Medicine @ Edinburgh | Q&A

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These questions have been answered by Laura, a 4th year medical student at Edinburgh Medical School.

How competitive is it for English (non-scottish) students?

Edinburgh is very welcoming to Scottish, English and international students. There is a very even split between the three.

Is it worth applying with AAB predictions and do you know anyone who got this?

For my scottish advanced highers I received ABB and I got in! Not sure about A levels however as long as you have a solid personal statement and good SJT I feel like you should have a good chance of an offer.

Where are most of the clinical placements based?

In early years all placements are based within commuting distance of Edinburgh but as you move further up the medical school you may be placed in Kirkcaldy, the Borders or potentially Stornoway (if you fancy remote and rural medicine) but for these you will be given NHS accommodation.

What is the examination style like? Is it a combination of essays and multiple choice?

All final exams are multiple choice however you have essays you need to complete throughout the year to pass over all.

What makes Edinburgh unique as a medical school?

Edinburgh medical school was the first medical established in the UK so is steeped in history, knowledge and tradition. It is also home to cutting edge medical and scientific research e.g. https://www.ed.ac.uk/research/impact/medicine-vet-medicine/life-changing-stroke-research

How do students manage their living costs if an extra maintenance loan isn’t provided?

Most students I know receive significant financial help from their family. It is possible to have a part-time job to cover some living expenses but I think it would be difficult to cover rent and living with this.

Is it common for students to have a part-time job and is it manageable?

Some students do have a part time job (particularly in pre-clinical) but it is definitely more difficult in clinical years as you have lots of study hours to put in on top of your clinical commitments.

Do you have to intercalate in Edinburgh or are you able to go to other universities?

You can intercalate at any university.

How did you find intercalating? Do you think it was worth it in the end?

It was interesting and gave me valuable skills in research and academic writing however I’m not sure I would do it again given the opportunity.

How much is the personal statement valued when assessing your application?

Prior to interviews being introduced this year a lot of emphasis was placed on the personal statement. Now with interviews I’m unsure if this is still the case.


Thank you Laura for answering these questions!


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Posted by:Life of a Medic

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