) and confirmed by the Faculty Admissions Committee.  The first meeting takes place at the start of each admissions session: the statistical data on the preceding year's admissions cycle is reviewed and the process for the forthcoming session will be discussed and agreed.  Additional meetings are held as required to review progress, discuss any problems and implement any policy amendments as necessary.

The Derby Admissions Strategy Group comprises:

  • Admissions Sub-Dean
  • Academic Lead for Admissions (GEM course)
  • GEM&H School Manager
  • Admissions Officer
  • Assistant Clinical Sub-Dean or representative from Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • School Disability Liaison Officer
  • GEM Senior Tutor
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Members of the Admissions Panel

Lines of communication to other committees

Admissions policy for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is agreed by the Faculty Admissions Committee.  The Academic Lead for Admissions (GEM course) sits on and reports into this Committee as a representative of the ASG.

In addition, the Academic Lead for Admissions (GEM course) sits on and reports to the Undergraduate Education Committee (UGEC).


Additional Guidance

Fitness to Practice, Criminal Convictions and Disability

Identifying Fitness to Practise Issues

  • By awarding a medical degree, the University  is confirming that the graduate is fit to practise to the high standards laid down by the General Medical Council ( in its guidance Promoting Excellence (2016) and Good Medical Practice (2006). It is therefore important that those candidates who may have fitness to practise issues, both criminal or health related disclose this information confidentially to the Admissions Officer as soon as possible.  The UCAS application is therefore screened during Phase 1 for declarations of previous criminal convictions and health status.

Criminal convictions and professional misconduct

  • Where criminal conviction/s, which includes police cautions, verbal cautions, reprimands, final warnings and bind-over orders is revealed by a declaration on the UCAS application form, at interview or from a disclosure by the Disclosure and Barring Service, the decision on whether or not to admit the student to the course are referred to the GEM Admissions Lead who will consult the other members of the Admissions Team, and, where necessary the Head of School or the Associate Dean for Education or the Admissions Sub-Dean.  If it is clear that the offence/s does not compromise fitness to practise it may be decided to allow admission to the course.  Should the case be more serious, either the application for admission should be rejected or the case referred to the Dean of Faculty who may decide to refer it to the Fitness to Practise Committee.  Applicants invited to interview are asked to declare any police record, criminal convictions and any proceedings or findings against them by a professional statutory body.  Any potential fitness to practise issues are considered as listed above for criminal convictions.

Disability, special needs or medical conditions

  • These are considered independently from the academic selection criteria and process.  Consideration, together with any additional information, assessment or referral to Occupational Health only after the decision to make a conditional offer on academic grounds.
  • Where a candidate has indicated that they have a disability, special needs or chronic medical condition, the Admissions Officer will write to the candidate to request further information.  Once received, this information will be looked at by the Admissions Team, including consultation as for Phase I - Criminal Convictions - and a decision made as to whether the candidate is able to fulfil the 'core competencies' of the course and go on to be registered by the General Medical Council (GMC). Where appropriate, appraisal of the candidate's ability to tain the core competencies specified by the GMC (Promoting Excellence 2016) and advice will be sought from representatives of the Occupational Health service and the candidate will be informed in writing as to whether it is appropriate to proceed with their admission.


Deferred Places
As a rule, the Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) course does not accept applications for deferred entry.  Permission to defer will only be granted by the Academic Lead for Admissions in exceptional circumstances such as unforeseen health issues.  Gaining appropriate work experience, financial problems and personal travel are not considered exceptional circumstances.
Voluntary and Work Experience

All applicants are expected to have substantial experience of working or volunteering in a health-care related setting and to have observed the work of doctors to ensure that they are making an informed choice about a career in medicine.  It is highly unlikely that students with little or no work experience will be offered a place on the GEM course.


Overview of the admissions process

Basic entrance requirements

All potential applicants to the GEM course should have i) a first degree - Bachelors of Masters Degree with Honours classified 2:2 or above; alternatively a higher degree (postgraduate Master or PhD) will be accepted in lieu of a first degree, and ii) be deemed to have UK 'home status' for the current HEFCE funded number of places, or 'International status' for the limited number of additional places agreed each year by the University Planning process.

Guidance on home status (in determining whether students are eligible to pay 'home' and not overseas fees) is provided by the UK Council for International Education (UKCOSA).  Generally, those applicants who are eligible for home fees include:

  • UK and EU citizens (or children of UK and EU citizens) who have been living in the European Economic Area (EEA) for the past three years for purposes other than full time education;
  • Citizens of another country who have 'indefinite leave to remain' or 'right of abode' in the UK and have been living in the UK for the past three years for purposes other than full time education;
  • EEA national migrant workers (or the spouse or parent of a EEA national migrant worker) who have been living in the EEA for the past three years for purposes other than full time education;
  • Refugees or those that have been refused refugee status but have been granted either 'exceptional leave to enter or remain' or 'humanitarian protection'.

All applicants should check with the Student Services & Course Administration Centre whether they have 'home status' BEFORE applying for a place on the GEM course.

There is no age limit for GEM course applicants.  Age is not a barrier to entry at any stage although candidates should consider the length of the course and their expected length of health sector service upon graduation (including postgraduate training).

Overview of the admissions process

 There are four phases of the selection process:

PHASE I - Initial application

Candidates apply via UCAS.  Application forms are screened to ensure candidates possess the basic entrance requirements as detailed above.  Those candidates who fail to meet these basic requirements will be rejected at this stage and candidates informed in writing why they have been rejected.  Further information about degree and fee status will be requested from candidates where the UCAS form is unclear.


All candidates are required to sit the Graduate Entry Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) managed by the Australian Council for Educational Research and administered in the UK by UCAS.  The GAMSAT currently takes place three times per annum - in Australia and US in January, in Eire in March and in UK in September.  Candidates are selected for interview based on their performance in the exam.

Candidates are required to achieve minimum scores on each paper (55 on Section II, 50 and 55 in Sections I and III in any order); cut-off scores above these minimum thresholds will be identified by the admissions teams at Derby based on the optimal number of candidates the school is able to interview (usually 2-3 times the number of places available).  Two cut-off scores are identified - one for candidates with 1st or 2.1 or higher postgraduate degrees, a second cut-off 5 GAMSAT points higher for candidates with a 2:2 class first degree.  Those candidates who do not meet the cut-off score or the minimum section threshold requirements are then rejected and informed in writing why they have been rejected.

PHASE III - Structured Interview

Those candidates who achieve the relevant cut-off score are invited to attend a structured interview.  They are asked to complete an on-line questionnaire to supply details of their work experience and contact details, and any police record.  Reported work experience is reviewed by the Admissions Team and invitation to interview may be withdrawn if it appears the candidate has inadequate or no relevant work experience.

The structured interview is designed to assess the applicants' personal qualities considered essential for the practice of medicine.  All candidates are asked the same set of questions around the following themes:

  • Candidates' realism about what it means to be a doctor
  • Candidates' interest in medicine
  • Candidates' personal attributes necessary for the study of medicine

Candidates will be interviewed by a panel of 8 - 10 people which consists of university academic staff, medical practitioners, and lay people with relevant expertise.  Lay members will be drawn from a wide range of professions allied to medicine including science, health services management, education and human resources.  One member of the panel Admissions Team will 'Chair' the panel and will lead the discussion and grading.  All interviewers will have undergone training using standardised examples of the structured interview process to ensure consistency.

Each interview takes about one hour in total; candidates are seen by each interviewer and, when completed, the panel discuss the evidence demonstrated by each candidate in order to grade them.  Panel members are issued with question sheets where they may record notes and ratings throughout the interviews.  During the panel discussion an overall grade form A to E will then be awarded based on pre-determined criteria for each grade.  The Chair is expected to document clearly the reason for awarding an overall grade.

Those candidates with the highest grades will be offered a conditional place on the GEM course.  Candidates will be informed by UCAS and the Admissions Officer in the week following the last interview (usually mid-April).

Offers are conditional upon candidates achieving:

  • A 2:2 in their undergraduate degree (if not already obtained) or a 2:1 if their GAMSAT overall score is below the higher cut-off score used for applicants with a 2:2 degree, or if using a higher degree in lieu of an undergraduate degree, a pass should be obtained by 1 August prior to the start of the course.
  • A satisfactory Disclosure, Barring Scheme (DBS) check or alternative jurisdiction police record check.  Candidates are required to undergo an 'enhanced'DBS check; this will reveal the details of any cautions or convictions that the candidate has obtained.
  • A satisfactory Occupational Health screening.  The Occupational Health team will assess each candidate individually to ensure the candidate is fit to undertake the course and fit to practise.  Current guidance for this assessment is provided by the General Medical Council recommendations for undergraduate medicine (Promoting Excellence 2016) and the Higher Education Occupational Physicians (HEOPS)guidelines.

Phase IV

Consideration of reasonable adjustments and any barriers to attainment of core competences are assessed - see Fitness to Practice, Criminal Convictions and Disability above.



(Last updated: 18 January 2016)


School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
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