Medical School Rankings UK [2023] – The Results Are In!

Deciphering the different Medical School rankings can be confusing, we will go over everything you need to know to help you understand what they mean.

Author: Chloe Hewitt

You are here:

Table of Contents

What are the UK Medical School Rankings for 2023?

The UK Medical School rankings have arrived for 2023 – at last! But with so many different organisations putting together lists of which Medical School is the best in the country, how do you know which ones to look at and believe? 

We’ve put together a short guide to the rankings and the things to take into consideration when making your application.

Who makes the UK medical school rankings?

There are a number of different ranking guides which compile their lists using different measuring factors. The Guardian and The Complete University Guide are two of the most popular organisations that compile lists of the best universities in the UK for lots of courses, though there are also global rankings provided by different organisations like QS Top Universities.

Of course, these aren’t the only league tables around for UK Medical School rankings. A quick Google search can give you a lot more options if you’d like to compare and have multiple tables to back up your decision of which Medical School to apply to. For today though we will be focussing on just two tables. 

Secure your place to study Medicine at Oxbridge with the help of UniAdmissions and our expert tutors. 

We help you craft the perfect Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive BMAT and UCAT score and teach you how to Interview effectively – covering all areas of your Oxbridge Medicine application.

Discover our Oxbridge Medicine Programme by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

How Are UK Medical Schools Ranked?

There is no official way to rank the UK Medical Schools. There are roughly 36 of them in total, all varying in their teaching style, selection process, and education standard.

While many different Medical School ranking tables exist, they do not all agree. This is largely because the rankings are influenced by vague or indefinable aspects, such as the reputation of the university, or the level of student satisfaction for those studying there – both are difficult to accurately measure.

The Guardian Medical School Rankings

To compile their lists of Medical School rankings UK, the Guardian uses these headings to rank the schools:

They then give each of these categories a score depending on the information they have collected. Finally, all Medical Schools are then given a Guardian Score out of 100, which determines the rank they receive.

The admissions process can be confusing. There are many different key dates, steps and requirements to meet. At UniAdmissions, we strive to provide parents and students with the best possible support to fully understand the university admissions process.

Join our Open Day and have all your questions answered by our Oxbridge Admissions Experts.

What does The Guardian results show?

The Guardian places the University of Cambridge at the top position with a score of 100 and has taken the spot from Edinburgh who ranked number one in 2022. Closely following is the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh in second and third. Aberdeen has come 2nd in these tables for 3 years in a row. 

It is not common to see such a gap between Oxford and Cambridge in a university ranking table. However, we can see here that while Cambridge takes the top spot, Oxford is placed lower down at 6th. 

The University of Central Lancashire takes the last position in 2023 with a score of 36.5. Anglia Ruskin has moved up one spot after being in last place in 2022. 

The Guardian Medicine League Tables 2023
Guardian UK Medical School Rankings 2023

The Complete University Guide Medical School Rankings

The second and equally respected university league table is produced by The Complete University Guide. Their Medical School rankings are based on a slightly different set of criteria, although there is a lot of overlap.

To compile their lists of UK Medical School rankings, these are the headings to rank the schools:

There are also a few other factors taken into consideration that have an impact on the overall score awarded to medical Schools. These aren’t displayed on the main ranking table but are as follows:

As with The Guardian, each category has a weighting attached to it, which then feeds into the final “Overall Score” achieved by a university. This overall score is what determines the Medical School’s rank in the UK.

Find out your percentage chance of getting into Oxford or Cambridge and get a complete report upon completion talking through your strengths and weaknesses.

What does The Complete University Guide results show?

In The Complete University Guide’s ranking, Cambridge takes the top spot again. Oxford, Glasgow and Edinburgh each follow with very high scores but Cambridge just edges them out with a 100% score.

While there is consistency between the top spots on each table, the only other medical school that features in the top five of both tables in Edinburgh. These differences are fairly common though, with the two tables looking fairly different from each other every year. 

The University of Central Lancashire takes the last position in 2023 with a score of 89%, which still seems very high!   

Complete University Guide Medicine Ranking Table 2023
The Complete University Guide Medical School Rankings 2023

By considering just these two ranking tables of Medical Schools in the UK, we can see that there isn’t a “confirmed” ranking list that everyone can agree on.

The Best and Worst UK Medical Schools

It needs to be made clear that these rankings are not definitive in any sense, nor is there a way to calculate the definitive “best” medical school in the UK. While factors such as employment rates and student satisfaction can be measured to a certain degree, each person will have their own preferences as to how they want to study and live at university. 

With that being said though, let’s round up the data and see which medical schools ranked highest and lowest between the two tables: 

Best UK Medical Schools

The highest-ranked medical schools in the UK tend to stay consistent from year to year, although their placements may move around. In 2023, the University of Cambridge made the top spot on both lists, with it receiving a perfect 100 score on each. Of course, the overall score doesn’t mean Cambridge is literally perfect, but it was consistently high scoring in many of the metrics that are recorded. 

Let’s look at the top five UK medical schools for each list:

Complete University Guide

The Guardian

From this list, we can see that Scottish medical schools tend to do fairly well in the rankings, with two in each list and Edinburgh appearing on both. 

Besides that, we can see The Guardian has not ranked the University of Oxford within the top 5, which is fairly uncommon for any UK university ranking. Oxford instead appears in the 8th position. The Guardian instead ranked two London medical schools, Imperial and St. Andrews, in 4th and 5th. Meanwhile, Bristol takes the 5th spot on the Completely University Guide ranking. 

University of Cambridge Exterior

Worst UK Medical Schools

Any ranking must have a bottom rank, but in this case, the bottom ranking shouldn’t be taken as a list of medical schools to avoid. Worst is a very strong word to use in this context as none of the universities listed here are bad. They simply placed at the bottom of a highly competitive ranking. 

Nonetheless, here are the lowest-ranked medical schools in the UK in ascending order: 

Complete University Guide

The Guardian

UCLAN takes the bottom spot on both lists with Buckingham being the only other to appear on both. It’s worth noting that, especially with the Complete University Guide’s scoring system, none of these universities score particularly poorly. While they may not be exceptional in many areas, the education provided at these medical schools is of a high standard and will give you the best chance of employment afterwards. As we said before, these medical schools aren’t bad, they just had some truly exceptional competition. 

Which Ranking Table Should I Follow?

That depends on what’s most important to you. For example, you may place more importance on ‘spend per student’ or career prospects. The Guardian have created their own way of ranking universities which is largely based on student perspective and The Complete University Guide, on the other hand, puts focus on student satisfaction.

You also need to consider that the ranking of the university as a whole is also based on the quality of research being produced by the postgraduate Masters and PhD students, which has little to do with the experience of a Medical undergraduate.

It can be easy to get very carried away with all these different ratings and rankings of the best Medical Schools in the UK. While it is true that these subtle differences may affect your experience at university, you should keep in mind that all of these Medical Schools are highly rated universities with excellent rankings across the board.

However, it is crucial to remember that no matter which Medical School you attend, you will graduate with the future of a fully respected career which is boundless in its opportunities. So don’t get too worried if you don’t end up being able to go to the medical schools at the very top of the list.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of what you are looking for in a University when it comes to how you choose which Medical School you want to apply to.

Oxbridge Medicine is incredibly competitive and it helps to have an edge. Our expert support will help you receive your dream offer. 

With over 250 hours of guided study (including One-To-One Tuition, Mock Interviews, Intensive Courses and Comprehensive Materials), our expert Oxbridge Medicine Premium Programme truly gives you an advantage that can make the difference between an offer and rejection.

Discover our Oxbridge Medicine Premium Programme by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

0 +
UniAdmissions students placed
at Oxford And Cambridge
0 +

UniAdmissions students placed at Oxford And Cambridge