throwawayacc22
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Hi everyone,

I'm currently in quite the dilemma. I'll just preface this by telling you what qualifications I currently hold:
- 10 GCSEs (AAABBBBCCC)
- 2 A-levels (A*C in non-science subjects) and one BTEC (D*)

I know that I don't stand a chance amidst school leavers with a heap of As/A*s. However, I know that I definitely want to study medicine. I'm currently considering my options on how to go about doing this.

I'm in my first year of a History degree at an RG uni. I don't hold the necessary A-level requirements to transfer directly onto a science degree, therefore I am considering doing a foundation year and then studying human biology (this would be at manchester metropolitan university). Am I deluded or could this work out?

I'm still 18 (19 in two months) so I would be 23 when I graduate but surely human biology would increase my chances of getting into GEM (although, I am aware that there is no guarantee that GEM will still be around) than a history degree. I'm quite concerned about the extra two years but I know that they would be useful because I'd have 4 years from now to gain relevant work experience.

I'll be incredibly grateful for anyone who responds, I am aware of how competitive GEM is and therefore there is no guarantee I would be accepted even with a human bio degree. Any advice would be great, Thank you.

TL;DR - Should I continue with my history degree at an RG uni? (after doing this, I would also sit an A-level in chemistry) or Should I do a human biology degree with a foundation year from a non-RG uni?
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Democracy
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(Original post by throwawayacc22)
Hi everyone,

I'm currently in quite the dilemma. I'll just preface this by telling you what qualifications I currently hold:
- 10 GCSEs (AAABBBBCCC)
- 2 A-levels (A*C in non-science subjects) and one BTEC (D*)

I know that I don't stand a chance amidst school leavers with a heap of As/A*s. However, I know that I definitely want to study medicine. I'm currently considering my options on how to go about doing this.

I'm in my first year of a History degree at an RG uni. I don't hold the necessary A-level requirements to transfer directly onto a science degree, therefore I am considering doing a foundation year and then studying human biology (this would be at manchester metropolitan university). Am I deluded or could this work out?

I'm still 18 (19 in two months) so I would be 23 when I graduate but surely human biology would increase my chances of getting into GEM (although, I am aware that there is no guarantee that GEM will still be around) than a history degree. I'm quite concerned about the extra two years but I know that they would be useful because I'd have 4 years from now to gain relevant work experience.

I'll be incredibly grateful for anyone who responds, I am aware of how competitive GEM is and therefore there is no guarantee I would be accepted even with a human bio degree. Any advice would be great, Thank you.

TL;DR - Should I continue with my history degree at an RG uni? (after doing this, I would also sit an A-level in chemistry) or Should I do a human biology degree with a foundation year from a non-RG uni?
How are you doing in your history degree?

You can get into GEM with a non science degree. You can also apply to GEPs which don't have A level requirements i.e. there's no need to put yourself through the pointlessness of A level chemistry.

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...cine_-_a_guide
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throwawayacc22
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(Original post by Democracy)
How are you doing in your history degree?

You can get into GEM with a non science degree. You can also apply to GEPs which don't have A level requirements i.e. there's no need to put yourself through the pointlessness of A level chemistry.

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...cine_-_a_guide
I'm finding it relatively, dare I say, easy. I have a first for this year and I know that I can maintain this due to the effort that I am putting in. I have done my research about GEM and I think the decision to take a chemistry A-level would be to consolidate my understanding of the subject, which inevitably is important for medicine. Although, I do know that I could teach myself this but universities will probably want evidence of ability in the subject (generally achieved through A-level grades).

Thanks for the response.
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Star Light
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(Original post by throwawayacc22)
Hi everyone,

I'm currently in quite the dilemma. I'll just preface this by telling you what qualifications I currently hold:
- 10 GCSEs (AAABBBBCCC)
- 2 A-levels (A*C in non-science subjects) and one BTEC (D*)

I know that I don't stand a chance amidst school leavers with a heap of As/A*s. However, I know that I definitely want to study medicine. I'm currently considering my options on how to go about doing this.

I'm in my first year of a History degree at an RG uni. I don't hold the necessary A-level requirements to transfer directly onto a science degree, therefore I am considering doing a foundation year and then studying human biology (this would be at manchester metropolitan university). Am I deluded or could this work out?

I'm still 18 (19 in two months) so I would be 23 when I graduate but surely human biology would increase my chances of getting into GEM (although, I am aware that there is no guarantee that GEM will still be around) than a history degree. I'm quite concerned about the extra two years but I know that they would be useful because I'd have 4 years from now to gain relevant work experience.

I'll be incredibly grateful for anyone who responds, I am aware of how competitive GEM is and therefore there is no guarantee I would be accepted even with a human bio degree. Any advice would be great, Thank you.

TL;DR - Should I continue with my history degree at an RG uni? (after doing this, I would also sit an A-level in chemistry) or Should I do a human biology degree with a foundation year from a non-RG uni?
As you are clearly aware, GEM is incredibly competitive. If you wanted to apply with the History degree, you would indeed need A-Level Chemistry for many places, but I'm not sure if that'd be enough - perhaps A-Level Biology in addition would be helpful too, or at least another science, i.e. Maths or Physics. If you went with the Human Biology degree, it may still be worth doing a 3rd A-Level to make you more competitive.

The best answer I can give is that GEM admissions vary a lot between universities. The best way to find out what combinations of degrees and A-Levels would be accepted is by checking the websites or emailing the admissions departments yourself. Each uni accepts various routes with different requirements for each.

One thing I can say in confidence is that they probably won't care whether or not your degree is RG - for most, a degree is a degree, so don't consider that as acting in your favour or not.

As you have a long time between now and your application, whatever your route, you are right to be thinking of work experience - this is a big differentiator, and being an adult, you can get some relevant, direct work experience done. Look into local opportunities in hospitals or care home for voluntary or paid work, and try to reflect on any you do at the time to remember what you learnt from it, what is shows about you, what skills you developed etc etc.

So, yeah - email unis or check their GEM admissions webpages. There may be people on here or other forums with relevant experience of GEM applications with similar circumstances to yours, so check for that too.
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somethingbeautiful
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As a Philosophy grad applying for 2016/17 GEM, I'd say stick with your current degree unless you're finding it difficult or seriously lacking motivation to complete it. There are 5 unis (currently) that you can apply to with a non-science degree and non-science A-Levels and sit GAMSAT/UKCAT for. If you opt for unis who want science degrees then most of them want Chem or Bio (or both) A-Levels too, so you wouldn't be in a better position unless you re-took your A-Levels (and you'd have to check if they allowed that).

I was in your situation mid-way through my degree, but I chose to complete it because there are unis who take any degree and don't care about your A-level subjects. The ones that want science degrees usually want science A-Levels too (e.g. L'pool). Previously Leicester/Imperial would accept a science degree without the need for Chem/Bio A-Level - but they're off the table now. So having a science degree without science A-Levels is not going to help you. You'd be in a better position with a non-science degree and non-science A-Levels OR non-science degree and sitting Chem (for Southampton) but for the sake of applying to one university I would not sit a Chem A-level because it's very expensive and you could just sit the GAMSAT instead and still have 4 options.

Anyhow, that's the path I'm taking - it's obviously up to you and whatever suits you but personally, I think it's the most straightforward and cost effective way of handling GEM as a non-science grad with non-science A-Levels.

PS. I also wouldn't necessarily postpone a viable GEM application by 2 years (as you're suggesting doing) because 1) You've got a chance of getting in without switching degrees and 2) Who knows what the state of GEM/funding will be by the time you've completed a science degree.

Edit: Just to reiterate the point: you do not need Chem/Bio A-Levels to apply to GEM with a History degree - apply to GAMSAT unis who accept any degree. Don't make life harder for yourself.
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theresheglows
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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
As a Philosophy grad applying for 2016/17 GEM, I'd say stick with your current degree unless you're finding it difficult or seriously lacking motivation to complete it. There are 5 unis (currently) that you can apply to with a non-science degree and non-science A-Levels and sit GAMSAT/UKCAT for. If you opt for unis who want science degrees then most of them want Chem or Bio (or both) A-Levels too, so you wouldn't be in a better position unless you re-took your A-Levels (and you'd have to check if they allowed that).

I was in your situation mid-way through my degree, but I chose to complete it because there are unis who take any degree and don't care about your A-level subjects. The ones that want science degrees usually want science A-Levels too (e.g. L'pool). Previously Leicester/Imperial would accept a science degree without the need for Chem/Bio A-Level - but they're off the table now. So having a science degree without science A-Levels is not going to help you. You'd be in a better position with a non-science degree and non-science A-Levels OR non-science degree and sitting Chem (for Southampton) but for the sake of applying to one university I would not sit a Chem A-level because it's very expensive and you could just sit the GAMSAT instead and still have 4 options.

Anyhow, that's the path I'm taking - it's obviously up to you and whatever suits you but personally, I think it's the most straightforward and cost effective way of handling GEM as a non-science grad with non-science A-Levels.

PS. I also wouldn't necessarily postpone a viable GEM application by 2 years (as you're suggesting doing) because 1) You've got a chance of getting in without switching degrees and 2) Who knows what the state of GEM/funding will be by the time you've completed a science degree.

Edit: Just to reiterate the point: you do not need Chem/Bio A-Levels to apply to GEM with a History degree - apply to GAMSAT unis who accept any degree. Don't make life harder for yourself.
All good advice. Only thing I'd argue is that A-level chem & bio are possibly easier than taking the GAMSAT without a science background; since plenty of people do it clearly it's possible, but the GAMSAT is a hard exam and people have told me that preparation for it is not easy if you haven't done science since GCSE. Taking GAMSAT is quicker than doing A-levels, I'd say that's the only thing it has going for it.

Also it needn't take 2 years to do 2 A-levels, many people take them in a year, although if delaying a year is too much then GAMSAT is the only way.
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