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How can I become a competitive applicat for GEM?

Hi,

I am currently in sixth form studying BTEC Applied Science L3 Diploma alongside A-Level Sociology, I do not have the best GCSE results ranging from 4-6 and would love to do medicine for my further studies. I have came to terms with the fact that with the course of education I have taken and with my GCSE results combined, i will not be a successful applicant but I have been looking into GEM.

I am looking at using an Adult Nursing degree to be a step up into GEM mainly because most universities will accept my qualifications.

What I am wandering is what can I do to make myself look like a successful application when I come to applying to GEM?
What can I do now to help me get into GEM?
Should I focus on getting into the nursing degree (i.e. focus my work experience shadowing a doctor or nurse)?

Hope to hear soon,
Thanks.
Hey there, thanks for posting a question in the Medicine forum. :biggrin:

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Megathreads
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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

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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

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UCAT 2024 Entry Discussions Megathread

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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

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You need to contact your chosen institutions of choice to see what they will and will not accept as entry requirements. A single A level will not be enough and I don't know if they accept a BTEC.

If you complete a nursing degree you will find studying a second time around harder because of the financial implications as student finance is different for studying a course of equivalent level a second time.

Nursing is a very different qualification to medicine, I am not sure completing one will necessarily relate to the other or vice-versa nor give you automatic entry to either.
Hi there!

GEM courses prefer for you to get a 2:1, and this can be any degree, but they prefer something healthcare related, such as nursing. You also would have an advantage by working in healthcare as part of your placements, so that's one aspect. If you study nursing, you need to complete 2300 hours of placement by the end of the degree.

If you studied nursing, there are some differences, but you could request to spend some spoke visits with doctors, and could get a feel for the career, and also spend time with medical students, who are a great source of knowledge.

Good luck!

Nat
LJMU Student Nurse and Ambassador
Reply 4
Many med schools require a life science degree for GEM and nursing does not qualify for this. There are no standard GEM courses that prefer healthcare-related degrees, that I am aware of, though there are courses for those already working in healthcare
Reply 5
"I am looking at using an Adult Nursing degree to be a step up into GEM mainly because most universities will accept my qualifications."
Just because they can doesn't mean they will. I got accepted this year my university isn't even a top university. I do like it though. I already have a degree in an unrelated area. I also have a year of health science I studied last year and they were going to put me in the degree without honours. I had to fight this and send my grades for my health science year and they finally excepted me for honours without honours there is no point applying also have you done any volunteering? I had been doing some in my spare time and they asked at interview. If I was you I'd look at fixing your grades or do an access course or science. Also it's a lot of placement and learning hours for something you might not enjoy. Lastly look into volunteering! Best of luck 🤞
(edited 5 months ago)
Reply 6
Original post by GANFYD
Many med schools require a life science degree for GEM and nursing does not qualify for this. There are no standard GEM courses that prefer healthcare-related degrees, that I am aware of, though there are courses for those already working in healthcare

You get life sciences trust me. I finished before Christmas break a 3 hour exam for AP. I passed luckily but loads failed as it was ridiculously in-depth for what we will everrrr need! Taught by a doctor and some physiotherapist. I just don't think it's the right option but I do know nurses are excepted obviously depends on grades and competition. A handful from honours last year got accepted from our university. I don't know how they have the energy to do another four years! Maybe different for us as my degree is 4 years. If I didn't have science already I would only have got accepted for the 3 years with out honours but that's only my experience.
Original post by notkierantho
Hi,

I am currently in sixth form studying BTEC Applied Science L3 Diploma alongside A-Level Sociology, I do not have the best GCSE results ranging from 4-6 and would love to do medicine for my further studies. I have came to terms with the fact that with the course of education I have taken and with my GCSE results combined, i will not be a successful applicant but I have been looking into GEM.

I am looking at using an Adult Nursing degree to be a step up into GEM mainly because most universities will accept my qualifications.

What I am wandering is what can I do to make myself look like a successful application when I come to applying to GEM?
What can I do now to help me get into GEM?
Should I focus on getting into the nursing degree (i.e. focus my work experience shadowing a doctor or nurse)?

Hope to hear soon,
Thanks.


Was there a particular reason that stopped you from achieving higher grades in your GCSEs?

If those grades weren't a reflection of your true academic ability, the most practical option would be to take some A-levels. If you can manage intensive study, you could pick up biology and chemistry alongside sociology and complete them within a year, so it counts as a single sitting (some colleges and online providers do offer intensive one-year A-level courses). Alternatively you could restart your A-levels in September with three new subjects. Three good A-levels obtained at the same time would make you eligible to apply to quite a lot of medical schools. (Not all of them put weight on GCSEs - my own doesn't score them at all!) Statistically this would give you a far better chance of getting into med school than pursuing GEM, which is more competitive than standard undergraduate medicine and has higher selection test thresholds.

If you don't think you can get the necessary A-levels, the best advice I can give is to choose a degree that you'll enjoy in its own right and that leads to a job that interests you for its own sake. Don't pick a course just because it seems like a good option for GEM. I can't stress this enough. Many aspiring GEM applicants go for biomedical science, biochemistry, or pharmacology, because these degrees are accepted by all GEM programmes and they want to maximise their chances. They don't always pause to consider whether they would like the course. At my med school we occasionally have collaborative teaching sessions with the pharmacy students, and I've met quite a few who only chose the degree as a stepping stone to GEM and who absolutely hate it. Don't do that to yourself. Life's too short, and as GEM is so competitive there's a real risk that you would use up your student finance on a degree you don't like for a career you don't really want. You learn the most when you're happiest, and that means finding a degree that meshes with your interests and skills and that stretches you intellectually without overwhelming you.

So, leaving GEM to one side for a moment, what would that look like for you? If you know you definitely want to work in healthcare, have you explored professions outside the obvious medicine-nursing duo? Dietetics, midwifery, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, radiography, speech and language therapy, social work...the list goes on. Entry requirements vary from university to university, but a solid grade in your BTEC and GCSEs at 4 to 6 would be fine for several pre-registration degrees in these professions. If you don't know much about healthcare outside of medicine and nursing, and you're not sure what might suit you, this NHS careers quiz is a helpful starting point. It's also got a course finder and a filtering tool to let you compare different areas. (Its top matches for me were psychiatry and learning disability nursing, and as I'm seriously considering LD psychiatry, it seems pretty accurate! 🙂)
Reply 8
Original post by Kimmy1286
You get life sciences trust me. I finished before Christmas break a 3 hour exam for AP. I passed luckily but loads failed as it was ridiculously in-depth for what we will everrrr need! Taught by a doctor and some physiotherapist. I just don't think it's the right option but I do know nurses are excepted obviously depends on grades and competition. A handful from honours last year got accepted from our university. I don't know how they have the energy to do another four years! Maybe different for us as my degree is 4 years. If I didn't have science already I would only have got accepted for the 3 years with out honours but that's only my experience.

But several GEM courses specify you must have a life sciences degree and for most of these, nursing does not meet the requirements. Other med schools do not have this limitation, but taking a nursing degree will not increase the number of places OP can apply to GEM
Reply 9
Original post by TheMedicOwl
Original post by notkierantho
Hi,

I am currently in sixth form studying BTEC Applied Science L3 Diploma alongside A-Level Sociology, I do not have the best GCSE results ranging from 4-6 and would love to do medicine for my further studies. I have came to terms with the fact that with the course of education I have taken and with my GCSE results combined, i will not be a successful applicant but I have been looking into GEM.

I am looking at using an Adult Nursing degree to be a step up into GEM mainly because most universities will accept my qualifications.

What I am wandering is what can I do to make myself look like a successful application when I come to applying to GEM?
What can I do now to help me get into GEM?
Should I focus on getting into the nursing degree (i.e. focus my work experience shadowing a doctor or nurse)?

Hope to hear soon,
Thanks.


Was there a particular reason that stopped you from achieving higher grades in your GCSEs?

If those grades weren't a reflection of your true academic ability, the most practical option would be to take some A-levels. If you can manage intensive study, you could pick up biology and chemistry alongside sociology and complete them within a year, so it counts as a single sitting (some colleges and online providers do offer intensive one-year A-level courses). Alternatively you could restart your A-levels in September with three new subjects. Three good A-levels obtained at the same time would make you eligible to apply to quite a lot of medical schools. (Not all of them put weight on GCSEs - my own doesn't score them at all!) Statistically this would give you a far better chance of getting into med school than pursuing GEM, which is more competitive than standard undergraduate medicine and has higher selection test thresholds.

If you don't think you can get the necessary A-levels, the best advice I can give is to choose a degree that you'll enjoy in its own right and that leads to a job that interests you for its own sake. Don't pick a course just because it seems like a good option for GEM. I can't stress this enough. Many aspiring GEM applicants go for biomedical science, biochemistry, or pharmacology, because these degrees are accepted by all GEM programmes and they want to maximise their chances. They don't always pause to consider whether they would like the course. At my med school we occasionally have collaborative teaching sessions with the pharmacy students, and I've met quite a few who only chose the degree as a stepping stone to GEM and who absolutely hate it. Don't do that to yourself. Life's too short, and as GEM is so competitive there's a real risk that you would use up your student finance on a degree you don't like for a career you don't really want. You learn the most when you're happiest, and that means finding a degree that meshes with your interests and skills and that stretches you intellectually without overwhelming you.

So, leaving GEM to one side for a moment, what would that look like for you? If you know you definitely want to work in healthcare, have you explored professions outside the obvious medicine-nursing duo? Dietetics, midwifery, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, radiography, speech and language therapy, social work...the list goes on. Entry requirements vary from university to university, but a solid grade in your BTEC and GCSEs at 4 to 6 would be fine for several pre-registration degrees in these professions. If you don't know much about healthcare outside of medicine and nursing, and you're not sure what might suit you, this NHS careers quiz is a helpful starting point. It's also got a course finder and a filtering tool to let you compare different areas. (Its top matches for me were psychiatry and learning disability nursing, and as I'm seriously considering LD psychiatry, it seems pretty accurate! 🙂)


I mostly want to do nursing as a access degree to get into GEM is mostly because if i don’t get in I would happily become a nurse and continue applying. I am very interested mostly in the diagnostic aspect of medicine whereas i am most appealed to the Staff to Patient relationship.

I haven’t taken AL Bio&Chem mainly because I didn’t get enough ‘high grades’ to get into them and i could not find a college around my area that accepts my academics. I also don’t have a lot of money to fay for an intensive 1yr bio&chem course but i can have a look around.

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