Alex | Founder of Medfully
21 May 8 min read

Ultimate Guide to Sunderland Medicine Interviews (2022) | Questions & Tips


Selection For Medicine Interviews at Sunderland Medical School:

🔢 How does Sunderland select students for interviews?

GCSEs: For your application to be considered, you need 5 subjects with a grade of at least 7 (A). You can read more about the GCSE entry requirements here.

A-levels: All students need to meet minimum grade requirements (AAA) for their application to be considered.

Personal Statement: The personal statement is not scored or assessed when shortlisting students for medicine interviews at Sunderland, but it may be used as a springboard for a discussion during the interview.

UCAT: Although the UCAT score is an important element of the selection process at Sunderland, many students with low UCAT scores choose to apply to Sunderland due to a low UCAT threshold and overall competition. For your application to be considered, you need to score in the top 80% on the cognitive skills section and between bands 1-3 on the SJT.


📊 What is the lowest required UCAT score to get an interview at Sunderland Medical School?

🇬🇧 Home Students: Students applying for medicine at Sunderland need to score within the top 8 deciles of the UCAT (top 80%) and between Band 1 and Band 3 on the SJT. This means that Sunderland’s UCAT cut off score falls around 2270-2300. The exact cut-off score can vary from year to year, depending on the performance of other students and the difficulty of the UCAT.

🌍 International Students: Unfortunately, as of today international students cannot apply for medicine at Sunderland ☹️.

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💡 How To Prepare for Medicine Interviews at Sunderland University?

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 Sunderland send out interview invitations?

Usually, Sunderland sends out invitations for medicine interviews between November and January of the application cycle.


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

🇬🇧 Home Students: For 2022 entry, 495 students applied to study medicine at Sunderland and 402 were interviewed (81%).

🌍 International Students: Unfortunately, as of today international students cannot apply for medicine at Sunderland ☹️.


Medicine Interviews at Sunderland Medical School (2022):
🗓️ Sunderland Medicine Interview dates (2023 entry):

Sunderland medicine interviews for 2023 entry will most likely take place between December 2022 and January 2023.


💬 What’s the interview format at Sunderland?

Sunderland conducts MMI interviews, which typically consist of 10 stations. The format of the stations can vary from traditional 1:1 interview, where you simply answer the question asked by the interviewer, to role-plays and video stations, where, for instance, you may be asked to assess a recorded doctor-patient interaction.

➗ Numeracy Test:

An important element of the interview is a pen-and-paper numeracy test, comprised of 15 questions. It involves making calculations in a clinical context (for example questions check the 🧠 Sunderland Medicine Interview Questions section below) and is marked on a pass-fail basis. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you are a maths champion and ace it or simply do well - the passing threshold was set at 58% for 2020 entry. Therefore, although you should work on your mental maths before the interviews, there is no reason to stress to much about the numeracy test. For

Together with the numeracy test, the Sunderland medicine interview will last approximately 2 hours.

Below you can find a video made by the University of Sunderland themselves, demonstrating what to expect on the interview day:



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

🇬🇧 Home Students: For 2022 entry, following 402 interviews, 254 students have received an offer to study medicine at Sunderland (63%).

🌍 International Students: Unfortunately, as of today international students cannot apply for medicine at Sunderland ☹️.


💅 What to do before the interview at Sunderland Medical School?

  • boost your confidence and improve interview knowledge by preparing using Medfully
  • find and bring your ID to the interview
  • plan your journey - if you are invited for an in-person interview and have to travel from far away, make sure to arrive in Hull a day or two in advance so that you can be fresh on the day of your Sunderland interview
  • prepare a formal interview outfit in advance, try it on and see if you feel confident and comfortable in it
  • relax - the medicine MMIs at Sunderland are all about learning more about who you are (remember the interviewers aren’t there to eat or bully you!)


🤵‍♀️ What are the interviewers at Sunderland Medical School looking for?

During your Sunderland medicine MMI, the interviewers will assess you on a number of following qualities and skills:

  • Motivation/experiences informing your decision to pursue a medical career
  • Empathy and insight
  • Responsibilities and challenges of being a doctor
  • Awareness of ethical issues in health and society
  • Resilience
  • Comprehension
  • Effective communication
  • Mathematical abilities

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

It usually takes a few weeks to assess and process your application after the medicine interview. Therefore, you should expect to hear back from Sunderland within a few weeks after your interview, no later than the end of February.

If you haven’t heard back from Sunderland by that time, make sure to check your spam or promotions folder, as emails from institutions like public universities can sometimes land there.


🧠 Sunderland Medicine Interview Questions:

Motivations for Medicine:

  • Why would you like to study medicine?
  • You could surely name many things that attract you to medicine. However, could you tell us 3 things that appeal to you the least about being a doctor?
  • Studying medicine is a long and demanding process. How will you manage the workload and stress during medical school?

Contribution to Sunderland Medical School:

  • Why would you like to study medicine at Sunderland Medical School?
  • How can you contribute to the student community here at Sunderland?
  • We have had over 1,000 applications this year, but we have only 100 places. Why should we choose you?

Medical ethics:

  • 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?
  • Should euthanasia be legalised in the UK, as it is in other European countries such as Switzerland or Belgium?
  • A 19-year old patient comes to your GP practice and discloses they regularly engage in the use of illicit drugs. They ask you not to tell anyone, including the police. What factors should you consider in such a scenario, and who would you inform about the situation?

Personality:

  • What do you do to develop as a person?
  • What would you do in life if you had unlimited time and money?
  • Medicine is a stressful profession. How are you planning to take care of yourself as a medical student and later as a doctor?

NHS and current affairs (Hot Topics):

  • What are the differences and similarities between the healthcare systems in the US and the UK?
  • Could you explain how is the NHS funded? Follow-up: If you could decrease the funding in one area of the NHS to give a boost in another, which two areas of healthcare would you choose and why?
  • Why do you think the UK has one of the highest numbers of obese individuals in the world? Follow-up: What steps is the NHS and the government taking to tackle high obesity rates in the UK?
  • What do you understand by the term ‘mental health crisis?’ How can the UK tackle the mental health crisis?
  • Did the Covid-19 pandemic impact the NHS in any positive way?


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Role-plays:

  • You are a fresh FY1, 2-weeks into your oncology. You are responsible for a 12-year old patient, who is suspected to have leukaemia. The patient's father, who is visibly anxious and stressed, stops you in the hospital hallway to ask you if the boy's results are available already. They say they are tired of the waiting and uncertainty. At this point, you realise you forgot to bring the blood sample to the lab and need to take the bloods again. Explain your mistake to the patient's father.
  • You are playing basketball in front of your house with a friend. You wanted to pass the ball to them, but they made a dodge and it hit your neighbour's new car instead. As you approach the car you see that the ball caused one of the windows to shatter. You don't know your neighbour very well but heard rumours about him being grumpy and rude. Break the news to your neighbour.
  • 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.

Calculation questions:

  • You are required to calculate the volume of the syringe, expressed as a percentage of the total volume, that the patient requires. The label of the syringe containing the drug states the recommended dose is 1.25mL/kg, and the syringe contains 80mL. The paediatric patient weighs 24kg.
  • You went to a local pharmacy to purchase a few drugs for your ill husband. You had to get 3 350ml bottles of syrup, which costs £0.30 per 100ml and 2 packs of pain medication tablets, each containing 3 leaves for £2.50 per leaf. How much did you pay?
  • You have 50ml of a 10% solution of H2SO4. What volume of distilled water do you need to add to create an 8% solution?

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


✅ Sunderland Medical School Interviews: 3 Tips

Prepare for a role-play:

Role-plays are designed to mimic real-life situations. Since they allow the interviewers to witness how you’d behave in real life and see your personality in action, interviewers at Sunderland love conducting the role-plays.

The best way to prepare for them is to practise answering questions in this style before the big day. Convince a member of your family or a friend to do it with you. Simply show them a sample role-play scenarios and play out a scene as in real life!


Master your maths skills:

The numeracy test is a vital part of the Sunderland medicine interview. You're going to be asked a lot of questions that require you to do some quick calculations in your head. Make sure you practise these in advance so you can stay calm under pressure and get them right!

There are numerous apps, for both iOS and Android, than can help you polish your mental maths skills. Try to integrate them into your daily routine and you’ll see yourself improve within a matter of days!


Medical ethics and GMC’s Good Medical Practice:

There is a high chance that at least one of the ten stations will revolve around situational judgement. In other words, you may be given a clinical scenario and asked about how you'd handle the situation.

Make sure to read about medical ethics in our free, comprehensive interview guide to know how to use them to dissect any situational judgement station. Furthermore, GMC’s Good Medical Practice is also a fantastic resource, which can help you develop a clinical intuition for such questions.


🤞 Good luck for your Sunderland medicine interview!

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