A Guide to Applying to Pre-Med Programs in the United Kingdom
The application deadline of January 26 for the majority of courses in UK post-secondary programs is fast approaching. With that in mind, OYMS brings you this week a breakdown of the application process for UK universities, including some things to consider when applying. Certain requirements mentioned may be more applicable to students from Canada and countries outside of the UK, more specific details can be found in the resources linked at the end of the blog.
When to Apply
The deadline to apply for Oxford or Cambridge, or courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine/science is usually in October of the year before your intended year of attendance. For the majority of other courses commencing in the Fall of the 2022 school year, the deadline is January 26, 2022.
There may be flexibility surrounding these dates for international students, though it remains wise to complete your application promptly.
How to Apply
Applications to most undergraduate courses go through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, or UCAS. First, register an account on UCAS so you can complete the online application. In brief, you will need to fill in your information, submit a personal statement of around 4000 characters explaining why you are a good candidate and include a reference. You will also need to pay an application fee.
You may want to seek the assistance of a local adviser or designated staff member at your school or institution during the application process.
In general, most undergraduate courses consider at least 5 courses at the Grade 12 level or equivalent. For Canadian students, these will be courses you have taken in the process of earning your Canadian High School or Secondary School Diploma.
The minimum average obtained and the number of courses required will vary depending on the province or territory. In Ontario, you will need a minimum of 80% in 6 courses at the Grade 12 level. Of these, 5 must be University Preparatory Courses (denoted 4U) and the sixth may be a University/College Preparation Course (denoted 4M).
Sufficient English skills are also required and you may need to complete a particular English language test depending on your intended course.
Some schools also use UCAS Tariff points as a part of their entry requirements. These points are meant to make it simpler for universities and colleges to compare applicants. Points are allocated by converting qualifications, such as A levels achieved, into points. More details on UCAS Tariff points and how to earn them are provided on the UCAS website.
Individual schools and programs may also have their specific requirements, so it is crucial you visit their websites and gather sufficient information to be prepared. These may include certain qualifications and exam grades with A level grades, admissions tests and additional health or financial requirements.
The documentation you will need to provide includes a valid passport, a letter from your DCSF-registered home institution to confirm your unconditional offer of a full-time course, as well as proof that you have the means to pay for your course.
Any student who does not live in the UK and does not have the nationality of Switzerland or the European Economic Area (EEA) will need a student visa to attend a UK university. This may require you to take an approved English language test. If your application is successful and you earn a place at a UK school, your university or college will provide further instruction and assistance regarding how to apply for your visa.
Crossing the Pond
Here are some additional things to keep in mind when applying:
- Do sufficient research regarding your target universities and colleges. This facilitates not only the application process but also provides you with information so you can choose which schools to apply to and which admission to accept.
- Look for scholarships and financial aid if you think you’ll need it to pay for tuition. Many scholarships are specifically applicable to international students, or Canadians.
- You can seek the advice of your school guidance counsellor or student services. Private agents also offer services in this area for a fee.
About the Author
April Sui is a second-year student in Medical Sciences at Western University in London, Ontario. She’s currently working with Hashtag Health Medical Podcast (based at UWO) and the International Predental Student Alliance. Bookworm, origami fanatic and French tutor, you can find her on LinkedIn or Facebook.
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