Newcastle University Medicine Interview Questions

Note: This interview Q&A is based on pre-COVID in-person interviews (from 2019 and before). All university interviews changed in 2020-2021 to an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article has been updated in November 2021 with the latest information, and we will continue to regularly update it! 

Newcastle Medical School interviewed 1130 candidates in 2020/2021. The number of offers made has not yet been released but in the past, roughly 1 in 1.5 interviewed candidates were given an offer. 

For more statistics and general information about Newcastle Medical School, click here: Newcastle Medical School

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Newcastle uses a dual interview format with the MMI being used to assess home/EU applicants and a panel style used for internal candidates. In this guide we provide an expert insight into past Newcastle MMI stations, the Newcastle Medicine interview day and tips for converting your Newcastle Medicine Interview into an offer! 

NEWCASTLE MEDICAL SCHOOL BUILDING: Newcastle runs a highly regarded Medical degree and the university itself ranks in the top 150 universities according to the QS World University rankings of 2019. With its location making it close to both the Newcastle City Centre and Tynemouth and Whitley Bay, it’s ideal for students who are looking for various activities in the local area.
NEWCASTLE MEDICAL SCHOOL BUILDING: Newcastle runs a highly regarded Medical degree and the university itself ranks in the top 150 universities according to the QS World University rankings of 2019. With its location making it close to both the Newcastle City Centre and Tynemouth and Whitley Bay, it’s ideal for students who are looking for various activities in the local area.
Download Free Medicine Interview Notes

    Newcastle MMI in a Nutshell

    What is the Newcastle Medicine Interview style?

    The Newcastle medicine interview is MMI for Home/EU applicants, and Panel for International applicants. 

    For 2021-22, the MMI for home/EU applicants will assess a series of topics through role-play and interview stations. International students, on the other hand, will be assessed by 2 interviewers, either on campus or via a video conference. 

    For more information about the interview structure, have a look at this page: Newcastle Medicine Interviews

    When are the Newcastle Medicine Interviews held?

    December – February. Interview invites are sent out via email to applicants with a deadline for booking, after which no more books can be made.

    What are the common topics covered at Newcastle?

    The following areas will be assessed in your interview at Newcastle:

    • Integrity (honesty and probity)
    • Communication
    • Empathy and Self – awareness
    • Motivation and commitment to being a doctor
    • Compatibility with MBBS programme
    • Personal Organisation
    • Persistence and resilience

    How many people interviewed in 2020/21 at Newcastle?

    In 2020/21, Newcastle Medical School interviewed 1130 students.

    How many interviewed applicants received an offer from Newcastle?

    This data for the 2020-21 cycle has not been released. However, in 2019/20, 663 of the 1017 interviewed candidates received a Newcastle Medicine Offer. This means 1 in 1.5 students, or roughly 65%, received a Newcastle Offer after the interview. Offers are made primarily based on interview performance. 

    To learn more about the Newcastle Medicine course in general, have a look at their official page: Newcastle Medicine Course

    At Medic Mind we’ve helped many students secure offers from Newcastle and other medical schools. If you’re applying to Newcastle, we can do a high quality 1-1 mock with you with an Newcastle tutor and realistic stations uniquely for Newcastle. 

    List of Recent Newcastle Medicine MMI Stations

    ThemeNewcastle Example Questions
    Motivation for MedicineMotivation to pursue a career in Medicine
    Reasoning behind choosing Newcastle, specifically
    Work ExperienceProfessional and emotional responses to work experience
    Communication & Role-PlayCircumstances of difficult communication (for e.g.: interpersonal relationships)
    Tackling mistakes in a healthcare setting
    Personality & SkillsTeamwork 
    Qualities of a doctor
    NHS Hot TopicsFunding and resource allocation
    Organ donation schemes
    Healthcare expenditure and budgeting
    Medical EthicsEmpathy – its definition and role 
    Integrity – its definition and role 
    Common medical principles
    Personal StatementQuestions usually focus on motivation behind medicine and skills gained during work experience
    OtherKnowledge of the course at Newcastle

    If you wish to practice Newcastle Medicine Interview mocks, here are some sample questions:

    • What do you know about the course structure at Newcastle?
    • Why do you want to study medicine at Newcastle specifically?
    • What motivates you to study medicine
    • What makes a good leader?
    • What does integrity mean to you?
    • Why is sincerity important in medicine?
    • Describe a time when you have failed at something, and what did you learn about yourself from this failure?
    • Speak to an actor, who doesn’t speak the same language as you. Try to explain the time they have to take their medicine.

    To prepare for your Newcastle MMI interview, you may wish to check out our guide to approaching MMI role plays

    A Newcastle Medical Student’s Perspective

    Name 3 Reasons why you picked Newcastle

    1. Reason 1 – Explanation
      Case Based Learning – Very few universities use case-based learning when teaching and Newcastle is one of those universities. With case-based learning, all of what you learn is structured around one case of a patient at a time. They have a set number of learning outcomes within the case and your learning and notes tend to be structured around the learning outcomes. Exams are also structured around the learning outcomes. We would have a mix of small group teaching and lectures within the cases. All the lectures and small group teaching are very interactive. Pre Work is required before small group teaching.  They would use the seminar to consolidate your learning and check for any gaps in your learning. Alongside this we also have self-directed learning. There is a lot of independent studying at Newcastle
    2. Reason 2 – Explanation
      Prosection and Anatomy in general – Newcastle University offers Prosection. Most of the anatomy is delivered as a self-directed learning which would be set as a pre-work before a DR session (Dissecting Room). During the DR session, they provide us with the prosections of the cadaver and set up stations for different aspects of the anatomy for that case and essentially quiz you on it to check for gaps in learning. If there are gaps, they will go through the content thoroughly to check for understanding. There is an opportunity for you to be able to do full body dissection during SSCs (student selected components) in year 3 and 4.
    3. Reason 3 – Explanation
      Clinical Placements, Student Life – Newcastle is a regional medical school so for clinical placements, you could be placed as far as Carlisle up north and as far down as Middleborough. You will be expected to work in primary, secondary, and tertiary hospital and it gives you a different experience. Newcastle has some of the best teaching hospitals with RVI and Freeman being some of them, so it really is a great opportunity to be taught by such great clinicians. Newcastle is known for its night life. They are still things for you to do if you don’t like nights out. The nearest beach is about 40 mins on the metro from campus. The city caters for everyone, and it is such a small and friendly city. Everyone here is lovely.

    What makes Newcastle unique to other medical schools?

    Integrated Masters in Year 4 and the amount of clinical exposure you get in the first 2 years – You can do an integrated masters in between year 4 and 5. You can still do an integrated BSc between year 2 and 3 but many people tend to choose Integrated Masters and you can do it, at an external university as well. Newcastle is the only university that offers this. There are a wide range of Masters courses available at Newcastle ranging from the typical MSc and MRes to Masters in the history of medicine as well. They will provide you with all the information required to do that in year 3 and year 4. This does not affect your clinical placements so you will still continue to do your clinical placements in year 3 and 4. You would then take a year out to do your Masters which I believe the NHS will pay for, through the NHS bursary. Every term, we have about 2 clinical placements (one hospital and one GP) and you are treated as healthcare professionals right from the start. You will be expected to carry out examinations on real life patients during the placements which provides a snapshot of what you will be doing in the clinical years

    Insider Guide: Newcastle Medicine Interview Day

    How did the Newcastle Medicine Interview day work?

    This varies depending on the style of interviews. For home/EU students assessed by MMI, this can be done virtually or in-person. Newcastle medical school will send detailed instructions to all invited applicants. 

    International applicants assessed via panel interview have the option of doing so in-person or via a virtual tele-conference. 

    In-person interviews typically include a talk by those who oversee the medical school admissions process as well as an optional tour of the facilities. This may or may not be applicable to the 2021-22 cycle based on the COVID guidelines at the time.

    What did you have to bring for the Newcastle Medicine Interview?

    The dress code is as usual for an interview – smart clothing. ID is required, but nothing else specifically. If the interview is held virtually, a strong Wi-Fi connection, working camera and microphone and a quiet and bright space is needed. 

    How did you receive information for each Newcastle MMI station?

    Each station is preceded by a minute of reading time where you will receive instructions as to what will be assessed in that station. This is a good time to prepare your answer and its structure.

    What were the Newcastle MMI examiners like?

    MMI examiners are typically quite poker-faced. They are, however, not rude or unfriendly. They do maintain a level of unbiased neutrality to ensure equality in the application process. Role-plays, if present, can be trickier as actors are often encouraged to be a bit more difficult to communicate with. 

    Did the Newcastle MMI interviewers ask a lot of follow up questions?

    In past interviews, follow-up questions were uncommon and if present, were not from a predetermined list. Often, follow-up questions will be based on something you’ve said that has caught the examiner’s eye. 

    How long is the actual Newcastle MMI Interview?

    The MMI itself should last around an hour but those attending in-person may have to undergo various logistical processes which might take up more of your time. 

    What do you advise for the day? (Accommodation, Travelling)

    Bring a book or be open to go out and explore Newcastle before your interview if you have to wait for your interview slot. Dress smartly in order to give a good first impression. Wear a coat as the north in general is quite cold and when waiting for the interview,  remember to speak to fellow interviewees as not only can this help you calm your nerves but the interviewers may be watching you at this stage as well to see how you interact and remember to stay off your phone..

    Logistical advice for the interview? 

    If the interview is held in-person, the medical school is very accessible by local public transport. If you’re coming in overnight, staying anywhere in the city should allow you to get there with ease by the bus. Remember to wrap up warm as it can get quite cold up North. Waiting times can be long so use this time to calm your nerves by engaging in some quiet reading or meditation. It’s also a good idea to converse with fellow applicants! 

    For virtual interviews, ensure you have a quiet and bright space with a strong Wi-Fi connection and working camera and microphone. Ensure you will not be disturbed during your interview and avoid sitting in front of a bright light or window to prevent glare. Ideally, set up your interview space prior to the day and practice in that setting a few times to ensure comfort and logistical ease. If the university allows, it is helpful to have water to sip on throughout the interview.

    How long did it take you to hear back after your Newcastle Medicine Interview?

    Once interviewed, it takes a few months to hear back, roughly 1-3 in the past, depending on when you’ve done your interview. 

    REGIONAL MEDICAL SCHOOL: The Medical School being regional means students get to travel around the North East, with the opportunity to spend some time in the Lake District. Therefore, you will meet people from all walks of life and see a variety of different conditions.
    REGIONAL MEDICAL SCHOOL: The Medical School being regional means students get to travel around the North East, with the opportunity to spend some time in the Lake District. Therefore, you will meet people from all walks of life and see a variety of different conditions. 

    Top Tips for Newcastle Medicine MMI Interview  

    1. Know your why! Newcastle medical school has a strong focus on delving into the reasons behind your application to Medicine. Be prepared to answer questions about your motivations and inspirations as well as future goals. It is also vital to have strong reasoning as to why you’ve chosen to apply to Newcastle specifically; think outside the box for this – what research are they well known for? What societies do they offer?

    2. Think of your strengths and weaknesses and examples to back them up. Don’t be afraid to mention your weaknesses, rather state them (if asked) and give an example of how you are working to improve yourself. This will show the interviewer that you are willing to adapt yourself for the betterment of others and will make a good impression.

    3. Make sure you have a lot of examples and reflections of work experiences. It is important to have multiple examples from your work experience that have made you want to study medicine or that have improved your overall understanding of the profession. More importantly, have strong reflections for these.

    4. Make sure you can give examples of when you’ve expressed the good qualities of a doctor. These examples can be from your everyday life for example when you have helped someone or from your voluntary / work experience. This will show the interviewer that you are already beginning to embody the role of a doctor by practising the skills they require. Again, reflection is key and should show what you did well and what didn’t go as well and how it’s impacted your skillset moving forward.  We have a great page to help you answer these types of questions, which you can find by clicking here; Model Answers

    5. Don’t be thrown if you have to wait hours to interview once you’ve arrived. It’s very likely that you will have to wait some time for your interview, but rather than letting your nerves get the best of you during this time, use it wisely to go over any answers or to speak to any medical students and other interviewees to help calm your nerves down.

    6. Know Newcastle Medical School – This is very important. Newcastle places a heavy emphasis on whether you are compatible for the MBBS Programme provided here. Really know about the course structure, e.g., we do case-based learning here with lectures and seminars that provide the teaching. It is important that you are aware of the type of dissection that we do here, and the different opportunities provided at Newcastle during your medical training. It is also significant that you are aware of what the city is like as well and whether the city is right for you. Know what the University offers you as well, because at the end of the day, you will be at Newcastle for 5/6years

    7. Work Experience and Volunteering – Reflection is something that Newcastle places a heavy emphasis on. As medical students, we are expected to constantly reflect on everything we have done. We are asked to reflect on every clinical placement we have attended. It is a good habit to develop. For every work experience or volunteering experience you have done, do try and write a few quick sentences on reflecting on the experience, for example, what went well, what could be improved for next time. It could be any activity you have done, it does not necessarily have to be work experience or volunteering. It could be D of E or NCS Remember to always link it back to medicine.

    8. Ethical Issues – Another thing that Newcastle places a heavy emphasis on is Ethics. It is important that you can have a debate about different topics, and you are able to give a structured argument balancing both the pros and cons. Stay up to date on the ethical issues and articles on the news. Remember to smile. The interviewers at Newcastle are lovely and will put you at ease. This was one of my favourite interviews and it felt like I was having a relaxed conversation about medicine.

    Covid – 2021 Changes

    Is the University of Newcastle Medicine Interview different this year?

    All Newcastle interviews will take place online this year.

    Where can I find more information about the changes?

    Full details of the changes for 2021-22 entry interviews can be found here: Entry Interviews & Admission Policy

    Medicine Interview Online Course
    Breakdown of the Most Common Interview Question Types, How to Perfect Your Interview Technique, and Mock Interviews Tailored to Your University Choices
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    Download Free Medicine Interview Notes

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