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University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)

All applicants for both the standard five-year (A106) and six-year (A104) courses are required to sit the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT), formerly known as the UKCAT.

COVID-19 update

We are expecting applicants to offer a UCAT result for 2023 entry for our Medicine courses.

We advise applicants to keep up-to-date on the most recent guidance for testing for 2023 entry on the UCAT website.

About the UCAT

UCAT has been designed to help universities determine whether you have the best combination of cognitive abilities, attitudes and professional behaviours appropriate for an aspiring healthcare professional.

The test is taken online at centres throughout the UK and internationally. The UCAT is intended to probe innate skills and competencies rather than test acquired knowledge.

Paid-for preparation courses are not known to be of any benefit, and we advise applicants that such programmes are completely unnecessary. However, we do recommend that you complete the free practice tests (available on the UCAT website) under timed conditions as part of your preparation for sitting UCAT.

Further details are available through the UCAT website. You are advised to visit this website early in the application process.

The UCAT result is valid only for the year in which you apply (either for direct or deferred entry). If you are making a second application, you must retake the UCAT.

Use of the UCAT threshold

We have two primary selection criteria involving the UCAT.

Application of the UCAT threshold

When we receive the UCAT scores for applicants who have applied to the Medicine programme at Manchester, we will then be able to calculate our UCAT threshold for that year's entry.

The threshold will be based on the standard of scores received for that year, so we would not be able to confirm what our threshold would be in advance of the UCAT deadline. The threshold does vary year-on-year. You can see our previous UCAT thresholds on our application data page.

If you meet the UCAT threshold we apply, and you achieve Band 1 or 2 in the Situational Judgement Test (SJT), you will likely be invited to interview as long as you meet our minimum academic requirements (for example, GCSE and predicted grades).

There are, however, some operational constraints on the number of interviews available in any given year. Where the number of highly scoring candidates exceeds the number of interview slots available, we will rank candidates according to UCAT total score and SJT band.

To help identify talented students from all backgrounds, UCAT scores from UK/EU candidates who come from similar educational and socio-demographic backgrounds are considered against each other. This is conducted using supplementary information provided by publicly available datasets.

What if my score does not meet the threshold?

We recognise that everyone has a different set of skills. If your UCAT score does not meet our UCAT threshold, then we will include your application as part of a holistic assessment using all the information available to us to arrive at a decision.

Applicants in this route will firstly be ranked according to their overall UCAT score, and then the Academic Lead for Admissions will begin to assess the applications taking into account other information.

The primary data taken into account for the holistic assessment includes:

  • overall UCAT score and Situational Judgement Test band;
  • academic achievement, including for those qualifications that have gone above and beyond the minimum academic entry criteria, and qualifications that are both pending (with the predicted grade) and achieved qualifications;
  • contextual data flags.

While the Non-Academic Information Form or personal statement does not normally form a part of the primary data we take into account, we do reserve the right to take this into account at any point during the application process.

Please note that we do not routinely read the personal statement or the reference until the offer-making stage of the admissions cycle. The personal statement and reference are therefore not to be used to inform us of information that is critical to the initial screening of your application (for example, exam results or exceptional personal circumstances).

We do not consider applicants who achieve Band 4 in the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) element of the UCAT. Applicants with a SJT Band 3 are welcome to apply. However, we will prioritise applicants who are in Bands 1 and 2 in both our UCAT and holistic assessments.