Before the interview you have the opportunity to go on a tour of the medical school and talk to medical students

The interviews are changing to a MMI style format

Common questions relate to

  • knowledge of and interest in study in Sheffield
  • motivation for Medicine
  • evidence of commitment for caring
  • depth and width of interests (achievements in specific fields)
  • communication skills
  • understanding the nature of Medicine
  • medical work experience.
  • topical issues in the press
  • ethical issues

The Medical School states

‘After your interview the panel will grade you on your performance at the interview. Based upon this grading the Admissions Tutor for Undergraduate Medicine will then make the final decision as to whether you are offered a place on the course, held on a reserve list or rejected.  You will normally be notified of this decision through UCAS within three weeks of the date of your interview.’

Why Sheffield?

Sheffield is a well regarded city with a big University. The Medical School was founded in 1828 and has many prestigious alumni including Hans Kreb – who was Professor of Biochemistry and discovered the Kreb’s cycle. Student accommodation is good and relatively cheap and is close to the Medical School.

It is a systems based integrated course.

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]

Video of a mock interview
what Cambridge say they are looking for
They are famous for ‘out of the box’ challenging questions such as:
Why don’t most herbivores have green fur?
What percentage of the world’s water is in a cow?
Why are there so few large predators?
They are not looking for an answer necessarily, what they are looking for is seeing how you respond to these tricky questions-whether you are able to think logically and how you use the information given to you by the interviewers

Make sure your A level/equivalent knowledge is up to scratch
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.