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!
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 that doesn’t regularly send students to medical school.
Course: Standard undergraduate entry
In person panel interview with group task
Admissions Tests: UCAT, BMAT
Before I made my application…
Choosing to study medicine
When did you decide to apply to medicine?
Just before my GCSEs
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Based on their application process, location and whether I liked them when I visited
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Customer service role (paid)
How much work experience did you do?
I did 1 week in a hospital with a consultant and 6 months of weekly volunteering in my local hospital which has a student volunteer programme set up for people applying for medicine and other healthcare roles
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement, 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/
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?
I prepared far more for the UKCAT, mostly by doing practice questions online as I found this to be the most helpful. I was very underprepared for my BMAT and would recommend more preparation with online resources for this.
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 had a group of students at school who met at lunchtimes to discuss interview technique and different key medical topics. My school also invited a previous student back to talk to us about interview technique.
What happened during your interview?
The panel interview was mostly a discussion around my personal statement and my drive to study medicine. I got the impression this was intended to work out if you personally were the right sort of student to become a doctor. The group interview gave us a statement and article about that statement, not related to medicine at all and we discussed our opinions on it. This was (I assume) to watch how you communicated with other people
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.
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!
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.