Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Non-science student profile: Martha

What degree did you do before coming to study medicine at Warwick?

I studied English Literature at Newcastle University.

Did you have any concerns about studying medicine without having a background in a scientific subject?

Yes and no! Before coming to WMS I wasn’t really concerned about not being able to understand concepts but more that it would take me too long to understand them! I knew if I was given the time to thoroughly go through topics I’d eventually be able to work them out for myself but was also very aware that it is an accelerated course so I wasn’t sure if I’d be given that time. I also had, and still do have, a very irrational fear of chemistry … but once you arrive you’re forced to get on with all the subjects, even the ones you find scary!

How did you become involved with the Non-Science Teaching Group

When I went to the offer holders day someone from the non-science group did a talk to the year and I instantly knew it was something I wanted to be involved in! It sounded like it was going to be a completely safe space for anyone that didn’t have a typical scientific background, so when they put on a pre-learning medicine week preparation session I decided to attend and I really haven’t looked back since!

What help have you had from the group?

So, so much, but for starters: weekly teaching sessions that break down the more complicated lectures from the week; pre-block teaching sessions that give us a slight head start on what to expect from the block, and, overall it has provided a safe space to ask any questions and discuss any struggles we’ve had during the course – something that has been completely invaluable!

What difference has this made to you on the course?

Honestly, it's made an absolute huge difference. The non-science group has helped not just with my understanding of the course’s material but also with my sanity! There are times on this course where you will feel very overwhelmed and I think people from non-science backgrounds tend to feel this more often than those that have taken the usual route here. However, by having the support from the non-science group it makes you realise that that is a completely normal feeling, and we’re all very good at picking each other up! Plus having the second years teach us, who have come from a non-science background themselves, proves that it is possible to make it through!

Do you have advice for other students from non-scientific backgrounds applying to the course?

If you’re worrying about whether or not you’re capable of doing the course you absolutely are! Coming from a non-science background does present itself as a disadvantage initially as at the beginning of the course a lot of the content that is covered, most of the cohort has already seen in previous degrees. However, this means that we’re able to learn exactly what Warwick wants us to know, so we’re completely clean slates. My biggest advice would be to get yourself some clinical experience, this will allow you to become familiar with some of the medical language that will become your mother tongue for the next year and will give you a head start when it comes to OSCEs and clinical practice, helping even out the playing field a little bit!