Alex | Founder of Medfully
02 Jan 8 min read

Ultimate Guide to Bristol Medicine Interview | Questions & Tips (2023)

Bristol Medical School: Overview

University of Bristol Medical School is one of the best medical schools in the United Kingdom and offers a diverse 5-year MBChB programme. Early patient contact from year one, together with a mix of CBL and lecture-based approaches foster a holistic approach to learning medicine.

Situated in the picturesque city of Bristol with colourful architecture by the Avon River, Bristol is a great city to find a balance between studying and relaxing, whilst not being as overwhelming as larger metropolises.

Pre-interview Selection:
🔢  How does Bristol selects for interviews?

Predicted Grades & GCSEs: A-levels/IB predicted grades or GCSE scores are only checked if they meet the minimum requirements set for a given year. In other words, at Bristol 3A* predicted grade doesn’t give you a competitive edge over an applicant with A*AA.

Personal statement: Personal statement is not weighted when shortlisting candidates for an interview, but they may be brought up during Bristol interview.

UCAT: Bristol places heavy emphasis on the UCAT scores, with the exception of SJT which is not taken into account. Candidates are ranked in terms of their combined UCAT score in descending order. Admissions officers then run through the list inviting everyone who meets minimum set grade requirements until they run out of interview spots.

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

In the past couple of years, the average UCAT score of those invited to interview was 2850 for home students and 2890 for international students.

There is no cut-off score at Bristol, but the lowest scores to receive an interview invitation are still fairly high. Last year, the lowest score that got someone an interview was 2680 (home) and 2630 (overseas).

On the whole, this makes Bristol a fairly UCAT heavy and competitive medical school.

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📤 When does Bristol send out interview invitations?

Bristol tends to send out interview invitations on a rolling basis from early December up until March, but this can vary from year to year depending on the number of interview spots available.

TOP TIP: At Bristol, you must respond to your interview invitation within two weeks of receiving the email. Otherwise, your application will be withdrawn.

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

Home students: Last year out of 2340 home students who applied 1115 received an interview invitation at Bristol. This translates to approx. 47% chance of securing an interview once you applied.

Overseas: Out of 410 international students who applied, 130 have received an interview. This is 32% of all international students who applied to Bristol.


Interviews at Bristol Medical School 2022:
🗓️ Bristol Medicine Interview dates:

In 2022, medicine interviews will take place in January and February of the application cycle at Bristol.

💬 What’s the interview format at Bristol?

Pre-covid (2019 and before) has been conducting MMI interviews. However, as the setting switched to online interviews the MMI format was replaced by panel interviews at Bristol.

In 2021 interviews at Bristol looked as follows:

Candidates were interviewed by a panel comprised of two interviewers. Each of them asked two questions and assessed your responses separately. After the interview, an average from these scores was taken to calculate your final interview score. Together with all the logistics, like connection checks and an ID check, the entire interview lasted 30 minutes.

However, since the past two years have been quite unusual, make sure to check Bristol’s official website for the latest updates.

🖥️ Online interviews at Bristol:

In the past two years, interviews at Bristol were held remotely via Zoom.

Once you’ve entered the Zoom meeting your internet connection, microphone and camera, as well as your ID will be checked by the interviewers. Following the technicalities, the interview starts and lasts for approx. 30 minutes.

Once the time is up, the call is ended without feedback on your performance or the result of your interview. Bristol aims to respond to all candidates within 3 weeks from an interview.

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

Home students: Last year, after 1115 interviews, 595 offers were made. This means that once you receive an interview invitation at Bristol you have an over 53% chance of securing a place!

Overseas students: Last year, following 130 interviews 30 offers were made to international students. This makes the interview process slightly more competitive for international students, as there is approx. 23% chance you’ll get in once you’ve received an interview invitation.

💅 What to do before the interview at Bristol 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 (passport, driving license, college photo card, NUS photo card).

⏳ How long does it take to hear back from Bristol Medical School?

Bristol aims to reply to all candidates via email within three weeks of their interview.

🧠 Bristol Medicine Interview Questions:

Motivation for Medicine/Bristol:

  • Why would you like to study medicine at Bristol?
  • What do you know about our medical course at Bristol and why would it suit you?
  • Why would you make a good doctor?
  • What are the three adjectives that best describe you?

NHS Hot Topics:

  • If you could choose to allocate an additional £20 million to either of the following areas of healthcare, which one would you choose and why? Cancer research, mental health, Covid-19 research, palliative care, prolonging life research.
  • How do you see the future of the NHS?
  • What will be the long-term consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on the NHS?
  • How has Brexit impacted the NHS? Follow-up: How could foreign healthcare workers be attracted to work in the NHS?

Medical Ethics:

  • What are the ethical considerations of euthanasia?
  • The 14-year old boy is rushed into A&E after a car crash. The patient is unconscious and has sustained huge blood loss as a result of the accident. Together with your team, you decide the boy requires an urgent blood transfusion. As you are about to take the boy into the OR, his parents arrive and forbid you to carry on with the blood transfusion on religious grounds. How would you proceed, and what factors should you consider?
  • Please explain what do you understand by the term 4 pillars of medical ethics.

Personality and Communication:

  • What’s your greatest weakness?
  • Do you work more efficiently as a team leader or a team member?
  • What’s your definition of a good teacher?
  • Working as a doctor is demanding both physically and emotionally. How do you deal with stress?

Work experience:

  • Did you do any volunteering during the last two/three years? Tell me something more about it and what it taught you.
  • What steps have you taken to assess if a career in medicine is something for you?
  • What is the single most important lesson you took from your work experience at insert name of work experience placement?

🧠 Have a hard time answering any of the above questions? Check our Medicine Interview Preparation Resource, which is guaranteed to help you prepare convincing and structured model answers.

Please note that these aren’t questions that have been asked at Bristol in past years. Publishing such information would be against Bristol’s policy. The above questions are adjusted for the interview style at Bristol and are meant to give you a broad sense of the questions you may face. Looking for more questions? Check our comprehensive list of 250+ medicine interview questions.


✅ Bristol Medical School Interviews: 3 Tips

🗣️ Prepare to speak for longer than at other interviews

The panel interview at Bristol lasts 30 minutes but includes only 4 questions. This means you’ll have roughly 6-7 minutes per question, which is much longer than at most other universities.

When creating model answers and practising speaking them out loud, try to go into more detail, but don’t lose the structure of your answer or waffle. Keep the timing in mind and time your answers when practising. To make your answer longer you can simply cover more points or bring up more examples from your work experience or extracurriculars.

📚 Study carefully the GMC’s ‘Good Medical Practice’ guideline:

If you haven’t stumbled across the document already, the Good Medical Practice guideline is a brief, yet comprehensive guide outlining what it means to be a good doctor. Familiarising yourself with the document can help you gain an insight into the NHS and the work of a doctor, helping you prepare for questions assessing your insight into medicine or medical ethics.

Moreover, referencing the document where appropriate during your interview can create a lasting impression on the interviewers and give you a competitive edge. You can find the pdf here.

💧Get a glass of water for your interview (or a few)

At Bristol, you’ll likely be speaking for long periods without a break, which will put a strain on your throat and make it dry. To ensure your voice is lively and engaging, rather than hoarse get a glass or two of water for the interview.

Don’t be afraid to pause to take a sip mid-answer. Taking a sip of water during your interview can also allow you to take a brief break and take a few seconds to think your answer through.

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