How To Successfully Apply to UK Medical Schools From Singapore
Advice & Insight From Medicine Application Specialists
The following is an overview of key information for applicants to UK medical schools from Singapore. You should ensure that you thoroughly research each UK university’s requirements and fee structure, as they will all differ from one another subtly.
Grade Requirements for Students from Singapore
The required grades will differ from university to university. If you have taken the IB, then you will need a minimum of 36 points for the majority of UK universities, likely with 6,6,6 in Higher Subjects to include Chemistry and Biology.
If you have taken A Levels, the grades expected will be AAA. As an example, Edinburgh requires AAA at H2 to include Chemistry and one from Biology, Human Biology, Mathematics and Physics. Oxford likewise requires AAA at H2, and also accepted the NUS High Diploma. Assuming that you have been educated in English, you will not need to take an additional English Language qualification – however, you should check this with each university individually.
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Studying Medicine in the UK is expensive for overseas students. There are generally different prices for preclinical years and clinical years. You should remember that some courses in the UK are five years, whereas some are six – the latter therefore being far more expensive. As a rough number, you should expect to pay at least £30,000 for clinical years.
As an example, Oxford charges £27,460 for Clinical Medicine, Edinburgh charges £32,100 per year based on a six year course duration, and Manchester charges £27,000 for years 1 and 2 – but £46,000 for clinical years.
Job prospects are very good if you are considering working in the UK, as medical graduates are in very high demand in the UK, and you are therefore guaranteed a job in the National Health Service. Where that job will be relies on how well you perform at medical school, and how well you perform in a national Situational Judgement Test. Your medical school’s ranking or prestige will not affect your scoring. For example, in order to apply to work in London after graduating you will need to have attained consistently high scores – whereas less in demand areas will require lower scores.
In Singapore, your job prospects will be excellent with a UK medical degree from one of the established universities. These are normally thought of as the Russell Group universities – especially (in order of current ranking) Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial, Edinburgh and King’s College London.
You should ensure that your medical degree will be recognised by Singapore – this is mainly relevant if you are applying to one of the new medical schools in the UK. However, given that all UK medical schools are governed by the GMC (General Medical Council) and held to the same standards, this should not be an issue. You must then register with the SMC (Singapore Medical Council)
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3 Key Tips for Applying to UK Medical Schools from Singapore
Our first tip is that you should research the universities that require UK interviews, versus those that do not. Those that don’t require UK interviews will allow students to interview in Malaysia or Singapore. If you have the funds available, it can be very advantageous to consider applying to UK-interviewing universities, as they are likely to have fewer applicants from South East Asia as a whole.
Our second tip is that you should focus on the UCAT and/or BMAT early in your preparation in order to excel in them. Many UK universities use these aptitude tests as their main indicator of who to select for interview, and given their objectivity they are highly worth working hard at. The UCAT is solely an aptitude test, whereas the BMAT requires A Level subject knowledge. If you are not confident on some of your A Level knowledge, you should ensure that you begin revising for the BMAT well in advance, and work through practice questions.
Our third tip is that you should ensure that you are confident with the MMI format favoured by UK universities in general, and that you have reflected adequately on your work experience. Singapore’s universities appear to place less of an emphasis on work experience than those in the UK, which means that talking through your work experience and ensuring you can answer questions on it might seem of lesser importance to applicants from Singapore – yet it is vital if you wish to succeed in the UK.