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 man, and they attended a comprehensive school in the UK that doesn’t regularly send pupils to study medicine. They received free school meals at school.

Our Summary
Course: Standard undergraduate

In-person panel interview with group task

Admissions Tests: UCAT

Before I made my application…

Choosing to study medicine

When did you decide to apply to medical school? Around 14/15 years old

How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Locality and what the city was like.

Completing work experience

What types of work experience did you do?
Care work (e.g. in residential care), Other healthcare setting e.g pharmacy, physiotherapy, Customer service role (paid)

How much work experience did you do?
I volunteered in a care home for 1.5 years, one evening a week.
I had a part time job at a pharmacy for 2.5 years, where I worked on average 6 hours a week
I also worked in a shop for half a year as a customer assistant

How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement

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?
I actually received very little support from my college and was not aware until quite late that this test (UCAT) was needed. So I had very little time to prepare, I used a free online question bank for ~2 weeks before the test.


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 learnt about the university, and what the course structure was like. I wanted to make sure I knew the course inside out.
I also googled common interview questions and practiced answering them, so I had modelled answers for a lot of questions.
I made sure I had read some articles surrounding new medical treatments/advancements so I was able to talk about something relevant. A previous interview at Exeter had asked me about a paper I recently read and I struggled to answer – so in preparation for a Southampton interview I made sure I had done some wider reading.

What happened in your interview?
The panel interview had questions surrounding my personal statement and what things I had learnt from my experiences. It lasted around 20 minutes.
The group discussion lasted around 30 mins and we had to discuss controversial subjects.


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.

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