The Student Room Group

Graduate Entry Medicine - Advice from Current Students

Hi everyone!

My name’s Cameron, and I’m a Year 3 Graduate Entry Medicine student at Swansea University. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

I’m starting this conversation to offer a chance for any applicants to ask questions or for advice regarding their GEM application. Happy to answer anything related to the application process, the course, the University, student life, placements, accommodation, etc. etc.

I unfortunately can’t offer any information about a current application (i.e. if you’ve made an application and are waiting to hear back). Enquiries about this should be directed via email to: [email protected]

Looking forward to hearing from everyone!
Reply 1
Original post by Swansea University Colleges
Hi everyone!

My name’s Cameron, and I’m a Year 3 Graduate Entry Medicine student at Swansea University. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

I’m starting this conversation to offer a chance for any applicants to ask questions or for advice regarding their GEM application. Happy to answer anything related to the application process, the course, the University, student life, placements, accommodation, etc. etc.

I unfortunately can’t offer any information about a current application (i.e. if you’ve made an application and are waiting to hear back). Enquiries about this should be directed via email to: [email protected]

Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

Hi Cameron,

Thank you for putting up this post!
Swansea would be my top choice for GEM, but I'm curious about the application process.
I don't really have great A-levels (wrong subjects, average grades), and I did a Psychology Bachelor (2:1). I was wondering if there would be a lot of emphasis on the GAMSAT to attain an interview, and whether you have a rough idea of where the cut-off could be?
Furthermore, does Swansea put weight on work experience? (Couldn't find much about this on the website).
I would really love to get an interview and any tips on what I can still do to increase my chances would be great!

A bit about me:
GCSEs: 1A*s, 8As, 1B
IB: 35 points (Chemistry + Maths 6,6, standard level) - picked the wrong subjects here!
BSc Psychology (Netherlands, but equivalent to 2:1)
MSc Neuroscience (Distinction)
Currently doing a PhD in Neuroscience (won't finish for another 2 years so looking at 2024 entry).

Thanks for your help!
Original post by blloyd91
Hi Cameron,

Thank you for putting up this post!
Swansea would be my top choice for GEM, but I'm curious about the application process.
I don't really have great A-levels (wrong subjects, average grades), and I did a Psychology Bachelor (2:1). I was wondering if there would be a lot of emphasis on the GAMSAT to attain an interview, and whether you have a rough idea of where the cut-off could be?
Furthermore, does Swansea put weight on work experience? (Couldn't find much about this on the website).
I would really love to get an interview and any tips on what I can still do to increase my chances would be great!

A bit about me:
GCSEs: 1A*s, 8As, 1B
IB: 35 points (Chemistry + Maths 6,6, standard level) - picked the wrong subjects here!
BSc Psychology (Netherlands, but equivalent to 2:1)
MSc Neuroscience (Distinction)
Currently doing a PhD in Neuroscience (won't finish for another 2 years so looking at 2024 entry).

Thanks for your help!


Hi there! Thanks for your comment - your grades are amazing and more than sufficient to apply! The only thing is that Swansea uses the GAMSAT as the cut-off for interview rather than work experience / grades etc., so there is a big emphasis on that early on in the process. It’s hard to say what the cut off would be as it changes depending on every year’s performance, but it’s usually in the low 60s. Good luck!
Hi there, thanks for starting this thread. I was wondering if you could say how important work experience is in the application and interviews. I've found it so hard to get work experience due to the pandemic and I'm worried it'll hamper my applications. I know that for example Warwick are super strict about their work experience requirements, but did you find that it was important elsewhere as well.
Reply 4
Original post by Swansea University Colleges
Hi there! Thanks for your comment - your grades are amazing and more than sufficient to apply! The only thing is that Swansea uses the GAMSAT as the cut-off for interview rather than work experience / grades etc., so there is a big emphasis on that early on in the process. It’s hard to say what the cut off would be as it changes depending on every year’s performance, but it’s usually in the low 60s. Good luck!

Thanks Cameron, this is very helpful! Good thing that time is on my side :smile: I'll study hard for the GAMSAT and hopefully make the cut-off (whatever that may be)!
Cheers! Beth
Original post by medicphd
Hi there, thanks for starting this thread. I was wondering if you could say how important work experience is in the application and interviews. I've found it so hard to get work experience due to the pandemic and I'm worried it'll hamper my applications. I know that for example Warwick are super strict about their work experience requirements, but did you find that it was important elsewhere as well.


I can only speak on behalf of Swansea: realistically your work experience doesn’t make a huge difference to the chance of getting invited to interview, because nobody really sees your personal statement until the GAMSAT scores have been collated and a cut-off set. The real importance of work experience is in the interview, as all four interviewers will have a copy of your personal statement in front of them that they can refer to and ask questions about. But there’s no “minimum” requirement for work experience - it’s about quality (what you took away from it), not quantity!
Original post by Swansea University Colleges
I can only speak on behalf of Swansea: realistically your work experience doesn’t make a huge difference to the chance of getting invited to interview, because nobody really sees your personal statement until the GAMSAT scores have been collated and a cut-off set. The real importance of work experience is in the interview, as all four interviewers will have a copy of your personal statement in front of them that they can refer to and ask questions about. But there’s no “minimum” requirement for work experience - it’s about quality (what you took away from it), not quantity!

Great, thanks!

Do you have any opportunities to be involved in research whilst studying? I'm a PhD student at the moment, and I'd like to still be involved in academic research as a medic, but do you have any opportunities to do so whilst studying?
Original post by medicphd
Great, thanks!

Do you have any opportunities to be involved in research whilst studying? I'm a PhD student at the moment, and I'd like to still be involved in academic research as a medic, but do you have any opportunities to do so whilst studying?


Yes, we get a lot of opportunities to partake in research! Be it scientific research or audit-type work, there are always projects to get involved with and get publications out of. The earlier years of med school are ideal times to do that kind of thing as you have more non-contact time than the more clinical placement-heavy years!
Original post by Swansea University Colleges
Yes, we get a lot of opportunities to partake in research! Be it scientific research or audit-type work, there are always projects to get involved with and get publications out of. The earlier years of med school are ideal times to do that kind of thing as you have more non-contact time than the more clinical placement-heavy years!

Great! Do you know if there's particular areas of research that commonly come up, or is it just very general?
Original post by medicphd
Great! Do you know if there's particular areas of research that commonly come up, or is it just very general?


There’s a big variety of options as both the research labs and a large hospital are right next to the medical school so there’s plenty of opportunities to pursue research in whatever your field of interest is 🔬
Reply 10
Hi both,

I have one further question (which also might be relevant for you @medicphd).
I have also embarked on a research PhD and will therefore only start (hopefully!) my medicine journey afterwards (at the ripe age of 32 :colondollar:). I wonder if the panel, particularly at Swansea, would be concerned that I may be seen as a 'timewaster'. And wonder why I didn't do it sooner. I guess It's hard to put my motivations down on paper (i.e., in a personal statement), when I feel like I might have to justify why I went down the research route first.
Or Cameron, do you happen to know if Swansea appreciate PhDs, are there many that you have come across on your GEM course?
Do you have concerns about this @medicphd?
Best, Beth
Original post by blloyd91
Hi both,

I have one further question (which also might be relevant for you @medicphd).
I have also embarked on a research PhD and will therefore only start (hopefully!) my medicine journey afterwards (at the ripe age of 32 :colondollar:). I wonder if the panel, particularly at Swansea, would be concerned that I may be seen as a 'timewaster'. And wonder why I didn't do it sooner. I guess It's hard to put my motivations down on paper (i.e., in a personal statement), when I feel like I might have to justify why I went down the research route first.
Or Cameron, do you happen to know if Swansea appreciate PhDs, are there many that you have come across on your GEM course?
Do you have concerns about this @medicphd?
Best, Beth

Hi there, yes I completely understand where you're coming from, but I think as PhDs we're in a very unique place where we can play up our research skills and make it a positive. I don't know if you want to continue research as a medic, but I do and I think that the PhD will be able to supplement clinical work.

I was oblivious to the fact that you could be both a scientist and clinician at the same time until I took up the PhD and realised how many people did that. I work with a lot of clinician scientists who have medical degrees and PhDs (albeit they did it the other way round), but I think that they're in a great position where they can be the bridge between basic scientists and clinicians, and that's something we can talk about in the personal statement that's unique to us.

Also, there'll be other people in their late 20's/early 30's who'll be applying from completely different backgrounds, so I don't think you'll be seen as a 'timewaster', if anything you'll have an upper hand because you already work within life sciences.

Best of luck :smile:
Original post by blloyd91
Hi both,

I have one further question (which also might be relevant for you @medicphd).
I have also embarked on a research PhD and will therefore only start (hopefully!) my medicine journey afterwards (at the ripe age of 32 :colondollar:). I wonder if the panel, particularly at Swansea, would be concerned that I may be seen as a 'timewaster'. And wonder why I didn't do it sooner. I guess It's hard to put my motivations down on paper (i.e., in a personal statement), when I feel like I might have to justify why I went down the research route first.
Or Cameron, do you happen to know if Swansea appreciate PhDs, are there many that you have come across on your GEM course?
Do you have concerns about this @medicphd?
Best, Beth


Hi Beth,

There are quite a few people with PhDs on my course - Swansea values all types of experience and I can assure you that your age, qualifications, and experience will only be advantageous to you in your application. There’s no shame in taking your time coming into medicine as it’s not a career to be taken lightly, so you can emphasise in your interview that you’ve been considering this career for a long time and have now come to a sincere and well-thought-out decision. Good luck 😁!
Hello, I plan to apply to Swansea GEM in a few years (3-4). I would really appreciate it if you could give some suggestions on my best course of action during this period to maximise my chances of getting into the program.

1.

I have a BSc (2:2) and Masters (distinction). Both of them are in Biomolecular Engineering. Although the Swansea GEM website mentions that they accept students with 2:2 and a Master's, are there any people in reality who have been accepted with these grades? Do you think they will consider my application?

2.

I have two and a half years of working experience in different Biomolecular Labs. Now, will it be better if I do another BSc in Biomedical Science to improve my GPA? (I am not sure if they will count a second undergraduate degree as my primary degree, as I have seen on the Leicester uni website that they do not accept a second one). Or will it be wiser to get more patient-related experience?

3.

I have also kept my option open to do a Physician Associate MSc and get a couple of years of direct patient experience. Will it help?

Sorry for throwing so many questions. Thanks.
Original post by Swansea Students
Hi everyone!

My name’s Cameron, and I’m a Year 3 Graduate Entry Medicine student at Swansea University. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

I’m starting this conversation to offer a chance for any applicants to ask questions or for advice regarding their GEM application. Happy to answer anything related to the application process, the course, the University, student life, placements, accommodation, etc. etc.

I unfortunately can’t offer any information about a current application (i.e. if you’ve made an application and are waiting to hear back). Enquiries about this should be directed via email to: [email protected]

Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

Hello, Cameron!
I plan to apply to Swansea GEM in a few years (3-4). I would really appreciate it if you could give some suggestions on my best course of action during this period to maximise my chances of getting into the program.
1.
I have a BSc (2:2) and Masters (distinction). Both of them are in Biomolecular Engineering. Although the Swansea GEM website mentions that they accept students with 2:2 and a Master's, are there any people in reality who have been accepted with these grades? Do you think they will consider my application?
2.
I have two and a half years of working experience in different Biomolecular Labs. Now, will it be better if I do another BSc in Biomedical Science to improve my GPA? (I am not sure if they will count a second undergraduate degree as my primary degree, as I have seen on the Leicester uni website that they do not accept a second one). Or will it be wiser to get more patient-related experience?
3.
I have also kept my option open to do a Physician Associate MSc and get a couple of years of direct patient experience. Will it help?
Sorry for throwing so many questions. Thanks.
Original post by Tontonmoymoy
Hello, Cameron!
I plan to apply to Swansea GEM in a few years (3-4). I would really appreciate it if you could give some suggestions on my best course of action during this period to maximise my chances of getting into the program.
1.
I have a BSc (2:2) and Masters (distinction). Both of them are in Biomolecular Engineering. Although the Swansea GEM website mentions that they accept students with 2:2 and a Master's, are there any people in reality who have been accepted with these grades? Do you think they will consider my application?
2.
I have two and a half years of working experience in different Biomolecular Labs. Now, will it be better if I do another BSc in Biomedical Science to improve my GPA? (I am not sure if they will count a second undergraduate degree as my primary degree, as I have seen on the Leicester uni website that they do not accept a second one). Or will it be wiser to get more patient-related experience?
3.
I have also kept my option open to do a Physician Associate MSc and get a couple of years of direct patient experience. Will it help?
Sorry for throwing so many questions. Thanks.

Hi, I am applying to Swansea this year. I have been invited to interview in February, and I have a 2:2 in my undergrad, currently studying for an MSc (predicted distinction), so yes there is hope!

Don't believe Swansea have strict requirements on work experience - the interviews are the opportunity to demonstrate what they're looking for and pulling on any experience you have (direct patient care or otherwise)
Original post by medicphd
Hi there, thanks for starting this thread. I was wondering if you could say how important work experience is in the application and interviews. I've found it so hard to get work experience due to the pandemic and I'm worried it'll hamper my applications. I know that for example Warwick are super strict about their work experience requirements, but did you find that it was important elsewhere as well.

I'm at Newcastle. I think Warwick is the only GEM course that assesses work experience at the pre-interview stage. However, it's valuable to have for interview. The questions are often scenario-based or centred on a particular quality (e.g. "Tell me about a time when you..." or "Why do you think XYZ is important in a doctor?") and I think it makes it easier to give compelling answers if you have some relevant experience to draw on. Just remember that relevant experience encompasses far more than just shadowing a doctor or working as a HCA. Sometimes people get too caught up in trying to do these specific things, when really there are lots of ways to demonstrate the values and insights they look for at interview. Have you looked at becoming a befriender with the Alzheimer's Society or the Stroke Association, for example? There are lots of volunteering opportunities out there that would be relevant, if you can commit a couple of hours per week.
Original post by Tontonmoymoy
Hello, I plan to apply to Swansea GEM in a few years (3-4). I would really appreciate it if you could give some suggestions on my best course of action during this period to maximise my chances of getting into the program.

1.

I have a BSc (2:2) and Masters (distinction). Both of them are in Biomolecular Engineering. Although the Swansea GEM website mentions that they accept students with 2:2 and a Master's, are there any people in reality who have been accepted with these grades? Do you think they will consider my application?

2.

I have two and a half years of working experience in different Biomolecular Labs. Now, will it be better if I do another BSc in Biomedical Science to improve my GPA? (I am not sure if they will count a second undergraduate degree as my primary degree, as I have seen on the Leicester uni website that they do not accept a second one). Or will it be wiser to get more patient-related experience?

3.

I have also kept my option open to do a Physician Associate MSc and get a couple of years of direct patient experience. Will it help?

Sorry for throwing so many questions. Thanks.

Hey! I'm so happy you're considering coming to join us at Swansea. It really is a great university with a great course! I love it!

In answer to question 1, yes there are people in the past that I know have been accepted with a 2:2 and then a masters degree. There is more information on entry requirements on our website.

In answer to question 2, any work experience is valuable. Swansea, as far as I know at this current point, do not require a set amount of hours of work experience, or for your work experience to be in a set field or area. I would say the most important thing to do whenever you get work experience opportunities is to reflect on what you have seen/done. Why should your interviewers care about it? What has it taught you about yourself as a person? Have you seen good practice/bad practice - what would you like to take forward into your future practice as a doctor? In terms of usefulness of work experience to you, I would personally say any patient-centred work experience will be more beneficial. It gives you more of an insight into the future career of a doctor, lets you become exposed to the multi-disciplinary team, and can allow you to see the realities of being a doctor.

In answer to your final question, question 3, there is nothing wrong with keeping your mind open to Physician Associate. Patient-centred experience will help applications for both Graduate Entry Medicine and Physician's Associate, so I would say it is beneficial.

Hope that helps!

Hope Henry - Third Year Graduate Entry Medicine Student.
Considering Swansea for 2025 entry. Does it help to have a Welsh connection - school, university, lived there etc.
Original post by Treasure61
Considering Swansea for 2025 entry. Does it help to have a Welsh connection - school, university, lived there etc.
I think the only advantage is a lower GAMSAT cutoff. This year it was 50 for Welsh students and 53 for other UK

Quick Reply

Latest