Answering all your questions about getting into medical school

Med Admissions FAQs

Medical School Admissions: Frequently Asked Questions

Work Experience

Personal Statement

Do I need to have medical work experience to apply to medical or dentistry school?

You don’t have to have medical work experience, but it is very beneficial.

Demonstrating some level of experience within a clinical setting will provide a great opportunity to prove the level of enthusiasm that you have for a career as a health professional. In some cases, work experience at places like hospitals and GP surgeries can be hard to come by. However, switching them up for experience in places like charities, chemists or care homes can give you the same gems in your personal statement as experience in a hospital or with a GP. Work experience is not the be -all-and-end-all for your application, but it’ll definitely put you at a great advantage, especially considering the level of competition for entry to medical school.

How do I find medical work experience?

One of the best places to start in finding work experience is with your school careers advisor who is likely to point you in the right direction of places to apply to locally. You can also ask current medical students that you know, family friends, relatives or acquaintances in the medical field for suggestions. There are organisations that help to provide support for applying to work experience at GPs or hospitals, whilst others provide paid programmes in the UK or overseas that you can attend for direct medical work experience.

How do I reflect on medical work experience?

When carrying out work experience, you can keep a diary that helps you to reflect on your activities each day. The key is not just to list what you do or observe, but to delve deeper into what you learned or found rewarding from the experience. These are the golden nuggets of information that should go in your personal statement and which you can also talk about at interviews.

How do I start with my personal statement?

A plan and outline is always a great way to start your personal statement. Download the free personal statement ebook that we feature for advice on personal statement writing. It’s also a good idea to speak with your tutor or your careers advisor for pointers on how to get started. They have a lot of experience with personal statements, as they go through them annually with each cohort of university applicants.

Where can I find sample personal statements?

You can definitely find and make use of personal statement outline templates to give you inspiration on what to say and how to structure yours. You can also use the "UCAS personal statement builder. Due to the sensitivities around plagiarism, and the risk of copying (even subconsciously), you may not want to get a full sample personal statement.

When is the UCAS application deadline for medical school?

The UCAS deadline for application to medicine and dentistry courses is on the 15th of October each year, which is a few months before the general application deadline for most other degree subjects. You must have completed your personal statement and secured your references well ahead of this deadline.

When should I start my UCAS application for medical school?

You can register and begin the application process as early as you wish as the UCAS application portal is open all year round.

How many medical schools can I apply to via UCAS?

You can apply to 4 medical schools via UCAS. It’s good to choose your universities wisely, making sure you have insurance options with entry requirements you’re more confident achieving. You should also do your best to attend open days before you set your mind on your 4 university options. In some cases, you may have the option of 5 university options, if the 5th course is in a similar field and offers the possibility of conversion to the MBBS course after the first year.

When should I start receiving university offers?

You should start hearing back about offers from medical school as soon as the interview period begins, so any time from December to March in each application cycle.

When do universities start the interview process?

Medical schools will start announcing interview dates to their successful applicants from November onwards, following submission of your UCAS application on 15th October. If you have applied to a university that requires the BMAT, this can often be later.

When do interviews for medical school come to a close?

Medical schools stop holding interviews by March latest each year.

Which medical schools require MMIs?

Each year the list of universities that require MMIs grows. The medical schools that require MMIs have now surpassed those that require panel interviews. View the full list below:

Aberdeen, Anglia Ruskin, Aston, Birmingham, Brighton and Sussex, Bristol, Buckingham, Cardiff, Dundee, Norwich, Edge Hill, Edinburgh, Exeter, Hull York, Imperial, Keele, Kent & Medway, King’s College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Queen’s Belfast, Sheffield, St Andrew’s, St George’s London, Sunderlad, University of Central Lancashire, Warwick.

Which medical schools run panel interviews?

The medical schools that run panel interviews include Barts (Queen Mary), UCL, Southampton and Swansea. Oxford and Cambridge don’t run panel interviews per se, but they run sessions similar to sample tutorials.

How do you prepare yourself for MMIs & Panel Interviews?

There is sometimes a misconception that thorough preparation and practice is not needed for interviews. However, with the assessment nature of MMIs and the increasingly high competition for medical school entry, preparation is essential. The following are a few of the things you can start to do to give yourself an edge:

  • Keeping abreast of NHS news
  • Forming an opinion on medical literature and news
  • Studying and understanding the GMC good medical practice guide
  • Understanding the 4 pillars of medical ethics and how to apply them
  • Refreshing your memory about what you wrote in your personal statement

However, these pointers alone are not enough: practice and roleplay are key. You can rehearse your interviews with friends and relatives, or you can also attend MMI Courses or Interview Prep courses to give you the complete confidence you need to approach your interviews.