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Medicine 2019

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kaykay72 Tue 05-Jun-18 16:32:18


Does anyone here have a DC applying for medicine to start in 2019? It would be nice to meet others as we embark on uni visits, predicted grades, UKCAT etc

We’re in Kent, d is planning to visit kings, UCL, Nottingham, Sheffield and Newcastle at the moment. She really wanted to go look at Belfast but they want three A’s plus an A at AS level but won’t accept her additional qualification in place of this (despite it having a higher UCAS tarriff). We went to an open afternoon at BSMS which she liked more than she thought she would, so is pondering the BMAT.

I have two older kids (well, adults now), one of whom has just finished his masters, the other just completed his first year elsewhere, but medical applications are just so complicated in comparison to their experiences at this stage.

Hope to hear from others in the same boat :-)

Skiiltan Tue 05-Jun-18 21:33:33

Just a quick word... If your daughter is thinking of applying to UCL she'd have to do BMAT anyway, so if she liked BSMS she'll know she can also use it to apply there.

Also, Queen's Belfast will accept an EPQ in lieu of a fourth AS-level. What is your daughter's additional qualification? I don't think any medical schools take any notice of UCAS tariff points: they only look at grades for academic qualifications.

Before this thread gets too far under way, may I point people in the direction of the Medical School's Council's web site, which has a lot of useful information (, including a summary of every UK medical school's entry requirements and a lot of additional resources ( The entry requirements booklet is for 2018 entry but we have all just been reminded that we have to get our 2019 information to them by this Friday, so I'm sure it will be updated soon.

sergeantmajormum Tue 05-Jun-18 21:45:10

Hello, please can I join in?
DD planning to apply for 2019; Bristol is her favourite also visiting Nottingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Southampton, Leeds and saw Exeter last week. Hoping to avoid BMAT but having a look at Leeds just in case UKCAT doesn’t go as well as she hopes...... Liked Exeter but “don’t have anything to compare with” and last year their interview cut off was Tier 2 ie everyone interviewed pre A levels was predicted 3 A*! We are in south east so she’s ruled out Scotland (too far away) and London (too expensive). Haven’t got predicted grades yet and just starting out on UKCAT prep.
Been following last years Medicine thread which was really useful so hope we’ll be able to help eachother through the coming year, going to be one hell of a ride!

kaykay72 Tue 05-Jun-18 22:45:01

She spoke to the admissions tutor at QUB. Her extra qualification is a sports performance apprenticeship with an academic component which carries the same UCAS points (I know they don’t look at points as such) as an A level grade B. It’s made up of two level 3 certificates (achieving excellence in sports performance, and understanding sports performance) which together award 40 UCAS points. She’s doing three A levels in addition (having dropped further maths) but didn’t really expect a higher tarriff, higher commitment course (compared to an AS or an EPQ) to take her out of the running. I’m more gutted at losing out on a weekend in Belfast for the open day as we go out there for her sport once a year and I love it there 😉

She’s pretty open minded about where she goes. She’d prefer somewhere that does dissection and that is not too PBL heavy, and where students start having contact with patients earlier rather than later. She’s taking her UKCAT early so she has time to really look at where her profile would give her the best chance of interview. She liked the people and the ethos of BSMS, but her brother went to Nottingham and she liked the campus there. I think her plan is to see if she feels the need to do the BMAT once she’s been to UCL open day and knows her UKCAT score.

Tinkobell Sun 10-Jun-18 13:06:03

Hiya, we're also 2019 for DD. We're in Surrey but avoiding London due to living costs. She also doesn't want to commute from home and neither do we!
Went along to BSMS yesterday and enjoyed the day very much....inspiring people stood out she said. Looking forward to seeing the info flow....

Tinkobell Sun 10-Jun-18 13:10:03 Nottingham the campus is stunning; DH and I both alumni. Bear in mind medics in reality have little time to lounge around on the grass outside Portland and Trent buildings ....they're a law unto themselves and mainly are over the roundabout at QMC.

Skiiltan Tue 12-Jun-18 12:43:51

@kaykay72 - I have to go to Belfast for a day in October and would happily swap.

I visit BSMS fairly regularly and the students are pretty positive about it. Also, Brighton is a top student city, although Tinkobell is correct that medical students have relatively little time to do all of the regular studenty things. I really like the Nottingham campus (although it's hellish windy at certain times of year, like most university campuses), and I love the bus service that means you never seem to wait more than 5 minutes to get a bus between the city & the university. Brighton & Sussex has the advantage of being right next to a station and the journey time to/from the city is shorter but you wait longer for a bus/train than will be the case in Nottingham.

For any medical school you need to look into where students are based on long clinical placements in the later years of the course. Year-5 students at BSMS will spend 24 weeks in three different regional locations, which can be as far west as Chichester, as far east as Hastings and as far north as Redhill ( Nottingham students undertake placements as far afield as Lincoln and Chesterfield ( Any medical school will require similar travel distances and periodic relocations.

kaykay72 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:01:23

We went to Kings on Saturday for the open day - she loved it there. She was expecting it to feel a bit ‘distant’ and impersonal as they have such a large student body (they said they have about 2,000 medical students across the years and courses) but it didn’t feel that way at all. Staff were friendly and approachable and the students seemed open and happy. Their course is being restructured, but there were a lot of things she liked. The GP placements are longitudinal, they stay with the same GP tutor. The pastoral support and academic support seemed responsive and well set up. They are changing the hospital placements in years 4/5 so that students stay in the same hospital for a year while they rotate through departments, to make accommodation easier to plan. Intercalation is strongly encouraged and they have some really interesting options. They do have a small pbl component but it’s case based which sounds reasonable. Some of the hospital placements are easily reachable from home which could keep costs down in years 4 and 5.

UKCAT less than a month away, and having seen Kings on Saturday motivation to prepare for it is high smile I think when they’ve wanted something for so long it feels like a distant goal, but going to open days is a bit of a wake up call.

kaykay72 Tue 12-Jun-18 13:03:19

Plus predicted grades are coming out this week...

Skiiltan Tue 12-Jun-18 14:02:59

King's has performed very poorly for medicine in the National Student Survey for a few years. (So poorly that even I would take notice of it.) I think this is largely to do with year 4/5 students - particularly those based in Kent - feeling disconnected from the medical school and the other students. It might be that the review of placements has at least in part been undertaken to address this problem. There was a hangover for a few years from a major assessments cock-up (a cohort of year-4 students had to repeat an obstetrics & gynaecology exam because a member of staff had been selling an exam-practice app that included some of the questions in the actual exam), but all the students who were there when that happened will have graduated and moved on by now.

Studying in London is a very different experience from studying elsewhere. Things like where current second/third-year students live, how large a proportion of students go home every weekend, where sports grounds are, etc. become very important for students planning to go to London.

Skiiltan Tue 12-Jun-18 14:08:15

I'd also be inclined to encourage your daughter to look a bit more into PBL. I wouldn't write off a medical school that might otherwise seem perfect because of a dislike of the idea of PBL. I ran a mock PBL tutorial with a group of international students in a private sixth-form college last week, and many who hadn't really considered it as a way of learning previously felt that it might well suit them. Not all of them, of course, but certainly more than would have expressed a preference for PBL beforehand.

swingofthings Wed 13-Jun-18 07:21:58

It's nice to see the 2019 entry Medicine thread. Good luck to all of you mums!

My main advice would be to really consider picking schools based on odds to get an interview/offer rather than liking the course/environment etc.. DD ended up picking as first choice one that she actually didn't really like on paper (too far to visit) and only put it as 4th choice as one of 3 or 4 that were on the list of not interested but will put down as need to put a 4th choice. It's when she went there for the interview that it was love at first sight and it became an evident first choice after a second visit.

We hadn't expected this at all. Oh and the UKCAT! Not doing well is not the end of a chance at getting into Medicine, but doing well definitely makes it massively easier. Intense revising and practicing is really key to get into the 75% top.

swingofthings Wed 13-Jun-18 07:23:42

Oh and meant to type that I know quite a bit about BSMS (DD's second choice) so happy to answer any qusstion.

kaykay72 Wed 13-Jun-18 13:13:34

Thank you @skilltan - I’ll point her in the direction of more research. She says she’d be happy with a Kent placement after three (maybe four) years in London as she’d live at home - she’s already suggesting renting out her older siblings bedrooms to other students 🙄

Re PBL I did a lot of PBL on my last degree course so have explained some of the pros and cons of my experiences, that’s something she needs to decide for herself but she knows that realistically it’s about where you can get a place rather than likes and dislikes at this stage.

@swingofthings - she has a spreadsheet on her laptop with info about bits that are important to her (dissection!) and the selection process. Her plan is to sit down with her UKCAT score, gcse results and predicted A level grades and pin down both where she’d have the most realistic chance of an interview, and whether she needs/wants to sit the BMAT. Some unis just want gcse grade B in maths and English (BSMS is one) whereas others score GCSEs and combine that with other factors - it’s all so complicated but she’s on the case.

She’s working on medify for her UKCAT prep, has highlighted her weakest section and is spending a few days working on improving her understanding of that. It’s such a busy time at the moment, and I feel that once September comes the time will simultaneously fly by and drag!

Skiiltan Wed 13-Jun-18 14:32:58

@kaykay72 - she knows that realistically it’s about where you can get a place rather than likes and dislikes at this stage

Up to a point... We do have problems with students who struggle to motivate themselves - in year 2 particularly - having got onto a course that really doesn't suit them. It is extraordinarily hard work, and difficult to persist with if you're not finding it enjoyable or rewarding.

Remember, also, that there are two new medical schools for 2018 entry (Aston and Anglia Ruskin) and will be three more for 2019 (Sunderland, Lincoln and Kent & Medway). Nobody will be able to advise her on how to approach applications to these as nobody has any experience with them. If you're in Kent it might be worth her trying to find out something about the Kent & Medway school, which will be delivering what is essentially the BSMS curriculum adapted to local facilities. I'm afraid I don't know anything about their entry requirements yet, and I can't find any information about whether they will be offering cadaveric dissection like BSMS.

Weaverspin Mon 09-Jul-18 16:20:55

Hi, glad to find a 2019 Medicine thread! My DD is hoping for a 2019 entry also. We've visited Bristol, Nottingham and Sheffield so far. She also has a spreadsheet to try and help prioritise where to apply, but things seem to be getting less clear as time goes on...! She's got very good GCSEs and predicted As, practical work experience & so on. Her main concern now is the hurdle of the UKCAT itself.

Can anyone recommend resources to help prepare? Is Medify worth the money? Sheffield were scathing of anything bar the actual UKCAT site itself, but I'm interested in experiences from people who've actually used other resources and found them helpful!

3catsandadog Mon 09-Jul-18 16:34:17

Would recommend Medify 100 percent my son improved so much with it and achieved 755 Band 1

adrinkofwater Mon 09-Jul-18 17:21:32

My DD also used medify last year and thinks it's worth it. She did it for about 4 weeks before taking the UKCAT and definitely felt it helped.

swingofthings Mon 09-Jul-18 17:41:08

Another vote for Medify, especially for the timed mock exams. I would also recommend going on tsr. So many good people there providing a lot of excellent advice on how to study, recognise trends, tricks to watch etc...

Skiiltan Mon 09-Jul-18 21:21:51

There are timed mock exams on the UKCAT web site ( You don't need to pay for them.

Weaverspin Mon 09-Jul-18 23:10:53

Swing - is 'tsr' The Student Room? Forgive me - I'm new to this and still finding my way around!

kaykay72 Tue 10-Jul-18 19:12:32

Another vote for medify - my daughter used it for the month up to her test date. She found it fairly representative of the actual test but actually scored better on the day than on the medify mocks. She found the QR on the mock test on the UKCAT website scarily hard - to the point that when she did it (two days before her test date) she was panic cling and considering postponing. She got 880/900 for QR in the actual test though.

Her overall score was 720, band 1 so she’s glad she didn’t postpone it. It’s useful to have this info now as it’s helping her to decide where she can realistically apply. Her predicted A levels are 3xA*, but her gcse profile is weaker than many medicine applicants as she had a medical issue at the time of her gcse exams

kaykay72 Tue 10-Jul-18 19:29:47

Panic cling??? Love autocorrect 🙄

swingofthings Tue 10-Jul-18 19:50:20

Yes student room sorry. This is what this journey does to us talking in acronyms as if it was normal language smile

swingofthings Tue 10-Jul-18 19:54:18

By the wasy well done to to your DD kaykay amazing results. As long as she meets the minimum GCSE grades most expect that score and predicted A levels will give her an excellent chance to a large pool of choice.

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