Pre Bioscience for Medicine and Dentistry

SubjectMedicine, Dentistry


Type of Degree60 ECTS

CostEUR 15,000


Cost non-EUEUR 15,000

Pre Bioscience for medicine and dentistry in Spain

There are a number of private and public universities offering degrees in medicine and dentistry in Spain but it is difficult for British students to access these directly out of school. For a start, the public universities rarely teach in English (although some do in part) and A' levels are insufficient by themselves to meet the entry requirements.

In order to assist international applicants gain access to Spanish universities for these subjects, GDC Education has developed a bespoke preparation course offered in cooperation with Universidad Catolica de Valencia (UCV), one of Spain's leading private universities. The course consists of some of the scientific subjects necessary to complete the first year at university as well as classes required to pass the PAEU/Selectividad (Spanish university entrance exam) with a sufficiently high grade. Finally, intensive Spanish classes are included so that you will be able to access Spanish-taught university degrees at the end of just one year. This is an extremely intensive workload and your chance of success depends entirely on how well you perform during this year. However, if you meet the necessary standard there will be a place waiting for you at either a public or a private university in Spain for the subject of your choice.

The course will start in October 2015 and will be located at UCV's campus in central Valencia.

What are the entry requirements for the Pre-Bioscience course?

Priority will be given to applicants with at least ABB at A' level. Candidates with Spanish language qualifications will be at an advantage but this is not necessary to apply to the course. Students with the International Baccalaureate should have a score of 35 or above.

Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers, as well as Irish Leaving Certificate, will also be considered.

Who should apply for Pre-Bioscience in Valencia?

If you have narrowly missed out on a place at a British medical or dental school this might be the perfect course for you.

You can prepare yourself to study abroad, learn a new language, guarantee yourself a place at a Spanish university and reapply to universities in the UK at the same time if you meet their entry requirements. As such, the course is targeted at those students who have done well at A' level but have not been able to gain a place in the UK. Every year thousands of students fall into this category. Rather than taking a Gap Year and reapplying, or pursuing a BSc in Biomedical Science, the pre-med course in Valencia could offer you a better chance of achieving your end goal in a shorter amount of time and possibly at a much lower cost.

Why should you apply to Pre-Bioscience in Valencia?

If you want to study medicine or dentistry at a public university in Spain you will need to take the same entrance exam as local students, the Selectividad. While some components of this exam can be skipped if you have good quality A' level grades, it is never possible for you to have taken all the subjects required.

The Pre-Bioscience Valencia course will provide you with the training required to pass these additional subjects. These include Spanish language and literature and Spanish history. At the same time as preparing for these exams, your scientific knowledge will be topped up with first year-level courses in biology, chemistry etc. All of your studies will be accredited by UCV, meaning that at the end of the pre-med year you will have 60 ECTS, the equivalent of one year at any university (as these credits will include a large number of ECTS for language study, it is untrue to compare this directly with the first year of medical school). The biggest advantage of accredited study is that you should be able to take these credits with you to any university around the world but certainly within the European Union.

The precise available credits are as follows:

  • Spanish (24 ECTS)
  • Intro to Biostatistics (3)
  • Biochemistry (6)
  • Biophysics (3)
  • Anthropology (3)
  • Intro to Laboratory (3)
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology (6)
  • Anatomy (6)
  • History of Spain and system of Spanish education (3)
  • Bioethics (3)

Each credit represents around 10 hours of study.

GDC Education has relationships with some of the best public and private universities in Spain and can advise on the likelihood of your chances of attending the university of your choice.

How does it work for public universities?

In order to enter a public university you will need to take the Selectividad. (There are some changes to this exam that will be coming in the future but these changes will not affect competitive courses such as dentistry and medicine.)

All public universities publish a points total required for entry to each of their courses. If you meet the total, you get a place. This is your guarantee that you will be able to pursue your chosen field of study after completion of the pre-med course as long as you meet the standard required. For the first year that the Pre-Bioscience course runs, GDC Education will restrict the number of students; it is important that students are as well prepared as they can be and successful candidates will have to commit to an intensive study workload. We can advise on the likely points total required for a particular course but the final total required will only be known once the results of the Selectividad are published.

As no public university currently teaches medicine or dentistry entirely in English (there are some bilingual options and in some cases, all exams can be in English), it is absolutely essential to learn Spanish during the pre-med year. However, this would be true even if you didn't take this course. It is better to dedicate yourself to intensive language study before you start your degree proper. Many students at international medical schools have struggled as they try to master both a new language and the core curriculum; studying Spanish before going to medical or dental school will dramatically improve your chances of success once you arrive there.

Medicine typically takes six years to study at a Spanish university with one year of residency required after graduation. Dentistry typically takes five years to study.

Tuition fees at public universities in Spain are roughly €1,500 per year. For example, if you were to take a medicine degree at a public university after completing the rBioscience course your total tuition bill would be around €24,000, an average of €3,425 per year. This is cheaper than any other European country. Living costs in Spain are also very affordable and certainly much lower than in the United Kingdom. There is no student loan facility from the British government available for students wishing to follow this course.

How does it work for private universities?

Private universities are free to set their own entrance requirements so students are not required to take the Selectividad to gain entry. However, most private universities teach in Spanish rather than English. In fact, it is currently impossible to study medicine entirely in English in Spain and this is unlikely to change. Dentistry can be studied entirely in English and although all courses for 2015 are now full, it would probably be possible to apply for 2016 entry without taking the Pre Bioscience course as long as you have suitable A levels and good enough grades (BBB would be a sensible benchmark - students with lower than this are much more likely to struggle).

There is one private university offering medicine in English for two years, then taught in Spanish. Theoretically you could access this course directly with A' levels but there is a limit on the number of places and students who can already speak Spanish are highly advantaged. This option could still be available to you after the pre-med course, however.

In both dentistry and medicine there are a number of private universities teaching entirely in Spanish and the pre-med course would be excellent preparation for this.

Tuition fees are invariably higher at private universities. For dentistry fees start at around €14,000 per year, for medicine €20,000 per year. There will not be a significant cost saving over UK higher education.


What can you expect from Pre-Bioscience Valencia?

If you successfully complete the Pre-Bioscience Valencia course you will have a number of exciting options available to you. You can expect to:

  • continue your studies at a public university and save significant amounts of money
  • study at a private university ensuring that your education continues without interruption
  • reapply to universities in your home country with additional qualifications and some university credits

Whichever route you choose you will always have the ability to speak Spanish, the second most spoken language globally, and the benefit of globally recognised credits from Universidad Catolica de Valencia.

How do you apply?

In the first instance we advise you to contact us directly giving us a clear idea of your academic background. We will then evaluate whether you are a suitable candidate before putting forward your application for consideration. There is no application fee for our services but we regret that we will not be able to enter into correspondence if you are clearly an unsuitable candidate.

All applications are sent to GDC Education and will be assessed there. Universidad Catolica de Valencia is not involved in the application process.

For further information about the course and issues relating to living in Spain please visit GDC Education's website.


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A Star Future provides information and guidance to British students looking to pursue their undergraduate studies abroad.

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