Applying for Medicine at UCL
There continues to be considerable pressure on the available places for students to read Medicine. Applications typically exceed 2700 for a total of 334 places. We do not have the capacity to interview all eligible applicants.
Selection for Interview
All applications are read carefully by several people, the criteria below being considered, and an overall ‘priority’ score is assigned to each.
Candidates are then invited to interview in order of priority and we continue interviewing until we run out of places. This usually means that we invite around 30% of applicants to attend an interview at UCL, starting in December and finishing in March.
The following factors are taken into account when deciding which candidates to interview.
- Predicted and actual grades. Although there is no simple relationship between academic performance and whether or not a student will make a ‘good’ doctor, there is evidence that those with low grades or those who need to re-sit examinations are more likely to have academic problems with the programme. Predicted grades for qualifications not yet completed must meet our published entry requirements.
- Evidence of independent learning skills. This could be demonstrated with qualifications such as the EPQ or other forms of study (for example Open University modules), extra-curricular reading and research etc.
- Previous experience (both personal and through work experience or volunteering), particularly if it has involved contact with the healthcare profession or laboratory work, or if the candidate has been involved with the sick, disabled, very young or elderly, and, importantly, is able to reflect on their experiences.
- Demonstration of motivation to study Medicine and an appropriate attitude.
- Other interests, for example music, travel, sports, or any activities that are considered to broaden the general education of the candidate.
- Evidence of teamwork, leadership and communication skills.
- The referee’s assessment of academic ability, study skills, motivation for medicine and personal qualities.
- BMAT scores. High scores in each section will strengthen an application. Candidates with scores that are below the average for their cohort are less likely to be successful. The average scores for the cohort are posted on the Medical School website in November/December.
Re-applicants: If an applicant remains unplaced in the UCAS cycle, they are welcome to reapply. This includes those who have been unsuccessful following interview at UCL Medical School.
Work experience: We seek to verify the work experience placements of a sample of applicants. It would therefore be advisable for applicants to obtain references or letters confirming completion of a work placement and to keep these ready to submit if requested, as well as for their own records.
A table/list summarising any work experience or volunteering undertaken is often requested. Candidates should not, however, submit these before they are requested. It is our preference that work experience placements be named where possible, rather than making very generic references (for example “a local hospital” or “a charity”).
Assessment at Interview
Selected candidates are invited to interview on a weekday morning or afternoon. If you are successful at interview then you will be invited to an offer holder event where talks and tours of the Medical School will take place.
Interviews usually last approximately 15-20 minutes and are conducted by a panel of 2-3 interviewers, including clinical and basic medical science staff, a senior medical student or ‘lay’ interviewer (e.g. Head of Sixth Form or current UCL Medical Student).
Interviewees will be given a copy of their BMAT essay prior to the interview, as discussion of their essay may form part of the assessment.
Following the interview the recommendations of the interviewers will be reviewed by the Admissions Tutor. The outcome of the interview is usually sent to the candidate within three weeks.
Interviewers score the candidate for the following qualities:
- Intellectual potential (intellectual curiosity and robustness)
- Motivation for (and understanding of) a career in medicine
- Awareness of scientific and medical issues
- Ability to express and defend opinions, which may include discussion of BMAT essay topic
- Attitude, including factors such as flexibility, integrity, conscientiousness
- Individual strengths (e.g. social, musical, sporting interests or activities)
- Communication skills (verbal and listening skills)