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  • Graduate Entry Medicine - a guide

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Graduate Entry Medicine - A Guide
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InformationList of Medical SchoolsWork ExperienceFundingGraduates on the 5 year courseFurther Information

Information

This page covers applying to Medicine as a graduate. It primarily focuses on the accelerated graduate entry programs, which are 4 years long. When searching for these course, bear in mind that each uni uses different terms to describe them - A101, A102 and A104 are common UCAS course codes.

Commonly known as GEP or GEM, these courses were introduced back in the early 2000's as a way of reducing the deficit of qualified doctors in the UK by rapidly training suitable graduates to achieve the standard MBBS/MBChB qualification in Medicine & Surgery.

They provide an alternative route into medicine for both those who realise later in life that they wish to become doctors and those who missed the grades for undergraduate entry.

This guide provides an outline of entry requirements for UK graduate medicine programs, demonstrating that there is a way into medicine for almost any graduate, regardless of their degree subject or prior educational achievement. The listings are split into those universities that require a science-related degree and those that will accept any degree subject.

Funding, work experience, and other tenets of entry are also covered.

Applying for Graduate Entry Medicine

To start by clearing up one common error, GEM is not 'postgraduate medicine'. Postgrad medicine refers to what qualified doctors do. GEM is an undergraduate degree for graduates. Therefore, application is via UCAS. The usual rules apply about only being able to apply for 4 schools, and a personal statement and reference are required. Oxford and Cambridge require an additional application form sent directly.

GEM is more competitive than other routes into medicine. Therefore, it is advised that you consider your choices carefully. Most people choose to apply to a mix of 4 and 5 year programs to maximise their chances, though do look into your school's application process carefully - some will automatically consider you for their 5 year route if you are unsuccessful at graduate entry.

Entrance Exams

The 2 main entrance exams for GEM are UKCAT and GAMSAT. They are very different tests and require differing amounts and types of preparation. Look carefully at which tests are required by medical school before handing over your cash to the exam centres.

UKCAT

  • A computer based aptitude test
  • 5 main scoring sections - Verbal reasoning, Quantitative reasoning, Abstract reasoning, Decision analysis, Situational Judgement Test
  • Multiple choice
  • Your score is based on your average for all 5 sections. Nothing is weighted more than another
  • Scores are only valid for one application cycle. If you choose not to apply, or reapply the next year, you will need to resit the UKCAT
  • 2 hours long
  • Can be sat in many places around the UK between June and end of September
  • Results on the day
  • Costs either £65 or £80 depending on when you sit it - the later you book, the more you pay
  • The 600Q book is well recommended by many TSR users - an Amazon link for this book is 600 practice questions here
  • BlackStone Tutors UKCAT Course - Highly recommended by many members, but not cheap and can be difficult to secure a space on.
  • This is the UKCAT website


GAMSAT

  • Paper based
  • 3 sections - Reasoning in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Essay writing/Communication and Reasoning in the Physical Sciences
  • Multiple choice for the two reasoning sections
  • 6 hours in total
  • You must score a minimum of 50, 55, 55 or 55, 55, 50 as a base line. Universities then produce a cut off average score to get people to interview which varies year on year
  • Can only be sat at 5 places in the UK on a set day
  • Results tend to be 7 to 8 weeks later - this is after the UCAS deadline
  • Scores are valid for 2 years, so can be used in the following application cycle too
  • Costs £192
  • The UCAS website provides a source to buy practice papers and revision material
  • This is the GAMSAT website

List of Medical Schools

The following medical schools all offer the 4 year course:

Below is a list of all UK medical schools currently offering accelerated four-year graduate entry courses in medicine. For links straight to the relevant webpages for each Uni, see here

(Updated January 2013)

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary's, University of London Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8478

Birmingham (University of), School of Medicine Tel: +44 (0)121 4146888

Bristol (University of), Faculty of Medicine Tel: +44(0)117 928 7679

Cambridge (University of), School of Clinical Medicine Tel: +44(0)1223 336700

Imperial College School of Medicine, London Tel: +44(0)20 7594 8056

King's College London School of Medicine Tel: +44(0)20 7848 6501 Tel: +44(0)20 7848 6502

Leicester (University of), Leicester Medical School Tel: +44(0)116 252 2969

Liverpool (University of), Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Tel: +44(0)151 706 4266

Newcastle University Medical School Tel: +44(0)191 222 5594

Nottingham (The University of), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Tel: +44(0)1332 724622

Oxford (University of), Medical Sciences Division Tel: +44(0)1865 270542

Southampton (University of), School of Medicine Tel: +44(0)2380 594408

St George's, University of London Tel: +44(0)20 8725 5201

Swansea University, School of medicine Tel: +44(0)1792 602 618

Warwick (University of), Warwick Medical School Tel: +44(0)2476 523723


Individual University Requirements:

Courses open to any degree subject

Cambridge:

  • Degree classification - a 2:1 or above in any subject
  • A-level requirements - A Level Chemistry (normally passed within seven years of entry) plus AS or A level passes in two of the following: Physics, Biology, Mathematics. OU modules may be offered instead of AS/A-levels.
  • GCSE requirements: Physics, Biology and Maths at C grade or above. Double Award Science is accepted in place of Physics & Bio.
  • Entrance exam - None.
  • Work experience - Experience of a healthcare setting. No more specific advice given.
  • NB - only available at Hughes Hall, Wolfson College or Lucy Cavendish College
  • Their website is here

King's (London):

  • Degree classification - a 2:1 or above in any subject, or a 2:2 with a Masters at Merit level.

Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing: Pass with at least two years' nursing work experience Health service professionals without an honours degree but with appropriate post-qualification experience may be considered.

  • A-level requirements - None.
  • Entrance exam - UKCAT. The top 25% of candidates based on UKCAT score are considered for interview.
  • Work experience - In a caring environment and/or observation in a medical clinical setting
  • Interview: MMI. Two dates in January, not rearrangeable.
  • A number of candidates will be offered places on the 5 year course instead. If you accept one of these offers and a place subsequently becomes available on the 4 year course, you will be 'upgraded' to 4 year entry.
  • Their website is here.


Leicester:

  • Degree classification - 2:1 or above in any subject. You must be post-graduation at the time of application. If you have ever been awarded a degree with less than a 2.1, your application will not be considered.
  • A-level requirements - None.
  • Entrance exam - UKCAT
  • Work experience - minimum one year full time paid work experience in a caring role, the longer the better.
  • Your employer can send an additional reference directly to the admissions team.
  • Interview: MMI. For the 2013/14 cycle, these will be held on 10 - 17 December 2013

27 - 30 January 2014, 18 and 19 February 2014 and are not rearrangeable.

  • Their website is here


Newcastle:

  • Degree classification - a 2:1 or above in any subject
  • Alternatively, applications are welcome from practising healthcare professionals with post-registration qualifications.
  • All applicants require evidence of sustained academic endeavour within the past three years, e.g. A Levels, OU, GAMSAT.
  • A-level requirements - None.
  • A level, GCSE and Masters qualifications have no bearing on application.
  • Entrance exam - UKCAT
  • Work experience - Evidence of work experience in a healthcare or social care setting would be expected from applicants who do not have prior healthcare experience.
  • Their website is here


Nottingham:

  • Degree classification - a 2:2 or above in any subject
  • A-level requirements - None
  • Entrance exam - GAMSAT - 55, 55, 50 is the minimum for interview if you hold a 2.1 or 1st class degree. The cut off will be at least 5 points higher for those only holding a 2.2 degree. For 2013 entry, the cut-off for entry was 59 points (2.1 or above) and 64 points (2.2).
  • Work experience - Candidates will be asked to complete a "Record of Work Experience" once they have applied to the course. "A few days shadowing" will not suffice.
  • Interview - all held within 1 week in March.
  • NB - the course is based in Derby, not Nottingham.
  • Their website is here


Southampton:

  • Degree classification - 2:1 or above in any subject
  • A-level requirements - Chemistry at grade C or above. Alternatively, AS level chemistry and biology/human biology at grade C or above.
  • GCSE requirements - A minimum grade C in mathematics, English and double award science (or equivalent). You may offer qualifications which are equivalent to GCSE.
  • Entrance exam - UKCAT
  • Work experience - interacting with people in health or social care settings. This may draw on what you have learnt from your own life experiences (e.g. friends and family), or from more formalised activity (e.g. paid or voluntary work, or work shadowing).
  • Interview - applicants will be chosen for interview based solely on their UKCAT score, as long as they meet all other minimum requirements. No offers will now be made without an interview.
  • Their website is here


St. George's (London):

  • Degree classification - 2:2 or above in any subject
  • A-level requirements - None
  • Entrance exam - GAMSAT. Minimum score 50, 50, 50.
  • Work experience - experience in a medical or health related field; and an ability to demonstrate a broad awareness of the scope of medicine. At interview you will be required to provide references for any formal work experience you have carried out (dates, hours worked and duties undertaken).
  • Interview - MMI in January.
  • Their website is here


Swansea:

  • Degree classification - 2:1 or above in any subject, or a 2.2 with Masters/PhD. If you hold more than one Bachelors degree, the result of the most recent is considered.
  • A-level requirements - some experience of post-GCSE Biology and Chemistry is desirable but not essential.
  • GCSE requirements - Maths and English/Welsh at C or above.
  • Entrance exam - GAMSAT. Minimum overall 50, with minimum 50 in Section 3.
  • Work experience - relevant work experience in a health related environment.
  • Interview - January.
  • Their website is here


Warwick:

  • Degree classification - 2:1 or above in any subject. A 2.2. may be mitigated by a PhD.
  • A-level requirements - None
  • Entrance exam - UKCAT
  • Work experience - 'In addition to strong academic ability, the Selectors for WMS are looking for a clear awareness of the demands of medicine as a profession, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and significant work experience in a caring environment.' This can be done through being 'a ward volunteer, as an auxiliary nurse or as an active first aider.'
  • Interview - Selection centre is held in February in conjunction with Barts & The London. They run the same interview process but make offer decisions independently.
  • NB - The medical school is not actually in Warwick. Most students live either in nearby Coventry or Leamington Spa.
  • Their website is here

Courses only open to Science (or related) graduates

The following medical schools will only accept science graduates. The medical schools listed above will also consider science graduates.


Barts and The London (QMUL):

  • Degree classification - 2:1 or above in a science or health-related subject. If from America/Canada, you require a GPA of 3.6 or above. Only your first degree can be considered, if you have more than one.
  • A-level requirements - if your degree did not contain an acceptable amount of Bio & Chem, you either need to have achieved BB in A level Bio & Chem prior to your degree, or be undertaking/have achieved AS Bio & Chem at grade B after your degree.
  • Entrance exam - UKCAT
  • Work experience - voluntary work experience in a caring/health environment and/or observation in a medical clinical setting.
  • Interview - Selection centre in February in conjunction with Warwick medical school. They run the interview process together but make offer decisions independently.
  • Their website is here


Birmingham:

  • Degree classification - Life sciences degree, preferably with a 1st, but some students with a very high 2.1 will be considered. Preference to graduates from UK universities. A higher degree (Masters etc) cannot to used to supersede these requirements.
  • A-level requirements - BBB including Chemistry. This threshold may be raised if competition necessitates this.
  • GCSE requirements - if this is your highest qualification in English and Maths, a grade A is required.
  • Entrance exam - None.
  • Work experience - to be used for gaining insight into the demands placed on staff, the problems they encounter and the strategies that they employ to handle difficult situations as well as the benefits they obtain from caring for people and working in teams.
  • Interview - MMI, during the second semester (Spring).
  • Their website is here.


Bristol:

  • Degree classification - 2:1 or above in one of the following - Anatomy, BDS, Biomedical Sciences, Bioscience and Health, Cancer and Immunology, Cell Pathology, Genetics, Human Biology, Immunology, Medical Science, Microbiology, Molecular Biology/Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Physiology, Toxicology and Vet Sciences.

Professional degress such as Nursing are not acceptable.

  • A-level requirements - AAB, including A in Chemistry. New for 2014
  • Entrance exam - none
  • Work experience - 'Graduates applying for A101 (4 year course) not working full time in the health service should have at least 4 months’ experience as a health care assistant, or similar.'
  • Interview - you must be available between November and March.
  • Their website is here


Imperial:

  • Degree classification - 2:1 or above in a biological subject, or a PhD.
  • A-level requirements - none
  • Entrance exam - UKCAT. In 2013, 640 in each section was required to be invited to interview.
  • Work experience - No specifics given, but you must have an understanding of the career.
  • Interview - between November and January.
  • Their website is here


Liverpool:

  • Degree classification - 2:1 in a Biological, Biomedical, or Health Science subject
  • A-level requirements - BBBb, including BB in Bio & Chem.
  • GCSE requirements - English & Maths at C or above.
  • Entrance exam - GAMSAT - New for 2014
  • Work experience - No specific requirements, but a demonstration of healthcare career awareness/insight and a caring contribution to the local community is required
  • Their website is here


Oxford:

  • Degree classification - Applied or experimental science, including Engineering. A 2.1 or above is expected but not a necessity.
  • A-level requirements - At least 2 A levels, including Chemistry.
  • GCSE requirements - if your degree is not in biosciences, you should have Biology or Double Science at GCSE
  • Entrance exam - BMAT
  • Work experience - No specific requirements.
  • Interview - middle of December.
  • NB - The course is only available at 10 of the Oxford colleges. You can specify a college or make an open application.
  • Their website is here

Work Experience

  • Get it sorted as early as possible.
  • It can be paid or voluntary.
  • It doesnt have to be all exclusively 'clinical experience' - even just befriending older patients or learning how to relate to child patients is valuable - but go for higher level 'medical' focus stuff wherever you can.
  • Approach any likely health-care or health related settings - hospitals, GPs, ante-natal clinics, community health, child health clinics, aged care homes, respite care, hospices, special schools, mental health units, drug/alcohol rehab, physiotherapy/sports injury, speech therapy, etc etc.
  • Shadowing can take ages to sort, especially as you'll be fighting with all the school leavers to do the same thing and you won't be eligible for school leaver work exp programmes.
  • You may find it very hard to get GP work experience/shadowing due to the confidentiality issues, but shadowing other health-care workers might be easier to arrange and is still valuable.
  • Voluntary work is well regarded by medical admissions, particularly if it is a sustained activity over a long period.
  • Health Care Assistant (HCA) work is very useful, and can meet the paid caring requirement of Leicester etc.
  • Get involved with your local community - volunteering doesn't have to be strictly in healthcare. Any work with people will come in handy.
  • There is no such thing as too much experience.
  • Don't stop doing it as soon as you've applied - you want to be able to talk about interview about what you've been doing, and the application date may be months from your interview.
  • Keep a diary on work experience of your reflections, it's useful to look back on later.

Funding

This information relates to the 4 year course only. The good news is that, even as a graduate you ARE entitled to even more Student Loans Company money and some NHS money too.

Tuition fees:

Following the 2012 changes to the student fees, this is how things will operate:
First year: You will have to pay the first £3,375 towards the tuition fees. The difference between the £3,375 and the tuition fee charges of your university will be able to paid for by a student tuition fee loan.
2nd to 4th years: The NHS bursary will pay for the first £3,375 towards your tuition fees. Again, the difference between the bursary and your tuition fees can be paid for by a student loan, should you choose to apply for one. Otherwise the difference will be paid for by yourself, privately.
Source

Maintenance Loans:

First year - you can apply to the Student Loans Company for a maintenance loan, but not the grant. The maximum amount available is £4950, more if you're studying in London. Some of it is means tested so figures will vary depending on who you're living with as it does take into account parents' income. Student Loans info

Second, Third and Fourth years - you receive roughly half of the Maintenance loan you had in your first year. You then apply (again in good time) for the NHS bursary which varies in amount from nothing to up to around £5000 roughly. Again, it's income assessed and depends on your age, living arrangements, whether you're married, number of children etc. In the later years, the increased term length is compensated for as your bursary is increased with an "Additional Weeks Allowance". See the NHS info here

Graduates on the 5 year course

Graduates can also apply to 5 year undergraduate Medicine. All the universities mentioned on this page thus far offer a 5 year course, aside from Swansea & Warwick, but not all will accept graduates on the 5 year program.

The usual A-level requirements then apply as you're applying alongside the school leavers. UKCAT is usually the entrance exam of choice too, but Oxford and Cambridge use BMAT and Exeter & Plymouth use GAMSAT.

Funding wise - currently, graduates have to pay their fees in the first, second, third and fourth years (with the NHS paying the fifth year). This is currently under appeal and review. You can also get some maintenance loan for the first four years, and the NHS bursary in the fifth year. Doing a 5 year course as a graduate is a massive financial undertaking and you must consider the implications of it.

Further Info

* Statistics on graduate entry at various universities can be found here

Useful websites include :

  • Money 4 Med Students - good website from the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund with ideas/information about finding money for training, funding electives etc.
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