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 to the above, you can only apply to 4 courses rather than the usual 5; one 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 but we have a separate support page here that provides further information and support for those applications.
  2. 1. The deadline!

The deadline falls quite soon into the academic year, it is 6pm (UK) time on the 15th of October. Knowing this early on will work in your favour and will enable you to spend more time on your application.  You must have completed all sections of your application by this deadline and also paid for it. When you send an application; whether it is as a student or not, you will have to pay for your application before it can officially be sent off. This is £20 for one course or £25 for multiple courses.

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

In order to make your application stand out in a crowd of others, there are some things that you should think about even before you get started on your application. 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 so please do check in advance what that 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. Whether this 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; putting your theory into practice.  You can look around your local area or beyond!

  1. 4. The admissions test

In England students who apply to medical courses are usually asked to complete a national admission tests before they send off their application for medicine. These include either the UKCAT or BMAT test. Click on the links to find out more information about what each test entails.

If you apply to Dentistry some universities will ask for a national entry test to be completed where others may not so you will need to double check this.

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 so 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.

Now, 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, so it is important to check in advance either on the university website or call 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 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 on the website here which provides detail on how to write one with 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 the member of the team who looks at the applications will collate them together and add them before your application is sent off.

  1. 7. Sending off the application

If you are a student at a school or college; don’t forget they will have 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 5.55pm 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 as the staff want to get to know their applicant. They also want to see how you deal with pressure 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 here.

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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