The Student Room Group

Applying for med with no relevant A-levels:

I haven't seen any posts regarding my situation and wanted some advice:

I started Y12 having achieved really good grades that even my parents didn't expect of me, and following this I was intending to apply medicine and study biology, chemistry, and mathematics at sixth form. My parents then after being overjoyed with my GCSE grades really pushed me to take up maths, further maths, physics and computer science as they are "difficult subjects" and "better regarded" and had this vision for me in their head that I'd then go on to do engineering at university (preferably Cambridge in their minds) I was initially very against this but they convinced me by the start of sixth form that medicine isn't the same as what it used to be 20 years ago and the career progression is bad and many in the NHS barely make teachers salary, after all of this I was pretty convinced that medicine wasn't the way to go went ahead with Y12 with the subjects they had suggested.

This became the most miserable two years of my life, I hated it- my attendance was poor, I never enjoyed any of my subjects (physics and CS were my weakest at GCSE and in a weak moment I picked it knowing it was going to be very difficult for me) soon into year 12 I started to fall massively behind and every day was so draining and demotivating and fell into a depression where I basically gave up from Jan, everyone else in my year was so much more ahead of me and by the time it was time for predicted grades examsI ended up doing very, very, very poorly, so bad that my school begged me to drop one subject and I dropped CS.

My parents obviously realised how miserable I was and felt bad that they'd pushed me to do this and even asked me if I wanted to retake year 12 with the original a-levels I initially wanted to do. In hindsight, I probably should have because now I wouldn't be in this situation but my pride got to me and the most humiliating thing to me was retaking y12 whilst I watched all my friends get their uni offers and I was essentially starting from scratch- so I decided to carry on with year 13 and worked my ass off in the summer of y12 to catch up.

I started year 13 with **** predicted grades and with a plan that I was going to apply to some other course when the time came (not engineering) with my actual a-level grades. The year carried on and I started to resent my choices more and more and it became more difficult mentally to apply for a course that I knew I would never ever enjoy, so around April/May time I decided I was going to give medicine a fair shot. I'd work hard achieve good grades in my current subjects and take a gap year to reevaluate, and fast forward to my dilemma: what are my next steps? How can I possibly make an application to medicine without biology and chemistry a-levels? If I were to retake year 13 would any sixth forms let me do it in a year as I would really not like to take more than one gap year? I'm so stressed about what I'm going to do with my life and I don't want a mistake I made when I was 16 over choosing the wrong a-levels to impact my future.
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by hey:/
I haven't seen any posts regarding my situation and wanted some advice:
I started Y12 having achieved really good grades that even my parents didn't expect of me, and following this I was intending to apply medicine and study biology, chemistry, and mathematics at sixth form. My parents then after being overjoyed with my GCSE grades really pushed me to take up maths, further maths, physics and computer science as they are "difficult subjects" and "better regarded" and had this vision for me in their head that I'd then go on to do engineering at university (preferably Cambridge in their minds) I was initially very against this but they convinced me by the start of sixth form that medicine isn't the same as what it used to be 20 years ago and the career progression is bad and many in the NHS barely make teachers salary, after all of this I was pretty convinced that medicine wasn't the way to go went ahead with Y12 with the subjects they had suggested.
This became the most miserable two years of my life, I hated it- my attendance was poor, I never enjoyed any of my subjects (physics and CS were my weakest at GCSE and in a weak moment I picked it knowing it was going to be very difficult for me) soon into year 12 I started to fall massively behind and every day was so draining and demotivating and fell into a depression where I basically gave up from Jan, everyone else in my year was so much more ahead of me and by the time it was time for predicted grades examsI ended up doing very, very, very poorly, so bad that my school begged me to drop one subject and I dropped CS.
My parents obviously realised how miserable I was and felt bad that they'd pushed me to do this and even asked me if I wanted to retake year 12 with the original a-levels I initially wanted to do. In hindsight, I probably should have because now I wouldn't be in this situation but my pride got to me and the most humiliating thing to me was retaking y12 whilst I watched all my friends get their uni offers and I was essentially starting from scratch- so I decided to carry on with year 13 and worked my ass off in the summer of y12 to catch up.
I started year 13 with **** predicted grades and with a plan that I was going to apply to some other course when the time came (not engineering) with my actual a-level grades. The year carried on and I started to resent my choices more and more and it became more difficult mentally to apply for a course that I knew I would never ever enjoy, so around April/May time I decided I was going to give medicine a fair shot. I'd work hard achieve good grades in my current subjects and take a gap year to reevaluate, and fast forward to my dilemma: what are my next steps? How can I possibly make an application to medicine without biology and chemistry a-levels? If I were to retake year 13 would any sixth forms let me do it in a year as I would really not like to take more than one gap year? I'm so stressed about what I'm going to do with my life and I don't want a mistake I made when I was 16 over choosing the wrong a-levels to impact my future.

It's incredibly difficult to do medicine with just one of biology or chemistry, but it's possible. Chemistry is the more widely demanded subject: https://www.themedicportal.com/application-guide/choosing-a-medical-school/what-a-levels-do-you-need-to-be-a-doctor/. You can either resit Y12 or do this privately.

Most universities offering degrees in medicine typically will require you to sit all your A Levels in one sitting as opposed to separate sittings - they're picky about it.

The other route is to take a specific Access course that is accepted by some of the universities that offer medicine. These can be specific to the individual university, so it's not likely 4 other universities will accept the same Access course, even if they do. These Access courses tend to be local to the university and not in neighbouring towns or cities.
See the following: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7404756

Whilst you can always enter medicine via graduate entry, it's more competitive than going through it via undergrad.

In my opinion, you're better off redoing some of your current A Levels with either Chemistry, Biology, or both.

I don't know what the individual university admissions team would think about someone spending 3 years at college though. However, you should know that the unis tend to be very picky with applicants for degrees as competitive as medicine.
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by hey:/
I haven't seen any posts regarding my situation and wanted some advice:
I started Y12 having achieved really good grades that even my parents didn't expect of me, and following this I was intending to apply medicine and study biology, chemistry, and mathematics at sixth form. My parents then after being overjoyed with my GCSE grades really pushed me to take up maths, further maths, physics and computer science as they are "difficult subjects" and "better regarded" and had this vision for me in their head that I'd then go on to do engineering at university (preferably Cambridge in their minds) I was initially very against this but they convinced me by the start of sixth form that medicine isn't the same as what it used to be 20 years ago and the career progression is bad and many in the NHS barely make teachers salary, after all of this I was pretty convinced that medicine wasn't the way to go went ahead with Y12 with the subjects they had suggested.
This became the most miserable two years of my life, I hated it- my attendance was poor, I never enjoyed any of my subjects (physics and CS were my weakest at GCSE and in a weak moment I picked it knowing it was going to be very difficult for me) soon into year 12 I started to fall massively behind and every day was so draining and demotivating and fell into a depression where I basically gave up from Jan, everyone else in my year was so much more ahead of me and by the time it was time for predicted grades examsI ended up doing very, very, very poorly, so bad that my school begged me to drop one subject and I dropped CS.
My parents obviously realised how miserable I was and felt bad that they'd pushed me to do this and even asked me if I wanted to retake year 12 with the original a-levels I initially wanted to do. In hindsight, I probably should have because now I wouldn't be in this situation but my pride got to me and the most humiliating thing to me was retaking y12 whilst I watched all my friends get their uni offers and I was essentially starting from scratch- so I decided to carry on with year 13 and worked my ass off in the summer of y12 to catch up.
I started year 13 with **** predicted grades and with a plan that I was going to apply to some other course when the time came (not engineering) with my actual a-level grades. The year carried on and I started to resent my choices more and more and it became more difficult mentally to apply for a course that I knew I would never ever enjoy, so around April/May time I decided I was going to give medicine a fair shot. I'd work hard achieve good grades in my current subjects and take a gap year to reevaluate, and fast forward to my dilemma: what are my next steps? How can I possibly make an application to medicine without biology and chemistry a-levels? If I were to retake year 13 would any sixth forms let me do it in a year as I would really not like to take more than one gap year? I'm so stressed about what I'm going to do with my life and I don't want a mistake I made when I was 16 over choosing the wrong a-levels to impact my future.

if you pay privately then I know you can easilyy just take one year to do two alevels in bio and chem if you wanted to. if you're set on medicine then the only choice is to take the time to do those alevels. even if you have to redo the whole two years of 6th form I wouldnt think of it as a bad thing though, as the career progression for doctors is like 10 years anyway, so it wont really make a difference if you spend another 2 years getting some extra qualifications.
Newcastle medicine has no A-level subject requirements.

Otherwise you'd realistically need to look to do chemistry or biology (or both) in a gap year.

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