Carmel College Year 0 2011 - advice/anyone else applying this year?

Discussion in 'Liverpool Medical School' started by themedicformerlyknownas, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. themedicformerlyknownas

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    Hello!

    I am hoping to apply for Year Zero this year.

    Does anyone have any advice or experiences to share? Particularly re. personal statements, work experience and interviews! (I've had a look at the existing threads).

    Also looking out for anyone else applying this year?

    A bit about me:

    I am currently a university lecturer in a practical arts subject. I have been considering retraining for some years, and have decided to make the leap before it really is too late (I'm in my late 30s, erk).

    I am frantically trying to organise some work experience so I can make my application for April. I do, however, have lots of experience (over a decade!) of working in hospices/hospitals and with people with disabilities/older people through my work as an artist. I would prefer to have a stronger work experience portfolio but there seems no sign of the ELQ ruling being reversed for 2012 entry - finding some £37.5K in fees up-front? Nice! :(

    My profile:
    Lifelong interest in Biology (much of my childhood spent in the Natural History Museum!)
    11 O-levels and GCSEs, all at grade A (including a double Science thingummy and Additional Maths! - will these finally be useful?!)
    BA (Hons) degree (arts subject), First Class
    MA (digital arts subject)

    :D :D
     
  2. Steh

    Steh New Member

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    I was thinking about applying this year, but dont think i will of re-gained my health fully enough in time. So think im going to sort some work experience out over the next year and apply the year after.

    I know this doesnt help much :p but im also interested in the questons you asked. Best of luck to you :)
     
  3. Martigan

    Martigan Super Moderator

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    I'm in a similar position to you, age-wise at least. You have the qualifications. You seem to have the work experience, but some will tend to ignore it if it's too old and hasn't been continued. So its now about deciding where to apply, ensuring you have taken all the prerequisite exams, the PS and getting yourself in the right mindset for interviews.

    The key point I would make is you need to accept that the process is a lottery and highly competitive. So don't take it to heart of you don't get in first time, as it could just as likely be the system and anything you have done.

    Are you only considering Liverpool/Lancaster or do you have other options you are considering?
     
  4. themedicformerlyknownas

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    Hi Steh. Nice to hear from you. Hope you get back to full health soon, and I may yet bump into you in the future :)
     
  5. themedicformerlyknownas

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    Hi Martigan, thanks for your reply. :)

    My experience of working with people in healthcare and community settings has been ongoing: I was involved in setting up a pilot arts project at a local children's hospital just this year.

    Liverpool is my only real option, for personal and practical reasons. I believe I would feel comfortable with a PBL course, as that kind of approach has many parallels with what I do now. I love researching and problem-solving. Plus, my partner has a job here, and we have a mortgage. I can (albeit barely!) afford to retrain here, seeing as I live within walking distance of the uni. I've kind of resigned myself for maybe not getting in this year, however. :/

    Do you have science A-levels? I see that you have applied for some four-year courses. I could kick myself for not taking A-levels, which would have included Biology and probably Chemistry, although the decisions that I made were right for me at the time.

    Hope your interviews are going well. :)
     
  6. Manana

    Manana New Member

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    Have you spoken to admissions about your application? When I was deciding where to apply to I got the impression from the year 0 admissions team that they weren't keen on graduates applying as there are other routes into medical school for graduates. If you check out last year's thread on here, the people getting accepted were those with just GCSEs or GCSEs and non science A-levels; the graduate applicants didn't seem to get offers.
     
  7. themedicformerlyknownas

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    Hello - I have spoken to admissions and all they said was that if I had a undergrad degree, it needed to be 2:1 or higher. They didn't indicate that preference would be given to people without degrees. I know they have previously taken on an art teacher (they were mentioned by the admissions folks as being the person with the profile most similar to mine!) - I assume that this person would have had a degree?

    What would be an alternative route into med school for someone with a prior undergrad degree and no science A-levels? - I came up against a bit of a brick wall last time I looked into this (prior to the Year Zero course being established).

    Erk, I'm really worried now :((((
     
  8. Manana

    Manana New Member

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    My background is similar to yours in that I have no science A-levels. I have arts A-levels and a good social sciences degree. I read Jude's quote on the website too (and Jude has also posted on this site) and was drawn into considering the year 0 route even though 6 years would be painful financially.

    When I contacted admissions I got the distinct impression from my talk with them that graduates were lower on their list of desirable applicants than those who hadn't previously had the opportunity to go to university. It's one reason why I didn't pursue applying, even though I am from the north west, and focused instead on aiming for graduate entry.

    In deciding what route to take, I looked at the one-year Access to Medicine (A2M) courses - but there are issues with these as not all A2M courses are accepted by all medical schools so you would need to check that the course you do is acceptable to the medical schools you are interested in applying to. I also looked at the Lancaster University one-year pre-med route but most people on it don't seem to get into Liverpool / Lancaster medical school and nowhere else accepts it for entry so that seems a high risk route to take.

    There is also the GAMSAT route which can give you access to the 4 year graduate entry to medicine courses at Notts (grad entry course is based at Derby), Swansea, St Georges and the 5 year course at Peninsula. There are a couple of medical schools too that accept arts / social sciences graduates into the standard 5 year course even without A-level sciences - Newcastle (and its Durham intake too) allows this.

    In the end I applied to two GAMSAT graduate entry courses, one UKCAT standard five year course, and one UKCAT graduate entry course. I'm now in my first year of a 4 year graduate entry course.

    Please don't be put off or worried by what I've posted - I suppose I just intended it to be a cautionary note if you are making an emotional investment in the year 0 application and not pursuing other entry routes. As Jude was accepted, it cannot be impossible for graduates to get onto the programme. If I was wholly set on Liverpool then I would focus on putting in the best application possible, and ensure that I was prepared to justify in the application why Liverpool year 0 is the only realistic option.
     
  9. Manana

    Manana New Member

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    PS Newcastle also allows arts / social science grads without science A-levels to apply for its 4 year graduate course. I would have edited the above to include this but the edit facility didn't seem to work.

    If you've not already come across it, medschoolsonline.co.uk is quite a useful site for summarising the requirements of the different courses.
     
  10. themedicformerlyknownas

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    The admissions staff sounded pretty positive about my profile when I spoke to them, so I admit that this has surprised/worried me somewhat :(

    For a number of reasons, I am very set on going to Liverpool. I had not considered the graduate entry route, partly because of the issues re. location and partly because I assumed that I would not be eligible for this because of my non-science background. I guess it would be worthwhile considering the UKCAT graduate entry route...certainly the financial implications would not be quite as hideous as the six-year course(!)...how difficult is it to prepare for this?
     
  11. Manana

    Manana New Member

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    The UKCAT is pretty straight forward - its a short test (couple of hours) that you schedule the date and time for in the June -September period, there is lots of prep material available, and (best of all for arts graduates) has no science questions in it. It's verbal reasoning, numeracy, abstract reasoning and decision analysis.

    The GAMSAT is much trickier as its a one day test, available twice a year in the UK, and the science section is quite challenging and would take some preparation for - I took 2 months full-time to prepare for it. The verbal reasoning and essay sections of the test would be a gift for you though.
     
  12. themedicformerlyknownas

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    Hmm. Thinking about it, the four-year course might be an option, what with the additional funding; there's just no way that I could afford to do a five-year (or six-year) course away from home.

    Thank you for flagging up these options. I am going to concentrate on trying to get into Liverpool in the first instance, but I might well consider giving UKCAT/GAMSAT a crack as well. I would have some time to prepare for this over the summer when I am not teaching. :)

    Now I just need to figure out a way to tell my other half that I might have to disappear for four years... :(
     
  13. themedicformerlyknownas

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    *still pondering* I wonder if you could tell me what the financial situation is for graduates on the four-year course? (It took me long enough to get a straight answer about graduates on five/six year courses...!)
     
  14. Manana

    Manana New Member

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    I think I've set the cat among the pigeons ;-)

    I pay my own tuition fees for the first year but the medical school lets me spread the payments over four years which is decent of them and I get a maintenance loan from Student Finance England of £3564. For years 2, 3 and 4 of the course I will have my fees paid by the NHS and also get a bursary towards living costs.
     
  15. themedicformerlyknownas

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    Heee. ;)

    Well, he'd be upset but he'd much rather see me do this than not, so...

    Can you still get a maintenance loan in years 2-4? *bombards you with questions omg* I was pretty choked when I found out about the ELQ thing, which had somehow passed me by despite the fact that I work in HE! :/
     
  16. Manana

    Manana New Member

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    I've been told that while you can still get a maintenance loan in years 2-4, it is supposed to be reduced to take into account that fact you are getting the NHS bursary.

    Food for thought anyway.... hopefully Liverpool will come off for you but if not its always worth having a plan B.
     
  17. themedicformerlyknownas

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    Thanks for that :)

    Yes, a plan B is most definitely a good idea. Have mentioned it in passing to partner, who did not freak out, although admittedly he was still half-asleep...

    I think I need more work experience tbh, although I will apply for Liverpool this year anyway. But now I will also register for the GAMSAT in September and work on that over the summer.

    Are you finding the four-year course totally manic?
     
  18. Manana

    Manana New Member

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    It's generally not too bad as having done the Gamsat prep I feel I have at least some foundation. Outside of assessment times, I'm managing to keep most of my work to Monday - Friday and doing that means I have a normal weekend life which helps retain sanity. During peak assessment times.... well, that's another matter!
     
  19. themedicformerlyknownas

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    Ah! Good to hear that sanity is being maintained (for now, at least :p )

    I just spoke to the Carmel folks and they said that my having an undergrad arts degree was irrelevant - what would discount me would be any science A-levels (I have none at all...just as well, seeing as I would have taken a rather useless mix of Biology/Art/French/English) or a first degree in a science subject.

    They said that some years have had more people with undergrad degrees than others, but that this was not a reflection of a preference for/against prior degrees.

    I will still try for the GAMSAT route as well :)
     
  20. Manana

    Manana New Member

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    That's good news - not the message I got but its possible that the person I spoke to wasn't as clued up. Hopefully the year 0 will work out for you but regardless there is always a way if its what you really want. After all, all that matters is we get to where we want to be!
     

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