I am new to mumsnet and hope someone can shed some light on this. My Yr 12 DS is hoping to apply for Medicine and is thinking the more traditional schools including possibly at Oxford or Cambridge London. He is keen to take a gap year to travel/ earn money. I think this would be a great idea as he is one of the youngest in his year and would like to apply this year for deferred entry in 2015 so that he is not constrained by interviews etc during his gap year (ideally- he may not get in anywhere of course). There seems to be a lot of conflicting evidence about how Unis view deferred entry, e.g. Oxford states they are fine with gap years, but this years stats showed that none of the applications for deferred entry were successful. King's College stated during a webinar that they would not usually give out deferred offers, but did generally agree to defer a direct offer later on in the year, which is confusing. Lots of places say they are "neutral" about plans for gap years but I'm concerned he'll be putting himself at a big disadvantage and a lot of stress by applying for deferred entry. Does anyone have any experience of this? Particularly for Medicine? Many thanks.
Tis always possible to go to the outback once qualified.
This question of a gap year is an important one. Once upon a time the gap yah was common and not frowned upon and seen as A Good Thing, now the times have changed and it is a definite disadvantage as it appears to indicate a lack of commitment to studies. The problem is that those who now would like to go on a gap year are the children of those who went on gap years and have doubtless regaled their offspring with the wonderful accounts ( I realise this doesn't apply to OP). Therefore there may be an underlying resentment from those who go straight to uni that they never had a gap year which could fester and cause discontent and burnout in relation to studying at medical school.
So: If DC want to go on a gap year then let them go. They can apply for a deferred place and if rejected apply again the following year when results are out. Or apply and if offered a place ask for it to be deferred so that said student can sail and ski etc. This latter course might result in the offer being withdrawn as asking for a place to be deferred so as to sail and ski and backpack etc is not really a good reason especially if the admissions team think the student wanted to defer all along. The reason that offers are not often given for deferred places is that sometimes students change their mind and dont take the place up.
I personally think that anyone with a bank of mum and dad willing to fund a year of global travel would probably take the gap year. But it will be harder to convince the interview panel for medical school. Not impossible- just harder.
Incidentally I often think that the world would have been deprived of Attenborough and Monty Don and Darwin and Durrell if it hadn't been for time away from formal education spent travelling. Cambridge and Oxford are probably out. Of the London schools UCH and St Georges might be possibles.
We didn't find 'medicine admissions policies for all the universities and some of those were very hard to find . We had to hunt them down due to DD's lack of qualifications. She did the IB so didn't even have AS's.
How does your DS think he will do at the UKCAT? A stellar UKCAT can be a big help.