My Universities (Medic Series)

So I applied for 4 universities all offering the medicine course but 3 slightly different courses. These were:

  • UCL - a 6 year course with a BSc
  • Nottingham - a 5 year course with a BSc
  • Birmingham - a 5 year course
  • Newcastle - a 5 year course
Briefly, I'm going to mention what I learnt from these. I got interviewed by all 4 universities and accepted by 3, not Newcastle (it was strange).

UCL is probably the most clear about there process. They look at GCSEs, AS results, work experience and personal statement. They give points for it all and then rank every student in order. When they get the BMAT they add that rank but I don't think they put too high a weighting in it. The year I applied I didn't have a great BMAT. I was below average for the country so way too low for the average at UCL, for the first two but then got the highest essay grade so not too sure how that works. But either way I was still in the first set of interviews so a really high overall rank. I know they look at the work experience the most so write about that most in the personal statement. 

From experience, at Newcastle no matter how good you are, if your UKCAT is not above the threshold they don't give you a chance. I got called to interview but then the rejection said that I didn't meet the UKCAT cut off even though I'd already had an interview so... For the interview, they try to make you chatty and put you at ease, but do try to stay formal. It is an interview at the end of the day! They ask you the normal questions but at the end ask: 'Is there anything you would like to add?'. I actually thought this was nice because if you'd forgotten something or hadn't had the opportunity to talk about something, you can add it in. For example, I talked about my Duke of Edinburgh. They had asked about volunteering but I'd had so mcuh to talk about I hadn't thought about it.  

Nottingham just like you to be yourself. You go to interview in pairs but in separate rooms and then you wait until the other comes back before you get walked back. I came out at least 10 minutes before my partner so I thought I must have not had answered very well but I ended up getting the place and he didn't so... So in other words don't ramble on for the sake of talking. They have a set amount of questions to talk about, if you've said what you think needs to be said then stop. Also, half the interview is a medical ethics question. I did a course on medical ethics but if you haven't just have a little research about it in advance. There's always 4 key things to discuss. I think this help sheet is useful, here.

My final uni was Birmingham. They don't have a entrance exam so you need all A*s at GCSEs and all A's in all units for AS as that's all they have to go on. They like sports and musical instruments so mention it in your personal statement, especially if you have any qualifications or achievements within them. A little extra point, they offer scholarships for a lot of sports! Or if you have got grades for it, but it in achievements then it saves room in your personal statement for work experience. The interview process is multi-mini which I actually quite liked. It's clear what they are looking for in each room so just stick to the goal. Most of all its communication that they're looking for so stay calm, relax and have fun! I completely messed up one station so I'm sure I got a 1/2 (out of 5) for it, but then I know in two I did great, so it balances out. 

The only other university that I have any sort of insight or tit-bit of information about is Leeds. I didn't apply because when you look at their record they accept a lot of graduates, mature student and gap year students so the chance of getting in was quite low. If your a partner school your chances are a lot higher, but my tutor spoke to their head of admissions and she basically said not to apply. 

Hope that helps and makes sense. Good luck! Don't hesitate to contact me further if you need any help.