Located in the vibrant midland city of Birmingham, the University of Birmingham Medical School is a fantastic place to study medicine. And the location is just one of many of Birmingham’s assets.
Hundreds of actively working societies and clubs, varied nightlife, Birmingham’s modern campus, cutting-edge research facilities and high student satisfaction all contribute to Birmingham being a great time to study and develop, whilst having a lot of fun.
GCSEs (45%): Obtained GCSE grades in Maths, English, Biology and Chemistry and 2 extra subjects are scored. These grades are converted into a score using the following system: 8 or 9 = 4 points, 7/A = 2 points, 6/B = 1 point, 5 or below = 0 points. Then, that score is scaled to a maximum of 4.5.
A-level Predicted Grades: Birmingham medical school does not use predicted grades when shortlisting students for interviews, beyond checking if they’ve met the standard entry requirements.
Personal Statement: Not scored, but for your application to be considered, your personal statement must be related to medicine and “offer evidence of commitment to medicine”.
UCAT (35%): Your UCAT score will be converted to a score from 0 to 3.5 (max), based on the decile you fall into. For instance, the top 10% of students who applied for medicine at Birmingham in a given year will get a maximum of 3.5 points, 2nd 10% from the top will get 3.11, 3rd 10% from the top 2.72 and so on. The higher your score, the higher your chances. Birmingham medical school does not consider the SJT score.
Contextual (20%): If you’ve attended one of the schools listed in Birmingham’s contextual schools' list, you’ll receive a score from this element, which will be given 20% weighting.
➗ Calculate Your Chances: Birmingham has come up with a very resourceful calculator tool, which can help you determine your likelihood of receiving an interview invitation at Birmingham Medical School and thus apply strategically. For the 2021 entry, the total score cut off was 7.0, but that may vary from year to year.
🌍 International Students: The selection process for international students applying for medicine at Birmingham slightly differs. GCSE scores are not a part of the selection process beyond checking if you’ve met the minimum entry requirements. Instead, all students are ranked according to their UCAT scores. For more details on the selection process check this link to Birmingham’s official website.
🇬🇧 Home Students: Cut off score based on the performance of students who applied to Birmingham in a given year. For 2020 entry, the UCAT cut off at Birmingham was 2830 for non-contextual applications, and 2260 for contextual candidates.
🌍 International Students: For international students, a cut-off score from the cognitive skills test section is calculated each year. For 2020 entry, the threshold score for an interview at Birmingham was 2640.
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Usually, Birmingham starts sending out interview invitations in early December until the end of January or until all places have been filled.
🇬🇧 Home Students: For 2022 entry, 2850 students applied from the UK, and out of those 1122 were interviewed (40%). Each year Birmingham aims to interview around 1,100 top students who applied.
🌍 International Students: For 2022 entry, out of 604 international students who applied for medicine at Birmingham, 69 (11%) were interviewed. Places for international students at Birmingham Medical School are capped at 28, which is why the competition is much more intense.
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:
Medicine interviews at Birmingham are most likely to take place between January 2023 and February 2023 (for 2023 entry).
Unsuccessful applicants will hear back from Birmingham only once all interviews are completed (most likely in March 2023).
It is still unknown if Birmigham will conduct medical school interviews online or in-person for 2023 entry. Make sure to check Birmingham’s website regularly for latest updates.
2021 and 2022 entry:
For 2021 and 2022 entry, Birmingham conducted online MMI interviews. Unlike most MMIs, these were short (20-30 minutes in total) and were comprised of just 2, 6-minute stations (plus 2 minutes downtime before and after each station). One of the stations was a role play and the other assessed your insight into medicine. An online, 10-minute maths test was also a part of the Birmingham medicine interview, but it was usually held on a different day than the MMI
Pre-Covid (2020 entry and before):
Before the pandemic started, medicine interviews at Birmingham were typical MMIs, comprised of 7, 6-minute stations, which included role plays and calculation tasks. You can find more detailed information about the content of the interview here.
🇬🇧 Home Students: For 2022 entry, 1122 interviews finally resulted in 800 offers, so over 70% of those who received the invitation for an interview have received an offer to study medicine at Birmingham!
🌍 International Students: For 2022 entry, 68 interviews finally resulted in 56 offers, so over 80% of international students who received the invitation for an interview have received an offer to study medicine at Birmingham! Once you get the interview invitation from Birmingham, your chances of getting in are very high.
Birmingham usually replies to candidates once all interviews are completed, which is late February / March of the application cycle.
Personal & Ethical Challenges
Motivations For Medicine
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Please note that these aren’t questions that have been asked at Birmingham in past years. Publishing such information would be against Birmingham’s policy. The above questions are adjusted for the interview style at Birmingham and are meant to give you a broad sense of the questions you may face. You can find more details about the content of Birmingham medicine interview on their official website.
Don’t Understate The Challenges In Medicine
During the interview, the admissions team at Birmingham will want to see that you have a realistic understanding of what it means to be a doctor. In your answers, make sure to include and appreciate the less glamorous side of medicine too; the physical and emotional day-to-day challenges, long training etc.
At the same time, show that you are not only aware of the challenges, but are keen to apply yourself to them and are resilient enough to persevere.
Train Your Mental Maths:
An MMI station assessing your mathematical abilities has always been a part of the Birmingham medicine MMI. Although the stations are meant to be at “GCSE level and below”, the interview stress or clinical relevance of the questions won’t work in your favour. Therefore, it’s best if you dedicate some time to refresh your mathematical knowledge and do a few exercises, until you feel like such calculations aren’t a challenge to you.
You can find a couple of sample calculation questions in our interview question list, but the UCAT quantitative reasoning questions are also a good practise resource.
Prepare For A Role Play:
Role-plays are practically guaranteed to come up in your medicine interview at Birmingham. Role play stations are some of the most challenging MMI stations, as they require you not only to demonstrate knowledge and insight but also skills and qualities. Not only that, most students find role plays hardest to prepare for.
Make sure you dedicate time to practising role-plays with your friends and family until you get comfortable and confident performing them. Spending a few pounds on a couple sessions with a private tutor, just dedicated to practising role plays, may make a significant difference to your confidence and role-playing abilities.
Know the GMC’s Good Medical Practise Guidelines Inside Out
The NHS Constitution and GMC’s Good Medical Practice are not only a great insight into doctors’ work in the NHS but are also among advised pre-interview reading by Birmingham.
The NHS Constitution outlines what the patients and staff working in the NHS can expect from the NHS and what the NHS expects in return.
GMC’s Good Medical Practice sets out guidelines for doctors working in the NHS and will help you understand what it means to be a “good doctor”. These documents aren’t the easiest reads, but they may come in handy for your interviews. Reading them carefully and analytically will certainly help you with answering questions around medical ethics and role play’s at Birmingham and beyond.
🤞 Good luck with preparing for the Birmingham Medicine interview! Fingers crossed!