Which are the most competitive Foundation Schools?

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The deadline for ranking your Foundation Programme deanery preferences is the 14th February!

In this article, we’ll look at which are the most competitive foundation schools to get into, based on the 2018 intake. You can read a more detailed breakdown of the data (including previous years statistics) here.

Below is a graph showing the competition ratios for all deaneries, based on the applicants’ first choice preferences in February 2018.

What is a competition ratio?

This is a number that represents how many applicants there were per post. A competition ratio of under 1 means that there were not enough applicants to fill all the spaces at the first-choice round– i.e., in theory, if you had put that deanery as your first choice, you would automatically get in.

Any competition ratio with a value above 1 means you’ll have to compete with others for your place. Those with higher Foundation Programme Scores than you will take precedent.  

London is the most competitive

North West London takes the lead with a competition ratio of just over 3. This means that for every place available, 3 candidates applied in 2018. This was closely followed by North Central and East London. South Thames is less competitive, with a competition ratio of just over 1.

Oxford, Severn, Scotland and North West Deanery were also oversubscribed, but for the rest of the country, you’re likely to get your first choice.

The least competitive deaneries were West Midlands North and South, which is interesting to contrast with their neighbour, West Midlands Central, which was the third most competitive Foundation School last year.

We’ve found that competition trends in deaneries outside of London have been fairly stable over the past few years, and we would expect them to hold true for 2019. The Foundation Programme altered the borders of the London deaneries in 2017, which makes it a bit more difficult to predict the 2019 outcome as we have less data to go on. You can explore the 2017 intake stats for yourself here.

To find out how the different Foundation School deaneries fared for trainee satisfaction, head here.

Sign up to Messly to explore our Training Navigator

How you rank your preferences will not just be based on how difficult each deanery is to get into. Factors such as trainee satisfaction, workload and how much clinical supervision you get might be just as important to you. Head over to our Training Navigator to delve further into the ratings for specific rotations at a hospital level. These are the most comprehensive and up-to-date ratings for individual NHS hospital rotations, with five-star ratings based on the results of the 2018 GMC National Training Survey. 

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