Reapplying To Medical School
If you didn’t manage to get the A-Level grades you were looking for and didn’t get into your universities to study Medicine, don’t worry – you can still become a doctor. Many students who are not accepted to medical school on their first applications take a year out and reapply the following year. Read on to find out which universities allow re-applications, how to improve and how to reapply.
Which universities can I reapply to?
The good news is that most UK medical schools allow you to reapply to their Medicine programmes. The following universities accept reapplications (this information is correct at the time of writing – but we recommend contacting the individual universities themselves before making any significant application decisions):
Which universities don’t accept reapplications?
The following universities don’t accept reapplications if you were interviewed when you first applied and were subsequently rejected:
- Leicester – however, they state that if candidates didn’t get to the interview stage then they will be re-considered, but must show improvement
- UCL – they too state that if candidates were not selected for interview, they can be re-considered but must show improvement
How can I improve before reapplying to Medical School?
Some universities, like St Andrews, UCL and Leicester, ask that they are shown new evidence of improvement in your application – this may be taking on some new work experience in a gap year, re-sitting your A-Levels, or even working on your interview technique.
Re-sit your A-Levels
If you didn’t get the right A-Level grades to meet your offer, speak to your teachers about re-sitting the exams at your school the following year. You don’t necessarily need to re-take the whole A-Level at school- with some subjects you can re-take specific units. You could also choose to revise independently and sit the exam at your school in the summer. Speak to your teachers about which option is best for you, considering your grades. Make sure you start a revision timetable early so when exam season comes around you’ll feel fully prepared.
Before you consider re-sitting your A-Levels, it’s important to know that not all universities will accept re-sits. Some, however, do accept them under certain conditions. For example, Brighton and Sussex only accept re-sits if you dropped one grade (if you got AAB instead of AAA), while Imperial state that their entry requirements AAA must be achieved on the first sitting. You can check the A-Level Re-Sit Policies of each medical school here.
Ask for interview feedback
A good way to improve your chances when you reapply to medical school is to ask for feedback from different universities. For example, if you made it to interview stage, you could ask the panel for your performance feedback. This can seem quite daunting, but is a great way to set goals to work on. Some students find that their feedback indicates that they didn’t have enough work experience of good quality, or didn’t perform well at interview.
This is a great way to focus on specifics to practice your interview technique. For example, maybe you find it hard to relax in an interview environment. Or maybe you need to practice speaking confidently about your work placements, or communicating why you want to study Medicine. You could run through mock Medical School Interview Questions with a teacher or friend to help you familiarise yourself with an interview setting. You could also try our Online Mock Interview, Interview Tutoring or Interview Courses to improve your technique with admissions experts.
Start new work experience
Getting more work experience is a great way to make the most of your gap year, add more to your Personal Statement and to demonstrate your enthusiasm for Medicine to your school – and, importantly, to decide if studying Medicine is the right choice for you. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to undertake work experience in a variety of medical environments: a hospital, a care home and a GP. These placements will allow you to polish your Personal Statement – and you’ll then have much more to talk about at your interview! You might also find it useful to read our blog, Didn’t Get an Offer? Take a Medicine Gap Year.
How do I reapply to medical school?
If you’ve applied to Medicine in a previous year, you’ll need to register with UCAS again – your username and password you had previously won’t work, so you’ll need to create a new account.
Otherwise, the process is the same: uploading a Personal Statement, your personal details and selecting the medical schools. When you’re making your selections, make sure you double check which universities allow re-applications – you don’t want to waste an application space! Don’t forget to update your Personal Statement with your new work experience and information on how you made the most of your gap year, and/or update your details with new predicted A-Level grades.