Application to University of Southampton in 2019/20

This student applied in the 2019/20 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!

Our Summary
Course: Standard undergraduate 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 medical school? Year 13

How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Course structure and location.

Completing work experience

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

How much work experience did you do?
One week shadowing a consultant in hospital. A month or two as a hospital volunteer. It’s hard finding direct clinical experience. As long as you reflect on what you learnt, even a few days experience is enough.

How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement

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?
As many practice questions as possible using Medify for about 3-4 weeks. Make sure you go through incorrect answers carefully, and make a not of why you got those questions wrong/what you can do next time. This is especially important for the Situational Judgement Section.

What resources did you use?
Medify – it seems like everyone I know in med school has used this. 100% recommend!


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 went through my personal statement to make sure I was very comfortable discussing anything I had written. Really important to know your personal statement inside out as this is what the panel will ask you about! I also made sure to research the course structure at each medical school to demonstrate that I am not only a good candidate for Medicine, but a good fit for this med school in particular.

What happened in your interview?
The panel interview was very relaxed. I was asked questions about my personal statement and wider interests. I was also asked “why this medical school in particular” – make sure you’re familiar with the course structure! In the group interview we were presented with an ethical scenario related to health economics and told to discuss it as a group (note that this has now changed to a problem solving task). We then reflected on our roles in the discussion and where we could improve. 


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. 

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. 

Situational Judgement Test: The Situational Judgement Test is a part of the UCAT, but is not about academics or reasoning. The SJT tests your ability to judge and make decisions in real-life scenarios – think of it like an ethical test. There are ways to prepare for this, so check out some free online resources which might help you understand how it works a bit better. 

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