Has anyone done medicine as a mature student?

(7 Posts)
tantrumtime Tue 21-Jan-14 20:52:23

I'm 31 and would love to. I've got small children at the moment so would wait until they are both in full time school but wonder how possible it is? Has anyone done it with children? I'm a single parent but have lots of support.
I don't know if I would get In but I intend to write to the admissions tutor and ask for advice about what I can do to make my application more desirable.
My background is NHS in various roles

OP’s posts: |
VivaLeBeaver Tue 21-Jan-14 20:57:47

I've thought about it and been put off by the travelling to clinical placements. I'm in a fairly rural area and the distance between the furthest west and the furthest east hospitals you could be based at is a three hour drive. So even if you based yourself in the middle you'd be looking at 90mins to some places.

Sadly round here this carries on when you're an sho and a reg, going round different hospitals frequently/yearly.

I guess if you're in a large city the same may not apply but look at that side of things.

tantrumtime Tue 21-Jan-14 21:05:37

I live in Birmingham so would apply to Birmingham uni, that's the good bit. I am a bit concerned about costs as I'm guessing you fund it yourself and I don't have much in terms of savings. I have studied a degree but had to withdraw at the end of my 2nd year because I got pregnant with my DS and therefore I'm worried I wouldn't get funding. Lots more research to do me thinks.

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rightsaidfrederick Wed 22-Jan-14 00:34:49

Unless you managed to claim Compelling Personal Reasons with Student Finance (which is possible, given the reasons why you left), you'll have to fund the entirety of first year yourself, with no access to SF, but beyond that you'll get normal SF.

Do be aware that you'll need lots of work experience (you're a bit non-specific about your previous NHS work - tea lady = bad, healthcare assistant = fantastic, for instance), a good UKCAT / BMAT score, a strong academic record (probably including recent study - you don't say when you dropped out, but if it wasn't recent enough, then they may want to see you do an Access course).

You can't just apply to Birmingham and expect to get in. You can apply to 4 unis for medicine, plus one in another subject. But, 60% of first time applicants receive four rejections, so you really do need to be prepared to move across the country for this.

If it doesn't work out for you, then do consider
- nursing - a very common option for mature students, offered in more than one Birmingham university, and because it's an NHS funded course it's not subject to the SF constraints that would make you fund first year yourself. This also applies to some other healthcare related courses.
- returning to your old uni course. Your old uni may be willing to take you back, or you may be able to get another uni to agree to take you directly into second year, which would allow you to dodge the SF issues.

The Student Room's medicine forum is quite good, though do be prepared for some slightly obsessive 17yo medicine applicants.

tantrumtime Wed 22-Jan-14 08:31:09

Thank you for your post, really helpful.
I did radiography, I'm currently an assistant practitioner in the community. I withdrew in 2012 so very recently and they would probably take me back but from year 1, they made that clear so not sure how funding would work.
To be honest I think I'm having a mid life crisis, turned 31 on Monday and already cut all my hair off and had my nose pierced smile

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3monkeys Wed 22-Jan-14 08:34:45

I would say be sure you could manage all the work,and the all the hours on placements. I did medicine as a teenager, with no children, and it was exhausting! I now work part time, with 3 children, and am struggling with a post grad diploma

MedusaIsHavingaBadHairday Fri 24-Jan-14 23:12:10

My DD1 is in her 4th year of medicine. One of her friends is a dad of a young baby and his partner is also a med student. They are managing BUT it is very tough. The Uni told him it would be fine, he wouldn;t be sent too far away, but when it came to it his placements have been all over the place (as in having to live elsewhere) and juggling child care has been very difficult.

You would need very very good support. It's unlike any other degree because it is constantly full on and the pressure is immense.. students not only have to pass everything but they are also ranked against each other.. (hideous IMO!)

As someone else has said applications for medicine have a 60% total rejection rate so your personal statement, experience etc has to be amazing. However on the plus side, being a little older and having life experience seems to be valued.. DD1 was surprised to find she is a young once amongst a lot of older students.

It's definitely not for the fainthearted, but if it's what you really want.. be prepared, do the prep for the UKCAT and BMAT and go for it!

Alternatively there are many other HCP jobs which are also interesting .. Nursing? (DD2 is a Learning disability nurse student) OT? Physio?...

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