Alex | Founder of Medfully
16 May 8 min read

Ultimate Guide to Queen's University Belfast Medicine Interviews (2022) | Questions & Tips

Queens University Belfast Medical School: Overview

Since its foundation in 1841, Queen’s University Belfast Medical School has gained a lot of recognition and produced numerous notable alumni.

The Belfast Medical School, also known as the Queen's University Medical School, is one of the four medical schools in Northern Ireland. Since its foundation in 1841, Queen’s University Belfast Medical School has gained a lot of recognition and produced numerous notable alumni.

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) is located in a bustling urban area where the students have a real opportunity to academically and culturally develop in a range of ways. As the largest medical school in Northern Ireland, Belfast Medical School attracts students from around the world, giving them access to top-class facilities.


Selection For Medicine Interviews at Belfast Medical School:

🔢 How does Queens University Belfast selects for interviews?

GCSEs: Obtained GCSE grades from the top 9 subjects are used alongside UCAT scores when inviting students for interviews at Belfast. Your grades from these subjects will be converted into a score according to the table below. Overall, a maximum of 36 points can be obtained from GCSEs alone (out of 42 in total).


A-levels: Belfast doesn’t use predicted grades when selecting students for interviews, beyond checking if they meet minimum entry requirements.

Personal Statement: Belfast doesn’t use the personal statement when selecting students for interviews. However, it may be discussed during QUB medicine interview.

UCAT: The UCAT score accounts for only 15% of the total score when selecting students for medicine interviews at Belfast. Your UCAT score will be converted into points (from 0 to 6) according to the table below. So far, no points were given for the SJT score in the selection process.


The points threshold for the Belfast interview was 32 points for the 2021 entry. If you’d like to get a more detailed insight into Belfast’s admissions process, you can read Belfast’s Admissions Policy Statement. Although the latest public version is for the 2022 entry, it shouldn’t change much this year.


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

Unlike many other medical schools, QUB doesn’t use a UCAT cut-off score. Moreover, the UCAT accounts for only 15% of the total score used when selecting students for interviews. Therefore, as long as your GCSE grades are in the 9s and 8s, you should stand a good chance to get invited to a medicine interview at Belfast, even with an average UCAT score.

📈 Want to save yourself some time, stress and money preparing for the interview at Queen’s University Belfast? Be a top achiever and prepare with Medfully; the best interview preparation tool for self-paced interview preparation.


💡 How To Prepare for Medicine Interviews at Queen’s Belfast Medical School?

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:

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📤 When does Queen’s University Belfast send out interview invitations?

Historically, Belfast has been sending out interview invitations on a rolling basis, starting in early December and until March.


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

🇬🇧 Home Students: Typically, around 1,200-1,500 students apply from the UK and NI and the top 600-700 receive an interview invitation (~50%).

🌍 International Students: For 2022 entry, 399 international students applied and 230 were offered an interview by QUB (58%).

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Medicine Interviews at Queen’s University Belfast (2022):
🗓️ Belfast Medicine Interview dates (2023 entry):

For 2023 entry, Belfast medicine interviews will most likely take place between mid-December and mid-March.


💬 What’s the interview format at Queen’s University Belfast?

Queen’s University Belfast conducts MMI interviews, which are usually comprised of 7-8 stations and last about an hour in total. Before each station, you’ll be given instructions, which will show you what topic/type of station to expect.

You’ll receive more detailed information regarding the interview process, such as the exact date of the interview, interview day agenda or what to bring, with the interview invitation.

Belfast hasn’t yet stated whether medicine interviews for 2023 entry will take place in-person or online. Make sure to check their website regularly for the latest updates. You can also email the admissions team at Belfast directly.


📅 Belfast Medicine Interview Day:

Under this link, you can find a short video created by Belfast Medical School showing what you can expect on the interview day. However, please note the video is quite dated, so some of the information may no longer be valid.


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

🇬🇧 Home Students: Following 600-700 interviews, typically around 400 students receive offers for medicine at Belfast (58%).

🌍 International Students: Following 230 interviews for 2022 entry, 44 international students have been given an offer to study medicine at Queens University Belfast (19%).


⏳ How long does it take to hear back from Queen’s University Belfast?

After your QUB medicine interview, you need to stay patient. You should hear back from QUB within a few weeks after your interview.


🧠 Belfast Medicine Interview Questions:

Empathy:

  • You the candidate are asked to assume you are a first-year medical student and that on your way home from the class you reach a bus stop. At the bus stop, a classmate is sitting there looking glum, obviously upset. You don't know their name. Demonstrate how you would approach this situation. Your classmate will be waiting at the bus stop when you enter the station. (Question taken from QUB’s official website).
  • What do you understand by the term empathy, how can a doctor demonstrate empathy in their interaction with a patient? Follow-up: If empathy is a skill, how can medical schools foster it and help their medical students develop it?

Problem-solving:

  • *Your mother rings you and asks you to come round and help with a major family decision. Her 70-year-old father has been diagnosed with the condition that will kill him sometime in the next five years. He can have a procedure that will correct the disease and not leave him with any long term problems, but the procedure has a 10% mortality rate. He wants to have the procedure but your mother is not in favour of it. How would you help mediate this issue? (*Question taken from QUB’s official website).

Moral reasoning:

  • Imagine you are the head of the surgical department in a hospital. There are two patients, A and B, both requiring an urgent liver transplant, but there is only one viable liver. Patient A is a 32-year old social activist, with a drug abuse history. Patient B is a 78-year old woman, who takes care of 3 children, whose parents died in a car accident. How would you allocate the liver and why?
  • A 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?

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Communication skills:

  • *You the candidate are asked to assume you are a first-year medical student living in a student house with other students enrolled in a variety of courses. The neighbours have complained about noise coming from your house. What options do you have to deal with this situation (Question taken from QUB’s official website).
  • Describe the way you took to get here from your home.
  • Imagine you are on a raft and swimming toward a deserted island. Luckily you have a backpack with a few necessary items for survival. Suddenly your raft starts to sink. You need to get rid of five out of the ten items listed below. Which would you choose and why? The items: Matches, hammock, sunscreen, a box of sardines, water repellent jacket, a cell phone, a mirror, an encyclopedia, a knife, flip flops.

Role-play:

  • One of your best friends is hosting her 18th birthday party on Friday evening. It's Thursday evening now. As you advise her on the outfit for tomorrow you realise you are responsible for interviewing a professor of cardiovascular surgery for members of your medical school's surgical society on Friday at 6 pm. Tell your best friend that you won't be able to attend their party tomorrow.
  • 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.

Personal Statement:

  • In your personal statement, you’ve written about your job as a helper at a local care home. What were your responsibilities and what have you learned during that time?
  • In your personal statement, you mention the term dementia several times. How would you define dementia, and how does it differ from Alzheimer’s disease? Follow-up: Would you approach a patient with dementia any differently than an otherwise healthy elderly patient with a hip fracture?

🚀 TOP Tip: 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 Belfast in past years. Publishing such information would be against Belfast’s policy. The above questions are adjusted for the interview style at Belfast and are meant to give you a broad sense of the questions you may face.


✅ Belfast Medical School Interviews: 4 Tips

Review Your Personal Statement:

Although the personal statement is not used when selecting students for medicine interviews, the interviewers at QUB may have a copy of your personal statement during the MMI and bring it up at some point. Some time elapsed since you’ve written it, so it may be a good idea to refresh your memory and read through it again before your interview.

Print out your personal statement, take a highlighter and highlight all the topics you may get asked about. Work experience - highlight that. Volunteering placement - highlight. Extracurriculars - highlight. Then try to come up with questions that they could ask you. For tips on answering personal statement questions, you can check our comprehensive interview guide.


Prepare For A Role-Play:

Roleplay stations are an absolute favourite of the interviewers at Queen’s University Belfast. However, they are the least favourite for most candidates, as role-plays are the hardest to prepare for.

Therefore, make sure to dedicate extra time to preparing for role-play stations. You can use some of the questions in the section above and read our free guide on how to approach and ace role-play’s.


Use The Waiting Time Strategically:

Before each station at the Belfast MMI, you’ll have around a minute to read the instructions. You can use that time in two ways; for relaxation or planning. If it’s one of the last stations and you feel like you are exhausted by the nerves and length of the MMI, take some time to ease your mind by taking a few deep inhales and exhales. However, you can also use that time to plan out your answer, so that when you enter the room you can leap into answering quickly and with confidence.

Think of the latter strategy as of a brainstorming exercise - after reading the instructions try to come up with as many points, arguments or examples in your head, so that you can have them at your fingertip the moment you enter the room.

🚀 TOP Tip: Read the instructions carefully! It’s better to read through them several times, making sure you understand what you’ll be asked to do than to come up with an elaborate plan, but for a wrong question.


Practise Questions Relating to Medical Ethics:

Autonomy, justice, benefice and non-maleficence are the famous 4 pillars of medical ethics, that you can use to break down any ethical scenario during your QUB MMI. Once you get familiar with these terms, try using them when analysing an ethical question - Ask yourself: What should be done from the point of view of beneficence? What should be done in terms of respecting the patient’s right to autonomy?

Looking for medicine interview questions relating to medical ethics? Check our list of 250+ medicine interview questions.

Good luck at your Queen's University Belfast Medical School!

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