What is the UKMLA?

How many times have you seen the questions related to UKMLA floating around the various forums and groups on the net? Many of you must be (rightly) confused what this all can mean for you, and just what you need to expect for the future. Never fear, we’ll discuss everything here.

What is the UKMLA?
I hear PLAB will be replaced?
When will this happen?
Do I still plan for PLAB?
Should I give up my road to UK dream?

Table of Contents


It is the United Kingdom Medical Licensing Assessment. It will be a requirement for both UK graduates and well as international graduates, unlike the PLAB exams. There will be two parts.

  1. The Applied Knowledge Test (AKT). This test will be the same for all UK students and IMGs. GMC will decide the pass standard, and the exam will be held four times a year. UK medical students will face the exam in their schools, while IMGs will be able to take it at select locations around the world. It will be a computer-based test for all candidates.
  2. The Clinical and Professional Skills Assessment (CPSA). This will be similar to PLAB 2 and GMC will take it at their Clinical Assessment Center in Manchester.

Wondering what information may be covered in the exam? Check out the MLA content map.

When will it be instated?

Officially it will roll out in early 2024, but GMC will begin pilot testing and check the MLA assessments until then. PLAB will become UKMLA compliant in 2024.

The requirement to have passed the MLA will also apply to UK students graduating in the academic year of 2024-2025.

To summarize

To understand planning and requirements for PLAB 1 (which will be the same for UKMLA) please check this article: IELTS/OET and PLAB 1: Requirements & Planning.

I still have a lot of questions!

That’s completely understandable. If you are still unsure about something, you can always email GMC’s MLA team at mla@gmc-uk.org.

Good luck!