Shadowing a DoctorMay 7, 2014
The Application Process
Confused about the application process for medical schools in the UK? Here’s a simplified guide to help you through the process. You will have to do further research at every step but this guide will help show you the right way to proceed.
All applications to study medicine are handled by UCAS, which stands for ‘Universities and Colleges Admissions Service’. UCAS is an admissions service for higher education. They look after all applications across various subject areas and modes of study for UK colleges and universities. The aim of UCAS is to help students make informed choices about their educational and career paths and guide them through the often complex higher education application process.
Those applying to medical school should note that the deadline for applying is generally earlier than the application deadline for non-medical programmes. 15th October 2014 is the deadline for applying for medical programmes commencing in September 2015.
As a very competitive discipline, admission into any medical programme requires high grades especially in science subjects. A high standard of English is another mandatory requirement. The minimum academic eligibility criteria for most schools are 3 full A Levels or equivalent. Biology is often a specific requirement and chemistry is nearly always essential.
Some medical schools require applicants to also take a few other tests such as the BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test) or the UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) and GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test).
BMAT: The Biomedical Admissions Test is a subject-specific admissions test. Not everyone needs to take the BMAT. You only need to take it if the medical school you are applying to requires that you take the test.
UKCAT: Several UK medical and dental schools use the UK Clinical Aptitude Test as part of the selection process to help them choose from among the high level of applicants applying to their courses. It is an aptitude test. It does not assess academic achievement but instead evaluates behavioural attributes and mental abilities that are considered essential traits for doctors and dentists. As with the BMAT, you only need to sit for the UKCAT if the medical school you are applying to requires you to take the test. The UKCAT can be taken in test centres around the world.
If you are unsure if you are required to take the BMAT or UKCAT, you can contact the universities you are applying to directly.
The application process
You can apply to any medical school you are interested in, up to a maximum of four. What you should keep in mind is that the exact requirements do vary between different medical schools so it is advisable to check each one individually and get the specifics before sending in your application.
Once you have decided on which medical schools you would like to apply to, you will need to complete and submit your application through UCAS. You can find all the information on what you will need to provide for each school either on the UCAS website or each individual school’s website.