Shortlisting and admissions statistics

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Statistics from the 2017 admissions round (for 2018 entry)

In 2017 we received 1,667 UCAS applications (1,547 in 2016). Of these applicants 1,581 successfully registered for and sat the BMAT (1,485 in 2016). Any applicant who did not register for (or registered late) 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 22% of applicants submitted an open application, comparable to 2016.
  • 34 applicants applied for deferred entry (44 applied in 2016 for deferred entry). Of these, 6 were shortlisted and interviewed, and 2 received an offer of a place for 2019 (compared to 7 last year who were offered places for 2018).
  • 63% of applicants were female (also 63% in 2016).
  • 66% of applicants offered A-levels.
  • 342 international fee-status applicants made complete applications.
  • 11 graduates submitted applications (4 of these were international applicants).
  • Overall, approximately 27% of applicants who made complete applications were shortlisted (28% in 2016). .


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 quantitative and objective measures and 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.

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 2016, 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). 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 around 40 additional applicants were added to the shortlist.

  • For those shortlisted the mean adjusted BMAT score was 61%.
  • For those shortlisted who had taken GCSEs, the mean number of A*s at GCSE was 10.4 and the mean proportion of A*s at GCSE was 0.93.
  • 1 graduate was shortlisted.
  • 28 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. For this reason, the number of applicants called for interview is fixed at 425 each year. The percentage called to Oxford is related to the size of the cohort applying for the course, and the number of places available.

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

Colleges made 145 quota offers, 2 deferred offers and 16 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 11.4%; the overall success rate for female applicants was 9.7%.
  • For those with an offer of a place, the mean adjusted BMAT score was 63%.
  • For those with an offer of a place who had taken GCSEs, the mean number of A*s at GCSE was 10.5 and the mean proportion of A* at GCSE was 0.94.
  • 1 graduate applicant received an offer of a place (graduates compete with school-leavers for places; there is no separate quota).
  • 6 international fee-status applicants received an offer.
  • 44% of offers were made by colleges other than the college of preference (or allocation). This compares with 36% in 2016. 


In 2017, male applicants did slightly better on BMAT than female applicants, while female applicants performed slightly better in GCSEs than male applicants.

The following graphs, showing the distribution of the number of A*s achieved at GCSE and the proportion of GCSEs at A* (pA*) and adjusted BMAT scores for the 2017 cohort, offer a rough guide to prospective applicants.

 Number of A* at GCSE 2017

   Distribution of pA* 2017

 Distribution of BMAT scores 2017


The mean number of A* at GCSE for all applicants was 8.4; this rose to 10.4 for those shortlisted and 10.5 for applicants receiving offers.

The mean proportion of A* at GCSE was 0.76; this rose to 0.93 for those shortlisted and 0.94 for applicants receiving offers.

The mean number of total GCSE qualifications offered (not including short courses or other GCSE-equivalent qualifications) was 10.6.

The mean BMAT score was 54%, which rose to 61% for those shortlisted and 63% 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 for 2017 entry taking A-levels. 


% of applicants

% of applicants shortlisted

% of applicants placed













Further Mathematics




Other subjects




Around a third of other subjects offered comprised foreign languages (10% of applicants) - French was the most popular (3%), followed by Spanish (2%) and then German (1%). Other popular subjects were English Literature (4%), Psychology (4%), History (4%), Geography (3%), and Economics (2%).

13% of applicants were studying Chemistry plus just one more science or maths subject. This compares with 6% of shortlisted applicants and 7% of those offered places.

16% of applicants were studying Chemistry, Biology, Physics AND Mathematics (compared to 20% of shortlisted applicants and 18% 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).

601 of applicants with A-levels were doing/had done 3 A-levels, 34% were doing 4 A-levels and 5% were doing 5 or more A-levels (though not necessarily all being completed in one academic year).

36% of all applicants offered alternative qualifications, the most popular of which were the IB (15%), Scottish Highers & Advanced Highers (1%), and the Singaporean SIPCAL (1%). 

19% of applicants shortlisted and 10% of applicants with an offer studied for qualifications other than A-levels (including the IB). 


64% of applicants attending school in the UK were from state schools (including sixth form and further education colleges), while 36% were from independent schools.

The overall success rate in 2017 was 14.8% for state school applicants and 13.7% for independent school applicants.

International applicants

There were 342 applicants identified as international for fee-paying purposes who 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, 28 of these applicants were shortlisted and 6 applicants received an offer.

[Prospective candidates are reminded that the Medical School is required by the Higher Education Funding Council to limit the number of international (non-EU) 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]