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UCAS - can you apply to do more than one course?

(15 Posts)
mumblechum Mon 22-Nov-10 18:03:52

DS wants to go to med school, but even assuming he gets 4 A* at Alevel hmm, there are 17 suitably qualified candidates for every place at med school.

Soooo, backup plan would be to do something like history if he doesn't get into med school.

I realise he can apply to 4 or 5 different universities, but can he apply to 4 or 5 for med course, and another 4 or 5 for history?

Anyone with experience/UCAS staff out there?

It's ahead of time, I know, he's starting 6th form next year, but has to choose his A level options soon so this question will have a bearing on his choices.

PonderStibbonsandHex Mon 22-Nov-10 18:16:13

So far as I remember then no, you can not double your options by applying for 4 or 5 on one course and 4 or 5 on another.

You should also bare in mind that it can look negative to apply for different courses, in particular when applying for something heavily over subscribed such as medicine, where they will be expecting to read a personal statement which clearly demonstrates that the student is committed to studying medicine.

Do bear in mind though that some universities will take applicants who haven't made the cut for competitive courses like medicine and offer them a place on another course that they might fit the entry criteria for.

If he is interested in medicine, which would require mainly science A'levels, why not select A'levels suitable for medicine, see how he goes with them and if it doesn't look likely that he will get the grades for medicine, consider something like biochemistry?

Claire2301 Mon 22-Nov-10 18:24:48

I work in 16-18 education. Students can apply for 6 different courses in total. Agree with Ponder that applying for different courses doesn't give the best look. However we tend to have students who apply for several different universities with varying entry requirements.

mumblechum Mon 22-Nov-10 18:35:07

Hmmm, so if he only applies to med schools and none of them offer him a place, does that mean he either has to take another science course (which isn't attractive, he only wants to do science if medicine), or apply again the following year to do a humanities course?

He's very very good at science, consistently A* grades, but doesn't actually enjoy it. I know this sounds weird, but he wants to do medicine because it's applied science, and specifically he wants to be an Army doctor.

If the only course offered was a generic science one, I think he'd prefer to do something like history which would still go down well in an appln. for Army officer.

Thanks for your help so far.

webwiz Mon 22-Nov-10 18:53:00

There are up to 5 choices through UCAS - Potential medical students can apply to a maximum of 4 medical schools and so they have a 5th choice for something different.

Your DS could put History as his fifth choice but it would make for a difficult personal statement as it would have to be mostly tailored to medicine or he wouldn't get in.

There is advice the UCAS website on how to write a personal statement for different courses.

mumblechum Mon 22-Nov-10 19:04:05

Thanks for advice.

PonderStibbonsandHex Mon 22-Nov-10 20:01:40

I'd advise against medicine if he doesn't enjoy science tbh. I am a university lecturer and although the main students I teach are not medics, some are. He would be committing to 5 years of a course, which at times does involve a lot of science components, but I think he would be quite likely to end up as a statistic who drops out of the course, if he doesn't actually enjoy science.

LadyLapsang Mon 22-Nov-10 20:04:22

Also remember that each uni won't know what else has been listed. DS applied for two different courses (not medicine) and got offers for all 5 and his friend applied for medicine and pharmacy and - I think - got offers for 4 out of the 5 & is now studying medicine (BTW his 4th A Level was History). Agree the main challenge will be crafting the personal statement. Maybe best to apply for medicine, see how that goes, and then - if no offers - apply for history (which is pretty competitive too).

beemail Mon 22-Nov-10 20:10:52

Yes can apply for 5 in total but no more than 4 medicine courses. many applicants will have high predicted grades in subjects the admissions tutors like to see but this alone will not guarantee a place. he needs lots of work experience in relevant areas, a genuine interest in medical issues and is likely to be someone who can perform well at interview. The 5th choice is always a problem for medics which is why so many apply for 4 initially but are prepared to take a year out if necessary to reapply for an alternative course or reapply for medicine if grades are good enough

mumeeee Tue 23-Nov-10 12:05:09

He can apply for 5 unis altogether these can be for diferent courses but he can't aply for 5 meds courses and s other courses.
He can apply for a 6th course or uni if he hasn't got any offers by the time what they call extras come out in March or April.
Wehn DD1 applied for uniyour could still apply for 6, She wanted to do vetinary but as there are only 6 Vet schools in the whole of the UK she was advised to apply for 4 Vetinary courses and 2 back ups, In the end she didn't get into any Vet Schools but got a place at Cardiff Uni doing Zoology which she really enjoyed and finished with a first,

lazymumofteenagesons Tue 23-Nov-10 21:32:21

A personal statement based on medicine is not going to get you an offer for history. I suggest he tries for medicine sees what happens and then if unsuccessul decides whether to reapply for medcine the following year or apply for history/humanities courses.

I think UCAS should look into allowing more than one personal statement so that different types of courses can be applied for.

crazymum53 Wed 24-Nov-10 09:25:08

You can apply for Applied Science courses such as Applied Biology at some Universities so this could be a way forward.
Do know of some people who applied for medical related course such as anatomy or Biochemistry who were able to transfer to medicine later on.

notsoacademicallytormented Wed 24-Nov-10 09:37:56

How about these courses I looked at them as my 5th and they mix the humanities and spplication of science pretty well!

beemail Wed 24-Nov-10 16:36:05

lazymum - this issue of writing more than one PS has come up at UCAS conferences
Notsoacad - still difficult to write a PS for them if your other 4 choices are medicine
Worth asking what happened to graduates from previous years - what jobs/post grad coursee have they gone onto

mumblechum Wed 24-Nov-10 18:13:29

Thanks all of you for your help and suggestions.

Am currently testing ds on chemistry for his mocks which start next week. His coursework is always A* all the way, but exams not so good (tho' still average A). Not sure if he's quite stellar enough for medschool, he certainly won't get all A* at GCSE.

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