Medical and Dental Places Uncapped 2020

The government has announced a major change for students who received A-Level Grades in 2020.

I think we can all agree, this year’s Results Season truly takes the biscuit! Every year Generation Medics provides tonnes of support for results day, and despite the extra set of challenges, this year is no different. 

In this blog you’ll find out more about the MAJOR NEW ANNOUNCEMENT shared by the government at lunchtime today – Thursday 20 August 2020. 

*Note: we’re updating this page continuously as we get more info so make sure you check back!*

Cap on numbers of university places to study Medicine and Dentistry LIFTED

Extra Medicine and Dentistry Places announced for 2020: here's the update in a nutshell

The government has lifted the cap on the number of places for some degree courses in England to try to ensure that ALL students who achieved the required A-Level grades will be offered a place at their first choice of university.

Extra funding will be given to universities for them to be able to handle the increase in student numbers.

This update means there will be more places to study Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Veterinary Science and STEM subjects this year.

For more information, keep reading!

What exactly has been announced?

The lunchtime announcement from the Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan MP stated: 

“For medicine and dentistry, we are lifting the specific cap set on places for these subjects and providers should offer places to students who meet the terms of their offer this year, where clinical placements are available. “

It was also reiterated again that all universities should:

  1. Honour all offers accepted to date.
  2. Honour all offers made and met through the new arrangements for both firm and insurance offers where students would like to take them, wherever this is possible.

“Where a provider reaches capacity (including in the context of published guidance on COVID-19) and both our joint efforts cannot bolster additional places then providers will see if a student would like a suitable alternative course or offer a deferred place, and where possible try to prioritise those from disadvantaged backgrounds for admission this year.”

You can read the full announcement here.

After the U-Turn announcement, I met my original offer for a place at university. What does this new announcement mean for me?

According to this announcement ‘wherever possible’ universities in England will need to give a space to any student who had an offer for a subject, and now has the grades to meet that offer. 

Whilst the government have lifted their cap, there will still be a maximum capacity that the university can accommodate in any given year – as a result, many students who now meet the conditions of their original offer may have to start at their first choice university next year.

Who is in charge of deciding the number of places available to study Medicine and Dentistry in England?

The number of places available at medical and dental schools in the UK is actually regulated by the Government and controlled through intake targets set by the Office for Students (OfS).

Why have places at Medical and Dental Schools in England been uncapped in 2020?

The Government made the decision after stories of pupils being unfairly downgraded due to a controversial algorithm marking them in lieu of exams cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Royal College of GPs said a “large number of potential medical students” had been affected and a “deeply worrying” proportion come from areas which are already under-doctored.

They also warned that at least 20% more medical school places are needed just to ensure there are enough GPs in the future.

 The Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan MP said that the interests of students were at the heart of the change in awarding results and their interests will continue to be prioritised.

What about students who are vulnerable or from disadvantaged backgrounds?

Universities are being supported by their regulator to ensure that the admissions process supports vulnerable students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The regulator has also said it will also be seeking to ensure that its regulatory work takes into account the repercussions of the changes to admissions this year.

Which other courses have been affected?

The Government has also pledged to provide additional funding to help universities meet additional costs of offering additional places to students in other high-cost subjects, such as veterinary sciences, nursing, and STEM subjects. 

They have also confirmed that universities are able to accept students who have not met the conditions of their offer, provided that there are no requirements that students make the university their only choice for the offer to stand. The Office for Students have said:

Universities can make admissions decisions on the basis
of the available evidence for individual applicants, regardless of the outcomes of any appeal that applicants may make.

I'm applying for 2021-entry - what does this mean for me?

The Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan MP has said 

This is a difficult time for students and their families, and for
universities and staff, and I recognise that universities are doing everything they can to place students. 

I am also aware that deferrals to next year will create their own challenges and I will continue to work with [universities] on this over the coming year to build capacity. 

Ultimately, students are my priority and I want to ensure that their aspirations are not curtailed.

Uncapping the number of student places for medicine and dentistry has so far only been announced for 2020-entry and is therefore a temporary lifting of the student numbers cap.

Background to this 2020 situation 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾

The number of places available to study medicine and dentistry is regulated by the government and controlled through intake targets operated by the OfS.

Results Day U-turn causes uncertainty

Four days after A-level results were issued, ministers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales all decided to revert to teacher assessed grades rather than the algorithm. Scotland reverted to teacher assessed grades earlier after facing a similar backlash.

The move prompted a scramble for university places as students tried to reclaim places at universities which they had last week been rejected from.

However, the top universities warned that students who now have higher grades could still be asked to defer if there is no space left on their chosen course.

Has the cap on medical students been lifted for 2020?

When asked about lifting the cap on medical school places Mr Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care replied, “I am absolutely looking at this issue, yes.”

Later he told BBC Radio 4: “But of course there’s now a huge number of pupils who have the grades, and so we’re working very much immediately on how we can go further than we already are.”

Universities minister Michelle Donelan said No 10 was working with universities to help “boost the capacity available” in order to “minimise the amount of students that will be looking to defer.”

What if I have accepted another choice because I thought I had missed out on Medicine?

On Tues 18th Aug 2020 Universities minister Michelle Donelan said she wanted to ensure any students who had accepted a “different course” than planned, as a result of being downgraded on A-level results day 2020, should be able to “change their mind and to reverse that decision”.

When were the medical school places last updated? 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾

In 2016 the government committed to a 25% increase in undergraduate medical places at new and existing medical schools in the UK. 

“Setting up five new medical schools is part of the biggest ever expansion of our medical and nursing workforce; which will help us deal with the challenges of having around one million more over 75s in 10 years’ time”

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (2012-18)

Want to become a doctor? 🩺  Check out our Complete Guide to Becoming a Doctor here 👍🏽
🔒 It’s only available for our members! 🔒

2019 update

map of new uk medical schools

We’ve previously told you about the 5 new Medical Schools which have been announced, but if you’ve missed that blog check it out here: 

5 new Medical Schools Announced

 

The 5 new Medical Schools weren’t the only institutions allocated the new places, existing Medical Schools applied for more places and some got them!

Now we can tell you how many spaces each Medical School is growing by AND when the places will be available! Just keep on reading!

In total there will be 630 extra places available from 2019!

The total potential intake for 2018/19 was 6,701 this figure includes the new places made available. 

How many new places are there for students starting medical school in 2019 and beyond?

Why does this matter?

These places will continue to be available for years to come so there will be more places at medical school thanks to these changes!

Which universities were allocated the new medical school places?

Here’s a list of the UK medical schools that we know are increasing their intake for Medicine!

Aston University Aston University 

Total new places: 100

2018/19: 20 new places available

2020/21: 80 new places available

Anglia Ruskin UniversityAnglia Ruskin University

Total new places: 100

2018/19: 100 new places available

University of BirminghamUniversity of Birmingham

Total new places: 26

2018/19: 26 more places available

Brighton and Sussex Medical SchoolBrighton and Sussex Medical School

Total new places: 65

2018/19: 15 more places available

2019/20: 50 more places available

University of BristolUniversity of Bristol

Total new places: 19

2018/19: 19 more places available

University of Cambridge 

Total new places: 21

2018/19: 21 more places available

University of Central Lancashire University of Central Lancashire 

Total new places: 15

2018/19: 15 more places available

University College London (UCL) University College London (UCL) 

Total new places: 12

2018/19: 12 more places available

University of East Anglia University of East Anglia 

Total new places: 41

2018/19: 16 more places available

2020/21: 25 more places available

Edge Hill University Medical School    Edge Hill University Medical School    

Total new places: 30 new places available

2020/21: 30 more places available

University of Exeter University of Exeter 

Total new places: 88

2018/19: 15 more places available

2020/21: 73 more places available

Hull York Medical School  Hull York Medical School  

Total new places: 90

2018/19: 25 more places available

2020/21: 65 more places available

Imperial College, London Imperial College, London 

Total new places: 23

2018/19: 23 more places available

Keele University Keele University 

Total new places: 35

2018/19: 15 more places available

2020/21: 20 more places available

Kent and Medway Medical School 

Total new places: 100 new places available

Kings College London (KCL) Kings College London (KCL) 

Total new places: 27

2018/19: 27 more places available

Lancaster University Lancaster University 

Total new places: 75

2018/19: 15 more places available

2020/21: 60 more places available

University of LeedsUniversity of Leeds

Total new places: 20

2018/19: 20 more places available

University of Leicester 

Total new places: 49

2018/19: 19 more places available

2020/21: 30 more places available

University of Liverpool University of Liverpool 

Total new places: 25

2018/19: 25 more places available

University of Manchester University of Manchester 

Total new places: 26

2018/19: 26 more places available

University of Newcastle University of Newcastle 

Total new places: 24

2018/19: 24 more places available

University of Nottingham University of Nottingham 

Total new places: 44

2018/19: 24 more places available

2020/21: 20 more places available

University of Nottingham and Lincoln Medical School 

Total new places: 80

2019: 80 new places available

University of Oxford University of Oxford 

Total new places: 16

2018/19: 16 more places available

University of Plymouth University of Plymouth 

Total new places: 70

2018/19: 15 more places available

2020/21: 55 more places available

Queen Mary University London (QMUL) Queen Mary University London (QMUL) 

Total new places: 55

2018/19: 23 more places available

2020/21: 32 more places available

St George’s Hospital Medical School St George's Hospital Medical School 

Total new places: 20

2018/19: 20 more places available

University of Sheffield University of Sheffield 

Total new places: 69

2018/19: 19 more places available

2020/21: 50 more places available

University of SouthamptonUniversity of Southampton

Total new places: 19

2018/19: 19 more places available

University of SunderlandUniversity of Sunderland

Total new places: 100

2020/21: 50 new places available

University of Warwick University of Warwick 

Total new places: 16

2018/19: 16 more places available

As you can see, some universities haven’t yet confirmed with us when the Medicine places will be available – as soon as we know we will update this blog!

Not all universities made the final cut

There were far more applications from universities for Medical School spaces than were announced – many existing universities missed out on additional spaces and others missed out on establishing a Medical School at all.

One University has been very open in its disappointment of the recent new medical school spaces announcement. Which university you ask? None other than the University of Bradford

Commiserations guys – we know that the application process took a lot of work and there will be some seriously disappointed people, but we are sure the future’s bright for you in other areas! 🙂

👍🏽 If you liked this you might also like our Complete Guide to Becoming a Doctor 🩺
🔒 It’s only available for our members! 🔒

Before you leave, take 5 mins and reflect on what you’ve learnt from this

  • What surprised you? What was expected?
  • Do you feel you have a better understanding of what the challenges and positives of going to uni are at the moment?
  • Do you know what you need to do to prepare?

Make a note of these reflections to help you on your journey towards your future.

Scroll to Top