Medical School Application Guide

 

University of Southampton

 

King’s College London

 

 

The University of Southampton is a really popular place to study Medicine, not least because of its beautiful location and mild climate (the mildest in the UK at least!). Situated by the coast and near New Forest National Park, it offers lots of opportunities for water sports and outdoor activities.

 

The medical school opened its doors in 1971, and from the beginning espoused the value of early patient contact and multi-disciplinary learning. As a medical student you will come into contact with allied healthcare students, such as nursing students and physiotherapy students. Four medical programmes are offered. The traditional 5-year programme is taught with a systems-based integrated approach and both graduates and undergraduates can apply. The second year also incorporates some interesting elements, such as a placement as a Healthcare Support Worker (very valuable for getting to know how the wards work on a day-to-day basis), student selected components in medical humanities and public health, as well as a research project. In your third year, you will undertake a research project alongside your clinical placements, which will earn you the extra degree; BMedSci. There is also an opportunity to take an integrated Master’s degree in one additional year. The 6-year programme offered includes a ‘Year 0’, which facilitates transition onto the 5-year programme, by looking at the structure and function of the human body, as well introducing students into healthcare Psychology and Sociology. It is aimed towards UK students from disadvantaged backgrounds, as part of the medical school’s widening participation initiative. On the 4-year graduate programme the initial 18 months are focused on small group learning in Graduate Groups, which is somewhat similar to problem-based learning. There are 2-3 clinical placements per week for these first 18 months, which is an impressive amount of early patient contact. The rest of the degree programme is akin to the clinical years on the usual 5-year undergraduate programme.

 

Home and EU students can also apply for a bilingual medical programme in English and German, which is divided between Southampton and Kassel Medical School in Germany. This partnership with the Kassel Medical School also means that students from other medical degree programmes can study for certain modules in Germany.

 

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 202 30 40 202
Degree N/A N/A 2:1 2:1
GCSEs 7As 5Cs Min. C English, Maths, Science Min. C English, Maths, Science
A levels AAAa BBC C in Chemistry  
Exam UKCAT UKCAT UKCAT UKCAT
Interview Panel Panel Panel Panel
Work experience Desirable Desirable Desirable Desirable
   

 

 

PROGRAMMES

 

Undergraduates can apply to the 5-year programme, the 6-year programme, or the bilingual 5-year programme (between Germany and Southampton).

 

Note that for the 6-year programme there are certain criteria candidates must fulfil to be eligible for this course (see below – Widening Participation).

 

Note also for the bilingual programme, candidates must speak English and German fluently. If German is not your native language, the university requires a German language test regarding to

Gemeinsamen Europäischen Referenzrahmen für Sprache (GER).

They prefer successful completion of the

Test für Deutsch als Fremdsprache

(TestDaF). The minimum requirement is a level of “TDN 4” or successful completion of the “B1 Zertifikat des Goethe-Instituts”. For those applicants, in whom English is not their first language, the IELTS (academic) to level 7.0 is accepted as proof of proficiency.

 

Each programme results in a BMBS and a BMedSci, and there is the option to complete an integrated Master’s degree.

 

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY

 

A/AS levels and GCSEs

 

The typical offer for the 5-year programme is AAAa, to include A level Biology and Chemistry. An A in the Extended Project Qualification can compensate if a candidate does not have an A in a fourth AS subject. Note that General Studies and Critical Thinking are not acceptable as part of the A level offer, and subjects which overlap, such as Physical Education and Human Biology will only count as one A level. A levels should be taken within the standard two years and at one sitting.

 

Candidates should have a minimum of 7 GCSEs to grade A, to include English, Mathematics and Double Award Science (or equivalent).

 

Note that mature learners without a primary degree can apply to the 5-year programme with AAA at A level, or AA at A level (if you are offering a non-degree nursing qualification). A level subjects must include Chemistry and Biology, and mature applicants are also required to have a minimum of C in their GCSE English, Mathematics and Double Award Science (or equivalent). Note that mature learners who have had to retake any A levels, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

For the 6-year programme, the typical A level offer is BBC, to include A level Biology and Chemistry. Note that General Studies and Critical Thinking are not acceptable as part of the A level offer, and subjects which overlap, such as Physical Education and Human Biology will only count as one A level. There is a minimum of 5 Cs at GCSE, to include English, Mathematics and Double Award Science (or equivalent).

 

For the 5-year bilingual programme, if you are offering the German Abitur the university requires an average overall mark of 1.6. Chemistry must be included as a main subject and passed with at least good results over the last two years (mark 2, 11 points, or similar). Chemistry should be taken until at least 10th grade (G8) or 11th grade (G9) and passed with at least good results (mark 2).

 

IB

 

You should have 36 points overall with a total of 18 points at Higher Level. Chemistry and Biology should be offered to at least grade 6 at Higher Level.

 

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.

 

For the 5-year bilingual programme, candidates must register for the Test for Medical Studies (TMS) which takes place between April and mid-May; registration is from December until mid-January. If you have missed the deadline for registration, you can still apply to this course, but candidates who have sat the test will be considered first.

 

Access to Medicine courses

 

Certain Access courses are acceptable with an appropriate science content. Applicants are advised to contact the university directly to check if their course is acceptable. 60 credits are required with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3 (or equivalent), of which at least 30 level 3 credits must be at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits must be at a minimum of Merit.

 

Widening Participation

 

The 6-year programme is aimed towards students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who often have unequal barriers in applying to Medicine. To be eligible to apply to this course, you must meet three of the following criteria:

 

  • First generation applicant to higher education
  • Parents, guardian or self in receipt of a means-tested benefit
  • Young people looked after by a Local Authority
  • In receipt of a 16-19 bursary or similar grant
  • In receipt of free school meals at any point in Years 10-13
  • Living in an area with a postcode which falls within the lowest 20 per cent of the Index of Multiple Deprivation (authenticated by the University), or a member of a travelling family

 

International Students

 

International students may apply to the 5-year programme (roughly 18 places available). International students cannot apply to the 6-year programme, and non-EU students cannot apply to the 5-year bilingual programme. For those applicants, in whom English is not their first language, the IELTS to level 7.0 (with 7.0 in each component) is accepted as proof of proficiency.

 

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 Southampton.

 

Policy on Deferrals

 

Applicants considering a gap year may apply for deferred entry. As with most other medical schools, it is a good idea to have a plan for a constructive use of your gap year.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Application Deadlines

 

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

 

Applicants interested in the 5-year bilingual programme should download the application form from the Kassel School of Medicine website: http://www.klinikum-kassel.de/index.php?parent=8338 (receipt deadline: 20th June 2016).

 

Application Documents

 

    • Completed UCAS application form
    • If you are applying to the 6-year programme, you will need to complete an eligibility form. Further information can be found at: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/medicine/undergraduate/courses/bm6_a102.page?#entry
    • Applicants to the 5-year bilingual programme will need to download their application from the Kassel School of Medicine website, and will also need to fill out a letter of motivation, like a personal statement, looking particularly at the following criteria:

• self -motivation and resilience

• reflection on and learning from life experiences (this may include, work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings)

• able to interact successfully with others

• can demonstrate an understanding of the values of the NHS constitution

 

SELECTION PROCESS AND INTERVIEW

 

Selection Process

 

For the 5-year programme, candidates are initially ranked by their UKCAT score (the cut-off changes each year, depending on the results of the pool of applicants that year, but in recent years this has been around 2500). Their applications are then screened to ensure they meet the academic criteria. The following non-academic criteria is also considered before inviting candidates to interview:

 

• self -motivation and resilience

• reflection on and learning from life experiences (this may include, work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings)

• can communicate effectively

• able to interact successfully with others

• can demonstrate an understanding of the values of the NHS constitution

 

Candidates who are invited to the selection days, will be made offers based on their performances that day.

 

For the 6-year programme, although applicants have to sit the UKCAT, they are initially considered for interview, based on meeting the academic and eligibility criteria, as well as the non-academic criteria (listed above). If the number meeting the criteria exceeds Selection Day places, applicants are reviewed again by the Programme Lead and/or Recruitment and Admissions Team. Candidates who are invited to the selection days, will be made offers based on their performances that day.

 

For the 5-year bilingual programme, academic criteria, non-academic criteria and the results of the TMS exam are also considered when choosing applicants to invite to the selection day. Note that you will be expected to complete 8 full weeks of work experience prior to commencing the course.

 

Interview

 

Each programme has a panel interview and a group task during the selection days. The 5-year bilingual programme also has a written assignment. Past interview questions have included:

 

1. What did you learn/how were you affected by this experience (referring to an experience described in the personal statement)?

2. How did you arrange this work experience?

3. Questions on extra-curricular activities that you do now/have done and anything you hope to continue carrying on during university.

4. Can you talk to us about a medically-related book or article that you read recently? Then further questions on that book/topic.

5. What did you learn about yourself by volunteering? How much time do you spend volunteering on that placement?

6. Why would you like to study at Southampton?

 

As you can see, the questions are very much geared towards reflection and what you have learned, rather than just a list of activities/qualities. The group task lasts approximately 30 minutes and is composed of 8 candidates in total. In a previous year, candidates were presented with an ethical issue summarized on a piece of paper and instructions. 2 assessors were in the room. One ethical scenario used was on the Welsh Organ Donation system. Candidates were instructed to think of the pros and cons of organ donation; given about 2 minutes to think in silence; and then discuss this among themselves. At the end of the task, each candidate was given the opportunity to summarise their personal conclusion regarding the issue.

 

COMPETITION RATIOS

 

For the 5-year programme, there are 202 spaces available and approximately 16 candidates apply per space.

 

For the 6-year programme, there are 30 spaces available and approximately 19 candidates apply per space.

 

For the 5-year bilingual programmespan>, there are 24 spaces available.

 

RANKINGS

 

Medicine at the University of Southampton is ranked 20th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2016.

 

It is ranked 31st in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2016 (but has increased to 22nd for 2017 entry).

 

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

 

PROGRAMMES

 

Graduates can apply to the tradition 5-year programme, or the 4-year programme. The 5-year programme results in the BMBS and a BMedSci, and offers the opportunity of completing an integrated Master’s degree. The 4-year fast-track programme for graduates results in the BMBS award.

 

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY

 

Degree and A levelss

 

For both programmes, applicants should have at least a 2:1 degree in any discipline. They should also have A level Chemistry at grade C or above (or if Chemistry not taken to A2 level, AS level Biology and Chemistry at grade C or above can compensate).

 

GCSEss

 

Graduates should have grade C in English, Mathematics and Double Award Science (or equivalent).

 

Admissions Exam

 

The UKCAT is required for all applicants. The test is only valid for one year.

 

Access to Medicine courses

 

Certain Access courses are acceptable with an appropriate science content. Applicants are advised to contact the university directly to check if their course is acceptable. 60 credits are required with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3 (or equivalent), of which at least 30 level 3 credits must be at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits must be at a minimum of Merit.

 

International Students

 

International students may only apply to the 5-year programme (roughly 18 spaces in total for international students). For those applicants, in whom English is not their first language, the IELTS to level 7.0 (with 7.0 in each component) is accepted as proof of proficiency.

 

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 Southampton.

 

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

 

SELECTION PROCESS AND INTERVIEW

 

Selection Process

 

For both programmes, candidates are initially ranked by their UKCAT score (the cut-off changes each year, depending on the results of the pool of applicants that year, but in recent years this has been around 2500). Their applications are then screened to ensure they meet the academic criteria. The following non-academic criteria is also considered before inviting candidates to interview:

 

• self -motivation and resilience

• reflection on and learning from life experiences (this may include, work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings)

• can communicate effectively

• able to interact successfully with others

• can demonstrate an understanding of the values of the NHS constitution

 

Candidates who are invited to the selection days, will be made offers based on their performances that day.

 

Interview

 

Each programme has a panel interview and a group task during the selection days. Past interview questions have included:

 

1. What did you learn/how were you affected by this experience (referring to an experience described in the personal statement)?

2. How did you arrange this work experience?

3. Questions on extra-curricular activities that you do now/have done and anything you hope to continue carrying on during university.

4. Can you talk to us about a medically-related book or article that you read recently? Then further questions on that book/topic.

5. What did you learn about yourself by volunteering? How much time do you spend volunteering on that placement?

6. Why would you like to study at Southampton?

 

As you can see, the questions are very much geared towards reflection and what you have learned, rather than just a list of activities/qualities. The group task lasts approximately 30 minutes and is composed of 8 candidates in total. In a previous year, candidates were presented with an ethical issue summarized on a piece of paper and instructions. 2 assessors were in the room. One ethical scenario used was on the Welsh Organ Donation system. Candidates were instructed to think of the pros and cons of organ donation; given about 2 minutes to think in silence; and then discuss this among themselves. At the end of the task, each candidate was given the opportunity to summarise their personal conclusion regarding the issue.

 

COMPETITION RATIOS

 

For the 5-year programme, there are 202 spaces available and approximately 16 candidates apply per space.

 

For the 4-year programme, there are 40 spaces available and approximately 45 candidates apply per space.

 

RANKINGS

 

Medicine at the University of Southampton is ranked 20th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2016.

 

It is ranked 31st in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2016 (but has increased to 22nd for 2017 entry).

 

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

 

Lydia Edge, year 3 student

 

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

 

"Southampton offers early clinical contact from as early as the second week of study. This allows you to constantly touch base with the reason you wanted to come to medical school and apply the theory to actual cases."

 

2. What's not so good? 

 

"Lectures are not always the best way to learn and we do tend to spend a lot of time in them at Southampton. If you don't like sitting and listening, then studying here probably isn't for you."

 

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

 

"Enjoy it and be curious. Make sure you keep on top of the things that you get taught but the more you explore concepts and relate it back to patient cases the better you will understand everything! "

 

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

 

"In your personal statement talk about things that might separate you from other applicants rather than just writing loads on the work experience that everyone will have done. Show your passion and enthusiasm at interview."

 

Ask Dr Jiva a question

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