How to Choose a Medical School for Graduate Entry Medicine
It can be hard to choose the right place to apply for Graduate Entry Medicine. There are currently 14 universities that offer this type of course – but you can only apply to four. So how do you choose a Medical School if you want to study Medicine as a graduate?
Do you need some expert advice to help you with your Grad Entry application?
Graduate Entry Medicine or an Undergraduate Course?
The first thing you will want to think about as a graduate is whether you wish to apply to the accelerated Graduate Entry Medicine programmes, or to the undergraduate programmes alongside school-leavers.
You can apply to a mix of both, but your decision should ultimately be guided by taking into consideration a number of key factors:
It costs more to study for five or six years on an undergraduate course
You may not want to study alongside 18-year-old undergraduates
You may struggle with the pace of an accelerated Graduate Entry course
Once you’ve decided on the type of course, you need to think about where to apply.
STEP 1: Consider the Minimum Entry Requirements
The first step to narrowing down your options is to go through the minimum entry requirements for each course. Different Medicine courses will have varying requirements for GCSE, A Level and degree grades and subjects. Other medical schools may have very specific work experience requirements (Warwick’s GEM program), or may have specific feeder courses (Cardiff’s GEM program).
Eliminate any courses for which you do not meet the minimum entry requirements, and if you are a reapplicant, make sure you pay attention to any reapplicant policies in this stage.
STEP 2: Research the Admissions Tests
Do your research into the admissions tests required by the medical schools left on your list after stage 1; these could include the GAMSAT, BMAT and UCAT. Seriously practice each of the tests for a week or two to give yourself a realistic understanding of what the content is and your strengths and weaknesses.
If there is a particular exam that you cannot imagine ever doing well in, eliminate any universities requiring it from your list. Even though you may not have made your final choices at this stage, you will probably know which exams you will be taking, so you can start to prepare for these and begin your Personal Statement for Medicine whilst you work through the rest of the steps.
STEP 3: Explore the Selection Process for Each Course You Are Looking At
Applicants with a strong academic record will have a large number of potential courses they can apply to still at this stage. Some universities give points for different aspects of your applications, and some will score your application on one or two aspects alone with almost equal weighting.
Applicants to some universities, such as ScotGEM and Nottingham, will be ranked for interview based on GAMSAT score alone. By looking at the detailed selection process for each university, you can tailor the courses you apply to depending on your strengths and weaknesses.
STEP 4: Think About Your Preferences
You should, at this stage, have managed to narrow down your options and be left with a relatively shorter list than the one you began with. Now is the time to look at course structure, intercalation opportunities, opportunities to study abroad, involvement in medical research, location, and the age-old campus vs. non-campus debate (or collegiate, like Cambridge and Oxford).
Some non-academic things to think about include:
Location (city/country, north/south, close to home/far away)
Open days will help you get a feel for a university, its location, and the course. They are an excellent opportunity to attend sample lectures and speak to staff members and current students.
If you are unable to visit a university in person, many universities host virtual Open Days, or you may wish to contact a course tutor to speak with them in person and ask them any specific questions you may have.
Getting in contact with current students is also a really good method for finding out more about a university and a course from someone who is actually there studying at that moment.
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Graduate Entry Medicine is an increasingly popular option, both for those coming to the end of a different degree and for slightly older candidates seeking a change in career. We've created a comprehensive source of information, including a step-by-step guide on everything you'll need to start applying!