Applying to the foundation programme

Find out how to apply to the foundation programme and follow our guidance to be prepared for the application process.

Location: UK
Audience: Medical students
Updated: Thursday 21 September 2023
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With the introduction of the new Preference Informed Allocation process the SJT (Situational Judgement Test) and Educational Performance Measure have been removed from the application process. Students will no longer have to sit the SJT. The changes will be applied across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will be implemented for the 2024 Foundation Programme application round. See UKFP24 Key changes.

UKFP 2024 - Eligibility applications

Eligibility Applicant Guidance and documents for UKFP 2024 was published in June 2023. Please keep checking the Foundation programme NHS website for timelines,  deadlines and 2024 key changes.



UKFP 2024 - Registration

Registration for applicants on the Oriel application system opens 09.00 BST (British Summer Time) 12 September 2023.

Registration emails will be sent to nominated applicants from UK medical schools at 09.00 (BST). However, please be aware that this email may take some time to appear in your inbox.

National application window for Foundation Programme, SFP (Specialised Foundation Programme), FPP (Foundation Priority Programme) programmes opens 09.00 (BST) 20 September 2023 and closes 12.00 midday (BST) 4 October 2023.

Preparing to do your application

Be as prepared as possible for the two week application period to the foundation programme.

See the UKFP 2024 applicant presentation and UKFP 2024 applicant guide to preference informed allocation.

What you can do before applying

  • Log on and access the application as early as possible.
  • Get your evidence together before the applications open.
  • Download the applicants guide from the UKFPO website. It's got a lot of extra information and helpful tips. 
  • Ask you referees for permission before you add them to your application.
  • Ask your referees to not use hotmail email accounts as they regularly block emails from NHS servers.

How to apply

Step one - Register online

Applicants must register on Oriel to verify their nomination (eligibility office applicants will have already registered as part of the eligibility application process).

Applicants who qualified or are expecting to qualify from a UK medical school after 6 August 2022 and by 6 August 2024 are nominated by their medical school. Applicants will receive an email inviting them to confirm their nomination.

  • Do not create an account on Oriel (only use nominated information from medical school). Please use the link emailed to you to register on Oriel.
  • You must confirm your nomination (click the link in your email ‘Nominee confirmation required’). If you do not receive this email, contact your medical school immediately.
  • You must register with the email address your medical school used to nominate you with.
  • Military applicants are not required to apply via Oriel (contact Defence Deanery for details).

Visit the UKFPO website to see if you are eligible to apply.

Step two - Submit your application

You only need to complete one application form through Oriel.

As part of the main Oriel application, you will also be able to:

  • indicate your intention to apply for SFP, including academic/research, medical education and leadership/management posts, and FPP. You will be able to set your ranking preferences
  • apply for pre-allocation based on personal circumstances, including significant caring responsibilities or financial difficulties requiring you to attend a medical school close to your home address.


The application process

What to expect

The application process can take two weeks. 

Once you have submitted your application

  • Candidates are notified by email when they can log on to Oriel to see their overall score and the UoA (Unit of application) allocated to them. 
  • Foundation programme applicants on the primary list allocation are informed of allocation to Foundation School results by mid-March.
  • Applicants who have been allocated to a UoA as part of the primary list will be informed of how to rank groups or programmes within the timeline.
  • Applicants are required to preference groups and/ or individual programmes on Oriel in accordance with local foundation school timelines.


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Live outside of the UK?

See our guidance for international students looking to study or train in the UK.

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