The Student Room Group

BSc before MBBS - worth it?

I got the offer to pursue biomedical science at Brighton starting September, with the intention of switching to medicine at the earliest opportunity. Any advice on how I should proceed? The sheer volume of reddit posts advising to rather take a gap year than do a premed subject has me thinking if I am even walking in the right direction.
There is literally no benefit in doing that. You just limit yourself to at best a single medical school, in a transfer scheme that is likely to be 50x more competitive than applying for standard entry medicine - with about 250 students who all want to apply for 2-10 places (and so you normally need to be in the top 10 or so students - not 10%, top 10, in order to be considered). Also they require you meet all the exact same requirements for entry to the standard entry medicine course as well anyway normally, including academic requirements, UCAT, interview, etc.

You may as well take a gap year and reapply as then you have 4 medical schools you're applying to (and 4 chances), you're being considered for any of the hundreds of places on those courses and not just then ring fenced 2-10 places available for the transfer scheme, and you aren't having to also beat out 250 students to do better than all of them on first year degree level material while preparing for the UCAT and interview. You also waste a year of your SFE funding entitlement which means you no longer have the "gift year" available in case you had to retake a year later.

There is just no good reason to do that. It's essentially just a way for the uni to feed more people into the biomedical sciences course in question (as they don't tend to be that popular otherwise).
(edited 1 month ago)
Absolutely this ^^^

Don't do it unless you absolutely see yourself working in at arena as a career.

Do not do it as a stepping stone. It's very small and very wobbly and far too many people are relying on it.

You will need to do the UCAT this summer if you want to apply to med.

The booking window opens soon, so if you can afford it, plan your summer and book a UCAT slot earlier on (but with enough time to revise thoroughly for it). Then if you decide you really want to go to Brighton this year and really want to do Biomed you can cancel it and get your money back.

If you don't book it, you might change your mind later in the summer and slots will be limited.

Good luck.
Reply 3
Original post by artful_lounger
There is literally no benefit in doing that. You just limit yourself to at best a single medical school, in a transfer scheme that is likely to be 50x more competitive than applying for standard entry medicine - with about 250 students who all want to apply for 2-10 places (and so you normally need to be in the top 10 or so students - not 10%, top 10, in order to be considered). Also they require you meet all the exact same requirements for entry to the standard entry medicine course as well anyway normally, including academic requirements, UCAT, interview, etc.
You may as well take a gap year and reapply as then you have 4 medical schools you're applying to (and 4 chances), you're being considered for any of the hundreds of places on those courses and not just then ring fenced 2-10 places available for the transfer scheme, and you aren't having to also beat out 250 students to do better than all of them on first year degree level material while preparing for the UCAT and interview. You also waste a year of your SFE funding entitlement which means you no longer have the "gift year" available in case you had to retake a year later.
There is just no good reason to do that. It's essentially just a way for the uni to feed more people into the biomedical sciences course in question (as they don't tend to be that popular otherwise).

Thank you for your reply! I highly appreciate your opinion.

However, I do not think it possible to take another gap year when I am in one already. I was under the impression that Brighton and Sussex Medical school required undertaking the BMAT, but since BMAT is being cancelled from this year is it the UCAT now? As an international applicant, I think the chances of me getting in regardless are slim. I am just awaiting one more decision from UCAS out of the 4 medical schools I applied to this cycle.

I hadn't known that this programme limited you applying to only a single medical school. Assuming, I don’t enjoy my course as much in the span of a year then can I choose to apply to other medical schools in UK or Ireland afterwards?
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 4
Original post by circusqueen
Absolutely this ^^^
Don't do it unless you absolutely see yourself working in at arena as a career.
Do not do it as a stepping stone. It's very small and very wobbly and far too many people are relying on it.
You will need to do the UCAT this summer if you want to apply to med.
The booking window opens soon, so if you can afford it, plan your summer and book a UCAT slot earlier on (but with enough time to revise thoroughly for it). Then if you decide you really want to go to Brighton this year and really want to do Biomed you can cancel it and get your money back.
If you don't book it, you might change your mind later in the summer and slots will be limited.
Good luck.

See that's the thing. With Medicine, coupled with plenty of voluntary service, I know I love it. But I can't say the same about Biomedical Science. People keep telling me to not wash hands of this good offer in the prospect that I might end up enjoying this field more than I think I will.

And if my feelings don't change, as I suspect they won't, is reapplying to other medical schools in Ireland/UK after a year or doing GEM in UK in future valid options?

Anyways, thank you so much for replying and watching out for me!
If you are an international student there is clearly a much higher competition ratio for standard A100. That is because the number of places available are much smaller.
I would check very carefully that any transfer in scheme that you are considering is open to international students, as if the quota is say 5 or 6 a year in total what are the chances of an internal transferee getting one. Even more limited I would think than the already competitive home students transfer scheme.

Does the transfer scheme (read it carefully) allow you to transfer in at the start of year 2, if so, given the international limits does this then rely on a previous international student dropping out? How likely is that ?

If it is taking you back to the start of the course, well you might as well just ignore it and apply anywhere.

As an international student you will pay, either for medicine or biomed, and it will be expensive so take the shortest route to med if that is ehat you want to do I think (well for me anyway).

What does paying for Biomed in the UK gain you over doing it somewhere else globally where you may find its cheaper ?

Lastly, I don't know a lot about biomed. But I think that biomed has 2 principle types of courses. One is accredited to allow you to work within the NHS. The other isn't - and you then have to do an additional conversion course. I don't know whether this course is the NHS accredited one or not, and I don't know what you think you might wish to do with any Biomed degree, be it NHS lab work or other. But it might be worth finding out.

I may not be using the right words here, so my apologies. I do know that the Sheffield Hallam one is accredited so maybe you could use it to compare and find the right words to do more research.

Yes, you may love being a Biomedical scientist. Lots of people do. It is also quite an oversubscribed area in the UK with a lot of qualified individuals in the jobs market I believe.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.
Original post by AquilaQuinn
Thank you for your reply! I highly appreciate your opinion.

However, I do not think it possible to take another gap year when I am in one already. I was under the impression that Brighton and Sussex Medical school required undertaking the BMAT, but since BMAT is being cancelled from this year is it the UCAT now? As an international applicant, I think the chances of me getting in regardless are slim. I am just awaiting one more decision from UCAS out of the 4 medical schools I applied to this cycle.

I hadn't known that this programme limited you applying to only a single medical school. Assuming, I don’t enjoy my course as much in the span of a year then can I choose to apply to other medical schools in UK or Ireland afterwards?


There's no reason you can't take another year out - the medical schools themselves aren't going to "penalise" you for that. It's not uncommon for example for graduate entry medicine applications (which are much more competitive than standard entry med) for applicants to apply 2 or 3 years running before they get an offer!

The only factor to be aware of is that usually if you're more than 3 years past your most recent qualification the university may like to see some recent study to assess your continued academic achievement. Less than that and I don't think there's any specific problem.

Obviously there may be personal circumstances that limit you in that regard, although I would not consider "but I'll be another year old" to be a good rationale for not doing so. But if there are e.g. caring responsibilities or similar that somehow would necessitate you be at uni in the coming year that may be a factor in your decision making - only you will know this.

You'll need to check with the medical schools in question what they are doing in place of the BMAT this year. I am aware Oxford has swapped to the UCAT but BSMS may have gone another route instead - you need to find this out for yourself!

As for your final point, not necessarily. Most medical schools indicate they strongly recommend students already on another degree to complete that degree and apply as a graduate. A few don't consider applicants currently on another degree (of any kind) at all. Some may be less fussed.

Especially as an international student you'd be paying a lot of money to limit your options and you'd gain nothing of value from it.
(edited 1 month ago)
Hi guys, if anyone wants to study medicine in Georgia message me. I am a UK student currently studying there. I am happy to answer any questions!!
Original post by AquilaQuinn
I got the offer to pursue biomedical science at Brighton starting September, with the intention of switching to medicine at the earliest opportunity. Any advice on how I should proceed? The sheer volume of reddit posts advising to rather take a gap year than do a premed subject has me thinking if I am even walking in the right direction.

Hi!

Which country are you from if you don't mind me asking?

I'm a UK national and did a BSc in Biomedical Science here and then worked in laboratories (covid and NHS) and am now going into Graduate Medicine (same as the standard medicine course but you apply as a graduate and it is accelerated to 4 years rather than the standard 5).

From my understanding switching mid-course is difficult if at all possible. Obviously they will expect you to be a full graduate for graduate entry or in your final year, but I am not as sure for the 5 year course applications.

If switching mid-course is your goal, for future reference and clarity I would ASAP check and email all the med school admissions teams you look at applying to in the future to see if they allow mid-graduates to apply for both the standard 5 year (especially), but wouldn't be any harm in asking the 4 year graduate ones too. These can sometimes be subject to change so please keep that in mind for the future.

Knowing this from the medical schools you will not feel obliged to complete the full course unnecessarily (if you do not wish to complete).

If your end goal is medicine in the UK then you don't really need to do an undergrad. However, if you applied to somewhere like the USA then doing an undergraduate is required. Please also consider study duration and finances for this as this can be an expensive route, especially without scholarships.

If you did not get in as early as expected and had to work in the mean time, and wanted to work as a biomedical scientist specifically ensure your Brighton degree is IBMS accredited - if it is not you would have to get your degree assessed (at a cost to yourself) and possibly also perform top-up modules (also at a cost to yourself). Other work is fair game though.

Best of luck
Original post by Vermillionred
Hi!
Which country are you from if you don't mind me asking?
I'm a UK national and did a BSc in Biomedical Science here and then worked in laboratories (covid and NHS) and am now going into Graduate Medicine (same as the standard medicine course but you apply as a graduate and it is accelerated to 4 years rather than the standard 5).
From my understanding switching mid-course is difficult if at all possible. Obviously they will expect you to be a full graduate for graduate entry or in your final year, but I am not as sure for the 5 year course applications.
If switching mid-course is your goal, for future reference and clarity I would ASAP check and email all the med school admissions teams you look at applying to in the future to see if they allow mid-graduates to apply for both the standard 5 year (especially), but wouldn't be any harm in asking the 4 year graduate ones too. These can sometimes be subject to change so please keep that in mind for the future.
Knowing this from the medical schools you will not feel obliged to complete the full course unnecessarily (if you do not wish to complete).
If your end goal is medicine in the UK then you don't really need to do an undergrad. However, if you applied to somewhere like the USA then doing an undergraduate is required. Please also consider study duration and finances for this as this can be an expensive route, especially without scholarships.
If you did not get in as early as expected and had to work in the mean time, and wanted to work as a biomedical scientist specifically ensure your Brighton degree is IBMS accredited - if it is not you would have to get your degree assessed (at a cost to yourself) and possibly also perform top-up modules (also at a cost to yourself). Other work is fair game though.
Best of luck

EDIT!

I have since found out someone has switched from 1st year accounting into medicine (5 year) so it is possible! You can do it, now the considerations are just down to Entry requirements, Time and Costs and which Unis allow you to do this! I would still email them all to find out which ones.

Best of luck!
(edited 1 month ago)

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