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 woman who went to a grammar or selective state school.

Our Summary
Course: Standard undergraduate entry

Online panel interview

Admissions Tests: UCAT, BMAT

Before I made my application…

Choosing to study medicine

When did you decide to apply to medicine?
Year 12 after work experience in Year 11 summer

How did you choose which universities to apply to?
I visited majority of the universities/ attended online open days and taster sessions, and reached out to students through LinkedIn.

Completing work experience

What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (voluntary), Online work experience

How much work experience did you do?
I did around 2 weeks of placement on wards altogether. Not all of this was with doctors and not all of it involved patients.

How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Emailing as many doctors as I could and hoping for a reply

During the application process…

Admissions tests

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

Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT): Southampton doesn’t use the BMAT to select applicants and the BMAT won’t be used after the 2023 application cycle!

How did you prepare for your admissions test?
I started 2 months before for UCAT and 1 month for BMAT, and did as many questions as I could. For BMAT I would go through old content for the sciences and maths, but for UCAT and other BMAT questions, I only did practice Qs.

What resources did you use?
Medify – was useful for past questions, BMAT ninja – useful but overwhelming to use


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.

How did you prepare for your interview?
I made a Notion page to summarise all the info I needed to go through, including university info, an experience bank of skills that I have showcased and ethical scenarios/ current affairs. It was nice having everything in one place. I did not use any paid resources, but did reach out to current medical students on LinkedIn to ask if they would be willing to have a call to discuss interviews/ send messages answering Qs I had about unis.

* Notion is an online note-keeping system. You can just use a word document, or write everything in a notebook if that’s easier for you!

What happened during your interview?
I talked about my personal statement, NHS values, times when I had worked in a group and it went well/ didn’t go so well, examples of skills from my work experience etc. 

I felt very relaxed, the interviewers never interrupted me and seemed willing to listen to everything I wanted to say. I did my interview online which also made me feel more relaxed as I completed it at home.  The whole interview was around 25 mins. 


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. 

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. 

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.

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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