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!
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.
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.
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Most interview invitations at Newcastle are sent out between November and January.
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.
🗓️ 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!).
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.
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.
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!
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.
Whether it be in-person MMIs or online panel interviews, interviews at Newcastle always cover the following areas:
Empathy and self-awareness
Motivation and commitment to be a doctor
Compatibility with the MBBS programme
Teamwork (including leadership)
Persistence and resilience
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.
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.
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!