March 18, 2021, by School of Medicine

Considering a Gap Year?

Hi everyone! I’m Emma and after my final year of MPT, I will be embarking on a gap year while I apply for graduate courses. Before Covid I never planned on taking a gap year – my plan was to apply for a graduate entry medicine (GEM) course back-to-back with finishing my MPT degree, but plans change; so now I’m going to explain why I’m choosing to go on a gap year, my plans for it, and some of the advantages of taking one.

A gap year provides a chance to earn some money, take a break from the constant pressure of studying, and engage in some different experiences. By the end of the first month of the March 2020 lockdown, I realised that the work experience I needed for a GEM application may be harder to obtain than previously thought. This was when I started looking into the idea of a gap year, and the more I planned and evolved this idea, the more appealing it sounded; I was feeling worn-out by a consistent 7-year span of exams, coursework and studying from GCSEs to A-levels to my degree, and I had never properly given myself a chance to relax and take a break from it all.

The main aim of my gap year is to give myself a chance to refresh. I can spend a while working and saving money now that I won’t have to pay the price of student rent, and I will no longer have to split my time worrying about both work and study. I also plan on applying for a GEM programme during this time – taking the time to sit the GAMSAT and UCAT exams in September 2021, as well as prepare for any interviews I may be invited for, which I will be easier to handle once I won’t also be undertaking a university degree. However, what I am most excited about for my gap year is travelling!

A gap year is exactly what you make of it. There is always the cliché of travelling, but it’s a cliché for a reason – travelling is brilliant. Back in 2018 I took a 3-week excursion to Vietnam and I’ve been looking for an excuse to take another trip ever since. There is something very liberating about going somewhere so different from your daily life – you can switch off from your normal stressors and its refreshing to be immersed in a new lifestyle.

A lot of my time in Vietnam was spent volunteering within some rural communities, and that was a part of my trip that I wanted to repeat during my gap year. Through a few searches (and targeted ads on Instagram) I stumbled across a Nottingham-based company that provides volunteer-travel opportunities within Sri Lanka and Nepal, ranging from Marine Life to Mental Health placements. They’re also offering tours across Nepal and Sri Lanka – the Coast2Coast tour that I have booked onto takes you all across Sri Lanka for 8 days, seeing all the different sites, surfing along the coasts and going on an elephant safari.

A gap year can seem like a long time but it will go by faster than you think so take the opportunity to enjoy yourself and don’t worry too much! Its supposed to be a chance to relax and refresh before starting another adventure, so make good use of it!

If anyone has any questions about anything I have mentioned in this blog, feel free to email me at or DM the MPT Society Instagram @uon_mptsoc, where I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions or help you with anything gap year related!

By Emma Robinson

Posted in Uncategorized