Taking the MLA

If you’re graduating in the academic year 2023-24 or beyond, you’ll need to have a degree that includes passing the Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA) before you can join the medical register.

It will be a standard part of a medical degree, but we’re not aiming to make all undergraduate medical courses look the same. Medical schools will still be able to teach across a range of areas and assess across a broad curriculum.

What the assessment involves 

It’s a two-part assessment made up of an applied knowledge test and a clinical and professional skills assessment. You’ll sit both parts at your own medical school on dates chosen by them.

1 The applied knowledge test (AKT) 

This will be an on-screen exam, with multiple choice questions. It will test your ability to apply medical knowledge to different scenarios.

2 The clinical and professional skills assessment (CPSA)

This is a practical assessment of your clinical skills and professionalism, which your medical school will run. Each medical school calls the CPSA something different – for example, an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) or Objective Structured Long Examination Record (OSLER). We will set requirements that all CPSAs must meet.

The MLA won’t include the Situational Judgement Test and Prescribing Safety Assessment. These tests are not related our registration requirements and will stay separate.

Preparing 

Your degree course is the best preparation for the MLA - you won’t need to learn anything beyond what's already covered in your medical school’s curriculum.

The MLA content map tells you and your medical school more about the topics and areas that your AKT and CPSA assessments could cover.

It’s based on Outcomes for graduates, which sets out what newly qualified doctors from UK medical schools must know and be able to do. Every medical school already has to make sure their graduates are meeting these outcomes – so schools are preparing students already!

In the future, you’ll have an opportunity to get familiar with the way the on-screen testing works. And we’ll also provide sample questions so that you can understand the format of the test. We’ll give you more information about how this will work soon.

Intercalating your degree

Some medical students have the option to intercalate their degree – this involves taking a year out of their regular medical degree to study a different field or specific area they’re interested in.

If you’re considering intercalating, this could mean that you’ll return to your medical degree when the MLA is introduced. We encourage you to continue with your plans - intercalation offers the possibility of getting an extra qualification and contributes points towards the score used to rank Foundation Programme entrants. Giving up those benefits to avoid the MLA would be a missed opportunity.