Skip to main content

Undergraduate Study

BSc Medical Sciences

UCAS code B100
Duration 3 years
Entry year 2024

Streatham / St Luke’s

Discipline Medical Sciences

Web: Enquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725500

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

A-Level: ABB
IB: 32/655

Contextual offers

A-Level: ABC
IB: 28/554


  • You are encouraged to undertake a Professional Training Year in the UK or abroad and gain invaluable experience working as part of a leading research team
  • You’ll have the option to specialise into one of four pathways with named specialism in your degree title; Health Research, Human Genomics, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Neuroscience
  • You’ll learn through interdisciplinary small group learning, training you to think like a scientist
  • You’ll be part of our world-renowned research community from day one, working with researchers on their current cutting-edge research

Small group learning

independent learning, team work, collaboration, and communication

Professional Training Year

Encouraged and open to all students

Beyond biomedical sciences

includes populations, clinical trials, public health, and health economics, and more

Research-inspired teaching

part of our research community from day one

Entry requirements (typical offer)

Qualification Typical offer Required subjects
A-Level ABB At least one grade A and one grade B in GCE AL science* subjects, one of which must be Biology.
IB 32/655 At least one HL6 and one HL5 in IB science subjects, one of which must be Biology.
BTEC DDM Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma will also require one grade A and one grade B in GCE AL science subjects, one of which must be Biology.
GCSE C or 4 English Language
Access to HE 24 L3 credits at Distinction Grade and 21 L3 credits at Merit Grade. 15 L3 Credits at Distinction Grade and 12 L3 Credits at Merit Grade in Biology and another suitable science subject area.
T-Level T-Levels not accepted N/A
Contextual Offer

A-Level: ABC
IB: 28/554

Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.

Other accepted qualifications

View other accepted qualifications

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

NB General Studies is not included in any offer.

Grades advertised on each programme webpage are the typical level at which our offers are made and provide information on any specific subjects an applicant will need to have studied in order to be considered for a place on the programme. However, if we receive a large number of applications for the programme we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve/have achieved grades which are in line with our typical offer. For more information on how applications are assessed and when decisions are released, please see: After you apply

*GCE A level/AS science includes: Biology/Human Biology^; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Electronics; Environmental Science; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths^; Life and Health Sciences; Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Statistics; IB Higher Level Sport Science.

^If more than one of these is taken they would only count as one ‘science’.

Students joining the three-year programme may have the option to transfer to the four-year programme, and vice versa.

Part-time study

Applicants who wish to take any programme on a part-time basis need to apply direct to the University, normally between 1 September and 30 June, and before 15 January to be guaranteed equal consideration. Application forms are available from the Admissions Office.

International students should note that UK student visas only permit the holder to study full-time.

Will there be an interview?

No – we don’t interview for this programme.

What happens next?

If you receive an offer from us, you’ll be invited to an offer-holder visit day where you can find out more about the Medical Sciences programme from our current students and meet the academics who will be teaching you.

Read more

Course content

Our Medical Sciences degree prioritises the science that underpins medicine and clinical practice, preparing you to translate scientific discoveries and technological advances into improved healthcare. To achieve this, the first part of the programme gives you a wide-ranging insight into how the human body normally works. We study this through small-group sessions, lectures and hands-on laboratory practicals.

We then build upon this foundation to see how things can go wrong in the body due to disease and trauma and how normal function might be restored. We are keen that you develop a holistic understanding of human health. You will then specialise in the area that interests you most, tailoring your degree to match your specific career ambitions.

If you choose the Professional Training Year for this course, it will take place between your second and third (final) year.

The emphasis is on understanding the normal functioning of the human body, from enzymes through to whole biological systems. Without this core knowledge of how the body works, it would be impossible for us, as scientists, to devise the new diagnostic tests, drugs or treatments that will best benefit patients. Modules cover human physiology, biochemistry and genetics, and microbiology and cells.

You will focus more on the scientific basis of important diseases, beginning with some fundamental insights into the ways in which human biology goes awry in disease. This knowledge is then used to explore how cutting-edge scientific technologies can be exploited to advance disease diagnosis and treatment. Modules cover disease, diagnostics and therapeutics, medical research, immunopathology and specialisms for the pathways.

Professional training year

Study abroad

In your final year you have opportunities to study and undertake research to help improve current medical knowledge and practice. In addition to the core modules, you can select from a range of optional specialist advanced modules, enabling you to tailor your degree to match your own specific interests and career ambitions.

You will complete the same first year regardless of whether you choose Medical Sciences or if you choose to undertake one of our four Medical Sciences pathways. Our programme is designed to be flexible so that you can change between specialisms, or onto a pathway at the end of year one.

Our specialisms are:

  • Health Research
  • Human Genomics
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology and Therapeutics

By studying one of our pathways, you will come away with a named specialism after your degree title, eg BSc Medical Sciences (Health Research).

You will receive advice about the pathways once you’re at Exeter so you don’t need to make any decisions in advance.

Course variants

UCAS code: B101

You can choose to, and we actively support and encourage you to, undertake a Professional Training Year (PTY). The PTY provides you with an excellent opportunity to gain invaluable experience of working as part of a leading research team. This gives you the chance to discover what it is like to work in a real research environment or a health intervention setting and will enhance your career prospects. You will contribute to a medical or health related project, and may have the opportunity to attend a national or international science conference to present your research data, or co-author a research paper.

If you choose a PTY, it will take place after your second year of study, and your degree will take four years to complete.

Why choose a Professional Training Year?

Undertaking a PTY placement will enhance your professionalism, independence and confidence; increase your subject knowledge and research skills; improve your problem-solving, team-working, leadership, communication and project management skills; and prepare you for working in a professional work environment.

How is the PTY organised?

You apply for a PTY during your second year of study and are supported to apply for positions with guidance from our staff. During your PTY you are closely support by both your workplace supervisor and visiting PTY tutor.

How do I apply?

You can apply directly to one of these options using the UCAS codes below, or you can apply to the standard BSc Medical Sciences course and transfer onto the PTY option at the end of your first year.

Option UCAS code
BSc Medical Sciences (standard course)  B100
BSc Medical Sciences with Professional Training Year B101

How does it affect my tuition fee?

If, as part of your four-year degree programme, you spend a full academic year studying or working abroad you will pay a reduced fee of £1,350 (or 15 per cent of the maximum fee for that year). If you spend a full year on a work placement (in the UK) you will pay a reduced fee of £1,800 (or 20 per cent of the maximum fee).

Why study abroad?

Scientific careers of almost every description take place in the international arena, where collaboration with colleagues around the globe are valuable for professional success. Spending a year abroad is an opportunity to gain knowledge of medicine beyond national borders, valuable lived experience and a global professional network. 

Students who have studied abroad demonstrate initiative, independence, motivation and, depending on where they stay, may also have gained a working knowledge of another language – all qualities employers are looking for.

Where can I study abroad?

We have links with major universities in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Portugal, the USA, Canada and Spain. You can find a complete list of International Exchange partner universities on the Study Abroad website.

Does it count towards my degree?

Yes: the Study Abroad option allows you to study at an overseas university in your third year, earning credits towards your final degree while also gaining vital experience and employability skills.

All assessments during the year abroad are undertaken at the host university and count towards your final degree.

Upon return to the University of Exeter, you will then complete the final year of your degree in a fourth year.

How does it affect my tuition fee?

If you spend a full academic year studying abroad you will pay a reduced fee for that year. You can find out more information in the fees section.

How do I apply?

There is no need to apply direct to this programme: apply via UCAS for BSc Medical Sciences, and you can transfer onto the four-year programme with Study Abroad once you are at Exeter. You will need to achieve a grade average of 60% or above in year 1 of your course to be eligible to study abroad.

Further information

For further information on where you can go and all the issues surrounding study abroad, see the Study Abroad website


Tuition fees for 2024 entry

UK students: £9,250 per year; £4,625 per year part-time
International students: £29,700 per year

Year abroad 

If you choose the four-year version of this degree course and spend a full academic year studying abroad, you will pay a reduced fee of 15 per cent of the maximum fee for that year. 


The University of Exeter has many different scholarships available to support your education, including £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*. Financial support is also available for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.

* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.

Find out more about tuition fees and scholarships

Learning and teaching

Throughout the programme, you benefit from a careful blend of innovative and traditional teaching methods employed by both the Medical School and the Biosciences department. A variety of stimulating, cutting-edge resources are also available to support your learning.

Structured small group learning sessions

In tutor-led groups of 8-12 students you will investigate key scientific concepts and systems presented in the form of triggers. The style of trigger varies week by week but will include patient-based clinical case studies, current media-worthy medical science breakthroughs and extracts from research papers.

Life Sciences Resource Centre activities

You’ll be supported in your exploration of the human biomedical science that is presented in your small group sessions by the rich variety of state-of-the-art resources available in the Life Sciences Resource Centre. These resources include anatomical models, multimedia and IT resources, and a well-stocked library. Tutor-led activities will drive your engagement with selected resources in order to increase your understanding of the small group triggers.

Lectures and seminars

Large group lectures and cutting-edge research seminars delivered by academics as well as external speakers will complement your studies. Lectures may contain students from a variety of different programmes for which the lecture content is relevant.

Practical laboratory sessions

You will develop your laboratory skills in the biosciences teaching laboratory on the Streatham Campus and the new teaching lab at the St Luke’s campus, which are equipped with instruments for observational, experimental and numerical aspects of biosciences including a range of biochemical, molecular, physiological and electronic apparatus.

Online learning

Your learning will be supported by the University’s virtual learning environment. You will have individual access to electronic journals, content-rich study guides, and interactive online learning materials covering various science disciplines, formative online assessments and group discussion forums.


Regular assessment is used to help provide you with frequent feedback, enabling you to identify your strengths, as well as areas for improvement. Feedback is provided in a number of different ways including online written feedback and self, peer, tutor or small group feedback. Assessment formats include multiple-choice tests, essays, structured practical exams, reflective essays, oral and poster presentations, scientific report writing, short-answer question tests and independent project work.

Optional modules outside of this course

Each year, if you have optional modules available, you can take up to 30 credits in a subject outside of your course. This can increase your employability and widen your intellectual horizons.

Proficiency in a second subject

If you complete 60 credits of modules in one of the subjects below, you may have the words 'with proficiency in [e.g. Social Data Science]' added to your degree title when you graduate.

  • A Foreign Language
  • Law
  • Social Data Science
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership

Find out more about proficiency options

Expand text

Your future

Medical Sciences has been developed in consultation with industry employers, the NHS and academia and provides a firm foundation in the core biomedical and biomolecular sciences, alongside an insight into medical practice and the biotechnologies used to prevent, test and diagnose disorders and treat patients.

You’ll develop an integrated, scientific knowledge that you can put into practice in a clinical setting and robust research skills, plus creative and inquisitive communication, leadership, critical appraisal and problem-solving skills. These key skills will prepare you for a career helping to progress scientific discovery into clinical and medical practice, ultimately to improve human health.

Recent graduates have gone on to*:

  • Postgraduate Medicine or Dentistry
  • NHS Scientist Training Programme
  • NHS Graduate Management Scheme
  • Finance and Banking graduate training schemes

Recent graduates are now working for*:

  • Universities, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and other knowledge industries
  • National Health Service
  • BMI Healthcare
  • KPMG

Future career pathways include*:

  • NHS
  • Academia
  • Pharmaceutical/biotech industry
  • Teaching
  • Sales and marketing
  • Consultancy
  • Finance and banking

* This information has been taken from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record 2016/17 and Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey 2016/17. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Expand text

The teaching here is inspirational. I’ve been overwhelmed by the passion and dedication of every single member of the teaching staff at the University. I hope to be able to emulate their passion in my career as an academic. It would be a dream to return to the university to teach.


BSc Medical Sciences graduate