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Conversion courses for medicine

Conversion courses for medicineIf you want to go into medicine but you're already studying something else, don't despair - graduate entry can give you a way in.

Conversion courses are also known as ‘graduate entry courses’, and may be listed like this on university websites.

A medicine conversion course normally takes takes four years - one fewer than a normal undergraduate medicine degree. These are known as 'accelerated courses'. You might also be accepted onto a normal five-year course as a graduate. However, this could affect the funding you are entitled to.

What do I need to convert to medicine?

Different courses have different entry requirements: some will accept graduates with any degree, while others only accept degrees in relevant subjects, such as biology. You might also need A-levels in chemistry or biology.

You could also be asked to take the UKCAT, a standard medicine entry exam, or the GAMSAT, which is specifically for graduate entry.

You’ll also need work experience to be accepted. The more you have, the better your chances. Always check the requirements of the course you are applying for: some will specify a set amount of experiences, such as a year's full-time work in a caring role.

Applying for graduate entry medicine

You apply for conversion courses through UCAS, in the same way as for your first degree.

Not all medical schools offer graduate entry, so you will have a smaller choice than for a standard medicine degree.

Paying for graduate entry medicine

You'll have to pay part of your first year of fees yourself - £3,465 in 2012/13. The rest can be paid for with a Tuition Fee Loan, like the fees for your first degree.

In subsequent years, the NHS will pay that first chunk of fees, and a loan will cover the rest.

You can also get an income-based NHS bursary, along with a reduced-level maintenance loan.

What happens next?

Once you've completed your course, you're in the same position as a graduate from a standard undergraduate medicine degree. That means you'll move on to the same professional training before you are fully qualified.

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