Graduate entry medicine after my English degree? Watch

Utterly-confused
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I have average GCSEs - nothing too great. Average A levels. I am on a gap year, I want to build a career in medicine, having watched my little brother go through a mental illness, it has really inspired me to give back. I can see it as a career I would enjoy. I plan on taking an English degree, getting a first or at least a 2:1, applying for graduate medicine and performing well in my UKCAT/BMAT.

Am I dreaming here or can I still get in despite average grades? There's also an access course, but I am going to apply for graduate medicine first, if I don't get in, I will do the access course. I know some Unis don't want Science A levels (mines aren't) and those are the ones that I will apply to. I think it was Newcastle that doesn't mind GCSE and A levels results but I still want to seek advise.

How can I make myself stand out?
I am working full time during my gap year, learning to drive and I am my little brothers carer. I was thinking of applying to a care home and volunteering there, & then ask my Uni (Essex) next year to help me find placements in surgeries (so it's recent) and I have also shadowed a doctor abroad.. What else do you reckon I should do to stand out?

Also, UKCAT/BMAT REALLY matter, so how do I perform amazing in it? I am not the best at Maths (C) and my Science is okay, nothing too crazy, so I thought I would start preparing a little early on. What do you reckon?

(Typed in a rush, excuse grammar/spelling mistakes)
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liam__
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GEM is a box-ticking exercise.

First of all, why English as a first degree? Doing something like biomedical science will open up so many more doors when it comes to which courses you're eligible for.

Regardless of your degree choice, make sure you get a 2:1. A 2:2 will further limit your options.

Get some relevant work experience; HCA, carer, caring voluntary work. The more long-term, the better.

Entrance exams are really important, and they'll most likely make or break your application. Generally people advise preparing for the UKCAT around a month out, and the 600Q book and Medify are usually the most recommended prep material.

I'd also consider sitting the GAMSAT if you are set on doing English as your first degree, it'll open up a few more courses that you can apply for.

Hope this helps
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Zorg
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(Original post by Utterly-confused)
I have average GCSEs - nothing too great. Average A levels. I am on a gap year, I want to build a career in medicine, having watched my little brother go through a mental illness, it has really inspired me to give back. I can see it as a career I would enjoy. I plan on taking an English degree, getting a first or at least a 2:1, applying for graduate medicine and performing well in my UKCAT/BMAT.

Am I dreaming here or can I still get in despite average grades? There's also an access course, but I am going to apply for graduate medicine first, if I don't get in, I will do the access course. I know some Unis don't want Science A levels (mines aren't) and those are the ones that I will apply to. I think it was Newcastle that doesn't mind GCSE and A levels results but I still want to seek advise.

How can I make myself stand out?
I am working full time during my gap year, learning to drive and I am my little brothers carer. I was thinking of applying to a care home and volunteering there, & then ask my Uni (Essex) next year to help me find placements in surgeries (so it's recent) and I have also shadowed a doctor abroad.. What else do you reckon I should do to stand out?

Also, UKCAT/BMAT REALLY matter, so how do I perform amazing in it? I am not the best at Maths (C) and my Science is okay, nothing too crazy, so I thought I would start preparing a little early on. What do you reckon?

(Typed in a rush, excuse grammar/spelling mistakes)
I would be reluctant in making plans to enter GEM now. It's position is a bit precarious at the moment with changes in how doctors are trained being suggested, it looks like GEM may either undergo heavy changes or be scrapped altogether.
Look in to foundation and widening access to medicine courses before you pursue the GEM route. Even if you disregard my first point, GEM is far more competitive than these other routes.

I would also question why you'd opt to do a degree in something so different as English if you were set on Medicine?

Shadowing abroad isn't necessarily the best experience, there's little emphasis on shadowing experience but what there is you'll find UK experience is much preferred. Focus on formal caring experience where you have a direct interaction with another individual.


(Original post by liam__)
GEM is a box-ticking exercise.

Get some relevant work experience; HCA, carer, caring voluntary work. The more long-term, the better.
A lot of GEM is a tick box exercise but once you get to interview it's a very different ball game, be careful there.

There's a limit to how long you want to spend on care experience. A day a week for 3 years isn't much more impressive than 3 days a week for a year. There is a limit and I doubt you'll be using 3 year old experiences at interview. By all means get in early, but do not let it detract from your degree/other ECs.
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Utterly-confused
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(Original post by liam__)
GEM is a box-ticking exercise.

First of all, why English as a first degree? Doing something like biomedical science will open up so many more doors when it comes to which courses you're eligible for.

Regardless of your degree choice, make sure you get a 2:1. A 2:2 will further limit your options.

Get some relevant work experience; HCA, carer, caring voluntary work. The more long-term, the better.

Entrance exams are really important, and they'll most likely make or break your application. Generally people advise preparing for the UKCAT around a month out, and the 600Q book and Medify are usually the most recommended prep material.

I'd also consider sitting the GAMSAT if you are set on doing English as your first degree, it'll open up a few more courses that you can apply for.

Hope this helps
Hi,

Thank you for replying.

I am doing a humanities degree purely because I didn't do Science A levels. I can apply for GEM through my chosen degree (even if not science based) as some universities accept any degree subject i.e St. George's as long as I reach the degree classification.

Would you recommend anything for the GAMSAT? I want to prepare now, as apparently it's Science and Maths based (I haven't done that since GCSE) I looked at a sample and it looked really hard. How else could I ensure I really do well in the entrance exams?

Thanks again.
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Utterly-confused
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(Original post by Zorg)
I would be reluctant in making plans to enter GEM now. It's position is a bit precarious at the moment with changes in how doctors are trained being suggested, it looks like GEM may either undergo heavy changes or be scrapped altogether.
Look in to foundation and widening access to medicine courses before you pursue the GEM route. Even if you disregard my first point, GEM is far more competitive than these other routes.

I would also question why you'd opt to do a degree in something so different as English if you were set on Medicine?

Shadowing abroad isn't necessarily the best experience, there's little emphasis on shadowing experience but what there is you'll find UK experience is much preferred. Focus on formal caring experience where you have a direct interaction with another individual.




A lot of GEM is a tick box exercise but once you get to interview it's a very different ball game, be careful there.

There's a limit to how long you want to spend on care experience. A day a week for 3 years isn't much more impressive than 3 days a week for a year. There is a limit and I doubt you'll be using 3 year old experiences at interview. By all means get in early, but do not let it detract from your degree/other ECs.
Hi,

I didn't do Science A levels (my college wouldn't allow me to pursue it as I got a C in Maths) hence doing English & enjoying it. Moving it onto degree levels, also. I understand it's really competitive but I really want to give it a try. I wish I got that stupid B in Maths!

I hope the GEM isn't scrapped because it has given me hope for three years time. :/ And also, I can't do a foundation course as I haven't done Science A levels and the measly C in Maths won't allow me. I can't do the access course as you need to be out of education for two/three years before pursuing and on top of this, the nearest place that offers it to me is an hour or so away.

Thanks.
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yabbayabba
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Don't bother with the English degree and just aim for medicine if that's what you really want. Redo your A levels or something

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Physflop
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(Original post by Utterly-confused)
I have average GCSEs - nothing too great. Average A levels. I am on a gap year, I want to build a career in medicine, having watched my little brother go through a mental illness, it has really inspired me to give back. I can see it as a career I would enjoy. I plan on taking an English degree, getting a first or at least a 2:1, applying for graduate medicine and performing well in my UKCAT/BMAT.

Am I dreaming here or can I still get in despite average grades? There's also an access course, but I am going to apply for graduate medicine first, if I don't get in, I will do the access course. I know some Unis don't want Science A levels (mines aren't) and those are the ones that I will apply to. I think it was Newcastle that doesn't mind GCSE and A levels results but I still want to seek advise.

How can I make myself stand out?


I am working full time during my gap year, learning to drive and I am my little brothers carer. I was thinking of applying to a care home and volunteering there, & then ask my Uni (Essex) next year to help me find placements in surgeries (so it's recent) and I have also shadowed a doctor abroad.. What else do you reckon I should do to stand out?

Also, UKCAT/BMAT REALLY matter, so how do I perform amazing in it? I am not the best at Maths (C) and my Science is okay, nothing too crazy, so I thought I would start preparing a little early on. What do you reckon?

(Typed in a rush, excuse grammar/spelling mistakes)
I think you seriously need to consider you plans for medicine if you didn't do any science A levels. It's a very scientific course! Also sorry if I'm wrong but most grad entry want you to have a related degree such a biomedical science or biochemistry dont they? Because the whole point of the year less in graduate entry is because you have prior knowledge relating to the degree? Also, you're going to spend £39,000 in your 3 years of study doing english and then whatever the next 4 years will cost you too. Retake A levels and do relevant ones, it's much cheaper!!!!
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Ronove
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(Original post by Utterly-confused)
Hi,

I didn't do Science A levels (my college wouldn't allow me to pursue it as I got a C in Maths) hence doing English & enjoying it. Moving it onto degree levels, also. I understand it's really competitive but I really want to give it a try. I wish I got that stupid B in Maths!

I hope the GEM isn't scrapped because it has given me hope for three years time. :/ And also, I can't do a foundation course as I haven't done Science A levels and the measly C in Maths won't allow me. I can't do the access course as you need to be out of education for two/three years before pursuing and on top of this, the nearest place that offers it to me is an hour or so away.

Thanks.
There are Foundation courses specifically for people that have done the wrong subjects. Some of them stipulate that you must not have taken more than one science subject, in fact. Have a look.

You could also consider doing Biology and Chemistry A-levels in a gap year (or a third year staying on at college) if you still get AAA+ in your current set of A-levels - some medical schools would likely consider you that way, because it wouldn't be a case of taking three years to do A-levels as such, but rather picking up the subjects you needed after showing you could hack A-levels in the standard time already. Occasionally there have been people on here that have done this in order to pick up Chemistry or Biology if they haven't got it - though I don't recall hearing of anyone picking up two that they were lacking in the gap year. Should be possible, though.
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kjfr
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This probably isnt an option you are considering, but I thought I'd make you aware:

If you were to do completely new A levels (obviously it would make sense for you to do them in the Sciences), you actually wouldnt be classed as a retake student. Universities will only count you as a resit student if you resit a subject you have already studied. I can see numerous benefits to 're-doing' your A levels in science subjects instead of pursuing an English degree. You could even self teach from home. However, I believe the reformed linear A levels begin in September, which might complicate things slightly.



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liam__
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(Original post by Utterly-confused)

Would you recommend anything for the GAMSAT? I want to prepare now, as apparently it's Science and Maths based (I haven't done that since GCSE) I looked at a sample and it looked really hard. How else could I ensure I really do well in the entrance exams?
The Griffiths GAMSAT Review and the Letts A-Level revision guides are what I'm using to prepare. There's also a wealth of great videos on YouTube that you can watch if you find a particular concept tricky.
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