Medicine is one of the most competitive courses in the UK to gain entry to, but every year thousands of international students are accepted into medical school. If your grades are of the highest standard, and if you can prove that you have set your heart on studying and working in this field, then applying to read Medicine in the UK is for you. 3 As at A-level, including chemistry or biology, an IB of 38 or IELTS score of 7.0 is the academic standard required for undergraduate Medicine.
A strong first degree and a successful career record are required for graduate Medicine and work experience of one day a week for six months in a hospital, care home, hospice or other caring environment is the sort of evidence of intent the medical schools will be expecting and looking for. Understanding of the National Health Service and how it works is also crucial for international applicants.
The entry standards for any medical school are strict and exacting. Interviews for admission can be tough and students should expect questioning on motivation, previous work, personal interests, as well as being able to produce evidence of all previous achievements, including relevant work experience. A number of medical schools will expect completion of the clinical aptitude test, UCAT.
With the number of positions medical graduates can move into numbering over 60, there is no shortage of opportunity depending on what area you wish to specialise in. Areas of expertise generally fall into the following categories:
Undergraduate: If you decide you want to study medicine, you will need to enrol at a medical school, which is often part of a university, but will have strong links to local hospitals and medical practises. To initially study at undergraduate level, students will need AAA grades, with either Chemistry or Biology a requirement.
For international students wishing to study Medicine at undergraduate level, an IELTS score of no less than 6.5 across all four categories - reading, writing, speaking and listening – with an overall 7.0 score generally required at most universities.
Foundation: Once undergraduate study of two-years has been completed, medical students will then move on to Foundation training, lasting another two-years. This brings together medical school graduates, other postgraduates and various health care providers. Once completed, you will move into your specialist training path.
Speciality Training: Once you have completed four-years of study, now the serious work begins! The entry process once you have decided on which area you wish to specialise in is extremely competitive, so plenty of hard work is needed to ensure you can secure a place in the area you wish to focus on. Training here can last for anything up to seven years, and upon completion you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion Training (CCT).
The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is part of the selection process of some UK medical and dental schools. It is an online test designed to test cognitive abilities, attitudes, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. There are four reasoning tests and a situational judgement test.
- Verbal Reasoning. Assesses ability to think logically about written information and arrive at a reasoned conclusion: 21 minutes, with 11 passages to read and 44 questions.
- Quantitative reasoning. Assesses ability to solve numerical problems: 24 minutes, 9 tables, charts, graphs etc. as information and 36 questions.
- Abstract reasoning. Assesses ability to infer relationships from information by convergent and divergent thinking: 13 minutes and 55 questions.
- Decision Analysis. Assesses ability to deal with various forms of information to infer relationships, make informed judgements, and decide on an appropriate response: 32 minutes, 1 scenario full of information and 28 questions (basic calculator provided)
- Situational Judgement. Measures your responses in situations, and your grasp of medical ethics: 27 minutes and 67 questions on 20 scenarios.
The test is taken at your local test centre, with each subtest in a multiple choice format. Past papers are not available but there are specimen questions on the UCAT website. The UCAT must be taken by applicants at the following universities:
Learn more about each Medical School in the UK below:
If you are interested in studying Medicine in the UK, arrange your free consultation with SI-UK today.
My counsellor contacted me every day throughout the application process and helped me receive an unconditional offer. I am so grateful to SI-UK and will never forget them. I will study very hard as I feel this is the best reward I can give the whole team.
Sade Onyeje Social Work at Birmingham City University