5 Graduate Entry Medicine Application Tips
Advice & Insight From Medicine Application Specialists
Tip 1 – Be confident
Applying for a graduate medicine course place can be incredibly stressful and competitive. Because of this, it is important to believe in yourself at all stages of the application, whether it be whilst sitting your admissions test or at the interview stage. The road to graduate medicine is long but rewarding. Work hard and maintain a work-life balance to ensure a successful application.
Tip 2 – Do well in your Undergraduate degree
Graduate Medicine courses tend to require at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree, although many medical schools predominantly invite students with 1st class undergraduate degrees to interview. Do some research to find out how heavily your preferred choices weigh your academic achievements. If you don’t achieve the result you wanted, don’t fret! Masters and PhD courses can be viewed very favourable by some medical schools and this will also help you stand out.
In addition, use your undergraduate degree to gain some valuable experience of academic research if possible, whether this be in a summer break or as part of a dissertation or lab project. If you got on well with your supervisor, why not ask if they would be willing to provide an academic reference for your application? Ideally, being published in a peer-reviewed journal or completing an audit will enable your application to stand out.
Be sure to include any details of extra-curricular achievements you may have had during your undergraduate degree, such as being on a society committee.
Lastly, make sure to mention any prizes you may have won as part of your undergraduate degree or if you ever attended a conference whilst completing your undergraduate degree, especially if you presented research in a poster or oral presentation form. Let this provide some motivation to do well in your undergraduate degree if you haven’t completed it yet!
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Tip 3 – Prepare effectively for admissions tests
Many Graduate Medicine courses weigh admissions tests such as the UCAT, BMAT and GAMSAT very heavily when looking at which candidates to invite to interview. It is worth analysing how medical schools weigh these tests. Medical schools which weight the UCAT heavily include: King’s College London, Newcastle and Barts and the London. Medical schools such as Warwick and Southampton do not weight it so heavily and will look at other aspects of candidates’ applications.
It is vital to prepare for these tests well in advance of your sitting date, especially if you plan to sit more than one of these tests. Make sure to not let this impact on your undergraduate degree however, and if you feel like a gap year would be ideal to prepare properly, don’t be afraid to take this step. Why not book a Blackstone Tutors UCAT or BMAT course?
Tip 4 – Check which courses are accepted by different medical schools
It is crucial to remember you only have four choices when applying for a Graduate Medicine course. Although most applicants have a bioscience related degree, do not panic if you have something a little more obscure like a Geology or even a Drama degree! This may even help your application stand out! Check which undergraduate courses are suitable as a pre-requisite for your choices. For example, some medical schools only accepted bioscience-related courses (e.g. King’s College London), whilst others only accept science courses (e.g. Oxford) and others will accept any course at all (e.g. Newcastle)!
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Tip 5 – Look for work experience at an early stage
Work experience is often weighed very heavily by Graduate Medicine courses. For example, Warwick University requires evidence of 70 hours of clinical experience. Ensure you search out opportunities for this experience well in advance of your application, whether it be by taking on a healthcare job in a gap year, such as working as a care assistant, or looking at shadowing opportunities in your local hospital trust. These trusts commonly have organised application processes to gain clinical experience through. Try to gain a range of experiences in settings such as primary care, medicine and surgery. Make use of any university contacts to see if you can gain experience of any unique or interesting opportunities.
Elliot Noble (Graduate Entry Medical Student, Newcastle University)