Relevant Work Experience - 2020 Entry

We do not read or score applicants' UCAS Personal Statements as part of the selection process but your work and other experience is likely to be discussed as part of the Multiple Mini-Interviews. 

Applicants are normally expected to have undergone a period of work experience. Medical Schools expect applicants to have a range of work experience for two reasons.  Firstly, this demonstrates that you have a realistic insight to the profession - you are after all committing to a lifetime career when you apply to study Medicine.  It is important that you have an understanding of the complex nature of a doctor's role, as well as being aware of the highs and lows of the profession.

Work experience is also important in enabling you to develop (and to demonstrate that you have) the relevant skills and qualities that are essential to becoming a good doctor. A few examples are listed below:

• Ability to overcome setbacks;
• Ability to work independently;
• A sense of responsibility;
• A sense of service to the community;
• Communication skills;
• Enthusiasm;
• Experience of working with diverse groups;
• Perseverance;
• Self-insight.

We recognise that it is not always possible for students to obtain work placements with a doctor or in a medical environment given the limited availability of volunteer placements in hospitals and similar clinical settings. However, in addition to shadowing a GP or other medical practitioner, there are many other areas related to medicine in which you can gain experience. Some examples of these are listed below:-

• Paid or voluntary work experience in a residential care home, hospice or similar;
• Working in a youth centre or working with young children;
• Participating in community volunteering schemes;
• Working with a diverse range of people (whether on a paid or voluntary basis).

Participatory work experience (not simply observing, but a 'hands on' role) is extremely valuable. Many applicants arrange to undertake paid or voluntary work as a Healthcare Assistant. Whatever work experience you have, it is important that you are able to reflect effectively on it if you are invited to attend a Multiple Mini Interview.  We recommend that you keep a journal when undertaking work experience, recording what you found interesting, what insights you gained and what you were inspired to go and find out more about.  We will not ask to see such a journal, but it may help you prepare for the application process.

Applicants invited to attend a Multiple Mini-Interview should be able to communicate not only what meaningful activities they have undertaken, but also what they have learned from these experiences, particularly in regards to their future as medical practitioners. 

A rota of the duties of your job or project involved is not required.

While we normally expect all applicants to have had some form of work experience, we set no requirement regarding the duration of this.

Work experience gained in a country other than that in which you normally reside is not required, and is not considered more favourably than work experience at home.

Medical Schools' Council have produced useful guidance regarding work experience, which can be accessed here.

There is useful information regarding work experience here (but please note that this is an external website and we cannot vouch for its contents).