This student applied in the 2018/19application 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 doesn’t regularly send students to study medicine.
Course: Graduate entry
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?
In my final year of undergraduate neuroscience degree and following graduation from that course.
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Which universities offered the 4 year graduate course, required the UKCAT (now UCAT), and I met their entry requirements for. I didn’t utilise my 5th non-medical choice as I had already completed a life sciences degree.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (paid)
How much work experience did you do?
I did a 3 day work experience placement at my local hospital.
I volunteered with the dementia team at my local hospital.
I volunteered with the relief care group at my local day centre for the dementia group.
I worked as a HCA in a community rehab hospital for 6 months.
I worked as a HCA in theatres at my local hospital for 3 years.
I joined St John’s ambulance in my undergraduate degree.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement
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 did as many practice tests and questions as possible. I actually applied in 3 cycles, and completing the test three times was probably the best preparation!
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 used an MMI course before my interview. I spoke to people at other interviews on how they were preparing. I used The Student Room to find out about previous interview candidates and their advice/tips. I read up on the NHS values, the values of UoS, how Southampton structure their course and matched my personal statement to their values. I used friends and family to do mock interviews. I tried to keep up to date on current affairs and hot ethical/medical topics in the news.
What happened during your interview?
My interviewers used my personal statement to structure a lot of their questions. I initially felt very anxious but they were very understanding and gave me time to relax into it.
I had the group task which was well explained and felt like everyone was given the opportunity to get involved.
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.
Graduate entry medicine: a pathway into medicine for students who have already received an undergraduate/Bachelors degree. Some universities require this previous degree to be related to medicine (E.g. Biomedical sciences or in another science) while others don’t. Graduate entry to medicine is available at less universities and is much more competitive, but is a good option if you don’t get into medicine straight from school, or only decide you want to be a doctor after you’ve already received your degree, or later on in your career.
Paid-for courses: 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.
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.
NHS Values: The NHS Values guide healthcare education and careers. It’s important to know and understand these values to help you be as successful as possible in your application. They can help you answer questions in your interview, or guide what you write about in your personal statement. Find out more here: NHS Values
Support networks: While not every student will have a support network to help them prepare, there are plenty of other ways to prepare for your admissions tests and interviews, such as through free online resources, like on our website.