In 2016 we received 1,547 UCAS applications (1,674 in 2015). Of these applicants 1,484 successfully registered for and sat the BMAT (1,592 in 2015). 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 24% of applicants submitted an open application, comparable to 2015.
  • 44 applicants applied for deferred entry (22 applied in 2015 for deferred entry) *. Of these, 18 were shortlisted, 17 were interviewed, and 7 received an offer of a place for 2018 (compared to two last year who were offered places for 2017).
  • 63% of applicants were female (59% in 2015).
  • 66% of applicants offered A-levels.
  • 284 international fee-status applicants made complete applications.
  • 23 graduates submitted applications (9 of these were international applicants).
  • Overall, approximately 28% of applicants who made complete applications were short-listed (27% in 2015).

*the number of deferred applications may reflect the Medical School’s new minimum age requirement.


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 short-listed 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 short-list.

  • For those shortlisted the mean adjusted BMAT score was 63%.
  • For those shortlisted who had taken GCSEs, the mean number of A*s at GCSE was 10.3 and the mean proportion of A*s at GCSE was 0.92.
  • No graduates were short-listed.
  • 32 international fee-status applicants were short-listed.


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 147 quota offers, 7 deferred offers and 14 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 11.5%; the overall success rate for female applicants was 11.2%.
  • For those with an offer of a place, the mean adjusted BMAT score was 64%.
  • 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 0.93.
  • No graduate applicants received an offer of a place (graduates compete with school-leavers for places; there is no separate quota).
  • Two international fee-status applicants received an offer.
  • 37% of offers were made by colleges other than the college of preference (or allocation). This compares with 38% in 2015.


In 2016, 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 2016 cohort, offer a rough guide to prospective applicants.

2017: Number A*

2017: pA* Dist


2017: BMAT dist

The mean number of A* at GCSE for all applicants was 8.2; this rose to 10.3 for those short-listed and 10.5 for applicants receiving offers.

The mean proportion of A* at GCSE was 0.76; this rose to 0.92 for those short-listed and 0.93 for applicants receiving offers.

The mean number of total GCSE qualifications offered (not including short courses or other GCSE-equivalent qualifications) was 10.7.

The mean BMAT score was 53%, which rose to 63% for those short-listed and 64% 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.]


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.

Subject % of applicants % of applicants short-listed % of applicants placed
Biology 95 95 97
Physics 22 22 20
Mathematics 81 91 91
Further Mathematics 6 10 11
Other subjects 32 30 33

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

15% of applicants were studying Chemistry plus just one more science or maths subject. This compares with 7% of short-listed applicants and 7% of those offered places.

19% of applicants were studying Chemistry, Biology, Physics AND Mathematics (compared to 20% of short-listed applicants and 20% 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).

60% of applicants with A levels were doing/had done 3 A levels, 35% were doing 4 A levels and 2% were doing 5 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 (12%), Scottish Highers & Advanced Highers (1%), USA SAT/ACT and SAT subject tests/Advanced Placement tests (2%), Polish Matura (1%), Italian Esame di Stato (1%), the Irish Leaving Certificate (1%), French Baccalaureate (1%) and  German Abitur (1%).

14% of applicants short-listed and 10% of applicants with an offer studied for qualifications other than A-levels (including the IB).


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

The overall success rate in 2016 was 15.4%  for state school applicants and 15.7% for independent school applicants.


There were 284 applicants identified as international for fee-paying purposes who submitted complete applications. Following short-listing, 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 short-listed and six 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]

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