abczyx123987
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I am going into my 4th year of engineering at Cambridge. I chose to specialise in mechanical engineering before the start of my third year. However, during my time at uni, I've made friends with a lot of medics and have became increasingly interested in the field. I've done a significant amount of work experience this summer and I am now certain that I want to apply for graduate entry medicine. My degree didn't involve any biology (and I also didn't take biology at A level/AS), so I will obviously only be applying to unis that don't require a life sciences degree. However, although these unis don't formally require a strong biology background, will I be disadvantaged for not having studied biology in 6th form or university? How likely would it be for someone in my position to get an offer when I will be competing with thousands of people who have done medicine-related degrees like biomedical sciences or biochemistry?
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Marathi
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It'll be fine as long as you satisfy the other application criteria (entrance exams, degree classification, work experience, etc). I'm a 3rd year GEM student at Warwick who did Graphic Design, my GCSEs were all C's, no A-levels (did a BTEC) and no formal science education since high school. There are many others similar to me too, so don't worry and focus on entrance exams
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abczyx123987
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(Original post by Marathi)
It'll be fine as long as you satisfy the other application criteria (entrance exams, degree classification, work experience, etc). I'm a 3rd year GEM student at Warwick who did Graphic Design, my GCSEs were all C's, no A-levels (did a BTEC) and no formal science education since high school. There are many others similar to me too, so don't worry and focus on entrance exams
Thanks for the reply mate. Are there a lot of people that you know of who were admitted onto GEM from a similar position as you? I can understand why universities would take people from a life sciences degree onto a 4-year Medicine course, because the students would've covered a lot of the content already. However, I'm struggling to understand why they would accept me onto a condensed course if I have no biology/medicine background. Is it because they think graduates have better time management and more efficient revision strategies so they would be able to learn a typically 5-year course in 4 years?
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ForestCat
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(Original post by abczyx123987)
Thanks for the reply mate. Are there a lot of people that you know of who were admitted onto GEM from a similar position as you? I can understand why universities would take people from a life sciences degree onto a 4-year Medicine course, because the students would've covered a lot of the content already. However, I'm struggling to understand why they would accept me onto a condensed course if I have no biology/medicine background. Is it because they think graduates have better time management and more efficient revision strategies so they would be able to learn a typically 5-year course in 4 years?
Lots of places understand that people come from all walks of life to GEM. In my year we had someone who had done Russian at Oxford, another who had done Arabic. You don’t hugely need a science background, they teach you all the stuff you need. Just need to be able to knuckle down.
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Marathi
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Pretty much what FC said. The entrance exams are tough in themselves and show that you have the necessary science knowledge (GAMSAT/BMAT). Students from a non-science background offer more variety and different approaches to problem solving (and from my experience are stronger in some areas such as ethics and communication skills) - we're all together to help each other become better doctors from our own past experiences.
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abczyx123987
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(Original post by ForestCat)
Lots of places understand that people come from all walks of life to GEM. In my year we had someone who had done Russian at Oxford, another who had done Arabic. You don’t hugely need a science background, they teach you all the stuff you need. Just need to be able to knuckle down.
(Original post by Marathi)
Pretty much what FC said. The entrance exams are tough in themselves and show that you have the necessary science knowledge (GAMSAT/BMAT). Students from a non-science background offer more variety and different approaches to problem solving (and from my experience are stronger in some areas such as ethics and communication skills) - we're all together to help each other become better doctors from our own past experiences.
Thanks for the advice guys. Just got a few more queries if you don't mind. What's the workload like on the GEM course because I've heard that the standard 5 year course is already a lot of work, so I'd imagine the 4 year one to be even more intense? Like do you still have time for a decent social life? Also, what steps did you take to get onto such a competitive course? I'm just trying to find out how to maximise my chances and I'm asking here because I don't personally know any GEM students
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Marathi
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(Original post by abczyx123987)
Thanks for the advice guys. Just got a few more queries if you don't mind. What's the workload like on the GEM course because I've heard that the standard 5 year course is already a lot of work, so I'd imagine the 4 year one to be even more intense? Like do you still have time for a decent social life? Also, what steps did you take to get onto such a competitive course? I'm just trying to find out how to maximise my chances and I'm asking here because I don't personally know any GEM students
Can only speak for the course I'm on, the first year was intense - exams came round in a heartbeat and I've never learnt so much in such a short space of time. Second year was a lot more chilled out, but a lot more self-directed. Which can be a challenge for some people. However, I always found time to socialise with friends, continue to do hobbies, etc. obviously when exams are approaching that stuff gets knocked on the head a bit, but it's only for a few weeks.

You don't need to go above and beyond in your application (as long as you meet the entrance requirements you should get an interview), if your work experience is limited make notes/diary so you can reflect on it when interviews come round.
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username2915686
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Can I ask you why you want to change from engineering to medicine? I am currently a 6th form student and am undecided between the 2 fields.
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