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I Want to be a Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,


I want to be a cardiothoracic surgeon. What gcse's will I need to go to university? Please help. I don’t know if this is an American site or English but I’m from England I’m sure you could help me a bit ^_^ please help



Signed: I Want to be a Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dear I Want to be a Cardiothoracic Surgeon,


For our friends outside the United Kingdom, students in England study General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) over two years, from the age of 15, and take GCSE exams at the end of this period.  These are the final years of their compulsory high school education.  At this point, students can either leave school and get a job, or go on to further studies.


While researching your question TeenHealthFX came across the following page on the website. It gives some specifics parameters for the various Universities in the United Kingdom.


GCSE Results and University Requirements for Medicine




Aberdeen = All A/B passes expected, especially in the Sciences. C passes in English and Maths. Biology and Physics as separate subjects are looked upon favorably.
Barts = Minimum requirement of AAABBB in Maths, science and English.
Birmingham = At least 8 A*'s (notice the "at least" meaning your competition will probably have more than 8) This year (2011 entry) most of the applicants who received offers had 9/10 A*'s
Brighton and Sussex = High grades expected with B's in English and Maths, however candidates with low grades are considered if your AS's results are very good
Bristol = 5 subjects at grade A/A* including Maths, English and 2 sciences
Cambridge = lots of A*'s... need I say more? However if your AS UMS marks are exceptional, your GCSE grades matter less

Cardiff = A minimum of 9 grade B's. B's needed in English and Maths, AA needed in additional science, and AAB for separate sciences
Dundee = A good pass in Biology... I assume this too mean an A or above, Dundee is one of the top medical schools, so even though they don't specify on GCSE results, you can bet your competition will have a lot of A*'s

Durham = A minimum of 5 subjects at grade C, to include Maths, English and the sciences
East Anglia = 6 subjects with at least grade A including the core subjects (core subjects = English and Maths)
Edinburgh = 8-11 A*'s, with at least B's in core subjects (average applicant has 6 A*'s - the ones who get in have above 8 A*'s)
Glasgow = A's in English and the sciences
Hull York = At least 6 subjects at grade C, A's in the Maths and English, B's in the sciences
Imperial = AAABBB in Maths, English and the sciences
Keele = Grade A in a minimum of 4 subjects, and B's in English, Maths and the sciences

Kings College London = Grade B in English and Maths if not offered at AS/A2 level

Lancaster = A minimum of 9 GCSE's at grade C. Lancaster has a points based system, with A*/A = 2 and a B=1, you need at least 15 points - which essentially translates to AAAAAABBB. Maths, English and the sciences need to all be at grade B.
Leeds = B's in English, Maths and the sciences with a range of good grades, this presumably means nothing below a B and certainly no fail grades
Leicester = GCSE requirements are not specified but are "taken into consideration" - aim high
Liverpool = At least B's in the core subjects and sciences, and a scoring system. A*/A = 2 and B = 1, in this scoring system you need at least 15 points. Which works out as mainly A/B's in all subjects (AAAAAABBB)
Manchester = At least 7 subjects at grade C or above, at least 5 at A/A*. A minimum of B for English language. A minimum of grade C for Physics and Biology
Newcastle = A's in the sciences, and a minimum of 5 passes (I'm quite surprised by the relatively low grades, seeing as Newcastle is another good Medical school, so do expect most other applicants to have higher grades than this)
Nottingham = Grade A in the sciences and at least 6 subjects
Oxford = Minimum Grade A in the sciences, minimum 8A*'s
Peninsula = Grade C in at least 7 subjects
Queen's Belfast = Uses a point scoring system, 4 points for an A*, 3 for an A etc. Makes competition quite high because all GCSE results are taken into account in the final point adding
RFUCMS = B's in core subjects and from 2012 a language will be required
Sheffield = At least 6 A grades required and B's in core subjects

Southampton = Minimum of B in 7 subjects, including Maths, English and the sciences
St. Andrews = B's in core subjects and the sciences
St. Georges = Minimum of 8 subjects. A's in maths, English and the sciences. A B is needed for English language.

UCL = Minimum requirements are a B in English and Maths, and a modern foreign language for 2012 entry - however UCL uses GCSE's as an indicator of academic abilities, so most applicants will have a high percentage of A*'s

There are three things to consider while looking over these requirements;

If you are from a comprehensive school Universities expect you to have worse GCSE's than those from Public/Private schools, or they at least make more compensations for an applicant if they have done very badly. So comprehensive students don't worry too much if you haven't done great, and private students better pull your socks up if you haven't got mainly A/A*'s.


Many good universities haven't specified GCSE grades, but believe me, these required grades are low. In times of recession applications for vocational courses such as Teaching and Medicine always go up, and the number of university applications generally go up, meaning a lot more competition, you need to be aiming for high and above minimum requirement grades if you are really serious about studying medicine.







Signed: TeenHealthFX