BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences

The BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences course is designed primarily for students who want to become medical doctors and forms part of the graduate feeder scheme to medicine at Cardiff University (A101). Every year, there are ten places available on the A101 programme for suitably qualified graduates of our Medical Sciences degree.

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. 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.

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

Year One: Medical Sciences Degree

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

  • Microorganisms and the Dynamic Cell
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biomedical Research Skills
  • Introduction to Clinical Practice
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Genetics and Evolution

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, human form and function and clinical physiology all integrating as one module to help you really understand what happens when people become ill.

  • Clinical Practice
  • Human Form and Function
  • Clinical Physiology
  • Metabolism and Biochemistry
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Human Molecular Genetics

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 immunology, pharmacology, epidemiology, as well as optional areas like tropical medicine or anthropology. All areas of the Medical Sciences course provide extra opportunities for clinical training and research, which will improve your career potential.

  • Project or Human Structure (human cadaver dissection with Cardiff University School of Medicine)
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Tropical Medicine
  • Human Variation and Forensic Anthropology
  • Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology
  • Clinical and Molecular Immunology



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.


To improve your employability, you will also get extra skills and experience through short work placements with local health boards.



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


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. Please note, this course is only available to UK and EU national applicants.

International students are unable to study this degree because UK Health Authorities will not permit them to undertake placements. Placements are a critical part of the Medical Sciences degree and there are placements required in both years one and two to support the patient handling element of the course. International applicants may wish to consider our BSc (Hons) Human Biology degree. This course does not require any clinical placements but is a medically orientated degree. Successful completion of this degree would allow them to apply for Postgraduate medical programmes at other institutions within the UK.

Interview: Applicants will be invited to attend an interview for this course.




Additional Requirements

GCSEs: Applicants must hold GCSE Mathematics and English Language grade B or above with 3 other subjects grade C or above.
Equivalents may be considered on an individual basis.

Other: You will also need an enhanced DBS check.


BSc (Hons) Biology (Including Foundation Year):

Students are required to achieve a mark of 70% or higher to progress onto the BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences degree.


Typical A-Level Offer

BBB to include Biology but to exclude General Studies

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

Typical IB Offer

32 points to include 18 points at Higher Level to include Biology grade 6 and one other Higher Level Science grade 6

Typical Access to HE Offer

Diploma in Science or Maths with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits equating to 24 Distinctions (18 from Biology units), 18 Merits and 3 Passes

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000 
  • Full-time International:  £12300 

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Field Trips *
Placement in local NHS hospital - Please note that students who undertake this placement in a Local NHS hospital are expect to pay travelling costs to and from the hospital.
DBS * £57.2
Students will have to have a DBS check in place in order to undertake the placements. Current cost is £57.20.
DBS Updating Service £13
Whilst optional we strongly recommend signining upto this service (which has to be within 19 days of the DBS certificate being issued).
Some General Practitioners will give a Hepatitis B vaccination free of charge, though you may be charged e.g. by a local pharmacy. Appoximate cost is £60 currently.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU 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

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

65% 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.