Institute for Global Health


iBsc Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs about the application and selection process:

Who can apply?

Students who have completed two years of medicine at UCL who have enthusiasm for and interest in global health issues. We are now accepting applications from students outside of UCL for entry to the iBSc year, see the medical school webpage for more information on how to apply.

Further information on the intercalated degree programme at UCL in general can be found on the medical school website.

When should I apply?

Application forms are available from UCL in early February and the deadline is usually at the beginning of March. Please double check the deadline date in early February to give yourself time to apply as you may be required to organise signed references and other documentation. Application cannot be done online.

When will I be notified if I have a place?

All applications are considered at the same time. Once decisions have been made at IGH, offers of places are then processed through the Life Sciences Faculty. You be will notified as soon as this process has been completed, usually by the end of April.

What criteria are used to determine who is accepted?

When assessing applications for the Global Health BSc, we take the following into account:

1. Engagement with the Global Health course at UCL
Tell us why you want to study our course, which subjects interest you most, and how you think you might benefit from studying with us.

2. Demonstrable interest in global health
This can be illustrated through projects or other work done either within the medical school or organisations working in global health, including NGOs, medical students' associations, community groups, political parties etc.

Work undertaken in the UK is given equal weight to work in other countries and we encourage applications from students that have been unable to complete any development work due to financial or family constraints.

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

4. Overall

We are looking for passionate, committed students who can demonstrate a solid interest in global health. Students are expected to have passed their previous years of study.

Common myths about application and the Global Health iBSC at UCL

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

Although it is true that our course is very popular, the course has also expanded considerably in the last two years. In recent years we have been able to accept all students who have applied to do the course.

* Previous applications will be beneficial or detrimental to my current application - FALSE!

We do not consider (and probably will not remember) previous applications. Each application will be assessed on the merit of its personal statement only. If you feel that your previous application wasn't reflective of who you are now, reapply and do yourself justice.

* I haven't worked in a Sudanese refugee camp, solved the healthcare dilemmas facing indigenous Bolivians and I'm not involved in Medsin so I won't get in! - FALSE!

Contrary to popular belief, being a member of Medsin will neither benefit nor hinder your application. Likewise, listing international experiences will not necessarily do you any favours! The course accepts people with varied backgrounds, experiences and knowledge. Successful applicants have told us about how their own specific experiences, whatever they may be, have contributed to their interest in global health. Rather than just describe their experiences, successful applicants have explained what has influenced their application and motivation to study Global Health for their intercalated BSc.

* Doing the Global Health iBSc is an easy route to get a placement abroad - FALSE!

This course does not include nor organise placements abroad. As mentioned above and on our website, IGH has contacts in other countries and will try to help prepared students with well thought out projects as much as possible. In fact, students having completed the course often begin to question their role as a medical student abroad and chose to delay acting upon their initial project plans until they have gained more experience and/or qualifications.

* Completing a biomedical iBSc will help progress my medical career, whereas a non-biomedical iBSc like Global Health will not help me, despite my interest in the subject - FALSE!

Trust the advice given in the UCL iBSc booklet

By studying the Global Health iBSc you will not only widen your knowledge base but you will also expand your skill set. Everything you will learn on the course will help you to understanding the healthcare system around you and the way you will practice as a future doctor.