King’s College London (KCL) Medical School received in excess of 3,900 applications for around 325 places for 2011 entry. The thing with KCL is they do only consider applicants with Access to Medicine qualifications if they have been out of full time education for at least 5 years prior to enrolling on the Access course, but ask GCSE ‘B’ in Maths and English for mature students. In addition, they need a decent UKCAT score above the national average to be considered for interview, on top of a reasonable work experience. The acceptance rate is hence very slim given the number of applications they receive.
Manchester medical school had received in excess of 2700 applications for 380 places for 2011 entry. Leicester Medical School also received more than 3000 applications for just 152 places. They have changed the admission procedure for 2012 entry by opting to initially grade applications according to academic ability and UKCAT score, to be followed by assessment on personal qualities by reviewing the personal statement and reference. This must have been deliberately imposed to put off so many applicants. The new admission policy further states that if any applicant has mitigating personal, domestic, social or educational circumstances they should send this information to the Medical School immediately after submission of their UCAS form. The medical school will then rank the applications received accordingly and approximately 750 (Home/EU) applicants will be invited for interview.
At Keele Medical School alone, there are three programmes leading to the award of the MBChB degree and the application statistics for reach track for 2010-11 entry is as follows:
• A100 – the standard 5-year programme; Over 3,000 applications for 130 places on this programme in 2011
• A101 – the 4-year graduate-entry programme; Over 200 applications for up to 10 places on this programme in 2011
• A104 – the 6-year programme with health foundation year (HFY); Over 250 applications for up to 10 places on this programme in 2011
Though medical schools always state they do not use UKCAT as a selection tool alone, it has a strong influence to select applicants for interview in most of them. The medical schools are unable to predict the actual cut-off score for 2012 entry until the scores are made available to them in November 2011. What we – applicants- can do in the meantime is to review any information available for previous years. In Southampton Medical school (Soton), for instance, for 2010 entry the equivalent UKCAT cut-off score would have been 2370 (ie applicants scoring below 2370 would not have been considered further). For 2009 entry the equivalent UKCAT cut-off score would have been 2260 (ie applicants scoring below 2260 would not have been considered further).
In 2009, Newcastle Medical School, which according to the BMC Medicine journal is deemed to produce medical graduates that performed better in postgraduate tests than any other medical school in the UK along with those from Oxford and Cambridge, had UKCAT cut off mark of 2600 (Average 650) according to iSC medical. Russel Group medical schools have a higher cut off point for UKCAT (mostly above 650) including the likes of Manchester and KCL starting from 2010 entry, and they keep on raising the bar in each academic year ahead.
SOTON has already stated they will use a UKCAT cut-off score for applications to the BM5 (A100) and BM4 (A101) programmes and those with UKCAT results that fall in the bottom quartile (25%) of the overall national UKCAT results will not have their application considered any further. After the publication of national UKCAT overall scores in November the cut-off score for 2011 entry for BM4 & BM5 is 2310 (ie applicants scoring below 2310 will not have their application considered further).
The application statistics has not been still disclosed officially, but the above data have been gathered from phone calls to the respective admission teams, information from their own website and related student forums. Even if a comprehensive guide that vividly states the scenario is not available for the past entry, one can project the stats from 2010, bearing in mind that 2011 and consequently 2012 applications will sky-rocket amid fears of rising tuition fees.