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  • Amy van Dongen

GUIDE: University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Medical School Interview 2023 Explained

UCLan is a fairly new medical school with a large cohort of international students and a smaller proportion of UK students who are from the North-West.

You’ve secured your interview, now let’s turn this into an offer! I hope this article will help you understand a bit more about the interview process for UCLan, and help you prepare thoroughly so you feel confident on the day.

UCLan Medical School Selection Criteria

UCLan has set basic academic requirements for interview selection, with applicants requiring proof of a broad study of Mathematics, English and Science up to 16 years of age. Unlike most other medical schools, UCLan does not require you to sit an admissions test.

However, UCLan does put a lot of emphasis on both your Personal Statement and your Reference when it comes to selecting candidates for the interview. Each will be carefully reviewed, and the strongest candidates will be invited for interviews.

Some applicants will also be required to fill out a “Transferable skills document”, which asks you to reflect on work experience you have completed (I will touch on this later).

Fortunately, UCLan has provided some good guidance on what they expect from both your personal statement and your reference. Click HERE to find out more about this and read their suggestions.

UCLan Medical School Interview Format

UCLan interviews will take place between December-May/June, with most domestic students being interviewed at the end of March. This is a long time period for interviews to take place, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear back for some time after submitting your application!

The interview will be in MMI format and consists of 8 stations that are each 7 minutes long. There will be a 2-minute break between each station for reading time, so remember to remain calm, and try to put the previous station out of your mind before tackling the next.

Transferable skills document

Once you submit your application to UCLan, some candidates will be asked to fill in a “Transferable Skills Document”. This document will ask you to reflect on any work experience or volunteering opportunities you have had. Vitally, not only will this be read for interview selection, but you will also likely be asked to discuss your document with an examiner at the interview.

NOTE – your work experience does not necessarily have to be in a healthcare setting, it could be any caring role, for example, looking after children. Experiences in a caring role in a non-healthcare setting are just as valuable as those in a health care environment.

When reflecting on any work experience, try to talk about experiences that were meaningful to you, whether that was an interaction you had yourself or something you witnessed. Try and reflect on both positive and negative experiences on work experience and think about which characteristics the individual demonstrated that were particularly good or could have been improved. This will show that you have insight into what attributes are important for a doctor to have.

Take a look at the four domains outlined by the GMC’s “Good Medical Practice” – this is a good starting point to understand the qualities needed of a doctor and will help you reflect on your experiences.

When speaking about any characteristics you have observed, it would be great to mention how you have demonstrated these skills in your own life. This way you can show the interviewer why you would make a good candidate for medicine. Ensure you describe why this characteristic is important as well! For more guidance on the core values needed to study medicine, read the Medical School’s Council document on core values and attributes required of a medical student and future doctor.

UCLan – Keeping up with Current Affairs

UCLan states that they expect candidates to keep up to date with current news in medicine, and to be aware of the types of dilemmas that health professionals need to consider. They also expect you to have “intellectual curiosity” in the medical field.

In the interview, this could be tested by asking about your knowledge or opinion on current affairs in medicine or asking you about something you have read about recently that was interesting. To ensure that you are up-to-date on what’s going on in the medical world, try and read the health news as much as possible.

The BBC app is great for helping you do this – you can add “health” as a keyword to the “MyNews” section, as well as other keywords such as “medicine” “NHS” or “doctor”. If you can, also try to read articles from the Student BMJ. This is a great resource to keep up with new developments in medicine. A link to the Student BMJ website is HERE.

It is essential that you are also able to express an argument clearly, as this is something UCLan have suggested they could test. You may be asked to consider both sides of an argument related to current medical news, for example, the pros and cons of strikes in the NHS. You won’t be able to articulate each side of the argument if you don’t know about the topic, so make sure you stay current with the news!

UCLan – Motivation for Medicine

Finally, UCLan says they could ask about your motivation for medicine. You will have written a little about this in your personal statement, so this is a good opportunity to expand. Every person has a unique reason for pursuing medicine, so remember to be yourself in this section and speak candidly about your decision process. Try not to say what you think the interviewer will want to hear because they want to learn more about you!

To sum up…

For the UCLan interview, it’s important to focus on three key aspects:

  1. Transferable skills document and reflection on work experience

  2. Keeping up-to-date on medical current affairs

  3. Motivation for medicine

Preparing for topics, such as ethical dilemmas, will also be important, but these are the three areas that are specifically mentioned by UCLan as things that may come up, so these are the most important to prepare.

Remember most of all to stay calm and take your time when answering the questions so you can present the best version of yourself!

To test yourself in a simulation of the real thing, book a 1-1 UCLan Medical School mock interview with us today. We have built this using the information published by the university online.


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