How To Choose A Medical School In The UK

If you are interested in studying medicine, you need to start considering your options for medical school.  This can be very overwhelming as there are 33 different schools that cater for this degree course.  Finding the best school for you, therefore, requires a lot of thorough research before you put names onto your UCAS form.

In this post, we will give you some advice on how to make the right decision.

Understanding the Importance Of UKCAT and BMAT

Different medical schools consider UKCAT more important than others.  By the time you are ready to apply for your medical school placement though, you will already be aware of your UKCAT score, so this is something you should take on board.  Similarly, different universities view BMAT as being more important than others.

One major difference between the two is that your BMAT will only be sat once you have submitted your medical school applications.  It, therefore, might be a wise decision to avoid applying for more than two universities that accept BMAT.

Understanding The Importance Of Grades

When you are looking to attend medicine, grades are crucial.  The grades you achieve at GCSE and A-Level will determine where you should apply to study medicine.  As the entry requirements for each university are slightly different from one another, it is important to look at the information regarding this provided on their websites. 

It is also a good idea to note that there has been a lot of confusion about how universities assess prospective student's grade because of the new Linear A-Level system.  To find this information out, you can again look at the website of each university you are interested in.

Understanding The Importance Of Location

Although you will state that the medical school course is what you will cite as the main reason for applying at a particular university when you are interviewed - the truth is that where the university is located is very important.  While some students want to stay closer to home, others see attending university as an opportunity to break free and gain some independence.  As it is likely that you will be attending the same school for as much as six years, it is recommended you think carefully about where you want to study.

This post was not designed to stress you out even more.  Rather, it was put together with the aim of giving you more food for thought.  The decision of where you study medicine, which is an incredibly huge commitment, is an important one – so it would be wrong to rush into it without all the facts.

As a way of summary and to break down the basics of how you find the best medical schools to apply to for your own needs and circumstances, look at the list below.

·      Ensure you have checked the ethos, course structure and entry requirements for each medical school – discerning which would be best for you.

·      Whittle down the list by figuring out if you would prefer a collegiate, campus or city setting and your preferred course structure.  Also take into consideration extra-curricular activities available, the cost and location of the university.

·      Compare and contrast the universities on your shortlist.

·      Once you have an even shorter list of potentials, try and visit them before you apply to work out if you can picture yourself studying there.  Find people who already attend those universities or who have in the past and find out as much as you can about what it is actually like.