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University of Southampton Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Southampton Medicine Interview Format

​The University of Southampton has a two-part interview process:

  1. A group interview, which takes 20 minutes with five minutes of preparation time. The group is given a topic to discuss in front of two interviewers.
  2. An individual panel interview, which also takes 20 minutes and has two interviewers. This is predominantly based on aspects of the candidate’s personal statement.


During the interview candidates must be able to show that they:

  • Are self-motivated and resilient
  • Have reflected on and learnt from life experiences (this may include, work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings)
  • Can communicate effectively
  • Can interact successfully with others
  • Can demonstrate an understanding of the values of the NHS constitution

Interviews take place from January to February.

Southampton Medicine Key Application & Interview Statistics

Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)
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Before the Interview

  • Review your personal statement and ensure that you know it well. Be able to articulate your motivation for wanting to study medicine at the University of Southampton.
  • Research the course (for most this will be BM5) and be able to identify aspects that appeal to you, for example, the spiral based curriculum with an integrated teaching style, the research that third-year students undertake, the option of intercalating etc.
  • Reflect on your work experience and the skills that you have learnt from it, that are relevant to medicine.
  • Research the role, structure, function and values of the NHS.
  • Keep up-to-date with any medical-related developments and issues regarding the NHS.

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

University of Southampton Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

The Group Activity – This involves around eight candidates discussing a given topic, whilst being observed by two interviewers. They are usually ethics-based and are on a topic which the candidates have very little knowledge about. It is important to note that communication and group interaction is what is being assessed here, rather than knowledge itself. For further insight on how to excel in the group activity, read our Group Task Tips written by medical school interviewers. 

The Traditional Panel Interview – This focuses primarily on the contents of one’s personal statement and historically has also included the following areas:

Why Medicine/Southampton/Insight into medicine:

  1. Why would you like to study at Southampton?
  2. Why do you want to be a doctor/study medicine?
  3. Why not nursing or another medical course?
  4. What direction do you see your career taking in medicine?
  5. Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
  6. What appeals to you about this city?

Character, Background and Personal Statement

  1. Tell us about yourself
  2. What did you learn/how were you affected by this experience (referring to an experience described in the personal statement)?
  3. Are there any extra-curricular activities that you do now/have done that you hope to continue during university?
  4. Describe a situation where you have learnt something independently.
  5. How will you balance work and extracurricular activities?
  6. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  7. What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?

Attributes of a Good Doctor:

  1. What do you think makes a good doctor?
  2. Do teams need leaders?

Work Experience/Volunteer Work:

  1. How did you arrange this work experience?
  2. What did you learn about yourself by volunteering? How much time do you spend volunteering on that placement?
  3. Tell us about a team activity you organised. What went well/badly/did you learn from this experience?

Science/Medicine-based:

  1. Can you talk to us about a medically-related book or article that you read recently?
  2. Can you tell me about a significant, recent advance in medicine?

Southampton Medicine Interview Questions and Answers

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

I am driven to study Medicine at the University of Southampton due to its innovative approach to medical education, which emphasises early and continuous patient contact. The program is designed to develop well-rounded doctors with the clinical abilities, knowledge, and professional behaviours needed in modern medicine. Southampton’s curriculum is structured to provide hands-on experience from the beginning, with clinical teaching in varied settings complemented by seminars and practical classes. The focus on learning from real patients, alongside a strong foundation in research-informed practice, aligns with my aspirations to become a compassionate and competent doctor, ready to meet the challenges of 21st-century healthcare.

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

The Medicine course at the University of Southampton is designed to integrate theoretical knowledge with practical clinical skills from the onset. The program offers diverse clinical placements, allowing students to gain valuable experience in different healthcare settings. Learning from real patients is a key component, ensuring that students understand the social aspects of medicine. The curriculum is enriched with state-of-the-art facilities and research opportunities, fostering a culture of curiosity and innovation. This approach ensures that graduates from Southampton are not only equipped with the latest medical knowledge but are also adept in clinical practice, prepared for a successful career in medicine.

How does Southampton's Medicine program emphasie patient safety and quality of care?

The University of Southampton’s Medicine program places a strong emphasis on patient safety and quality of care. This is achieved through comprehensive training in clinical skills, ethical practice, and an understanding of healthcare systems. The curriculum includes modules and practical experiences that focus on patient-centered care, decision-making in complex clinical scenarios, and the importance of teamwork in ensuring patient safety. Southampton’s approach to medical education ensures that students are well-equipped to prioritise patient safety and deliver high-quality care in their future medical practice.

What opportunities for international experience does Southampton offer its medical students?

The University of Southampton provides medical students with various opportunities for international experience. This includes elective placements that allow students to observe and learn from healthcare systems in different cultural and socio-economic settings. These international experiences are invaluable for broadening students’ perspectives on global health issues and understanding the diversity of healthcare delivery around the world. Southampton’s commitment to providing these global opportunities reflects its aim to produce doctors with a comprehensive understanding of medicine in a global context.

During a clinical placement at the University of Southampton, you observe a senior medical professional demonstrating outdated and potentially harmful practices when treating patients. While these practices are not immediately dangerous, they do not align with current evidence-based guidelines.

In this scenario, the appropriate action is to first seek advice from a trusted mentor or educator within the program, outlining the observations made. This approach maintains respect for the senior professional’s experience while addressing the concern in a confidential and professional manner. The mentor can provide guidance on how to approach the situation, potentially leading to a discreet discussion with the senior professional or an educational intervention. It’s crucial to ensure that patient care adheres to current evidence-based practices, and as a medical student, it’s important to learn how to navigate such complex professional situations ethically and effectively.

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