University applications: Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science

This page aims to provide information and useful links in relation to applying for the following courses at university level:

  1. – Medicine
  2. – Dentistry
  3. – Veterinary Medicine/Science

If you are thinking of applying for these courses please note that you can only apply to 4 courses rather than the usual 5. 1 choice remains for you to apply to another course such as Biomedical Science. The application for the other course can be completed after the deadline.

  1. This information applies to MOST but not all courses. Please note this information also applies to courses at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. We have a separate support page here providing further information and support for those applications.
  2. 1. The deadline!

The deadline falls quite soon into the academic year: 18.00 (UK) time on the 15th of October (this date does not change). Being aware of this will work in your favour, enabling you to spend more time on your application. The application must be completed and paid for by 15th October. Without the payment the application cannot be officially sent off. The fee is £22 for one course or £26.50 for multiple courses (the fees are subject to change).

  1. 2. Things to think about in advance of starting the application!

In order to make your application stand out from the crowd there are some things that you can think about before you get started. The hard work begins early on in your academic journey! For applications in the UK you need:

  • A combination of GCSEs, AS levels and A levels, with good grades in science subjects (Chemistry, Physics, Biology and/or Mathematics) which form the foundation of the medical curriculum
  • Good GCSE passes in English and Mathematics
  • Students with some non-science related A levels would be required to study some form of a science based foundation course, which will add a year to the standard five year undergraduate course.

Please note: when making an application Critical Thinking and General Studies will not be accepted as A-levels. Some universities will accept a vocational subject but only when combined with a traditional A level.

Additionally, not all universities will have the same entry requirements, please do check in advance what each specific university needs.

  1. 3. Work experience

In order to strengthen your chances as a candidate it is a good idea to look at some opportunities for work experience within the relevant field. This can be through paid employment or volunteering. The experience itself will not only enhance your UCAS application but will provide a foundation for you to build your skills in the sector. It will enable you to see how your character and work ethic survive in a real life setting.  You can look around your local area or beyond!

  1. 4. The admissions test

In England applications to medical courses are usually asked to complete a national admission tests before they send off their application. These include either the UCAT or BMAT test.  Please note:

  • If you apply to Dentistry some universities will ask for a national entry test to be completed and others may not: do check.
  • For Veterinary Science you are not usually required to take any of the national  tests however some universities may have their own version of an admissions test:again it is best to check.
  • If you apply to Veterinary Medicine then you will in most cases be asked to do an entry test. However, once again, this can vary based on the university.

Which test is required for each of the three courses, or if any test is required at all, is dependent on the university that you wish to apply to. This makes it really important to check in advance either on the university website or by telephoning the admissions team to clarify what the entry requirements are. Make sure you find out this information a few months before the application deadline as the tests may have specific dates. It is generally advised to take as many practice tests online as possible so you understand the content, the kinds of questions and the time constraints. Check out this site for help with preparation.

  1. 5. The personal statement

You will have to write a personal statement to accompany your application and the fact that it has a 4000 character limit can often be challenging! We have created a resource here providing some writing tips which has an accompanying mindmap and worksheet! Also check out this blogpost here which highlights 10 top tips for specifically the above  applications!

  1. 6. The reference

You will need a reference to go with your application. If you are applying through a school or college then the teachers will write references for you and these will be associated with your application and sent off.

  1. 7. Sending off the application

If you are a student at a school or college don’t forget you will need to allow time for a member of staff to read through your application before it is sent off! Do let the member of staff who will be checking UCAS applications know in advance that you plan to apply to one of the above choices. If possible let them know before the summer holidays and then again at the start of the academic year so they are simultaneously able to prepare. These applications can often have extra steps which may take longer. So please do not ask your teacher to send it off at 17.55 on the 15th of October! Making a timely submission means that UCAS should receive the application.

  1. 8. The interview

Most Medical, Dentistry or Veterinary Science/Medicine courses require you to attend a face-to-face interview. They want to see how you deal with pressure and so preparation is vital at this stage. Firstly you need to be able to talk about every aspect of your personal statement, in detail, and elaborate on points where you were not able to on paper due to word constraints. You can also look at practice questions; more detail on how to prepare for an interview can be found at these sites: Medical,  Dentisty and Veterinary Science/Medicine

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Don’t panic! If you prepare in advance and spend time on each aspect of the application process then this motivation, integrated with your desire to work in any of the above fields will shine through. Good Luck!

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