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Canadian social science degree, where do I go from here?


New Member
Jan 6, 2012
    Hello everyone,

    I am originally from a third world country in The Caribbean. I am graduating this semester with an Honors Bachelors degree in Economics (with distinction) from a Canadian University. I have attained a 3.8 cumulative GPA. I wrote a thesis on the effectiveness of HIV programs in India.

    The only courses I have taken related to medicine are first year Biology and Chemistry, with their labs. I've taken two years worth of college math and statistics classes for the purposes of doing an Economics PhD (though I have lost my way!).

    The social sciences have frustrated me due to their "fluffy" nature. I've been interested in Medicine for a long time, but had motor skill problems as an adolescent which prevented me from pursuing any science other than biology in high school- leaving me unable to get into medical school directly. I settled, and chose Economics as I performed well in it in High School.

    My performance in college has confirmed my improved ability, and so now I wish to pursue medical school in Ireland, the UK or even Australia, and am determined to do whatever it takes. I hope to one day practice- assuming I even get into medical school- in a country other than my impoverished, crime ridden home country.

    Given that this board contains a wealth of information- I thought that I would seek other user's opinions, as I don't know anyone who knows anything about foreign medical schools and don't know who to talk to.

    With respect to Ireland, I have heard of the ABP but am worried that my lack of a science background and extracurriculars will harm me. I wanted to avoid standardized testing- if possible- because they delay the process (especially the MCAT, as I don't have the prereqs) but am not averse to them. I am trying to avoid 4 year programs, as I feel like the rush- given my non-science background- would prevent me from learning the foundation material properly.

    From what I can understand, NUI and Trinity don't require any standardized testing for their 5 year programs. I would apply to six year programs but attaining my degree prevents me from doing so.

    With respect to UK universities, much of what I have read has been stated in terms of A-levels and AS levels (rightfully so) and in terms of advanced entry. I don't have A-levels, IB or any high school formal advanced testing (aside from my home country's version of the GCSE) so I am confused about how to proceed.

    Could anyone who is sympathetic, or who has been in a similar situation, suggest a course of action? Would it be best to pursue a second bachelors degree (2 years) in Biology or attempt to just apply to schools with what I have?

    Thank you for your help! To anyone who is not replying ,but has just viewed the thread, thank you anyway for the interest!


    Full Member
    Sep 13, 2011
      I find the UK medical schools to be very geared towards undergraduate medical entry, and if you get accepted to a medical school there it would be a 5-year undergraduate program. A 3.8 GPA is strong which will certainly help your case with the UK schools. There are colleges in the UK where you can do accelerated 1-year A-levels to fulfill your pre-requisites for a UK medical school (A/AS level courses are usually taken over 2 years in high school). Although I'm not even sure if A-levels are required for people who already hold a degree so you should look into that. You may be exempt from having to take A-levels which would be great for you!

      1-year of A-levels + 5-years of UK med school is probably preferable to a 4-year biology degree + 4-year med school.

      The Irish schools via ABP don't have any prerequisites for graduate entry medicine (the 4-year programs) outside of the MCAT and a bachelor's degree. It is possible to take all of the pre-med prerequisites for the MCAT over the course of a year, however I would recommend an MCAT course, something like TPR's Hyperlearning Course, and then The Berkeley Review's MCAT books (once TPR has familiarized you with the material) instead of taking 8 courses (G Chem I & II, O Chem I & II, Physics I & II, Bio I & II). Normally, I would just recommend TPR's books and not the $2000 classroom course but you'd probably benefit from having instructors to bounce basic questions off. With 6 months of intensive studying and an MCAT course and self-study with TBR you can likely go from knowing none of the MCAT material to all of it.

      GAMSAT can be used instead of MCAT for Ireland although I'm not too sure what goes into preparing for it.

      With your GPA you definitely sound competitive for Trinity & Galway, however I don't know if they have any science pre-requisites.

      I hope this helps.
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