Where Should I Apply if My UCAT Score is Low, Average, or High?

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what UCAT score is needed for medicine UK

Making a well-informed decision regarding which medical schools to apply to with your UCAT score is crucial. It can be the deciding factor between getting an acceptance offer or not. Trying to understanding how your UCAT score for medicine impacts your application may occasionally feel like you are traversing a minefield full of information. 

Yet it can be challenging to navigate and sieve through to pick out the relevant statistics and information. To assist you in choosing which medical school to apply to with your UCAT score, we have put together this resource filled with important facts.

Please note that the data on which this article is based is valid until September 29, 2023. Please visit the website of each medical school to find the most recent information. Carefully reading through the university website of your preferred medical school might also allow you to chance upon other relevant and interesting information.

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UCAT Test Statistics 2023 (for 2024 entry):

Number of candidates: 35,625 

Mean overall score: 2516

Mean Verbal Reasoning (VR) score: 591 

Mean Decision Making (DM) score: 623

Mean Quantitative Reasoning (QR) score: 649

Mean Abstract Reasoning (AR) score: 652

Decile Rankings 2023 (for 2024 entry):

The cognitive subsections of the UCAT have a scaled maximum score of 3600. If you are interested in further details on UCAT scores, you may visit our UCAT Scores Guide. You can also check out our UCAT Conversion Table for help in understanding your scores. 

Your ranking among the entire cohort of applicants correlates with your decile score. For instance, a score in the first decile is comparable to a score higher than 10% of applicants. On the other hand, if you scored in the ninth decile, you outperformed 90% of the candidates– well done!

Decile Rank2023 Final Score 2023 Percentile

Watch to find out more about what constitutes a good UCAT score!

Situational Judgement Test 2023 results:

Band 125%
Band 239%
Band 326%
Band 49%

Many universities make it quite tricky to find UCAT cut-off scores for application to its medical school as many do not routinely publish it on their websites. However, we believe that information such as UCAT cut-offs are vital for students to make sensible, informed decisions for their UCAS choices. Hence, we have spent much time researching and collating this information into one space.
The majority of the cut-offs or averages presented here have been obtained from recent freedom of information requests to each of the universities. In instances where the information is not currently available, we’ve left that column blank but will update it as soon as the relevant FOI requests are answered. Below is a table that provides a summary of this information.

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High 2023 UCAT Score (above 2760)

If your UCAT score was more than 2760, congrats! You performed admirably, and medical schools are likely to invite you for interviews.

It can be said that with a high UCAT score you stand a good chance of gaining an interview at most medical schools. However, it is still crucial to apply strategically. Also take into account how each university employs the UCAT in its admissions procedure. This would be more pertinent if there are other aspects of your application that you are not as confident in.

Oxford UCAT score
Oxford University have confirmed that they will use the UCAT in medical school admissions

For example, if your UCAT score is higher than your past academic performance (such as your GCSEs), you should choose medical schools that place a high value on the UCAT. This is because it is your application’s strongest feature, and would help maximise your chances of obtaining an offer.

The list below includes medical schools that prefer candidates with high UCAT scores. If the rest of your application is also strong (such as your GCSEs), you will probably have a good chance of an offer for most of the medical schools on this page. If you are thinking of applying to Oxbridge, you won’t find an Oxford UCAT score or a UCAT score for Cambridge as previously they used the BMAT. Both universities have now confirmed that they will be using the UCAT for medical school admissions.

Medical SchoolUCAT detailsUCAT 2022 scores
BristolThe university invites applicants to interview solely on the basis of their UCAT score. SJT is not used.Threshold = 2870 (home) 2910 (overseas)

The university ranks scores and divides candidates into deciles (ten equal groups). They allocate points to each accordingly. These points are then added to your total score of academic performance to provide a final ranking of applicants. SJT scores are scored separately.Lowest interviewed = 2940
King’sKing’s use UCAT alongside GCSEs and contextual information to help shortlist applicants. A strict cut-off is not set but the average UCAT score of successful applicants tends to be high. SJT is considered.2021 – Lowest interviewed = 2400 Average interviewed = 2745

Top scoring applicants will be invited to interview. If your UCAT score is in the top third of national results then you should be within the cut-off and invited to interview. Provided you meet the minimum academic requirements. Please note that the UCAT cut-off fluctuates every year so this will vary. SJT bands 1 and 2 are prioritised and the cut-off will be lower for applicants meeting widening participation criteria.Threshold = 2750
NewcastleNewcastle use a threshold/ cut-off UCAT score to invite applicants to interview. Please note that applicants with SJT score of band 4 will not be considered. Threshold = 2800 (home) 2870 (overseas)

he university ranks applicants by UCAT score to select for interview at a Selection Day. Southampton does not use academics or personal statement to help them make the decision as to who to invite to interview as well. Southampton also offer a 6-year and 4-year programmes which will have different UCAT cut-offs.Threshold = 2750
St George’s
The UCAT score is used to select students for interview and to rank post-interview waiting list students. You must have scored at least 500 in each section.
Threshold = 2710
WarwickUCAT scores are used to rank applicants who meet academic and work experience requirements. Note that only graduate applicants are accepted.Threshold = 2660

Good 2023 UCAT Score (2580-2760)

A good UCAT score of over 2600 will help you get an interview at majority of the medical schools in the UK. The medical schools that may accept applications with this score are in the list below.

When considering the information from the list below, you should check if the manner in which the universities use the UCAT scores complement your application’s strengths. For example, if you scored above 2600 and have very good predicted grades, Barts and the School of London may be a terrific option for you.

UCAT score for medicine Liverpool university

On the other hand, if you similarly obtained a score higher than 2600, but did not obtain good predicted grades, Liverpool might be a better option. This is a strategic application approach that is crucial given that you can only apply to four medical schools.

Medical SchoolUCAT detailsUCAT scores
Anglia RuskinThe university ranks students who meet the minimum academic entry requirements based on their UCAT score. Students would also receive additional shortlisting points for living or studying in the East of England region, and even more points for being in Essex. However, applicants with a SJT score of Band 4 will not be considered.Lowest interviewed = 2640 (2590 if local)
AberdeenThere is no minimum UCAT cut-off score used. Shortlisting for the interview is on UCAT and academic score. The UCAT score is also considered post-interview, when they are deciding who to make offers to. UCAT requirements are higher for UK applicants from outside of Scotland.Lowest interviewed = 2500 Average interviewed = 2700
Barts + LondonUCAT is weighted 50:50 with your academic score (UCAS tariff). However, they also use a cut-off score of the third decile. Any applicant scoring below this will not be considered regardless of academic score.
The column to the right shows some typical UCAT/ UCAS combinations. If you have a high UCAS tariff you may be able to compensate for a lower UCAT score and vice versa.
Lowest interviewed = 2360
BirminghamThere is no minimum UCAT cut-off score. Each decile of UCAT scores are converted to a score on a scale from 0-3.5. Your UCAT score is used in conjunction with academic score which is marked out of 4. The SJT section score of the UCAT will be used at the interview stage. 2021: Lowest interviewed = 2850
Edge HillThe university ranks candidates who meet the minimum academic criteria according to their UCAT score. A UCAT threshold is set depending on the number of interviews to be help. Candidates scoring band 4 on the SJT section will be automatically rejected. 


UCAT scores allocate interview invites to students who have met all other screening aspects. The UCAT score is typically slightly higher for non-Scottish UK applicants.Lowest interviewed = 2640
Hull YorkUCAT scores have points according to deciles as part of the selection procedure. SJT is scored separately to cognitive score. These along with other aspects of your application. These include academic performance, personal statement and references, all used to determine which applicants are invited to interview. SJT band 4 applicants are automatically rejected. 
LeicesterAdmissions tutors invite those who score highly in the UCAT to interview provided they meet the minimum entry requirements. They will consider candidates who score lower in the UCAT on an individual basis. They will take into account their whole UCAS application. This can include your academic performance at A-level and GCSE (or equivalent), personal statement and references. There is no strict cut-off score used by the medical school. This makes Leicester a great option if your application is strong, but your UCAT score is not as high as you would have liked. Lowest interviewed = 2260
LiverpoolAny applicant scoring SJT band 4 will be automatically rejected. The university ranks remaining applicants based on their overall UCAT score and invited to interview.2021: Average interviewed = 2620
NottinghamUCAT score is allocated points, with the Verbal Reasoning subsection being weighted double. SJT band 4 applicants are automatically rejected. GCSE grades are also awarded points and this is combined with UCAT to shortlist applicants for interview.


The university ranks applicants meeting minimum academic requirements and scoring over 2420 on UCAT. They invite top scorers to interview. Only applicants who score above this will be considered further. SJT scores are considered post-interview.Threshold = 2430

Average 2023 UCAT Score (above 2400-2580)

You should expect to be around the middle of the application pool if your UCAT score is between 2400 and 2580. As such, you must choose your medical school extremely carefully. Strategically apply to places that focus on your strongest application components. For example, if you have outstanding academics, you should apply to a school such as Exeter as they only consider UCAT for 25% of the overall application score.

If you did not perform as well on your UCAT exam as you had hoped, do not be alarmed. There are still many excellent options for where you can apply to that would still give you a good chance in landing that crucial interview. This is because it is becoming more and more common to evaluate medical applicants with a more holistic perspective. So you can just play to your strengths and apply to medical schools that recognise that more!

Medical SchoolUCAT detailsUCAT scores
AstonThere is no cut off score for the UCAT or SJT score. Aston use the UCAT in conjunction with your personal statement and academic performance to invite students to interview.2021: Lowest interviewed = 2150
CardiffThere is no minimum threshold score for the UCAT. It is only used in borderline cases. Admissions tutors score applications on GCSEs and A-Levels, with achieved grades getting additional points.
ExeterInterview shortlisting occurs based on UCAT and academic score. Weighting is 75% academics and 25% UCAT.2021: Average interviewed = 2599
DundeeThere is no UCAT cut-off or threshold in place. Other factors such as academics will be used alongside UCAT to decide the interview shortlist. Admissions tutors consider Scottish and the rest of the UK applicants separately.Threshold = 2130 Average = 2711
East AngliaThere is no cut-off or threshold score used. That being said, individual UCAT subsection scores are still used along with GCSEs to rank applicants for interview. SJT scores are after interview to help decide offers. It is also unusual for an applicant with a score lower than the 3rd decile to be invited to interview. Threshold = 2520
KeeleApplicants who score in the bottom 20% (decile 8 or below) or SJT in band 4 are automatically rejected. Tutors only use UCAT scores in borderline cases. Pre-interview, they rank applicants by scores from the roles and responsibilities form. Only in situations where the number of applicants with the same score exceed the number of interview slots available, then they rank students based on their UCAT score. The UCAT score is also used in a similar way to distinguish borderline applicants post interview.2021: Lowest interviewed = 2280
Kent and MedwayThe university useUCAT score of applicants to rank applicants who have met the minimum entry requirements. They use a cut-off score to determine which applicants will receive and invite to interview. The cut-off is different for those who have already obtained their A-Levels.Threshold = 2470
PlymouthThe university calculates a cut-off score each year based on all the applicant’s scores. Any applicant meeting this cut-off score and meeting minimum academic requirements will be invited to interview.Threshold = 2610
Queen’s, BelfastThe university sorts scores into bands and award points. This is combined with previous academic performance for interview shortlisting.
St AndrewsThe university ranks applicants meeting the minimum entry requirements, based on their UCAT scores. SJT banding is used as part of the interview scoring process to help rank students after interview to award offers. Will interview students in the top 500 applicants.Cut-off usually around 2400
SunderlandMust be within the top 8 deciles of the cohort, and have a SJT band within bands 1-3. UCAT score is then used alongside their “Roles & Responsibilities” form and academic performance to shortlist for interview.Threshold = 2250

Low 2023 UCAT Score (under 2400)

There are still choices accessible to you if your UCAT exam score was lower than you had intended. Specifically if it is below 2400. You might be able to make up for a poor UCAT with strong GCSEs or A-Levels if you apply for universities that place a stronger emphasis on academics, such as Exeter and East Anglia.

If you are a student from a widening-participation background, remember that some universities run schemes designed for you that often have lower entry requirements. Some universities also lower UCAT or A-Level requirements to their standard courses for students from specific backgrounds. If this is the case make sure to do your research as you may be surprised how many universities are still open to you!

Do not forget that a low UCAT score does not guarantee that you will get an interview at a medical school. It can eliminate some of your options, but that does not mean that you have no chance at getting an offer. You simply need to be a little bit more strategic in your application. You can check out our comprehensive guides on each UK medical school for additional details on admission standards and application evaluations. For more information, check out our guide on the schools with the lowest entry requirements for medicine UK. Here, we have compiled a list of universities for where to apply with a low UCAT score.

Remember that if you are struggling with your preparation, you can always call our expert UCAT tutors to see how we can support you.

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    What is a high UCAT score?

    At the end of the testing period, the official UCAT consortium will publish the final test statistics. This will allow you to see how you have performed in comparison to other candidates. Since this information would not be accessible until later in the application cycle, you can utilise past data to gauge your performance. The 2023 UCAT has not undergone any significant modifications, therefore the outcomes should be consistent with other years’ performance.

    As such, you should be able to estimate what percentile you lie in as compared to other candidates by using the past year’s statistics from the official UCAT website. However, do keep in mind that the UCAT Scoring might change from year to year – so be careful not to place too much reliance on historical data.

    You can check out our guide on UCAT Scoring for each medical school based on prior years’ data if you have a certain medical school in mind. This will give you a decent sense of the minimum score you would have needed for your preferred medical school in order to submit an application in the past year.

    One of the most trying aspects of applying to medical school is frequently the UCAT. Not only is taking the exam challenging in and of itself, but it may also be challenging to interpret your scores and determine how they will impact your application. This article should have helped to clarify the UCAT scoring process and give you a decent notion of what to aim for on test day. Hopefully, this would be able to guide you during your revision as well!

    What UCAT score is needed for medicine UK?

    Many applicants ask what UCAT score is needed for medicine. Anything above 680 for each section is considered as a high UCAT score. You may submit a competitive application to almost any medical school with a score of more than 680 in every section. However, keep in mind that the standards for each medical school vary and the majority of candidates who are accepted score below this. Furthermore, if you are an international medical applicant, you may also want to aim for a higher score as places are generally more competitive. 

    How many universities can I apply to? 

    You may apply to five universities in the UK. Whether you apply for five distinct courses at the same institution or five distinct courses at five different universities is totally up to you. However, do note that if you are applying for medicine, you would only be able to apply for medicine at four different universities. Your last choice would have to be a non-medical course.

    What is a bad UCAT score?

    Anything below 610 is considered as a low UCAT score. Your options for medical schools will be severely limited if your score is below 610. However, do not lose hope! A low UCAT score only indicates that other possibilities are eliminated, not that you have no possibility of receiving an offer.

    Where can I apply with a low UCAT score? 

    You have a few choices if your UCAT score is low:

    • Apply to medical schools with reduced UCAT entrance requirements.
    • Send your application to medical schools that do not take the UCAT.
    • Consider taking a gap year as a last option and retaking the UCAT the following year.

    What are the top universities for medicine in the UK? 

    The University of Oxford, Imperial College London, University College London, University of Cambridge, and King’s College London are the top 5 worldwide universities for clinical medicine in the United Kingdom.

    What were the average UCAT scores in 2023? 

    In the UK, the average UCAT score in 2023 was 2,516. The average has not changed much over the past few years. It was 2500 in 2022, 2499 in 2021 and 2511 in 2020.

    What are the lowest entry requirements to study medicine in the UK? 

    A minimum of grades AAA at A level are frequently necessary, and any third subject outside General Studies and Critical Thinking must also include Chemistry and Biology. If the candidate is taking more than three A levels, Chemistry, Biology, and their subsequent best mark will be taken into account. Universities having a little more lax admittance standards are Cardiff and Anglia Ruskin.

    Is 2800 a good UCAT score? 

    Simply put, yes! A score between 2800 to 2850 would typically place an applicant in the top 10% of candidates. Consequently, a UCAT score of 2800 would be considered exceptional.

    What is a high UCAT score for universities such as Glasgow university? 

    UCAT scores rank applicants for interviews during Selection Days at colleges like Southampton. In 2022, a UCAT score of between 2600 and 2700 was favourable. The UCAT cut-off in Southampton was 2640.

    What is the minimum UCAT score needed for medicine?

    There is no specific UCAT score required to pursue a career in medicine. Some medical schools may strongly weigh your UCAT score while others will only consider it as a tiny portion of your application. Research into the different universities and their requirements are crucial to increasing your chances so that you may strategically apply once you know your score.

    Can I still apply to medical school if my UCAT score is low?

    Yes, you can still apply to medical school if your UCAT score is low. However, you may want to consider applying to medical schools that place less emphasis on the UCAT score in their admissions process, or those that have lower UCAT score requirements.

    How important is the UCAT score in the admissions process?

    The UCAT score is one of several factors that medical schools consider in their admissions process. While a high UCAT score can increase your chances of admission to some medical schools, it is not the only factor. Medical schools also consider factors such as academic performance, personal statement, and interview performance.

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