BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences

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.

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.

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Entry Requirements

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.


Full time

Complete your degree in the shortest possible time and study flexibly – when and where suits you!


You’ll study 9 modules in total (approx. 37 hrs/week).

Part time option one

Study for a degree whilst fitting it around your work, care and other life commitments.


You’ll study 6 modules per year (approx. 25 hrs/week).

Part time option two

Take time to study and spread the tuition fees over a longer period – at no extra cost.


You’ll study 4–5 modules per year (approx. 19 hrs/week).

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