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Statistics from the 2023 admissions round (applications 2023 for 2024 entry) for the BC98 Biomedical Sciences course at the University of Oxford.

In 2023 we received 493 UCAS applications. Of these applicants 463 successfully registered for the BMAT. The application of any applicant who did not register for the test was deemed incomplete, and the applicant was notified at that stage that their application was no longer under consideration.

  • Approximately 18% of applicants submitted an open application.
  • 10 applicants applied for deferred entry.
  • 71% of applicants were female.
  • 68% of applicants offered A-levels, and 18% offered the IB.
  • 125 applicants were shortlisted for interview.

Each applicant was interviewed at two colleges: the college of preference, or allocation if an open application was made, and one other assigned by computer.


Approximately three applicants were invited for interview for each available place.

Short-listing was based heavily on available GCSE and BMAT data (both quantitative and objective measures). For short-listing purposes a grade 8 or 9 was considered equivalent to an A*. For applicants without GCSEs, or who took GCSEs in 2020 or 2021, more weight was given to the BMAT score.

In addition to GCSE and BMAT data, all applications were reviewed by tutors before final short-listing decisions were taken. Any applicants whose individual circumstances - both academic and non-academic - suggest that their GCSE and/or BMAT performance was likely to have underestimated their potential were considered by a cross-college panel.  

We do not ascribe equal weighting to all sections of BMAT. In 2023, weightings were: section 1=40%, section 2=40%, and section 3=20%. In calculating the section 3 score, double weight is ascribed to the ‘Quality of Content’ score and single weight given to the ‘Quality of English’ score (with A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1, and X=0).

We also collected GCSE performance data for schools in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which helps tutors to assess whether an applicant's grades at GCSE may reflect an under- or over-performance within the context of the school at which they were taken. Therefore, it is possible that the chance of being short-listed can be increased/reduced if an applicant has a higher/lower fraction of A* grades than would be predicted for the average student from their GCSE school.

BMAT is the only element of an application that is common to all applicants for Biomedical Sciences and, providing an indication of ability and aptitude, is an important selection tool when assessing extremely well-qualified applicants.


The following graphs, showing the distribution of the percentage of GCSEs at A* and the number of A*s achieved at GCSE, offer a rough guide to prospective applicants for the next round. 

BMS pA star 23.jpg

BMS nA star 23.jpg

The mean percentage of A* at GCSE was 84%; this rose for those short-listed to 98%.

The mean number of A* at GCSE was 8.2; this rose to 10 for those short-listed.

The mean number of total GCSE qualifications offered (not including short courses and other GCSE-equivalent qualifications) was approximately 9.7.

The following graph shows the adjusted BMAT scores for the 2023 cohort.

BMS BMAT 23.jpg

The mean BMAT score was 54%, which increased following short-listing to 65%.


All A-level applicants must take two subjects from Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. The table below summarises the distribution of subject choices amongst applicants taking A-levels.

Subject % of applicants % of applicants
% of applicants
Biology 98 97 100
Chemistry 91 94 89
Mathematics 74 82 83
Further Mathematics 12 20 19
Physics 19 25 22

72% of successful applicants who offered A-levels were studying Biology AND Chemistry AND Mathematics.


Colleges interviewed blind of college choice (or allocation) and BMAT score.

Offers were made to 11% of male applicants and 10% of female applicants (42% of shortlisted male applicants and 38% of shortlisted female applicants).

For those with an offer of a place, the mean adjusted BMAT score was 67%. 

For those with an offer of a place who had taken GCSEs, the mean percentage of A* at GCSE was 98% and the mean number of A* at GCSE was 9.9.  

47% of offers were made by colleges other than the college of preference (or allocation).

Colleges made 43 quota offers for 2023 entry and 6 open offers (which means the applicant is guaranteed a place at Oxford to study Biomedical Sciences, but will not be assigned to a college until after A-level results - or equivalent - are known). 


199 applicants classified for fee calculation purposes as being EU/international applicants registered for the BMAT. 56 were shortlisted for interview and 13 received an offer.