Medicine with a foundation year

The stereotypes of Asian parents is prominent even among the British community. That’s right, the memes related to being marked as a disgrace unless you are a doctor or engineer are indeed true.  Luckily for me, my mum was the type of person that tried to talk me out of going into medicine because as a nurse, she has seen the amount of work you have to put into this vocation. Others are not so lucky.

The external pressures of family members and being compared to Asians your age compared with the internal pressures of not wanting to let your family down can take its toll. Parents are so adamant that they want their kids to go into medicine that these days a lot of Asians are shipped off to Bulgaria or they are encouraged to take medicine with a foundation year if they do not achieve the grades that are required of medical schools within the UK. However, that may not always be the case as I am sure that there are plenty of students that decided to study medicine abroad who achieved the grades they needed but fancied the excitement of living in a different country whilst at university.

Anyway, the reason I am rambling on about this is because recently a girl (Yes she is an Asian, hence the content of the above!) came to me for help with her personal statement as she was planning on applying for medicine with a foundation year in the UK and I realised that I did not know much about it. So I thought I would write about a brief breakdown of what I have made of this course.

What is a foundation course?

These courses are in place to widen access into medicine. It can be for those who do not have a background in science (e.g. someone who realised halfway through sixth form that they wanted to go into medicine but are not studying any science A-levels) or for those people whose academic record is not as strong as it should be.

How do I know if this is right for me?

You should think about applying for this course if: you did not take science A-levels/get into medicine the first time round/get the top grades. You may also be eligible to apply if you are considered to be living in a deprived part of the country.

Pros

  • Some students feel more ready to progress to complete their medical degree as they are better equipped with a wider scientific knowledge.
  • The entry requirements are lower
  • Less pressure to achieve top marks if you are made an offer
  • If you are adamant in studying medicine and staying in the UK then this is a better option.

Cons

  • It is a 6 year course
  • Limited spaces at universities
  • Extremely competitive!
  • Not always guaranteed a space on the 5-year medical programme

Below, I have outlined some of the universities in the UK that offer this course with a breakdown of entry requirements for 2017 or 2018 entry.

UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD

Course title: Foundation in clinical sciences/medicine

UCAS code: B991

A-level requirements: BCC (104 UCAS points)

GCSE requirements: English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry at grade C

Additional entry requirements: if you fulfil their widening participation criteria as well as the above, there are opportunities to transfer to Leeds Medical School

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL

Course title: Gateway to medicine

UCAS code: A108

A-level requirements: BBC (Bs in Chemistry & biology/physics/maths)

Additional entry requirements: UKCAT

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY

Course title: Medicine with a preliminary year

UCAS code: A104

A-level requirements: AAA

Additional entry requirements: UKCAT must be taken. This course is for students without a scientific background.

UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE

Course title: Premedical course

UCAS code: A104

Could not find a lot of information on this course but have a look at their website and contact the Admissions and Student Recruitment for guidance.

Additional entry requirements: Very few places available! Evidence of educational disadvantage/mitigating circumstances need to be shown.

UINVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA

Course title: Medicine with a foundation year

UCAS code: A104

A-level requirements: BBB

GCSE requirements: 6 GCSEs at grade B

Additional entry requirements: UKCAT. Only 25 places for 2016 entry.

KEELE UNIVERSITY

Course title: Medicine with health foundation year

UCAS code: A104

A-level requirements: A*AA in a single sitting (Chemistry must not be one of them)

GCSE requirements: English and Maths at grade C or above. 5 A grades

Additional entry requirements: UKCAT

KINGS COLLEGE LONDON

Course title: Extended medical degree programme

UCAS code: A101

A-level requirements: ABB (With an A in biology/chemistry)

GCSE requirements: English and Maths at grade B or above.

Additional entry requirements: UKCAT

LANCASTER UNIVERSITY

Course title: Foundation year for medicine and surgery

UCAS code: A900

Evaluated on a case-by-case basis: Show mitigating circumstances or attend a school where exam results are below national average

Additional entry requirements: BMAT

UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER

Course title: Medicine with foundation year

UCAS code: A199

A-level requirements: BBB

GCSE requirements: C in English Language, Mathematics and two sciences, including Chemistry or Double Science.

Additional entry requirements: Live in the East Midlands and meet widening participation criteria. UKCAT must be taken

UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER

Course title: Extended medical degree programme

UCAS code: A104

A-level requirements: AAA (non-science A-levels)

GCSE requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade A or A*, which need not be in the sciences. English and Maths at grade B

Additional entry requirements: UKCAT

UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM

Course title: Medicine with foundation year

UCAS code: A108

A-level requirements: BBC (Bs in biology and chemistry)

GCSE requirements: 5 GCSEs at B or above

Additional entry requirements: UKCAT

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON

Course title: Medicine (6 years)

UCAS code: A102

A-level requirements: BBB

GCSE requirements: 5 GCSEs at C or above

Additional entry requirements: UKCAT

I think I have pretty much covered all of the universities in the UK that provide this course. I hope that those who have a passion for medicine are not disheartened by their grades and persevere with following this path. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me and do not be afraid to get in touch with universities themselves for more information.

Good luck!

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