UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


FAQs: Myths and Truths about applying for the BSc

Our course offers a stimulating mix of classroom activities and self-directed study, clinical experience and exposure to different environments in the NHS and social services. It may seem a bit hectic at times - but that reflects life as a doctor! The programme organisers will be on hand to help the smooth running of the course, assessments etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is so competitive that it is not worth applying because I won't get in - FALSE!

The course is very popular, but we do not select for the best academic students and someone has to get in, so that could easily be you.

Previous expression of interest will be beneficial to my current application - FALSE!

Many people have already expressed an interest in the course, but these emails will not be consulted during the application process. Each application will be assessed on the merit of the personal statement only.

My grades in the first two years are not very good, so it's not worth applying - FALSE!

Unless you can quote extenuating circumstances for your poor grades or re-sits, this course may be too intensive for you - but, if you are really determined to study Child Health and you can make a good case in your personal statement, go ahead. All applications will be read by the programme directors, and will be assessed on the basis of the personal statement.

I haven't worked or volunteered in an orphanage, playgroup or child-focused charity, so you won't look at my application - FALSE!

We are looking for students with a variety of backgrounds, experience and knowledge.Why not tell us how your own experiences, whatever they may be, have contributed to your interest in child health. It is your response and learning from experience which is more important than the experience itself, coupled with your particular reasons for wanting to study at UCL ICH.

I will have to do a project that I may not be interested in - FALSE!

Research in child health and paediatrics covers a wide range - from observational studies of behaviour, surveys, through clinical interventions, to laboratory studies of genes or enzymes crucial to growth and development. You will not be assigned to a project unless you have shown an interest in the topic. There will be plenty of choice among our menu of topics each year - and if you already have a germ of idea, we can help you to design a workable project with a suitable supervisor.

I haven't done any clinical work yet so I won't have the required skills -FALSE!

None of our students are expected to have had formal clinical training. Don't worry, you will be taught the clinical skills that you need during the course. Note - this programme will NOT duplicate the content of your paediatrics placement later in the medical degree.

So it's really just chance, and I can't make my application more likely to succeed than anyone else's - FALSE!

When assessing applications for this BSc programme, we take the following into account:

  • Engagement with the programme in Paediatrics and Child Health

Tell us why you want to study our course; what subjects interest you most; how you think you might benefit from studying with us. 

  • Demonstrable interest in the health and development of children.

This can be illustrated through projects or other work done within the medical school or through clubs and organisations working with or for children, or from personal experience with friends and family. We do not discourage applications from students who have been unable to undertake such work through financial or family constraints.

  • Quality of writing in the personal statement

Writing quality and the ability to make a logical case are important parts of our BSc. Use your personal statement to show us that you have developed these skills already.

  • Overall

We are looking for passionate, committed students who can demonstrate a solid interest in Paediatrics and Child Health.