St Andrews University
Southampton is an extremely friendly and accommodating university with a number of different medical courses, including graduate and foundation-year options. Every one of the medical courses takes an integrated, systems-based approach with opportunities for clinical contact starting really early on. There are also a lot of opportunities for you “customise” your degree with research projects, intercalated BScs and even MScs plus student-selected units which give you the freedom to explore areas you’re most interested in.
The medical school at Southampton is based mainly at the hospital so you’ll spend a good amount of time there even when you’re in your pre-clinical years, and it’s nice to feel like you’re a doctor-in-training rather than just a uni student. The medical school has a library, private study rooms, a common room, lecture theatres and an anatomy lab (which you can visit out of hours to revise) so it’s really well equipped.
The rest of the university is based on a campus in Highfield which is located just north of the city centre. The campus (and Southampton on the whole) feels pretty safe and is really well suited to students. The area around the university is filled with student-friendly bars and clubs, and you can go to the city centre really easily for more choices too.
There’s plenty of time off in your timetable to have a social life and on the whole, Southampton feels pretty chilled out compared to other med schools (my opinion!). The university has an extraordinary amount of societies for you to try out and make friends. The MedSoc also have a bunch of medic-only societies (both academic and “fun”) which is a good chance to meet medics in other year groups.
The interview is a 20min traditional interview with two interviewers and a 20min observed group task. The order you do these in will vary depending on what you’re assigned to do. Varies each year (check the website!) but usually end of Jan-March with some dates in Dec too. You’ll be assigned a date and usually cannot change it. Panel - be prepared for the typical questions about your decision to pursue medicine as well as things arising from your personal statement. The interview feels more like an informal chat rather than a “grilling”. The beauty of a panel interview is that the interviewer is free to take the interview in a different direction if you mention something that they find interesting! They may also ask some more abstract or ethical questions too.
Group Task - they’re looking to see how you interact with other group members. Try to relax and act naturally, there isn’t a set personality or behaviours they’re looking for. You don’t have to be the loudest person in the room to impress them!
Selection for interview is based largely on UCAT score. There are no extra points for exceeding the minimum academic criteria, so if you have a strong UCAT you are more or less guaranteed an interview spot! Make sure you read your personal statement before the interview as they interviewers will have a copy - they had annotated and highlighted sections of mine! When you’re writing your personal statement think about if you would feel comfortable expanding on any points you mention in-person at interview to make sure you don’t get caught out on the day.