How to Make Your Medicine Application

Last updated: 21/04/2021

Once you have firmly decided that medicine is the right career for you, you can begin to make your application via UCAS.

Medicine application timeline

Medical school application timeline
Oliver – Plymouth University
‘I started my preparation during my GCSEs and chose science-heavy subjects. Then I volunteered for 2 weeks at a summer school for disabled children between GCSE and AS years. Although I didn’t start doing anything specific for medical school until after my AS exams, doing the work experience so early reduced some pressure.’
Andrea – University of Aberdeen
‘I volunteered to teach English to child refugees during my AS year and followed it up with work experience on a busy labour ward during the summer holidays (between AS and A2). By focussing on extra-curricular activities during my AS year, I left more time for my studies during my A2 year.’

What is UCAS?

The University College Admissions System (UCAS), is the national service for application to higher education in the UK. Last year, UCAS processed almost 3 million applications from around 700,000 students. No matter what course you are interested in applying for, you will need to go through UCAS, so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the application process and UCAS website.

To apply for a course at a higher education establishment, you first need to register. You can do so anytime over the summer, right up until early October. Once you are registered you can begin to follow the steps to completing your application.

These steps are:

  1. Meet academic requirements
  2. Sit admissions tests (UCAT or BMAT)
  3. Gain and reflect upon work experiences
  4. Write a personal statement
  5. Obtain school reference
  6. Apply through UCAS
  7. Attend an interview
  8. Achieve the requirements of your conditional offer
  9. Complete medical enrolment forms

How many medical schools should i apply to?

Everyone, regardless of whether they are a school leaver or a graduate, needs to follow the same steps in order to apply to study medicine. Every applicant is limited to applying to four medical schools and one non-medicine-related course.

Tips from medical students

Satheesh – University of Birmingham
‘With the October UCAS deadline looming, I had to manage my time effectively. Writing my personal statement, arranging work experience and keeping up with developments in medicine for my interview was overwhelming at times but by prioritising tasks and not rushing into anything, I ensured that I didn’t get buried under all the work.’
Bethan – Hull York Medical School
‘Applying to medical school isn’t a stress-free process; it is difficult to know where is best to apply, whether you are good enough and what to expect at interview. Try to keep calm and remain confident by equipping yourself with as much information as possible and by planning well ahead of deadlines. It can be a nerve-wracking time but thousands of students like you succeed in the process every year.’

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