The Ultimate Medical School Guide

Southampton Medical School

BY:
Pavan & Abdul-Rahman
LAST EDITED:
2021

Section A: The Southampton Medical School Application Process

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1. What qualities in a student does the University of Southampton look for?

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Applicants to the University of Southampton must be able to show that they:

  • Are self-motivated and resilient
  • Have reflected on and learnt from life experiences (this may include work experience*, paid employment & personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings)
  • Can communicate effectively
  • Are able to interact successfully with others
  • Can demonstrate an understanding of the values of the NHS constitution

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Southampton expect graduate students to have developed effective study and academic skills which enable you to complete an accelerated medical programme, including the ability to think critically.

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Every graduate, whether with an arts or science degree, brings a unique set of knowledge, skills and understanding to the programme. For example, graduates with science, arts and humanities degrees will share their knowledge and understanding in the discussion of an individual patient's experience of illness from a range of different but equally valuable perspectives.

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All graduates for the BM4 and BM5 programmes are selected on the basis that they will have sufficient scientific knowledge and understanding to cope with their studies and the science requirements are identical.

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*Note that reflection can be around experiences in volunteering or paid work and not just healthcare-based work experience. Therefore, please do not feel disheartened if you are unable to secure hospital or GP placements. The key thing is to show you've reflected on your experiences and to demonstrate that you've attempted to secure these experiences but for whatever reason not been able to.

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2. What elements of your application does the University of Southampton value most?

Southampton place a heavy emphasis on UCAT score during the selection process. Applicants who meet the minimum entry requirements (academic and non-academic) and achieve a good UCAT score (students are ranked after screening for minimal academic requirements) are likely to be shortlisted for an interview.

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If during interview the applicant is successfully able to demonstrate self-motivation and resilience, reflection on experience, communication skills, ability to interact with others (group task), and demonstrate understanding of the NHS constitution they will be scored highly in the selection process.

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3. How important is the UCAT score at the University of Southampton?

Applicants are required to take the UCAT exam. There are different cut-off scores for school-leavers and graduates applying to BM5. For 2020 entry, the lowest UCAT score invited to interview was 2570 and 2680 for graduate applicants. Please consider this when applying as it could be a wasted valuable slot if you choose to apply to Southampton despite achieving a lower than average score. It's important to maximise your chances of getting offers by applying strategically to universities that would historically accept your UCAT score.

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4. How important are the grades you ultimately achieve for A-levels at the University of Southampton?

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5-year Undergraduate Programme:

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School Leavers:

  • A-levels requirements are AAA, including A-levels in Chemistry and Biology. General studies and critical thinking are not accepted. Subjects with material that overlaps (e.g. Human Biology/Sports Studies/ Physical Education) may not be offered in combination at A-level (i.e. only one of the two will count towards the requirement).
  • GCSEs: Seven GCSEs at grade B/6 or above, including either maths, biology and chemistry, or maths, additional science and science. English language is required at a minimum of grade B

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For Mature non-graduate (over the age of 21):

  • A levels: AAA, including Chemistry and Biology.
  • GCSEs: A minimum of grade C in Mathematics, English Language and either biology and chemistry, or additional science and science.

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Graduate applicants

  • Degree: An upper second-class honours degree or above in any subject. For further information about your first degree see the entry requirements for our BM4 programme.

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4-year Postgraduate Programme:

  • Degree: An upper second-class honours degree or above in any subject. For further information about your first degree see the entry requirements for our BM4 programme.
  • A levels: Chemistry at grade C or above. Alternatively, AS level Chemistry and Biology/Human Biology at grade C orabove where Chemistry has not been taken to A level.
  • GCSEs: A minimum grade C in Mathematics, English Language andeither biology and chemistry, or additional science and science.

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6-year Widening Access Programme (with year 0) (BM6):

  • A levels: A level grades BBB including Biology and one additional Science subject. Subjects with material that overlaps (e.g. Human Biology/ Sports Studies/Physical Education)may not be offered in combination at A level. General studies and critical thinking are not accepted.
  • GCSEs: Five GCSEs at grade C/4, including English language, and either maths, biology and chemistry, or maths, additional science and science.

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5. What other requirements does this university have for Medicine?

GCSEs are not used for selection beyond minimum requirement. Minimum requirement: 7 GSCEs at grade B/6 or above, including English Language, Maths and either Biology and Chemistry, or Double Science.

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6. What should I put in my personal statement for Medicine at the University of Southampton?

In addition to academic entry requirements, during the selection process you will be assessed against Southampton's non-academic criteria in the Personal Statement and Interview. Therefore, in your personal statement you should show you are:

  • self-motivated and resilient
  • reflected on and learnt from life experience (this may include, work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings)
  • communicate effectively
  • able to interact successfully with others
  • able to demonstrate an understanding of the values of the NHS constitution

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7. What is the structure of the medicine interview for the University of Southampton?

The interview style at the University of Southampton consists of two interviews on the day: panel (approx 2 interviewers) and a group task (with around 8-10 individuals in each group)

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8. What does the University of Southampton look for in a Medicine interview?

In the panel interview, questions may surround the topics of self-motivation and resilience, reflecting on experiences, and demonstrating an understanding on the NHS. In this interview, the panelist will ask you questions about your personal statement as well as some other generic questions ("Why medicine?" etc).

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In the group task, your group will be given a topic for you all to discuss with two examiners watching. Here, you are marked on your communication skills, articulation of points and knowledge of the topic.

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9. What are my chances of getting into The University of Southampton medical school?

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Southampton Medicine Statistics for 2019/20 (for 5-year Undergraduate Programme):

Applications in 19/20: 1570

Home/EU applicants: 1330

International applicants: 240

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Interviews in 19/20: 648

Home/EU applicants interviewed: 576

International applicants interviewed: 72

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Offers in 19/20: 515

Home/EU applicants with offers: 495

International applicants with offers: 25

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Success rates in 19/20

Offers per applicant: 1 in 3.0

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Interview success rate:

Offers per interview: 1 in 1.3

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Southampton Medicine Statistics for 2019/20 (for 6-year foundation Programme):

Applications in 19/20: 569

Interviews in 19/20: 120

Offers in 19/20: 30

Success rate in 19/20: approx 1 in 19

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10. What are the entry requirements for Medicine at The University of Southampton?

For the most up-to-date information please refer to the Southampton website via the link below:
https://www.southampton.ac.uk/medicine/undergraduate/apply/entry_requirements.page

Section 2: What is Medicine at The University of Southampton really like?

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1. What types of Medicine courses are available at The University of Southampton?

Programmes available for UK students include:

  • Standard 5-year direct entry programme (BM5) for home/EU and international students. ย This programme contains a compulsory BMedSci, plus optional intercalation. All students complete a research project during their third year, leading to a BMedSci degree. Students also have the option to intercalate with a BSc or MSc between years 3 and 4 if they wish.
  • 4-year graduate-entry programme for students who already have a degree in another subject (BM4)
  • 6-year widening participation programme that provides extra support during the first year (BM6). This programme contains a compulsory BMedSci, plus optional intercalation. All students complete a research project during their third year, leading to a BMedSci degree. Students also have the option to intercalate with a BSc or MSc between years 3 and 4 if they wish.

Programmes for International and European students include:

  • Innovative European programme run in partnership with the Kassel School of Medicine, Germany (BM EU)
  • Specific programme for students transferring the International Medical University Malaysia and the University of Brunei Darussalam.

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2. What is the course structure for the 5 year medicine course?

The teaching style at Southampton is described as 'spiral'/integrated. The course offers an integrated approach with early clinical contact from the beginning of the course. The course is taught through a range of teaching methods including lectures, workshops, practical classes and structured clinical modules.

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The integrated, systems-based BM5 and BMedSc programme is distinctive in many ways. You will learn from contact with patients in a variety of clinical settings, beginning in the first few weeks of your course; and in year two you will undertake a weekend shift placement as a Healthcare Assistant to gain insight into multi-professional team working in hospitals.

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In the first two years you will learn about the major physiological systems of the body, and integrate your learning in a clinical context. You will also undertake student selected units. In year three you will carry out an in-depth research study, choosing a research topic from a wide variety of disciplines, followed by clinical placements in hospitals and general practice. On successful completion of this year you will be awarded a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSc) award. In year four you will undertake placements in a range of clinical specialities and, in your final year, gain experience in a wide range of hospitals and in community and general practice placements, with an opportunity to complete an elective attachment at home or abroad.

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3. What does an average day as a first year medical student at The University of Southampton look like?

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Here is an example timetable for students in their pre-clinical years:

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Here is an example timetable for students in their clinical years:

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[COMING SOON]

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4. How does the structure of your day-to-day life change as you progress through the different years of the course?

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Year 1:

Scheduled learning and teaching = 32%

Independent learning = 67%

Placement = 1%

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Year 2:

Scheduled learning and teaching = 32%

Independent learning = 62%

Placement = 6%

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Year 3:

Scheduled learning and teaching = 34%

Independent learning = 47%

Placement = 18%

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Year 4:

Scheduled learning and teaching = 5%

Independent learning = 43%

Placement = 52%

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Year 5:

Scheduled learning and teaching = 10%

Independent learning = 40%

Placement = 50%

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More information:ย https://www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/medicine-bm5-degree-bmbs#learning

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5. Is an (intercalated) iBSc offered at Southampton medical school?

A compulsory BMedSci is integrated in the first semester of year 3. This is not an iBSc but there is an additional option for intercalation. All students complete a research project during their third year, leading to a BMedSci degree. Students also have the option to intercalate with a BSc or MSc between years 3 and 4 if they wish. University of Southampton also offer an optional integrated Undergraduate Master's Programme (MMedSci) between years 3 and 4. You can do the BMedSci/MMedSci in various disciplines such as:

  1. Cancer Sciences
  2. Human Development
  3. Genomics and Bioinformatics
  4. Primary Care
  5. Clinical Neuroscience
  6. Medical Education
  7. Nutrition Metabolic Endocrinology and Cardiovascular
  8. Population Health
  9. Respiratory and Allergy
  10. Clinical Ethics and Law
  11. Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration
  12. Immunology
  13. Infection
  14. and many more to name a few!

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โ€Research Themes | Medicine | University of Southampton

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6. What is the typical cohort size at Southampton medical school? Does this change as you progress through the course?

The cohort size does vary year-by-year, however the cohort size is typically around the figure of 250.

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7. Which hospitals are linked to The University of Southampton?

The following hospitals are linked to Southampton Medical School placements:

  • Southampton
  • Winchester
  • Portsmouth
  • Salisbury
  • Tatchbury
  • Gosport
  • Basingstoke
  • Frimley Park
  • Guildford
  • Reading
  • Wexham Park
  • Bournemouth
  • Dorchester
  • Poole
  • Chichester
  • Isle of Wight
  • Jersey

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Section C: University & Medical School Life at Southampton

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1. Where is the university located?

The University of Southampton has 5 closely-connected campuses in the city of Southampton, 1 in the nearby city of Winchester, and 1 in the Malaysian city of Iskandar Puteri. For Medicine course, you are typically based at Highfield Campus and Southampton General Hospital Campus.

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Depending on your course, you could study in either Southampton or Winchester. Both are student-friendly cities with plenty of green spaces, history and culture. These cities are some of the safest in the UK and are well-connected to the rest of Europe. Famous as a maritime city, Southampton sits right on the south coast and has some of the best weather in the UK. Rich in history, but full of lively and modern art, culture, restaurants and nightlife, itโ€™s a safe, friendly and walkable place.

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Here are a few facts about Southampton City:

  1. It is a diverse city homing residents from 55 different countries.
  2. It is a safe city - it is the 6th safest city in the UK.
  3. Is a student city homing more than 33,000 students.
  4. A 'green' city - Southampton has 20 parks
  5. Airport nearby - a 12 minute bus ride from campus
  6. An easy distance from London - 2hr train journey to the heart of London.

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Highfield Campus is the oldest and largest campus, located close to Southampton Common. It's the academic heart of the University and home to social events, sports facilities and the Students' Union.

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Southampton General Hospital Campus contains lecture theatres, research labs and practice rooms (located in the South Academic Block of this large teaching hospital). The hospital is to the north of the city centre, with great transport links to all parts of the city.

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https://www.southampton.ac.uk/student-life/cities/southampton

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2. Are students encouraged to take part in societies?

There are so many societies at the University of Southampton including a range of Academic (47); Art, Music & Film (11); Culture & International; Enterprise and Business (11); Faith (12); Food & Drink (6); General Interest (7); Media (4); Medical Societies (54); Performing Arts (41); Politics (8); Social Awareness, Campaigns & Fundraising (38); Technology & Gaming (4) societies.

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As mentioned above, there are also separate societies for medical students. In essence, these societies reflect time-commitments that accomodate the nature of Medicine. So if you feel like the societies hosted by the university in general are a bit too full-on for you, you can opt to joining some of the MEDSOC societies. However, it's worth noting that these societies only have medics and therefore you lose out on the opportunity of meeting friends outside of the course.

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3. What is the student satisfaction score for The University of Southampton medical school?

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Teaching and learning:

  • Staff make the subject interesting = 88%
  • Staff are good at explaining things 89%
  • Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth = 74%
  • Opportunities to apply what I've learned = 92%

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Assessment and feedback:

  • Feedback on work has been timely = 65%
  • Feedback on work has been helpful = 54%
  • Staff are contactable when needed = 89%
  • Good advice available when making study choices = 66%

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Resources and organisation:

  • Library resources = 77%
  • IT resources = 85%
  • Course specific equipment and facilities = 88%
  • Course is well organised and has run smoothly = 60%

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Student Voice:

  • Staff value students' opinions = 55%
  • Feel part of a community on my course = 72%

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National Student Survey

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4. How diverse is Southampton university and in particular medical school?

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5. What bursaries are available at Southampton university for Medicine students?

Undergraduate Home UK students commencing their studies from September 2021, paying the full ยฃ9,250 Tuition fees and have a household income of under ยฃ30,000, will be eligible for a bursary (cash payment into your bank account).

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Special Bursaries include:

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Ignite Programme:

The Widening Participation Directorate at the University of Southampton offers a unique undergraduate Ignite Programme to entrants in 2021/22. This extensive 3-year Alumni funded programme is available to students from underrepresented backgrounds and offers a blend of financial, academic, career, and personal opportunities to ensure you reach your full potential.

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Key elements of the programme include structured outcome-based workshops, a thriving online community, tailored mentoring schemes, guaranteed internships and international hackathon opportunities, all underpinned by a range of ยฃ1,000 & ยฃ10,000 bursaries.

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UoS & Cowrie Foundation Scholarship:

The University of Southampton and The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation (CSF) will offer a scholarship to support Black African and Caribbean heritage applicants from socio-economically challenged backgrounds. Applicants must be ordinarily resident in the UK and commencing undergraduate study in the academic year 2021-2022.

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The scholarship will cover home tuition fees in full and we expect the successful scholar will also qualify for a maintenance stipend of ยฃ8,000 per annum, which is tenable for the duration of their programme of study.

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6. Are student support services readily available and easy to access?

The Student Hub is your first point of contact when it comes to seeking support. The team are there to answer your questions or concerns about, fees, financial support, accommodation and your wellbeing. They will help make sure you receive the support and information you need, guiding you to further support services where required.

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Enabling Services help supporting students with disabilities, mental health conditions or specific learning difficulties.

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In addition, The Student Life Team are dedicated to supporting student wellbeing and enhancing the student experience. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Student Life are based within Halls of Residence. and support all University of Southampton students.

The University is accommodating if you need time off. This decision will need to be made with the Faculty and with the support from the student's Personal Academic Tutor.

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Student Services | University of Southampton

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7. What are the best food spots around Southampton university?

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Trago Lounge - Cafรฉ Bar - Portswood Road, Southampton - Lounges

Shanghai Bay Chinese Restaurant Southampton| Order Chinese

Home - Mango Thai Tapas

Southampton | La Baronia Authentic Mexican Restaurant

Home - Sulas Greek Taverna

Best Restaurants Bedford Place, Southampton | Lakaz Maman

Pizza Restaurant | Popsis | England

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8. Is student accommodation available for Southampton university?

The University of Southampton offers lots of different types of rooms in their 8 halls of residence located all over Southampton - some more closer to Highfield Campus than others. ย With most of the halls you can request:

  • a quieter flat
  • a single-sex flat
  • a no-alcohol flat
  • a postgraduate flat
  • to live with your friends (international and second, third or fourth-year students only)

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Kitchens usually include oven and hob, fridge/freezer, microwave, table and chairs, ironing board, hoover.

The rough price range of the rooms can range between ยฃ120 to ยฃ263 a week. Contracts differ depending on how long they are (weeks).

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Halls

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