Application to University of Southampton in 2019/20

This student applied in the 2019/20 application cycle and therefore the selection process at Southampton may have changed since then. You should read all the information a University sends you about the selection process to get the most up to date details!

Remember to check out the glossary at the bottom of the page for our explanations of all the jargon we medical students like to use!

More about this student

Sometimes students share information with us about their demographics, which may help put their application experience into a bit more perspective.

This student identifies as a White British woman, and they attended a comprehensive school in the UK that does regularly send pupils to study medicine.

Our Summary
Course: Standard undergraduate

In-person panel interview with group task

Admissions Tests: UCAT

Top tip: Don’t lose hope if you feel the interview isn’t going your way – you’ve done so well to get to this point and this is likely to be your first experience of interviews. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you deserve to be there.

Before I made my application…

Choosing to study medicine

When did you decide to apply to medical school? In 2017

How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Open days, and only selected UCAT requiring courses as I didn’t think I would get in for BMAT.

Completing work experience

What types of work experience did you do?
Care work (e.g. in residential care)

How much work experience did you do?
I managed to do 1 day of GP work experience but only after I’d had 2 interviews (which I got an offer from both unis), the only work experience I had before these was volunteering in a care home for young people with learning difficulties. I found that my lack of work experience didn’t hold me back, as unfortunately within medicine it can be a case of who you know! Make an effort to apply to do work experience in lots of places as you can mention this in your interview, and then focus on why you’ve managed to gain an understanding of what medicine entails through other means (reading books, news articles etc).

How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through asking someone I knew to take me on

During the application process…

Admissions tests

What admissions test did you sit?
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT):

How did you prepare for your admissions test?
2 weeks of revision was all I did – I found this short timeframe kept me motivated and made me study hard for the exam without wasting any time.


What type of interview did you do?
Panel: This type of interview is a ‘traditional’ sit down interview where you’ll be interviewed by a group of people, usually academic tutors and doctors. This differs from an MMI interview, which is based around ‘stations’ which have themes or scenarios attached to them.

Group task: At Southampton, most interviews have a group task, where multiple candidates are interviewed together. 

How did you prepare for your interview?
I utilised Medic Portal to get an idea of what kind of question I might be asked. I was fortunate enough to have some friends who didn’t mind practicing answering these questions with me and I would make flash cards to remember the key points I wanted to bring up during my interview. Having a strong answer for why you want to study medicine is crucial as you will be most likely asked this in ever interview! Another important point is to consider the values of the NHS (as this is where you will most likely be working!) and/or what you would like to change within it or how you think you’re suited to work within a healthcare environment. 

What happened in your interview?
My interview consisted of a panel with two interviewers, and I sat across the table from them.  Having a panel interview allowed me to build a rapport as I answered questions. After the panel interview we moved on to a group task which included discussing a topic with around 8-10 other students. 


Clinical work experience: Not every student will complete clinical work experience before they apply to medical school. Don’t worry, this is not required to be able to apply. You can use non-clinical work experience (e.g. a caring role, like in a care home) or even reflect on paid work you’ve done (e.g. in customer service) in a productive way.

The Medic Portal: The Medic Portal is a popular website that provides resources to help you prepare your medicine application. The Medic Portal has some free resources online but some are paid-for. There are good, free alternatives for preparation available online, so check out our guides and the university websites for details.

Support networks: While not every student will have a support network to help them prepare, there are plenty of other ways to prepare for your admissions tests and interviews, such as through free online resources, like on our website.

NHS Values: The NHS Values guide healthcare education and careers. It’s important to know and understand these values to help you be as successful as possible in your application. They can help you answer questions in your interview, or guide what you write about in your personal statement. Find out more here: NHS Values

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