You need to understand how universities use your Medicine Personal Statement because you’ll need to know whether it can make – or break – your UCAS application.

How Do Med Schools Use Personal Statements?

In general, there are five main ways that your Personal Statement could be used by Medical Schools:

  • Not used in any part of the selection process at all
  • Read but not assessed
  • To shortlist candidates to invite to interview
  • To form the basis of questions at interview
  • To help decide between two candidates who are otherwise equally tied

For example, Brighton and Sussex say they will not use your Personal Statement in the selection process – whereas others, like King’s College London, will look at it when considering applicants to shortlist for interview.


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Why Do I Need to Know This?

It’s important that you know how your target Medical Schools will use your Personal Statement, so you can decide how much effort to put into it.

For example, if you’re applying to universities that won’t use the Personal Statement for shortlisting candidates at all, you may be wiser to dedicate more time to preparing for the UCAT or BMAT. Likewise, if you’re applying to universities that place a greater emphasis on your Personal Statement for Medicine, you’ll need to really scrutinise how you structure and how you write your Personal Statement to boost your chances.

How Every Med School Uses Personal Statements

This table sums up what Medical Schools are currently saying about how they will use your Personal Statement. For more detail, and for the most up-to-date information, make sure you check their websites directly.

UniversityHow will they use your Personal Statement?
AberdeenPersonal Statements will be reviewed prior to interview invites being sent out. If you are invited to interview, your PS will be assessed during the interview.
Anglia RuskinWhile your PS will not be directly used in the selection process, you should be prepared to discuss or use aspects of it at the MMIs.
Aston They don’t score Personal Statements, but they do read them with the referee comments and take these into consideration.
Barts (Queen Mary University of London)The PS doesn’t form part of the assessment to reach interview and doesn’t form part of the scoring at interview. However, in addition to your academic ability, your interviewers will consider your interests, talents and the contribution you can make to the university.
BirminghamTo ensure they are identifying applicants with the necessary skills and aptitude, they will consider all information in a candidate’s application, including your PS and reference both before and after interview.
Brighton and SussexThey do not use Personal Statements at any point during the admissions process.
BristolThey don’t use the PS as a weighted component of their selection criteria. If they need to differentiate between applicants who have identical scores at interview when making offers, the PS may be used to do so. UCAT scores will be used as the primary differentiator.
Brunel UniversityA selection panel will review Personal Statements and references when shortlisting candidates for interview.
BuckinghamAs part of an Objective Structured Selection Examination, you will need to reflect on your own life events, which may include those described in your PS.
CambridgeInformation in your PS could be used as a basis for discussion at interview.
CardiffApplicants who have reached or exceeded the academic cut-off point for the year are considered on non-academic criteria according to the information in their PS and the academic referee’s statement.
DundeeTheir website doesn’t say how they’ll use your Personal Statement.
Edge Hill UniversityAlthough the PS and academic reference are not routinely used in selection for interview and offer of a place, they may be used to differentiate between candidates if there are ties in ranking at cut-off points for interview or selection.
EdinburghWhile it will not be formally assessed, your PS will be essential preparation for you if you’re successful in being invited to an Assessment Day.
ExeterThey advise you to keep a copy of your PS as it is likely to be referred to at interview.
GlasgowThey say that all aspects of the application form (academic attainment, PS and reference) are considered in the screening process.
Hull YorkThey don’t score your PS, but they do read them and reserve the right to take them into consideration in selection decisions. They examine information provided in the UCAS form when making decisions about candidates who are borderline at the selection for interview or offer stage. If you are invited for interview, they say your PS is likely to be useful preparation for interview questions.
ImperialYour UCAS application will be reviewed during interview and this could include your Personal Statement.
KeeleThey don’t use Personal Statements and references to rank applicants for interview or offer. However, one of the MMI stations will involve discussion of your relevant experiences and the interviewer will be able to question you on aspects of your PS.
Kent and MedwayTheir website doesn’t say how they’ll use your Personal Statement.
King’sWhen considering applicants to shortlist for interview, the selectors consider the following: GCSEs, predicted or achieved A-Levels, the Personal Statement, the reference and the UCAT score. These all contribute to the shortlisting of candidates.
LancasterThe PS is not used to rank applicants.
LeedsNot formally scored, but it is essential that applicants take this opportunity to demonstrate their motivation and enthusiasm to study. Some MMI stations will explore the information provided in your Personal Statement.
LeicesterNot routinely read although they can be used in a borderline or tiebreaker situation.
LiverpoolThe PS and academic reference are not routinely screened as part of the decision to invite candidates to interview.
ManchesterThe Non-Academic Information Form is a more structured version of the PS and it is designed to help you provide the information they need to know. They may read a small number of Personal Statements in certain circumstances.
NewcastlePrior to and during an interview, selectors will not have access to the applicant’s Personal Statement or reference.
NorwichPersonal Statements are not scored. They are used in the interview process but are not used for screening to interview or in any subsequent assessment relating to admission.
Nottingham (Lincoln pathway too)After your interview, they will review any additional information you provide, including your PS and school references, to make sure they are satisfactory. However they won’t be scored.
OxfordAn applicant’s Personal Statement is likely to be discussed by tutors during interview.
PlymouthThey don’t consider Personal Statements when selecting for interview.
Queen’s University BelfastPersonal Statements are not scored as part of the selection process. MMIs are used to test non-cognitive competence and the applicant’s PS is considered within this process.
SheffieldThey don’t normally read or score Personal Statements as part of the selection process. However, the activities, interests and values that candidates express in their Personal Statements are commonly explored during the MMIs.
SouthamptonPersonal Statements are used at the Selection Day.
St AndrewsThe selection process includes an assessment of all information in the application form including. This includes academic performance, PS with reference, and UCAT score.
St George’sWhile they take the time to read your PS, it is not formally assessed or used to determine whether you will be invited to interview.
SunderlandThey will not use your PS as a means of assessing your application.
SwanseaDuring the interview process, your Personal Statement will be considered and discussed.
UCLFor 2023 entry onwards, they will no longer be using the PS as part of the selection procedure, and will be using BMAT scores alone to select eligible candidates for interview.
UCLanYour PS and academic reference will be evaluated and scored to determine if you will be offered an interview.
WarwickYour PS will not form a central part of the entry selection process.

Once you understand how your Personal Statement for Medicine will be used, it’s time to start planning it to ensure your application is as strong as possible.


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