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!

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 grammar or selective state school.

Our Summary
Course: Standard undergraduate entry

In person panel interview with group task

Admissions Tests: UCAT

Top tip:
Be confident! Medicine is an amazing choice and I love every minute of it here. The interviews are very easy to prepare for, be very confident in your ability and show them how perfect you are for the position.

Before I made my application…

Choosing to study medicine

When did you decide to apply to medicine?
Since primary school

How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Picked based on proximity to home, teaching style at university and clinic exposure time. Also on likeliness of my grades to get into.

Completing work experience

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

How much work experience did you do?
1 week in ENT (Ear, nose and throat) hospital shadowing
2 weeks in GP surgery shadowing
Previous job role of 2 years in retail
1 year of online tutoring/in person tutoring

How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through asking someone I knew to take me on, Emailing local GP surgeries to ask for some clinical experience over summer holidays

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?
Prepared about 4 months in advance with understanding the formatting of the exam. From month 2 before my exam I began with practice papers twice a week to ensure I was fitting with timings – timings were my biggest struggle. 


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 lots of forums online for each university about previous student interview experience! I had a word document of commonly asked questions prepared with answers and rehearsed this with a mock interview at school.
Reading up on current affairs and NHS values is so important and I’m glad I did prior to my interviews as I was asked about it a lot.

What happened during your interview?
I was asked to talk through my personal statement and give further details on lots of my previous experience listed in my application. I was also given a topic to discuss within a group setting which was observed. Introducing myself and ensuring to interact well with the examiners eased my nerves a lot.


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. 

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. 

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. 

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 

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