The Student Room Group

What uni?

I'm starting to consider my options for uni. I want to study medicine (or a biology based course) but I have no idea which uni's to look at. Which uni's offer the best medicine course, but which uni lets you have a good social life aswell? The only uni I'm considering atm is Cardiff!
If anyone can give me advice or their experience I'll be grateful :smile:
All of them, basically. You should look at unis where you are a strong applicant (unis weigh stuff like GCSEs, UKCAT, predictions and personal statement differently). You could also think about stuff like whether you prefer PBL or lecture based, whether you want early clinical contact, whether you want to live in a big city and so on. :smile:
Original post by megan2lois
I'm starting to consider my options for uni. I want to study medicine (or a biology based course)


That is the much bigger decision here. The particular uni is entirely secondary to whether you're signing up for a 3 year degree or a 5/6 year degree of much higher competition, leading to an entire career, +/- a half decade of conscription if the government gets its way.

Worry about the uni afterwards.
Reply 3
Original post by nexttime
That is the much bigger decision here. The particular uni is entirely secondary to whether you're signing up for a 3 year degree or a 5/6 year degree of much higher competition, leading to an entire career, +/- a half decade of conscription if the government gets its way.

Worry about the uni afterwards.


I'm going to be signing up for the 5/6 year degree I think :smile:
Reply 4
Original post by StationToStation
All of them, basically. You should look at unis where you are a strong applicant (unis weigh stuff like GCSEs, UKCAT, predictions and personal statement differently). You could also think about stuff like whether you prefer PBL or lecture based, whether you want early clinical contact, whether you want to live in a big city and so on. :smile:


Okay thank you! I'll start doing so now! :smile:
Original post by megan2lois
I'm going to be signing up for the 5/6 year degree I think :smile:


You think or you know? :p:

How has your work experience and volunteering been, for instance?
Reply 6
Original post by nexttime
You think or you know? :p:

How has your work experience and volunteering been, for instance?


I think.. :redface: At the end of June I'm going to a hospital for work experience, and I'm currently volunteering in a charity shop and I'm searching for volunteer work to do more with medicine!
Original post by megan2lois
I think.. :redface: At the end of June I'm going to a hospital for work experience, and I'm currently volunteering in a charity shop and I'm searching for volunteer work to do more with medicine!



Are you applying for 2018 entry? If yes, you should try to find a volunteering placement in a caring setting (care home/hospital/whatever where you get to interact with and help patients) as quickly as possible. Many applicants have done this sort of thing for years so if you only do it for like two weeks the admissions people aren't going to be impressed.

If you're applying later you're not in such a rush, although getting a placement soon would be a good idea anyway. The experience would probably help you decide between medicine and a more theory-based route. :smile:
Reply 8
I second the wise advice of nexttime and StationtoStation, the most sensible thing for you to work out at the moment is to whether you want to apply for medicine or pursue the biological sciences route. This will not only influence which university you choose but the course of your whole life and career!

However, don't be alarmed, the key at your stage is just to learn as much as possible about both options (feel free to ask me specific questions about medicine at university) and work experience is a great way to do that. Make sure you really pay attention during your hospital work experience, speak to the doctors about their lives and think to yourself 'could I see myself doing this and enjoying it?'

If you do opt for medicine, StationtoStation makes a very good point regarding the voluntary work experience if you are indeed planning to apply this year. Don't forget that you'll need to prepare for the UKCAT (and possibly BMAT) admissions tests if you apply for medicine...

Best of your luck with your decision making, give us a shout with any more questions!

Alex, 4th year UCL medic
6med

P.S. In response to your original post, I love living in London! Plenty of fun things to do and get involved in, excellent hospitals and top quality research happening all over the place, the main downside is it is sooo expensive!
(edited 7 years ago)
Original post by megan2lois
I'm starting to consider my options for uni. I want to study medicine (or a biology based course) but I have no idea which uni's to look at. Which uni's offer the best medicine course, but which uni lets you have a good social life aswell? The only uni I'm considering atm is Cardiff!
If anyone can give me advice or their experience I'll be grateful :smile:


If you don't have 8-9A* at GCSE, Cardiff Med isn't a good choice.

Medicine is about applying based on your strengths, because there are very few people who'd have a great shot at every medical school. Consequently, advice is limited until you mention your grades, because choices vary heavily based on that.
Reply 10
Original post by GradeA*UnderA
If you don't have 8-9A* at GCSE, Cardiff Med isn't a good choice.

Medicine is about applying based on your strengths, because there are very few people who'd have a great shot at every medical school. Consequently, advice is limited until you mention your grades, because choices vary heavily based on that.


I got 4A*, 2A and 4B (also distinction in Further Maths). So this isn't good enough for Cardiff Med, even if I get amazing AS+ A level results?
Reply 11
I second the wise advice nexttime and StationtoStation, the most sensible thing for you to work out at the moment is to whether you want to apply for medicine or pursue the biological sciences route. This will not only influence which university you choose but the course of your whole life and career!

However, don't be alarmed, the key at your stage is just to learn as much as possible about both options (feel free to ask me specific questions about medicine at university) and work experience is a great way to do that. Make sure you really pay attention during your hospital work experience, speak to the doctors about lives and think to yourself 'could I see myself doing this and enjoying it?'

If you do opt for medicine, StationtoStation makes a very good point regarding the voluntary work experience if you are indeed planning to apply this year. Don't forget that you'll need to prepare for the UKCAT (and possibly BMAT) admissions tests if you apply for medicine...

Best of your luck with your decision making, give us a shout with any more questions!

Alex, 4th year UCL medic
6med

P.S. In response to your original post, I love living in London! Plenty of fun things to do and get involved in, excellent hospitals and top quality research happening all over the place, the main downside is it is sooo expensive!


Thank you so much! I've already begun looking at some UKCAT questions, but atm it isn't at the top of my lists!

I'm considering London but I feel like I'd get lost easily :s-smilie:!
Original post by megan2lois
I got 4A*, 2A and 4B (also distinction in Further Maths). So this isn't good enough for Cardiff Med, even if I get amazing AS+ A level results?


Nope, sorry - they don't even consider AS (most medical schools don't).
Reply 13
Original post by GradeA*UnderA
Nope, sorry - they don't even consider AS (most medical schools don't).


oh :frown: Thank you for being honest with me though:smile:!
Original post by megan2lois
oh :frown: Thank you for being honest with me though:smile:!


Liverpool, Keele and Bristol are good unis for you, you'd score full academic marks; Keele only care about minimum and Bristol weigh GCSEs 8%. These are good if your UKCAT goes terrible. These universities are among the most competitive due to the lack of care for UKCAT - I don't recommend it if you get a good UKCAT score - only if it's weak.

Newcastle, Southampton, St George's, Plymouth, Sheffield, St Andrews are universities that once you meet the minimum requirements, they shortlist on UKCAT - so these are fairly UKCAT heavy universites - good if you obviously get a good UKCAT score.
(St Andrews and Newcastle have VERY high cutoffs compared to other schools).

Try and get 660 on the UKCAT and you're in with a good chance of 3/4 interviews
(edited 7 years ago)
Reply 15
Original post by megan2lois
Thank you so much! I've already begun looking at some UKCAT questions, but atm it isn't at the top of my lists!

I'm considering London but I feel like I'd get lost easily :s-smilie:!


Well if you do go for the UKCAT next year, keep an eye on our website for free resources and let us know if you have any questions about the test :-)

There is honesty no reason to worry about getting lost in London! Yes of course it's overwhelming at first but you get to know your little areas CityMapper is a great app for navigation.

Alex, 4thb year UCL medic
6med

Quick Reply