Alex | Founder of Medfully
04 Feb 9 min read

Ultimate Guide to Newcastle Medicine Interview | Questions & Tips (2022)

Newcastle Medical School: Overview

Newcastle Medical School offers a 5 -year medicine programme and an accelerated 4-year programme for graduate students.

Newcastle is known for its innovative approach to teaching medicine: Students at Newcastle get offered a very diversified teaching style, combining a mix of case-based learning (CBL), tutorials, lectures and dissections.

Moreover, during the clinical years at Newcastle, students have a unique chance to experience a variety of healthcare settings. Clinical placements are carried out all over the Northeast of England (Cumbria, Northumberland, Durham), which allows students to explore the differences in the provision of care in rural and industrialised areas.

Lastly, Newcastle is very proud of and known for its PARTNERS widening participation scheme, through which as much as 25% of students apply. If you haven’t applied to Newcastle yet, check the eligibility requirements of the programme and maybe you’ll have an easier time getting in!


Pre-interview Selection:

🔢 How does Newcastle select for interviews?

GCSEs: Not considered for interviews.

A-level PG: Predicted grades aren’t used to rank candidates. If your predicted grades meet the basic entry requirements (AAA for normal entry and BBB for partners) you progress to the later stage of the selection.

Personal Statement: Personal statements and references aren’t assessed when shortlisting candidates for interviews, but may be used during an interview and are reviewed post-interview, together with the interview score, to give out offers.

UCAT: UCAT is the most important element of the pre-interview selection. Candidates who met the grade requirements are ordered in terms of their UCAT scores. Next, each year roughly 1000 top UCAT scorers will be invited to an interview. Only those with Band 4 SJT are automatically rejected.

Overall, even with weaker GCSEs and A-levels, you stand a chance to receive an interview at Newcastle if you have an excellent, competitive UCAT score.


📊 What is the lowest required UCAT score to get an interview at Newcastle?

Newcastle selects the top 1000 UCAT scorers for interviews each year. The including cut-off can vary quite significantly from year to year and will depend on the number of students who applied to Newcastle and the average national scores. For reference in 2021 the cut-off scores were as follows:

Normal applications: 2820 and in previous years 2730 and 2720.

PARTNERS (WP): 2720 and in previous years 2620, 2550.

📈 Want to save yourself some time, stress and money in the process of preparing for interviews at the University of Newcastle? Prepare with Medfully, the best interview preparation tool for self-paced interview preparation.


📤 When does Newcastle send out interview invitations?

Most interview invitations at Newcastle are sent out between November and January.


👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 How many candidates get interviewed for Medicine at Newcastle?

Home Students: In 2021, out of 2165 applications from the UK, 1072 were chosen for an interview. Roughly 50% of all candidates from the UK were interviewed at Newcastle.

International Students: In 2021, out of 510 applications from outside the UK, 94 were chosen for an interview. Hence, among international students around 18% are interviewed.


Interviews at Newcastle:

🗓️ Medicine Interview dates:

Usually, medicine interviews at Newcastle happen between December and February.

If you are invited (which we dearly hope will happen!), you are able to choose from the dates available. However, make sure not to postpone the decision for too long, as you’ll have a deadline for booking. Past the deadline, your application will be withdrawn (which we don’t want to risk!).


💬 What’s the interview format at Newcastle?

Pre-Covid-19 the interview format differed for home students and international students:

Home Students: Newcastle always conducted Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) for UK students. The MMIs were comprised of 7 stations, each station, each of which lasted for 7 minutes. That included 1 minute of reading time before each of the stations. Overall the MMI lasted for an hour.

International Students: By the virtue of convenience, Newcastle always offered international students to carry out a panel interview either via Zoom or in-person if they were able to fly over to Newcastle. The panel interview usually lasted for 30 minutes and had two interviewers present. The areas covered during the panel interview were the same as in the MMI intended for UK students.

However, in the past years, Newcastle switched to virtual panel interviews for all candidates. How they will look like this year will depend on the Covid-19 guidelines. For the latest information make sure to check Newcastle’s website.


👩‍💼 What are the interviewers like at Newcastle?

Interviewers at Newcastle can come from a variety of backgrounds. You can be interviewed by doctors or other healthcare professionals, medical students or even laypeople.

Interviewers at Newcastle are known to be on the colder side of the spectrum but aren’t by any means unkind. Most likely, they don’t show too many emotions to stay objective and not favour some students over others.


🏆 How likely is it I’ll be given an offer after a medicine interview at Newcastle?

Home Students: In 2021, 1072 interviews were followed by 535 offers from Newcastle. This means that as much as 50% of interviewed UK students have received an offer from Newcastle!

International Students: After 94 interviews 63 offers were made. Therefore, as much as 67% of all international students who get invited to an interview at Newcastle receive an offer afterwards!


💅 What to do before an online interview at Newcastle Medical School?

  • Prepare your interview attire prior to the interview, checking if you feel comfortable and confident in it and if it isn’t stained.
  • Find a quiet space, with good lighting (best if it’s natural), plain background and good wifi. Conduct at least one mock interview in that place to test everything and get your brain to associate the location with an interview mindset.
  • Download Zoom and check if the invitation link directs you to a meeting.
  • Check your internet connection, microphone, camera and speakers.
  • Prepare your ID
  • increase your confidence and interview knowledge by preparing using Medfully


 How long does it take to hear back from Newcastle?

Newcastle only replies after all medicine interviews are completed. This means you may have to wait until the end of March for a decision, even if your interview was early in December.


🧠 Newcastle Medicine Interview Questions:

Whether it be in-person MMIs or online panel interviews, interviews at Newcastle always cover the following areas:

Integrity

  • Can doctors ever lie to their patients?
  • Have you seen any examples of unprofessional behaviour during your work experience? Follow-up: In your opinion, what would have been the right way to act in that situation?
  • You are a 3rd-year medical student. Together with a group of your classmates you've been working on a presentation on the impact of different calcium sources on hip fractures in older adults. As you prepare the setup you realise you forgot to save your part of the presentation. In turn, your group's presentation is incomplete. Approach your group leader and discuss the issue with them.

Communication

  • Tell us about a situation when you’ve demonstrated good communication skills.
  • What are the elements of good doctor-patient communication in a healthcare setting?

Empathy and self-awareness

  • A young mother comes with their 3-years old child to your GP practice as a part of the routine immunisation schedule. However, the mother reveals that she decided not to vaccinate their child against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and appears to be anxious. What would you do?
  • Should we legalise physician-assisted suicide in the UK?

Motivation and commitment to be a doctor

  • Why would you like to study medicine, and not, for instance, nursing?
  • What steps have you taken to determine if the medicine is the right path for you?

Compatibility with the MBBS programme

  • Why would you make a good doctor?
  • Why would you like to study at Newcastle?
  • How could you contribute to Newcastle?
  • Medicine is a long and demanding course. How will you manage the workload at Newcastle?

Teamwork (including leadership)

  • Please explain to me how to tie a shoelace without using any hand gestures or shoes. You can take some time to think your answer through.
  • Tell us about a situation when you had to work in a team.
  • Do you work better in a team or alone? Why?

Personal organisation

  • How do you manage your time?
  • What’s your understanding of work-life balance?

Persistence and resilience

  • What do you understand by the resilience and why is it important in medicine?
  • How can medical schools teach students to become resilient doctors?

Have a hard time answering any of the above questions? You’ll find insider tactics to tackle all of the above questions and formulate convincing and structured answers at Medfully - The Best Medicine Interview Preparation Resource.

Please note that these aren’t questions that have been asked at Newcastle in past years. Publishing such information would be against Newcastle’s policy. The above questions are adjusted for the interview style at Newcastle and are meant to give you a broad sense of the questions you may face.


✅ Newcastle Medical School Interviews: 4 Tips

Know Newcastle Medical School inside out:

You’ve proved why you want to be a good doctor in your personal statement and that you have the necessary academic aptitude through the UCAT. Now it’s time to convince the interviewers that Newcastle is the place you’ll thrive in.

Make sure to carefully research the medical school’s website before your Newcastle interview and prepare answers to common questions, such as “Why Newcastle?”, “How can you contribute to Newcastle Medical School?” or “How are you suited for our medical course?”. Here’s a short part of a 2020 webinar about the medical course at Newcastle. Make sure you know the unique points about Newcastle, teaching facilities, course structure, societies you’d like to join and the like.

A great way to get an in-depth insight would be to talk to current Newcastle medical students! If you don’t have any friends studying at Newcastle, you can easily find them on forums like Reddit or TSR.


Practise role-plays:

In the good old days when interviews at Newcastle happened in-person, they always involved a role play, as one of the stations. If Newcastle switches back from online interviews to in-person mode, make sure you dedicate extra time to practising role plays until you feel confident performing them.


Be flexible with the way you communicate:

At Newcastle, you can be interviewed by people with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. It’s not guaranteed that the interviewer will be a doctor and will know about intricate medical topics you might mention in one of your answers. When the interviewers are introducing themselves to you, try to catch who they are and adjust your speaking style accordingly.


Have a fresh insight into medicine:

If you’ve done any online work experience or read any medical books, the few weeks prior to your interview may be a great time to review them and reflect on them again. Make sure you have a holistic overview of various healthcare professions, as well as the day-to-day responsibilities of a doctor. A fantastic source of such information is the “Good Medical Practice” guidelines issued by the GMC. You can find a pdf version here.

🤞 Good luck with preparing for the Newcastle Medicine interview! Fingers crossed!

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