Preparing an application
- How do I apply?
All applications to universities in the UK are made through a central service called UCAS (the University and Colleges Admissions Service) and not directly to individual universities. Applications are entirely online. The website for UCAS is www.ucas.ac.uk. The deadline for applications is 15 October of the year preceding entry.
Additionally all applicants for Medicine are required to take the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) in their own school or college, or in a registered test centre, in the year of application. You can find further information at www.atsts.org.uk.
- Can you recommend any reading in preparation for applying?
We provide a list of introductory reading for Medicine.
Please note this is not an exhaustive list, nor a list of materials you must read. There are countless good general texts, so do explore, and perhaps try a topic that is completely new to you and challenge yourself. As well as books, read the local and national press, and look for relevant podcasts, websites, lectures, events and museums or exhibitions in your local area.
- Which college should I apply to?
All colleges are academically strong, and your course (timetabled lectures, practicals, seminars, etc.) will be the same regardless of the college you are a member of.
The college to which an applicant applies has no bearing on their chances of gaining a place: the ratio of interviews to places is the same across all the colleges (so colleges with large numbers of places see more applicants at interview). Every applicant is interviewed at two colleges, helping to ensure that the strength of each college's cohort of applicants is very similar.
In fact, around a third of the successful applicants are placed at a college other than the one they originally selected on their UCAS form.
If an applicant doesn't have a strong view about a particular college, we encourage them to make an 'open' application that allows us to assign them to a college based on the numbers of available places and the number of applications; around 20% of our applicants choose to do this each year. This is designed to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to compete for the available places. However, if they have decided that one particular college appeals to them - perhaps because of its location or its facilities - then they should specify that college on application form.
- Do I need work or volunteering experience?
Our tutors select students using the selection criteria. All applicants are free to make reference to skills or experience acquired in any context to date when trying to address our selection criteria: sometimes applicants refer to voluntary work and other extra-curricular activity, but many forms of evidence can help demonstrate to tutors that a applicant has tried to make an informed decision regarding his/her own suitability to study Medicine.
While some work experience in hospitals is theoretically desirable, we do appreciate that it can be very difficult to arrange and we therefore have no requirement for it. Any form of voluntary work would be beneficial in the context of applying for Medicine (such as helping out in a hospital, at an old people's home, St John's Ambulance, or work with a charity or overseas agency).
- Can you provide any advice on writing the personal statement?
We provide advice on personal statements on the following pages:
When writing your personal statement you should bear in mind that tutors select students using the selection criteria. All applicants are free to make reference to skills or experience acquired in any context to date when trying to address our selection criteria: sometimes applicants refer to voluntary work and other extra-curricular activity, but many forms of evidence can help demonstrate to tutors that an applicant has tried to make an informed decision regarding his/her own suitability to study Medicine.
- Can I apply for deferred entry?
All colleges will consider applications for deferred entry for Medicine. Applicants should be aware that successful applications for deferred entry will generally be among the strongest of the cohort for their subject. It is also possible that deferred entry applicants may be offered a non-deferred place instead. Tutors will naturally wish to satisfy themselves that a gap year will be used wisely and constructively before making an offer of a deferred place. You may of course also apply post A-level (during the gap year). This has the advantage that colleges will know that you have already achieved A*AA at A-level.