This student applied in the 2018/19 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 entry
In-person panel interview with group task
Admissions Tests: UCAT, BMAT
Top tip: Be proactive, ask people in Medicine for advice and they will likely be more than happy to share and help you out. The worst thing that can happen is people can say no.
Before I made my application…
Choosing to study medicine
When did you decide to apply to medical school? Ever since I was a kid I thought I wanted to do Medicine, but it wasn’t until I actually had some work experience in a clinical environment where I realised it was actually what I wanted to do, and that was solidified the more and more I went through the course.
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
The vibe of the university and if I felt this was the right fit for me.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery
How much work experience did you do?
I had about 4 days in a GP practice, 3 days in general surgery in a hospital, and 1 day in radiology.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
I ended up just emailing consultant secretaries and asking GP practices if they would be happy to take me.
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?
Mainly by practicing with 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 read all the information that the medical school had provided me, read up on the NHS values which turned out helpful in the interview process, and I asked teachers at my old Sixth Form if they could help me with practicing interviews.
What happened in your interview?
I discussed general things about my personal statement, reasons why I wanted to go to that university (e.g., talking about my hobbies), and questions checking my interest into Medicine (like books I had read about).
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.
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
Mock interviews: Don’t worry if you didn’t have this opportunity. Interviews are designed to take into account that not everyone has the same level of preparation. See our guides and blogs on interviews to find out more about free online resources.
Support networks: Don’t worry if you don’t know people like this. Most students don’t have friends who have already been through the process or healthcare professionals that they know who might be able to support them. You can meet current medical students to speak to at open days, or via free mentoring schemes, but it’s not a requirement for you to be successful.
Insiders: 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.