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Graduate entry medical school classroom

If you came here from our ‘How To Apply Tactically To UK Medical School’ blog post, where we mention the importance of a strategic and well-informed application, you’re in the right place!

A really common question posed in lots of forums is “Can I do Graduate Entry Medicine with a non-science or humanities degree” – the answer is that you absolutely can!

One of the best things about GEM is that the universities are looking for a bit of life experience and transferrable skills in their students. The greatest tool a graduate student has is their maturity and experience, and you can gain both of those things from a humanities or arts-based course as opposed to a pure science one.

So, what universities will accept a humanities degree for GEM? Well there are actually quite a few, with 9 out of 16 (over half!) accepting a non-science degree from their applicants. These universities are listed below…

  • Cambridge
  • Newcastle
  • Nottingham
  • Southampton
  • St Andrew’s
  • St George’s
  • Swansea
  • Ulster *new
  • Worcester *new

You will notice that as well as a couple of brand-new medical schools with their first cohorts being September 2021, there are 4 choices (a whole UCAS application!) of more well-established medical schools all taking a non-science degree. This should reassure you that some of the best and most well-known medical schools respect and appreciate the different experiences that people with non-science degrees can bring to the medical field.

Listed below is a breakdown of the different requirements for each of the universities along with a table that outlines the best places to apply to medicine without a science degree. There are a number of factors to consider including where can I apply with science a-levels but no degree, where can I apply with no science degree or a-levels, what entrance exams will I have to take if I don’t have a science degree a so on – hopefully, most of these are outlined in the crib sheet below!

Cambridge’s GEM course will accept a 2:1 in any honours degree, but there are quite strong A-level requirements that are science-based. This might be ideal for someone with good science A-levels who decided to do something else at university first.

Newcastle’s GEM course is quite individual in that it will accept practising healthcare professionals with a post-registration qualification, as well as those with a 2:1 in any honours degree. There is no requirement for A-levels and GCSEs but quite a high UCAT threshold with additional points for work experience and volunteering. This is ideal for a candidate with no science background but a very high UCAT.

Nottingham’s GEM course offsets their lower degree acceptance of 2:2 and no A-level requirements with their requirement of the GAMSAT admissions test. It is possible to do really well in the GAMSAT even if you don’t have science A-levels, it’s just a matter of targeted preparation. This course is suitable for those with a lower degree classification, who have the time to really dedicate some hours to prep for the GAMSAT.

Southampton’s GEM is quite similar to Newcastle’s in that they will accept a 2:1 honours degree with no science at A-level. They require 4 GCSEs at C or above in English, Maths and either Chemistry or Biology. They also require s higher score in the UCAT, around 2800. This is ideal for a candidate with limited science background but a high UCAT.

St Andrew’s GEM or ScotGEM as it is known is split with 2 years done at St Andrew’s and 2 years done at Dundee. This requires a 2:1 honours degree and a B in chemistry at A-level and GCSE B in Maths. There is also a requirement for the GAMSAT with a cut-off of an overall score of 50. It is important to remember that Scottish students will be favoured in the selection process over Rest of UK students. Ideal for Scottish students, or those with a middling science background at A-level, and time for the GAMSAT.

St George’s GEM is very popular for those with a high GAMSAT score and no science background. They have a 2:1 honours requirement but not science required at A-level or GCSE. They have a GAMSAT minimum of 50 but often the cut-off for interview is higher than this. It is a popular school in London so quite competitive. Ideal for someone with no science background but time for the GAMSAT.

Swansea’s GEM programme has a 2:1 honours requirement, but no science at A-level and GCSE. There is a middling GAMSAT cut-off of 50 in S3 but this cut-off for interview is higher, around 60 overall. Ideal for someone with no science background but time for the GAMSAT.

Worcester’s GEM programme is currently only for international students with a 2:1 honours requirement. It does not need any science A-level or GCSE. There is a requirement for the GAMSAT but no know cut-off, and also the CASPer which is a short situational judgement test, not dissimilar to the SJT section of the UKCAT. This is ideal for international students with no science background.

Ulster’s GEM is brand new and as such as minimal but likely to change entry requirements. They require a 2:1 honours degree, with no science A-level or GCSEs. There is a GAMSAT required but no cut-off at the moment (I suspect it will be around 50). This is ideal for people with no science background but time for the GAMSAT.

UniversityDegreeScience A LevelsA Level RequirementsGCSE RequirementsAdmissions ExamPersonal StatementWork Experience


43 Home Places

1:11 success rate

2:1AAA with Chemistry and one of either Biology, Physics, or Mathematics.Maths and English at C and aboveNoneNot scoredWeighted highly ‘hands on care within NHS environment’ favoured


25 Home Places

1:20 success rate

2:1NoneNoneUCAT (2900)Not scoredWeighted, accept volunteering


113 Home Places

1:6 success rate

2:2NoneNoneGAMSAT 50/55/55Not scoredWeighted highly


48 Home Places

No data

2:1NoneMaths, English and either Chem or Bio at C and aboveUCAT (2800)Not scoredNot weighted but appropriate life experience listed
St Andrew’s (ScotGEM)


55 Home Places

1:3 success rate

2:1B in ChemistryB in MathsGAMSAT (50)Not ScoredWeighted with mix of shadowing and care
St George’s


50-70 Home Places

1:10 success rate

2:1NoneNoneGAMSAT (60)Not soredWeighted


90 Home Places

1:7 success rate

2:1NoneNoneGAMSAT (50)Not ScoredNot Scored



2:1NoneMaths and English CGAMSAT (?) and CASPer situational judgement testNot ScoredWeighted
Ulster2:1NoneEnglish CGAMSAT (?)Not ScoredNot Essential

If you would like to join the inner circle, where you can get regular 1 ON 1 guidance to help you get into your first choice medical school, you can apply here.

By Charlie Bailie