How to apply for Foundation Year

Applications are made through UCAS. The deadline for applications to study Foundation Year for Medicine & Surgery (A900) for 2020 entry is 15th October 2019.

Academic entry requirements

Entry requirements follow that of the MBChB degree, to allow progression onto the full medicine course if successful at Foundation level. The Foundation Year for Medicine and Surgery is designed for students who are not eligible to apply directly to the Medicine and Surgery degree programme. Your application to the Foundation Year for Medicine and Surgery will be considered in a four stage selection process detailed below; the academic entry requirements are considered at the first stage.

We do not use UKCAT in our selection process but all applicants will be expected to complete the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) in either August (before application) or October 2019 (after application). For more information, please see the BMAT website.

Stage 1: Academic aptitude

Applications are assessed against our entry requirements, considering prior academic achievement and predicted grades.

Only those who meet our academic entry requirements (at GCSE and A Level) or have achieved the requisite grades at GCSE and are predicted at least BBB at A Level (or equivalent in other qualifications) will progress to Stage 2.

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) score is not considered in our selection process. Please note, from 2016 entry onwards, all applicants will be expected to take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT).

Stage 2: Biomedical Admissions Test

From 2016 entry onwards, all applicants must take the Biomedical Admissions test (BMAT) to be eligible to be considered at Lancaster Medical School.

More information about BMAT, how to register and how to prepare for the test can be found on the BMAT website.

Registration and taking the test:

You must register to be able to take BMAT. Registration is separate from the UCAS application process and the deadline is before the UCAS application deadline (see below), although late registration is accepted up until 15th October. 

There are two possible dates on which to take the BMAT: Saturday 1st September and Wednesday 31st October. The registration and test-taking procedure differs between the two dates (see below and BMAT website)

Sat 31st Aug:            Registration 24/6/19 – 11/8/19

                                Available at over 20 test centres in the UK

Wed 31st Oct:           Candidates cannot register themselves; they need to register via a test centre (often their school or college)

                                Registration 1/9/19 – 1/10/19 (standard entry fee)

                                Late registration deadline: 15/10/19

                                Test taken in school, sixth form college or other test centre

Lancaster Medical School will accept BMAT results from both test dates but applicants are only permitted to take BMAT once per admissions cycle. If you opt to take BMAT in August 2019, you cannot then register and take BMAT for a second time in October 2019. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Lancaster Medical School: medicine@lancaster.ac.uk  

Preparing for BMAT:

Part of the BMAT assesses your ability to apply what you have learned in GCSE Science and Mathematics (or equivalent) in a different context. If you are good at Science and Maths, you are likely to do well in the BMAT.

There is information on the BMAT website about how to prepare for the test, including free specimen and past papers. There is no need to undertake any preparatory coaching courses but the following simple steps will help you prepare for the test:

  1. Make sure that you are familiar with the format of questions in each section.
  2. Review the test specification, including the assumed knowledge sections.
  3. If you are not studying Maths or Physics A Level (all applicants will offer Biology and Chemistry A-levels), then you may need to revise the topics covered in GCSE for these subjects.
  4. Attempt practice papers for all three sections, under timed conditions. Evidence suggests that this is the most effective way to prepare for BMAT.

In 2015, a survey revealed that BMAT candidates spent 30 hours, on average, preparing for the test

How is BMAT used in the selection process?

Applicants will be ranked according to their BMAT score and the top-ranking applicants will progress to Stage 3.

Stage 3: Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

No applicant will be offered a place without being interviewed in person. The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) will usually be held in January and February. The exact timing of the MMI days will vary from year to year but we aim to give applicants two weeks’ notice of their MMI date.

The MMI consists of 12-15 different 'stations', most of which will be five minutes long. Some stations will consist of a short interview, where you may be asked questions about your career choice, work experience or suitability for a medical career. At others, you may be asked to read a short paragraph or watch a short video clip, take some notes and then discuss at a subsequent station. An additional 20 minute station will involve group work and will assess your suitability for our problem-based learning curriculum. Applicants who are selected for interview will be sent detailed information prior to their interview. The applicant’s performance at each station is assessed by trained interviewers, against clearly defined criteria. Interviewers include members of University staff, NHS clinicians, local GPs, patients and public representatives, and medical students.

Applicants are assessed at each station and given a score for their performance at that station. The station scores are summed and applicants ranked according to their overall MMI score. Those with the highest score will be made an offer of a place to study medicine. All offers are conditional upon being deemed Fit to Practise (stage 4).

Stage 4: Fitness to Practise

The professional body that governs medical practice in the UK, the General Medical Council (GMC), has specific requirements to protect staff and patient safety. In accordance with these requirements, all medical students must have the ability to function as a fully competent doctor and fulfil the rigorous demands of professional fitness to practise. Applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with the expectations of medical students to ensure that they are able to comply with these requirements before applying.

  • If you are studying the right subjects at A Level (including Biology and Chemistry), are not predicted the grades for direct entry to Medicine and fulfill certain widening participation criteria.

    The Foundation Year for Medicine and Surgery is designed for students who are not eligible to apply directly to the A100 Medicine and Surgery programme.

    Lancaster Medical School believes that doctors should reflect the community they serve and that future doctors should be selected from all sections of society. To this end, we are committed to widening participation. The Foundation Year is a route into Medicine for those whose academic grades would not allow them to be considered for direct entry but who fulfil certain widening participation criteria.

    We will use a range of indicators to determine whether you are eligible for entry to our Foundation year course. You may be eligible for the Foundation Year, and to be made a lower offer compared to those applying directly, if you fulfil certain widening participation criteria, such as living in an area where a low proportion of school leavers go onto higher education; being from a low income family or being the first in family to attend university.

    Eligibility Criteria 

    You are a UK applicant. EU and International students are not eligible for the Foundation Year.

    • You meet the academic entry requirements – please see the A900 Widening Participation Fact Sheet‌‌ for details
    • You meet two of the following criteria:
      • The school where you completed your GCSEs has a below average Attainment 8 score. You can view your school’s Attainment 8 score here.
      • The school where you completed/are completing your A Levels (or equivalent) is a non-selective state school, whose examination results are below average for schools/colleges in England (C- or below).You can view your school’s average A-level results here.
      • Your parent(s) did not attend university or attain a higher education qualification, apart from as a mature student.
      • You are a young carer to a parent or sibling.
      • You are a refugee.
      • You are a member of the Travelling community.
    • or you are (or have previously been) in local authority care; the period of time in local authority care must exceed three months.
  • If you are studying the right subjects at A Level (including Biology and Chemistry), but have serious mitigating circumstances that have had a significant impact on your A Level performance.

    The Foundation Year for Medicine and Surgery is designed for students who are not eligible to apply directly to the Medicine and Surgery degree programme.

    You are expected to demonstrate a record of excellent attainment in GCSE examinations and to provide evidence of the serious mitigating circumstances that have had (or are predicted to have) a significant impact on your A Level performance.

    In most circumstances, if you have serious mitigating circumstances that have affected (or are predicted to affect) your A Level performance, the most appropriate course of action would be to resit your A Levels and re-apply. Please see our resit policy. You should be aware that completing the Foundation year, instead of resitting A Levels, will mean that you will graduate with an extra year of tuition fee debt.

    Examples of serious mitigating circumstances that would be considered are:

    • A serious health condition that had a substantial impact on your attendance during years 12 or 13.*
    • A serious health problem or the death of a close relative (parent or sibling) that had a significant impact on your engagement in your studies.

    Short term ill health over the period of A Level revision or examination period would not normally be considered.

    You will be expected to provide evidence to substantiate your claim of serious personal mitigating circumstances. A letter from your school or college will not normally constitute sufficient evidence on its own.

    The Admissions team is happy to comment on whether your circumstances would be considered before you apply.

    Please note, you will not be able to re-use the same mitigating circumstances during your Foundation Year or the medical degree programme. In the case of an ongoing health condition, you may be asked for evidence that this condition will not continue to impact significantly on your studies.

    Please see our A900 Mitigating Circumstances Fact Sheet for further information. If you have taken the International Baccalaureate or Scottish qualifications, please contact the department directly for advice about the entry requirements.

Application timeline

24th June 2019

Registration opens for the August sitting of the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT).

11th August 2019

Registration deadline for the August sitting of the BMAT.

31st August 2019

August BMAT test date (before application).

20th September 2019

Results become available from the August sitting of the BMAT.

1st September 2019

Registration opens for the October sitting of the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT).

1st October 2019

Registration deadline for the October sitting of the BMAT.

15th October 2019

UCAS deadline for all applications to A100 and A900. 

Late registration deadline for the October sitting of the BMAT (late entry fees apply).

15th October to end of November 2019

Stage one: Academic screening of all applicants. Only those who meet our minimum academic entry requirements will progress to Stage 2.

30th October 2019

October BMAT test date (after application).

22nd November 2019

Results become available from the October sitting of the BMAT.

Stage two: Applicants ranked according to BMAT score. Top-ranking applicants progress to Stage 3 of the selection process.

January to February 2020

Stage three: Interview period. Applicants who meet our academic entry requirements (stage 1) and have a competitive BMAT score (stage 2) are called for interview.

Applicants will be asked to complete the supplementary information form when invited to interview and required to bring relevant evidence to their interview date.

March 2020

After all interviews are completed, all applicants are ranked according to their Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) score.  Offers are made to those with the highest MMI scores. 

Conditional and Unconditional offers are confirmed on UCAS track.

June

Unconditional Firm (UF) and Conditional Firm (CF) applicants are sent information about accommodation, finance and registration.

August

A Level results are published.

CF applicants who have achieved the required grades become UF.

September

All UF applicants are sent further information about beginning their studies at Lancaster Medical School.

Fitness to practise

Tab Content: Health and disability

Applicants who have a disability or medical condition that might impact on their fitness to practise should provide details on their UCAS application. Disclosed disabilities or medical conditions are not taken into account during the selection process. If successful after interview, the applicant will be assessed by an Occupational Health professional to determine whether they are fit to practise or if there are reasonable adjustments that Lancaster Medical School should make to allow the applicant to study medicine successfully.

Any offer of a place to study medicine at Lancaster Medical School is conditional upon a satisfactory assessment of fitness to train from the Occupational Health Department (OHD) at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust (UHMFBT). You will be assessed initially through a health questionnaire before registration and then through follow-up appointments with the OHD. This health screening programme assesses the following: absence of infection with communicable diseases; immunisation status; functional capacity and ability to achieve the outcomes of Tomorrow’s Doctors.

The standards are defined by the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Department of Health (DH). Read further guidance for potential applicants (PDF).

Infection and immunisation: All students will be tested for and/or immunised against a range of infectious diseases before any patient contact will be permitted.

Tab Content: Probity

Doctors are expected to “be honest and open and act with integrity” at all times (Duties of a Doctor).

Therefore, probity is taken extremely seriously during the admissions process for our medical degree programme. Applicants are advised to ensure that their UCAS application form has been completed fully, honestly and without omissions. Lancaster Medical School reserves the right to reject any applicant who is found to have been dishonest at any stage of their application.

Tab Content: Criminal records

Applicants should note that all medical students are subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Any criminal convictions, reprimands, warnings, cautions or fixed penalty notices should be declared on the UCAS application form and details provided, if the applicant attends for interview. This information is not taken into account during the selection process and is only considered after interview. If successful at interview, the circumstances of the incident will be considered by Lancaster Medical School Fitness to Practise panel and a judgement made as to whether it impacts on the applicant’s fitness to practise. Only those who are deemed fit to practise will be admitted onto the medical degree programme; applicants may be subject to further requirements to confirm their fitness to practise.

In most instances, minor offences do not bar entry to medical training or clinical practice. More details can be found in the GMC – Medical students: Professional Values and Fitness to Practise site.

This information is collected in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. For unsuccessful applicants, data related to any declared criminal convictions will be deleted and removed from our admissions system by the end of the relevant admissions period; if they apply before 15th October, any data will be deleted before the end of October in the following year (unless they apply for deferred entry, in which case the data may be retained for a further 12 months before deletion). Successful applicants, who become students, will have any declared criminal conviction information retained for the duration of their studies. This information will be securely deleted and removed from our systems within six months of the student graduating or terminating their studies.

All information on applicant declared criminal convictions will be stored securely within University systems and will only be accessed by appropriate University staff. To learn more about how the University ensures the security of personal information please refer to the University’s Information Security Policy.

GDPR grants individuals certain rights in relation to their own personal data. For more information on these rights and how they have been embedded at Lancaster University, please refer to the Rights of the Data Subject page on the University website.

For more information about how the University uses student and applicant data, please visit the Student Privacy Notice on the University’s website.

Please note: Applicants who fail to disclose information that subsequently comes to light through their enhanced DBS check will be subject to Fitness to Practise procedures and may be excluded from the degree programme on the basis of lack of probity. Please note that spent criminal convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands that would not normally appear on your criminal record may be disclosed through an enhanced DBS check.

Tab Content: Expectations of our students

As a medical student, you will be expected to behave in a professional manner from the very outset of your medical degree programme. Medical students are expected to strive for high standards in both their professional training and their personal lives. This section aims to provide some guidance about the professional behaviour expected of medical students. Potential applicants should ensure that they would be willing and able to agree to the expected standards of behaviour before applying to study at Lancaster Medical School.

During your medical degree, much of your training will take place in a clinical environment and will involve extensive patient contact. Moreover, as a medical graduate, you will be entitled to preliminary registration with the General Medical Council and to work as a Foundation Year doctor.

Therefore, medical students are expected to act in accordance with the standards of professional behaviour as outlined by the General Medical Council in Good Medical Practice and Duties of a Doctor. The General Medical Council has also published guidance specifically about medical student professional behaviour and fitness to practice.

Lancaster University has a duty of care to ensure that no member of the public comes to any harm as a consequence of contact with Lancaster Medical School medical students during their training. To remind students of their responsibilities and the expected standards of behaviour, at the beginning of each academic year, Lancaster Medical School requires all medical students to agree to conditions of training‌. Potential applicants should read these conditions of training carefully and ensure that they are willing and able to agree to them before accepting an offer from Lancaster Medical School.

In addition to maintaining certain standards of conduct during their professional training, medical students must also ensure that their behaviour outside of the clinical environment does not negatively impact on their fitness to practice; they must not bring the profession or the medical school into disrepute through their behaviour in their professional or their personal lives.