Medical School Application Guide

 

University of Bristol

 

King’s College London

 

 

Situated in a vibrant city in the west of England, the University of Bristol’s medical school is one of the oldest in the country. The longstanding teaching traditions are complemented by an innovative and continually developing curriculum. The curriculum for those entering the school as medical students in 2017 promises early clinical exposure, a blend of lectures and case-based learning as well as cadaveric prosections for anatomy teaching. Intercalated degrees give the option to study for a Bachelor’s degree in a range of additional subjects such as neuroscience, international health or medical humanities.

 

With a huge student population, and a lively nightlife Bristol has something for everyone, no matter what your interests. The Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, including a Hot Air Ballooning Society and a Pirate society amongst many other (less obscure) societies and sports clubs. The Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is currently undergoing a £30-million renovation.

 

The Medical School Application Guide

At a Glance

Courses available

5 to 6-year programme

 
Undergraduate Applicants
Graduate Applicants
 
5-year
6-year
5-year
No. of places
225
tbc
225
Degree
N/A
N/A
2:1
GCSEs
5 As. (Maths, English and 2 sciences)
B in Double Science, Maths and English + C in another subject.
5 As. (Maths, English and 2 sciences)
A levels
AAA(contextual AAB*)
BBC
AAA(contextual AAB*)
Exam
UKCAT
UKCAT
UKCAT
Interview
MMI
MMI
MMI
Work experience
Minimum two weeks in a care setting
Recommended
Minimum two weeks in a care setting
 
*Contextual offers are offered to applicants who attend schools or colleges which ranked in the bottom 40 per cent of all schools and colleges in the previous academic year.

 

 

PROGRAMMES

 

Undergraduates can apply to a 5-year programme MB ChB Medicine (A100) or a 6-year programme Gateway to MB ChB Medicine (A108) which includes a foundation year and is aimed primarily at UK students from disadvantaged backgrounds (please see below for eligibility). After the initial foundation year is complete, providing a strong background in the essential scientific knowledge needed to study Medicine, the 2nd year of the 6-year programme joins with the first year of the 5-year programme. The clinical years (Years 3 - 5) involve clerkships in primary and secondary care settings across the region. Between Years 3 - 4 it is possible to undertake an intercalated degree in a medical science or humanities subject.

 

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY

 

6-year programme eligibility

 

Candidates may apply if their schools were ranked in the bottom 40% of schools in the previous academic year. This is determined according to:

 

• the average score per A level student in the school

• the average score achieved for each individual A level taken there

• the percentage of students applying to higher education from that school.

 

The following link will provide a list of schools which were eligible for 2016 entry: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/apply/#typical-contextual-offers.

 

A/AS levels and GCSEs

 

For the 5-year programme a minimum of 5 A grades at GCSE to include Mathematics, English Language, and two science subjects are required. At A level, a typical offer is made at AAA, to include Chemistry and another lab-based science. Contextual offers of AAB may be made to applicants who attend schools or colleges ranked in the bottom 40 per cent of all schools and colleges in the previous academic year (see under ‘6-year programme eligibility’ above for details as to how this is determined). A level exams should be taken within 2 years. Biology and Human Biology/Physical Education, or similar subjects with a high Biology content, cannot be considered together as part of the A level subject criteria (but can be taken to AS level). Having a fourth subject at A level does not confer an advantage, but it is expected that candidates would have taken a fourth subject to AS level. If an applicant’s school does not offer the chance to take a fourth AS level, an acceptable alternative is the Extended Project Qualification to grade C or above.

 

For the 6-year programme applicants require at least a GCSE grade B in Double Science, Mathematics and English Language plus one other subject at grade C. Applicants should have BBC at A level, to include a B in Chemistry and a B in one of: Biology, Physics or Mathematics. Candidates who have grades AAB or above are not eligible for this programme and should apply to the 5-year programme.

 

IB

 

For the 5-year programme a minimum of 36 points overall is required with 18 points at Higher Level including 6, 6 in Chemistry and another lab-based science.

 

Contextual offers of 34 points may be made to applicants who attend schools or colleges which ranked in the bottom 40 per cent of all schools and colleges in the previous academic year. Please see under ‘6-year programme eligibility’ for details on how the school ranking is determined.

 

For the 6-year programme applicants require a minimum of 29 points with 14 at Higher Level including 5 in Chemistry and 5 in Biology, Physics or Mathematics. Applicants with 33 points or higher overall and 16 points or above at Higher Level are not eligible for this course. The medical school recommends that applicants with 34 points or higher overall and/or 17 points at Higher Level should instead consider the five-year course.

 

Admissions Exam

 

The UKCAT is required for both the 5-year programme and the 6-year programme.

 

Access to Medicine courses

 

A pass is required in the Access to HE Diploma (Medicine) with at least 30 credits at Distinction, including 9 credits in each of Chemistry and either Biology or Physics, and 15 credits at Merit. The university considers other access courses on a case-by-case basis; please contact the admissions department for guidance regarding the acceptability of your course’s content. Applicants taking this qualification are expected to have been out of education for five years prior to starting an Access course. Note that the UKCAT is still required.

 

Other Diplomas

 

The Cambridge Pre-U is an alternative to A level qualifications. For the 5-year programme, candidates are required to have D3 grades in the three principle subjects, to include Chemistry and another lab-based science subject. Grades of M2M2M3 in the same subjects meet the entry requirements of the 6-year programme.

 

A BTEC diploma with grades DDD in a medically-related subject can be used to meet the entry criteria for the 5-year programme, in conjunction with an A in A level Chemistry. For the 6-year programme, applicants with BTEC grades DDM in an Applied Science or Applied Science (Medical Sciences) may apply. Applicants with/predicted DDD or above who are also taking A-level Chemistry are not eligible for this course and should consider the 5-year programme.

 

International Students

 

In 2015, 19 places were given to non-EU applicants for the 5-year programme. The 6-year programme is not open to international applicants. If an applicant’s first language is not English, they should demonstrate their proficiency by an overall score of 7.5 in the IELTS, with a minimum of 7.0 in any band. Alternative qualifications can be found on the university website, under Profile A: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/language-requirements/profile-a/

 

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 Bristol.

 

Policy on Re-applicants

 

Re-application is accepted with no disadvantage to the applicant.

 

Policy on Deferrals

 

Applicants can apply for deferred entry for the 5-year programme but only a limited number of deferred offers are made in each cycle. Applications for deferred entry must be made at the point of application; it is not be possible to defer an application after it has been submitted, either before or after a decision has been made.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Application Deadlines

 

Applications via UCAS close on 15th October 2016.

 

Application Documents

 

  • Completed UCAS application form
  • The university will send an additional form prior to your interview, requesting further details on your work experience.

 

SELECTION PROCESS AND INTERVIEW

 

Selection Process

 

The selection process for 5-year programme in 2016 took into account the entire UCAS application plus the candidate’s UKCAT score. There is no minimum UKCAT cut-off. The candidate’s top 8 GCSEs were scored, and the following criteria in the personal statement was also scored:

 

  • Realistic interest in and understanding of Medicine
  • Relevant life skills
  • A wide range of interests
  • Acts of altruism and voluntary work
  • Communication and interaction skills

 

Referees were expected to comment on the applicant’s motivation; their ability to work independently; and their powers of expression and analysis. If an applicant has extenuating circumstances, the referee can mention these, but the applicant should also fill out the appropriate form (listed above under ‘Application Documents’).

 

Details of the new selection process for 2017 entry are yet to be published, but will be available in summer 2016. The medical school has stated that it will include the UCAS application, and a multiple mini interview (MMI), plus UKCAT. In addition you are expected to have a minimum of two weeks work experience in a care setting.

 

For the 6-year programme, again the selection process is due to be updated over the summer of 2016, but all applicants who meet the eligibility and academic criteria will be considered for interview. Work experience to gain a realistic understanding of Medicine as a career is desirable. The candidate’s personal statement will be reviewed for the same qualities as those mentioned above for the 5-year programme.

 

Interview

 

Applicants are invited to attend an MMI assessment. In addition, interviewees will be invited to tour the University and have an opportunity to meet current students. Applicants are required to complete a form prior to attending the interview which documents the type and duration of their work experience. At the interview, applicants will move around a series of ten MMI stations, each taking five minutes, and will be assessed on a particular criterion at each. Previous stations have assessed candidates on their knowledge of the course; their motivation for studying Medicine; and their knowledge of recent developments within the field of Medicine. Each station will be directed by one or two interviewers, as appropriate.

 

COMPETITION RATIOS

 

The University of Bristol Medical School received a total of 4000 applications (including UK/EU and international students) for the 5-year programme in 2015. 800 applicants were interviewed, and 400 were made offers for the 225 places available.

 

RANKINGS

 

Medicine at the University of Bristol is ranked 26th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2016

 

It is ranked 13th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2016.

 

It is among the top 100 medical schools in the QS World University Rankings.

 

PROGRAMMES

 

Graduates can apply to the 5-year programme MB ChB Medicine (A100) along with undergraduate applicants. The 4-year graduate entry programme will run in 2016 but will not be on offer for 2017 entry.

 

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY

 

Degree and A levelss

 

Graduates are required to obtain a 2:1 in their degree and at least AAB at A-level including Chemistry at grade A and one other lab-based science subject at grade B or above.

 

GCSEss

 

A minimum of 5 A grades at GCSE to include Mathematics, English Language, and two science subjects are required for the 5-year programme.

 

Admissions Exam

 

The UKCAT is required for all applicants.

 

International Students

 

In 2015, 19 places were given to non-EU applicants for the 5-year programme. If an applicant’s first language is not English, they should demonstrate their proficiency by an overall score of 7.5 in the IELTS, with a minimum of 7.0 in any band. Alternative qualifications can be found on the university website, under Profile A: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/language-requirements/profile-a/

 

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 Bristol.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Application Deadlines

 

Applications via UCAS close on 15th October 2016.

 

Application Documents

 

  • Completed UCAS application form
  • The university will send an additional form prior to your interview, requesting further details on your work experience
  • Secondary school examination certificates and a degree transcript may be requested.

 

SELECTION PROCESS AND INTERVIEW

 

Selection Process

 

The selection process for 5-year programme in 2016 took into account the entire UCAS application plus the candidate’s UKCAT score. There is no minimum UKCAT cut-off. The candidate’s top 8 GCSEs were scored, and the following criteria in the personal statement was also scored:

 

  • Realistic interest in and understanding of Medicine
  • Relevant life skills
  • A wide range of interests
  • Acts of altruism and voluntary work
  • Communication and interaction skills

 

Referees were expected to comment on the applicant’s motivation; their ability to work independently; and their powers of expression and analysis. If an applicant has extenuating circumstances, the referee can mention these, but the applicant should also fill out the appropriate form (listed above under ‘Application Documents’).

 

Details of the new selection process for 2017 entry are yet to be published, but will be available in summer 2016. The medical school has stated that it will include the UCAS application, and a multiple mini interview (MMI), plus UKCAT. In addition you are expected to have a minimum of two weeks work experience in a care setting.

 

Interview

 

Applicants are invited to attend an MMI assessment. In addition, interviewees will be invited to tour the University and have an opportunity to meet current students. Applicants are required to complete a form prior to attending the interview which documents the type and duration of their work experience. At the interview, applicants will move around a series of ten MMI stations, each taking five minutes, and will be assessed on a particular criterion at each. Previous stations have assessed candidates on their knowledge of the course; their motivation for studying Medicine; and their knowledge of recent developments within the field of Medicine. Each station will be directed by one or two interviewers, as appropriate.

 

COMPETITION RATIOS

 

The University of Bristol Medical School received a total of 4000 applications (including UK/EU and international students) for the 5-year programme in 2015. 800 applicants were interviewed, and 400 were made offers for the 225 places available.

 

RANKINGS

 

Medicine at the University of Bristol is ranked 26th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2016

 

It is ranked 13th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2016.

 

It is among the top 100 medical schools in the QS World University Rankings.

 

Sidharth Devalia, year 4 student

 

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

 

"The great thing about Bristol Medical school is the comprehensive feedback that we receive; this can during informal bedside teaching during our clinical placements or with formalised examinations such as OSCEs. Furthermore, the feedback system works well in the opposite direction. The Medical School and clinical academies are keen to hear the opinions and ideas of the students and bring about necessary changes to make student life better. "

 

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

 

"If you weren’t to do enough research prior to starting at Bristol Medical School, you would not be aware of the ‘Clinical Academy’ system. This means that during your clinical years you could be placed in various hospitals around the South West region of England e.g. Somerset, Taunton, Gloucester as well as inner city Bristol. For placements outside of Bristol, accommodation will be provided for you. As you can imagine, there is varying quality of hospital accommodation such as size of rooms, proximity to the hospital and speed of the Internet! It shouldn’t be too much cause for concern as the university will ensure that you spend half your clinical years in Bristol and half outside of Bristol; this will give you a really diverse training experience." 

 

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

 

"My advice would be to get involved with other medical students in the more senior years as early as possible. They have often provided me with invaluable advice and help throughout my training.  "

 

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

 

"Medical schools often look for well-rounded candidates. Ensure that your CV shows off your personality and your achievements e.g. sports, music, voluntary work. "

 

Dorothy Kuek Khai Chin, Year 3 international student

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

 

"Bristol is a beautiful place that is not too busy like London and it not too quiet like Oxford. I really enjoy the beautiful scenery here such as Wills Memorial building and Clifton Suspension bridge. Also, there is a wide variety of restaurants and library which are all within walking distances. The curriculum here consists of a strong foundation in basic science teachings in year 1 and 2 followed by clinical teachings in 3rd to 5th years. All the lecture slides are printed and provided online with some recordings of the lectures as well."

 

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

 

"There is less Summer holiday time as other medical schools because we undertake mandatory SSC (student selected component) research projects before the holidays. However, it is great to carry out a project for 2 weeks on something that you are passionate about. Furthermore, the SSCs offer us a chance to carry out research that could be published.

 

I really enjoy having listening back to recorded lectures and working through clinical scenario questions; however, not all the lectures are recorded and the clinical scenario teaching starts in third year. Our year of medical students has given feedback on this to the Medical school and it will be applied to future years through a newly transformed curriculum for freshers. "

 

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

 

"My advice would be to read more about the curriculum and see whether the style of teaching is something that will suit you. Also, try to talk to your seniors as early as possible; they will offer you plenty of useful advice."

 

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

 

"Be super confident in the interviews and practice, practice, practice interviewing skills! Now that the interviews are in the MMI format, it has never been more important to be aware of what is expected of you, read practice books for MMI interviews and try to attend a course for medical school interviews (as extra practice!). Try to concentrate on developing good English communication skills throughout your work experiences."

 

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