The University of Aberdeen PA Interview Questions

Advice & Insight From PA Application Specialists

General Interview Information

The University of Aberdeen receives 51 applications per year, of whom 35 are given an interview and 25 offered a place. If you meet the academic requirements, you will be processed as follows: 25% academic score, 25% non academic score, 50% interview score. Offers are then given to candidates who achieve a score above a particular threshold.

You must have either all the below:
– a first class or 2.1 honours degree in a science or health related subject, A level C or above in Chemistry and B or above in English and Maths at GCSE,


If you are a non-honours graduate you may extend your degree by studying at the Open University or elsewhere.

Interview Format for Physician Associate Studies at The University of Aberdeen

The university uses an MMI (Multiple Mini Interview) format. Applicants will rotate through a number of stations, each of which lasts 7 minutes and scores the ‘candidate’s performance against predetermined criteria. Communication and interpersonal skills will also be scored at each station.’ In total, expect the MMI to last around 90 minutes. You will also be offered a tour of the medical school, and the opportunity to ask questions.

Key Dates

Interviews are conducted in July.

Sample & Recent Interview Questions

The University of Aberdeen provides a comprehensive overview of exactly what they are looking for from their applicants. These qualities are:

  • Ability to express ideas freely and coherently
  • How well they use their existing knowledge to formulate answers to unknown areas
  • Their ability to follow a reasoned argument and to formulate an opinion
  • The degree to which they are prepared for questions
  • Their ability to discuss different aspects (advantages and disadvantages) of a problem / situation
  • The degree of motivation, commitment, reflection and sensitivity demonstrated
  • Their insight into working with others

More specifically, you should consider the following areas that are highlighted by the university as being possible stations in the MMI:

  • Preparation for entry to the Physician Associate programme, eg
    • Research into curricula.
    • Research then understanding of the implications of a career as a Physician Associate
    • Experience of caring or other environments.
  • Consider a new situation and discuss their thoughts.
  • Outline any learning points from previous experiences.
  • Reflect upon their own and others’ skills and abilities.
  • Consider their potential contribution to the care of others.
  • Complete a manual dexterity task.
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Preparation for Entry into the Program

  • How have you prepared for our PA course?
  • When were you first aware of the role of physician associates?
  • Why are you interested in studying at this university in particular?
  • How does a physician associate’s role differ from a nurse practitioner’s?
  • How have you reflected on your learning style, and how have you prepared for the amount of academic work you will have to do here?
  • Please describe the aspects of our program that you think you will find the most difficult, and how you will overcome them.
  • Is there a particular area of practice that interests you? Do you believe that you will have the opportunity to explore this area on our program at Aberdeen?
  • What was your principal motivation for applying to the PA course here?

Reflecting on Skills and Abilities

  • What skills and attributes are most important to a PA? Do you display those same skills and attributes?
  • What skills do you think that you are most lacking in? How will you improve them?
  • What do you think your friends would describe as your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Contribution to the Care of Others

  • Please describe your principal healthcare experience in detail. What have you learnt from it?
  • Have you undertaken volunteering or charity experience beyond your main healthcare experience?
  • What one experience stands out to you the most from your healthcare exposure so far?

Discuss Thoughts on a New Situation

  • Please discuss this prompt with us: You have found that FY doctors on your ward are not dealing with their responsibilities, and are instead leaving them to you and the registrars.
  • Please discuss the following situation with us: A woman requests that she be allowed to see her husband’s medical notes, as she is concerned that he is keeping parts of his treatment or condition from her, and she believes he might not be taking his medication correctly. Do you let her see the notes?
  • Please discuss this prompt with us: Is it acceptable for healthcare workers to strike? Can you think of any particular examples of healthcare workers striking in the UK?

The University of Aberdeen PA Interview Questions

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