Application to University of Southampton in 2018/19

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 fee-paying school.

Our Summary
Course: Standard undergraduate entry

In person panel interview with group task

Admissions Tests: UCAT

Top tip: Read the information the university provides in their prospectus about what they are looking for in a student to help guide what sorts of skills and anecdotes you’ll need to demonstrate in the interviews

Before I made my application…

Choosing to study medicine

When did you decide to apply to medicine?
16 years old after doing work experience at a hospital

How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Likelihood to get in with my low-ish UCAT score, closeness to home, how nice the area was, avoiding universities that seemed competitive in a toxic way

Completing work experience

What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery, Customer service role (paid)

How much work experience did you do?
I spent 2 days in a GP practice and a week at a hospital shadowing nurses and a consultant in an outpatients clinic. I also worked as a barista for 2 years.

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…

Admissions tests

What admissions test did you sit?
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT):

How did you prepare for your admissions test?
I attended a paid in person course with Kaplan and used their question book to revise. I also used questions on Medify.

What resources did you use?
Kaplan, Medify


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 the university website what core traits they looked for in applicants and tried to think of anecdotes from my life for how I fit those traits for the interview. I read up on recent science news and I practiced interview questions with my parents using the guides on Medic Portal.

What happened during your interview?
We had a group task where we discussed the pros and cons in a non- medical topic to demonstrate our critical thinking skills. It broke the ice a bit before the proper interview and it was nice to meet some of my future peers. Then we had an interview with 2 senior members of staff. This was the only interview I did where they asked explicit questions about my personal statement so I’m glad I knew what I was talking about and hadn’t forgotten what I wrote.


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 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. 

Medify: Medify is a popular website which provides resources for helping you prepare your medicine application. Medify has some free resources online but some are paid-for. There are good, free alternatives for preparation available online, so check out our subject guides and the university websites for details. 

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. 

The Medic Portal: The Medic Portal is a popular website that provides resources to help you prepare your medicine application. The Medic Portal has some free resources online but some are paid-for. There are good, free alternatives for preparation available online, so check out our guides and the university websites for details. 

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