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Nottingham interviews

‘The interview will last approximately 15 minutes and is conducted by two senior university staff.

Applicants will be questioned on the themes of:



The interviewers will also form an opinion on:

Communication skills


Applicants are invited to ask questions at the end of the interview. After the applicant has left the room, the interviewers complete a report form. Decisions will be made on the basis of information gathered during the interview and the form will be scored accordingly. All relevant comments are recorded on the form.’

Nottingham GEM course

Last year this was a MMI set up. 8 stations and 6 min for each station.

Stations included were;ones on work experience, how do you deal with stress, health care issues in the news,challenges facing modern health care, teamwork and leadership skills, why Nottingham, the course and the advantages/disadvantages of PBL, scenarios/role play involving mistakes and handling mistakes  and breaking bad news. Ethical scenarios involving medical and non medical ethical dilemmas

Why Nottingham?

NottinghamMedicalSchool is integrated into the University campus which is very beautiful and green. The Queen’s Medical Centre is just across the road from the main campus. However students also have access to 5 teaching hospitals in Nottingham. The University campus is only 3 miles from the city centre.

Teaching is largely lecture based with very little PBL learning and students will have early clinical experience through visits to GP surgeries and hospitals to start to practise clinical history taking and examination. Anatomy teaching is supposed to be superb and whole body dissection is used [I have heard a visit to the dissection room is included in the tour around the MedicalSchool].

All students benefit from an intercalated BMedSci degree after 3 years and so leave after 5 years with a BSc as well as a medical degree. In most Universities an intercalated BSc involves spending an extra year!

Manchester Interviews

This starts with a half hour group discussion usually on an ethical scenario. Remember they are looking for a well reasoned discussion rather than a ‘right answer’. You will be watched by people assessing you in this discussion who will be marking you. Remember to smile, make eye contact with those in your group and perhaps try and involve those who are quiet in the discussion. You may be asked what you thought of the group discussion afterwards and why you think they have one [likely answer – doctors work in teams/groups].

It is then followed by three stations – They may examine your reasons for choosing medicine, your charity/community work/work experience. One may be about your knowledge – about the NHS and topical issues.

Why Manchester

Manchester Medical School is one of the largest in Europe, famous for its teaching, research and academic record. The University is modern and dynamic with a culturally and ethnically diverse student population. This makes it possible to meet lots of different people from different countries and its size means that there are many clubs. [Which clubs would you like to join – look them up]


 The city of Manchester is student friendly and guarantees accommodation to all first year students. It has the advantages of a big city but is more compact and cheaper than London. Manchester medical school uses a lot of the PBL method of learning.

Students have an academic and clinical advisor who mentors the student from year one till graduation. There is clinical hospital and community based experience throughout the programme. It has excellent anatomy facilities, offering whole

body dissection and a dedicated team of teaching fellows in anatomy alongside traditional lecturers and professors to deliver anatomy teaching. There are also opportunities to specialise and do an intercalated degree.

You can also study in Europe [the Erasmus scheme] – if you have a language skill.

Cambridge and Oxford

There are usually 2 interviews [often 3 for Cambridge] which take place at the individual colleges and last about 30 min. Additional written tasks may be given. It is customary to stay overnight at the college and have the interviews on different days.

One interview is usually quite science based with 2 interviewers with questions to do with your subject syllabus that test your ability to make deductions and think aloud in a clear logical fashion and summarise your answer. You score most marks from your working out rather than the answer. Your interviewer will often try to guide you as you answer so make the most of their hints. Interviewers are looking for students who have insight into basic concepts. They may be teaching you in small groups for a number of years and want to make sure that you are a likeable enthusiastic student.

The other interview may be more typical of other medical schools with questions about your Personal Statement and books and articles you mentioned

[more information in my book – Medical School Interviews The Knowledge [P101/102]

Why Cambridge/Oxford?

Amongst the top 5 Universities in the world with top research institutions and an amazing history of Nobel prize winners and other alumni.

They are both beautiful University cities. You have small tutor groups and some well endowed colleges give grants for travel and trips abroad.  The college system means that you socialise with students doing other courses to a greater extent than in other medical schools.

Oxford is a bigger town than Cambridge. Oxford class sizes are smaller but Cambridge offers more places to study medicine.

Learning is mainly lecture based and there is not much patient contact in the pre-clinical years.

Hull /York

‘You will spend half a day at HYMS when you come for interview. This includes a presentation about the school, and a campus tour led by current students.

You will normally be interviewed by two people, typically one female and one male, one of whom is typically an experienced clinician and one of whom may be a current HYMS medical student. Your interviewers will not have seen your UCAS form, because the interview explores different attributes that are not well assessed from a written application.

Your interview will last about 20 minutes. It will be formally structured, with a fixed number of questions. One question will be based on an article that you will be given to read immediately beforehand. The article will be short and non-technical, of the type you might find in a broadsheet newspaper.

The other questions will explore the following attributes:

  • knowledge and understanding of problem-based learning
  • motivation for medicine
  • depth and breadth of interests, knowledge and reflection about medicine and the wider world
  • teamwork and work experience
  • personal insight -– knowledge of own strengths and weaknesses
  • understanding of the role of medicine in society
  • tolerance of uncertainty and ambiguity

The two interviewers will independently evaluate each answer and score your interview out of 50. Their two scores are averaged to give your interview score.’

Why Hull/York

Early clinical exposure and patient contact with lots of PBL. The course is fully integrated with lots of primary care exposure. The medical school is new with modern teaching facilities on both campuses. The campus at York is very beautiful with lakeside views and stunning scenery. Lots of societies and sports to join.