This student applied in the 2022/23 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!
Course: Standard Undergraduate
In-person panel interview, with group task
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Official UCAT website
YouTube videos about UCAT
Before I made my application…
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (paid), Online work experience
How much work experience did you do?
I spent a week on a hospital ward, and complemented this with some online work experience.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement.
During the application process…
What admissions test did you sit?
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT): https://www.ucat.ac.uk/
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
I first started off by watching YouTube videos of the different types of questions, and researched the most effective way of tackling these, to ensure I had a strategy. I then did as much practice as possible using online question banks.
What resources did you use?
- Past papers from UCAT website
- Universities’ guidance on UCAT
- Free online resources
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 bullet-pointed some key ideas for common questions such as why I wanted to study medicine. As well as this, I made sure to keep up to date with current news relating to the NHS, and did some reading around ethics.
What happened in your interview?
For the interview, there was a really nice environment, and we had to opportunity to chat to student ambassadors and other applicants before our interview. The interviewers were very friendly and really tried to get to know you as a person, and bring out the best in you. My main tip is to just be yourself!
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. See our guide to this here:
YouTube: There are many current and recent medical students who create videos on YouTube about their experience and advice about applying. Remember that their experience is personal and individual, and may not reflect yours. They might provide some useful advice but remember that they might be advertising paid for services. Take their advice as part of a more holistic approach alongside moderated advice such as ours, and official advice from universities and test providers.
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.