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 man, and they attended a comprehensive school in the UK that doesn’t regularly send pupils to study medicine.
Course: Standard undergraduate
In-person panel interview with group task
Admissions Tests: UCAT, BMAT
Before I made my application…
Choosing to study medicine
When did you decide to apply to medical school? When I was 14/15
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Location, teaching style (integrated course structure), friends going to that uni
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery, Customer service role (voluntary), Customer service role (paid)
How much work experience did you do?
2 shifts in Emergency Department, 1 week in GP, part time work, voluntary first aider with St John Ambulance
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement, Through asking someone I knew to take me on
During the application process…
What admissions test did you sit?
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT): https://www.ucat.ac.uk/
Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT): Southampton doesn’t use the BMAT to select applicants and the BMAT won’t be used after the 2023 application cycle!
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
I spent a lot of time preparing for the test using online methods. Even revised in Kenya on my school trip!
What resources did you use?
Medify – really really useful. Very similar style questions to help me prepare.
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 used a book (can’t remember the name) of common medical school interview questions and example answers to understand what I needed to know for interview. Then I was able to research NHS values, current affairs, etc. I also used The Medic Portal for ideas and model answers to see what examiners were after.
What happened in your interview?
Personal statement discussion in a panel-style interview. It made me feel valued as the examiners had ready my statement before my interview and made notes on questions they would ask me. This was good as I could tailor interview answers to my own experiences rather than generic questions. The atmosphere was scary (as any interview is), made worse by being in a huge hall with a lot of noise (this was just one student’s experience!)
Integrated teaching: Most universities use an ‘integrated’ style of teaching where they teach the scientific topic alongside the clinical skills. This means when you learn about a specific aspect of the body, they will teach you all the science, and the clinical skills to go with it, rather than teaching you all the science first, and then giving you the opportunity to learn the clinical skills at a later date (traditional teaching).
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.
Medify: Medify is a popular website which provides resources for helping you prepare your medicine application. Medify has some free resources online but some are paid-for. There are good, free alternatives for preparation available online, so check out our subject guides and the university websites for details.
Books: Don’t worry if you’ve not been able to find this particular book or afford to pay for it. You might be able to find secondhand copies online which are usually much cheaper, or at your local library (sometimes, libraries will order in books that you’ve requested, so check out this as a possibility too!). Bear in mind that some books may become out of date, so make sure you check when they were published, and if any changes to the relevant admissions tests/interviews have been made since then.
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
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.