Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Statistics from the 2020 admissions round (applications 2020 for 2021 entry) for the BC98 Biomedical Sciences course at the University of Oxford.

We will consider all aspects of your application during the shortlisting process. If you have GCSE qualifications, we will take into account the circumstances under which your grades were awarded. As the BMAT score is the only measure we have for all our applicants, this plays a central role in the shortlisting process.

In 2020 we received 558 UCAS applications. Of these applicants 529 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 17% of applicants submitted an open application.
  • 10 applicants applied for deferred entry.
  • 72% of applicants were female.
  • 66% of applicants offered A-levels, and 13% offered the IB.
  • 121 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 3 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*. If applicants had not taken GCSEs or IGCSEs 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 2020, 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).

For the last few years we have 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 giving as it does a snapshot 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*, the number of A*s achieved at GCSE and adjusted BMAT scores for the 2020 cohort, offer a rough guide to prospective applicants for the next round.pAstar20.jpgnoAstar20.jpgBMAT20.jpg

The mean BMAT score was 54%, which increased following short-listing to 67%.

The mean percentage of A* at GCSE was 75%; this rose for those short-listed to 93%.

The mean number of A* at GCSE was 7.6; this rose to 9.9 for those short-listed.

The mean number of total GCSE qualifications offered (not including short courses and other GCSE-equivalent qualifications) was approximately 9.9.


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 89 95 94
Chemistry 81 90 91
Mathematics 71 78 79
Further Mathematics 10 14 6
Physics 17 14 6

76% 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 10% of male applicants and 7% of female applicants (31% 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 92% and the mean number of A* at GCSE was 9.8.

42% of offers were made by colleges other than the college of preference (or allocation).

Colleges made 38 quota offers for 2021 entry and 4 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). One deferred offer was made for 2022 entry.


There were 234 EU/international applicants for fee-paying purposes registered for BMAT. 58 were shortlisted for interview and 10 received an offer.