The process of applying to GradMed is long and hard – there’s no way round that. To make things easier, I’ve put together a little post outlining the steps I’d recomend you take, and the order in which to do them!
GET YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE!! There is usually a 2 year limit to work experience, so even if you did loads of WE before your degree, that won’t be relevant in the personal statement and application process – that being said, you can still use the experiences in your answers to your interview – but you need to get an interview before that can happen!! Regular, long-term work experience is the best, often in the form of volunteering or even as a healthcare assistant, but week placements shadowing doctors are usually excellent experience.
Make a list of all the universities that will be offering Graduate Medicine and what their requirements are. Key things to be aware of :
Whether GCSEs/A-Levels are taken into consideration
Whether only your first degree is relevant or if further degrees/masters/PhDs can influence your offer or if they are disregarded
Some universities need you to be fully graduated before you can apply, so you might not be able to apply in your final year of your degree e.g. University of Birmingham
Which entrance examinations they require – most require either the UKCAT or GAMSAT but a couple do still use the BMAT → Future video on these tests.
Whether the university/course is graduate only or whether you are combined with undergraduate medics.
The length of the course – most are 4 years, but they can offer some 5 year courses at some universities.
Their minimum work experience requirements – some universities can be really picky about how many hours and what sort of work experience they accept so make sure you meet these requirements as often people can waste a choice and be instantly disregarded due to lack of acceptable work experience.
If possible, visit the university open days – often they reveal information that they do not publish online or in their prospectuses. It’s also a great opportunity to get a feel for the area, the campus and the medical school.
3. Once you’ve made provisional decisions as to which 4 universities you would like to apply to, start studying for the UKCAT, GAMSAT, BMAT. Make sure you start preparing early enough to ensure you are as prepared as possible for test day.
4. Register with UCAS by going to www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/register and register as an individual. This is probably different to how you applied when you were 18 and is in my opinion the biggest difference in the application process!
Fill in your personal details and past education and work history. It should have saved some of your personal details in from your first application to university, and your UCAS personal ID number will be the same. Do this at least in June the year of your application – this gives you plenty of time to do your personal statement. Don’t use the same personal statement as undergrad – many things have changed and UCAS will pick up on the plagiarism! I’ll do a video on things to talk about in your PS. Check with your university careers service – mine offered personal statement workshops, and opportunities to book one-to-one appointments with careers advisors to help with my PS. Also, get your parents, your housemates, your siblings to look at your personal statement and if you can, someone from your university – they will have read hundreds if not thousands of PS and they will really give invaluable advice! Ensure your final draft is completed with plenty of time to spare – you don’t want to be running around the week before the UCAS deadline finishing your personal statement!
Choose who is going to write your reference – often this is a personal tutor from your university, or if you have been in employment for a long time, can come from your employer in certain circumstances. Make sure you ask them before you put their name down, and ensure all contact details are correct.
5. Submit your form before the deadline and wait in hope for an invitation to an interview!
I know this makes it seem easy, but it really isn’t and takes a lot of work, effort and time! I really wish you luck with your application – don’t give up!