Medicine @ Warwick | Q&A
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These questions have been answered by Zaynah, a final year medical student at the University of Warwick (a graduate entry course).
Would doing the minimum 70 hours work experience make my application less competitive?
I don’t believe it would. One of the reasons I was keen about applying to Warwick was because whether you had a 2:1 or a First class in your previous degree didn’t matter and I think the same applies to work experience hours. As long as you have 70 hours across 2 different types of experiences then the number of hours above that doesn’t matter (I think). I would advise you contact the medical school admissions team and double check to make sure.
Does the uni you attended matter?
No! And one of the wonderful things about Warwick Medical School is that they accept students from all degree backgrounds as long as you have achieved a 2:1. Does not matter what course or what degree- as long as you have a 2:1!
Do you have to have a previous science degree?
Yes, I do. I studied Biomedical Sciences at the University of Manchester before attending Warwick Medical School. But lots of people on my course are from Humanities backgrounds and I personally think the background you come from does not matter and it actually makes the cohort more diverse which is great.
Are your A-level results considered in the application process or is it just your degree classification?
No, as I mentioned above it is just your degree classification that is considered which is amazing! As an individual who did not get all As at A level this was music to my ears.
Were there any science questions at interview?
I am not able to give out information about specific questions that I had during my interview however the interviews are Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) and focus on your competencies in team work, insight, resilience, communication, empathy, probity, respect and dignity (more information on this can be found on the website link below).
Here are a few tips for preparing for interviews for medical school in general:
1. Practice, practice, practice! For my MMIs I found it helpful to use interview books or find different scenarios online and practice with a friend or family member and tell them to treat it as if it was interview conditions. This gave me the chance to practice feeling out of my comfort zone and practice the skill of thinking on the spot in preparation for my interviews.
2. Another helpful tip I found useful in preparing for interviews for medical school (all my interviews, not just Warwick) was thinking about different examples I had from my work experience and volunteering that showed I had the attributes likely to be asked in interviews i.e. team work; communication; empathy etc. This allowed me to bring up these examples easily in interviews without having to spend a long time remembering an example and having to reflect on it on the spot.
3. It is not just WHAT you did in your work experience/volunteering it is what you LEARNT from these experiences. Reflection is important the role of any healthcare professional and it is something that is practiced regularly at Medical School and throughout your career as a Doctor so think about what you have learnt through your various extracurricular activities/jobs/work experiences and not just about what you did.
More information can be found here.
How long is the academic year? How many semesters do you have?
Well the academic year has been a bit different this year for reasons I am sure you are all aware of! But let me give you a pre-COVID overview of how first year was supposed to be ran this year. Things change all the time with timetables and they made changes from when I was in first year for the current first years but this is how it was supposed to be (to my understanding).
The year is ran in ‘blocks’ with each covering a different set of specialities. There are 5 in total and each lasts 5 weeks:
- Start in September/October
- 5 weeks of block 1, then one week off to consolidate learning and rest
- 5 weeks of block 2
- Then Christmas holidays (3 weeks)
- Back in January for block 3, then one week off
- Block 4, then Easter holidays (3 weeks)
- Back at university for block 5 then shortly after (2 weeks) followed by exams and OSCES
- Then summer (2 months)
So technically there are 3 semesters but from January of second year you are at hospital placement most of the time and summer holidays tend to be quite short but Christmas holidays are usually 3 weeks/1 month
How long are your summer holidays each year?
In first year you 3 weeks off for Christmas and 2 months off for Summer
In second year you get 3/4 weeks off for Christmas. Summer is different as you do get the whole of August off but exams are in September so really it is study leave. After exams you get 2 weeks off in September.
In third year the Christmas holidays are a month long and summer is 2 weeks in August but you also get a week of ‘annual leave’ you can use.
In final year you got a month off for Christmas and I am not sure about how much summer because COVID changed the timetable but yay for starting work in the Summer as a DOCTOR woo.
These are the ‘ideal’ dates and times but due to COVID-19 there have been a lot of changes with our timetables, especially for us final years as we have a lot of placement to catch up on before starting work in August. If you want more details please contact the medical school admissions team.
What are some good areas for students accommodation?
Warwick medical students usually do one of the following:
- Apply through Warwick accommodation for halls of campus (usually Tocil) or housing with other postgraduate students
- Speak to other colleagues in the cohort on the cohort facebook page/at the offer holders day and find houses together
- Look on the University of Warwick postgraduate students looking for housing page
- Look on spareroom
Most people tend to stay in the Earlsdon area (also Canley) or Leamington Spa
From what year do you start getting hospital clinical experience?
In first year from January you start seeing patients once a week and get a chance to practice history and examination skills learnt during your first semester and throughout the second semester too. From January of second year you are on placement almost full time which is one thing I loved about the course.
What’s the UCAT cut-off score?
This varies year on year and depends on how everyone who takes the tests performs during your application cycle. Warwick Medical School place emphasis on verbal reasoning being above the national mean for the cohort so make sure you do lots of practice on this section. Cut offs for each year and more information on how Warwick can be found below.
How many references do they want?
Directly from the website “You will need to provide us with one reference from a person (not a relative) who holds/has held a position of responsibility and who can comment on your suitability for studying medicine. If you have been in higher education during the last two years you should provide an academic referee. Your reference will not form a central part of the selection process, but will be considered before we make you an offer.”
Approximately how many students are there in your year group?
Around 200 students
What made you choose Warwick?
I chose Warwick for a number of reasons. Some of the practical reasons being because they required the UCAT (UKCAT when I applied) that I preferred over doing the GAMSAT and because their only entry requirements in term of grades were a 2:1 degree. I liked the fact that it was a 4 year all graduate course unlike other graduate entry course that put you into the 3rd year of their undergraduate 5 year course which meant you all stick together throughout the whole 4 years. Also being with all graduates appealed to me rather than entering a course with people much younger than myself. Also personally it is not too far from home.
Thank you Zaynah for answering these questions! You can ask her more about graduate entry medicine or Warwick via her social channels:
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