Newcastle University PA Interview Questions

Advice & Insight From PA Application Specialists

General Interview Information

The Newcastle University Physician Studies MSc requires a 2.1 honours degree in a bioscience or related subject. Examples of degrees that are regarded as being suitable are anatomy, biology, biochemistry, medical biochemistry, biomedical science, dentistry, human biology, human physiology, human pharmacology, medical sciences, operating theatre practitioner, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, radiography, and zoology.

You will need to additionally include two referees with your application.

Interview Format for Physician Associate Studies at Newcastle University

Those who are shortlisted after the initial admissions process will be required to attend a 25 minute interview. The interview looks to confirm that you have the personal qualities and motivation to succeed as a PA student and subsequently as a PA. Two selectors will assess you on six categories, which you can see below. Selectors are drawn from a pool of ‘clinicians, educators and non-practitioners’ so will have varied backgrounds. The grades attained at interview are used for the decision making process. Selectors do not have access to an individual’s personal statement or their references before or during the interview. Selectors will not provide students with their grades at the time of interview.

Key Dates

Applications must be submitted by the 30th April. Interviews take place in January, February, March, April and May. All qualification results must be confirmed by August 1st. Students begin their studies in early September.

Sample & Recent Interview Questions

The following categories will be assessed by Newcastle at interview: preparation and motivation for study, effective learning skills, team working, personal qualities/resilience, interpersonal and communication skills  and empathy, sensitivity and integrity.

Preparation and Motivation for Study

  • Describe your principal motivation for wanting to become a PA.
  • What is your main concern about studying to become a PA?
  • Have you prepared in any way for the demands of studying to become a PA?
  • Why are you interested in studying at this university in particular?
  • What do you think you will bring to our university’s PA program?
  • How can you show that your learning style will allow you to succeed in what is known to be a challenging program?
  • Have you applied to other PA courses?
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Effective Learning Skills

  • Describe your learning style.
  • How has your learning style changed since you were at school?
  • Do you believe that you can adapt readily to new types of learning?
  • How can you demonstrate an ability to balance learning with a packed schedule?

Team Working

  • Describe a team that you have been part of, and a success and failure that you experienced as part of that team.
  • Tell me about a team that you have learned in. Do you find that you learn well in teams in general?
  • Please describe why the MDT is so important to healthcare. Who is in an MDT and how does an MDT operate?
  • Please provide us with an example of your leadership ability.
  • Can you think of a time when one of your leaders inspired you or your team to success? What did you learn from being part of that team, and what did you learn about leadership?

Personal Qualities and Resilience

  • Tell me about a time that you overcame adversity.
  • How would your best friend describe you in one phrase?
  • How would your friends describe you in three words?
  • What would your friends say are your main strengths and weaknesses?
  • What does the word ‘resilience’ mean to you?
  • What attributes do you have that you believe are important for PAs?

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  • How is empathy important to effective communication?
  • How can you demonstrate that your communication skills are good enough for this course?
  • Have you ever helped someone through a difficult experience? How did you do so and what did you learn about communication through this?
  • Imagine that you are tasked with telling a verbally aggressive patient that they won’t be discharged from the hospital for another two weeks. How would you approach such a situation?

Empathy, Sensitivity and Integrity

  • Can you explain the difference between sympathy and empathy?
  • Why is integrity important to PAs? How does integrity play into one’s greater professionalism?
  • Cultural sensitivity is hugely important to healthcare professionals today. Please describe to us your experience of diversity, and tell us how this experience will help you in your future work as a PA.

Newcastle University PA Interview Questions

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