Medical School Application Guide

 

Keele University

 

Keele University

Keele University School of Medicine was founded relatively recently in 2002, and as such, is known for its modern facilities and progressive curriculum that incorporates a range of learning styles. The university campus is self-contained and situated within 600 acres of beautiful park-land and for your first two years Medicine, you can live and attend classes on site, socialise in the students union and various bars and restaurants and even grow your own vegetables on a student allotment site (as part of Keele’s Green Campus initiative). The remaining three years will be spent attached to hospitals in Staffordshire and Shropshire. There are roughly 130 students in each year, which means Keele has one of the smaller medical school year groups. The course involves spiral, integrated learning, building on clinical topics, in more detail, year after year. It incorporates early patient contact, as well as a mixture of problem-based learning, lectures and seminars. Anatomy is taught via whole body dissection. Keele School of Medicine was ranked 2nd in the UK for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey of 2015. Keele offer a 5-year undergraduate programme and a 6-year programme (with initial foundation year for those who do not meet the scientific qualifications needed to get into the 5-year programme). The majority of the final year’s study in Keele will be spent on assistantships in GP practices, medical and surgical wards in preparation for clinical practice as a Foundation doctor.

 

The Medical School Application Guide

At a Glance

Courses available

4 to 6-year programme

  Undergraduate Applicants Graduate Applicants
  5-year programme 6-year programme 5-year programme 6-year programme
No. of places 129 10 129 10
Degree N/A N/A 2:1 * 2:1 (non-science degree)
GCSEs 5As + min B in English and Maths 5As + min C in English and Maths Min B in English and Maths Min C in English and Maths
A/AS levels A*AAb/(AAAa if already completed A levels) A*AAb/(AAAa if already completed A levels) BBB BBB
Exam UKCAT (+ BMAT for international students) UKCAT (+ BMAT for international students) UKCAT (+/- GAMSAT**) (+ BMAT for international students) UKCAT (+/- GAMSAT**) (+ BMAT for international students)
Interview MMI MMI MMI MMI
Work experience Essential Essential Essential Essential
*Usually Science subject, but if Sciences at A-level/good GAMSAT score, other degrees considered **Graduates with a non-Science background who wish to apply for the 5-year degree may wish to sit the GAMSAT to demonstrate scientific knowledge and ability. The GAMSAT can also be used to compensate for A level results below the usual requirement.

 

 

PROGRAMMES

 

Graduates can apply to either the 5-year programme (if they meet the science requirements at A level, have good GAMSAT scores or have studied a science primary degree), or the 6-year programme for applicants who do not have a scientific background (the 6-year programme includes a health foundation year to give candidates the necessary basic science knowledge). There are options for intercalated bachelor’s degrees after the 2nd year of medical studies, and master’s degrees after the 4th year of medical studies.

 

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY

 

Degree and A levelss

 

For the 5-year programme , applicants must achieve a 2:1 honours degree, usually in a scientific discipline. Minimum A level grades are usually BBB (to include 2 sciences, or 1 science plus Mathematics/Statistics). If the applicant’s degree is not within a science discipline, but the applicant has A*AA at A level (including Biology or Chemistry plus one other science subject – Biology/Chemistry/Physics/Mathematics/Further Maths/Statistics), or has taken the GAMSAT and demonstrated a good score (see below), they can apply to the 5 year course. For applicants with a 2:1 in a science degree, who do not have the minimum A level grades for admission, the university may consider using their degree transcript results as compensation, provided their degree covers a substantial Molecular Bioscience/Chemistry content.

 

For the 6-year programme , applicants with at least a 2:1 in a non-science discipline without the sciences at A level (the only exception being Biology A level), are eligible to apply. Students with health degrees such as Physiotherapy or Nursing, without Chemistry at A or AS Level, should apply for this entry route. The minimum A level grades are BBB.

 

GCSEs

 

Applicants to the 5-year programme must have minimum of Grade B at GCSE for Mathematics, English Language and all science subjects. For applicants to the 6-year programme, a minimum of Grade C at GCSE for Mathematics and English Language are essential.

 

IB

 

Admissions Exam

 

All applicants must sit the UKCAT – applicants who have scores in the bottom 20% of candidates sitting the exam will not be considered; the threshold for 2016 entry was 2310. If applicants are borderline for getting an interview on other criteria their UKCAT scores are considered.

 

International students who are classed as overseas students for fee-paying purposes must also sit the BMAT.

 

The GAMSAT is not mandatory but may allow graduates from a non-science discipline to apply directly to the 5-year programme without the relevant sciences at A level. The minimum GAMSAT scores are: 55 overall with a section 3 score of 58, or an overall score of 58 with a section 3 score of 55 (in both cases, candidates must score at least 50 in all other sections)

 

Access to Medicine courses

 

  • College of West Anglia
  • Manchester College
  • Stafford College/New College Telford
  • Sussex Downs College.

 

Applicants need to obtain distinction in all subjects. Applicants who have achieved less than 2:1 in a previous degree are only considered if they have substantial subsequent healthcare experience and/or they have worked in an academically challenging career. Those who have completed their degree or A levels less than 5 years prior are not eligible to apply through an access course./p>

 

International Students

 

There are 9 places in total across each programme available for non-UK/EU students. Note that it is recommended that international students apply via UCAS, but it is possible to apply directly to the university, with the disadvantage of being considered only after all the UCAS applicants have been evaluated. International students must be able to demonstrate aptitude in written and verbal English language, either a first-language English qualification, or a qualification such as IELTS (minimum score 7.0 in each component at the same sitting) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (grade B or above). Note that international students must sit the BMAT as well as the UKCAT.

 

If you are applying as an overseas student and taken qualifications other than those listed above, please contact us by email (enquiries@themsag.com) if you would like more information on the minimum grades needed to be considered for a place in Medicine at Keele.

 

Policy on re-applicants

 

Re-applicants who did not previously get to interview stage are welcome to re-apply; however those candidates who previously got to interview stage but were not selected cannot re-apply.

 

Policy on deferrals

 

Keele are happy to consider applicants who wish to defer their entry to medical school until the following academic year, provided that they detail their plan for the year, ideally in their UCAS application, or, if they make the decision after submitting the UCAS application, via letter to the university. Deferrals are normally not considered after A level results have been published.

 

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Application Deadlines

 

Applications via UCAS for 2017/18 entry are open from 1st September 2016 and close on 15th October 2016

 

Application Documents

 

 

SELECTION PROCESS AND INTERVIEW

 

Selection Process

 

Step 1: Initially the admissions board will read through all applications to ensure that each candidate meets the minimum academic requirements, as listed above. The applicant’s UKCAT score is also considered and any applicant who has scored in the bottom 20% of candidates nationally, or who has scored Band 4 in the Situational Judgement Test will not be considered further. Only the applicants who meet these requirements will progress forward in the application process to having their personal statements read. Although personal statements are not used to score the candidate for progress to interview, the personal statement will be used in the interview to ask you questions about your achievements and experiences. Applicants should address the following points:

 

  • Understanding of the role of a doctor
  • Examples of regular hands-on caring work experience.
  • Depth of experience in a role involving personal interaction.
  • Reflection on what was learnt from these experiences
  • Initiative/enterprise
  • Work/life balance.
  • Working in teams.
  • Communication (particularly outside your peer group).
  • Quality of written application.

 

Step 2 (progressing to interview): UK/EU applicants will be scored on their Roles and Responsibilities form and this will determine their selection for interview. Note that roles and responsibilities can be paid or voluntary. They do not necessarily have to be in healthcare (e.g. students will be given credit for caring for a family member, if this has been above and beyond what would normally be expected). Specific responsibilities will gain more credit than general ones, and work ‘shadow’ will not be given credit – the admissions team want to know what you as a person did, not what you observed others do. Responsibilities ideally would be from within the last 3 years; mature applicants would be expected to have some voluntary experience (or something above and beyond their normal job); and maximum credit is for over 160 hours of experience, particularly where the applicant can show evidence of sustained commitment. Scores are allocated according to the following criteria:

 

  • Commitment to work experience, voluntary work or exposure to a caring role
  • The value of the work you undertook
  • The level of responsibility taken in any of the above roles
  • An example of a situation where you did something that had an important outcome for the recipient
  • Any exceptional achievements or circumstances

 

Non-UK/EU students, i.e. those classed as overseas students for fee-paying purposes will not complete a Roles and Responsibilities form, but will instead be selected for interview based on their BMAT score.

 

If you need to complete the Roles and Responsibilities form, you should ensure that this scoring criteria is given to the person who will complete your reference. Both you and your referee should address each aspect outlined above, as the reference should reflect you as a person. Referees may also want to highlight any extenuating circumstances or challenges that you may have faced, as well as any disadvantage (e.g. educational or socio-economic) that you have overcome.

 

After the interview, the admissions decision is based mainly on the interview score. Bar the bottom 20% as mentioned above, there is no UKCAT cut-off. The UKCAT is only used when there is a tie between applicants.

 

Interview

 

Interviews are in the form of 11 multiple mini interview (MMI) stations with an additional rest station. At interview you will be assessed on your motivation to do medicine, as well as a realistic understanding of what a doctor’s role involves. Topical discussion with the ability to see multiple viewpoints, as well as demonstrating good communication skills and empathy throughout will be essential. There will also be a clinical Mathematics test on the day of the interview lasting 30 minutes to ensure that students are capable of using simple Mathematics calculations in clinical practice (see http://www.keele.ac.uk/medicine/mbchb5years/applicantsarea/ for details).

 

Interview candidates are expected to be familiar with:

 

NHS constitution:

http://www.nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/NHSConstitution/Pages/Overview.aspx

 

Knowledge of General Medical Council’s Duties of a Doctor:

 

http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/good_medical_practice/duties_of_a_doctor.asp

 

COMPETITION RATIOS

 

5-year programme

 

In 2015-2016 application year, there were over 2202 applications for the 129 places, roughly 10 of which were for non-EU applicants. Approximately 500 applicants are granted an interview each year with 250 offers made.

 

6-year programme

 

In the 2015-2016 application year, there were approximately 160 applications for the 10 places available to UK, EU and non-EU applicants. Approximately 25 applicants are granted an interview each year with 15 offers made.

 

RANKINGS

 

Medicine at the Keele University is ranked 6th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2016.

 

It is ranked 10th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2016.

 

It is among the top 400 medical schools in the QS World University Rankings.

 

PROGRAMMES

 

Undergraduates can apply to either the 5-year programme (if they meet the science requirements at A level), or the 6-year programme for applicants who have not taken the necessary sciences beyond GCSE (this programme includes a health foundation year to give candidates the necessary basic science knowledge). There are options for intercalated bachelor’s degrees after the 2nd year of medical studies, and master’s degrees after the 4th year of medical studies.

 

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY

 

A/AS level and GCSEss

 

For the 5-year programme the minimum requirement for 2017 entry is predicted A*AA (if an applicant is applying after completing their A levels, they will also be considered with grades of AAA at A level and A at AS level). This must include Chemistry or Biology, another science subject or Mathematics, and a third rigorous subject (courses such as General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted). Chemistry AS Level must be passed at a minimum of grade B if not taken at A2. The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is accepted in place of the fourth AS. Only one of Mathematics/Further Mathematics/Statistics will be considered in the offer, and Biology and PE are not considered in combination. 3 A-levels and the fourth AS level (or EPQ) must be completed within a 2 year period. Applicants who have required more than two years to complete three A levels must apply after completion of these qualifications. Applications from students currently in their third year of A level study are not accepted unless they have already achieved the required grades and are taking additional subjects. For example, an applicant with achieved grades of A*AA but with only one science would be considered if currently taking an additional science A Level. Anyone who has not achieved the required A Levels within three years will not be considered.

 

A minimum of five GCSE subjects at grade A, not including short-course GCSEs, are required. Mathematics, English Language, Biology, Chemistry and Physics must be passed at a minimum of grade B. GCSE Science/Core Science (including AQA Science A or Science B) plus Additional Science is acceptable as an alternative to Biology, Chemistry and Physics. IGCSE double-award Science is also acceptable. GCSE Applied Science is not an acceptable alternative. Students whose school has entered them for multiple qualifications in the same subjects (e.g. Science and/or Additional Science as well as Biology, Chemistry and Physics) will only have the minimum required subjects taken into account; the grades for the additional GCSEs will be ignored.

 

For the 6-year programme , the minimum A level grades required for an offer are A*AA (if an applicant is applying after completing their A levels, they will also be considered with grades of AAA at A level and A at AS level). This must not include Chemistry. Biology is acceptable, so long as it is not taken with other sciences. Mathematics and Physics together are acceptable, so long as the other subjects are non-science. General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies or Key Skills will not be considered. The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will be accepted at grade A in place of a fourth AS. Five GCSE subjects at grade A are essential with at least a minimum of Grade C for Mathematics and English Language.

 

IB

 

Students undertaking the International Baccalaureate are eligible if they have a minimum of 35 points, to include 6,6,6 at higher level and 6,6,5 at standard level. Chemistry or Biology plus a second science must be taken at higher level for those applying for the 5-year programme, with the other sciences to at least standard level.

 

Those applying to the 6-year programme do not have a subject restriction, except that they must not have taken Chemistry.

 

Admissions Exam

 

All applicants must sit the UKCAT – applicants who have scores in the bottom 20% of candidates sitting the exam will not be considered; the threshold for 2016 entry was 2310. If applicants are borderline for getting an interview on other criteria their UKCAT scores are considered.

 

International students who are classed as overseas students for fee-paying purposes must also sit the BMAT.

 

Access to Medicine courses

 

  • College of West Anglia
  • Manchester College
  • Stafford College/New College Telford
  • Sussex Downs College.

 

Applicants need to obtain distinction in all subjects. Applicants who have completed their A levels less than 5 years prior are not eligible to apply through an access course.

 

Diplomas (inc. BTEC)

 

Candidates may apply to the 5-year programme with the Cambridge Pre-U. Principal subjects should be offered at grades of D3 M1 M1 or D2 M1 M2, with Chemistry required at a minimum of M2, and a second science offered.

 

For the 6-year programme , candidates may apply with the Advanced Diploma (A/A* in the Progression Diploma and the Additional Specialist Learning A level, which should not be in Chemistry); an Access to Higher Education Diploma (60 credits at level 3 – marks to be distinction or above 70% in all modules); as well as the BTEC National Diploma (grades D*DD), or a BTEC certificate or award in combination with the relevant number of A levels (results to equate to the standard A level offer of A*AA).

 

Diplomas (inc. BTEC)

 

Keele offers a widening participation scheme called ‘Steps2Medicine’ to Year 12 students in the local area who are interested in studying Medicine. They aim to promote applications from students from under-represented groups, and to this end offer activities throughout the year to help students with application and interview skills and give them further insight into a medical career. Students successfully completing the course will be prioritised for interview and may be eligible for a reduction in the standard grade offer.

 

International Students

 

There are 9 places in total across each programme available for non-UK/EU students. Note that it is recommended that international students apply via UCAS, but it is possible to apply directly to the university, with the disadvantage of being considered only after all the UCAS applicants have been evaluated. International students must be able to demonstrate aptitude in written and verbal English language, either a first-language English qualification, or a qualification such as IELTS (minimum score 7.0 in each component at the same sitting) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (grade B or above). Note that international students must sit the BMAT as well as the UKCAT.

 

If you are applying as an overseas student and taken qualifications other than those listed above, please contact us by email (enquiries@themsag.com) if you would like more information on the minimum grades needed to be considered for a place in Medicine at Keele.

 

Policy on re-applicants

 

Re-applicants who did not previously get to interview stage are welcome to re-apply; however those candidates who previously got to interview stage but were not selected cannot re-apply.

 

Policy on deferrals

 

Keele are happy to consider applicants who wish to defer their entry to medical school until the following academic year, provided that they detail their plan for the year, ideally in their UCAS application, or if they make the decision after submitting the UCAS application, via letter to the university. Deferrals are normally not considered after A level results have been published.

 

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Application Deadlines

 

Applications via UCAS for 2017/18 entry are open from 1st September 2016 and close on 15th October 2016

 

Application Documents

 

  • Completed UCAS application form
  • For UK/EU students (those classed as Home students for fee-paying purposes) a Roles and Responsibilities form is mandatory (will be sent to applicants following UCAS submission). This link will give you an example draft: https://www.keele.ac.uk/media/keeleuniversity/fachealth/fachealthmed/pdfs/Roles%20&%20Responsibilities%20form%202016%20entry%20DRAFT.pdf
  • Secondary education certificates may be requested by the university upon uptake of the course

 

SELECTION PROCESS AND INTERVIEW

 

Application Documents

 

Step 1: Initially the admissions board will read through all applications to ensure that each candidate meets the minimum academic requirements, as listed above. The applicant’s UKCAT score is also considered and any applicant who has scored in the bottom 20% of candidates nationally, or who has scored Band 4 in the Situational Judgement Test will not be considered further. Only the applicants who meet these requirements will progress forward in the application process to having their personal statements read. Although personal statements are not used to score the candidate for progress to interview, the personal statement will be used in the interview to ask you questions about your achievements and experiences. Applicants should address the following points:

 

  • Understanding of the role of a doctor
  • Examples of regular hands-on caring work experience.
  • Depth of experience in a role involving personal interaction.
  • Reflection on what was learnt from these experiences
  • Initiative/enterprise
  • Work/life balance.
  • Working in teams.
  • Communication (particularly outside your peer group).
  • Quality of written application.

 

Step 2 (progressing to interview): UK/EU applicants will be scored on their Roles and Responsibilities form and this will determine their selection for interview. Note that roles and responsibilities can be paid or voluntary. They do not necessarily have to be in healthcare (e.g. students will be given credit for caring for a family member, if this has been above and beyond what would normally be expected). Specific responsibilities will gain more credit than general ones, and work ‘shadow’ will not be given credit – the admissions team want to know what you as a person did, not what you observed others do. Responsibilities ideally would be from within the last 3 years; mature applicants would be expected to have some voluntary experience (or something above and beyond their normal job); and maximum credit is for over 160 hours of experience, particularly where the applicant can show evidence of sustained commitment. Scores are allocated according to the following criteria:

 

  • Commitment to work experience, voluntary work or exposure to a caring role
  • The value of the work you undertook
  • The level of responsibility taken in any of the above roles
  • An example of a situation where you did something that had an important outcome for the recipient
  • Any exceptional achievements or circumstances

 

Non-UK/EU students, i.e. those classed as overseas students for fee-paying purposes will not complete a Roles and Responsibilities form, but will instead be selected for interview based on their BMAT score.

 

If you need to complete the Roles and Responsibilities form, you should ensure that this scoring criteria is given to the person who will complete your reference. Both you and your referee should address each aspect outlined above, as the reference should reflect you as a person. Referees may also want to highlight any extenuating circumstances or challenges that you may have faced, as well as any disadvantage (e.g. educational or socio-economic) that you have overcome.

 

After the interview, the admissions decision is based mainly on the interview score. Bar the bottom 20% as mentioned above, there is no UKCAT cut-off. The UKCAT is only used when there is a tie between applicants.

 

Interview

 

Interviews are in the form of 11 multiple mini interview (MMI) stations with an additional rest station. At interview you will be assessed on your motivation to do medicine, as well as a realistic understanding of what a doctor’s role involves. Topical discussion with the ability to see multiple viewpoints, as well as demonstrating good communication skills and empathy throughout will be essential. There will also be a clinical Mathematics test on the day of the interview lasting 30 minutes to ensure that students are capable of using simple Mathematics calculations in clinical practice (see: http://www.keele.ac.uk/medicine/mbchb5years/applicantsarea/ for details).

 

NHS constitution:

http://www.nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/NHSConstitution/Pages/Overview.aspx

 

Knowledge of General Medical Council’s Duties of a Doctor:

 

http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/good_medical_practice/duties_of_a_doctor.asp

 

COMPETITION RATIOS

 

In 2015-2016 application year, there were over 2202 applications for the 129 places on the 5-year programme, roughly 10 of which were for non-EU applicants. Approximately 500 applicants are granted an interview each year with 250 offers made.

 

For the 6-year programme, in the 2015-2016 application year, there were approximately 160 applications for the 10 places available to UK, EU and non-EU applicants. Approximately 25 applicants are granted an interview each year with 15 offers made.

 

RANKINGS

 

Medicine at the Keele University is ranked 6th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2016.

 

It is ranked 10th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2016.

 

It is among the top 400 medical schools in the QS World University Rankings.

 

Year 3 student

 

1. What are the good things about studying Medicine at this university?

 

Medicine at Keele is quite a small course, usually around 130 students with the first two years taught in PBL groups between 8-12. This means that you get to know everyone pretty well and the tutors also. Anatomy is taught by cadaver dissection in year 1,2 and 3 which is also a positive. When you enter the clinical years you will send some time at the Royal Stoke University Hospital which is a major trauma centre and tertiary referral centre meaning good clinical exposure. Keele was also Number 1 in the Student Satisfaction survey in 2015 and the Students' Union won the Overall Gold Award for "Best Bar None."

 

2. What is not so good about studying Medicine there?

 

"Not so good things about studying medicine at Keele: In the clinical years the locations of GP placements are over a large area meaning you could have to travel as far as Wolverhampton. GP placements in the final year are also quite lengthy at 15 weeks long. Also, no one really knows where Keele is!"

 

3. What advice do you have for someone thinking of studying Medicine there?

 

"Advice to someone thinking of applying: Go and visit the campus! Have a good wander round and get a feel of the place and the medical school. If you fall in love with the campus, you'll love Keele."

 

4. Do you have any tips on how to get in?

 

"Be yourself, emphasise what makes you different from the other applicants and get lots of interview practice so you aren't too nervous!"

 

Ask Dr Jiva a question

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