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I want to word this in the least insensitive and most constructive way possible so please let me know if I’m being inconsiderate or anything like that.

So since year 9 I’ve had some family issues which eventually led to my mum, little brother and I moving into a refuge at the start of year 11 where we stayed for almost half the year. Because I suddenly missed so many days of school my secondary school really stepped up and helped us emotionally and financially (in addition to FSM which I had been receiving for 2 years at that point).

But since we were in temporary accommodation we eventually moved into our first permanent council housing this year which I am very grateful for. However, it’s in what I would consider to be a richer area and because of the distance I moved to another grammar school for sixth form which has historically achieved higher grades and progression to university than my secondary school.

But now, I am no longer eligible for FSM or financial help from my school because of the benefits we receive and my mum’s new band 2 job. We aren’t massively above the limit and we are still struggling financially. There are still days where I have to chose between eating lunch or having enough to pay for my little brother’s train ticket to school.

I’m finding that because of these combination of factors I am usually not eligible for widening participation schemes: I have a parent who has gone to university (that I haven’t seen for almost 3 years now), I don’t live in an area with low progression to university, and I go to a high performing sixth form.

I applied to zero gravity but I was immediately rejected and based on eligibility criteria for some other schemes I will be for them too.

Are there any medicine programmes or schemes that could help someone in my situation? Or is it a ‘win some lose some’ thing?
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Megathreads
(Please read the first post, before then posting any further questions you have within that thread.)
The "Which Medical School Should I Apply To?" Uberthread
The Ultimate 'Am I Good Enough For Medicine?' Angst Thread
Medicine A-Level subjects queries
Work Experience and Voluntary Work

2023 Applicants:
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2023 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2023 Entry
Medicine 2023 entry for resit / retake / gap year applicants
A100 Medicine for International Students 2023 Entry
Medicine Interview discussion 2023 Entry
2023 entry A100 / A101 Medicine fastest and slowest offer senders
Index of Individual Medical School Applicants' threads 2023 Entry

2023 Admissions Tests:
UCAT 2023 Discussion
BMAT 2023 Discussion
GAMSAT 2023 Discussion
UCAT 2023 Results

Other application years:
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2024 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2024 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2025 Entry

Useful Articles:
GCSE Requirements for Medicine
Everything you need to know about the BMAT
Work Experience as a Graduate or Mature student
Medicine Personal Statement Advice
Medicine Personal Statement Advice (Graduate Entry)
Interview Frequently Asked Questions
MMI Medicine Interview Tips
What to do after an unsuccessful first application

If your query is answered by one of the Megathreads or articles linked above, and you would like us to close this thread for you, please reply to this thread with just the words "thank you". A member of our team will then get it locked.
Reply 2
Original post by cixnne
I want to word this in the least insensitive and most constructive way possible so please let me know if I’m being inconsiderate or anything like that.

So since year 9 I’ve had some family issues which eventually led to my mum, little brother and I moving into a refuge at the start of year 11 where we stayed for almost half the year. Because I suddenly missed so many days of school my secondary school really stepped up and helped us emotionally and financially (in addition to FSM which I had been receiving for 2 years at that point).

But since we were in temporary accommodation we eventually moved into our first permanent council housing this year which I am very grateful for. However, it’s in what I would consider to be a richer area and because of the distance I moved to another grammar school for sixth form which has historically achieved higher grades and progression to university than my secondary school.

But now, I am no longer eligible for FSM or financial help from my school because of the benefits we receive and my mum’s new band 2 job. We aren’t massively above the limit and we are still struggling financially. There are still days where I have to chose between eating lunch or having enough to pay for my little brother’s train ticket to school.

I’m finding that because of these combination of factors I am usually not eligible for widening participation schemes: I have a parent who has gone to university (that I haven’t seen for almost 3 years now), I don’t live in an area with low progression to university, and I go to a high performing sixth form.

I applied to zero gravity but I was immediately rejected and based on eligibility criteria for some other schemes I will be for them too.

Are there any medicine programmes or schemes that could help someone in my situation? Or is it a ‘win some lose some’ thing?


What are you feeling you need help with?
Some med schools use either/or the school you attended for GCSEs or A levels when determining contextual status, eg Birmingham
Most med schools would consider ExCircs for your GCSEs if you applied, I suspect, if you feel you underachieved with the grades in these?

The med schools do not set the financial limits for FSM, etc, that is done by the government, and whilst they are wholly inadequate for many, but unis are unlikely to apply their own thresholds.
Other than that, you have the benefits of a high performing school to support you through A levels and application, so I am not clear what you need help with?
Reply 3
Original post by GANFYD
What are you feeling you need help with?
Some med schools use either/or the school you attended for GCSEs or A levels when determining contextual status, eg Birmingham
Most med schools would consider ExCircs for your GCSEs if you applied, I suspect, if you feel you underachieved with the grades in these?

The med schools do not set the financial limits for FSM, etc, that is done by the government, and whilst they are wholly inadequate for many, but unis are unlikely to apply their own thresholds.
Other than that, you have the benefits of a high performing school to support you through A levels and application, so I am not clear what you need help with?


Thank you so much for your reply. I need the most help with extra curriculars and parts of the application outside of grades. I did 10 gcses and got at least a 7 in all of them which I know is good for most medical schools, but I also know that there are people who did a lot better than me who have still been rejected. Alevel predicted grades are a concern but I’m giving 110% to stay on top of everything.

At the moment my sixth form is focusing on year 13s and I feel like my teachers barely recognise my existence. I’m worried that by the time year 12 become a focus I am just way too behind. I don’t know if this is a valid concern though.

I’ve seen a few medicine mentorship programmes over the past few weeks and I think that might have made me more worried than necessary because I think I’m missing out on some vital information. I feel like I’m blabbering now but I hope this makes sense
Reply 4
Original post by cixnne
Thank you so much for your reply. I need the most help with extra curriculars and parts of the application outside of grades. I did 10 gcses and got at least a 7 in all of them which I know is good for most medical schools, but I also know that there are people who did a lot better than me who have still been rejected. Alevel predicted grades are a concern but I’m giving 110% to stay on top of everything.

At the moment my sixth form is focusing on year 13s and I feel like my teachers barely recognise my existence. I’m worried that by the time year 12 become a focus I am just way too behind. I don’t know if this is a valid concern though.

I’ve seen a few medicine mentorship programmes over the past few weeks and I think that might have made me more worried than necessary because I think I’m missing out on some vital information. I feel like I’m blabbering now but I hope this makes sense


You do not need any specific extra-curriculars to apply for medicine.
Most people interested will have read some books
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6491274
https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/medicine/pre-clinical/applying/reading

and at least done the online WEx things
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6929328

You can also look up local hospitals and see if they run any WEx courses for prospective medics - many do.
Otherwise, you can get relevant experience at places like Pharmacies, Opticians, Dentists, GP Surgeries - so rope in any contacts, friends of family, parents of friends, school opportunities you may be able to find - but this is not an essential part of an application.

An easy win is some mentoring or prefect-type role at school, or in scouts/guides, helping out in after school clubs, sports clubs etc, as all will give transferable skills, which will be useful in an interview.

Perhaps the most useful thing is to have some experience of public-facing jobs. Ideally, this would be volunteering at something like a care home, soup kitchen, homeless shelter, disability charity, but even a retail or service job can have transferable skills such as communication, teamworking, problem solving, conflict resolution, as well as bringing in some money, which sounds like it would not go amiss, given the system is so totally broken that school children are going hungry!

But the key thing to a medicine application these days is your admissions test scores, so start to read round about the UCAT and BMAT and generally familiarise yourself with what the entail, as a good score means interviews. Then Medify or Medentry are very useful, as well as the official sites, and your p/t job could help to pay for one.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7161733
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7211426

GCSEs are done, and there will be a few med schools ruled out with out 9 x 8/9s, but as you say, your grades are fine for most, and you need those A level predictions (and the grades!).

Hopefully that gives you something to get started with, but have a read of the links here
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7063146

And the 2024 entry thread is probably the best place to ask further questions
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7126857

Good luck!

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