Med_7860
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Hi,

So I'm currently studying A-Levels and I applied to Medicine this year and I got all 4 offers!

I'm happy but now obviously I have to decide a firm and insurance which is harder than I thought it would be.

I already sat one A level last year and I got an A in that which is why some of my offers only require two A level grades.

My offers:

King's College London (5 years): A*A
Imperial College London (6 years): AAA
UCL (6 years): A*AA
King's EMDP (6 Years): AB

I have beeen to the universities a few times but I'm still struggling to make a decision, one of the most important factors is definitely imperial and ucl having a compulsory Bsc and Kings having it as an option.
I thought I'd ask on here to see what other things people have to say about these unis and maybe see what other people would do. But of course I'm not going to base my decision on anyone's opinion but it might help me so yhhh

Thank You!
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NMauger96
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A BSc is a good thing as it is likely to be beneficial in the future - if an employer is considering to equal people but you have a BSc on top it may lead to you getting a job. It’ll also allow you to learn something you are are interested in for a year which may be more research based or hospital based. UCL do some really specific BSc for med students which allow your interests to be explored and it may be beneficial to choosing a speciality if you have some extra background knowledge.

But a BSc isn’t necessary and it is an extra year of study accruing more debt (essentially its invisible debt where you’ll be paying the same amount back yearly - something like £300 - but for a bit longer rather than paying more back each year). Medicine is a long enough degree at 5yrs so why bother with another year of study as you’ll already have everything you need to be a doctor without intercalating?
Which intercalations does each uni offer and how many different types are there? There could be a couple of really interesting BScs at one uni but another could have a list of 20 which would allow you choice if your interests change during your degree.

When deciding try to pick the ones where you can imagine yourself living and studying for 5-6yrs - which has the nicest atmosphere, which has better recommendations from current/past students - speak to students at open days and look online at student satisfaction. Do you prefer lots of theory or would you like practical work early on? Which hospitals would you like to work in - UCL has Great Ormond Street (which will be very competitive to get into), Kings College has placements at Princess Royal University Hospital which is on the outskirts of London - expensive to travel here daily for 12wks but teaching is good as the hospital is less crowded with med students compared to central London.
Which has the best nightlife and societies? Which has the nicest location/campus/accommodation? London is expensive - which has cheaper accommodation, which isn’t far from halls (saving money on transport), which is in a nicer (and maybe safer) area?
How many students per year does each uni have - would you prefer to be in a group of 400 students where it’s more anonymous and you don’t know many people or a smaller med school where people know each other and lecturers know you (this can be good or bad!!)

Finally, after deciding on your favourite (I’d suggest a pro and con table for each uni or one big table comparing each uni on certain points e.g location, teaching style, student satisfaction, etc.) try to find an insurance with the same or preferably lower entry requirements.

Good luck deciding! There are really good unis and I don’t think you’d regret choosing one over another too much but I know how hard this decision can be!
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Med_7860
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Thank you NMauger96 for your answer,

I think making a table with each factor you listed would be helpful I will do that!

But you said the extra year is BSc is more debt but isn't this extra year essentially paid by the NHS since they pay for all years above 4? Or is that what you were essentially saying with "invisible debt", I didn't understand what you meant there? Could you explain please?

Also you said that employers might give you an advantage looking at the BSc, but for foundation jobs I believe a points system is used out of 100, a first BSc contributes 4 points to that? Is that really significant? And if you're referring to post foundation year positions then would other things like maybe some sort of assessment/feedback during foundation years not be more important in the recruitment process?

Thank you once again,
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HopelessMedic
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(Original post by Med_7860)
Thank you NMauger96 for your answer,

I think making a table with each factor you listed would be helpful I will do that!

But you said the extra year is BSc is more debt but isn't this extra year essentially paid by the NHS since they pay for all years above 4? Or is that what you were essentially saying with "invisible debt", I didn't understand what you meant there? Could you explain please?

Also you said that employers might give you an advantage looking at the BSc, but for foundation jobs I believe a points system is used out of 100, a first BSc contributes 4 points to that? Is that really significant? And if you're referring to post foundation year positions then would other things like maybe some sort of assessment/feedback during foundation years not be more important in the recruitment process?

Thank you once again,

Firstly congrats on getting all four offers, it's a great position to be in.

The above post listed some key factors which you should consider for each university so i'm not going to repeat them, but your are correct in that having an intercalated degree doesn't make much of a difference in future job applications and it is certainly not worth doing for that reason alone.

If you haven't already then make sure you attend their respective offer holder days and speak to current student's their, ask them to be honest about the pro's and con's so that you can get a realistic view of each course.
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NMauger96
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(Original post by Med_7860)
Thank you NMauger96 for your answer,

I think making a table with each factor you listed would be helpful I will do that!

But you said the extra year is BSc is more debt but isn't this extra year essentially paid by the NHS since they pay for all years above 4? Or is that what you were essentially saying with "invisible debt", I didn't understand what you meant there? Could you explain please?

Also you said that employers might give you an advantage looking at the BSc, but for foundation jobs I believe a points system is used out of 100, a first BSc contributes 4 points to that? Is that really significant? And if you're referring to post foundation year positions then would other things like maybe some sort of assessment/feedback during foundation years not be more important in the recruitment process?

Thank you once again,
By invisible debt I meant that it’s different to debt from a bank and you shouldn’t worry about it. You won’t be paying it back until you earn £25,000+ pa (which of will straight out of med school) but the amount shouldn’t bother you too much. This is because no matter how much the debt you have you won’t be paying more than anyone else (although I think there are two bands of payment depending on earnings). You will only be paying about £300 back per year which is £25 a month.
From that perspective paying an extra year shouldn’t influence your decisions in doing a BSc or not - providing you are a UK student applying for Student Finance.
I highly doubt NHS will pay for the BSc year but it’s worth phoning student finance to find out. It’s almost certainly going to be paid for by SFE.

I had forgotten that extra points were given for a BSc! But that could be the difference from getting a foundation place in your first or second choice.
You raised a good point about post-foundation positions and that’s probably true.

My personal opinion is that intercalation is good for broadening understanding and skills and is particularly good if you wish to pursue research or just wish to research something of your interest. It also allows you to personalise your degree more. I really enjoyed my dissertation (well, the research more than writing it up and doing the presentation!) and I’d say it was worth the stress! However intercalating may be more difficult as you are unlikely to have the depth of knowledge in the foundations which other students have - at my uni med students can intercalate and take module with biomed, neuroscience and maybe biochemistry students. I currently take biomed and it is really beneficial to have the knowledge from years 1 and 2 in completing my third year modules - I ended up swapping a module as I didn’t have a foundation in neuroscience for one of my options. That being said, I think UCL have some good BSc for intercalation which are highly relevant to medics and they’d understand so maybe that’s the case for most med schools.
Depending on your choice - I believe a guy giving tours at my UCL interview was doing something relating to cardiology and got to observe surgery/doctors so it may give you extra experience.
(I hope that paragraph didn’t scare you - that wasn’t what I was trying to do! Trying to be realistic!!)

If you are really unsure if you wish to intercalated maybe going to a uni where it is optional is the way forward.

A degree in Medicine is a degree in Medicine. That will be sufficient in getting a job as a doctor in the future and not intercalating will not hinder you so don’t worry if you really don’t want to do a BSc!
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Jakir
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The consideration with a BSc is also that you it's reducing a year as a consultant, not as a FY1. So the cost of it is significantly higher - BUT when applying to deanery's for your F1 programme it counts towards your FPAS score. It is a tough decision but as always - just do what you personally think will be the best for you..
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NMauger96
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(Original post by Jakir)
The consideration with a BSc is also that you it's reducing a year as a consultant, not as a FY1. So the cost of it is significantly higher - BUT when applying to deanery's for your F1 programme it counts towards your FPAS score. It is a tough decision but as always - just do what you personally think will be the best for you..
That is pretty much the perfect answer!
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Med_7860
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Ouuuhh thats an interesting way to put it..
Thanks everyone I really do appreciate it!
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GrandMedic
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(Original post by NMauger96)
By invisible debt I meant that it’s different to debt from a bank and you shouldn’t worry about it. You won’t be paying it back until you earn £25,000+ pa (which of will straight out of med school) but the amount shouldn’t bother you too much. This is because no matter how much the debt you have you won’t be paying more than anyone else (although I think there are two bands of payment depending on earnings). You will only be paying about £300 back per year which is £25 a month.
From that perspective paying an extra year shouldn’t influence your decisions in doing a BSc or not - providing you are a UK student applying for Student Finance.
I highly doubt NHS will pay for the BSc year but it’s worth phoning student finance to find out. It’s almost certainly going to be paid for by SFE.

I had forgotten that extra points were given for a BSc! But that could be the difference from getting a foundation place in your first or second choice.
You raised a good point about post-foundation positions and that’s probably true.

My personal opinion is that intercalation is good for broadening understanding and skills and is particularly good if you wish to pursue research or just wish to research something of your interest. It also allows you to personalise your degree more. I really enjoyed my dissertation (well, the research more than writing it up and doing the presentation!) and I’d say it was worth the stress! However intercalating may be more difficult as you are unlikely to have the depth of knowledge in the foundations which other students have - at my uni med students can intercalate and take module with biomed, neuroscience and maybe biochemistry students. I currently take biomed and it is really beneficial to have the knowledge from years 1 and 2 in completing my third year modules - I ended up swapping a module as I didn’t have a foundation in neuroscience for one of my options. That being said, I think UCL have some good BSc for intercalation which are highly relevant to medics and they’d understand so maybe that’s the case for most med schools.
Depending on your choice - I believe a guy giving tours at my UCL interview was doing something relating to cardiology and got to observe surgery/doctors so it may give you extra experience.
(I hope that paragraph didn’t scare you - that wasn’t what I was trying to do! Trying to be realistic!!)

If you are really unsure if you wish to intercalated maybe going to a uni where it is optional is the way forward.

A degree in Medicine is a degree in Medicine. That will be sufficient in getting a job as a doctor in the future and not intercalating will not hinder you so don’t worry if you really don’t want to do a BSc!
I agree with all your points but I'm 99% sure that the BSc year is indeed covered by the NHS as the OP has stated. This could (though unlikely) differ from uni to uni, but for example at Leicester they state on their website:

"If you extend your course to six years by taking the iBSc, you will still receive a Tuition Fee Loan for the first four years, and will then receive an NHS Bursary for Years 5 and 6."
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NMauger96
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(Original post by GrandMedic)
I agree with all your points but I'm 99% sure that the BSc year is indeed covered by the NHS as the OP has stated. This could (though unlikely) differ from uni to uni, but for example at Leicester they state on their website:

"If you extend your course to six years by taking the iBSc, you will still receive a Tuition Fee Loan for the first four years, and will then receive an NHS Bursary for Years 5 and 6."
Does that not mean that Student Finance England pays the first four years (three years of medicine plus the BSc) and the NHS pays for medicine years five a six? If so, that’s what I meant beforehand.
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GrandMedic
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(Original post by NMauger96)
Does that not mean that Student Finance England pays the first four years (three years of medicine plus the BSc) and the NHS pays for medicine years five a six? If so, that’s what I meant beforehand.
Yes it does but you stated that it's an extra year of tuition fees which is incorrect.

If you don't take the BSc but do a standard 5 years, then Student Finance pays for the first four years and the NHS pays for your medicine year 5.

Whereas with the BSc the NHS would've covered years 5 and 6.

So same fees.

Is this what you meant?
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NMauger96
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I’ve always thought that NHS pays for the last two years of the degree rather than only the last one - that’s where I went wrong.
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GrandMedic
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(Original post by NMauger96)
I’ve always thought that NHS pays for the last two years of the degree rather than only the last one - that’s where I went wrong.
Ahh. Yeah it's anything after Year 4.
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