Following on from our first blog last month outlining the application process, this month we are going to focus on one of the key components of UCAS, namely selecting four medical schools.
Teachers and careers advisors often ask: How can we best advise students with their selection process?
In this blog we are going to focus on a four-point checklist you can you use to guide your students through this tricky step.
1) Course Structure
This varies considerably across the medical schools, and they broadly fall into:
- Problem Based Learning
Students must develop their knowledge of how these differ and importantly identify which one will best suit their own learning styles. Medicine is an ever-growing body of knowledge so students must make sure they select an optimum learning environment for them.
2) Course Length
For undergraduate medicine, students can choose either five- or six-year programmes.
Those who opt for a six-year programme typically spend the extra year carrying out a BSc in a particular area of interest around medicine, like medical ethics or genetics.
Students therefore need to be aware of how long the courses offered at their preferred medical schools are.
It is worth noting that this extra degree will always be an asset going forward through your competitive career as a doctor.
Time and time again we meet students who want to understandably become independent upon leaving school and often select medical schools located far away from home.
It is worth remembering medicine is a long degree, and many students do reflect back on the advantages of being closer to home than they first thought they might have wished.
4) Entry requirements
As outlined in our previous blog, medical schools often have slightly different entry requirements. These can include grade requirements, yet often what catches people out is the aptitude tests and how these are used in different ways.
Ensuring you have an understanding of not only which test your four schools use (BMAT or UKCAT), but also knowing how they use your score is important to give yourself the best chance of securing an interview.
We hope this will help you advise your students over the coming months as they begin to narrow down their preferences.
Next month we will focus on writing your Personal Statement for medicine.
The Medic Portal
Photo credit: bertknot, Flickr