Choosing a Medical School

There are 33 med schools and you only have 4 UCAS choices. When choosing a med school there are so many things to consider; so I thought I’d put them all in 1 place to make life a bit easier.

University League Tables for Medicine

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings

http://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2016/may/23/university-guide-2017-league-table-for-medicine

Russell Group Universities

The Russell Group universities are often described as “elite”. The 24 institutions – which include Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Manchester and Warwick – carry out some of the most highly rated research in the world and have a reputation for academic excellence.

Russell Group universities have higher than average student satisfaction and lower than average drop-out rates, according to Wendy Piatt, its director.

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • Durham University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • University of Manchester
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University College London
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York

UKCAT, BMAT & GAMSAT thresholds

These are admissions tests used by medical schools as part of their entry requirements. 25 Medical Schools use the UKCAT, 7 use the BMAT and 7 use the GAMSAT. UKCAT and BMATs are the tests used for undergraduate medicine courses and GAMSAT are the tests used fro graduate medicine courses. The UKCAT and GAMSAT must be sat before the UCAS applications are made (as scores are noted in the application) wherease you must register to sit the BMAT before sending in your application but it will be sat after the application deadline. Each medical school has a different threshold for their chosen admissions test, these thresholds are good to know.

Entry Requirements/ Required Subjects

Know the grades you are working towards depending on whether you’re applying for standard Medicine or Medicine with a Foundation Year. Be aware of the necessary subjects required for course entry.

Location: City, Campus

Your experience in a campus in uni is very different to your experience in a city based university.

CAMPUS

Pros: + Safety + Quieter lifestyle + Community feel. Cons: – Limiting – Not much transport – Less independence

CITY

Pros: + Alot of choice and variety + Great atmosphere + More independence Cons: – Lack of community – Less safe – Fewer opportunities to make friends

Course/ Teaching Style: Intergrated, Traditional, PBL

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/documents/Teaching%20styles%20at%20medical%20school.pdf

Problem Based Learning: Student-centred approach. Learn in context of realistic problems. Work in teams to examine different clinical case scenarios. Students undertake private study and then discuss in seminars

Traditional: Lectures and tutorials in scientific theories (including lab work) during first two or three years. After this, teaching takes place mainly in clinical settings.

Intergrated: Lectures take place alongside clinical attachments from the start of the course.

Intercalated year

Intercalated degrees give you a chance to study a particular area of medicine in depth, whether you’ve already covered it on your medical course or want to study something new. Intercalation is not for every student, as only a small number of students are able to do so, so it’s worth taking the time to weigh up the pros and cons before making your decision.

https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/career/studying-medicine/intercalated-degrees

Facilities

All universities will have a library dedicated to health science courses, a sports centre, a health service, a careers service etc. However, if there is something that is particularly important for you it is worth checking it out before you apply.

https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/universities/choosing-the-right-university/the-facilities/

Cost of Living

Certain cities are more expensive to live than others, this is necessary for the future especially when it comes to accommodation.

Admissions Success Ratio

I think it is also helpful to look at the number of people who apply and the number of places, this can be found in prospectuses.

Attend Open Days

Try to attend as many open days as possible especially the strong contenders so you can get a feel of the city, facilities, accommodation etc. It is never too early to start attending open days.

Dissection

Some universities offer full body dissection whereas others only offer prosection to teach anatomy. If you are someone who is looking to go into surgery full body dissection is very useful and an eye opening experience.

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