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Aspiring medical students sat the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) at Ulster University’s Magee campus on 3rd and 4th of October. Welcomed to the campus by Brian Tierney, Lord Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council and Professor Kathryn Burnett of Ulster University's School of Medicine, attendees sat the four hours and 45 minutes long exam designed to assess their capacity to undertake high-level intellectual studies in the medical and health professional programmes. The test took place under modified conditions that met strict COVID-19 public health and social distancing guidelines set out by local authorities.

Passing the GAMSAT examination is just one of the criteria applicants to Ulster’s School of Medicine must fulfil before securing a place on the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) medical degree programme that is unique in Northern Ireland. Those successful in the GAMSAT will be invited to multiple mini interviews which have to be passed, along with an Enhanced Disclosure from Access NI or other relevant authority before offers for places can be made.

Foundation Dean of the School of Medicine, Professor Louise Dubras who will lead the Gradate Entry degree programme commented:

“We are very proud hosts of the first ever GAMSAT in Northern Ireland, the three full exam sessions with candidates choosing to sit the GAMSAT at Magee signals the demand amongst applicants to sit the exam locally.  As a GP working in the city myself, I am continually reflecting on the role of the doctor and the doctor-patient journey. COVID-19 has emphasised that a career as a doctor requires a commitment to lifelong learning and adapting to life’s modern challenges and the GAMSAT will test applicants on their academic capability and scientific reasoning enabling us to prioritise those applicants invited for interview.”

Brian Tierney, Lord Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council commented;

“The School of Medicine at Ulster University’s Magee Campus is an important development for the city and region. In light of the wonderful reputation of the School of Nursing, the work of C-TRIC in partnership between Council and WHSCT and more recently the announcement of a new Paramedic degree at Magee, this further enhances the positioning of Derry~Londonderry as a hub for Health and Social Care.  Through its Inclusive Strategic Growth Plan, Derry City and Strabane District Council and regional partners hold ambitious plans for our future and it is heartening to celebrate this milestone with the potential future doctors of the North West here today.”

The School of Medicine will welcome 70 students to study the innovative Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) medical degree programme when it opens in August 2021. As the student recruitment process continues, the University recently announced the first two in a series of staff recruitment opportunities including Senior Lecturer positions in Anatomy and Clinical Skills.