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    Hello Ladies and Gents,

    I have a couple of questions that I was hoping some of the learned folks here could take a stab at answering.

    About me: I did A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (AAA) and AS level Maths (B) and read Law at UCL. Due to my complete lack of motivation and general laziness, I graduated with a 2:2 (missing out on a 2:1 by one mark in one subject, and not bothering to appeal, not that this information is particularly relevant.) After graduating (well technically before I'd graduated) I left the UK for a year to learn to fly. Not at all comparable to a degree I know, but I worked hard for the first time in my life and passed my Airline Transport Pilot Licence exams with a 95% average, Upon returning to the UK with my freshly minted Commercial Pilot Licence, I was placed with an airline, for whom I have been flying the A320 for the past three years.

    So why is any of the above relevant, I hear you ask? Well, I went into sixth form with the intention to study Medicine at university, but for various reasons shelved the idea and basically settled on Law. However, I've never been able to shake off the nagging doubt that I made the wrong decision. In the past few months I've been seriously looking at going back to university to study medicine. I have started reading appropriate literature (there's not a whole lot to do sometimes in the cruise down to Turkey in the middle of the night!), and my interest has been steadily increasing.

    So my questions are as follows:

    1) I appreciate that my degree classification is going to be somewhat (!) limiting when it comes to applying for any medicine course. As far as I can see, the only GEPs available to me are Nottingham and SGUL. However, I'd be interested to hear whether anyone knows of any other institutions that will consider (unofficially) someone with a 2:2?

    2) I'm planning to get some relevant work experience over the coming months. However, my working hours are heavily regulated, and I'm not in a position to work full time. I am not really able to commit to working a certain number of hours a week, or even commit to working the same shifts every week due to my work commitments. Can anyone suggest a role in a healthcare setting that might be able to provide flexible hours? I've looked at and considered HCA roles, but I'm not sure that such jobs would be doable.

    3) Probably a bit of an unknown, and I have seen a couple of threads here and over at NMM about it, but does anyone have any idea what the state of play is with NHS funding in years 2-4 of graduate entry programmes? It was my understanding that some sort of announcement would be made on the 24th of this month, but I'm yet to see anything written down.

    4) Regarding GAMSAT: I have read conflicting reports. What level of scientific understanding do I need to do well in section III? Some seem to say YR1 undergraduate; others that A level knowledge is sufficient.

    Thanks for your time reading this (long!) post. I look forward to any replies.
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    I too am a law graduate, who then had a change of heart and have set my mind on getting into medicine, so I'll tell you what I know and what I'm doing....

    I actually got a 2:1, so I think that opens up a few more of the GEM courses to me. However, I didn't do any Science at A-Level, so for me, that has drastically reduced the amount of GEM courses I'm eligible for. With your A-Level background, are you still not eligible to apply to the 5-year regular Medicine courses? I know its a whole extra years study, and you'd effectively be a mature student amongst a horde of teenagers, but the general consensus seems to be that it is much less competitive to get on that the GEM courses.

    As for the GAMSAT, I know what you mean about conflicting reports regarding S3. I don't think many people actually know the standard you need to be at, and those that do find it hard to express in tangible terms. Its supposed to be more a test of reasoning than of factual knowledge. Having said that, I just can't believe that those going into the test with a solid background of academic Science aren't at an advantage. For myself, I bought the GAMSAT gold text book and have been slowly teaching myself the Chemistry and Organic Chemistry from that. Come the end of the Summer I hope to have covered most of the Chem and Bio, and be ready to start looking at past papers and focussing my learning more on what will be relevant for the GAMSAT itself. Supposedly the Griffiths Review is a very good tool for doing entirely that; determining the relevant bits of information you need. However I'm a bit wary of spending any more money on materials before they announce the future of this bursary.

    Regarding the the funding issue; as you seem to have noticed, the whole thing seems to be up in the air at the moment. I think the overall feeling is that its not going to be good news. But we'll just have to wait and see. I think its highly unfair that they're making us wait this long for any sort of announcement. In fact i think i might send an e-mail/letter today to try and get something about of them. For me, if the funding is even slightly cut it blows my ambitions into the water. Or at least sets me back 3-4 years, which at my age I'm not sure if I could deal with.
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    I don't have much to add from the above, but I do know Nottingham are penalising 2.2 students starting this year. From what I remember, they require 2.2 applicants to have a higher GAMSAT by 5 points, than those with a 2.1
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    (Original post by Altrozero)
    I don't have much to add from the above, but I do know Nottingham are penalising 2.2 students starting this year. From what I remember, they require 2.2 applicants to have a higher GAMSAT by 5 points, than those with a 2.1
    Do you have a link to this?
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    (Original post by winter_mute)
    Do you have a link to this?
    No, just what the director said at the open day.
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    May I ask why you would give up a possibly enviable job in the RHS of an Airbus?

    Did you become a pilot on a whim?
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    (Original post by Altrozero)
    No, just what the director said at the open day.
    I got a solid 2.1 for both my first and second years. Will this be good enough or will I be at a disadvantage because I have not completed my degree? By solid I mean 66 and 69 overall. I read somewhere that people who have completed their studies are more likely to get offers.
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    (Original post by itzme)
    I got a solid 2.1 for both my first and second years. Will this be good enough or will I be at a disadvantage because I have not completed my degree? By solid I mean 66 and 69 overall. I read somewhere that people who have completed their studies are more likely to get offers.
    By not completed you mean hasn't finished or dropped out?
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    (Original post by winter_mute)
    By not completed you mean hasn't finished or dropped out?
    not finished.
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    One thing I would ask is: is it paramount that you get onto a GEP? It's just that with your A-levels, plus some decent work experience and good GAMSAT/UKCAT scores, you might find you'd fare a lot better applying for 5-year courses.

    Regardless, good work experience is absolutely essential (for GEPs or 5-year courses); getting it is something you should make a priority right now, to be honest.
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    One thing I would ask is: is it paramount that you get onto a GEP? It's just that with your A-levels, plus some decent work experience and good GAMSAT/UKCAT scores, you might find you'd fare a lot better applying for 5-year courses.

    Regardless, good work experience is absolutely essential (for GEPs or 5-year courses); getting it is something you should make a priority right now, to be honest.
    the problem is the financing, not the length.
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    (Original post by itzme)
    the problem is the financing, not the length.
    Yes, I'm well aware of that, seeing as I've just had to make the decision between 4-year and 5-year programmes myself.

    What I was asking was whether the OP had thought about 5-year degrees, since plenty of graduates seem not to contemplate them at all. Of course, it's too much money for lots of people, but they're worth considering if you have a shot at finding the money.
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    Yes, I'm well aware of that, seeing as I've just had to make the decision between 4-year and 5-year programmes myself.

    What I was asking was whether the OP had thought about 5-year degrees, since plenty of graduates seem not to contemplate them at all. Of course, it's too much money for lots of people, but they're worth considering if you have a shot at finding the money.
    I was thinking of the career development loan. Is that a viable option? but then, I have an outstanding student debt, so I am not too sure about this.
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    (Original post by itzme)
    I was thinking of the career development loan. Is that a viable option? but then, I have an outstanding student debt, so I am not too sure about this.
    Yeah, it's definitely viable. I guess that's the decision all second-degree people have to make - whether the extra debt is worth putting up with for the outcome. I reckon it is for Medicine, though...
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    Yeah, it's definitely viable. I guess that's the decision all second-degree people have to make - whether the extra debt is worth putting up with for the outcome. I reckon it is for Medicine, though...
    So, can you please tell me a bit more about this? if I take the loan, will it cover tuition fees and maintenance fees for 5 years ?
    and how do I repay? is there a big interest on it?
    thanks a lot!
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    (Original post by itzme)
    So, can you please tell me a bit more about this? if I take the loan, will it cover tuition fees and maintenance fees for 5 years ?
    and how do I repay? is there a big interest on it?
    thanks a lot!
    All the basic info is here.

    But in sum, these loans have about a 5-6% APR, and no, there's definitely not enough to cover your tuition and maintenance; the maximum you can get is £10,000 (though I guess this may change when tuition fees go up).

    I would personally recommend taking out a second student loan for a second degree in Medicine. Not many people seem to know this, but you can apply for a second student maintenance loan of up to about £4,800/annum if your second degree is Medicine/Dentistry/Ved Med/Architecture/a couple of other degrees IIRC.

    You'd have to find a way to make that stretch across tuition and maintenance (i.e. you would certainly have to have a job/some other form of income) but it's a better deal than you'd get with a career development loan.
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    Hey,

    This might not be related. But, I have always wanted to learn how to fly. I have tried jumping out of a window. Did not work. Lol.

    Just joking. I meant flying an plane. Where did you learn how to fly? Was it expensive? How did you finance it?

    I am thinking of doing it. Can you recommend me a place to do it and do you have to take an exam and what is that like.
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    All the basic info is here.

    But in sum, these loans have about a 5-6% APR, and no, there's definitely not enough to cover your tuition and maintenance; the maximum you can get is £10,000 (though I guess this may change when tuition fees go up).

    I would personally recommend taking out a second student loan for a second degree in Medicine. Not many people seem to know this, but you can apply for a second student maintenance loan of up to about £4,800/annum if your second degree is Medicine/Dentistry/Ved Med/Architecture/a couple of other degrees IIRC.

    You'd have to find a way to make that stretch across tuition and maintenance (i.e. you would certainly have to have a job/some other form of income) but it's a better deal than you'd get with a career development loan.

    Have you actually tried getting a CDL? They're hard to get for masters and IIRC no bank is currently offering them for Grad entry programs.

    If you receive the NHS bursary, you can only claim for half a loan.

    All of this is contingent on the NHS funding years 2-4. What if they part fund it or don't at all? Then it's going to be £27-£35,000.

    I really don't want you to think I'm being negative or trying to put you off at all, but there seems to be a lot of people who have no idea of the fee situation and I hate for anyone who would have to decline an offer if they couldn't afford it

    There is a way to get funding, but looking for bursaries is probably the way you're going to do it!
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    (Original post by winter_mute)
    Have you actually tried getting a CDL? They're hard to get for masters and IIRC no bank is currently offering them for Grad entry programs.

    If you receive the NHS bursary, you can only claim for half a loan.

    All of this is contingent on the NHS funding years 2-4. What if they part fund it or don't at all? Then it's going to be £27-£35,000.

    I really don't want you to think I'm being negative or trying to put you off at all, but there seems to be a lot of people who have no idea of the fee situation and I hate for anyone who would have to decline an offer if they couldn't afford it

    There is a way to get funding, but looking for bursaries is probably the way you're going to do it!
    I haven't had to get a CDL - I've applied (and been accepted) for a second student loan instead. My best friend has a CDL though.

    I also don't think the CDL is the best way to go, hence I was suggesting a second student loan might be a better option.

    Alas, no NHS funding for me until 5th year, though - I've gone for a 5-year programme instead of a 4-year.
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    I haven't had to get a CDL - I've applied (and been accepted) for a second student loan instead. My best friend has a CDL though.

    I also don't think the CDL is the best way to go, hence I was suggesting a second student loan might be a better option.

    Alas, no NHS funding for me until 5th year, though - I've gone for a 5-year programme instead of a 4-year.
    There's been a few people who have tried to get CDL's here and have been turned down for GEP

    Even at 5% you'll owe £12,000 before you start earning.

    I know the DoH know about this, but it's obvious that they don't care. The core Tory voters can afford to send their kids on GEP so they don't give a toss.

    I feel so lucky that I'm in a position where I can afford to pay, but there are so many people who'd make great doctors that can't now because of changes to an entry route set up for them!
 
 
 
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