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!
Course: Gateway year (BM6)
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?
During Yr 9/10 of school
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Admissions criteria, research opportunity for the medicine options. For my 5th option I knew people who had studied pharmacy at Cardiff and enjoyed their time there.
Completing work experience
How much work experience did you do?
3 weeks at a local GP.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement, Through a widening participation scheme
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?
Used online question banks, including a paid for resource. I also bought a book full of questions which were more difficult. I didn’t end up using the book so much.
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 read up on some topical ethical issues and weighed up the issues. I read through my personal statement to ensure I could explain what I wrote. I researched the uni societies to to show what interests me and how I could contribute towards the uni.
What happened during your interview?
We had a group interaction, discussing am ethical dilemma. Each person had an opportunity to speak although there was no formal order and you could sense the tension in the air with some people forcefully attempting to put their point across! (remember, this is just one student’s opinion!)
I felt rather relaxed, allowed others to speak first before forming my own view where I could agree with some of what had been said but also form some challenging points in contribution to the discussion.
I also had a panel interview with 2 academics. Here I ensured to act professional whilst still showcasing my personality! I enjoyed the experience and I believe they could see my passion with what I wrote in my personal statement and my optimism and hope for studying at the university.
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.
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.