Work experience is an important part of the admissions process for the majority of medical schools in the UK. In the COVID-19 context, some medical schools have made changes to their work experience requirements. Check out the latest information relevant to 2021 entry in this blog article.
The list below contains information on work experience, extracted from ‘Entry requirements for UK Medical Schools (2021 entry)’ published by the Medical Schools Council.
Feel free to scroll through the list or use Control + F (Windows) or Command + F (Mac) to find the medical school of interest to you. Please note that work experience requirements may differ between medical programs offered at the same university (e.g. Standard Entry vs Graduate Entry).
You should also read the guide published by the Medical Schools Council for guidance on gaining relevant work experience, if you haven’t already. This guide describes why you need work experience, what type of experience is needed and practical ways to gain work experience.
Work Experience Information
University of Aberdeen School of Medicine and Dentistry
Gateway Year Entry: Applicants are expected to have taken steps to gain an understanding of medicine as a career and their suitability for that career. Students will complete a credit bearing work experience module as part of the course.Standard Entry: A range of experience in primary care or a hospital. Voluntary work in care homes, hospices or special needs schools. Work experience form completed and returned at interview.
Anglia Ruskin University School of Medicine
Work experience is not taken into consideration when shortlisting for interview, but candidates who are invited to interview can expect to be asked about their work experience at that stage
Aston University Medical School
We recognise that not everyone will be able to secure medical work experience, and that it is possible to get the same outlook, experience and qualities by doing work experience in a non-medical environment too. For example, working in a hospital shop will mean that you deal with all kinds of patients and people and allow you to develop your communication skills, teamwork skills, following instructions, and leadership skills.
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Standard Entry and Graduate Entry: Work experience is assessed as part of the shortlisting process but is not scored. Interview panelists will ask about work experience and candidates will be expected to draw on their experiences to answer competency based questions.
University of Birmingham College of Medical and Dental Sciences
Standard Entry: Work experience does not factor into the process of selection for interview. The understanding gained from work experience will be invaluable in enabling applicants to address the issues presented to them at interview. Graduate Entry: We wish to recognise the development of personal qualities that take place after graduation. Therefore, we allocate a score to the amount of time spent in full-time activity (employment or postgraduate degree/ research). Medical-related work experience, per se, does not factor into process of selection for interview. The understanding gained from this work experience will be invaluable in enabling applicants to address the issues presented to them at interview.
Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Applicants need an insight into medicine and the role of the doctor, this may come from work experience.
University of Bristol Medical School
Gateway Year Entry: All applicants should have some practical work experience in their chosen career field in order to show their commitment to the course and career, and as a basis for questions at interview. This does not necessarily have to include clinical experience (ie. hospital, GP or animal clinic based) and can include work placements undertaken as part of a relevant course or as independent voluntary work. There is no minimum number of hours or weeks required, although a minimum of at least 5 days is recommended. Standard Entry: Work experience will be discussed during interview.
University of Buckingham Medical School
University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
Standard Entry: To develop understanding of what a career in medicine involves and suitability for your intended profession, candidates are strongly advised (though not required) to undertake some relevant work experience (either paid or voluntary) in a health or related area. The medical school is not prescriptive about how this is obtained and recognises the widely differing opportunities available. Graduate Entry: Medical/healthcare experience as a paid or volunteer worker in the private or public healthcare industry and the shadowing of medical professionals in hospital/GP practice. Varied and consistent hands-on patient care along with experience working within an NHS environment is favoured.
Cardiff University School of Medicine
Preliminary Year Entry, Standard Entry and Graduate Entry: The university recognises that opportunities for work experience will vary according to individual circumstances. Applicants are encouraged to show an appreciation of the length of the training programme and the career structure.
University of Dundee School of Medicine
Gateway Year Entry: Work experience is desirable. Widening access applicants provided with opportunities to gain this via MedicInsight. Standard Entry: If applicant invited to interview, work experience is discussed in personal statement multiple mini-interview station. Graduate Entry (ScotGEM): Work experience should be achieved in a health situation with people who may be ill, disabled, elderly or by shadowing a doctor at work. The main aim of work experience is to gain insight into health and healthcare delivery and to allow candidates to make an informed choice before deciding to apply to study medicine. Medically related work experience is not scored but instead forms part of the discussions at interview.
Edge Hill University Medical School
Gateway Year Entry and Standard Entry: No specific work experience is required, but students are asked to draw on personal experience as part of the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). This could include work experience.
The University of Edinburgh Medical School
We value quality of experience over quantity. We are looking for clear evidence of reflection on work experiences, showing us what personal lessons you took from them and using these to demonstrate an aptitude for medicine. This is drawn upon if invited to Assessment Day.
University of Exeter Medical School
We understand that it can be difficult to gain relevant work experience and so this is not considered as part of our entry requirements, although we do encourage applicants to have an understanding of the attributes and the responsibilities required to be a great doctor.
University of Glasgow School of Medicine
Gateway Year Entry and Standard Entry: There is no mandatory requirement for medical work experience, but candidates must have a sound understanding of the role and responsibilities of medical professionals.
Hull York Medical School
Gateway Year Entry: No prescribed experience required but applicants should try to obtain a realistic understanding of the demands of medical training and practice Applicants may find it useful to get some experience in a range of caring situations, observing or working alongside healthcare staff, in either voluntary or paid capacity. Standard Entry: We do not specify a work experience requirement, but applicants are encouraged to reflect upon their work experience in their personal statement and responses to interview questions.
Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine
Work experience in a healthcare setting is strongly favoured.
Keele University School of Medicine
Applicants are expected to have experience of direct engagement with people in need of any kind of care, support or help, and should have taken on some responsibility appropriate to their age and environment. Experiences do not have to be gained in healthcare settings, and no credit will be given for observation (e.g. workplace shadowing).
Kent and Medway Medical School
Work experience is desirable, particularly in public-facing roles. KMMS recognises it might be difficult to arrange medical sector experience, and gives equal weight to care sector and other public-facing experience.
King's College London GKT School of Medical Education
Gateway Year Entry: We would normally expect that you will have undertaken some work experience in a caring environment and/or observation in a clinical setting. If this is not possible, we look for evidence that you have worked in a setting where you can interact with the general public, e.g. in a pharmacy, check-out or restaurant. Standard Entry and Graduate Entry: We would normally expect that applicants will have undertaken some voluntary work experience in a caring/health environment and/or observation in a medical clinical setting. It is important for applicants to have a realistic appreciation of what a career as a health professional involves.
Lancaster University Medical School
Gateway Year Entry: Applicants should be prepared to discuss their work experience at interview. Insight is more important than the specific work and voluntary experience undertaken. Placements in hospices, nursing and residential homes etc, where there is interaction with vulnerable people, is just as valuable as shadowing doctors. Standard Entry: Specific work experience not required though applicants must showcase evidence of research into a career in medicine. Insight is more important and voluntary placements in hospices, residential homes etc, where there is interaction with vulnerable people, is just as valuable as shadowing doctors.
University of Leeds School of Medicine
Standard Entry and Gateway Year Entry: Experience in a healthcare setting, though this definition is broad.
University of Leicester Medical School
Gateway Year Entry and Standard Entry: Healthcare-related work experience is not required but applicants, particularly those who are borderline, must showcase reflection in whatever type of work they have encountered (voluntary, paid work in retail, catering, health or social care).
University of Liverpool School of Medicine
Gateway Year Entry, Standard Entry and Graduate Entry: No specific work experience is stated but applicants must be able to demonstrate our non-academic criteria which will be assessed at interview.
University of Manchester Medical School
Preliminary Year Entry: We require applicants to undertake some relevant work experience prior to application in order that they can gain some insight into what the role of a doctor involves. Shadowing doctors in a hospital/GP setting is not essential or considered to be a substitute for hands-on caring work experience. Standard Entry: Work experience is assessed at interview using the electronic non-academic information form and discussion with the candidate.
Newcastle University School of Medical Education
Standard Entry: Emphasis on applicants being able to show a commitment to caring which can be accomplished in a number of ways other than in a hospital or general practice setting, such as volunteering in an elderly care home, hospice, nursery or helping someone less fortunate. The medical school is also interested in individuals who have shown commitment to working as part of a team over a prolonged period of time in any area, including voluntary, sports, other extra-curricular activities. Graduate Entry: Emphasis on applicants being able to show a commitment to caring, which can be accomplished in a number of ways other than in a hospital or general practice setting, for example by volunteering in an elderly care home, hospice, nursery or helping someone less fortunate.
Norwich Medical School
Gateway Year Entry: Work experience is considered at interview. Candidates are advised to undertake people focused work experience and be prepared to discuss how this has informed their decision to study medicine. Standard Entry: Work experience is considered at interview. We encourage students to undertake people focused work experience and consider how this has informed their decision to study medicine.
University of Nottingham School of Medicine
Gateway Year Entry and Standard Entry: Work experience is reviewed after interview and before offers are made. Applicants should have ongoing voluntary experience in a caring setting and should try to get some NHS work experience or talk to a doctor about what a career in medicine would be like. Valuable experience can be gained from paid or unpaid jobs that involve working with people. Graduate Entry: Applicants are expected to obtain some relevant work experience in a caring role that involves people who are unwell, disabled and/or disadvantaged. The experience does not need to be gained in a hospital setting and can be voluntary/paid and part or full-time. Although it is useful to have shadowed doctors, this is not essential, as a great deal can be learnt about the role by talking to doctors and other members of the multidisciplinary team. Applicants will be expected to complete a questionnaire.
University of Nottingham - Lincoln Medical School
Gateway Year Entry and Standard Entry: We ask students to demonstrate their participation in work experience and volunteering to be eligible to apply.
University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division
Standard Entry: Considered by admissions tutors alongside all other aspects of the application. Candidates may choose to explain how any experiences they may have had enable them to demonstrate their suitability for medicine. Graduate Entry: The admissions tutors will look for significant experience of health or social care settings either in the NHS or elsewhere. This may include work experience placements or voluntary work. The admissions tutors will also look for engagement in activities either within or outside of medicine where communication, relationships and empathy are evidently required.
Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
Gateway Year Entry and Standard Entry: No specific requirements.
Queen's University Belfast School of Medicine
No specific requirements. Experience encouraged in healthcare-related environments and volunteering.
University of Sheffield Medical School
Gateway Year Entry (through University of Bradford): No specific requirements. Standard Entry and Graduate Entry: Interest in what applicants have learned from their work experience. In addition to shadowing a GP or other medical practitioner, there are many other areas related to medicine in which applicants can gain experience, such as care homes or community-based work experience.
University of Southampton School of Medicine
Gateway Entry: Completion of formal work experience or volunteering is not required. However, applicants are expected to demonstrate what they have learned from their life experiences (this may include work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings). Standard Entry and Graduate Entry: Completion of formal work experience or volunteering is not required. However, applicants are expected to demonstrate what they have learned from their experiences of interacting with people in health or social care settings (this may include work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings).
University of St Andrews School of Medicine
Gateway Year Entry: No specific experience required. Standard Entry: Applicants should have gained work or shadowing experience in a caring or health environment. This does not have to be in a hospital or GP surgery but could be in a nursing home or hospice or through working with people who have ill health or disability. Graduate Entry (ScotGEM): Work experience should be achieved in a health situation with people who may be ill, disabled, elderly or by shadowing a doctor at work. The main aim of work experience is to gain insight into health and healthcare delivery and to allow candidates to make an informed choice before deciding to apply to study medicine. Medically related work experience is not scored but instead forms part of the discussions at interview.
St George's, University of London
Standard Entry: Applicants should be able to reflect on how their work experience helped them to develop some of the attitudes and behaviours essential to being a doctor. The medical school is interested in what the applicant has learned about him/herself and other people, and how care is delivered and received. Applicants are asked to provide further details of their work experience and/or confirmation letters or references for verification. Graduate Entry: At interview, you will be required to demonstrate that you have gained voluntary/work experience in a medical or health related field and demonstrate a broad awareness of the scope of medicine. Applicants should be able to reflect on how their work experience helped them to develop some of the attitudes and behaviours essential to being a doctor. The medical school is interested in what the applicant has learned about him/herself and other people, and how care is delivered and received. Applicants are asked to provide further details of their work experience and/or confirmation letters or references for verification.
University of Sunderland School of Medicine
Any work experience that showcases your communication and leadership skills. Attributes such as responsibility and motivation may be demonstrated through working with customers or clients requiring support, assistance or service.
Swansea University Medical School
Emphasis on quality of reflection and what has been learnt rather than amount of experience. Explored at interview.
University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine
Applicants are asked to submit a transferable skills statement, which allows them to reflect on: work experience /shadowing/ voluntary work or experience in a caring role, impact and value of the work undertaken, the level of responsibility taken within this experience. The statement will be the focus for one of the stations in the multiple-mini Interview.
University College London Medical School
We would recommend any experience that involves working with other people, building relevant skills or gaining insight into healthcare professions is helpful for your application. Your reflections on what you learnt from your work experience will be assessed via your personal statement, and may also be assessed at interview.
University of Warwick Medical School
A minimum of 70 hours of work experience across the three years up until the application deadline is required. Applicants must have undertaken at least two different experiences with no single experience counting for more that 50 hours against the minimum of 70 hours. Experiences must be with patients or people with healthcare needs. At least one experience needs to be hands on. Shadowing in a clinical setting is acceptable, but can only count for 20 hours against the minimum of 70 hours. Work experiences are explored at interview.
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