Glasgow Medicine FAQs
University: University of Glasgow
Course: 5-year medical degree (MBChB)
What subjects did you do at IB/A levels and what were your CCAs?
I did Triple Science in Hwa Chong Junior College – Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Advanced Mathematics; and my CCAs included Basketball, the Health and Fitness Club, as well being a CIP ambassador helping underprivileged children.
How does the workload of universitiy compare with IB/A levels?
You have much more control of your time in University compared to A levels. My course was a problem-based-learning (PBL) one, meaning that you have to be in charge of your own learning as classes were on average 3-5 hours per day, as compared to 8-10 hours that you usually spend in Junior College. This ensures that you develop independence and critical thinking during the course of study.
How did you decided on this final university?
Glasgow is internationally renowned for medicine, with many of the notable physicians coming from this school. This includes Joseph Lister, Pioneer of antiseptics and antibiotics; Ian Macdonald, obstetrician, and inventor of medical ultrasound); and Professor Harry Burns, to name a few.
What are the cost of living and cost of school fees for the entire duration of the degree?
During my year, the fees were set at 19,600 pounds per year (not subject to inflation).
The cost of living, including accommodation entertainment and travel is estimated to be 6,500 pounds in my year in 2011
How do teaching and learning work in your school? Are the faculty accessible?
As mentioned, mine was a PBL course. This allows students to brainstorm over particular topics in anatomy/physiology/pathology/biochemistry which have clinical relevance over the first three years, being facilitated by faculty. Over the last two years, the time is spend in a clinical setting within the Glasgow Hospitals. Yes the faculty are very approachable and you have various advisors in the school.
How large are your courses?
250 students, roughly 50 are international.
Are people very competitive academically? How many exams are there in a year? What happens if one fails the year?
Yes, all medical students are very competitive. This is the same in Scotland. There is usually only one final examination at the end of the academic year. However, elective and special study modules have their own separate tests.
You have a chance to retake the exam (supplementary exam). If you fail that, you get retained.
How would you describe the school culture?
Friendly, research oriented, and enriching.
Is there an established Singaporean presence at your university? How many Singaporeans are there per batch?
There is a modest presence. 8 students in my batch. Varies from 6-10.
How are freshmen/freshers welcomed to your university?
More than 7,000 across the various faculties
How are international freshmen/freshers welcomed to your university?
You are free to join freshers’ week which is a week long orientation program. There are various other clubs/societies which will make you feel welcome
Is your school “cliquey”?
Not really. Having said that, some Asians do like to mix only with Asians.
Do people tend to hang among people of their own major/course/social class/race/nationality only, or is there a high degree of integration?
I integrated particularly well with Scottish, Polish, Malaysian and English students. I can’t say the same for every other International student.
What do students normally do in their spare time? Have you joined any extracurriculars? How do you find them?
Scottish people love hanging out in the pubs drinking and watching football. I partook in this activity occasionally. Yes, I joined the Medics Basketball club. You can find more details on the University webpage.
How would you rate the following “scenes” in your college and its surroundings: shopping, drinking, clubbing, fine arts, and sports?
Shopping: 8/10 Drinking 9/10 Clubbing 6/10 Fine arts 9/10 Sports 9/10
How’s the accommodation? Do most people stay in college dorms/halls, or independently? How should one look for accommodation?
You have a wide range of choices from University based accommodation (I stayed at Cairncross House and Kelvinhaugh Gate); private accommodation (flats or houses) or hospital accommodation. The University webpage would be the best first place to look for. A simple google search would suffice.
How is the transport like? Does one need a car? If so, how should one go about getting a car?
Subway is the main way people get around. You can get a cheap car for less than 5000 dollars (second hand). Check on Glasgow gumtree, there are good prices on second hand cars there.
Is Asian food readily available? If one is to cook, where can we get the Asian food from?
Yes. A particularly good restaurant is Asia Style. If you want to cook, buy groceries from Morrisons. They have a good supply there
Do most people cook, eat at a catered facility or cafeteria, or eat out? How’s the catered food?
They usually eat out. I was not at a catered hall so I cannot comment. From what my friends have mentioned, Wolfson Hall (the only catered hall) serves pretty decent food.
What are the laundry arrangements like?
50 cents per wash in the Uni halls. You have to check the private ones yourself as I did not use them.
Is it easy to find places of worship?
Yes, Turnbull Catholic Hall was where I worshipped. There are various other organizations throughout the University which you can find places of worship including Buddhist, Taoist, Christian, Anglican etc.
Do you think Singaporeans will experience a major culture shock?
Nope. Its very easy to integrate in Scotland.
Do you ever feel peer pressure to do something you’re uncomfortable with?
Nope. I’m in control of my own life.
Do you think that there might be any groups which might feel uncomfortable or marginalized at your school?
Unless you are antisocial and unpleasant, No.
What’s the best experience you’ve had so far in college?
As the Glasgow Medic Basketball team, we travelled to Dundee and won the basketball competition there!
Is there anything that you wish you knew before leaving?
Perhaps to meet up more with seniors from the school to get a better idea about life, and make friends prior to starting school
Any final things you’d like to tell Singaporeans about your school?
Glasgow is an amazing city, and very good medical school. I would strongly advise you to apply for this school as it is internationally renowned, relatively cheap(er) compared to London, and has various things to do in the night/daytime. Cheers!