University of Barcelona Medical School:Requirements & Courses

Faculty or school: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

The quality and tradition of teaching and training in medicine at the University of Barcelona is a source of pride.

For over a hundred years, this Faculty has trained many generations of excellent doctors who have delivered and continued to deliver the best possible service to society.

The University of Barcelona has a long tradition of excellence, effort, and dedication to teaching medicine and the medical profession.

Their teaching program has a strong practical component, which includes rotations and clinical practice for primary care and specialized care, in many primary care centers and hospitals affiliated to the Faculty, where the best professionals, who work there every day, interact with students and patients.

Notwithstanding the relative importance of the different classifications of academic institutions, the position of the UB Faculty of Medicine has always been among the leaders of all medical faculties in Spain and the only one among the top five faculties of medicine in the world.

The Faculty also pursues an international vocation and works following the concept of global health (“One world, one health”).

Part of the academic hours is taught in English in all academic years.

They also have a consolidated international exchange program for the Faculty to connect to and exchange students and teachers with the best faculties of medicine in the EU and abroad.

However, the most important factor for them is the human one. The Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine at the University of Barcelona welcomes and contributes to the training of educated, friendly, serious, entertaining, hardworking, honest, and supportive students who are able to work as part of a team.

All in all, students who embody the values of the medical profession, will turn out to be excellent, committed, and ethical professionals.

What you will need at the University of Barcelona Medical School

  • A vocation to serve and look after others.

  • Good verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
  • Empathy.

  • Must have the capacity for analysis and synthesis.

  • Must have the capacity to identify the difference between causal relations and associations.

  • Must have a sound understanding of biology and sufficient knowledge of mathematics, physics and chemistry.

The number of credits and the Distribution of credits

Subject area type
ECTS credits
Basic training93
Compulsory placements0
Compulsory final project
University of Barcelona Medical School

Admission for students with studies completed outside Spain

Admission for students with studies completed outside Spain.

Applicants holding higher educational qualifications from a university outside Spain should consult the page Admission with foreign qualifications to find out about specific admission requirements.

Fields in which you can work

Medicine offers a wide range of career opportunities in public, private, or mixed sectors, with one of the highest employability rates.

The most common pathway is for graduates in medicine to specialize through the national program of specialized health training (FSE), known as the MIR system.

UB medical graduates always obtain good results in the MIR exam, and the Faculty usually occupies one of the top three positions in Spain for the success rate of students obtaining an MIR position is measured.

Recognized MIR specializations are the following:

  • Allergology

  • Endocrinology and Nutrition

  • Clinical Neurophysiology

  • Clinical Analysis

  • Clinical Pharmacology

  • Neurology

  • Pathological Anatomy

  • Geriatrics

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

  • Angiology and Vascular Surgery

  • Hematology and Hemotherapy

  • Ophthalmology

  • Digestive System

  • Immunology

  • Medical Oncology

  • Clinical Biochemistry

  • Family and Community Medicine

  • Oncology

  • Cardiology

  • Intensive Medicine

  • Otolaryngology

  • Cardiovascular Surgery

  • Internal Medicine

  • Pediatrics

  • General and Digestive System Surgery

  • Legal and Forensic Medicine

  • Psychiatry

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

  • Nuclear Medicine

  • Radiodiagnosis

  • Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology

  • Preventive Medicine and Public Health

  • Rehabilitation

  • Pediatric Surgery

  • Occupational Medicine

  • Rheumatology

  • Trauma and Aesthetic

  • Plastic Surgery

  • Microbiology and Parasitology

  • Urology

  • Thoracic Surgery

  • Nephrology

  • Dermatology

  • Neurosurgery

It should also be noted that once you graduate from the University of Barcelona Medical School and become a doctor, you may devote part or all of your working hours to clinical care, research, teaching, or healthcare management.

What are the requirements to be enrolled in Spanish medical schools?

Applicants need to submit their high school diploma (for Bologna process countries) and transcript or equivalent to study medicine in Spain.

International students also need to take the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) for schools such as Universidad de Navara and CEU Cardenal Herrera.

Administered by Cambridge Admissions Testing, this English-language exam assesses one’s knowledge in Science and Math.

The BMAT is not limited to the 2 Spanish schools though, as this can also be used to enter medical schools in the UK, Asia, and most parts of Europe.

After presenting such requirements, an applicant needs to undergo preregistration. Here, the school takes all the applications from all over the country and evaluates the applicants’ grades. The general cut-off is 12.5, although the higher the marks are, the better.

While a good grade is important, you may enter through a special admission system if you meet any of the following:

  • In possession of a university degree or equivalent (2% of slots)
  • Aged 25 years old and above but passed the university entrance exam (3%)
  • Aged 40-45 years (2%) and 45 years above (1%)
  • Degree of disability (5%)
  • High-performance athletes (3%)

Private schools usually have more requirements. At the CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrera, an interview (personal or through Skype) is needed.

At the Universidad Europea, applicants need to take an admissions test that includes an interview.

This helps determine the student’s general knowledge, language proficiency, skills, and abilities.

Since most medical schools teach in Spanish or Spanish and English, proficiency in these languages is required.

Accepted Spanish certifications include Certificados Homologados (UNICERT/CLES), Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, Business Language Training Service, Instituto de Cervantes – Diploma de Espanol, and the European Language Certificate.

As for English certifications, exams such as the TOEFL, Cambridge, and PTE are accepted.

What do you need to become a doctor in this country?

After graduation, physicians must undergo post-graduate training or MIR (Medico Interno Residente).

This allows the graduate to train in any of the 50 specialties available after studying medicine in Spain.

The 225-item, 5-hour-long MIR exam costs 30 Euros and is held every February.

Those who pass start their 3-to-5-year training in May – about a year after medical school graduation.

About 6,800 MIR slots are available annually. However, this is not enough to cater to the new graduates, who are vying for slots alongside repeat-takers and foreign medical graduates.

The latter, however, is only limited to a 4% quota.

Those who wish to practice as a doctor in Spain may register with the Order of Physicians at his/her location. This costs about 60 to 70 Euros.

Requirements for EU, EEA, and Swiss graduates include:

  • Medical diploma
  • Recognized title of Doctor from the Ministry of Health
  • Spanish proficiency – B2 level
  • Proof of residence
  • License from the home country, if applicable

Non-EU graduates need to submit additional documents, including an NIE number, work & residence permit, and equivalency certificate from the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports.

How difficult is the study of medicine in Spain?

Spanish medical schools may be hard to get into because of numerus clausus or the limited number of admissions. This has increased throughout the years though, from 4,500 places in the year 2001 to 5,700 slots in the present.

Compared to other countries, Spanish medical schools do not offer academic support such as tutoring and personal counseling. The lack of this makes it harder to study medicine in Spain.

Students who may not be that proficient with Spanish may find studying in Spain quite a challenge as well. This is especially the case during clinical rotations, as patients and some hospital employees only converse in Spanish.

After graduating, medical students are met with another challenge: the lack of residency slots. While the numerus clausus for medical schools has risen steadily throughout the years, the residency slots haven’t. This may force Spanish medical school graduates, whether local or foreign, to pursue training outside of the country.

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