Can I do medicine at university without A level biology?

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If you’re interested in doing a career in medicine, studying hard and being devoted to your A levels is essential. You may be wondering what A levels are necessary or recommended for doing medicine. Read on for more information!

What A levels do you actually need?

Broadly speaking, most universities require students to have studied chemistry and biology at A level. These two sciences will give students a foundation of scientific knowledge they need to understand concepts in medicine. Biology is particularly important since you’ll be studying the human body and drugs in this subject. Biology is pretty much tailored to studying medicine at university, so if you want to give yourself the best chances of being a doctor, you should definitely study this at A level.

Physics and maths are also good options to complement biology and chemistry. You will be required to do at least three A levels, so having a broad range of scientific knowledge will always be helpful in upping your chances of getting accepted into med school.

Be aware that subjects such as critical thinking and general studies aren’t acknowledged as A levels that will help you get onto a medicine course at university. So, make sure that you pick your A levels wisely. Additionally, avoid subjects that overlap in knowledge. Examples of this include PE and biology, and maths and further maths. These coupled subjects give you similar skills and knowledge, meaning that your skillset will not be recognised as broad enough to be accepted.

So, is biology actually essential?

Some universities like Birmingham and Aberdeen allow you to swap out biology A level for human biology A level instead. Whilst they are similar, you’d only have to study a focused section of biology rather than a wide range of specification. After all, you don’t really need a great knowledge of plants to become a doctor! Human biology might be quite useful in learning more about the human body in detail that you would not have covered otherwise.

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Don’t be fooled – it can still be possible to do medicine if you take arts and humanities at A level. Some universities, such as Brighton and Sussex, admire students having broader academic horizons. This means that you won’t be completely ruled out of a chance of studying medicine. Be wary of this though – if going to med school is your dream, studying scientific subjects such as biology and chemistry will give you the absolute best chance of being accepted.

So, in conclusion, it could be possible to study medicine at university without a biology A level. There are alternatives such as human biology, and looking at universities that admire subjects equally. Alternatively, you could even take a foundation degree in biology to give you that basis of knowledge. However, if you want to give yourself the best chance of being accepted onto a medicine course at university, it’s recommended that you study biology at A level. Biology A level tuition will give you scientific knowledge which would lay the foundations of your medical degree.

If you, or your parents would like to find out more, please just get in touch via email at or call us on 0800 689 1272

If you, or your parents would like to find out more, please just get in touch via email at or call us on 0800 689 1272