Medical School Application Guide

 

University of Nottingham

 

University of Nottingham

 

The University of Nottingham is noted for many ground-breaking achievements in medical research in the past two centuries, including their Cochlear Implant Programme which provided the first cochlear implant to a child in the UK, and of course, Sir Peter Mansfield’s application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnostic medicine. This is reflected in their undergraduate course structures, in which each undergraduate medical student undertakes a research project as part of their medical degree to gain an additional Bachelor of Medical Science degree. The medical school is also committed to widening participation and the 6-year programme is specifically aimed towards applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds. Both the graduate and undergraduate programmes involve early patient contact. Anatomy is taught via full-body dissection. Final examinations are taken prior to Foundation assistantships and clinical electives, which allows students to focus on getting the maximum practical value from these experiential clinical placements. If you elect to study Medicine at the University of Nottingham you will be joining 265 students on the undergraduate courses, and 87 on the 4-year graduate course, in a medical school ranked among the top 100 in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015.

 

The Medical School Application Guide

At a Glance

Courses available

4 to 6-year programme

  Undergraduate Applicants Graduate Applicants
  5-year 6-year* 4-year 5-year
No. of places 240 25 90 240
Degree N/A N/A 2:2 and above 2:1 and above
GCSEs 6As 5Bs None 6As
A levels AAA BBC None AAA
Exam UKCAT UKCAT GAMSAT UKCAT
Interview MMI MMI MMI MMI
Work experience Essential Essential Highly important Essential
*Note that the 6-year undergraduate programme is aimed towards applicants living in disadvantaged areas within the UK

 

 

PROGRAMMES

 

Graduate applicants can apply to either a 4-year graduate-only programme, or to the 5-year programme which is also open to undergraduate students.

 

The 4-year graduate fast-track programme is particularly appealing for graduates who may perhaps not have done as well at GCSE or A level but have achieved high GAMSAT scores. The initial 18 months of the 4-year programme are spent at a purpose-built facility at the Royal Derby Hospital and the essentials of anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology and clinical skills are learned through lectures and problem-based learning. Students then enter a 17 week clinical practice course and the two remaining years involve getting experience in hospital in the different medical specialities, not unlike the 5-year course.

 

Applicants to the 5-year programme can expect their initial two years to gain a firm grounding in the following four themes - cellular/molecular aspects of Medicine; human structure and function; healthcare in the community; and early clinical and professional development. In their 3rd year of the 5-year programme students undertake a research project and gain an additional degree (BMedSci).From the 3rd year of the 5-year programme onwards, there is an emphasis on clinical exposure and the majority of training takes place within the hospital environment. Early clinical experience is common to both the 4-year and the 5-year programmes. Unlike the 5-year programme, a research project is not incorporated into the 4-year programme, so there is no opportunity to gain a BMedSci during this degree.

 

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY

 

Degree and A levels

 

The 4-year programme require at least a 2:2 degree in any discipline. Postgraduate degrees, such as Master’s degrees or PhDs are also accepted in lieu of a first degree, if predicted to be obtained by 1st August of the year of entry to the programme. There are no A level requirements to be eligible to apply to this course. The majority of weight is given to the GAMSAT scores.

 

The 5-year programme require at least a 2:1 degree in a science discipline and AAA at A level to include Biology, Chemistry and one other subject (not including General Studies or Critical Thinking).

 

GCSEs

 

The 4-year programme has no minimum GCSE criteria.

 

The 5-year programme are expected to have 6As at GCSE, including the sciences and at least a B in Mathematics and English Language.

 

IB

 

The 4-year programme has no minimum IB criteria.

 

The 5-year programme requires AAA at A level but as A level and IB results can vary in comparison to each other, it is best to contact the medical school directly to check if you IB results are above the required threshold. For undergraduates applying to the same course, a minimum score of 36 is required, with 6,6,6 at higher level, including Biology and Chemistry.

 

Admissions Exam

 

For the 4-year programme the GAMSAT is required. It is valid for 2 years and is sat in September in the UK.

 

For the 5-year programme the UKCAT is required, which is valid for 1 year and can be sat between July and October.

 

Access to Medicine courses

 

Not accepted

 

International Students

 

The 4-year programme is not open to international students, unless they have been resident for at least 3 years prior to the course start date (not in full-time education during these 3 years) and have, or will have, indefinite leave to remain in UK by the 1st September of the year they plan to start the course.

 

The 5-year programme has up to 25 spaces allocated for international students not normally resident in the UK. If English is not your first language, the university requires IELTS 7.5 (no less than 7.0 in any element), or the TOEFL with iBT 109 and no less than 22 in any element.

 

If you are applying as an overseas student and have not taken the IB or A levels, 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 Nottingham’s medical school.

 

Policy on Re-applicants

 

For the 4-year programme re-application is possible up to a maximum of two interview cycles (that is, after two completed interviews a candidate cannot reapply for a third interview).

 

For the 5-year programme re-application is possible, provided that you did not previously have an interview for Nottingham medical school.

 

Policy on Deferrals

 

As a general rule, for the 4-year fast-track programme there is not an option for deferred entry, but this would be considered in extenuating circumstances such as unforeseen health issues. It is not endorsed for those solely wishing to build on their work/voluntary experience, but if an applicant has a really exceptional opportunity such as working with the Voluntary Service Abroad, or an international health charity, then deferral may be considered.

 

For the 5-year programme, proposed gap years may be considered if the applicant has planned a constructive use of their time – it is best to contact the medical school directly if you are considering requesting a deferral.

 

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 .

•Degree and secondary education certificates may be requested

•For the 4-year programme candidates who are invited to interview will be sent an online questionnaire, relating mainly to their work experience

 

SELECTION PROCESS AND INTERVIEW

 

Selection Process

 

The 4-year programme places a lot of emphasis on the GAMSAT results when they are selecting applicants for interview. The reasoning behind this is to widen participation and to avoid unnecessary exclusion from the course on the sole basis of A level/GCSE results, as many people come into their academic stride after their school years. The GAMSAT assesses written communication and reasoning in both the humanities and the sciences. To be eligible for a place on the 4-year programme, the candidate must score a minimum of 55 in section 2, 55 in one of sections 1 or3 and 50 in the remaining section. The University of Nottingham then takes an average of the three section scores (note that this figure is different to the figure that the GAMSAT body works out as the formulae are different) and those with the highest GAMSAT scores will be invited for interview. The cut-off scores vary each year, but if a candidate has a 2:2 degree rather than a 2:1 or a First, the cut-off score is generally 5 points higher. For 2016 entry the cut-off GAMSAT score was 60 for applicants with a 2:1 or above, and 65 for applicants with a 2:2. Note that the online questionnaire about work experience is also crucial here, as even if a candidate has a high GAMSAT score, if they do not have adequate work/voluntary experience in a healthcare setting, they are unlikely to be invited for interview. Regular work/voluntary experience over several months is preferable to a concentrated burst of experience over a couple of weeks.

 

For the 5-year programme academic results will be viewed to ensure graduates meet the minimum requirements. The UKCAT results are then given a score of up to 30 and the top 50% of candidates scored will have their personal statements reviewed. The bottom 50% will not be considered further.A score of up to 9 points is awarded for each of the three cognitive components of the UKCAT (verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and abstract reasoning). To see this scoring process in detail please refer to this link: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/medicine/study/medicine/faq/a100-a108-scoring-system.aspx. The fourth component of the UKCAT, the situational judgement assessment, is scored from 0 – 4 points, depending on which band you fall into. Candidates in the lowest band in this section will not move on to interview stage, regardless of total UKCAT and academic score.

 

The personal statement is then scored based on the following:

 

• An understanding of the challenges of a medical career

• Motivation

• Commitment

• Voluntary experience

• Extracurricular activities

• School/College contribution

• Supporting evidence in reference

 

A maximum of 16 points is awarded based on the content of the personal statement and reference. This score is then added to the academic and UKCAT score and the top-scoring 700 applicants will be invited for interview.

 

Interview

 

The 4-year programme interview lasts around 1 hour and is in Mini Multiple Interview (MMI) format. The interviewers will be from a pool of medical professionals, university academics, allied health professionals and lay people with a background in human resources, education or management. Questions aim to assess the candidate’s realistic understanding of the role of a doctor, their interest in and commitment to medicine, their personal attributes which would suit them to becoming a doctor and their consideration of problem-based learning as applicable to their own learning style. Communication and listening skills will be assessed throughout.

 

The 5-year programme interview consists of eight 6 minute MMI stations, with 1 minute preparation time before each station (instructions for the station will be given during this time). Stations 1 and 5 will involve role play scenarios. Stations 2,3,4,6,7 and 8 involve answering questions based on the instructions or scenarios that are provided outside the station. A copy of the instructions or scenarios are also in the station for you to refer to during the assessment.

 

COMPETITION RATIOS

 

Up to 1000 applicants apply each year to the 4-year programme, but the odds of getting an interview are significantly increased for those who successfully sit the GAMSAT. Of these 250-300 are interviewed for the 90 places available.

 

In 2015 the university received 2500 applications for the 5-year programme, interviewed 700 candidates and made 450 offers for 240 places on the course.

 

RANKING

 

Medicine at the University of Nottingham is ranked 22nd in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2016.

 

It is ranked 19th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2016.

 

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

 

PROGRAMMES

 

Undergraduates can apply to a 5-year programme (A100) or a 6-year programme (A108) which includes a foundation year and is aimed primarily at UK students from disadvantaged backgrounds. 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 first two years of the 5-year programme follow four themes – cellular/molecular aspects of Medicine; human structure and function; healthcare in the community; and early clinical and professional development. From the 3rd year of the 5-year programme onwards, there is an emphasis on clinical exposure and the majority of training takes place within the hospital environment.

 

Both programmes result in the completion of two degrees: BMedSci (upon completion of a supervised research project in the 3rd year of the 5-year programme or the 4th year of the 6-year programme) and BMBS medical degree. There are different options for this research project, but alternative intercalated degrees in other fields, such as Psychology, are not offered. Occasionally candidates may be allowed to complete a master’s degree or a PhD in between completing their BMedSci and BMBS

 

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY

 

Circumstances eligible for application to the 6-year programme

 

To be eligible to apply to the 6-year programme candidates must meet at least one of the criteria from Group A plus any or more of the criteria in Group B.

 

Group A Group B

• You live in a disadvantaged area of the UK (a post code tool is used to assess this)

• You are, or have previously been, in local authority care/looked after (supporting letter from local authority required)

• You live in a household that is in receipt of means-tested benefits, showing that the total household income is no more than £35,000/year

• You are the soul carer of a parent or sibling (supporting letter from school required)

• You have Refugee Status in the UK (supporting letter from Home Office required)

 

A/AS levels and GCSEs

 

For the 5-year programme minimum of 6 As at first-sit GCSE/IGCSE are needed; these should include Biology, Chemistry and Physics, or Double Award/Triple Award Science. Note that an A in AS level Physics can compensate if a candidate has only achieved a B at GCSE Physics. Applicants must also have at least a B in English Language and Mathematics. GCSE short courses and BTEC/diplomas are not eligible. Offers are conditional on obtaining AAA including Biology, Chemistry and one other subject at A level. Critical Thinking and General Studies are not accepted as a third subject at A level. A fourth A level subject does not offer an advantage in the selection process. Both GCSEs and A levels must be studied over a 2 year period (an exception is made if your school has encouraged you to take an A level subject a year early and then another three A levels within the usual 2 year timeframe, but it is advisable to contact the admissions department about this directly). AS level grades do not form part of the selection process, but it is expected that candidates will have A or B grades at AS level. In terms of re-sits for A level, the university will accept up to one module re-sit per subject, so long as this happens within the 2 year period you are studying A levels. Re-sits are not considered after a subject has been certified.

For the 6-year programme a minimum of 5 Bs at first-sit GCSE/IGCSE are needed; these should include Biology, Chemistry and Physics, or Double Award/Triple Award Science, as well as Mathematics and English Language. GCSE short courses and BTEC/diplomas are not eligible. Offers are conditional on obtaining BBC including Biology, Chemistry and one other subject at A level. Critical Thinking and General Studies are not accepted as a third subject at A level. Both GCSEs and A levels must be studied over a 2 year period. The A level re-sit policy is the same as that for the 5-year programme above. If a candidate is eligible to apply for the 5-year programme on the basis of their GCSE grades and predicted A level results, he or she should apply to the 5-year programme; or if only one of GCSE/A level results meets the predicted criteria for the 5-year programme, the candidate must prove that they are attending a below average school to apply for the 6-year programme(in the past this has been defined by an average A level performance below 770 per candidate).Applicants who are attending or have attended a higher education institute are not eligible to apply for the 6-year programme.

Note that the Extended Project does not count towards academic eligibility for either programme.

 

IB

 

For the 5-year programme,a minimum score of 36 is required, with 6,6,6 at higher level, including Biology and Chemistry. The GCSE requirements are the same as above.

 

For the 6-year programme, a minimum score of 28 is required with at least 5 in both Biology and Chemistry at higher level. The GCSE requirements are the same as above.

 

Admissions Exam

 

The UKCAT is required for all applicants to the 5-year programme and 6-year programme. The test is only valid for one year.

 

Access to Medicine courses

 

Not accepted

 

International Students

 

Students from outside the EU who are not normally resident within the UK can apply to the 5-year programme and there are 25 places available for these applicants. If English is not your first language, the university requires IELTS 7.5 (no less than 7.0 in any element), or the TOEFL with iBT 109 and no less than 22 in any element. There are no spaces for overseas students not normally resident in the UK on the 6-year programme.

 

If you are applying as an overseas student and have not taken the IB or A levels, 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 Nottingham’s medical school.

 

Policy on Re-applicants

 

Re-application is possible for either programme, provided that you did not get to interview stage in the previous application

 

Policy on Deferrals

 

Students who wish to take a gap year prior to commencing the medical programme can be considered for deferred entry. The university expects that this gap year will be used constructively.

 

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.

• Secondary school examination certificates may be requested.

 

SELECTION PROCESS AND INTERVIEW

 

Selection Process

 

To get to interview stage, applicants are scored on their GCSEs/equivalent academics, UKCAT scores and personal statements. Candidates who score highly enough to get to the interview stage will then be considered for a place at the medical school, solely based on their performance at interview.

 

For the 5-year programme, the top 8 GCSE/IGCSEs (to include the sciences, English Language and Mathematics, as above) are scored based on 2 points for each A* obtained and 1 point for each A obtained. A maximum of 16 points is scored based on GCSE results/equivalent academic qualifications. The UKCAT is highly weighted in the selection process. It is divided up into its four component parts and a score of up to 9 points is awarded for each of the three cognitive components (verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and abstract reasoning), depending on your mark in each section. The fourth component, the situational judgement assessment, is scored from 0 – 4 points, depending on which band you fall into. Candidates in the lowest band in this section will not move on to interview stage, regardless of total UKCAT and academic score. A maximum of 30 points can be scored for the UKCAT. Please see the following link for further details on this scoring system: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/medicine/study/medicine/faq/a100-a108-scoring-system.aspx. The UKCAT score and the GCSE/equivalent academic score are then totalled and the top 50% of candidates will then have their personal statements considered. The bottom 50% will not be considered further.

 

The personal statement is then scored based on the following:

 

• An understanding of the challenges of a medical career

• Motivation

• Commitment

• Voluntary experience

• Extracurricular activities

• School/College contribution

• Supporting evidence in reference

 

A maximum of 16 points is awarded based on the content of the personal statement and reference. This score is then added to the academic and UKCAT score and the top-scoring 700 applicants will be invited for interview.

 

For the 6-year programme, the top 6 GCSE/IGCSEs (to include the sciences, English Language and Mathematics as above) or equivalent are awarded points to give an academic score. 3 points are awarded for an A*; 2 points for an A; and 1 point for a B. This score is then added to the UKCAT score (which is calculated in the same way as it is for those applying to the 5-year programme, see above), and the top 50% of applicants will then have their personal statement considered. The bottom 50% will not be considered further. The personal statement is evaluated in the same way as for the 5-year programme. This score is then added to the academic and UKCAT score and the top-scoring 700 applicants will be invited for interview.

 

Interview

 

The interview for both the 5-year programme and the 6-year programme take the same format, namely eight 6 minute mini multiple interview (MMI) stations, with 1 minute preparation time before each station (instructions for the station will be given during this time). Stations 1 and 5 will involve role play scenarios. Stations 2,3,4,6,7 and 8 involve answering questions based on the instructions or scenarios that are provided outside the station. A copy of the instructions or scenarios are also in the station for you to refer to during the assessment.

 

COMPETITION RATIOS

 

In 2015 the university received 2500 applications for the 5-year programme, interviewed 700 candidates and made 450 offers for 240 places on the course. 450 applicants applied to the 6-year programme, 150 of whom were invited for interview and 40 offers were made for 25 places on the course.

 

RANKING

 

Medicine at the University of Nottingham is ranked 22nd in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2016.

 

It is ranked 19th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2016.

 

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

 

Anonymous student - 2016

 

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

 

"All hospitals are at a reasonable distance that is commutable (except Lincoln but they give you free accommodation). Another great thing is that in final year, finals are in February, which means that for those who fail, they have another go at it before the jobs start instead of losing a whole year. I also loved having my electives after finals rather than the year before like some other universities do, as it felt more like a holiday that way. Finally, staff is very approachable for special circumstances. Nottingham is cheap to live in and has lots to offer."

 

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

 

"Like many other medical schools, feedback from the university on our exams is not so great. The most annoying thing was always finding out late about the next placements, exams, etc. Very late actually. I believe they are improving on this though. For those who do the Graduate Entry course, the exams in first and second year include essays. Even with a lot of revision, it felt for many colleagues that the assessments were hard and the grades you got did not reflect what you knew because of the way the essay questions were marked. Questions were not always clear, and it led to a lot frustration."

 

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

 

"Quite a few people failed the summative exams at the end of year 1 of the Graduate Entry course, which got them kicked out of medical school. The structure of the course (PBL) relies on self-directed learning so make sure you start studying early. Nottingham is a very nice student town to live in and the course is well structured. It is a lot cheaper to be in the midlands rather than London as a student and I would consider this when you choose where to apply. Also, make an effort to meet students from the years above you, as they are your best help and source of information as to what to expect and how to prepare for coming exams."

 

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

 

"The medical school has just changed their interview format to a multiple mini interviews (MMI), which will consist of 6 stations consisting of a variety of tasks from ethical discussions to a role play. When it comes to sitting the MMI, remember to make sure that you clearly know what is asked of you and when that station finishes, to just move on, forget what’s happened and focus on the next task. It’s also important to be yourself during the interview, as they really just want to get to know what you’re like as a person!"

 

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