St Andrews Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

St Andrews Medicine Interview Format

St Andrew’s uses the multiple mini interview (MMI) format for entry into their MBBS programme. It usually has six stations, each lasting six minutes with at least one station involving role-play. At the interview, you will be expected to demonstrate that you:

  • Have an understanding of and commitment to medicine as a career
  • Have shown a commitment to academic study, perseverance and intellection potential
  • Appreciate the realities of working in a caring profession.
  • Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills (e.g. empathy, leadership and team–working)
  • An ability to discuss ethical issues.

For the 2024 cycle, interviews will be held both online using Microsoft Teams and in-person in St Andrews. Applicants who are overseas will be invited to attend an online interview, and all other applicants will be invited to attend an in-person interview.

Interviews take place from late November to March.

St Andrews Medicine Key Application & Interview Statistics

Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)
Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)
Percentage of Candidates Interviewed
Percentage Of Candidates Interviewed
Interviewee Success Rate
Interviewee Success Rate

Before the Interview

  • Ensure that you have a good understanding of medical ethics including knowledge of the four ethical principles (justice, autonomy, non-maleficence and beneficence) and how they apply to clinical situations. Going through each of these principles can help create a structured answer and keep you on track. St Andrews is heavily involved in ethics research, and hence it is important to maintain a confident awareness of medical ethics during your preparation.
  • As part of the St Andrews University interview, work experience is an aspect that they value highly. Being able to reflect on your experiences is essential for any medical student or doctor, especially when trying to demonstrate an enthusiasm for Medicine.
  • Practice verbalising why you want to attend St Andrew’s University and how you will contribute to student life.
  • Practice scenarios where you need to give arguments both for and against an issue/dilemma before coming to a well-reasoned conclusion. Also, think about empathy, and how you can demonstrate this verbally and nonverbally, in relation to possible Role Play Scenarios.

Optimise Your Interview Performance

Learn the best interview strategies and practice with past interview questions & model answers.

University of St Andrews Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

General/Personal Statement Station – These may be questions relating to your work experience which demonstrate how you have prepared yourself for entering a medical career. They will be keen to know what you have gained from work experience in a medical or ‘caring’ environment, or from some other environment that you feel has been relevant in preparing you for a career in medicine. Recent questions have included the following:

  • Did you see any particularly difficult scenarios of patient-doctor interactions during your time at…?
  • What are the benefits of working in a medical environment? How would you be well suited to this?
  • How would you cope with a high stress/demanding environment?

Ethical Dilemmas – These may be incorporated into other stations such as the role-play or communication stations. Ensure that you integrate the four pillars of medical ethics. For example:

  • Can private filming of patients be justified if the hospital felt the patient was being abused?
  • A range of additional MMI Ethical dilemmas with model answers can be found in the Online MMI Question Bank.

Role-Play Scenarios – One of the key attribute assessors are looking for in this station is empathy. For advice on how to maximise your performance in this station refer to the BlackStone Tutors 6 Stages of MMI Role Play in the MMI Question Bank. Examples of scenarios may include:

  • Breaking bad news to a patient or friend
  • Convincing a patient to take their prescription medicine to help their condition, when they are reluctant to do so – The key here is not to successfully persuade them to take their medication, but instead to explore why they do not wish to take their medication.

Motivation and Insight into Medicine – This includes both awareness of the course that St Andrews offer as well as the day-to-day job of being a doctor. The panel will expect the candidate to have a general understanding of the course, in particular, the way in which the Medical programme is delivered and to be able to verbalise its advantages and limitations. You need to show that you understand what a career in medicine entails, for example, the advantages and disadvantages of being a doctor, and having a realistic view of a typical daily routine.
Communication Station – Communication skills are essential to the practice of almost all aspects of medicine. For tips and advice on how to show effective communication refer to the 7 Stages of MMI Communication Stations. This station could include activities such as:

  • Reading a short article on a medically related topic (for example nicotine, vaccination, osteoporosis) and be asked questions, or explain to a patient about this medical topic.
  • Helping a person pack their holiday luggage

Case Article/Review Station – Read an article or case study and answer the questions. For example:

  • What were the main points/issues.
  • In your opinion, which response/course of action was the best option?
  • A number of case review stations can be found in the Online MMI Question Bank, including model answers and common pitfalls.

St Andrews Medicine Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to study Medicine at the University of St Andrews?

The University of St Andrews’ Medicine program stands out to me for its distinctive structure and exemplary focus on pre-clinical education. As a three-year program, it allows for an intensive and in-depth study of medical sciences, laying a robust foundation before transitioning to clinical training. This approach is particularly appealing as it ensures a strong grasp of fundamental concepts. Additionally, St Andrews’ small class sizes and close-knit learning community offer a personalised and engaging educational experience. The university’s rich historical context and its commitment to research and innovation in medical sciences further enhance its appeal for me, as they promise a dynamic and comprehensive medical education.

What do you know about the Medicine course structure at the University of St Andrews?

St Andrews’ Medicine course is uniquely structured, focusing on pre-clinical education in the first three years. This phase is dedicated to an in-depth study of medical sciences, covering areas such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology. The teaching methodology involves a combination of lectures, practical sessions, and small-group tutorials, emphasizing interactive and student-centered learning. Following this, students typically transfer to a partner medical school for three years of clinical training. This structure ensures a seamless integration of foundational medical knowledge with practical clinical skills, preparing students for the diverse challenges of the medical profession.

How does the University of St Andrews integrate research into its medical program?

Research integration is a key component of St Andrews’ Medicine program. The university has a strong emphasis on research-led teaching, ensuring that the latest scientific discoveries and methodologies inform the curriculum. Students are encouraged to engage in research projects, often under the guidance of faculty members who are leading researchers in their fields. This research-focused approach not only enriches the academic experience but also fosters critical thinking and analytical skills, essential for a career in medicine where evidence-based practice is paramount.

What are the unique aspects of early medical training at the University of St Andrews?

Early medical training at St Andrews is characterised by its comprehensive approach to the foundational sciences of medicine. The program provides an extensive grounding in the core scientific principles underpinning medical practice, with a focus on understanding the human body and disease processes from a molecular to systemic level. This foundational knowledge is complemented by early exposure to clinical skills and patient interaction simulations, preparing students for the clinical phase of their training. The university’s approach ensures that students develop a deep and integrated understanding of medical science, equipping them with the necessary tools for successful clinical practice.

During a group project at the University of St Andrews, you notice that one of your peers is struggling with understanding key concepts, which is impacting the group’s progress. You are aware that this peer is hesitant to ask for help.

In this scenario, the appropriate action would be to approach the peer in a supportive and non-confrontational manner. I would offer assistance or suggest studying together, creating an environment where the peer feels comfortable to discuss their difficulties. If the peer continues to struggle, I would encourage them to seek additional support, such as tutoring or speaking with the course instructor. Additionally, I would discuss within the group how we could collaboratively support our peer and ensure that everyone contributes effectively to the project. This approach fosters a supportive learning environment, crucial in medical education, where teamwork and collaboration are key to success.


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