King's College London
Kings College London’s medical school is also known as Guys, Kings and St Thomas’ School of Medical Education (GKT). King’s is a huge university, attracting students, clinicians and leaders from all areas of the globe. This multicultural aspect adds to the vibrant nature of the university, allowing you to explore different cultures and make life-long friendships with all sorts of people! You can describe Kings as a multi-faculty university, allowing you to experience a plethora of subjects like social sciences or languages.
Studying medicine at Kings means you will never be bored! The main campus for medicine, dentistry and biosciences is called Guys Campus, located next to London Bridge station- boasting impressive views of The Shard! There is a student union, Guys Bar, located on this campus where many events take place and you will be certain to visit for a night out or even a quiz evening. Kings College London prides itself in having 5 main campuses located all around London along with access to some of the best teaching hospitals in the world. As a Kings student you will have access to, and be taught at Guys Campus, Waterloo Campus, Strand Campus, St Thomas’s and Denmark Hill Campus at some point during your 5 or 6 years. Medical students at Kings can gain a lot from clinical placements at large district general hospitals around the south east in years 4 and 5 and over 350 general practices!
The social life is one of the best you could ask for as a student! As King’s has one of the largest medical school communities, you can find societies representing all medical specialities from Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to Paediatrics! These societies host regular events and conferences ranging from microsurgical skills to revision sessions for exams and OSCEs. Often world-renowned speakers are invited to give talks, allowing you to network and even shadow them if you’re proactive.
There are many sporting societies to join. Sports teams are generally split into GKT and KCL with GKT teams filled with members who represent the school of medicine, dentistry and biosciences. However, they are not limited to just health science students! Some sports teams, like the Lacrosse team, are not divided into GKT or KCL teams meaning you can meet students from different academic backgrounds. Sports teams account for complete beginners to the sports and those who are experienced players. There is something for everyone! If you have a really specific interest or passion, there will be a society that will welcome you with open arms. If not, you can set up your own society to engage with like-minded people! Additionally, different cultures often host events to celebrate religion, culture or languages. They are open to everyone! Contrary to common belief, being a student in central London doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot to enjoy yourself. Of course, the option is there for treating yourself! If not, you can benefit from the free museums nearby such as the Tate Modern. Or even enjoy picturesque walks by the River Thames! Bermondsey Street and Borough Market are nearby for all the foodies out there to indulge in!
Every November the medics join together to celebrate an evening of comedy at the annual medics comedy revue. The money raised from 3 nights of laughter is donated to charity. Other events, such as strictly come dancing shows, also raise money to support charities! There is truly something for everyone.
King’s use MMIs to assess a candidate’s suitability for the course. MMIs are multiple mini interviews. The concept is similar to speed dating where you rotate through series of stations. Each station assesses a different skill. Candidates will be asked to respond to questions at each station before moving onto the next station. Each station will be timed, and you will be given a short rest break between stations. Interviews are held between November to March and offers are given out on a rolling basis. MMIs will be looking for you to display qualities or give examples of times when you have displayed qualities such as kindness, empathy, respect for your peers and patients, maintaining dignity and team work to name a few. You will be likely to encounter a station where you are asked to work your way through an ethical dilemma. It is important to have a systematic approach to each question and mention the pillars of medical ethics, where applicable, to demonstrate your understanding. Reading the GMC’s document on ‘good medical practice’ will also provide you with information on what is required of a doctor. This is gold and can make the difference between a ‘good’ answer and an ‘excellent’ answer when you reflect upon your experiences and what you have read. Communication skills will be assessed at every station. Be confident, be honest, speak clearly and most importantly, be yourself!
Kings College London require the UCAT as the admissions test they will take into consideration when shortlisting for interview. There is no threshold score for the UCAT like there is at many other institutions. Kings take a holistic approach when deciding on who to invite for interview. Therefore, the best advice would be to ensure your application is complete and well rounded. Your reference and personal statement should support each other! Your GCSEs (or equivalent), predicted or achieved A-Level grades (or equivalent), personal statement, reference and total UCAT score all are taken into consideration when admissions tutors decide on inviting candidates to interview. Examination results and your UCAT score are perhaps the most important factors as Kings believe they provide the ‘fairest’ and ‘most consistent’ way of assessing all the applicants. As most applicants meet the minimum academic criteria, personal statement and references can be written to your advantage when applying. The admissions tutors are looking for evidence of commitment, ways you have demonstrated this and what you have learnt from your experiences. This can be displayed via a volunteering role you may had or a part-time job. They will also want to see evidence of teamwork, effective communication skills and those who have made the most of the opportunities surrounding them. This can include ways you have contributed to school life, for example. It is not about how many different experiences you have, but rather what you have learnt from them- they want to see you have a realistic understanding of what studying medicine is like and what a career as a doctor entails! Extracurricular activities are important because they show you have a life outside of medicine. You can write about your extracurricular activities by explaining how they provide transferable skills to medicine whilst allowing you to take time out of studying.
Melissa @medicinewithmelissa Good luck with your applications! Check out my account @medicinewithmelissa on Instagram