Edinburgh Medical School

Your personal statement

This provides the opportunity to tell us all about you! While it will not be formally assessed, your personal statement will be essential preparation for you if you are successful in being invited to one of our Assessment Days. We advise you to consider the following factors when writing your statement:

Students on a cycling trip in the countryside

Personal qualities and skills

  • empathy
  • interpersonal relationships
  • ability to communicate

Evidence of career exploration prior to application

  • understanding the realities of a career in Medicine
  • work experience and shadowing with health professionals or in health promotion, examples of which may include the following: working in a nursing home and/or volunteering with disabled people
  • talking with doctors and medical students
  • attending a university open day and medical conferences/lectures
  • reading/ watching/ listening to medical themed literature/ digital content/ articles. 


We value quality of experience over quantity. We are looking for clear evidence of reflection on these experiences, showing us what personal lessons you took from them and using these to demonstrate an aptitude for medicine.  We understand that due to the Covid-19 outbreak gaining experience will be extremely difficult.  The Medical Schools Council have provided guidance on how to gain relevant experience during the outbreak.  This can be found by following the first link below.  In addition to this the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have a free interactive video platform providing insights into the role of a GP and the wider primary care team which you can access via the second link below.

MSC Guidance on gaining relevant experience during Covid-19 pandemic

RCGP - Observe GP

Non-academic achievements and interests

Medicine is a demanding subject and can prove stressful. It is important to maintain a healthy study/life balance and we look for evidence of outside interests. Examples of these can include:

  • involvement in community groups
  • extracurricular school responsibilities
  • leadership positions
  • organisational abilities
  • cultural, sporting, vocational and voluntary achievements
  • interests and hobbies


Please do not email us your personal statement for feedback prior to your application.


Your UCAS reference is also important. The way references should be constructed is changing for 2024 entry and you will find information on this below:

UCAS Reference