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Imperial Interviews

Imperial expect you have achieved at least a score of 4.9 in each of sections 1 and 2, coupled with a score of 2.5 and grade C in section 3 of the BMAT. The grade offers asked are AAAb This rules out a lot of candidates so if you get an interview you have a 75% chance of an offer [compared with 1 in 7 at St Georges] so your chances are pretty high. Imperial says they mark according to the following criteria.

What they look for in an interview

    • Motivation to study medicine
    • Realistic approach to medicine as a career
    • Capacity to deal with stress
    • Evidence of working as a leader
    • Evidence of teamwork
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Potential contribution to MedicalSchool life
  • Communication skills
  • Maturity of character
  • Anxiety during interview

The criteria above are ranked Strong | Moderate | Weak .

Examples of past  Imperial questions are given below

 Concerning motivation and realistic approach to medicine as a career:

  • What have you done to find out about medicine as a career/Who have you talked to about doing medicine and what did you learn from them?
  • What do you think you might like best about medicine as a career?
  • What do you feel are likely to be the worst things about being a doctor?
  • When you visited a hospital, what did you see that set you thinking about the difficult aspects of a medical career?
  • What skills do you have that would make you a good doctor?
  • What do you feel makes a good doctor?
  • What difference did your work experience make to you?
  • What do you do to relax?
  • How do you cope in situations where there is not enough time to finish a task?
  • We all know exams are stressful. How did you manage when you were taking your GCSEs?
  • What do you do when you have 3 or 4 things to do that are all urgent?
  • Have you dealt with a difficult situation?
  • I see you are captain of a team. What duties does that involve?
  • How do you feel about sharing work with others?
  • How do you balance work and all your outside activities?
  • I see you play sport/do the Duke of Ed/play in the orchestra (or similar) – why is this important to you?
  • I see you were Director/Manager in your Young Enterprise company. How did you go about performing this role?
  • Which activities do you think you would like to do?

Response to stress:

Evidence of working both as a leader and team member; ability to multi task:

Contribution to Medical School life:

Interviews are panel interviews with 2-3 members of staff and sometimes an Imperial Medical Student. They will have your Personal Statement and will have read it.  The Imperial Medical School interviews have traditionally not had a strict mark scheme. Interviews therefore tend to be free flowing, with one question often leading to the next. You are more easily able to influence these sorts of interviews. Be prepared if you raise a point to widen the debate.  In this way you can take the lead on what you get asked.

You are likely to be asked the traditional questions regarding your reasons and motivation to study medicine. You need to be able to prove your enthusiasm by being able to discuss questions relating to your work experience with insight and knowledge. You should know about the NHS and medical advances and current health topics in the news.

Competence based questions – team working skills/ leadership skills/ what are your strengths/weaknesses/how do you deal with stress/conflict/manage your time are, as in other interviews common favourites. You need to have examples that prove you have these skills.

Be able to talk well about everything you mentioned in your Personal Statement. It is common to have an ethical scenario.

The medical student on the panel usually asks the candidate what they would contribute to life at Imperial so it is important to know about student life and to have looked at what clubs may appeal.

All prospective applicants are given the opportunity to arrive early and be given a tour of the medical school and the college prior to their interview (12pm). This is not compulsory, although candidates are commonly asked if they did attend the tour.

The Course

The course is more ‘traditional’   than many medical schools. Teaching in the first two years is focused on the scientific basis of medicine with study focussing on a systems-based format, moving towards integrated disease and including clinical aspects later on. It also includes communication skills, medical ethics and law. Teaching comprises lectures, clinical demonstrations, tutorials, dissection, computer workshops, laboratory practical and clinical skills classes, independent study, and some problem-based learning but not as much as in other Medical Schools. However there are visits to patients even in the first term to maintain interest and develop patient interview skills.

In Summary

 Years 1 and 2: focus on three core elements: the scientific basis of medicine; doctor and patient; and clinical experience.

Year 3: three 10-week clinical attachments with a programme of live lectures and e-learning and a programme introducing clinical specialties.

Year 4: working towards the BSc – undertaking a series of modules and a supervised research project or a specialist course giving you an opportunity to delve deeply into a subject that catches your interest.

Year 5: a dedicated pathology course followed by six clinical specialities.

Year 6: a range of clinical attachments and lecture courses designed to prepare you for your first job as a doctor, specialised study modules and private study periods.

GEP Interviews

Again you need a high UKCAT score, with a high cut off in each section with excludes a lot of students.

The interviews are similar to the above format. There are usually 3 interviewers on the panel two doctors, a person from admin and a medical student. They usually ask lots of questions about your Personal Statement and competence based questions such as leadership skills, how you deal with stress. In the past they have given candidates a sheet with 4 questions which include an ethical scenario, a clinical scenario and questions to test your general knowledge of health care issues.

 Why Imperial

The School is ranked second in the UK and third in the world in the 2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings It is especially known for its heart and lung transplant surgery skills led by Sir Magdi Yacoub, rheumatology treatments by Sir Marc Feldmann, and recent robot-assisted surgery techniques by world leading surgeon Lord Darzi. The School was formed in 1997 through the merger of several historic medical schools such as St Mary’s Paddington [where Sir Alexander Flemming discovered Penicillin, Westminster Medical School and Charing Cross].

The Medical School is situated in London a vibrant exciting city. The Kensington campus is next to the Natural History museum and Hyde Park in one of the most beautiful [and expensive] parts of London. London has a large ethnic mix and a large immigrant community and it is possible to see a wide variety of illnesses and diseases such as TB, HIV, sickle cell anaemia.

The School of Medicine has its own complete union. Imperial College School of Medicine Students’ Union is a subsidiary part of Imperial College Union, and medical and BSc students are members of both. As such, they may join any of the 300 ICU clubs and societies and take up positions of responsibility in them. However, over 40 of these clubs and societies are under the direct jurisdiction of ICSMSU. Further, the medical students’ union also owns the Reynolds building at the Charing Cross Hospital campus, as medical students live or spend more time around that area than the South Kensington campus. The Reynolds Bar represents the heart and soul of ICSM, and regularly plays host to themed parties or “Bops”.

Bristol Medical School interviews

The interview is a panel interview with two interviewers. Candidates are assessed on the following criteria;


  • Why they wish to study medicine and attributes

2    Ability to communicate in a reasoned, reflective and articulate manner,

3    Self confidence and enthusiasm

4.   Evidence of work/life balance and extramural activities.

5.   Awareness of current developments in medicine

6.   Ability to develop coherent stance on a topical subject and to recognise a counter point [ethical scenario question]

7   Informed about University and course

8   Informed about career

9    Overall impression

Interviewers are also asked to rank the candidate against those interviewed in this session [from 1-11]

Generally those interviewed say that they tend to get asked a lot about their Personal Statement, current medical issues [read my blog], problems of being a doctor, extra curricular activities and so on.

Bristol interview a relatively small number of people so if you have an interview things look positive for you getting in providing things don’t go too badly. It is also important to be aware that that Bristol continues to interview until late March early April so you may not hear until quite late. There is a video on youtube of a Bristol interview.


The Course

The course is divided into three phases: in phase one, you meet patients and learn general principles underlying behavioural and basic medical science

Phase two is system based where you learn about body systems. The course is not PBL

You are taught in lectures, practicals and small-group tutorials. Anatomy teaching takes place using prosected,cadaveric material; dissection is optional. In later years, you learn in clinical attachments. Periods of elective study and student selected components allow you to explore areas of personal interest. Mixed-format examinations determine progression to the next year.

Phase three you begin clinical training with attachments at various hospitals. Between years two and three, you may intercalate in a medical science or humanities subject.

Why Bristol

Bristol is a member of The Russell Group of top British Universities. Internationally QS World University rating ranked Bristol 30th in the world.

Bristol is the largest city in south west England over a thousand years old with a great history and culturally rich.  It is big enough to provide all the shops and facilities you need.  Bristol is popular as a student destination. It has benefited from National Lottery funding and other grants to finance major regeneration projects and the city has many harbour side bars, restaurants, museums and art galleries. The thriving local economy means high prices and generally expensive accommodation. The rates are, however, fairly relative to other cities in the south of England. Bristol is on the whole welcoming to students.

Bristol University is supposed to have the largest Student Union building in the UK . There is a thriving medical society with many sporting and  volunteering and other clubs. Performances are put on regularly  Look them up on  http://galenicals.org.uk/

UCL Medical School Interviews

All candidates applying for Medicine in 2013 UCAS cycle will have taken the BMAT. The average test score for UCL this year [7/11/12] was 4.5   4.5   3.0A.  UCL does not publish it cut off scores.

 Assessment at interview

Selected candidates are invited to visit on a weekday morning or afternoon. The visit includes a talk by the Admissions Tutor, an opportunity to speak with current medical students, the interview, and a student-led campus tour. Interviews last approximately 15-20 minutes and are conducted by a panel of 2-3 interviewers, including clinical

and basic medical science staff, a senior medical student or ‘lay’ interviewer (e.g. Head of Sixth Form, guest GP).

Interviewees will be given a copy of their BMAT essay prior to the interview, as discussion of their essay will form part of the assessment at interview.

Interviewers score the candidate according to the following mark scheme:

 Intellectual ability (intellectual curiosity and robustness)

 Motivation for (and understanding of) a career in medicine

 Awareness of scientific and medical issues

 Ability to express and defend opinions, including discussion of BMAT essay topic

 Attitude, including flexibility and integrity

 Individual strengths (e.g. social, musical, sporting interests or activities)

 Communication skills (verbal and listening)

University College London Interviews


Interview Assessment Form


Panel number:

UCAS number:

Candidate name:

Interviewer name:   Signature: ___________________________________

A.  Assessment of candidate

Please score the candidate in the areas listed, using the scale illustrated, so that an approximately normal distribution is achieved. Tick one box on each row of the grid.

Poor (Bottom 10%)

Below average


Above average

Excellent (Top 10%)

B.  Notes and comments (including any overriding reasons to accept or reject)

C.  Recommendation of interview panel

Please tick Accept/ Reject

Following the interview the recommendations of the interviewers will be reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and the outcome will be sent to each candidate within two weeks

 Why UCL

UCL is ranked 7th in the world’s top 10 universities and the medical school is ranked the best in London.

The Medical School is associated with famous teaching hospitals such as  Great Ormond Street and Moorfields Eye Hospital.

It has inspiring history. It was set up by Bentham in the 1800s a famous utilitarianist [utilitarianism is the belief in the greatest good for the greatest number of peopke] and important benefactor.  UCL was set up to open up and make education available to people, including women] from all backgrounds, not just the privileged and to people of all faiths. Bentham’s secretary was Edwin Chadwick who is known as the ‘father of the sanitary idea’. He had a major impact in the improvement of the population’s health and life expectancy. He diligently provided evidence that showed that poor health and mortality was linked sewage and dirty water. His work led to the Public Health Act and the formation of the GMC.

Other inspirational people include Alexander Bell, Gandhi, Frances Crock [Watson and Crick – discovered the structure of DNA] and Sir James Black discovered beta blockers and H2 antagonists].

UCL has a large number of foreign students [30%] so there is the opportunity to mix with many from different backgrounds. It is situated in London, a large multi cultural city. There is always a lot to do in London which has many concerts, theatres, galleries.

The patient population is hugely diverse, multi ethnic with diseases such as TB, HIV prevalent, as well the usual western health problems. This will be enormously interesting and provide excellent experience. There are lots of health inequalities and patients will include the very poor and homeless as well as the very wealthy.

The Course is not PBL  


Brighton and Sussex



Interviews are held during BSMS admission days on Wednesdays and Saturdays during January, February and March. It is a panel interview with three interviewers on the panel. The mark scheme for the interview includes the following;

  • Understanding of: doctors’ role, the NHS, patients view, multi-cultural society.
  • Personal qualities; [committed to medicine, analytical, conscientious, empathic, caring ,resilient,  ethical, team player and potential leader, good communicator
  • Underpinning biomedical & psychosocial sciences [interest and enthusiasm, an enquiring and critical mind, evidence of independent and self-directed learning.]
  • Range of activities [Interest in arts culture and/current affairs]

Each of the 3 interviewers individually awards a mark – A*(5), A (4), B(3), C (2) or D (1). Each applicant gets a mark out of 15.

All applicants that were made offers would have been predicted 3 A grades at A Level and achieved grade B at GCSE maths and English. All applicants are required to study biology and chemistry. IB offers at BSMS for 2011/2012 were 38 points with 18 at HL to include biology and chemistry at grade 6.

Offers are not made till March.

Why Brighton and Sussex Medical School

BSMS is a small medical school with a maximum of 134 students in each year, so there is close contact and people get to know other students, teachers and researchers well. In 2011 the medical school achieved 95% student satisfaction rate. There is a strong medical society (MedSoc), which organises a range of social, educational and fundraising events through more than 20 societies including competing sports societies.

Brighton is a great place to live with its rich night life, famous pebble beach, the sea and a variety of water sports. It also boasts England’s largest arts festival. The country side is gorgeous the newly created South Downs National Park is within walking and cycling distance. There are extensive modern facilities with a Choice of three library collections, a dissection room, laboratories, clinical skills unit, and dedicated PC suites. Both campuses have extensive sporting and social facilities. The University of Brighton’s Falmer campus has a new £7.6m sports centre.

Falmer is nine minutes by train from Brighton. There is a good 24-hur bus service. Many people cycle. From Brighton, London is less than an hour by train, and Gatwick airport is half an hour away by train or car.

The MedicalSchool has its own MEDSOC  but you also have access to all the societies and groups run by the University of Sussex.  For information  http://www.sussexstudent.com/medsoc/content/535553/medsoc_society_informationn

The course

Early clinical  experience occurs with students going into wards and GP surgeries in the first week of their course. The course is integrated, systems based with little PBL. The undergraduate course combines traditional methods such as full-body cadaveric dissection with the latest innovations such as imaging.

For the first two years,  students will be based on the University of Sussex and University of Brighton campuses, which are 10 minutes’ walk from each other. Third and fourth years are spent at the Royal Sussex County hospital in central Brighton, with the fifth year on attachment in hospitals across Sussex and Surrey.