How Universities Use Your Medicine Personal Statement

Writing your medicine personal statement? You may be wondering how universities use your personal statement in the admissions process.

Some universities, like Brighton and Sussex, do not use your personal statement in the selection process, whereas others, like Nottingham, use a scoring system – and others, like Imperial, will use it in your interview. We’ve created a table below to show how different schools use your medicine personal statement.

Please note that while we’ve tried to ensure that this information is as up to date as possible, admissions procedures are subject to change so we’d recommend contacting the different universities if you’re unsure.

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UniversityHow do they use your personal statement?
AberdeenAll Personal Statements will be reviewed prior to interview invites being sent out. If you are invited to interview, your Personal Statement will be assessed during the interview. Aberdeen recommend that you structure your Personal Statement to cover the following three areas: Commitment to Medicine; Knowledge of core qualities required of a doctor; Teamwork. You can find out more on their website.
BartsPersonal statements and references are not weighted or scored but provide the Admissions Team with evidence that applicants satisfy the main entry requirements. Personal statements should provide evidence of commitment to, and realistic appreciation of, the academic, physical and emotional demands of a medical or dental course and career.
BirminghamThe personal statement will not normally be used to select for interview, though they will look for evidence of engagement with healthcare practice and other extra-curricular activities.
Brighton and SussexYour personal statement is not used in any part of the admissions process for UK applicants.
BristolFrom 2019 Bristol will no longer be using the personal statement as a weighted component of their selection criteria. Should they need to differentiate between applicants that have identical scores at interview when making offers, the personal statement may be used to do so. UKCAT scores will be used as their primary differentiator.
CambridgePersonal statements are used in conjunction with other factors. Cambridge state that the main priority is academic ability.
CardiffApplicants who meet the minimum academic requirements and are sufficiently highly ranked academically are then assessed on non-academic criteria according to the information contained in their Personal Statement and the Referee’s Report given on the UCAS Application Form, such as motivation for medicine and evidence of self-directed learning.
DundeeDundee state that on your personal statement you should demonstrate: a range of suitable personal attributes such as motivation, commitment, social contribution, teamwork/leadership and excellent communication skills; some knowledge of, and commitment to, medicine. They encourage up to two weeks of medically-related work or shadowing experience; an awareness of the course and University to which they are applying; a satisfactory reference.
EdinburghYour personal statement is highly important in the application process. Edinburgh does not normally interview applicants and therefore the reference, alongside the personal statement, is extremely important. Edinburgh state that they assess the personal statement for the following: personal qualities and skills (for example, empathy, communication skills); evidence of career exploration prior to application; breadth and level of non-academic achievements and interests and demonstration of a clear understanding of a career in medicine (via work experience, reading medical literature, etc).
ExeterYour personal statement is not scored or assessed with any set criteria. Personal statements and references are checked for evidence of mitigating
or extenuating circumstances. The assessment of an applicant will be determined primarily through predicted/achieved academic grades, the UKCAT and interview.
GlasgowAll aspects of the application form (academic attainment, personal statement and reference) are considered in the screening process. Personal statements should contain satisfactory evidence of suitability for a medical course and career, an insight into medical education and practice, and additional activities and achievements.
Hull YorkYour personal statement is not formally scored. However, they will read it carefully and may use the information it contains as part of their shortlisting process at any point. If you are invited for interview, your statement is likely to prove useful preparation for interview questions.
ImperialYour personal statement is not scored, but will be referred to during the interview, and you will be asked questions/for elaboration as part of this process. After academic requirements, they make the majority of their interview selections based on the BMAT.
KeeleYour personal statement is used in conjunction with other factors. Keele also state that the personal statement is important in your application to Keele because one of the stations in the multiple mini-interview (MMI) will involve discussion of your relevant experiences. The interviewer will be able to question you on any of the following aspects of your personal statement so it is important that you address all of the points: understanding of the role of a doctor; examples of regular hands-on experience involving supporting, helping or caring for people; depth of experience in one or more role(s) involving personal interaction; reflection on what was learnt from these experiences; initiative/enterprise; ability to balance work and personal priorities; working in teams; communication (particularly outside your peer group).
King'sYour personal statement is used in conjunction with other factors. Your personal statement is one of the many factors in the overall assessment of your application. King's are looking particularly for evidence of appropriate commitment to, and realistic appreciation of, the academic, physical and emotional demands of a medicine degree programme and career. They would normally expect that you will have undertaken some work experience in a caring environment and/or observation in a Medical clinical setting.
LancasterIn your personal statement, Lancaster look for the following: relevant work experience; insight into a medical career; an understanding of the NHS constitution and its core values; a commitment to society and effective written communication skills.
LeedsLeeds state that the personal statement of the UCAS form helps them to assess the non-academic attributes that are important in a career in medicine and is an important part of the selection process. It is essential that applicants take this opportunity to demonstrate their motivation and enthusiasm to study.
LeicesterAlthough not routinely read, your personal statement may be assessed in some situations and so should be clear and concise outlining your ambitions and experiences, and how they have shaped your personal development. Medical work experience is not essential, but you should be able to demonstrate that you have undertaken some kind of work where you are able to communicate with the public. From the information on your UCAS form they will calculate a numerical score. The highest scoring applicants will be invited to interview.
LiverpoolLiverpool state that the personal statement and academic reference will not be routinely considered as part of the decision to invite individuals to interview. The personal statement will be used, as part of the interview, in assessment of the applicant’s non-academic attributes.
ManchesterA Non Academic Information Form is used instead of your personal statement. It's a more structured version of the personal statement that is designed to help you get the information we need to see across to us efficiently and succinctly. While we expect it to contain much of the information we would ordinarily expect to see in a personal statement, we ask you to not copy chunks of your Personal statement word for word. They may read a small number of personal statements in certain circumstances. The sorts of areas they would expect to see covered in the personal statement are as follows: reasons for choosing/changing to medicine; amount of work experience in a caring role; knowledge/experience of the UK healthcare system; interests/hobbies; team working; communication skills; determination; conscientiousness; intellectual potential.
NewcastleYour personal statement is not scored. Prior to and during an interview, selectors will not have access to the applicant personal statement or reference.
NorwichChecks are made to see that applicants meet, or are predicted to meet, our minimum academic entry criteria, have a satisfactory personal statement and reference and have taken the UKCAT test in the summer prior to submitting the application. Those meeting Primary Screening requirements progress to Secondary Screening, where academic qualifications (achieved and predicted, including UKCAT scores) are assessed and ranked against the applicant cohort, with the strongest applicants invited to interview (from December onwards).
NottinghamPersonal statements are scored after academic ability and UKCAT scores. A maximum score of 16 can be achieved for the personal statement and reference. Attributes considered are: an understanding of the challenges of a medical career; motivation; commitment; voluntary experience; extracurricular activities; school/college contribution and supporting evidence in reference. The score given for the PS and reference are added to the score for academic ability and UKCAT. Candidates with the highest overall score are then invited to interview.
OxfordGCSE and BMAT performance data are predominantly used initially to determine whether or not you are short-listed for interview. The information that you provide in your personal statement becomes increasingly important if you are not short-listed on the basis of GCSE and BMAT scores.
PlymouthYour personal statement is not formally scored, but assessed to examine an applicant's commitment to Medicine.
Queen'sPersonal statements are not scored as part of the selection process. However, evidence of commitment to medicine, motivation, communication skills and initiative is important.
SheffieldYour personal statement is not scored 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.
SouthamptonYour personal statement is not formally scored but selectors will look for evidence of non-academic criteria during the selection process. Applicants must be able to show they: are self-motivated and resilient; have reflected on and learnt from life experiences (this may include work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings); can communicate effectively; are able to interact successfully with others and can demonstrate an understanding of the values of the NHS Constitution.
St AndrewsYour personal statement is used in conjunction with other factors. To be considered for interview applicants must have a strong academic record, a positive reference and relevant, medically related work experience. The personal statement should demonstrate: personal qualities such as empathy, good communication and listening skills, leadership skills and the ability to work in a team; a well-informed understanding of what a career in medicine involves; commitment to medicine by organising work experience or shadowing; experience of working with ill or disabled people, preferably in health care settings; commitment to academic study, staying power, perseverance and intellectual potential.
St George'sYour personal statement is not used in the admissions process for Medicine. All those who meet the minimum entry requirements are invited for interview where they ask students to talk about their work experience, among other things.
UCLYour personal statement is use in conjunction with other factors and is assessed using a range of factors, including motivation for Medicine, evidence of teamwork, communication and previous experience.

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