I've just finished year 12 and I am hoping to apply for Pharmacology at UCL for 2015 entry.
Now recently at school, it has been exposed by aspiring medical applicants in my year that the English GCSE we did (Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) English Language iGCSE 0500) is not a valid qualification for ALL medical schools across the country as well as every UCL course because it does not contain a speaking component (It was writing/Reading only) and they had been advised to take the IELTS test (An international speaking test). This choice of iGCSE is completely my schools fault, they had switched to the iGCSE two years ago, previously doing the AQA English Language qualification.
Now I have contacted UCL about the matter and they too have advised me to take the IELTS however my friend recently attended the UCL open day brought the matter to a member of the economics faculty and they said it is absolute bull**** and a lack of English Language speaking component would not be taken in to account when you are applying.
(I could not attend the open day because I was on an A2 Biology BIO6x coursework prep fieldtrip in Wales)
In my opinion I think it is stupid that UCL have said that it is a requirement as one could fail and get 0% on the speaking component and still end up with a very low A or high B overall, giving them the minimum GCSE grade entry for English.
Surely the interview stage would test ones ability to communicate in English and it should save time and money with the IELTS (It costs £145!), a test which is designed for foreign nationals wanting to enter professions/educational courses in the UK.
Any clarity would be great