MBBS/BSc Virtual Open Day
Welcome to the School of Medicine Virtual Open Day webpage for our MBBS/BSc programme. We have compiled these resources to help you make an informed choice about your next steps, and to see whether Imperial is the right place for you and, more specifically, if our School of Medicine is the community you would like to join.
Couldn't join us?
Open Day 20 September 2020
Our last Open Day was on Sunday 20 September. If you couldn't join us, don't worry. You can watch on this page all the recordings of our webinars.
10.30 - 11.30 Live Webinar with:
- Doctor James Moss (Senior Physiology Teaching Fellow)
- Professor Shahid Khan (Director of Admissions and Inclusivity, School of Medicine)
- Professor Kevin Murphy (Admissions Tutor)
- Students' Union President Muntaha Naeem.
12.00 - 13.00 Instagram Live:
- Watch the recording of our Instagram Live event with ICSMSU President Muntaha Naeem and ICSMSU Academic Chair Rachel Kwok.
Your take-home resources
Ordinarily, when we welcome you on to campus for our Open Day, we'll send you home with information and resources to look through in your own time. This year we've produced a padlet for you, which you can access online whenever you're ready, or by scanning the QR code above.
Open Day Videos
Welcome to Imperial College School of Medicine
Head of ICSM, Dr Amir Sam, welcomes you to the School
The Intercalated BSc year
Hear more about the intercalated BSc year, taken as part of the MBBS programme
Learn more about the MBBS clinical experience
Medical student Jack talks about the clinical aspects of the MBBS programme
Meet medical student, Helena
Medical student Helena tells us why Imperial was the right choice
Preparing for Autumn Term
See how Imperial is planning for the first term of the academic year ahead
Q&A with ICSMSU President Muntaha Naeem and ICSMSU Academic Chair Rachel Kwok
ICSM Widening Participation
Professor Kevin Murphy discusses Imperial's widening participation programme
Professor Shahid Khan talks through the Admissions process
Professor Shahid Khan talks through the ICSM Admissions process
Video - Student Experience - Academics and Research
Student Helena discusses Academics and Research
Video - Student Experience - Student Life at Imperial
Student Helena talks about Student Life at Imperial
Video - Student Experience - Working From Home Diary
Student Helena talks about her top tips for working from home
Funding Your Studies 2021 - Student Financial Support
Funding Your Studies 2021 - Student Financial Support
ICSM Student Support & Welfare
ICSM Student Services Manager, Fran Bertolini, talks you through the ICSM welfare support
Why Imperial College School of Medicine?
What is the curriculum like at Imperial?
The new Imperial College School of Medicine curriculum, which was launched in 2019-2020, has been designed to meet the emerging demands on healthcare systems, and the changing pattern of evidence-based medical education. You will to develop your clinical skills during situational learning in healthcare settings and case-based learning. You will learn within a diverse community in our unique range of affiliated university hospitals, primary care providers and community services across North West London.
During the first three years (Phase One) of the MBBS, we teach an integrative model of biomedical science and clinical medicine, with a strong research focus that is underpinned by our world-class research. Your education will be based on local and national healthcare needs, instilling a sense of social responsibility that is pivotal in learning to respond to global healthcare challenges.
During Phase Two, you will work towards your BSc by completing a series of modules and a supervised research project in a scientific/medical subject of your choice. This gives you the chance to develop your scientific knowledge and research skills, as well as expose you to research and researchers at the cutting edge of the field.
In Phase Three, you will build on the knowledge, skills and behaviours developed in the first four years of the MBBS. In hospital and community settings, you will experience how clinical teams work together to deliver patient care from beginning to the end of life. Throughout Phase Three, significant emphasis will be placed on preparing you for clinical practice.
Admissions Selection Process
Admissions Selection Process
Admission to the medicine programme at Imperial is highly competitive. We receive well over 2,000 applications for entry, and interview about 1000 candidates – making approximately 720 offers.
We use a range of criteria to assess candidates. Candidates must meet the minimum academic requirements and have high marks for the three sections of BMAT to be invited to interview.
Our interviews are conducted as multiple mini interviews, which we undertake between December and March.
See two example stations below, where you can see a student navigate his way through a question station, as well as a scenario:
What do we assess you on?
Motivation and realistic approach to medicine as a career
Capacity to deal with stressful situations
Evidence of commitment to the values of the NHS constitution
Evidence of working as both a leader and a team member
Ability to multitask
Likely contribution to university life
Communication skills and maturity of character
The School of Medicine will support the development of your Professional Values and Behaviours, but we will be looking for these during our Admissions selection process:
Compassionate: Patient-centred, empathetic and effective respectful communicators
Resilient: Self-aware and reflective, with an understanding of their own limits
Responsible: Cognisant of their role in the multidisciplinary team and of their duty to disclose concerns about themselves and others
Non-discriminatory: Recognises and celebrates diversity
Responsive: Manages ambiguity and makes decisions on the basis of incomplete data
Well rounded: Engages with extracurricular activities that enrich and broaden their horizons
What are our Entry Requirements?
Our typical A-level Offer: A*AA to include an A* in either Biology or Chemistry. We have no GCSE requirements.
Our typical International Baccalaureate: 39 points overall, usually to include a 7 in Biology or Chemistry at higher level.
Remember, all candidates must take the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) – you can find out more about BMAT through the downloadable resources from the Cambridge Admissions Testing Team.
Each year, we aim to admit students who can make their own unique contribution to our learning community. Achieving this means looking beyond purely academic achievements and considering the performance of each applicant in context during the admissions process – taking into account factors such as their economic, social and education background.
The School of Medicine invites applicants to interview on the basis of predicted grades and BMAT scores. Widening participation applicants with predicted grades of AAA (including Chemistry and Biology) at A-level or equivalent will be considered on the basis of a contextualised BMAT score. All Widening participation applicants who meet the minimum score will be invited to interview. Successful widening participation applicants at interview will receive a contextual offer of AAA at A-level or an equivalent level qualification, including Chemistry and Biology.
Check out the video with our Widening Participation Admissions Tutor in the playlist above for more information.
Your dedicated School of Medicine Students' Union
One of the most amazing things about School of Medicine is the bespoke Student Union – you get access to a dedicated Student Union focused on the needs of students within the School of Medicine, with student officers elected by you to work with the Faculty and College to make positive change to your student experience.
This builds a clear camaraderie and closeness amongst our students. We have a thriving community full of amazing clubs or societies for everyone to find their niche. There is a phenomenal level of peer-to-peer support, especially with education, where we have several academic societies organising phenomenally useful tutorials, lecture series and mock exams.
Hear from your School of Medicine Students' Union Officers
From Muntaha Naeem, ICSMSU President 2019-20
"Hello and welcome! My name's Muntaha and I'm the current President of the Imperial College School of Medicine Students' Union (ICSMSU). We're here to represent and support all Medicine and Medical Biosciences students and make sure they have the best time possible while at Imperial! We cover all aspects of the student experience, ensuring the very best academic support, supporting their welfare, assisting our clubs and societies, running the most amazing events and so much more! As a student here, although we'll be the people you interact with most, you'll still be a member of both the general Imperial College Union as well as ICSMSU and can take part in clubs and societies from both - that's a grand total of over 375 clubs and societies, with over 60 of those specific just for us! Imperial really is a vibrant University with a finely poised work-life balance and there's oodles of support to help you. Make sure to ask as many questions as you can and I look forward to (virtually) meeting you all soon!"
From Tania Varshney, ICSMSU Welfare Vice Chair (Wellbeing)
"The Wellbeing Representation Network is an integral part to the ICSM community. Medicine and Medical Biosciences are high performing and fast-paced courses and it is paramount that the Faculty of Medicine can understand the issues that students face outside of their academic lives and that student wellbeing is held at the same level as academic excellence. The nine Wellbeing Representatives collect feedback from their respective years which they present at a number of meetings with the Faculty to ensure that staff are aware of any issues that are affecting students’ wellbeing such as health, financial concerns, equality and diversity and personal safety. Through their role of supporting, advocating and signposting students, we hope to foster an environment for holistic learning and development, where students can thrive."
Student Experience and our Community
A significant aspect of the Medicine programme is the sense of community amongst our students and faculty members. Even in times of unprecented crisis, the School of Medicine community comes together. Throughout COVID-19, faculty, students and administrative staff have continued (and continue) to work tirelessly to ensure the best for ICSM students.
At the School of Medicine, we take your wellbeing support extremely seriously. From day one of the course, you will be allocated to a tutor who will be your point of contact for academic and wellbeing support. Meeting in small tutor groups and on a one-to-one basis, they will work with you to hone key skills which will allow you to perform at the best of your ability – through reinforcing study skills teaching, reviewing your academic performance and checking in on your wellbeing, and being someone who is interested in you. All of our tutors have a passion for mentoring and coaching and have many years of experience, so you are in safe hands.
As you move through the phases of the curriculum, the type of tutor you need can change. Our tutoring system reflects this, and we ensure that your tutors are the best fit for where you are on the course.
We know that sometimes circumstances beyond our control happen, you can get ill, financial problems occur or you hit a crisis, in these situations, the School has a team of Senior Tutors who support students going through these more complex stages. Acting confidentially, the Senior Tutor and the Welfare team are advocates for you, making the reasonable adjustments you need a reality.
The School of Medicine invests highly in your student experience. We work with your student-elected reps (for both academia and wellbeing) to hear the student voice – your concerns, your successes and what you want the course to be, have or do. We work on regular wellbeing campaigns and support many student-led initiatives.
Imperial College prioritises looking after its students, and the Student Support Zone is your first resource for success.
Debunking Four Common Myths About Studying Medicine
By Tania Varshney
‘Life is a sum of all of our choices’- Albert Camus.
For some people, the decision to study medicine can be really difficult. For others, it could be the easiest decision they ever make. Whilst you may find yourself taking a different path into medicine than your peers, you will end up at the same destination.
My name is Natania Varshney and I am a fourth year medical student at Imperial College London. This year, I am the Welfare Chair for the School of Medicine’s Student Union, supporting individuals who are facing challenges and dealing with hardship whilst at medical school. The role also involves advocating student views at meetings with Faculty, to improve the wellbeing provisions across campus, and running campaigns to raise awareness about different issues that affect students whilst at university.
In this article, I will be debunking four common myths about studying medicine.
Myth 1: You need to have work experience shadowing a doctor in a hospital.
Why do universities want applicants to have work experience? There are lots of reasons, but the main one is for students to gain a realistic insight into what a career in medicine will involve. Far from being the glamourous career that you might envision having watched Grey’s Anatomy or Casualty, medicine is a challenging career, both mentally and physically, but also an immensely rewarding one. The best way to learn about your future job is to shadow those already doing the job however, if you are struggling to find work experience shadowing a doctor, any healthcare work experience can work in your favour. Work experience can highlight the need for strong teamwork and communication skills, but also demonstrate how all healthcare professionals, from physiotherapists to pharmacists, follow the same common principles of patient centeredness and evidence based practice. To an admissions tutor, work experience demonstrates prior consideration and a commitment to medicine, but most importantly it gives you an opportunity to reflect on your experiences and what they have taught you.
Myth 2: You can only study medicine when you are 18.
For some, heading to university straight from school is the right choice, others choose to take a gap year first and many study medicine as mature students, having studied other degrees or pursued different careers previously. Your path into medicine won’t make you a better or worse doctor, nor will your age. The key thing is to make sure that medicine is the right fit for you.
Don’t be put off from taking a gap year if it is what you want to do - they are a great opportunity to grow as a person, gain life experience and to embark on exciting adventures before starting at university. Try and make sure that you do something to highlight your commitment to medicine during this year off though!
Ultimately, whilst some medical schools have a minimum age requirement for applications to or commencement of medical school, there is no upper age limit. You can become a doctor at any age, there’s no rush!
Myth 3: Work, work, work… and more work!
There is a belief that once you become a medical student, books will become your only friends, the library will become your home and “all nighters” will be the only highlights of your social calendar. As sad and funny as that might seem, studying medicine is all about balancing your work and personal life. Time management is key and, whilst it can be difficult to get things right at first, striking that balance is really important. As a degree, medicine is long and challenging, and this won’t change when you become a doctor. Finding time for hobbies, your friends and yourself is a must, and discovering ways to switch off and blow off steam is vital to make sure you don’t burn out. When applying to medical school, extracurriculars compliment top grades to show that you are a well-rounded, balanced individual who can contribute a lot to the medical school. Don’t be afraid to try new clubs and societies when you come to university too!
Myth 4: Studying Medicine is competitive and you need straight A*s (or Grade 9s).
I remember being 16 and hearing about a frightening statistic that getting into medicine was a 1 in 6 chance. As challenging as the application process can be, it’s all about being confident and playing to your strengths. You do need to have good grades in the right subjects, which reflect an understanding of the principles of physiology and chemistry that underpin it, however it is not true that you need to have straight A*s. Alongside your GCSE and A-Level grades the admissions teams are going to look at other parts of your application, such as your personal statement and extracurricular activities. Don’t underestimate the value of your hobbies and interests outside of your academic pursuits, whether sport, art or music, as these can highlight some of the qualities needed to be a good doctor, such as leadership, communication, teamwork and resilience.
You might also be worried that at university it can be even more competitive, but this is only in very rare cases. Older years are your new best friends, offering everything from advice and top tips on university life and living away from home, to passing down notes and revision tips. Don’t be too concerned about trying to get 100% on your exams, just do your best and whether you are at the top of your year or the bottom, you’ll be a doctor, and a great one too!
Finally, trust yourself and don’t give up. Medicine may be tough to get into, but it is definitely worth it once you get there. Good luck!