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!
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 mixed woman who went to a grammar or non-selective state school.
Course: Standard undergraduate
In person panel interview with group task
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Before I made my application…
Choosing to study medicine
When did you decide to apply to medicine?
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
I didn’t want to do the BMAT, so excluded those universities and then chose them related to my UKCAT score.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care)
How much work experience did you do?
I did 1 week at a children’s hospital and I volunteered for 2 weeks at a blind school in Africa
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
My parents helped.
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?
Mainly using a book with UKCAT questions in it.
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?
My sixth form did ‘interview club’ where they went through our personal statements and asked us questions which may come up. We also had two doctors come in and do a mock interview and an academic from Oxford, who conducts medical interviews and talked us though how she does them.
I then used online resources like The Student Room NHS website
What happened during your interview?
For the group part we had an example of a case and asked to discuss the impact of this with everyone. For the panel interview they mainly spoke about personal statement and questions related why medicine suits you
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.
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.
School clubs: Sometimes, schools may run specific groups, clubs or ‘societies’ to help prospective medical applicants prepare their application. Don’t worry if your school doesn’t offer this, there are plenty of other ways to prepare for your application. Ask your teachers if you might be able to set up a club with students from nearby schools, or if not, there are lots of resources available for free online to help you out instead!
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.
Online forums: Online forums can be great spaces to find advice and first-hand knowledge, but remember that it may not always be the most trustworthy source of information. Take what you read with a pinch of salt.