How to apply for Medicine and Surgery with a Gateway Year

Applications are made through UCAS. The deadline for applications to study Medicine and Surgery with a Gateway Year (A104) for 2023 entry is 15 October.

Eligibility criteria

A104 Medicine and Surgery with a Gateway Year is designed for students who are not eligible to apply directly to our A100 Medicine and Surgery degree 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 Gateway 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 Gateway year course. You may be eligible for the Gateway 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 Medicine and Surgery with a Gateway Year.

If you meet two or more of our widening participation criteria (see below), meet the academic entry requirements and are successful at interview, you may be considered for a contextually lowered offer (CLO) of ABB. Care leavers and care experienced applicants will automatically be considered for a CLO regardless of how many other criteria they meet.

  • You live in a neighbourhood of low participation in higher education or live in an area that is less advantaged, as assessed by multiple factors. To find out if this applies to you please visit the Index of Multiple Deprivation, or if you live in Scotland, the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. A map of the UK, showing the areas that differ in terms of young people’s participation in higher education can be found on the Office for Students website.
  • You live in a low income household. This can be demonstrated in any of three ways: (1) your parent or guardian is in receipt of a means-tested benefit (e.g. Universal Credit, Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance); (2) you receive or are eligible for the 16-19 bursary or, if you live in Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland, Education Maintenance Allowance instead of 16-19 bursary; (3) you receive or are eligible for free school meals.
  • The school where you completed your GCSEs is a non-selective state school and has a below-average Attainment 8 score. You can view your school’s Attainment 8 score from Compare School Performance.
  • 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 from Compare School Performance.
  • Your parent(s) did not attend university or attain a higher education qualification, apart from as a mature student.
  • You have been in local authority care for three months or more, or considered as Care Experienced , including residing within a secure or children’s care home, foster care and kinship care. You can find out more on our Care Leavers page.
  • You are a young carer to a parent or sibling.
  • You are a refugee.

Academic entry requirements

The Medicine and Surgery with a Gateway Year course is designed for students who are not eligible to apply directly to the Medicine and Surgery degree programme. Your application to Medicine and Surgery with a Gateway Year will be considered in a four stage selection process detailed below; the academic entry requirements are considered at the first stage.

All applicants will be expected to complete the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT). For more information, please see the BMAT website. The BMAT will be used for 2024 entry, but from 2025 Lancaster Medical School will be using UCAT as part of our application process - see for more information.

Tab Content: GCSE

GCSE: requirements will vary depending on individual circumstance but all applicants must have achieved grade B (or grade 6) in Core & Additional Science (or Biology, Chemistry and Physics), Maths and English Language.

Tab Content: A-levels

ABB achieved in a single sitting after 2 years of study.

(Candidates who have taken longer to achieve their grades or who have undertaken additional study at Higher Education Level since completing their A Levels (e.g. any years of an undergraduate or foundation degree) are not eligible to apply.)

Required Subjects: A-level Biology and Chemistry

BTEC Applied Science not accepted. BTEC in other subjects may be considered alongside A-level qualifications, in lieu of 3rd A-level. Applicants must be taking at least two A-levels, including both Biology and Chemistry. Typical offer: AB + D or BB + D*

Selection process

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.

All applicants will be expected to take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT).

Stage 2: Biomedical Admissions Test

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.

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 specimens 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.

Fitness to practise


Application timeline


1 September

Registration opens for the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT).

29 September

The final registration deadline for BMAT. No late registrations will be accepted after this date.


16 October

UCAS deadline for all applications to A100 and A104.

18 October

BMAT Test Date

16 October to end of November

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


24 November

BMAT Test results are published.

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


1 December

BMAT Deadline to apply for a Results Enquiry.

January to February

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 onwards

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.


Unconditional and Conditional offer holders are sent information about accommodation, finance and registration.


A Level results are published.

Conditional offer holders who have achieved the required grades become Unconditional.


All Unconditional offer holders are sent further information about beginning their studies at Lancaster Medical School.

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Information for applicants, their parents and advisors, which brings together a variety of different information into one comprehensive document that explains our policy with respect to admissions to A100 Medicine and Surgery.

Read our admissions policy