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Biology course in University for Medicine

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Hey guys! I wanted to do Medicine for University, but seeing as the IB (my first year) is hellish tough from the get-go, so, I was thinking to take my time in applying for Medicine and to make this act as a cushion or insurance if ever I might not meet the required requirements for medicine.

I've also spoken to the teachers as well who are helping me with this and they too thought this was a good plan.

So in summary, I'm gonna take up a Biology course in University which I should then use it to convert to Medicine whenever possible, after the first year? And I need some helpful insight, information about this method and all the necessary things I should be aware of.

Like what are the Biology courses that can help me go to Medicin in uni? How will the process work out when I am doing a Biology course in Uni to use it to transfer to medicine. Stuff like that.

Much help would be greatly appreciated. :)

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Okay so the UK.

Medicine in the UK is a fluid course - i.e. from year 1 to the last year, you study things specifically pertaining to medicine and being a medical student. You don't study the same things as students studying a course like Biology would. So there's no such thing as converting from a less competitive course onto the medical course - you have to start from Year 1 no matter what. Even people who've already completed a degree in Biomedicine (or other degrees, related or non-related) are required to study Medicine from year 1.

So your options are basically:

- do a degree (3 years) and then attempt graduate entry into Medicine (into year 1 of a 5 year course), bearing in mind that graduate entry is more competitive than undergraduate, although both are very competitive

- do a year of a degree (Biology, as you said) and then apply to study Medicine (into year 1 of a 5 or 6 year course) and try to explain to them exactly why you didn't complete your first degree

- just apply directly to Medicine from school (into year 1 of a 5/6 year course)

Studying Biology for a year won't make anything easier, it'll just give you another year. You don't improve your chances of being accepted onto a Medical course or have an opportunity for conversion.

Bearing in mind that Medicine is a very tough course, if you're struggling with the IB already just in year 1 you might want to reconsider your skills in terms of coping with things and how to manage your work. The other 'cushion' built into the system of University applications is of course that you can apply to up to 4 medical schools, but can make 5 choices via UCAS. Although your personal statement will clearly show that you've applied to Medicine, it's possible to pick Biology as your 5th choice and there's a chance of getting in if your grades are good.

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As I said, a degree in anything will do if you intend to apply via Graduate entry. It can be in Biology, whatever. It just needs to be a reputable course at a good University and you should be expecting to get a 1st class degree. Graduate entry is too competitive to get anything less, really.

Search for the University you're interested in and then apply to do Biology there. Almost all big Universities have Biology degrees, yes. Bachelors degrees are 3 years, as a rule, and Masters degrees are 4 years.

From a personal point of view, I think that your best option by far is still aiming to get good IB grades in the first place. As I said, if from an academic point of view you can't meet IB requirements, you're likely to struggle not only with Medicine (it's actually a very hard course and plenty of top grade students fail each year) but probably also to get a 1st and do well in a Biology degree. I mean your degree is also going to be hard to get good marks in. Work hard for the IB, get help with things you're stuck with and think through carefully whether you feel you'd be able to cope with a tough degree (easily as tough as the IB), is my advice. By doing a degree prior to doing Medicine it's a bit like me walking down a road, but first spinning round in circles for half an hour. You're not actually helping yourself in any real way.

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