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UCL Medical School Interviews

All candidates applying for Medicine in 2014 UCAS cycle will have taken the BMAT. The average test score for UCL last 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  

St Georges Medical School

St Georges was one of the first medical schools to do the MMI [Mini Medical Interview] format. There are usually 7 stations each about 5 min long. Candidates move from one station to the next [a bell is rung at the beginning and end].

Past years have usually had one station which tests empathy and soft skills such as breaking bad news [e,g you have lost the pet your neighbour asked you to look after]. An actress/actor is used to play the part and may shout at you and cry real tears! There may be another station testing communication skills – describe this picture, explain how you tie a shoelace. There may be a question testing your ability to prioritise. Other stations tend to focus on more traditional questions such as those relating to your Personal Statement, work experience, challenges faced by the NHS, how the NHS compares to other health systems, What were the most important advances in medicine in the last 200yrs/100yrs/50 yrs/20 yrs. There also an ethical scenario [see p94 -100 in my book Medical School Interviews The Knowledge for more detailed information]

Why St Georges?
St Georges is one of the busiest hospitals in London. It is about 30 min by tube to Central London so you have easy access to central London but accommodation is cheaper. There is a large ethnic population so it is possible to see many diseases and gain much experience. It is quite small and has a ‘community’ atmosphere.

Many famous doctors are past alumni such as Edward Jenner [p28 my book] and Lister [p33]
The course is a systems based integrated course with a lot of PBL

Kings Medical Interviews

This is a panel interview for those applying for the 5 year course and MMIs for those applying for the 4 year graduate course.  The MMIs tend to be stations that have very similar questions as those asked at the panel interview The panel interviews usually have about 3 interviewers. You are asked to fill in a detailed form before hand and given an ethical scenario while waiting for your interview. At the interview you will be asked questions about your work experience and commitment to medicine, your Personal Statement and charity work, competence based questions and questions testing your knowledge about medical matters. At the end of the interview you are usually asked to discuss your ethical scenario.

Why Kings?
King’s College Medical School is the largest medical school in Europe and has facilities to match. As well as excellent research facilities it has a wide range of sports clubs. These include hockey, football, rugby, cricket, tennis and netball. Rowing takes place on the river Thames by Chiswick Bridge, 800m from the University of London boathouse. The Strand has a rifle range and Guy’s Campus has a swimming pool and
gym and many music, singing and dancing clubs. ‘I am very keen on contributing to student life and would like to join ————— club.’ is always a useful phrase to use.
There are many excellent libraries and the Hodgkin Library at Guys Campus is open twenty four hours a day As well as other medics you will be able to meet a diverse
group of students from many other countries studying many subjects – the humanities and arts as well as sciences. It is located in the heart of London – just under the new Shard, the tallest building in the UK. London is a varied, vibrant city
with many museums, galleries and shows to enjoy. There is a diverse population with lots of inequalities in health, with wealthy areas along the river but with a lot of poverty around the teaching hospitals. The high immigrant population means
you will be able to see many diseases such as sickle cell [Kings has the leading sickle cell unit in Europe] and TB. Having three campus sites increases this variety.

It uses mainly lecture base teaching with a strong emphasis on anatomy dissection and little PBL. PBL can be hit and miss with some PBL groups and facilitators being better than others. PBL often does not cover the whole syllabus and can leave
gaps in knowledge. Students do get the opportunity to see patients with first years making GP visits within the first couple of months so although learning is traditional your interest in patients and their stories is also catered for. It repeatedly features as one of the top 25 universities in the World (QS World Rankings) having placed 21st in 2010. Kings has had a proud record of 10 Nobel Laureates in the staff and alumni of King’s who made major contributions to 19th-century science, medicine and public life in general. They include:
.James Maxwell, one of the world’s greatest physicists
• Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) founded the world’sfirst professional school of nursing at St Thomas’
Hospital in 1860
• Joseph Lister, Professor of Clinical Surgery at Kings from 1877 to 1893, introduced an antiseptic system which changed the practice of medicine and drastically reduced mortality rates from major operations.
Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin at Kings, made crucial contributions to the discovery of DNA’s structure in 1953, which Watson and Crick found invaluable. In their honour, today KCL has the Franklin-Wilkins building, the main part of the Waterloo Campus.