Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The dilemma

Currently listening to: Country House - Blur

Not much to report so far this academic year. MSc induction went well, I've met some cool new people and also several fellow QMUL biomed grads who are now studying a related course (Cancer Therapeutics) at Barts and The London which shares a module with my course. Also met a few of my old lecturers from my final year biomed cancer biology module, who'll be teaching me this year. In short, it's been fun but also very busy.

In addition to my MSc, I've also been thinking a lot about my application to medical school which is due in just over two weeks, and I've reached a bit of a dilemma regarding my final choice. I am now 99.9% certain I will be applying to Barts and The London for the 5 yr and 4 yr degrees, and also to Warwick's 4 yr degree. And I was happy to pick King's College's 5 yr degree as my fourth choice, until they informed me that if I were to get an offer from them it would be conditional upon getting a Merit for my MSc...even though I have a 2:1 for my BSc, which is what their prospectus says their requirement for graduates is! Very annoying!

Well there's no point arguing about it, that's their rule so I can either accept it or find somewhere else to apply to. I thought back to Southampton GEP but realised they're just too risky. I've been reading a lot of the old threads on New Media Medicine and other forums, and Southampton rejected a lot of promising applicants, and since they don't interview you have no chance to prove to them face to face how good you are. So I then began considering five year degrees outside of London, in Leicester for example, but realised it's just too damn expensive. Thank you Tories and Lib Dems for succesfully commercialising education and ensuring only rich public school kids can afford studying medicine as a graduate.

This brought me back to Newcastle GEP, which I'd toyed with earlier but rejected as I believed my UKCAT wouldn't be high enough (697.5). I rang them earlier today, and I was told that their GEP cut-offs for the past three years have been 690, 685 and 682.5. Which was surprising since I'd always thought their cut-offs were in the mid 700s. To be honest with you I'd love the chance to study in Newcastle, the city looks amazing!

So as it stands I'm now seriously considering Newcastle GEP instead of King's College London. I can't guarantee that I'll get a Merit for my MSc (even though, of course, I'm aiming for top marks)...and I also don't want to go through the stress I did during my BSc. I've already done my three years of killing myself with worry about getting the grades, I actually want to be able to enjoy my MSc, and get a nice unconditional offer for medicine (if I get an offer at all, that is). But on the other hand, my UKCAT score is only 7.5 higher than last year's cut-off...so if it rises drastically this year I'll have wasted one of my choices. Ahh, decisions, decisions.


  1. To be honest you've got to apply where you stand the best chance. You might get a merit with your masters, but it would be awful to miss out on a place to study med if you don't. I'd apply to Newcastle gep if I were you.
    Have you considered SGUL 5 year course? They guarantee interviews on results, rather than personal statement, so it might be a good one to apply to since you've got a strong UKCAT.
    Anyways- fingers crossed for you, keep us updated!

  2. I have to agree, doing a MSc and banking on getting a merit is too risky for one choice, where you could be apply elsewhere and sit comfortably through your msc with an unconditional offer.


    This site i found really helpful when i picked the places i wanted to apply to, but it seems like they havn't updated it since 08/09; but hope it is of some help ^^

  3. You know where I would suggest :) Very good choice.

  4. Ha, thanks for the comments guys, but check the latest entry, seems like I made this post a little prematurely.

    @Sophie: SGUL want the GAMSAT, I did the UKCAT :)