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 white woman who went to a comprehensive school that does regularly send students to medical 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?
When I was in secondary school.
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
I looked at universities which didn’t focus on GCSE that much as my results weren’t the best. I also looked at location in terms of my home address. Following on, I looked at whether it was lecture based or PBL.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (voluntary)
How much work experience did you do?
I did voluntary work every week at a care home and primary school whilst in 6th form. My mum used to work in the NHS so I was able to do two days of shadowing in hospital. I was also able to contact a local GP to allow me to shadow staff for around a week.
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?
Mostly the book with 1000 UKCAT questions.
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 spent a lot of time researching how to answer medical school interviews. My college provided a booklet of potential medical school interview questions.
What happened during your interview?
I had 2 interviews, one MMI and one panel. In the MMI interview, this included a station on my personal statement. The stations I had included role playing, calculation stations and ethics stations.
For my panel interview, they mostly focused on my personal statement.
Problem-based learning: PBL is a teaching style that many universities use to teach their medical students. Usually, you will work to solve a problem, and this is how you learn about the solution, rather than being taught the solution first and then applying it.
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.
Insiders: 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.
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.
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.
Calculation: a station where you are asked to make a mathematical calculation.