Unlike in the USA where you need a preliminary bachelor's degree for entry to a medical school, in the UK you can start your medical studies without any preliminary higher education by the time you’re 18 or 19 years old.
The medical education itself takes 5 years, out of which 2 years are spent in pre-clinical training in an academic environment & 3 years are spent in clinical training at a teaching hospital. The manner in which both kinds of training are incorporated varies from medical school to medical school. The overall course of study is extended to six years if an intercalated degree is taken. After completion of these 5 years of training, a student graduates as a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. The degree is abbreviated differently in different medical schools/universities as MBChB, MBBS, MBBCh, BMBCh, BMBS, BM, MBBChir etc.
You can apply for entry into any medical school in the UK through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). You can apply for up to 5 places in various universities (4 for medical courses and 1 for a non-medical course).
Most of the UK medical schools require you to clear entrance tests like the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) (required by 23 universities) and the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) (required by 5 universities). In 2008 there were roughly 8000 places for medical students. Entry to a medical school is exceedingly competitive in the UK with a ratio as high as 16 students to 1 university place.