What the pupils say

Mairi Louise Dougan, St Johns RC High School

Why did you choose Dundee?

I chose Dundee because I loved my experience at the Dental School as a patient and as a Reach pupil on work experience. Everyone is so friendly at Dundee and the lecturers and professors were equally welcoming and have a broad range of experiences from all areas of dentistry which really appealed to me. I even had the opportunity to shadow one of the endodontists from the Dental School at her own practice. I like the fact that the teacher to pupil ratio at Dundee is quite small which makes it easier to get to know both staff and pupils which is always a bonus! Another of the reasons why I chose to go to Dundee is because Dundee Dental School is one of the best dental schools in the UK, has state of the art facilities and is much more modern than the other dental schools which I visited. The curriculum at Dundee also attracted me to study here. Of course because I live in Dundee, going to Dundee University seemed an obvious choice as it is not far from where I live meaning I can stay at home without missing out on the student experience of staying in the halls of residence.

How did the Reach Project help you?

I really can't thank the Reach Project enough for the support they have given me in making my application to study at Dundee Dental School. I was given hints and tips on how to improve my personal statement to make it stand out from the crowd and even met the admissions officer of Dundee Dental School which gave me the chance to ask many questions on the application process for the dentistry course. I was given mock interviews in the style of the real MMIs, met current dentistry students and had the opportunity to shadow a dental student for a week in Dundee Dental Hospital. At the beginning of the application process, I didn't have as much experience in dentistry as I would have liked, and the Reach project helped me to organise work experience in community dentistry, general dental practice, and even at the Dental Hospital which were all invaluable to me. Through these experiences more opportunities for work experience arose which helped me to enhance my application further as well as my understanding and interest in dentistry as a future career.

What were your highlights of the Reach Project?

Being involved in the MMI mock interviews was one of my favourite experiences as this gave me more confidence for the real interviews which I was previously quite nervous about as I wasn’t sure what to expect. The mock interviews were conducted in the exact same layout as the real interviews and gave me an idea of what the interview would really be like. I also had the chance to meet some of the current fourth and fifth year dental students and this gave me the opportunity to learn about student life, what the BDS course entails and to hear some of their experiences from elective studies they had been on and also what branch of dentistry they were planning to go into which was really interesting and inspirational.

What are you most looking forward to about coming to Dundee?

I am most looking forward to making new friends and of course being part of the social life at Dundee! I can’t wait for the independence of university life and coming one step closer to reaching my goal of becoming a dentist.

What are you most looking forward to about studying Dentistry?

The main reason I want to study dentistry is for the patient interaction and the satisfaction and reward that comes from such a prestigious career. I can’t wait to apply all the knowledge from first and second year of the course into third year when you begin the clinical attachments and start to deal with patients. The phantom head room at Dundee Dental School is one of the most modern I have seen and I am really looking forward to developing my skills on the ‘phantom heads’ before dealing with real life patients. Also, dentistry is a career where you are continually learning, and I know this is something I will enjoy about the course.



Stuart Thomson, Forfar Academy

Why did you choose Dundee?

I chose to accept the offer from Dundee as it is close to home so I wouldn't have to move away from home and into halls and because it was the only pre-medicine course I had applied for so it was my only route into medicine.

How did the Reach Project help you?

REACH has helped me in many ways. It has helped me gain work experience which has given me a broader view on medicine as well as more information to put in my personal statement, which they also helped me put together. A lot of time and effort was put into helping me get my personal statement as well structured and as well worded as possible. Also, the practice MMI's gave me an insight as to what the interviews would be like and prepared me well for my own interview.

What were your highlights of the Reach Project?

My personal highlight of the REACH programme was the practice MMI's. This was an interesting experience as I didn't really know what to expect from them and they were extremely helpful in preparing me for my interview.

What are you most looking forward to about coming to Dundee?

I am really looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing life as a university student.

What are you most looking forward to about studying Medicine?

I am excited at the prospect of being out on the wards on the other side of the patient’s bed and interacting with patients.



Adrienne Jennings, St Johns Academy

Why did you choose Dundee?

Dundee has always been a favourite for me. I liked the organisation of the curriculum and the system's based approach. I was eager to avoid medical courses that had a heavy emphasis on PBL and was attracted to the varied teaching methods used in the Dundee course. I was given a tour of the medical school at Ninewells hospital and was very impressed by the simulated wards as they are very hi-tech and modern. I have only heard positive comments about the university, the accommodation, and the medical course when speaking to current students. In addition, I like how the university and the halls of residence are within walking distance of the main city centre.

How did the Reach Project help you

I first heard about the Reach project when a representative visited my school and highlighted just how competitive some courses can be. As this applied to my aspirations to study medicine, I applied to the Reach project. Since then, I've been in contact with the reach officer through email and on Facebook in order to provide me with advice or answers to questions I have had. I was provided with a "Reach Passport" to record any activities I had undertaken which would be suitable to write about in my personal statement. I was always kept up-to-date about sessions they had organised for example a webchat with a GP and workshop to help with interview skills.

What were your highlights of the Reach Project?

My highlights were the webchat with the GP and the workshop about interview skills. The webchat was organised around the time of my application and this allowed me to ask questions about his experience of applying to study medicine, his experiences of the medical course, why he chose to study at one university rather than another and how he chose to become a GP. His answers and experiences helped me make my decisions and think about my prospective career choices.

The workshop for interview "Mock MMI session" gave me a better understanding of the types of stations I would encounter in the real interview. I had never heard of or experienced a MMI style interview before and felt apprehensive about my upcoming interview. This session helped put me at ease after experiencing mock stations to give me a flavour of what was to come. Speaking to current medical students was also helpful as they had been through it before.

What are you most looking forward to about coming to Dundee?

I can't wait to meet new people. I am moving into halls of residence for my first year and I'll meet and live with people who are studying a variety of courses. I am a sociable person I'm looking forward to embracing the social side of university. I'm also looking forward to the independence and responsibility of moving out from home as I hope to learn skills out with academia to stand me in good stead for adulthood.

What are you most looking forward to about studying Medicine?

I like learning and that's one of the reasons I was attracted to studying medicine. Studying medicine will give me access to a career-long learning curve which may be difficult at times but never dull. I'll learn more about science but also about people. I'm also looking forward to a challenge as I have an aptitude for problem-solving and logic and for me, it's enjoyable.