Making an application to a UK medical school

There are a lot of things to think about before applying to medical school. We’ve put together a guide to assist you in navigating through the application process, from visiting a university open day to submitting your application and attending an interview.

You’ll need to study the following subjects if you want to pursue a career in medicine.

All UK medical schools accept applications from students from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland who have: 

• high GCSE scores in math, science, and English; 

• a mix of GCSEs, AS levels, and A-levels; 

• chemistry at A-level, and frequently A-level biology

• One additional scientific topic, such as physics (or physical science) or mathematics, is sometimes necessary.

• A excellent A-level mark in a humanities subject like history or a modern language is frequently recognized as a third A-level.

Students who have mostly non-science A-levels are often obliged to take a foundation course, which adds a year to the traditional five-year undergraduate program.

Applicants with alternative credentials, such as an international baccalaureate, should contact individual medical schools or UCAS for similar entrance criteria.

Find the medical school that is suitable for you.

Before applying to medical school, make sure you give yourself enough time to investigate it thoroughly.

This will assist you in determining what sort, of course, will best fit your needs such as a traditional course, a PBL course etc., and take you step by step through the stages of the application procedure.

Because you may only apply to four medical schools, many candidates choose the fifth as a fallback option, applying to comparable courses such as biomedical science, which have lesser requirements. Think about what other courses you could be interested in if your med-school application fails.

Visiting the campus and attending university open days will give you a sense of university life. Consider if you’d be content to spend the next five years of your life there.

Creating your statement

The most crucial aspect of drafting your statement is to take your time. Find out the deadlines, apply as soon as possible, and leave plenty of time to complete your application.

Medical schools are interested in learning more about you as a person, not simply your scores. Discuss your interests, hobbies, sporting accomplishments, academic awards, projects you’ve worked on, and social organizations you’ve been a member of throughout your life.

Gaining experience in a caring position

Having experience in a caring capacity, whether as a volunteer or in paid work, is incredibly beneficial.

Check with your local hospital or nursing home to see if you can do a placement there. You might contact physicians who have influenced you or your local GP to see if you can do some work experience with them.

Getting hands-on experience will also offer you a better understanding of what a doctor does daily and demonstrate your dedication to becoming a doctor.

Filling out an impressive application

Make a checklist, compare it to your application, and double-check that you’ve included everything that’s been requested. Check all of your application elements with a friend, instructor, family member, or career counselor.

Many medical schools have similar standards, but it’s up to you to stay organized and make sure your application is submitted on time and contains everything necessary.

Tests for medical school entrance

The UCAS tariff point system is used by certain medical schools to determine admittance criteria. This point system ensures agreed-upon comparability between various credentials and candidates with various types and levels of accomplishment. Many universities also require you to sit the UCAT aptitude test.

Other medical schools prefer the GAMSAT test especially if you are a non school leaver or have non-traditional qualifications.

In either case make sure that your Gamsat preparation or UCAT preparation is sufficient to achieve a competitive score.

The interview stage

You’ve got an interview, which is fantastic! When asked why you want to study medicine, one of the first things you may be asked is, “why do you want to study medicine?” It is important to be completely honest. If you deliver a real response, you will stand out far more even if it seems trite.

Attending a face-to-face interview is required for several medical schools as part of the application process. The medical school wants to know not just who you are intellectually but also who you are personally.

Prepare as much as you can by practicing answering questions with friends and family and speaking with people who have gone through an interview to get a sense of what to expect.

Prepare for questions on your volunteer work, hobbies, and history that you included in your statement.

You’ll know when you’ve been accepted after you’ve received your acceptance letter.

The majority of medical school offers are conditional and are contingent on your A-level performance.

The pressure will be on to ensure that you obtain the desired scores to start medical school.

Continue to study, concentrate on your examinations, and seek assistance if necessary. If you’re having trouble or simply need someone to speak to, there’s no harm in asking your professors, a family member, or friends for assistance.

You were not approved. So, what’s next?

Medical schools in the United Kingdom are often overcrowded, making it difficult to get a spot. It’s critical to explore your choices if you miss out.

Request assistance from your professors and career consultants in determining your further education alternatives based on your grades and courses covered. There may be a job that is equally as gratifying and intriguing within the medical field that is a better match for you and your talents.

Don’t be scared to contact the medical schools where you applied and ask for comments. Review your statement, continue to get job experience to bolster your application, and consider medical schools other than those you applied to.

Best of luck!