Cardiff University Medical School offers an innovative spiral curriculum which makes use of case-based learning and early clinical contact to produce competent and compassionate clinicians. There is a real focus in the clinical years on learning from patients and providing patient centred care, with placements all over Wales. Cardiff University as a whole has a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere and there are plenty of opportunities to try something new in the many societies available.
Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and as a result it has a lot to offer in terms of things to do in your free time. There are three different universities in Cardiff, and so, most restaurants and cinemas offer great student deals and discounts. There are two main campuses in Cardiff, one (Heath campus) hosts healthcare courses and the other is for most other degrees (Cathays campus).
Cardiff University has one of the largest and most active students’ unions in the UK which, as well as being a hub for students, doubles up as a night club and venue for live shows. There are plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded people during freshers and beyond as many societies hold ‘meet and greet’ or ‘give it a go’ sessions.
The style of interview used is MMI. There are nine stations which last eight minutes each.
The interviews take place throughout December and January.
They tend to have stations focussing on personal qualities and attributes which are important in making good future doctors. For example, “What is empathy? Give an example of where you have shown it or have seen it shown? Why is it important as a doctor?”. In preparation for this, consider reflecting on the attributes required of a future doctor and examples of where you are developing these.
In amongst these questions, there may be some on the nature of the course at Cardiff and your insight into medicine or the NHS. Reflecting on real life or virtual work experience will help with the insight and the university website as well medical student blog can help you to gain an appreciation of the course.
There is always a maths station which is non-calculator and does not go beyond the scope of GCSE maths. Make sure to show your working out, even if you are unable to get to a final answer.
They may ask you questions that get you to consider medical ethics in a particular situation. We would recommend that you make sure you read about the pillars of medical ethics and try to speak about both sides of the argument in the interview. When it comes to interviews in general, practising saying answers out loud helps with confidence.
In terms of medical school admissions, selection for interview is based on academics. The university explicitly states on their website that you must sit the UCAT but “No absolute minimum threshold score is required.” Your top nine GCSEs including English language, Sciences and Maths are scored. If you have completed A levels which fulfil or exceed their typical offer (AAA) you can get additional points.
Emmanuel Onyango @emmanuelonyango_