About Cardiff Medical School (2023 edition)
As one of the largest medical schools in the UK, Cardiff heavily emphasises clinical experience from the beginning of the course starting in first year.
Early patient contact, combined with the opportunity for full body dissections establishes a brilliant base for clinical years.
The curriculum is spiral, ensuring that everyone can really build up their basic knowledge consistently and add on year after year. They are always keen to listen to new suggestions.
Cardiff University Interview Information (2023)
🔍 How does Cardiff University select candidates for interviews?
A-Levels/GCSEs: You are awarded points per grade [B = 1 point. A = 2 points. A* = 3 points]. While there are no minimum grades needed at A-Level, AAA is strongly recommended. At least 9 GCSEs at B/grade 6 are required (including English/Welsh Language, Biology, Chemistry, Maths).
Personal Statement: Demonstrate knowledge about the NHS and current medical training. Reflect on experience in a caring environment, and taking personal responsibility. Include how you balance work and leisure, and show proactivity in self-learning. Work experience is not necessary.
UCAT: There is no minimum threshold score! A higher score may be advantageous.
🧬 What is the interview format?
Cardiff University uses the multiple mini interview (MMI) format. This encompasses multiple short, rotating interview ‘stations’ that allow you to demonstrate different aspects of yourself and your thinking. These usually include rest stations so you can gather your thoughts.
📆 When will you get interview invitations?
👩💼 When are the interviews usually held?
📝 What are the main topics I will be asked at the interview?
Cardiff likes to see if you can think quickly and logically, form opinions on medical ethics and issues, carefully examine and understand information, and communicate effectively. Your personality and work drive is also important to show the examiners! One of the stations will be a written station (this is commonly a Maths station). Cardiff recommend using this GMC resource as a guide: https://www.gmc-uk.org/ethical-guidance/ethical-guidance-for-doctors/good-medical-practice
☑️ How will my interview be marked?
You will be scored at each station, and the final score will be calculated by combining all the stations’ scores together. So don’t worry if you feel like you’ve messed up a station - doing well in the others can give you an overall high score!
🏠 How many applicants are there per interview (Home)?
The latest statistics are from the 2019 applicant cohort. 1235 out of 2306 applicants were invited to interview. That’s 54% of candidates, so around 2 applicants per interview.
🌎 How many applicants are there per interview (International)?
The latest statistics are from the 2019 applicant cohort. 109 out of 451 applicants were invited to interview. That’s 24% of candidates, so around 8 applicants per interview.
✨How likely is it that I will be given an offer after an interview?
Home: 55% of students receive an offer after an interview!
International: 52% of students received an offer after the interview!
Reading up a little on the background of the NHS and the values underlying its creation is a good starting point for preparation.
Cardiff is keen on assessing people's communication skills and their ability to balance arguments and justify scenarios therefore practicing this beforehand with family or friends will definitely help.
Brush up on basic maths skills for the numeracy station but don't stress too much about this.
Key to any MMI - all the stations are assessed individually so don't let one bad station affect your entire performance of the day.
Research the course, especially the new C21 course that they offer. Make a note of any unique aspects that particularly interest you.
Ensure that you have a good understanding of the Welsh NHS.
Check out our Medicine Interview Course!
Example interview questions
🔥 Motivation Interview Questions
Why not study closer to home?
How are you able to contribute to Cardiff as a student and a potential student ambassador?
⚖️ Medical Ethics Interview Questions
Do you think mapping the human genome is a good idea?
What is your view on organ donation in Wales?
Could you perform an abortion? And if not, what would you do?
What are your views on euthanasia (or other hot topic)?
🤯Values and Skills Interview Questions
What are essential skills within doctors as healthcare professionals?
Maths station - involves basic calculations such as drug doses and statistics
Why do people in aeroplanes suffer from deep vein thrombosis from being still in one position, yet this doesn't affect people when they are asleep despite being in the same position for hours?
How would you go about solving the problem of diabetes?
How does an MRI machine work?
Do you know who invented CT scans?
📰 NHS Interview Questions
"How has the development of the NHS changed healthcare within the UK?
(Founder of the NHS, Aneurin Bevan was Welsh, good to have some knowledge about how he spearheaded the creation of the National Health Service)"
Impact of COVID on medical research and development
Give me a current medical issue you find interesting and explain why?
What do you think are the two major health issues in Wales at the moment?
What do you think of the NHS bed crisis?
What is your understanding of "bed blocking"?
How would you go about solving the problem of "bed blocking"?
Have you recently read any magazines/newspaper articles related to health issues?
🏨 Teamwork Interview Questions
In an operating theatre, who is the most important person in the room out of everyone there?
This may require you to work with someone else or discuss a time where you displayed skills which are necessary for operating as part of a team.
🎭 Roleplay Interview Questions
Describe how you might deal with an unhappy patient, who has been waiting hours longer to see a doctor than they expected to.
How might you confront a colleague who has come into work smelling of alcohol?
🏥 Work Experience Interview Questions
What have been the most eye-opening parts of your work experience?
Is there anything you saw during work experience that evoked strong emotion/inspiration/worry?
What are negative aspects of healthcare that you may have witnessed during work experience?
Cardiff University offers full body dissection to allow all students to consistently learn throughout their preclinical phase and consolidate knowledge with hands on experience. The early GP placements throughout first year allow student to develop communication skills from the very start. Regular communication skills session help build confidence for clinical years. The clinical highlight is the breadth of placement locations - all across Wales. Many have the opportunity to also spend their 3rd year in a rural GP practice in either North or West Wales under the CARER scheme should they wish to do so.
As the capital city of Wales and a city university, Cardiff is always thriving. The biosciences building and medical school campus are around a 45 minute walk apart, with the medical school being based within the University Hospital of Wales grounds. Most students live in university accommodation in first year - the Talybont student accommodation is one of the biggest and is in the middle of both the main campus and the healthcare campus. There are 3 main train stations within Cardiff that students use, with Cathays being in the heart of the student area, being situated just next to the Cardiff University Students' Union. The university boasts over 200 societies, some of which are specifically healthcare focused so there is a society for everyone.
At Cardiff University, the close proximity of most accommodations and the town centre creates a thriving social environment and the large class numbers, while may be initially intimidating, creates a friendly and social environment for everyone. Specific to medics, Medsoc put on events throughout the year. However the SU put on regular events open to all students both across the academic year and within summer therefore medics do have the opportunity to mix with other students fairly often. The wide range of societies at the university and close proximity to other universities such as USW and Cardiff Met also ensure that there is something for everyone to do, regardless of their background or what they enjoy.
Representing over 1700 students, the Medsoc is the biggest society at the university and is known for its socials throughout the year whether they be year specific or for the entire undergraduate body. Alongside this, they have a strong academic team, putting on regular revision courses throughout the year and collaborating with other societies to put on in person ISCE revision sessions close to the end of the year. The welfare team are always on hand to listen, with a welfare rep for each year group and put on wellbeing cafes throughout the year - in person these involve a stall with tea, coffee and biscuits which is open for anyone to come down and have a chat.