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St Andrews Summer School 2018

Medical School Preparation Ages 16-18

St Andrews Summer School 2018
Also in Cambridge | Oxford

A medical summer course designed to help students aged 16-18 with their Medical School applications, examining the differences in the processes for various institutions, with a particular focus on Oxford and Cambridge. Find out if medicine is the course - and perhaps career - for you!

2 weeks | Available July 2018

  • Live, dine and study in the historic University of St Andrews
  • Expert tutoring from ORA's Medicine faculty
  • Talks and debates with world-class guest speakers
  • A truly international environment - make new international friends
  • Inspirational cultural programme

Course Summary

This course is designed for students who are considering applying to British medical schools, who might like to know more about the different courses available and the specific application processes, and who would like to receive some personalised advice on how to start writing their personal statements.

This course will advise students on medical school application best practices, demystifying the process and addressing any concerns they may have. It will guide students through what they need to know before applying, from a discussion of why medicine might be the course and career for them to the differences between various medical schools and their application processes, with a focus on top UK universities including St Andrews, London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Where could the Medical School Preparation course lead you?

Why choose Medical School Preparation for 16-18 years?

The Medical School Preparation summer course is geared towards students aged between sixteen and eighteen who want to apply to medical school and ultimately become a doctor. If they have set their sights on studying medicine, the Medical School Preparation summer programme helps them prepare a strong application for this incredibly competitive and challenging university course, as well as introducing them to how medicine is taught at various UK universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. If they have not yet decided where they want to apply, this programme will help them make the right decision.

What’s more, the course introduces students to what it’s like to study medicine and pursue a career in this field, and it should help them confirm to themselves that medicine is definitely what they want to study. Medical school is a very specific university choice, and as such, this course is geared towards those who already know that this is what they want to study. Students who have only a passing interest in medicine or simply want to learn a little more about it to improve their general knowledge would be better off choosing our Broadening Horizons course, which covers Medical Biology among a wide and fascinating selection of other academic subjects.

How will Medical School Preparation help me?

To be successful in applying to medical school and ultimately forging a career in medicine, students will need to put in some groundwork before they submit their application, and the Medical School Preparation course helps you do just that. The course will be an invaluable head start for an application to study medicine at university, as well as providing students with relevant experiences that they will be able to discuss in their personal statement and interviews. Some of the aspects of the course that will help them prepare a strong application, and set them on the right path for achieving their ultimate goal of becoming a doctor, are outlined below.

The BMAT exam – also known as the BioMedical Admissions Test – is a crucial part of an application to medical school, but for students who have never seen or done one before, the style of questions can be confusing. The last thing you want is for your dreams of a career in medicine to be cut short at the entrance exam stage, so diligent preparation is key. During students' time at Oxford Royale Summer Schools, we’ll familiarise them with what to expect during the exam, and give them plenty of opportunity for practising the test under exam conditions. This thoroughly prepares them for the real thing, boosting their confidence and giving them a head start over their fellow applicants. We can also explain how the UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) works and how they can prepare for it.

It’s common for prospective medical school students to come to us with very little idea of what to write in their personal statement, which many see as the most daunting aspect of completing the UCAS form. What’s more, with so many exceptionally well-qualified students applying to study medicine, it can be difficult to know how to make a personal statement stand out from the crowd. That’s why we’ve worked lots of personal statement guidance into our Medical School Preparation programme. As well as learning more about what medical schools are looking for in a personal statement, students can get personalised advice on how to write their personal statement and actual practice at writing a first draft. They can then take this away to refine further when they get home and go back to school.

The entrance exam and personal statement aren’t the only significant hurdles students will need to overcome in applying for medical school. They will also have interviews to contend with, and this can be a nerve-wracking experience. At Oxford Royale Summer Schools, we’ll teach different interview techniques and give students the opportunity to sit mock interviews. These are designed to give them experience of likely question styles, as well as highlighting areas for improvement in their answers, which gives students the chance to work through any problems long before they get to the real thing.

The aspect of the Medical School Preparation course that our students tell us they most enjoy is the practical workshops, which teach them how to perform basic medical procedures, such as blood tests and how to use a stethoscope. These enjoyable but informative workshops introduce students to the kind of tasks they will learn when they are medical school students, as well as giving students a flavour of the jobs they'll one day do when they are fully fledged doctors. What’s more, they will spend some time considering, in debate with their fellow students, the ethical problems that can arise when studying or practising medicine. Students find that this is all excellent background experience to fall back on, as well as being interesting and relevant material to cover in their personal statement and medical school interviews.

Is this course for me?

Medicine is an extremely competitive course, and only the most gifted of candidates will be successful in their applications. This means that you’ll need to do everything you can to catch the eye of the medical school admissions tutors and show them that you have what it takes to succeed on this challenging course. In choosing to join Oxford Royale Summer Schools’s Medical School Preparation course, you’re taking a powerful step towards achieving your ambitions. If you’re applying for medical school within the next academic year or two, this is the time to devote a couple of weeks of your summer holiday to studying this valuable medicine preparation course.

Topics covered

The course guides students through their decision to study medicine. Students are asked to consider how their personal experience of education to date might be useful in their future medical school applications. Students are provided with tips on how to work on certain areas of their experience in order to prepare for medical school. This is to ensure that studying medicine is compatible with the students’ skills, strengths, chosen high school subjects and career aspirations.

Each and every course differs in structure, teaching methods, hospital training, intercalated degree, location and reputation, amongst other things. The course provides students with a comparative analysis of UK medical schools to help them carefully tailor their application to their chosen school and its particular entry requirements and application procedures.

The course highlights the aspects in which medicine courses at Oxford and Cambridge are different from other medical schools as well as how the application process and requirements differ from other universities. The requirements and rationale of medical degree admissions interviews will also be explained.

The course highlights the aspects in which medicine courses at Oxford and Cambridge are different from other medical schools as well as how the application process and requirements differ from other universities. The requirements and rationale of medical degree admissions interviews will also be explained.

Students learn why it is important to take the test, and what actually gets “tested” in the exam. In class students discuss the answers to sample BMAT/UKCAT questions. Students practise critical thinking and analysis as well as reasoned argument, which is useful for both the aptitude sections and their interviews. During the course, students participate in mock interviews to prepare them for this, during which they practise good communication and presentation skills and learn useful tips on how to approach potential questions.

A particular highlight of the course is the opportunity that students have to gain practical “hands-on” experience. These sessions allow students to practise using medical equipment and performing medical procedures, from using a stethoscope, testing sensation and examining the eyes to blood-taking and cannulation.

What will you get out of the Medical School Preparation course?

By the end of the course students will have:

  • Become able to explain what studying medicine at university level involves
  • Identified the medical schools to which they would like to apply
  • Understood how best to prepare for their application, including writing an effective personal statement
  • Identified the characteristics of successful applicants
  • Understood the structure of entrance exams and know how best to prepare for them

Welcome to St Andrews - your home this summer

A view of small shops on a cobbled market street in St Andrews

Situated in the picturesque small town of St Andrews on Scotland’s east coast, the University of St Andrews is a short coach ride from Edinburgh and all its historic attractions, dining experiences and diverse shopping.

Students are accommodated in superior ensuite bedrooms, which are used by undergraduates during the university term. Famous alumni of the University of St Andrews include William and Catherine - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Students on the St Andrews summer school will experience life in a top UK university city, while fulfilling their educational ambitions and enjoying the summer experience of their lives. Learn more about all that our St Andrews Summer School has to offer.

The entrance to the St Andrews University quad
The skyline of St Andrews town
Students meandering on the grass in front of St Andrews university

Useful information for students & parents


Students will be accommodated in comfortable single or twin rooms depending on their allocated college - please contact our registrations team if you would like more information. Twin rooms are strictly between students of the same gender, and males/females are separated by corridoor and/or staircase. Accommodation is the standard accommodation for university undergraduates who study at the university, so students are able to get a flavour for what being an undergraduate at the university might be like. Bathrooms are typically shared between students of the same gender, though in some cases en-suite facilities are available.

Pastoral care & student welfare

The programme is overseen by the Programme Director, who implements the day-to-day running of the programme. The Director is assisted by a team of Counsellors who very often are current members of the University of Oxford or University of Cambridge. The Counsellors ensure that students are looked after pastorally, culturally and socially during their programme. Students are able to talk informally and frankly to the Counsellors in order to raise concerns or to discuss university applications. Each campus has members of residential staff who live in the college throughout the programme and are able to assist students at any time of the day or night.

Eligibility & pre-requisites

Students on this course:

  • Must conform to our age policy.
  • Must be fluent or near-fluent English language speakers – if you are unsure whether your English level is suitable for this programme, please contact our Registrations Team on and they will be able to assist you.
  • Must be able to fulfil the basic requirements of the programme, in terms of attendance at lessons, meals and events. Please contact our Registrations Team for more detailed information.

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Find out more Immigration & Visas

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Find out more Arrival & Departure

Information about how to travel to and from ORA.

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Find out more Airport Transfers

Details of transfers between ORA and Heathrow Airport.

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Medical School Preparation for Ages 16-18 is residential in the following locations:

(If your course takes place in more than one campus in the same city and you would like to know more about which location you will be allocated, please call our registrations team)

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