BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences


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.

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

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.

  • 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 to help you really understand what happens when people become ill.

  • Clinical Practice
  • Case-Based Learning
  • 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
  • Global Challenges in Infections Disease
  • 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.


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.



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 IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 32 overall including a score of 5 in Biology at Higher Level. You will also need to obtain a score of 5 or above in English at standard level.

Please note that a score of 5 in Chemistry at Higher Level is also required if you are considering applying to Cardiff Medical School after studying at USW



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.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

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

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13800 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: 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
Placement *
Placement in a local NHS hospital. Students are expected to pay their own travelling costs to and from the venue. The cost of this will of course vary and some students have also paid for accommodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement.
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 * £53.20
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.

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


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.