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UCL Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

UCL Medicine Interview Format

UCL will be using MMIs for the 2024 intake.

Candidates are invited on a rolling basis from December through to the end of March.
 
The MMI consists of up to 8 stations, with each station 5 minutes in length. You will have one minute before the station begins to read the instructions.

Historical Interview Information

Throughout 2020-2022 used an online format. UCL used to employ a traditional interview format which took approximately 15 minutes with two sections, the first on the personal statement and the second on the BMAT essay. The interview panel was made up of three people; in most cases an academic, a clinician (usually a general practitioner or hospital doctor) and a non-clinical or lay-person (sometimes a current student). During the interview, two of these individuals asked questions, while the third observed and wrote notes. All three interviewers provided a score, contributing to the outcome. From this we might assume that their current MMIs are likely to draw on a range of different assessors. 

UCL 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

  • After your BMAT exam, write down a summary of the main points from your essay. You will be asked about these in your interview.
  • Know what you’re being assessed on. UCL has a set mark scheme in which they evaluate and score all interviewees. In order to be assessed on the mentioned criteria (eg. Teamwork), it is likely that that you will be asked a question related to each of the domains.
  • Be able to articulate why you want to study at UCL. This is often one of the first questions asked. Ensure your answer extends beyond “I want to study medicine” or “because I want to help people”. It must set you apart from the other candidates and should mention features which are unique to UCL. These features could be the integrated teaching style that the university adopts or the benefits of being able to complete modules at certain teaching hospitals such as Royal Free. The variety of student-selected components (SSCs) which UCL offers (e.g. languages and specialities) or the opportunity to complete an intercalated BSc and develop skills outside of medicine are also worth mentioning. With these aspects, you should be aware of the options available in these courses and have something in mind that you would like to pursue.  
  • Expect the unexpected; eg. ‘Can you tell me about the history of UCL?’ – this is a recent favourite amongst UCL interviewers.
  • Have a basic understanding of the future challenges facing the NHS, e.g. ageing population/the role of primary care and expect to be asked about these issues.
  • Regularly read and re-read your personal statement so that you know it thoroughly. Consider areas on which the interviewers could ask you to elaborate. 
  • Read the NHS Constitution, the General Medical Council’s publication Good Medical Practice and be aware of the core values of the NHS.
  • On the day of the interview, you will be provided with a copy of your BMAT essay – annotate it carefully, line by line, as you will be asked to justify and reflect on it, during the interview.  

Optimise Your Interview Performance

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

UCL Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

General/Personal Statement Questions: The use of stories/ personal experiences are often a more powerful way of demonstrating character traits, than listing off as many as you can think of. Also, talk about areas in medicine which interest you. Especially those that could be developed at the university as UCL has a strong academic background and broad scope for research. Discuss your relevant work experience, e.g. shadowing doctors, clinical and voluntary work. The interviewers may base their ethical questions on some aspect of the work experience that you have completed. Therefore, careful consideration of your answer is essential as one question will often lead to another based on that same experience. Talk about extra-curricular achievements/interests outside of medicine as this shows a well-rounded individual.

Recent questions have included the following:

  • Why do you want to study medicine?
  • Tell me what you learned from your work experience
  • How would you handle the stresses of being a doctor?
  • What are the most significant aspects of communication?
  • What did you learn from your work experience/tell me more about it
  • What did you learn from your voluntary work/tell me more about it
  • Tell me about your research project


Model answers as well as additional practice questions can be found in the Online Question Bank.
 
Discussing your BMAT Essay: You may be asked to briefly summarise your BMAT essay. Ensure you approach this question wisely as this can dictate the nature of subsequent questions.

  • Expect questions such as “why did you write that point?”, “what’s the reason you wrote this?”Alternatively, “what would you improve?” You must be able to demonstrate that you can justify and reflect on your decisions. 
  • Avoid criticising your work as this gives the interviewers fuel to discredit you. Instead, focus on additional points that you could mention or develop further.


Science/Medicine Questions: Ensure that you keep up to date with this as you need to be aware of these issues and how they are likely to affect the NHS. Interviewers will rate you on both your verbal and non-verbal skills so; ensure that your answers are expressed coherently and clearly, with confident body language. Recent questions have included the following:

  • What are the issues surrounding the NHS?
  • What difficulties and stresses are posed for GPs?
  • What recent medical news have you recently come across?
  • If you were made in charge of the NHS budget, where would you allocate your funds?
  • Recently there has been a rise in the cases of measles. Do you know why?
  • What sort of diseases mentioned alongside stem cell research?
  • What body system does cystic fibrosis affect the most?
  • What method can be used for gene therapy?


Ethical Scenarios: It is common for an ethical scenario to be included in the UCL interview. Ensure that you read the BlackStone Tutors ‘2 Sorts, 2 Sides’ approach to ethical scenarios, in order to manage these questions effectively. Recent ethical scenarios have included the following:

  1. Your patient’s family members request that you do not tell him of his new cancers diagnosis. What actions would you take in this scenario?
  2. If you made a small mistake during an operation, would you tell the patient? You do not believe that your mistake will have any clinical impact on the patient or his recovery.

 
Spontaneous Questions: Unexpected or abstract questions sometimes come up. For instance, “if you had the opportunity to host a dinner party with three people, who would you invite?” or “what popular science novels or articles have you read recently?” These questions are designed to test your ability to think on the spot and give a well constructed, logical answer.  

UCL Medicine Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to study Medicine at UCL?

Studying Medicine at UCL is particularly appealing to me due to the comprehensive six-year program, which includes an integrated BSc, offering an in-depth understanding of medical and social sciences. UCL’s commitment to cultivating a ‘UCL Doctor’ – competent, scientifically literate, and equipped for patient-centred medicine in a modern world – aligns with my aspirations. The program’s structure, encompassing thematic modules and clinical practice, provides a balanced education, fostering the skills necessary for a successful career in medicine.

What do you know about the Medicine course structure at UCL?

UCL’s Medicine course is structured as a six-year integrated program, comprising thematic modules and clinical and professional practice throughout. The first two years, ‘Fundamentals of Clinical Science,’ focus on systems-based learning and foundational medical sciences. Year 3 involves an integrated BSc, allowing for specialised study. Year 4, ‘Integrated Clinical Care,’ transitions to more intensive clinical practice. The final years, ‘The Life Cycle and Specialist Practice’ and ‘Preparation for Practice,’ focus on applying clinical knowledge across a range of medical fields and preparing for professional practice.

How does UCL's Medicine program integrate patient-centred care in its curriculum?

Patient-centered care is a fundamental aspect of UCL’s Medicine curriculum. The program emphasizes early patient contact and the development of professional skills essential for good patient care. This approach ensures students appreciate the ethical, social, and legal dimensions of medicine from the start. The curriculum is structured to foster an understanding of science in the context of its clinical application, ensuring students develop a patient-centred approach to diagnosis and management, essential for effective healthcare delivery.

What opportunities for research and specialisation does UCL provide in its Medicine program?

UCL offers extensive opportunities for research and specialisation within its Medicine program. The integrated BSc in Year 3 allows students to delve into specific medical topics, fostering familiarity with research literature, scientific methods, and current thinking in various fields. This experience is invaluable for students considering a career in academic medicine or who wish to deepen their understanding of a particular area. Additionally, the MBPhD program, taken between years 4 and 5, is designed for students aiming for a career in academic medicine, further highlighting UCL’s commitment to research.

As a medical student at UCL, you are part of a group project where one member consistently misses deadlines, affecting the group's progress. They acknowledge their struggle with time management but haven't improved.

In this situation, I would first approach the group member privately to understand any underlying issues they may be facing and offer support or resources that could help improve their time management. If the problem persists, I would suggest a group meeting to collectively discuss strategies to assist our teammate, ensuring the conversation remains constructive and focused on finding solutions. If needed, I would consult with a faculty advisor for guidance. This approach fosters teamwork and problem-solving skills, which are crucial in medicine, while also addressing the issue in a supportive, non-confrontational manner.

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