About me

Lydia B.
United Kingdom

About this profile

Graduate Entry Medicine
University of Swansea
United Kingdom

About the course

Why I continued studying

After completing my Politics degree at York, I realised that whilst I have enjoyed my degree and my time at York, it wasn't what I wanted to do as a career. I did a bit of 'soul searching' to consider what my next step should be and decided that I wanted to study medicine, as one of the major reasons I decided to study Politics was to help people, and I now feel that I can do this better through becoming a Doctor. Obviously, the only way to become a Doctor is to go back to University and so I had to explore which Universities took graduates and more importantly which took humanities graduates. This was a fairly confusing and difficult time, so I felt it would be useful for me to now help anyone else (sciences or humanities backgrounds) who would like to do a second degree in medicine.

What my course is like

My course is a mix of lectures, learning practical skills and, of course, spending time on the wards and other clinical environments. My course mates are a mix of humanities and science graduates, from age 21 through to 45, and it's a diverse environment to learn in.

We spend Mondays being introduced to the case of the week (we learn as part of a spiral curriculum, not through set learning blocks by theme, with the idea that constantly revisiting is the best way to learn). We then have three hours of anatomy, which is linked to whatever the case of the week is on, followed by lectures. Tuesday is usually CBL which involves going to a GP placement with a couple of other students, and semi-working as Doctors there - this is from year one, we have a lot of early clinical exposure. Wednesday is usually lectures, and then Thursday is ICM which is where we learn clinical skills like catheterisation, venepuncture, suturing, scrubbing in and systems examinations. Friday is usually a wrap up of the case of the week, followed by some more lectures, including basic science lectures for those who have less science knowledge.

We also have placements from year one onwards, where we spend 5+ weeks anywhere in Wales doing specialities we have suggested we might be interested in. Swansea also has a LOCS system where we can select 3-12 hour placements in whatever we like (in an Ambulance, with a midwife, in surgery, with doctors, nurses, physios etc.). Any other details you would like to know, please just ask!

How I have funded my studies

When you do Medicine as a 4 year graduate programme you only have to pay £3,650 upfront. The other £5,350 is a student loan in first-fourth year. The £3,650 is paid by the NHS in second-fourth year. You can also get a maintenance loan, in the same manner as your undergraduate degree - you are entitled as long as you're a home / EU student, but might have to push a bit with the student finance company as sometimes they seem to not know this.

What I like most

Clinical Placements and opportunities from Year 1. We don't have to do entirely science for the first two years, and so you get to put what you're learning into practice from the start. I like learning alongside people from different backgrounds and ages, as we all bring something different to the table.

What I like least

Getting back into studying was hard after a year out, and it's a lot more intense than my first degree. I also find that the science is quite heavy for a non-science graduate but it is manageable!

What surprised me most

How much my first degree helped me in getting here! I found the interviews and a lot of the patient contact easier because that's what a humanities degree teaches you the skills of.

Finding and applying for the course

How I looked for postgraduate options

I originally just googled to find out where did graduate entry medicine and then looked at each website to see who took humanities graduates. I have since discovered the Student Room where you can see all this information in one place. The information is fairly hard to find at first so you'll need to do some rooting!

How I found out about the postgraduate place

The Student Room has a good guide to Graduate Entry Medicine

The application process

(1) Take the entrance exams (UKCAT, BMAT, GAMSAT) and meet the cut off score for it.
(2) Apply via UCAS, get a reference from a previous degree or somewhere you've worked since.
(3) Attend interview which is either Panel or MMI style.

My advice to students

My advice to students considering further study

Go for it! It feels like a big step at first, but it's so worth it! Having a first degree can only be an advantage and whatever it is in will give you important skills you can bring forwards to medicine.

Contacting me

Happy to answer any questions that you might have - about the application process, interview process, what it's like studying medicine as a graduate / at Swansea, and just anything else you want to know about!

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