Applying to study medicine in the UK is a long and challenging process, and if you’re hoping to apply this year you should have already made the decision that being a doctor is what you really want to do. There’s no easy way to do it, and there’s hundreds of different types of doctor that you can choose to be in the future, but if you get through medical school successfully, there are so many options available to you. However, the first step will always be applying to medical school.
In the UK, applications are done through UCAS, who act as a gateway between students and universities. The deadline to apply for medicine, veterinary science or dentistry this year is the 15th October. It is an earlier deadline than for other subjects because of the high demand and how thorough the application process is. Medicine degrees usually take 5 years, but can be 4 or 6 depending on the type of medicine you’re doing. You can apply for 4 medicine courses at the same time, and can have a 5th option on a different but related course such as our Medipathways PreMed or Medipathways 2-year BSc. (Hons.) in Biomedical Sciences.
Most students that apply have just started their second year of college, and will be sitting their final A level exams in the summer. Generally speaking, you’ll need predicted grades of at least AAB or equivalent, although the higher you get, the better your chances of getting in. If you’re a graduate who wants to study medicine, you’ll need at least a 2:1 in a relevant degree, although some universities will accept a 2:2 if you have good work experience and are the right type of person.
When filling out your UCAS application, make sure that everything is completely correct, and make sure you say that your A level grades are predicted if you haven’t done them yet. Your personal statement is the first glimpse that a university will get about what you’re like as an individual. You can read our UCAS Personal Statement Advice here.
All medical schools will expect applicants to have undertaken some work experience in a position of care. Whether it’s volunteering in a hospital, hospice or residential home or shadowing a doctor to see what the job is like, you need to make sure that you have done something. Talk about what you have learned from your experience and how it has made you more determined to study medicine.
If a university is impressed with your UCAS application, they are likely to invite you for an interview with them, where they will ask you about why you want to be a doctor and why you chose that particular university. Despite rumours and potential students being very nervous every year, they’re really not that scary.