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Please note that the Medical School is only able to provide basic feedback to candidates who were not shortlisted for interview. For interviewed candidates, any such requests should be directed to the Tutor for Admissions of the college to which you applied or to which you were subsequently assigned, whether as a result of making an open application or through reallocation. You can find the University’s policy concerning feedback on admissions decisions here

Neither the Medical School nor the colleges are legally allowed to discuss individual applicants with third parties, including parents, without the applicant’s express written permission via the email address listed on their UCAS form. This is to protect both our staff and individual applicants.

Statistics from the 2019 admissions round (for 2020 entry)

In 2019 we received 1,766 UCAS applications (1,792 in 2018). Of these applicants 1,713 successfully registered for and sat the BMAT (1,742 in 2018). Any applicant who did not register for or did not sit the test had their application deemed incomplete, and was notified that their application was no longer under consideration. All data below relate to complete applications unless otherwise stated.

  • Approximately 17.6% of applicants submitted an open application, which is fewer than in 2018.
  • 41 applicants applied for deferred entry (36 in 2018). Of these, 12 were shortlisted and interviewed, and 4 received an offer of a place for 2021 (compared to 2 last year who were offered deferred places for 2020).
  • Over 125 applicants did not meet the advertised academic entry requirements which determine eligibility to apply and consequently did not have their applications considered.
  • 64% of applicants were female (62% in 2018).
  • 69% of applicants offered A-levels.
  • 20% of applicants resided outside the EU and 13% resided in the EU outside the UK.
  • 14 graduates submitted applications (8 of these were international applicants).

Overall, approximately 25% of applicants who made complete applications were shortlisted (25% in 2018 also).


As part of the process to decide which applicants are called to interview, we established a numerical ranking on the basis of GCSE performance and BMAT results (both are quantitative and objective measures), equally weighted. If applicants had not taken GCSEs or iGCSEs ranking was based on BMAT score alone. This ranking formed the basis of an initial shortlist of 385. Note that the AQA Level 2 qualification in Further Maths is included in the GCSE calculation, whereas the OCR Level 3 qualification is not.

BMAT is the only element of an application that is common to all applicants for Medicine and giving as it does a snapshot of ability and aptitude, is an important selection tool when assessing a large number of extremely well qualified applicants.

We do not ascribe equal weighting to all sections of BMAT. In 2019, weightings were: section 1=40%, section 2=40%, and section 3=20%. In calculating the section 3 score, double weight was 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).

The GCSE measure used was a combination of proportion of A* grades at GCSE and number of A* grades at GCSE (with equal weighting). For shortlisting purposes a grade 8 or 9 is considered equivalent to an A*. We also used GCSE performance data for schools in Great Britain and Northern Ireland to help 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 shortlisted was increased/reduced if an applicant had a higher/lower proportion of A* grades than would be predicted for the average student applying to Oxford from their GCSE school.

The applications of candidates who did not make the initial shortlist were then reviewed by tutors, taking into account any individual circumstances - both academic and non-academic - that might indicate that GCSE and/or BMAT performance is likely to have underestimated their potential. Any applicants deemed worthy of further consideration were then reviewed by a cross-college panel, alongside applicants immediately below the initial shortlist. As a result of this process 40 additional applicants were added to the shortlist.


  • For those shortlisted the mean adjusted BMAT score was 61.8%.
  • For those shortlisted who had taken GCSEs, the mean number of A*s at GCSE was 10.2 and the mean proportion of A*s at GCSE was 0.94.
  • 1 graduate was shortlisted.
  • 32 international fee-status applicants were shortlisted.

Interviews & Offers

Each applicant was seen at two colleges: the college of preference, or allocation if an open application was made, and one other randomly assigned by computer so as to equalise as far as possible the strength of the applicant field at each college (as measured by the numerical ranking produced by the shortlisting algorithm). The number of applicants called for interview was fixed at 425, in other words about 2.5 applicants per place available.

Interviewers assessed each candidate against our explicit list of selection criteria, available online here. The composition of interview panels was arranged such that every candidate was interviewed by at least one practising clinician.

Following interviews, colleges ranked all the candidates they had seen, on the basis of all information available to them at that time. After disclosure of the candidate rank from the second college, BMAT score and BMAT essays, colleges reviewed their ranking and submitted a final version. On the basis of this final ranking, candidates were provisionally assigned offers at a particular college, with the college the applicant had chosen (or had been allocated to) having first refusal. Admissions decisions were confirmed at a final meeting of college tutors.

Please note that colleges interviewed blind of college of choice (or allocation) and BMAT score.

Colleges made 153 quota offers, 4 deferred offers and 13 open offers (which means the applicant is guaranteed a place at Oxford to study Medicine, but will not be assigned to a college until after A-level results are known).


  • The overall success rate for male applicants was 11%; the overall success rate for female applicants was 9.3%.
  • For those with an offer of a place, the mean adjusted BMAT score was 63.41%.
  • For those with an offer of a place who had taken GCSEs, the mean number of A*s at GCSE was 10.8 and the mean proportion of A* at GCSE was 0.93.
  • No graduate applicants received an offer of a place (graduates compete with school-leavers for places; there is no separate quota).
  • 5 international fee-status applicants received an offer for 2020; 1 international fee-status applicant received a deferred offer for 2021.
  • 43.5% of offers were made by colleges other than the college of preference (or allocation). This compares with 39% in 2018.


In 2019, male applicants did slightly better on BMAT than female applicants, while female applicants performed slightly better in GCSEs than male applicants, with a higher average nA* and pA*.

The following graphs, showing the distribution of the number of A*s achieved at GCSE, the proportion of A*s achieved at GCSE (pA*) and adjusted BMAT scores for the 2019 cohort, offer a rough guide to prospective applicants.

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**NOTE on the ’Distribution of BMAT scores’ chart: a version of this graph was emailed to candidates who were not shortlisted on 13 December 2019 but mistakenly showed data points of 1 for the 65+ and 70+ categories, instead of 74 and 39 respectively. This has been corrected in the chart above. The issue affected post-shortlisting reporting only.

The mean number of A* at GCSE for all applicants was 8; this rose to 10.2 for those shortlisted and 10.8 for applicants receiving offers.

The mean proportion of A* at GCSE was 0.78; this rose to 0.94 for those shortlisted and was 0.93 for applicants receiving offers.

The mean number of total GCSE qualifications offered (not including short courses or other GCSE-equivalent qualifications) was 10.1.

The mean BMAT score was 49.5%, which rose to 61.8% for those shortlisted and 63.4% for applicants receiving offers.

[The BMAT scores shown above are the sum of Section 1, 2 and 3 scores calculated in the following way to give the weightings: Section 1=40%, Section 2=40%, and Section 3=20%:

Section 1 & 2: These are originally reported on a scale of 1-9. One mark is removed from this score (to give a scale of 0 to 8), and the resulting figure multiplied by 5 (to give a score out of 40).

Section 3: The ‘Quality of content’ score is multiplied by 2 and added to the ‘Quality of English’ score (with A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1, and X=0). This gives a score out of 15, which is converted to a score out of 20 by multiplying by 4/3.]

A-levels and equivalent qualifications

All A-level applicants must take Chemistry. The table below summarises the distribution of other subject choices amongst applicants this year taking A-levels. 


% of applicants

% of applicants shortlisted

% of applicants placed













Further Mathematics




With regard to 'Other subjects', the most popular subjects were Psychology (6%), English Literature (4%), History (3%), French (3%), followed by Spanish (2%), Economics (2%) and Geography (2%). 

20% of applicants taking A-levels were studying Chemistry plus just one more science or maths subject. This compares with 11% of shortlisted applicants and 7% of those offered places.

17% of applicants taking A-levels were studying Chemistry, Biology, Physics AND Mathematics (compared to 12% of shortlisted applicants and 7% of applicants offered places).

N.B. Despite the fact that most applicants offering A-levels tend to take Biology (or Human Biology), this subject is NOT required at A2 level (or indeed at AS-level). However, do be aware that not having A-level Biology is associated with a greater risk of having difficulty at the early stages of the course (and other medical courses).

65.5% of  applicants taking A-levels were doing/had done 3 A-levels, 30.5% were doing 4 A-levels and approx. 4% were doing 5 or more A-levels (though not necessarily all being completed in one academic year).

31% of all applicants offered alternative qualifications, the most popular of which were the IB (13%), US qualifications (2%) and the Singaporean SIPCAL (2%). 14% of applicants who were shortlisted and 9% of applicants with an offer studied for qualifications other than A-levels (including the IB).


73% of applicants attending school in the UK were from state schools (including sixth form and further education colleges), while 27% were from independent schools.

The overall success rate in 2019 was 14.4% for state school applicants and 11.7% for independent school applicants.

International applicants

346 applicants identified as international for fee-paying purposes submitted complete applications. Following shortlisting, which is conducted in line with the quota imposed on the Medical School by the UK Government for the available international places, 32 of these applicants were shortlisted and 5 applicants received an offer for 2020; 1 received a deferred offer for 2021.

[Prospective candidates are reminded that the Medical School is required by the Higher Education Funding Council to limit the number of international (meaning non-EU in the most recent admissions round) medical students admitted to a maximum of fourteen each year across both the standard (A100) and Graduate Entry (A101) courses - see our advice for international applicants]