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    Hi everyone, really sorry if this has been asked before, but I did a quick search and most of the threads, understandably, are looking at it from the funding side of things!

    So basically I applied for all GEM courses and have been lucky enough to end up with two offers and an alternate offer for the undergrad course at King's. For personal reasons, King's/London was my top choice and I'm actually maybe, possibly considering the financial sarifice for these reasons. So my problem is an incredibly luxurious one and I hope that this in no way comes across as ungrateful or spoilt (wary of the wrath of a particular Warwick thread participant...)!

    But finances aside, what are the pros and cons of the 5 year course vs the GEM course? These are the few I could think of, but I realise I'm coming up with these whilst emotionally charged- so if you can think of any more rational points/things I should consider, that would be greatly appreciated:

    4 year (Warwick)
    Pros:
    -entirely graduate intake
    -one year less of being a student/not earning
    -the proposed national FY1 exams would only be in trial the year I graduate (I think?!)

    Cons:
    -I can't actually think of any that aren't emotional

    5 year (King's)
    Pros:
    -with it not being an accelerated course there's slightly more breathing space and a more manageable workload
    -possibly enough time for this mess with the junior doc contracts to be rectified ( very optimistic I know)

    Cons:
    -predominantly undergrads

    As you can see I couldn't really come up with much- since the signifcant consideration is the financial side of things. Are there any professional considerations?

    I most likely will decide on the 4 year course, but I just wanted to make sure I'd looked at everything. Sorry for the essay and thanks for any help you can give!
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    (Original post by GradMed1234)
    Hi everyone, really sorry if this has been asked before, but I did a quick search and most of the threads, understandably, are looking at it from the funding side of things!

    So basically I applied for all GEM courses and have been lucky enough to end up with two offers and an alternate offer for the undergrad course at King's. For personal reasons, King's/London was my top choice and I'm actually maybe, possibly considering the financial sarifice for these reasons. So my problem is an incredibly luxurious one and I hope that this in no way comes across as ungrateful or spoilt (wary of the wrath of a particular Warwick thread participant...)!

    But finances aside, what are the pros and cons of the 5 year course vs the GEM course? These are the few I could think of, but I realise I'm coming up with these whilst emotionally charged- so if you can think of any more rational points/things I should consider, that would be greatly appreciated:

    4 year (Warwick)
    Pros:
    -entirely graduate intake
    -one year less of being a student/not earning
    -the proposed national FY1 exams would only be in trial the year I graduate (I think?!)

    Cons:
    -I can't actually think of any that aren't emotional

    5 year (King's)
    Pros:
    -with it not being an accelerated course there's slightly more breathing space and a more manageable workload
    -possibly enough time for this mess with the junior doc contracts to be rectified ( very optimistic I know)

    Cons:
    -predominantly undergrads

    As you can see I couldn't really come up with much- since the signifcant consideration is the financial side of things. Are there any professional considerations?

    I most likely will decide on the 4 year course, but I just wanted to make sure I'd looked at everything. Sorry for the essay and thanks for any help you can give!
    A wonderful problem to have
    Firstly, congratulation on getting your offers!
    I'm afraid that I don't know much about those 2 universities as they are not ones that I looked at. But might be worth looking at their teaching styles to see if they are different and if there is one that you prefer.
    Also, may be an idea to get a current student perspective. Do they have offer holder days? Any current students on forums/facebook that you can ask?
    I believe there is usually a fair amount of group work - how are people assigned to groups? What proportion of the intake are graduates (for Kings)? How do you feel about being in a group with non-graduates and do you think that might impact your learning?

    I appreciate some people may find that last question slightly controversial - It's not intended to be. I do believe we can all learn from each other, but I think it is important to take that into consideration when making that decision.

    That's just a few questions that came to mind.

    Hope that helps. Good luck whever you decide to go.
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    I think the main things you personally want to consider (aside from finance, which it sounds like you have sorted) is whether you would prefer to live in London or the Warwickshire (VERY different places to live in!) and what pace of learning you would prefer. I have a feeling that most 5 year courses require a dissertation (or similar) in the 3rd year, whereas the 3 year courses don't. Weirdly this was the main thing that put me off the 5 year course, other than the cost. I really disliked doing my undergraduate dissertation!
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    (Original post by shassasing)
    A wonderful problem to have
    Firstly, congratulation on getting your offers!
    I'm afraid that I don't know much about those 2 universities as they are not ones that I looked at. But might be worth looking at their teaching styles to see if they are different and if there is one that you prefer.
    Also, may be an idea to get a current student perspective. Do they have offer holder days? Any current students on forums/facebook that you can ask?
    I believe there is usually a fair amount of group work - how are people assigned to groups? What proportion of the intake are graduates (for Kings)? How do you feel about being in a group with non-graduates and do you think that might impact your learning?

    I appreciate some people may find that last question slightly controversial - It's not intended to be. I do believe we can all learn from each other, but I think it is important to take that into consideration when making that decision.

    That's just a few questions that came to mind.

    Hope that helps. Good luck whever you decide to go.

    Hi, thank you so much for taking the time to reply!

    I definitely have a lot to think about- but as you said, I'm very lucky to even be in this predicament!

    Not controversial at all- it's definitely something I have given thought, and hypothetically I don't think it would make me uncomfortable but I can't deny that I prefer the idea of being on a course of all graduates- I just don't know if it's a deal breaker!

    I think tracking down some graduates on the undergrad course will be my next mission...

    Thanks once again and good luck with your application!
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    100% do the four year course. Honestly, it's not that demanding if you just get on with it.
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    (Original post by Duckles)
    I think the main things you personally want to consider (aside from finance, which it sounds like you have sorted) is whether you would prefer to live in London or the Warwickshire (VERY different places to live in!) and what pace of learning you would prefer. I have a feeling that most 5 year courses require a dissertation (or similar) in the 3rd year, whereas the 3 year courses don't. Weirdly this was the main thing that put me off the 5 year course, other than the cost. I really disliked doing my undergraduate dissertation!
    London is definitely my preferred location, if I had received a GEM offer from KCL, I definitely would have accepted over Warwick. I suppose I'm just trying to see if the perceived pros of KCL can outweigh the financial struggle, and if there's any cons to the 5 year that clearly tip the scales to the 4 year.

    I actually don't have bad memories of my dissertation- but maybe it's like childbirth and my brain has chosen to forget the pain!

    But thanks for your help, and maybe see you in September!
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    The 4 year is intense but not unmanageable by any means. Usually it's just the first year that's particularly intense then you slow down when you hit the clinical years to a similar pace to 5 year courses.

    Con of the 5 year: money money money
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    An additional pro for 5 year courses as a grad and GEMs that are anywhere except Swansea and Warwick could be that you have a "special" factor. Based on what current GEM students at Barts said, the grad students are preferred for some placements. This is entirely based on anecdotal evidence and may just have been the experience of an handful of students but it might be nice to have a small edge in a sea of capable students.

    I think you also get extra points when applying for foundation for finishing in the top tier of your cohort and it might be easier to get there amongst a group of people who largely won't have done a dissertation or worked at undergraduate or postgraduate level before. (this would be in addition to extra points for your other degree/s). You would also need to do well in the SJT but if you're wanting a London or SouthWest foundation school then you'll need a very high score.

    I'm nearly 30 and I have a child (and I'm £36k short anyway) so I feel like I might fit in better with a grad only cohort so I'm going to Warwick this year but if I was hugely tempted by Barts.
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    (Original post by Quilverine)
    I think you also get extra points when applying for foundation for finishing in the top tier of your cohort and it might be easier to get there amongst a group of people who largely won't have done a dissertation or worked at undergraduate or postgraduate level before. (this would be in addition to extra points for your other degree/s). You would also need to do well in the SJT but if you're wanting a London or SouthWest foundation school then you'll need a very high score
    This is a good point and something I hadn't really considered until starting; the level amongst grads is pretty high (I'm sure it is at undergraduate too but there are loads of PhD holders etc). Thankfully I get the impression that the SJT is partially luck and time management so it kind of levels the field!
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    (Original post by Quilverine)
    I think you also get extra points when applying for foundation for finishing in the top tier of your cohort and it might be easier to get there amongst a group of people who largely won't have done a dissertation or worked at undergraduate or postgraduate level before. (this would be in addition to extra points for your other degree/s). You would also need to do well in the SJT but if you're wanting a London or SouthWest foundation school then you'll need a very high score.

    I'm nearly 30 and I have a child (and I'm £36k short anyway) so I feel like I might fit in better with a grad only cohort so I'm going to Warwick this year but if I was hugely tempted by Barts.
    (Original post by MJK91)
    This is a good point and something I hadn't really considered until starting; the level amongst grads is pretty high (I'm sure it is at undergraduate too but there are loads of PhD holders etc). Thankfully I get the impression that the SJT is partially luck and time management so it kind of levels the field!
    Ooh, this isn't something I had considered yet either, but definitely something to think about. As you said, any potential edge, even a small one, would be great to have (but maybe not at the expense that I'm considering!)

    Thanks both for your input!

    (also just found a thread from feb where someone asked the same question- glad to see I'm not completely insane for contemplating it!)
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    Hey so I'm a graduate doing A100 at Southampton.

    Firstly I personally chose this as my degree is an arts degree, I didn't feel I had the recent scientific exposure to keep up on A101. So far I think this was the best choice, the pace is great for me without being overwhelming and they really did start from the very basics. I think because of this I will have a better grasp of the science than I would have on A101.

    So for me the pros are -
    -Having reasonable free time in 1st and 2nd year to pursue other hobbies and get settled into a new city life.
    -Feeling as though the course is well rounded, for example we have a medical humanities module. (Comparatively I don't know how A101 feels in this sense, but I know they don't have medical humanities).
    -Great group of other graduates in my year (I know you'd get this on A101 too, but I'm just pointing out you certainly wouldn't be the only graduate on A100.)
    -Some people have mentioned a competitive edge. After exams, we shared results amongst the graduates, I felt a little disappointed as I was nearing the lower end compared to their scores (despite receiving very high marks). However I realised in our feedback lecture I was actually almost 20% higher than the year average and in the top 10%. Decile ranking within your cohort is directly scored on Foundation year applications, so I would say that is a consideration.
    -Having a large cohort of 200 brings with it variation. Many A101 courses have 30 or so per year. (Although I know Warwick and Swansea are much bigger).
    -Anatomy has been my favourite subject and I live the practical way it is taught. I believe on our A101 it is taught very differently and not as well, but again this depends on the course I suppose.

    Pros
    -The age/maturity gap is bigger than I was expecting, for example sometimes talking in lectures or lack of professionalism is frustrating. Particularly after I have sacrificed a well paid job etc. and worked extremely hard to have the privilege to be there, it can be a bit disheartening. Although I would say the majority of the time this can be ignored if you just concentrate on yourself.

    Anyway, hope that helps. Whatever you choose you'll love it all the same!


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    (Original post by LittleDonkey)
    Hey so I'm a graduate doing A100 at Southampton.

    Firstly I personally chose this as my degree is an arts degree, I didn't feel I had the recent scientific exposure to keep up on A101. So far I think this was the best choice, the pace is great for me without being overwhelming and they really did start from the very basics. I think because of this I will have a better grasp of the science than I would have on A101.

    So for me the pros are -
    -Having reasonable free time in 1st and 2nd year to pursue other hobbies and get settled into a new city life.
    -Feeling as though the course is well rounded, for example we have a medical humanities module. (Comparatively I don't know how A101 feels in this sense, but I know they don't have medical humanities).
    -Great group of other graduates in my year (I know you'd get this on A101 too, but I'm just pointing out you certainly wouldn't be the only graduate on A100.)
    -Some people have mentioned a competitive edge. After exams, we shared results amongst the graduates, I felt a little disappointed as I was nearing the lower end compared to their scores (despite receiving very high marks). However I realised in our feedback lecture I was actually almost 20% higher than the year average and in the top 10%. Decile ranking within your cohort is directly scored on Foundation year applications, so I would say that is a consideration.
    -Having a large cohort of 200 brings with it variation. Many A101 courses have 30 or so per year. (Although I know Warwick and Swansea are much bigger).
    -Anatomy has been my favourite subject and I live the practical way it is taught. I believe on our A101 it is taught very differently and not as well, but again this depends on the course I suppose.

    Pros
    -The age/maturity gap is bigger than I was expecting, for example sometimes talking in lectures or lack of professionalism is frustrating. Particularly after I have sacrificed a well paid job etc. and worked extremely hard to have the privilege to be there, it can be a bit disheartening. Although I would say the majority of the time this can be ignored if you just concentrate on yourself.

    Anyway, hope that helps. Whatever you choose you'll love it all the same!


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    This was actually incredibly helpful! Thank you for taking the time to write it 😀


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    Kings A100 has a large amount of graduates on it and in the later years you'll meet the GEPs and other grads as lots of the undergrads will intercalate. I did the GEP and plenty of my friends are undergrads too!

    Kings and Warwick are rather different in the way you learn and the placements. So that's worth taking into consideration
    Kings is very lecture based for the first 2 years then you go into pure clinical medicine with some lecture blocks at the start, placements can be spread all over the place in the later years, not in central London.
    But it's London and its incredible, i grew up in Coventry (where wariwck uni is... it's meh, there is a reason i left!)
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    Which course did you go for in the end?

    I was in the incredibly lucky situation of choosing between a 4-year offer and a 5-year offer this year too. For me, the financials were actually pretty evenly split when you'd taken lost earnings into account, but boiled down to 'pay money now' (term time work, savings) or 'pay money later' (loan).

    I have actually ended up choosing the 5 year course. Partly this was due to the particular medical school - it has a reputation of being one of the friendliest and best supported courses in the country, even if it is in the ****ing middle of nowhere. As a grad who's been out of education for quite a few years now, and who's made a lot of sacrifices to get here, I suppose somewhat selfishly I want to feel looked after when I get there rather than rushed through a slightly bigger and less friendly medical school. And the extra breathing space of a 5 year course will hopefully give me time to nosy around different specialties, enjoy being a student again, maybe do some research, and spend time with my family in my home country during the holidays.

    I suppose even the shortest possible route to being a doctor (GEM -> GP) is 9 years. You should make the choices that maximise your happiness along the way!
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    (Original post by prospectivemed56)
    Which course did you go for in the end?

    I was in the incredibly lucky situation of choosing between a 4-year offer and a 5-year offer this year too. For me, the financials were actually pretty evenly split when you'd taken lost earnings into account, but boiled down to 'pay money now' (term time work, savings) or 'pay money later' (loan).

    I have actually ended up choosing the 5 year course. Partly this was due to the particular medical school - it has a reputation of being one of the friendliest and best supported courses in the country, even if it is in the ****ing middle of nowhere. As a grad who's been out of education for quite a few years now, and who's made a lot of sacrifices to get here, I suppose somewhat selfishly I want to feel looked after when I get there rather than rushed through a slightly bigger and less friendly medical school. And the extra breathing space of a 5 year course will hopefully give me time to nosy around different specialties, enjoy being a student again, maybe do some research, and spend time with my family in my home country during the holidays.

    I suppose even the shortest possible route to being a doctor (GEM -> GP) is 9 years. You should make the choices that maximise your happiness along the way!
    Hi! I chose the 5 year in the end too. For me the time didn't factor at all- an extra year is nothing in the grand scheme, especially since I'm going to be investing so much time into this career anyway! And the extra financial cost was worth it for me to live where I would like to live, as you said have the longer holidays to earn money and just catch my breath, and also the extra time learning can't be a bad thing!

    I'm really happy with my decision and very lucky to have the means to finance it- I also like to think that someone who was on the Southampton or Warwick waiting list who didn't have the luxury of choice has potentially now got one!


    Thanks everyone who has kindly replied- good luck with courses you are about to start or are currently on, or any applications 😁😁


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    (Original post by GradMed1234)
    Hi! I chose the 5 year in the end too. For me the time didn't factor at all- an extra year is nothing in the grand scheme, especially since I'm going to be investing so much time into this career anyway! And the extra financial cost was worth it for me to live where I would like to live, as you said have the longer holidays to earn money and just catch my breath, and also the extra time learning can't be a bad thing!

    I'm really happy with my decision and very lucky to have the means to finance it- I also like to think that someone who was on the Southampton or Warwick waiting list who didn't have the luxury of choice has potentially now got one!


    Thanks everyone who has kindly replied- good luck with courses you are about to start or are currently on, or any applications 😁😁


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    Yay! Glad you are happy with your choice. OMGF we're going to be MED STUDENTS in four months!!!
 
 
 
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