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 study medicine.
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?
Just before sixth form
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Mostly on location and what I thought I would enjoy, I was a bit naive and didn’t get much support from this so didn’t properly look at which uni wanted what e.g which looked more at UCAT score.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (paid), Brownies volunteering
How much work experience did you do?
1 week with the medical photography department
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 all the practice papers online and then brought a UCAT book which I worked through
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 kept up to date with the news, I looked online at places like The Student Room to get advice, I read about the four pillars of ethics; I had a practice interview at school.
What happened during your interview?
I can’t remember exactly what was asked in my panel interview I think it was mostly questions about my personal statement and then the obvious why do you want to be a doctor. My group interview we had to discuss a public health intervention pros and cons of it
*Note the group task is now a problem-solving task.
Do you have any further advice?
Just that you don’t have to know people who are doctors to study medicine just try and do as much research as you can about each university. You also don’t have to get all A*s I got in with AAB so you have options.
*Note that this was likely an exceptional situation.
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.
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.
Four pillars of medical ethics: These four pillars guide ideas about medical ethics. Knowing and understanding them can help you prepare for your interview and how you answer questions. Four Pillars
Mock interview: Don’t worry if you didn’t have this opportunity. Interviews are designed to take into account that not everyone has the same level of preparation. See our guides and blogs on interviews to find out more about free online resources.