You need to understand how universities use your Medicine Personal Statement because you 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 will be used by Medical Schools:

  • Not used in any part of the selection process at all
  • Read but not assessed
  • Used to help decide between two candidates who are otherwise tied
  • Used during interviews
  • Used for shortlisting candidates to invite to interview

For example, Brighton and Sussex will not use your Personal Statement in the selection process, whereas others, like Nottingham, uses a scoring system and Imperial will use it in your interview.


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Why Is This Important?

It’s important that you know how your shortlisted Medical Schools will use your Personal Statement, so you know how much effort to put into it. For example, if you’re applying to universities that won’t use the statement for shortlisting candidates, you may be wiser to dedicate more time to the UCAT or BMAT tests.

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 statement to boost your chances.

See How Every Med School Uses Personal Statements

This table below shows you how each Medical School will use your Personal Statement:

UniversityHow will they use your personal statement?
AberdeenPersonal statement is reviewed prior to interview for evidence of preparation for medicine. The personal statement is not scored but is assessed at interview.
Anglia RuskinThe personal statement is examined during the interview, looking to understand the candidate's motivation to study medicine, their appreciation of the role and responsibilities of being a doctor, as well as evidence of any work experience undertaken to support the application.
Aston Personal statements are read in conjunction with the reference but are not scored. However, personal statements may be used to differentiate between borderline candidates.
BartsThe personal statement is assessed as part of the shortlisting process but is not scored. It is used in the interview process for panelists to ask more detailed questions regarding work experience.
BirminghamPersonal statement is not scored. It is expected that the statement provides evidence of commitment to study medicine.
Brighton and SussexThe personal statement is not used in any part of the selection process.
BristolThis is not assessed, but may be used to differentiate between applicants who have achieved the same UCAT score.
BuckinghamThe medical school may consider all the information provided within a candidates application including academic qualifications, personal statement and references before a final decision is made to interview or offer a place on the course.
CambridgePersonal statement is reviewed prior to interview but not scored.
CardiffEvidence is sought for insight into a career in medicine, experience and reflection of personal responsibility, experience and reflection in a caring environment, a balanced approach to life, self-directed learning and a sense of social awareness, in addition to positive referee's comments.
DundeeThe personal statement is used at the interview stage.
Edge Hill UniversityWhilst the personal statement is not routinely used in selection for interview and offer of a place, it may be used to differentiate between candidates if there are ties in ranking at cut points/thresholds for interview or selection, and to check for predicted grades or clarification of qualifications studied.
EdinburghClick here for more information.
ExeterThe personal statement is evaluated for details regarding mitigating circumstances. The statement is not ranked or scored as part of the selection process.
GlasgowReviewed prior to interview but not scored.
Hull YorkThe personal statement is screened before offer but not scored. All available information, including the personal statement, may be used when assessing applicants who are borderline at selection for offer or selection for interview.
ImperialEvidence of motivation to study medicine, understanding of medicine as a career, community activities, leadership qualities, ability to work in a team and general interests.
KeeleNot assessed. They may be used within an interview as a prompt for discussion of relevant experiences.

Home/EU students must complete a separate roles & responsibilities (R+R) form by a specified deadline. See Keele MBChB web pages for details. This form will be used to select applicants for interview.
Kent and MedwayNot used as a primary method for selecting applicants for interview, although may be used to differentiate applicants who are holding the same qualifications and have the same UCAT scores.

During the multiple mini-interview process the personal statement may form the basis of a discussion at one of the stations.
King'sPersonal statements are used as part of the interview shortlisting process. They are not able to consider applicants whose personal statements are not focused on Medicine.
LancasterNot assessed but may be used as part of the interview.
LeedsNot formally scored, but it is essential that applicants take this opportunity to demonstrate their motivation and enthusiasm to study.
LeicesterNot routinely read although they can be used in a borderline or tiebreaker situation.
LiverpoolPersonal statement will not be used in making the decision to invite to interview but will be assessed at interview.
ManchesterPersonal statement not normally used. An electronic non-academic information form will be sent to candidates ahead of interview.
NewcastleNot used prior or at interview, read prior to offers being made but is not scored.
NorwichThe personal statement is not scored but a commitment to studying medicine is expected.
Nottingham (Lincoln pathway too)The personal statement is read but not scored.
OxfordConsidered by admissions tutors alongside all other aspects of the application. Candidates may choose to explain how they meet the selection criteria, which encompass academic fit and personal characteristics that relate to suitability for medicine.
PlymouthNot scored.
Queen'sPersonal Statements are not scored as part of the selection process. There should be evidence of commitment and motivation in the personal statement and it should state explicitly that Medicine is their career choice.
SheffieldNot scored. Interest in medicine, work experience/volunteering and outside interests are all explored at interview.
SouthamptonSelectors use the personal statement to inform interview questions related to the non-academic criteria if the applicant is invited to attend a Selection Day.
St AndrewsNot scored but health-related work experience required for applicant to be considered for interview.
St George'sNot scored.
SunderlandNot assessed. Applicants are required to complete a post-application roles and responsibilities form.
UCLNo information provided yet.
UCLanThe personal statement, academic reference and transferable skills statement are used to shortlist applicants for interview.

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

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