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Frequently Asked Questions: A101 Graduate Entry Medicine Course

 

 

The application process

What are the entry requirements for the GEM course?

Minimum entry requirement for GEM is:

  • 2:2 Bachelor Honours degree in any subject discipline - a higher degree (Masters/PhD) will be accepted in lieu of a first degree.
  • Sit our entrance examination (GAMSAT) – this score will be used to select for interview.
  • Attend an interview.
  • Paid or voluntary work experience in a health-care related setting and you will be invited to talk about this at interview stage.

(NB: A level grades not required)

 
How do I apply for the GEM course?

To apply for the 4-year Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) course for 2017 entry, you need to:

  1. Take the GAMSAT test. The GAMSAT test date for 2017 admission is on Wednesday 14 September 2016. Applications can only be made via the GAMSAT website  – costs approx £240.  
  2. Apply to  UCAS using Course Code A101, (institution code N84). Closing date 15 October 2016. Please contact the UCAS helpline on: 0870 1122211 or alternatively visit their website: www.ucas.ac.uk where you will be able to complete an online application form from June 2016.
 
What kind of work experience do I need to do?

It needs to take place in a care-related environment where you will ideally interact with healthcare professionals and members of the public. The main focus for asking that applicants have work experience is to ensure that you are making an informed choice about your future career and are aware of the ups and downs of being involved in medicine.

There are many ways you can do this ranging from volunteering in a care home, working as a healthcare assistant in a hospital or being involved with some kind of project, charity or organisation. It would also be helpful if you are able to spend some time shadowing doctors in a local practice or hospital environment but not absolutely necessary. 

The more recent your experience (within the last 18 months) the more favourable your application will be viewed. You will be invited to talk about your work experience at the interview stage of the admissions process. They prefer someone who has spent a regular amount of time over several months than someone who has a day or two in a local hospital. The Admissions Panel will be looking for commitment and dedication on your part however, given the diversity and backgrounds of applicants, they will take into account applicants personal circumstances, eg age, completing the final year of a degree, working full-time plus family commitments/completing a part-time qualification, etc.

 
Can I apply for the GEM course while I’m still completing my final year of my degree course?

You are most welcome to apply in your final year of university - many of our applicants do. Any place offered to you would be conditional on the basis of you obtaining a minimum 2:2 in your degree and providing evidence to support this by 1st August prior to beginning the start of the course.

 
How many applications do you receive each year?
We have 87 Home places available on the course and at the start of the admissions process we tend to receive approximately 10-12 applications for every place. The odds are reduced quite considerably after applicants have successfully sat the GAMSAT examination to approximately 1 in 3 being offered a place.
 
Can I defer my entry?
Permission to defer will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and the reason for deferral must serve to further prepare the candidate for a future career in medicine, for example, working with the Voluntary Service Abroad or International Health charities. Career development, personal travel (ie holidays), financial considerations or the completion of a first degree/other qualification are not considered 'exceptional' reasons for seeking a deferred place.
 
Questions relating to references

Your referee should know you well enough to write about you and to comment on your suitability for higher education.  

References are usually written by someone who knows you academically. Most references will talk about you from a teacher's or tutor's perspective: 

  • How you work academically
  • How you interact with other students and teachers

Your reference does not have to be academic, but if you are studying or have recently left university, a reference from your tutor will be expected.

If you are a mature student and cannot obtain an academic reference, you should ask a responsible person who knows you to provide your reference. This could be an employer, training officer, careers adviser, a teacher on a recent relevant further education course, or a senior colleague in employment or voluntary work.

The references you provide do not affect the outcome of your application and its purpose is mainly to establish identity/where-abouts at a given period of time/verify information provided in your personal statement, however, if a reference is not submitted - your application will not continue through the admissions process. 

 
Can I send my CV in?

You are most welcome to send your CV to support your UCAS application for the Graduate Entry Medicine course (A101) however, please be aware that it will have very little influence with regards to the admissions selection process. 

Please send your CV to:

The Admissions Coordinator
Derby Course & Student Centre
The University of Nottingham Medical School at Derby
Royal Derby Hospital
Uttoxeter Road, Derby
DE22 3DT, UK

 
Queries relating to disabilities or health problems

The University of Nottingham welcomes students with disabilities. However, the School of Medicine has a special responsibility to ensure that all candidates admitted to the course will be eligible for registration by the General Medical Council on graduation (further guidance is available at www.gmc-uk.org ).

We ask that applicants consider the following statements that describe our position with regard to certain personal circumstances that could make it difficult or impossible for you to practise as a doctor. A disability is a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

 
Fitness to practise/ Occupational Health queries

As you are probably aware, all applicants will be screened to ensure that they are 'fit to practise' as set down by the General Medical Council in its guidance to the medical profession, Good Medical Practice (www.gmc-uk.org). All students will be required to have their immunity status for Hepatitis B and C, Tuberculosis and Rubella checked on entry, and offers are made subject to satisfactory screening. 

The Occupational Health team includes one full-time Specialist Practitioner and an Occupational Health Physician (provision of one Doctor session per month). The service is based at the Lenton Hurst, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2QL (building No 52). Contact details are: 0115 951 4329.

Please note: Occupational Health does not provide general practice services e.g. diagnose or treat non-occupational conditions, these should be referred to your General Practitioner. 

 
I have an international degree. Can you tell me what would be its equivalent classification with a UK degree?

Please contact UK NARIC who will be able to provide guidance on the comparability of your qualifications with those in the United Kingdom. Their contact details are:

UK NARIC
Oriel House
Oriel Road
Cheltenham
Glos GL50 1XP

Tel: +44 (0)870 9904088
Fax: +44 (0)870 990 1560
Email: info@naric.org.uk

 
When will my conditional offer become unconditional as I need to sort out accommodation, etc?

Your conditional offer will officially become unconditional when the GEM Admissions Department have received confirmation that all of your conditionals have been satisfied. If you are aware that there are no issues in your past that will affect either your CRB, health checks and you have completed your degree then you can assume that you could go ahead and make the necessary preparations for starting the GEM course however, you will understand that we cannot officially advise you to do this until all conditions are completed satisfactorily. 

You will be contacted by our Admissions Coordinator, Sarb Atwal, as soon as your conditions have been met and subsequently your offer made unconditional.  

 
Funding for 2016/17

In Years 2-4 of the GEM course most English domiciled students will be eligible to apply for an NHS Bursary. This bursary has been made available specifically for those undertaking courses in graduate medicine and dentistry; in most cases it will cover your tuition fees and some living expenses. Please visit: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/3472.aspx for further information.

 
Do you consider late entries via "clearing"?
As we receive such a large number of applications before the official closing date, we do not consider late applications. If, by chance, any places do become available before the start of the course, we will only consider those candidates who have previously been interviewed but were unsuccessful earlier in the year.  We do not enter the UCAS clearing system.
 
 
 

GAMSAT

GAMSAT Scores

You need to achieve a minimum score of 55 in Section II and 55 in either Section I or III  and a score of 50 in the remaining section. A cut-off score is then determined and this usually depends on the overall standard of applicants taking the GAMSAT examination for that particular year. Interviews are usually offered to those who achieve the highest GAMSAT scores.  

For your information, interviews were offered to applicants who:  

  • 2005: achieved an overall GAMSAT score of 61 or above
  • 2006: achieved an overall GAMSAT score of 62 or above
  • 2007: achieved an overall GAMSAT score of 61 or above
  • 2008: achieved an overall GAMSAT score of 60 or above
  • 2009: achieved an overall GAMSAT score of 58 or above
  • 2010: achieved an overall GAMSAT score of 60 or above
  • 2011: achieved an overall GAMSAT score of 61 or above
  • 2012: achieved an overall GAMSAT score of 59 or above (64 for those with 2:2 degree)
  • 2013: same as the year before
  • 2014: achieved an overall GAMSAT score of 59 or above (64 for those with a 2:2 degree)
  • 2015: 61 for applicants with 2:1 honours degree (or above including any higher qualification such as a Masters), and 66 for applicants with a 2:2 honours degree
  • 2016: 60 for applicants with a 2:1 honours degree (or above), and 65 for applicants with a 2:2 honours degree
  • 2017: 56 for applicants with a 2:1 honours degree (or above), and 58 for applicants with a 2:2 honours degree

A PDF booklet about the test itself, the preparation for it and the scoring process can be found at http://www.gamsatuk.org/

 
GAMSAT score calculation
The GAMSAT results are calculated separately in 2 ways:

i. Overall score = (section 1 + section 2+ 2 x Section 3)/4

ii. Overall score = (Section 1 + Section 2 + Section 3)/3

We use the higher of either (i) or (ii).
 
 
 
What kind of courses does Nottingham offer to help with the GAMSAT examination?

The University of Nottingham does not offer any preparatory courses for the GAMSAT examination. A PDF booklet about the test itself, the preparation for it and the scoring process can be found http://www.gamsatuk.org/  

Candidates without a science background may wish to work through first year degree level chemistry and biology textbooks and an A-level physics textbook.

 
How many students who have a non-science background join the GEM course?

Approximately 30%-40% of our current students are from non science backgrounds and successfully passed GAMSAT.  The GAMSAT exam is difficult (after all, this is medical school and we need to be assured of a certain level of academic ability) however, it is realistic to obtain a good pass mark.

A PDF booklet about the test itself, the preparation for it and the scoring process can be found http://www.gamsatuk.org/

 
When will I receive my GAMSAT score?
You will be notified of your GAMSAT score around mid November and will be contacted by letter to advise you of whether you have been successful/unsuccessful in being offered at interview.
 
Will you accept a GAMSAT score that was taken in Australia or Ireland?
Yes, provided your results are available prior to your interview.
 
Request for extenuating circumstances/special consideration following release of GAMSAT scores
Unfortunately the University of Nottingham's GEM Admissions Team cannot take extenuating circumstances into account retrospectively as they are unable to predict how this would have affected your GAMSAT score.
 
When will I know about my interview date?
Letters inviting applicants for interview will be posted around February. If you have any problems with this date, you will need to contact Sarb Atwal, the Admissions Coordinator, tel 01332 724900/email: sarbjit.atwal@nottingham.ac.uk   
 
I did not reach the required GAMSAT score for interview however I am committed to gaining a place to study medicine – what are my options?

Re-apply for the following year's entry. 

Applicants can sit GAMSAT as many times as they wish but we will only allow them to be interviewed twice.

 

 

Interview

How do you select interview candidates?

We offer an interview to those who achieve the cut-off score in the GAMSAT in addition to the minimum section requirements. This is set each year.

Please see further guidance on the A101 selection process.

 
When are the interview dates?

Interviews for 2018 entry will be held as follows:

Tuesday 27 March – Thursday 29 March 2018

Wednesday 4 April – Friday 6 April  2018

Monday 9 April – Friday 13 April 2018

 
What can I expect at the interview?

You will be interviewed by trained interviewers: clinicians, academics and a lay person, in a multiple mini interview format. Lay people will be drawn from a wide range of professions allied to medicine, science, health services management, education and human resources.

You will be graded on your answers to questions based around the following themes:

  • Are you realistic about what it means to be a doctor?
  • Your interest in the field of medicine
  • Your personal attributes necessary for the study and practice of medicine
 
What documentation do I need?

Please note you will be asked to present your original degree certificate before your interview. If a certificate is not available, a transcript to show proof of study will suffice until degree is obtained. In addition you will also be asked for photo identification. You will not be interviewed if you do not provide identification.

All interviewees will be required to complete a Disclosure & Barring Service form (formerly Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) application) immediately following their interview. An Occupational Health questionnaire will be sent for completion after a place on the course is offered and accepted.

 

 

General Queries

What is the difference between the five-year course and the four-year course?

The five-year medicine course is designed for 18 year olds who are completing their A levels or equivalent. The four-year graduate entry medicine course is aimed at  students who already have a first degree or are working towards a first degree. 

On both courses the educational objectives are the same, namely to acquire the knowledge, skills and behaviour to allow the graduate to practise as a pre-registration house officer with the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (BM BS) degrees. In addition, all students on the five year course obtain a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSci) degree after three years. 

Please visit the online prospectus for more detailed information about both the A100 and A101 courses.

 
What is the process for admissions feedback, appeals or complaints?

The University of Nottingham receives a considerable number of applications per place and as entry is competitive, it is, regrettably, unable to make every applicant an offer.

Due to the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the University's policy on disclosure, the University will only correspond on any issue regarding an application with the applicant themselves, unless the applicant has provided written permission for the University to discuss their application with another person (eg a parent, guardian or school adviser).

Please see the Quality Manual for further information.

 
 
Accommodation queries

Please see the Accommodation Service website, which gives specific accommodation information for prospective GEM students at Derby.

 
 
Would you consider my application if I had previously been studying on a medicine course at either this or another Medical School and was unable to complete the course, even if I had extenuating circumstances?
Generally we would not accept an application.  However we would make our decision on an individual basis.  Therefore, you must contact us before you make an application so we can review the situation and make an informed decision.  If you apply to us without having made contact before making the application, we would not accept the application.
 
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School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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