Alternatives To Medicine

While Medicine may appear to be the most direct route to treating patients, there are also other courses that can provide you with a blend of scientific studies and practical application in patient-centred settings, and that may be worth considering before you make your final decision.

Below, we outline several alternative courses that can be applied for alongside or instead of a medical application. Veterinary Medicine applies the methodology and scientific knowledge of human-centric medicine to animals, while Dentistry again uses similar understandings of biology, physiology, and chemistry, but applies this focus to one area of the human body rather than the whole.

Applicants can also consider Pharmacy and Pharmacology courses, which focus specifically on the study of medicines. In contrast, Biomedical Science focuses specifically on the study of the human body rather than its treatments. Finally, prospective Medicine applicants can also consider a Nursing degree, which will allow you to focus more on patient care, as well as specialising in different forms of care (adult, child, mental health and learning disabilities).

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A biomedicine degree is typically 3 years long and involves the study of the human body and disease. Future careers typically include working in a hospital and carrying out or being involved in research. 

The BMAT needs to be taken to study Biomedical Sciences at Oxford University.

Dentistry courses are similar to Medicine in terms of high levels of applicants per place, and are usually 5 years long. There are fewer universities offering Dentistry than Medicine.

Admission tests will be required for a place to study Dentistry. Dental school requirements for grades are usually AAA including Biology and Chemistry, though there are variations.

This degree prepares you to become a vet over (typically) 5 years. Becoming a veterinarian is a highly competitive career and all Veterinary Medicine degrees have many applicants per place.

The BMAT needs to be taken to study Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge University.

This degree prepares you to become a pharmacist, culminating in the degree of Master of Pharmacy (or MPharm). The course is typically 4 years long. Career options include working as a community or hospital pharmacist, working in research, or working in the legal industry.

You will learn about the academic side of drugs, their interactions, and their effects on the body; you will also learn about many aspects of clinical practice including prescriptions, ethics and communication skills. 

Average pharmacy school admission requirements are AAA-ABB.

This degree is similar to a Pharmacy degree and usually takes 3 years; however, it has less of a vocational emphasis. You will learn all about drugs and their effects in treating disease, but won’t study the clinical practice elements needed to be a pharmacist.

Following this degree applicants often follow a career in research and academia.

This degree is typically 3 years long, and prepares you to become a qualified nurse. Specialised degrees are available if there is a particular branch of nursing you are interested in, such as adult nursing, paediatric nursing or mental health nursing. Usually, you will train in one specific field of nursing, but some universities offer the option to take a ‘dual field’ degree which will provide you with training in different specialities.

Nursing degree requirements are typically three A Levels at BBB or above, though variations exist.

Successful Medicine Applicant, 2015

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