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Choosing what to study

Alternatives to Medicine & Surgery courses at university

A related degree may not be what you have in mind but it can open doors and potentially suit you better than a standard Medicine degree.

Medical education stethoscope on a stack of medical text books

What else can you do?

A related degree may not be what you have in mind, but it can open doors and potentially suit you better than a standard Medicine degree.

Some of these options may lead to an opportunity for a graduate entry Medicine degree, but are also worthwhile careers and study options in themselves, supporting the masses of crucial roles in a global health system or within the NHS in the UK. 

If you've applied to Medicine and received a rejection, or have changed your mind, you can use UCAS Extra or Clearing to explore these other excellent options.

Medicine itself is very unlikely to have late places in Clearing but you're welcome to check via UCAS, or look at alternatives such as January entry or accredited Medicine degrees overseas. 

Our advice is always to have a plan B and C for entry to Medical School. Demand always exceeds supply and applications increased by over 15% in 2021. 

Courses you can study as an alternative to Medicine & Surgery

  • Biomedical Science
  • Optometry, Ophthalmics & Orthoptics
  • Pharmacology & Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Chemistry, Biology or Natural Sciences 

Other related degrees (may not be as useful when applying for graduate entry)

  • Audiology
  • Dentistry
  • Dietetics
  • Healthcare Science
  • Midwifery
  • Music Therapy
  • Nursing (four fields of nursing: adult, child, learning disability, mental health) and other specialisms that may need more training (for example: community, accident and emergency, neonatal, neurology)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Oncology
  • Paramedic Science
  • Podiatry
  • Psychological Therapies
  • Radiotherapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Specific scientific areas may also be appropriate

More options

  • Medicine with a foundation year
  • Another profession/degree that could allow for the practical experience needed (for example: cardiographer, dental support worker, support worker)

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