After you’ve received an offer to study Medicine, the Medical School might invite you to an offer holder event at the university. This could involve looking around the university, experiencing some aspects of the course, hearing from students and meeting other offer holders. Or they might hold a remote event online, where you’ll receive an introduction to the Medical School and the course.
During one of the offer holder days I attended, I got a taster of a problem-based learning (PBL) session and tried out some consultation skills with simulated patients, in addition to joining various talks and Q&A sessions.
These events are definitely worth attending, because they really help you to get a feel of what the course and the university are like, as well as the teaching style that you will experience there. Even if you’re already certain that you’re going to ‘firm’ your offer, you should still go for the day because it’s also an opportunity to meet some of your fellow offer holders – so when you start the course, you might recognise a few people already!
The UCAS deadline for replying to offers is 8th June 2023. It’s very difficult to change your replies to offers once you’ve submitted them, so you need to take your time and make sure you’re happy with your decision before doing anything final.
Go to those offer holder days, talk to current students if you can, and do some research into what the university is like to help you in your decision-making. You could also have a look at social media to see what medical students say and get a taste of what life could be like.
Remember that you have to select a ‘firm’ choice and there is also an optional ‘insurance’ choice. If you do choose to select an insurance choice, make sure the grade requirements are lower than that of your firm choice so it can really serve its purpose! If you have only received one offer for Medicine, you may want to select your fifth UCAS choice (a different degree) as your insurance.
After you’ve accepted an offer, you’ll usually be able to apply for university accommodation. This varies from uni to uni, and some will even allow you to apply for accommodation if you’ve selected them as an insurance choice. Be aware that there are deadlines associated with applying for accommodation, so get organised with this as soon as possible!
Many universities offer accommodation tours and there is always plenty of information available on their websites about the different options you can choose. You may want to talk to current students, because they’ll be able to give you a true picture of what certain places are like, how far they are from the university, what the pros and cons are, etc. Of course, you’ll also need to consider the costs involved, because some accommodation options might be more expensive than others.
Whilst you still have a few details to sort out with regards to your offer, it’s vital that you don’t get distracted from achieving those A-Level grades.
Now that you’ve sat the UCAT or the BMAT, done your interview and received an offer, you might feel like the main body of your application is over – but remember that your A-Level grades are arguably the most important thing, because they can make or break everything that you’ve worked for up until now! Come up with a revision plan and stay motivated so you don’t fall at the final hurdle.
Alongside your A-Level work, you might want to start thinking about your first year of Medical School and what it will involve.
Do some reading about topics like PBL (if this is the teaching style that your Medical School uses), patient interaction and dissection to get ahead and make sure you know what to expect as a first-year medical student.
Getting an offer for Medicine is incredibly competitive, so take some time to reflect and celebrate what you’ve achieved so far.
You’re now in the final stretch of the process, so concentrate on your A-Levels and you should be on your way to becoming a medical student!
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