Medicine interviews for St Andrews University usually start in late November and run until early March. This has been confirmed as the date range for 2023 entry.
To shortlist candidates for interview, all applications are checked to ensure that they meet the minimum academic and reference requirements. St Andrews expects strong achieved grades, a positive reference and work experience relevant to Medicine.
Those who pass these requirements are then ranked based on their UCAT score.
The highest-ranking candidates will be invited for an interview. The UCAT score required to get an invitation to interview will vary from year to year, depending on the competition. St Andrews aims to interview around 500 candidates each year.
For 2021 entry into the A100 course, there were 1028 applications. Of those, 463 interview offers were held and 400 offers were made post-interview.
St Andrews University uses the MMI (Multiple Mini Interviews) format for its Medicine interviews. There are usually 6 MMI stations, with 6 minutes allotted to each station.
As exceptions, for 2021 and 2022 entry, MMIs were adapted and held online. Instead of the 6 stations, there were 4 MMI stations, and the interviews were held via Microsoft Teams.
For 2023 entry, interviews will be held in-person at St Andrews for home students, whereas international students will attend an online interview via Microsoft Teams.
At St Andrews, the following topics are typically covered in Medicine interview questions:
Sample questions might include:
Be prepared on the day
St Andrews asks you to bring a piece of photographic ID (for example, a valid passport) with you to your MMI. It is essential that you have this, otherwise you will not be allowed to do your interview. So, make sure you check out the list of acceptable photographic identification which can be found here.
Also, check your email/letter from St Andrews to ensure there is nothing else you need to bring/have to do before your interview.
Understand what is assessed at your MMI
St Andrews wants to see you have ‘an understanding of Medicine as a career and that you appreciate the realities of working in a caring profession.’ Also, you are assessed on communication and interpersonal skills.
Before your St Andrews Medicine interview, practise answering common questions and do some mock interviews. This will ensure you are able to demonstrate these attributes clearly and will help you feel more confident when it comes to your actual MMI.
Be able to discuss ethical issues
Like many Medical School interviews, St Andrews assesses you on ethical issue discussions. Make sure you research topical ethical debates, such as abortion and euthanasia, and can discuss these thoroughly.
Think about the four pillars of ethics – autonomy, non-maleficence, justice and beneficence – when debating ethical issues and you should find it a lot easier.
Practise role play scenarios
At least one of your MMI stations will be a role play scenario with an actor. This sounds daunting, but the interviewers are not looking at your acting skills, but rather how you demonstrate specific skills and respond to a situation.
This gives you a great opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills and other attributes such as empathy. Try to get someone like a friend or teacher to practise with you beforehand so you know what to expect.
Be aware of MMI timings
At St Andrews, the MMI circuit is usually 6 stations, each lasting 6 minutes. This is a shorter circuit than some other Medical Schools, so make sure you use all the time you have to give appropriate and concise answers.
Think carefully before you say anything, and don’t just say something just to fill an awkward silence. Practise mock interviews lasting this long to get comfortable with the time limit and feel more confident on the day.
See this guide for further tips on how to answer interview questions at St Andrews Medical School.
The decision of an offer will be based on performance at interview. No other factors will be considered.
St Andrews anticipates that the majority of decisions will be made around mid-March 2023. However, some decisions may be communicated earlier than this.
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