BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences

Medical Sciences at USW is ranked top in the UK for teaching, learning opportunities, assessment and student voice National Student Survey 2023

Our Medical Sciences degree is designed primarily for students who want to become medical doctors. Every year, there are ten places available on the A101 medicine programme at Cardiff University for suitably qualified graduates of this course and our graduates are also able to progress to graduate entry medicine at other universities.

The teaching of all subject areas, which range from anatomy and physiology to clinical skills and health policy, is reinforced by applying theoretical knowledge to clinical scenarios. Throughout the Medical Sciences degree you will gain valuable, hands-on clinical training and research experience from intensive work placements in local NHS facilities.

As well as being a strong scientific qualification, a key feature of our Medical Sciences course is the application of scientific knowledge to clinical scenarios using simulation and case-based learning.

From studying topics as diverse as tropical medicine, clinical practice or biological anthropology to potentially being selected to take part in human dissection, you will gain robust scientific knowledge and skills during this course.

When you graduate, you'll be able to decide which area of healthcare is suitable for you and be in a very strong position for an application to graduate entry medicine.


UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
B901 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
B901 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A

From studying topics as diverse as tropical medicine, clinical practice or biological anthropology, to potentially being selected to take part in human dissection, you will gain robust scientific knowledge and skills during this course. When you graduate, you’ll be able to decide which area of healthcare is suitable for you and be in a very strong position for an application to postgraduate medicine.

Year One: Medical Sciences Degree

The first year introduces you to the science of life, to the scientific method and clinical practice.

  • Skills and Professional Development 1*
  • Diversity of Cellular Life
  • Genetics and Evolution
  • Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry
  • Human Growth and Development 
  • Clinical and Professional Practice 1

*This module can be studied in Welsh.

Year Two: Medical Sciences Degree

The second year builds on the foundations laid in year 1. We introduce you to case-based learning; with clinical practice to help you really understand what happens when people become ill.

  • Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Cellular Pathology and Disease Processes
  • Microorganisms and Disease
  • Human Molecular Genetics
  • Clinical and Professional Practice 2

Year Three: Medical Sciences Degree

Your final year lets you choose modules that are most relevant to your career aims. There will be core modules in public health, modern research approaches, and regenerative medicine, as well as optional areas like 'bench to bedside' or anthropology, alongside a dissertation project. All areas of the Medical Sciences course provide extra opportunities for clinical training and research, which will improve your career potential.

  • Research Project and Career Development, OR Human Structure (human cadaver dissection with Cardiff University School of Medicine)
  • Global Health Challenges
  • Modern Molecular Advances
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Bench to Bedside, OR Human Variation


You will learn through lectures, tutorial support, workshops, practical laboratory sessions, placements, directed and self-directed study and approximately 80 hours of work based learning in local hospitals.

In many medical schools, you are exposed to case/problem-based learning, so we have incorporated this into our teaching methods and assess you on these modules in a similar way to medical school exams. These teaching methods promote lifelong learning, open inquiry, teamwork, and critical thinking which are essential transferable skills.


Assessment varies from module to module but includes examinations, essays, oral presentations, written reports, case history analysis, data interpretation, problem solving and objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs).


The BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences degree is recognised by the Royal Society of Biology which ensures that graduates automatically fulfil the educational requirements for Associate Membership (AMRSB) of the Royal Society. This is the professional body for biologists, so you can rest assured that this science course also provides the ideal preparation for a career in the field of human biology.


You will gain experience from intensive work placements in local NHS facilities. These provide first-hand experience of medicine and healthcare in a range of departments and disciplines.


Students have access to the state-of-the-art science laboratories in Glyntaff as well as a purpose-built clinical skills laboratory with patient simulation equipment.



We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

This entry criteria details typical offers, however USW considers all applications on an individual basis. This means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Additional Requirements

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child & Adult Workforce and Child and Adult Barring Lists and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)

Interview: Suitably qualified Applicants will be invited to attend an interview for this course. Here are tips on how to prepare.

Typical A-Level Offer

BBB or ABC to include Biology but to exclude General Studies

Please note that A Level Chemistry is also required if you are considering applying to Cardiff Medical School after studying at USW


Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Grade B and BB at A Level to include Biology but to exclude General Studies

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Distinction Merit in a relevant subject which must include Biology modules

Please Note: BTEC qualification are no longer accepted by Cardiff University Medical School 

Typical Access to HE Offer

Science Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits equating to 24 Distinctions (18 from Science) from Science units, 18 Merits and 3 Passes. Other combinations equating to 118 UCAS tariff points are acceptable

Please Note: Access to Higher Education courses are no longer accepted by Cardiff University Medical School 

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: For entry to this course the University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.

However, if looking to progress to graduate entry medicine at university after completing your degree with us, we would advise you to check their entry criteria as the GCSE/IELTS requirement could be higher and you would be expected to meet these requirements irrespective of your degree or any level 3 qualifications/results you have achieved.

BSc (Hons) Biology and Biomedical Science (Including Foundation Year):

Students who are studying this course are required to achieve a mark of 70% or higher, with no module below 60%, in order to progress onto the BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences degree.



Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course


August 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £15260 

August 2025 - July 2026 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Placement *
Placements will take place in a local NHS hospital in the two adjacent Health Boards to USW. Students are expected to pay their own travelling costs to and from the venue. The cost of this will of course vary depending on the distance between term time accommodation and the placement location.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Placement * £120
Some General Practitioners will give a Hepatitis B vaccination free of charge, though you may be charged e.g. by a local pharmacy.
DBS * £55.42
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

UK students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly


Admissions statement

Many of our graduates progress to medicine and most now work in the healthcare sector. As well as being a strong science qualification in its own right, the Medical Sciences degree is an initial step to apply for graduate-entry degrees in medicine at other universities. There are many careers related to medicine and health science, such as medical research, health and social care management or technical support in healthcare services.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.