About Buckingham University (2023 Edition)
Buckingham Medical School, part of the University of Buckingham is a well-respected medical school found just outside of London that has the ethos of putting the student first and above all else. It is a small enough medical school to have a cohesive cohort and supportive community, but big enough to provide all the experience a student would need to become a medical practitioner. It is affiliated with Milton Keynes University Hospital and The Railings, Macclesfield General Hospital and East Cheshire Trust and Leighton Hospital. The medical school is suited to both UK and international students and as an independent medical school, there is no cap on international student places.
It is ranked 34th by the Complete University Guide out of all the UK medical schools and has a 90% overall student satisfaction.
The course takes a systems-based approach which then in turn encompasses various scientific and medical themes. The programme is split into three phases over 4.5 years: Phase 1 (Years 1 and 2 are systems teaching based integrated with interdisciplinary units and clinical skills teaching) and Phase 2 (Years 3 and 4 are made up of clinical teaching based through a series of placements with themed in clinical and community settings with a low student to teaching staff ratio to keep in line with the student first ethos of the medical school.)
Buckingham Medical School Interview Information
😊 How does Buckingham select candidates for interviews?
A-Levels: ABB at A level, including Biology/Human Biology and Chemistry and these three subjects should normally be taken during the last year of school and grades should be achieved at first sitting
General Studies and not accepted as a third A level
You just need to meet the entry requirements which can be found on their website
Having higher grades won’t give you a competitive edge!
Other accepted qualifications include:
Scottish Highers, Advanced Highers
Irish Leaving Certificate
International Baccalaureate (at least 34 points with Higher Level 6 Biology and Chemistry)
UCAT/BMAT: Buckingham Medical school looks at neither BMAT nor UKCAT scores
Personal Statement: not used for shortlisting candidates but may be asked about during interviews
Work experience is strongly recommended
English Language: must have GCSE English Language Grade of 6 higher, IELTS score of 7.0 overall with 6.5 in writing and 6.5 in other components – IELTS must be taken within 3 years of enrolling on the course
🧬 What is the interview format?
The Buckingham interviews are an in-person or online Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) made up of ten to twelve 7-minute stations – each with one minute reading time, or six 8 minute stations and one 21 minutes (three mini 7minute stations). These are a series of tasks intended to test students’ analysis, interpretation and judgement abilities related to 'Good Medical Practice', published by the UK General Medical Council. This is Stage 2 of the application process and if you are successful, you are invited for Stage 3 of the application process. If you exceptionally perform in this stage, you may be given an offer directly.
Stage 3 of the application process are Objective Structured Selection Examinations which consists of a series of tasks intended to test out abilities related to Good Medical Practice (GMC Guidance).
📆 When will you get interview invitations?
Dependent on which application cycle you are part of
👩💼 When are the interviews usually held?
Throughout the year from February to October, with set dates for each round of interviews throughout the interview period.
The Selection Days for January 2024 Entry are:
21st February 2023 - Stage 2
5th April 2023 - Stage 3
27th April 2023 - Stage 2
9th May 2023 - Stage 3
Previous applicants have reported hearing back around 2 weeks after their interviews (3 possible outcomes – rejection, waitlist, acceptance)
📝 What are the main topics I will be asked at the interview?
You should show motivation, communication skills, teamwork skills and personality. You WILL be asked about work experience. You will also be asked to discuss both a case scenario and a topical issue which you will be given to read at the beginning of the station.
☑️ How will my interview be marked?
There are no right or wrong answers, the interviewers are looking for an overall understanding of the main topics that they expect you to know about before attending medical school such as the realities of a career in medicine and to make sure that you are a good fit for their medical school and for a future prospective career in medicine. You are being assessed for your thinking and also the ability to exhibit the qualities mentioned below that they are looking for.
🏠What main topics will I be asked about?
- Motivation and reality of a career in medicine
- Ethical Scenarios
- Organisation and problem-solving abilities
- Qualities of a doctor
- Communication skills
- Personal statement
- Previous experiences
- Video analysis
🌎 What stations may come up?
- Ethical scenario x2
- Work experience
- Communication and roleplay
- Motivation for studying medicine
- Numerical ability – data interpretation, simple calculations
- Current affairs
- Video analysis
🏠How many applicants are there per interview (Home)?
2.5 applicants per interview
🌎 How many applicants are there per interview (International)?
4.9 applicants per interview
Prior to the interview make sure to read up on the 4 pillars of medical ethics and have an idea of some common scenarios
Have an idea of what pieces of work experience you have done and what you have learned from each of them, use the STARR technique!
Finally always have questions for the interviewers too, especially if you have time at the end of a station, this shows engagement and interest.
Check out our Medicine Interview Course!
Example Interview Questions
🔥 Motivation Interview Questions
Why do you want to come to Buckingham?
How would you contribute to Buckingham as a university?
Has anyone tried to discourage you from pursuing medicine as a career?
How do you cope with technology (in relation to self-directed learning and PBL)?
What are the disadvantages of being a medical student?
What do you like about the course we offer?
Why do you want to be a doctor?
What do you want to specialise in? Why does this speciality interest you?
⚖️Medical Ethics Interview Questions
Make sure that you study this subject as there have classically been questions that have come up about this topic. Check out our other blog pages on medical ethics and remember to practice with your friends and family!
🤯Values and Skills Interview Questions
How would you want your patients to perceive you?
What extracurricular activities do you do?
How do you cope with stress?
How would I deal with death as a doctor?
📰 NHS Interview Questions
Have a general awareness of what's been going on in the medical world including any breakthrough research or major news that has been a stand-out talking point in the medical community.
🏨 Teamwork Interview Questions
When have you shown good teamwork?
What qualities do you have that make you a good team player?
What makes a good team leader?
🎭 Roleplay Interview Questions
These may be assessed as a part of some other topic, for example communication or one of the ethical scenarios, the best thing you can do is stay calm and remember to think about what you're going to say before you do. If you are given a scenario, take the time to read it and plan your answer.
🏥 Work Experience Interview Questions
What work experience have you had in the past?
Tell us about your work experience and what skill/experiences you have taken away from it
What have you done to prepare for studying and a career in medicine?
Buckingham has a student-centred teaching style and community focus as this is part of the ethos of the medical school. This as well as the small cohort numbers and low tutor-to-student ratio means that the students are very well supported by the medical school and the university. The university is also very attractive to many international students as there is no limit on the number of international applicants that this university. A hands-on approach from the very start improves confidence in clinical and practical skills from early on. Placements are located in Outer London primarily but range to areas such as Milton Keynes and East Cheshire, ensuring placements provide a range of experiences.
Being situated in Milton Keynes - only a short train or bus journey from London and Oxford - the University of Buckingham is very well situated with great public transport connections into the surrounding towns and cities. Hunter Street and Moreton Street are two of the most popular student accommodation sites which cater for different budgets and even couples should you choose to live with a partner. From then on, there is a large range of student accommodation to live in throughout the city and neighbouring towns with flatmates or alone if you wish. On campus, the student union has many events throughout the week and both sports and societies can be a great way to meet others and spend time enjoying interests.
There is an immense sense of community at Buckingham which means no one is isolated or left out, especially with the student-friendly environment that is created by the university. The medical school has its own campus in Crewe and there are many student union events meaning you will get to know a lot of familiar faces quickly. There are a large number of sports and societies at Buckingham and students who are a part of these societies not only get to interact with each other but also there are opportunities to compete against and socialise with other students from different universities. No matter what your interests are, there will be something for you!
Medical events, run by the Crewe Medical Society are known some of the best you will attend. With all your colleagues and other medical professionals, there is a real community feel about the way that the med soc runs. They run regular revision nights for various year groups, and medical school has its own campus in Crewe throughout the year and they also run a series of career-orientated talks from various medical specialists in different stages of their career.