This student applied in the 2017/18 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
Any final advice?
There are many routes into medicine and many options available to you after you graduate!
Before I made my application…
Choosing to study medicine
When did you decide to apply to medicine?
I was interested in the sciences from a young age and also felt I was a ‘people person’ so applied to medicine to incorporate the two aspects.
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
According to my GCSE results and the experiences of other students.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (voluntary)
How much work experience did you do?
I did a couple days shadowing at a hospital and a few weekends volunteering in a charity shop. I also spent a couple of days visiting a care home and spending time with the residents.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
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/
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
I used an online paid resource and completed all the questions available to me and the mock papers a couple days before my exam. I also used the UKCAT question book and went through the majority of questions in that book before I sat my exam.
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 went online and looked at what was available at the medical school I applied to. I noted down all the opportunities I wanted to take so I could talk about this at my interview. I read through my personal statement and ensured I was able to talk about everything I wrote in more detail. I also attended a mock interview course run by other medical students and ensured I was up to date with the problems and developments of the NHS at the time.
What happened during your interview?
The atmosphere was friendly with student volunteers greeting us and talking to us about how the day was going to go. I felt relaxed going into my interview and group task. There were ethical dilemmas to be explored and I felt the questions were at a standard where I was able to answer them.
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.
Paid for resources: Some students choose to pay for courses either online or in person to help them prepare for admissions tests and interviews. There is no evidence that they give you an advantage. There are good, free alternatives for preparation for admissions tests and interviews, and some offer bursaries and discounts to students who come from low income families. Check out our guides and uni websites for more 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.
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.