This student applied in the 2020/21 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 who went to a comprehensive school in the UK that doesn’t regularly send students to medical school.
Course: Standard undergraduate entry
Online MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Before I made my application…
Choosing to apply
When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
Since being a child
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I didn’t use my 5th choice. I chose unis that had very integrated style courses and tried to pick ones with dissection rather than prosection. I also picked on whether I could actually imagine myself living there for a minimum of 5 years because this is the reality if you get in. I applied to unis that valued people skills and practicality but still relatively high UCAT scores.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
GP surgery, Customer service role (paid), Online work experience
How much work experience did you do?
I had worked in retail and hospitality for over a year at the time of application and also did over 30 hours volunteering in a GP practice through COVID. I also did Brighton’s online GP work experience.
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?
Try and get a good grasp of what was going to be included by going through examples in a book slowly and then just lots of practice online resources.
What type of interview did you do?
MMI: Multiple Mini Interview. This type of interview usually includes several short interviews or ‘stations’ which may involve different types of questions and scenarios. This is different compared to a panel interview, which may cover the same scenarios/types of questions but be a more ‘traditional’ sit-down interview.
How did you prepare for your interview?
I read the information Keele had provided and prepared for ethics ‘hot topics’ using Medic Portal website which was very useful for all 3 of my interviews. I had a mock interview with a doctor online and researched about what made the course at Keele unique. I also prepared for questions about why I wanted to study here specifically with regards to what was offered by the uni as a whole eg the SU, close campus community and also the local area. Attempted to apply the 4 pillars of medical ethics to scenarios.
What happened during your interview?
I had one station with an actor where we had to show sympathy. I had questions unrelated to medicine which assess your logical thinking and explaining. Also some ethical questions where there was a need to provide some balance in your argument. These were in addition to the classic questions relating to what made you want to study medicine.
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).
Dissection: Some universities use (full-body) dissection as a teaching method. This is when you personally get to dissect and be involved in the removal and looking at certain aspects of the body. Some students like the idea of this, while others don’t. This might inform where you choose to apply to medical school, so check out the universities you’re considering to see whether this is part of their teaching style.
Prosection: Prosection is different to dissection as a teaching method, because the students don’t personally perform the dissection (it is usually done by a clinician). This means while you can still take a look inside, you won’t personally be completing the ‘digging’ (for want of a better phrase!)
Brighton and Sussex Online Work Experience: This is a free ‘virtual’ work experience course that explores different roles within the NHS as well as six medical specialties. It also consider some of the challenges and wider issues doctors face. Find out more here.
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.
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.
Mock interview: 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.
Four pillars of medical ethics: These four pillars guide ideas about medical ethics. Knowing and understanding them can help you prepare for your interview and how you answer questions. Four Pillars
Role Play: some interviews or interview stations may require you to engage in a bit of role play. You might have to act out being in a scenario where you might have to deliver bad news or a clinical decision.