Hope Henry joined Swansea University as a Clearing student after missing the grades she needed to study undergraduate Medicine. She shares her experiences of studying Applied Medical Sciences and going on to secure her place for Graduate Entry Medicine.
I had a big shock on A-Level results day, when it turned out that my exams had not gone quite as well as I had hoped. I was thrown into complete chaos as every place I had applied for at every university was called into question, until I received a phone call from the Clearing team at Swansea University Medical School.
If I’m being truly honest, for me Swansea University was not somewhere I even properly considered until Clearing – except to fill the final slot on my UCAS application – but when they called, they talked me through my options in depth. I accepted an unconditional offer to start on the Foundation Year of Applied Medical Sciences (AMS), a degree offering me a pathway to Medicine, with Medicine being my ultimate end goal.
Pathways to Medicine degrees are undergraduate BSc degrees in a whole range of medical and life sciences. At Swansea, there are five to choose from – Applied Medical Sciences, Medical Biochemistry, Medical Genetics, Medical Pharmacology and Population Health and Medical Sciences.
They’re all solid science degrees that ask for A-Levels in Biology and/or Chemistry, so are ideal for those who applied to undergraduate Medicine, like me. The bonus though is that, as part of the pathway, there’s also a module and specialist training to prepare you for applying to Graduate Entry Medicine and, if you do well in it, you can gain a guaranteed interview for Swansea’s Graduate Entry Medicine programme.
The years that have followed these initial Clearing conversations truly have been the best of my life. I am very proud to say that following the completion of my studies in AMS, and after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I was offered a place to study Graduate Entry Medicine in Swansea – a place I now consider to be my home away from home.
I can wholeheartedly say that choosing Swansea was the best decision I have ever made. Right from the initial phone call, Swansea University believed in me as a person and as a student, refusing to cast me aside because I had missed out on my grades and welcoming me into such a friendly university community. If anything, my foundation year in AMS prepared me for the rest of my degree, giving me a better grounding and a larger wealth of knowledge to be built on throughout my whole course. Without my time as an AMS student, I truly would not be the person I am today.
I look forward to continuing my time at Swansea University with all the challenges of Graduate Entry Medicine that lie ahead.
I would urge anyone who may be split between choices of university places or those in a tricky situation on results day to speak to the Clearing team at Swansea University. Their team has so much experience in helping people like us to achieve our dreams of becoming a Doctor – and you’ll be joining a UK Top 5 Medical School. The opportunities are out there if you just allow yourself to look at things from a different angle. And remember, anything is possible if you are willing to work hard enough and take that initial leap of faith.
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