Three students work on a whiteboard

Foundation Year for Medicine and Surgery

The Foundation Year (Certificate of Higher Education) is designed for students who are not eligible to apply directly to the MBChB Medicine and Surgery degree programme.


A one-year Certificate in Higher Education for those who are not eligible for direct entry to Medicine and Surgery.


15 modules including Anatomy and Tissue Structure; Genetics; Hormones and Development; Infection and Immunity, and Human Physiology. 


Designed to prepare you for successful progression onto our five-year undergraduate medical degree (MBChB).

What are we looking for?

Do you have what it takes to be a successful medical student and an excellent doctor? From compassion and caring to insight and reflection, we are looking for students who are motivated and conscientious, committed to making a difference to the health and wellbeing of their patients, and the community they live in.

Underpinned by academic ability, being able to work alongside your peers and respect others in your profession and practice will make a massive impact on your impact as a medical practitioner. If you are passionate about fighting the causes of disease and want to join the future of medicine, join us at Lancaster.

Your non-academic suitability will be assessed through multiple mini interviews. In your personal statement, you should demonstrate suitable evidence of the following:

  • Relevant work experience: what have you done to establish that medicine is the right career path for you? This does not necessarily mean shadowing a doctor but any experience within a healthcare setting where applicants can gain an insight into the realities of modern healthcare and their own ability to work with and care for vulnerable people.  Please see the Medical Schools Council website for advice and guidance.
  • Insight into a medical career: what did you learn about being a doctor and about your own suitability for a medical career from your work and voluntary experiences.
  • Effective written communications skills: a coherent, well-structured personal statement that conveys a real impression of you.
  • An understanding of the NHS constitution and core values: what do you know about the values that should underpin everything the NHS does? What have you learned from your work and voluntary experiences that could illustrate why these values are important? What experiences could you discuss to demonstrate that you share these values? More information about the NHS Constitution and Core Values can be found on the NHS website
  • A commitment to society: when have you given up your time for the benefit of others? This might include examples of voluntary work or significant caring roles. You should provide details of the level of commitment demanded by these roles, the skills developed and their relevance to a medical career.

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Academic requirements

The course is designed to prepare you for successful progression onto the five-year undergraduate medical degree programme. At the end of the Foundation Year, you will also be awarded a Certificate in Higher Education. Foundation Year is ideal for those who are:

  • Studying the right subjects at A Level (including both Biology and Chemistry), are not predicted AAA or above but you meet two or more of our widening participation criteria.
  • Studying the right subjects at A Level (including both Biology and Chemistry), are not predicted AAA or above but have serious mitigating circumstances that have had a significant impact on your A Level performance.

If you fail to meet the academic criteria for progression onto the medical degree, you may still be eligible to progress onto a number of other degree programmes offered by the Faculty of Health and Medicine (for example, Biomedical Science).

Course details

Learn more about the Foundation Year programme, including course structure, careers information, and fees and funding.

View the details

How to apply

Find out more about the application process for our foundation course.

Learn about the application process