Teachers’ Guide to Medicine #7: UCAS Application and Personal Statement

Admissions

2021-03-13

Guide your students through the application process to medical schools.

What is the application process for medicine?

Students apply for medicine through UCAS. Medicine can only be selected for four of the five choices (advice on the fifth choice).

Which medical schools should my student apply for?

Choosing a medical school depends on a number of factors including the location, campus, year size, reputation, research options, finance and course structure.

Choosing a medical school depends on a range of factors, including the location, teaching style, rankings, student to staff ratio, research options and cohort size.

It is worth applying to a ‘dream medical school’ as long as your student meets the minimum requirements, but they should also apply to places that give more realistic chances of admission.

For students that did not do well in the UCAT or the BMAT, two universities (University of Buckingham* and University of Central Lancashire) do not require any admissions test. 

*Buckingham Medical School is considerably more expensive compared to other medical schools.

UCAS medicine personal statement

A personal statement should demonstrate the experiences and skills that make a student well-suited for medicine. 

It is used for interview selection and to provide information for interviewers to base their questions on.

Here are three top tips to help you guide your students on writing their personal statement:

  1. Start early. You should encourage your students to start preparing their personal statements early to give them plenty of time for writing and improvement.
  1. Be succinct. There is a maximum of 47 lines of text or 4,000 characters. Every word has to count
  1. Don’t use generic templates or examples. The personal statement should show specific and personal reflection of their experience and its relevance to medicine. Students should avoid stitching together texts from model examples. 

Use the following resources to further help your students:

Proofreading the personal statement

You can proofread your student’s personal statement, but ideally they should also have feedback from medical students or doctors who went through the same process. 

Medify offers a PS Content Check Service based on the scoring system used by medical schools, as well as a Personal Statement Course and Writer to guide your students.

Teacher’s reference

The teacher’s reference includes information about your student’s educational or social disadvantages, academic potential, motivation, commitment and suitability for medicine, as well as any additional information.

Some medical schools don’t refer to this at all, but others consider them before offering an interview, and sometimes even for final selection.

It is limited to a maximum of 47 lines of text or 4,000 characters.

You also need to remember that your student has the right to request for a copy of your reference under the Data Protection Act 2018.

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