Application to University of Southampton in 2020/21

This student applied in the 2020/21 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 an Indian man who went to a grammar or selective state school.

Our Summary
Course: Graduate 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 medicine?
When I was around 16 years old, but didn’t get the grades at A-level and largely gave up on it. In second year of my undergrad I changed my mind back on to medicine.

How did you choose which universities to apply to?
As a graduate medic from an arts degree background I had very limited choice on where I could apply.

Completing work experience

What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Other healthcare setting e.g pharmacy, physiotherapy, Customer service role (paid)

How much work experience did you do?
For this cycle of application I had done one month of HCA (Health Care Assistant) experience in a care home.

How did you find your work experience opportunities?
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?
For about one month I did past paper questions from various sources including 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 made sure to understand the format from Southampton properly. As I was already a university student I knew a medical student that also applied to Southampton for the undergraduate course so he helped me apply. What helped most however was practicing the panel interview element with medical students from my undergraduate degree. It was hard to prep for the group task, but knowing that the focus was on how you communicate in a group rather than knowledge was reassuring. 

What happened during your interview?
Our group task was an ethical dilemma with regard to the healthcare system, but the focus was absolutely on communication skills rather than knowledge (this has now changed to a problem-solving task).The panel interview was focused around the personal statement and our knowledge of the hospital, medical school and the city itself.

Do you have any further advice?
Being organised helps a lot. Look at the admissions criteria for each medical school in detail, and apply tactically.
You can over revise for the UCAT, so don’t overdo it. Time the sitting of the official UCAT mocks right before the actual exam.


Graduate entry medicine: a pathway into medicine for students who have already received an undergraduate/Bachelors degree. Some universities require this previous degree to be related to medicine (E.g. Biomedical sciences or in another science) while others don’t. Graduate entry to medicine is available at less universities and is much more competitive, but is a good option if you don’t get into medicine straight from school, or only decide you want to be a doctor after you’ve already received your degree, or later on in your career. 

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. 

Insiders: Don’t worry if you don’t know people like this. Most students don’t have friends who have already been through the process or healthcare professionals that they know who might be able to support them. You can meet current medical students to speak to at open days, or via free mentoring schemes, but it’s not a requirement for you to be successful.

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.

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