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How To Successfully Apply to UK Medical Schools From Malaysia

Advice & Insight From Medicine Application Specialists

Many students from Malaysia apply to, and subsequently receive offers from, UK medical schools. There are more than 1500 Malaysian doctors working in the NHS, making it the fifth most well-represented nationality of foreign doctors in the NHS.

The following will provide an overview of key information for students looking to apply to UK medical school from Malaysia.

Grade Requirements for Students applying to Medicine from Malaysia

If you have taken the IB (International Baccalaureate) or A Levels, your entry tariff will be the standard tariff, likely to be 36 points at IB (18 at Higher Level subjects to include Biology and Chemistry) or A*AA at A Level.

If you have taken the Malaysia Higher School Certificate, don’t be concerned – it is widely recognised in the UK. Here are some examples:

Manchester states that it recognizes the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) (Malaysia Higher School Certificate). The university requires AAA, with Chemistry and one further Science being offered. As well as the STPM GCSEs, iGCSEs or O-levels must be offered. If the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) (Malaysia Certificate of Education) is offered, then 7 A or A+ grades in SPM including English Language, Maths and at least two Sciences at B+ or above must be offered.

Cambridge states that a typical offer for applicants taking the  STPM (Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia) (Malaysia Higher School Certificate) would be based on grades AAA.

UCL explains that the minimum equivalent entry requirement for A Level grades AAA would be the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM / Malaysia Higher School Certificate) with A-, A-, A-, or the Malaysian Matriculation Certificate with A-,A-,A-.

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Finances/Fees for Medicine in the UK

Medicine is one of the most expensive courses in the UK for overseas students, if not the most expensive. Russell Group universities might reserve the right to charge more than other less prestigious universities. As a ballpark figure, £30,000 per year for the duration of a six year course is to be expected. As an example, Manchester will charge £27,000 per year for the preclinical years, rising to £46,000 per year for the clinical years. Edinburgh charges £32,100 per year for six years.

Job prospects in the UK and in Malaysia

Job prospects in the UK are good, as all graduates from UK medical schools are offered a foundation training job in the NHS. With this in mind, many Malaysian graduates will choose to remain in the UK in order to access higher salaries than would be available back home. NHS Foundation Training jobs are competitive, with certain areas being more in demand than others – thus requiring better performance at medical school.

Looking at job prospects when returning to Malaysia, the Malaysian Medical Council states that ‘Applicants who have never worked in Malaysia shall be required to undergo an assessment period of up to one (1) year in a facility approved by the Evaluation Committee for Specialist Medical Qualifications before they could be considered for registration.’ However, a UK medical degree is recognised by the Malaysian Medical Council. It therefore seems likely that work in Malaysia could begin, albeit in a supervised manner for one year.

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3 Key Tips for Applying to UK Medical Schools from Malaysia

You should ensure that you are confident in the structure of the MMI (Multiple Mini Interview) and the types of questions that will be asked at UK universities. There is likely to be a significant emphasis placed on work experience, motivation for medicine, and empathy. Ideally, you should take the time to work through mock interviews with a UK medical student or doctor.

Spend a good amount of time working on your personal statement, and ensure that it covers each domain with relevant work experience and personal experiences. Try to have a UK based medical student or doctor read through it in order to highlight any areas of weakness.

Begin looking into the BMAT and UCAT well in advance. The UCAT is solely an aptitude test, whereas the BMAT combines aspects of an aptitude test and scientific knowledge. No university will require both, and it is therefore worth investigating which test is required by the universities that you prefer, and whether that is the test that you feel you will do better in. Try to work through as many practice questions with worked solutions as possible, in order to build up confidence on the format and question types.

How To Successfully Apply to UK Medical Schools From Malaysia

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