Specialist University Applications – Oxbridge, Medical School, Art School etc.
Many top-performing sixth form students wish to apply for degree courses at elite Universities, which demand special entry procedures and sometimes different timetables. We have experienced advisers to help with successful applications to the following:-
We publish eGuides on some of these courses on both www.best-schools.co.uk and www.UniversityAdvice.co.uk We are happy for schools to replicate some of that content, providing that due credit is given to its source at Education Advisers.
We also offer bespoke advice to individual students on a fee paid basis. For schools who would like to use our consultants, bulk terms can be arranged, especially if you want limited assistance to complement your existing resources. Just phone our Academic Director, Michel Fanya, on +44 1483 276090. More information is available on our specific website www.UniversityAdvice.co.uk but here are a few notes on Oxbridge and Med Schools
The Oxbridge application process – why is it so tough?
Oxford and Cambridge are often referred to as ‘Oxbridge’, a short-hand term for this exclusive group of two. Oxbridge operates a different admissions policy to other universities, and works to a different application deadline.
Because of their prestigious status the universities are the most sought after institutions and, as such, know that they will have to deal with a far higher number of applications from high-achieving students, from all around the world. To deal fairly with such high demand for places from aspiring students (on average, there are about 6 applications for every place available), Oxbridge is given its own deadline by the UK Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Three months earlier than the general deadline for our other universities, the deadline is the same each year – 15th October- and is non-negotiable. No late applications are ever considered. Miss it, and you have to wait for a whole year to try to apply again.
While you are otherwise encouraged to combine universities on your UCAS form in any way you wish, there is a distinct rule for Oxbridge - you can apply to only one of either Oxford or Cambridge.
Oxbridge ask more from school applicants than other universities. They generally demand higher grades at A level and IB and they also set additional admissions tests for many of their subjects, as well as interviewing all candidates to whom they are considering making an offer of a place of study. Achieving an interview at either Oxford or Cambridge is, in itself, an achievement and, if you get one, a mark of the respect in which Oxbridge already holds your application.
Education Advisers – supporting your Oxbridge application every step of the way
At Education Advisers we can offer you the best guidance at every step of the way with your Oxbridge application. We will advise and assist you to help you take the decisions that are right for you, from choosing between Oxford and Cambridge, to finding the college that is right for you, in selecting the course which combines all the things that interest you most and will lead to a degree that will offer you a range of career choice to inspire you and fulfil your ambitions for life.
Education Advisers can offer you guidance as you complete the UCAS application form, helping you, through discussion, develop your ideas for when you come to write your personal statement, and offering expert preparation as your application progresses to an Admissions Test and then to interview, where we can provide a mock (test) interview. Your mock interviews will be conducted by an academic specialist in your subject. After your mock interview, the specialist tutor, together with your adviser, will offer you further thoughts and guidance as you prepare for the big day, an interview at Oxford or Cambridge.
Applying for Oxbridge is both exciting and nerve-wracking. We have supported many students through this process over many years and will do all we can here at Education Advisers to make your Oxbridge experience enjoyable, enriching – and, we hope, successful.
Why is Medicine such a tough degree?
This demand for Medical School means that entry standards to Medicine are set very high and even top grades will not necessarily guarantee you a place. In addition medical courses are by their very nature long (up to six years), academically intensive and physically demanding. Medical students have to study and work when their contemporaries are relaxing; examinations and course tests come thick and fast during the course and all this means that you should only consider applying for Medicine if you are prepared to accept the challenges that it involves. However, if you still want to apply for Medicine then you must be very determined and ready to face discouragement and disappointment at times.
The first challenge is getting into Medical School. Applications for Medicine have to be prepared very carefully and this where Education Advisers can give you an edge. Our consultants have all been involved in senior positions in teaching hospitals, Universities and schools, some of them as Admissions Tutors, and therefore they are able to offer a service that is unrivalled in helping students with their Medical School applications.
There are 32 Medical Schools in the UK that are located all around the country. A full list of Medical Schools can be found on www.UniversityAdvice.co.uk Usually medical courses that lead to the basic qualification of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB or MB BS) last five years. If you take an intercalated degree (when you study a specialism), the course is six years. After graduating you are required to complete two years in hospitals, called Foundation training (F1 and F2).
During their course students are given grounding in the basic medical sciences and how they apply in medical practice. In addition, there is the opportunity of studying a relevant science subject in depth towards a BSc degree. This is the intercalated year that is usually between the second and third years of the five year course. In some medical schools this option is an integral part of the course and all students are required to take a BSc.
Applying to Medical School
Once you have made the decision to apply to Medical School you then have to choose where you want to study. It is generally recognised that UK Medical Schools are listed among the best institutions in the world which does not make the task of choosing where to apply any easier. There are also other considerations common to all students applying to University.
- What is the location of the Medical School?
- What type of accommodation does the University provide?
- Is there a thriving Students Union and a good number of student societies and clubs?
- How good are the local hospitals where you will undertake clinical practice?
- Take a look at reviews written by ex-students to get some uncensored feedback.
Students applying will need to have a range of GCSE or equivalent passes with very good grades, especially in science-based subjects. For most Medical Schools this means that you will need grade A*/A in Maths, and dual or single science subjects.
Chemistry is the most important subject and you must offer it at A Level and usually two other science subjects. Some Universities will accept only two A Level sciences, but bear in mind that this will limit your choice of institution. Most places require a grade A in the sciences and at least a B in any other acceptable subject you are taking. However, as competition for places has increased Medical Schools are increasingly asking for A grades in each subject and some ask for one or more A* passes. Make sure you look carefully at the entrance requirement because in addition you may need specific subjects and grades at GCSE Level (or its equivalent). It is rare that a retake student is offered a place, unless there are compelling and exceptional circumstances.
If you have a good A Level profile, but are short of science subjects you might consider taking a Foundation course. These take six years to complete and Universities that offer Foundation courses include Manchester, Sheffield, University College, London, Bristol and Cardiff.
Selectors will look closely at your reference and Personal Statement to determine whether you have the right personal qualities to make a good doctor. We are not able to do anything about your reference, but at Education Advisers our consultants will help you plan your Personal Statement to ensure that you demonstrate a commitment and interest in medicine and that you have also had some worthwhile work experience.
Increasingly Universities take into consideration the results of aptitude tests. We will advise you whether or not you need to register for one of these. The two most common aptitude tests are UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) and BMAT (the Biomedical Admissions Test). These tests are designed to examine your aptitude for a medical degree, not your academic ability. Our consultants ensure that students become familiar with the type and style of questioning by providing sample papers and going through them with candidates. If a student does have to take one of these tests, failure to score adequately will lead to a rejected application.
All Medical Schools interview the candidates to whom they might offer a place. As a student it is your opportunity to convince the selectors that you are a suitable candidate. For their part the selectors will want to discover whether you are really committed to a career in Medicine and are aware of the demands of the course. You need to have clear reasons for wanting to study Medicine as well as knowing about recent developments and issues in the subject. You also need to show enthusiasm and confidence when speaking to the interviewers.
Support on Medical School Applications
Students seek support from us on the myriad of constituents in the medical school application process
You can enlist our support on everything or just the parts where you need help.