University of Nottingham Medical School, home to 330 medical students per year since 1970 when the medical school first opened. As you may have already guessed, the medical school is located in the west part of the city of Nottingham in the East of England. The location is convenient, combining many places to eat out and green areas just around the corner.
However, students get to experience two neighbouring cities during their clinical teaching too - Derby and Lincoln, which is a great opportunity to change surroundings regularly.
Nottingham Medical School offers a traditional 5-year course, with the first 2.5 years being pre-clinical and mainly lecture-based and the following 2.5 years focusing on clinical placements. Despite the traditional split, students at Nottingham can benefit from clinical sessions at GP practices from as early as year one.
Nottingham assesses each candidate based on their GCSE and UCAT scores, giving approx. 20% weight to GCSE grades and 40% to UCAT and SJT alike. All of your scores are translated to a score, with the maximum being 152 points. Here are tables from the official website of the University of Nottingham explaining their scoring system:
The eight GCSE subjects you scored highest on are considered and each grade is translated into 1, 2, 3 or 4 points. The highest possible score you can receive is 32 points.
The University of Nottingham gives particularly high weight to the SJT and from 2022 entry onwards also to the verbal reasoning section of the UCAT.
Score from each of the sections of the UCAT gets assigned from 2 to 12 points (and double that for the VR section). In total you can get up to 60 points from the cognitive skills section and 60 points from the SJT:
It’s a good idea to calculate your score using the Nottingham scoring system before applying to gauge your chances of getting in. If your score is above 125 you should have a solid chance to receive an interview invitation.
Nottingham doesn’t have a cut-off score, as such. In the past years, the UCAT score of interviewed applicants averaged around 2750, but the lowest score interviewed was 2310.
Why the large discrepancy between the average and lowest score? Nottingham places very high emphasis on the SJT score, so having a Band 1 can significantly boost your chances of securing an interview, even if your total UCAT score is low.
Using the new scoring system provided above, if you have anything above 120 points you are in a good place to secure an interview offer. If you are below 120, you still stand a chance, but it is much less certain.
Since Nottingham requires the UCAT, it sends interview invitations earlier than most BMAT schools. Interview invitations are sent out on a rolling basis from the end of October to March.
MMI invitations are sent out on a rolling basis and happen between December and March.
Both in-person and online, Nottingham has been conducting Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). The interview at Nottingham lasts about 60 minutes and is held by 4 interviewers in total.
The interview includes six, 5-minute scenarios. Before each of the stations, you’ll be presented instructions on what’s about to come. Use this time efficiently by thinking through your answer and thoroughly understanding the scenario.
One of the stations is guaranteed to be a role-play scenario and one will revolve around one of your extracurricular interests.
We’ve got some great news for you: historically, the vast majority of applicants have received an interview invitation at Nottingham. For 2020 entry the admissions statistics were as follows:
Home Students: Out of 1686 applicants, 1238 were interviewed, which amounts to 73% of all home students who applied.
International Students: Out of 237 applicants, 95 were interviewed, which amounts to 40% of all international students who applied for medicine.
Home Students: After 1238 interviews, a total of 542 offers were made. This means you have approx. 44% chance to receive an offer after being invited to an interview at Nottingham.
International Students: After 95 interviews, a total of 46 offers were made, making your chances of receiving an offer after an interview around 48%.
For virtual interviews, make sure you do the following prior to your interview:
Unlike many medical schools, Nottingham doesn’t send out interview invitations on a rolling basis. They start giving replies in February after most candidates were interviewed, and continue to do so until early April.
So if you’ve been interviewed in December, as one of the first candidates, you need to be patient!
Preparing for medical school interviews requires more than just reading an article or doing a mock interview. It requires intentionality, structure and commitment. Luckily, with Medfully it is simpler and more efficient than ever:
At your medicine interview at Nottingham, you can expect six stations, with 5 minutes of speaking time on each of them. Nottingham explicitly states that one of the stations will be a role-play with a Nottingham medical student and another one will ask you to teach the interviewer something about your interests. Make sure you place a large focus on those two types of questions during your interview preparation.
Communication and listening skills:
Understanding of professionalism in medicine:
Please note that these aren’t questions that have been asked at Nottingham in past years. Publishing such information would be against Nottingham’s policy. The above questions are adjusted for the interview style at Nottingham and are meant to give you a broad sense of the questions you may face.
Nottingham explicitly specifies that role-plays are given to come up on your interview. Make sure to benefit from the clue you are given and don’t neglect that type of questions
Most candidates find role-plays one of the most challenging parts of any MMI, so practice role-plays until you get comfortable and confident performing them.
Review your personal statement
Go through your personal statement and highlight all the individual experiences, interests, books etc. you’ve written about and try to extract questions from each of those points.
For instance, if you’ve written that you’ve read ‘Do No Harm’ by Henry Marsh, some of the questions that you could be asked include: What did you learn about being a doctor from the book? What was the most interesting part of the book? What challenges did the author face as a neurosurgeon? Is being a neurosurgeon more challenging than being a GP?
If you are having a hard time extracting the questions, give your personal statement to a family member or a friend. They may be able to offer a fresh perspective and some help.
Prepare to be able to talk fluently about each of the topics and try answering some of the questions you’ve come up with.
Practise with as many people as you can
Practice is the best prevention for interview stress. The more you practise, the more confident and at ease will you be on the interview day.
Ask anyone you come across to conduct a short mock with you; your teachers, friends, family members, private tutors, reach out to candidates via online forums like TSR or Reddit.
This will help you get used to the MMI format and conversing with different interviewers with varying interviewing styles. Moreover, those that don’t know you as well, may be able to offer a fresh, less biased perspective and help you polish your interview skills.
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🤞 Good luck with preparing for the Nottingham Medicine interview! Fingers crossed!