About Lancaster Medical School (2023 Edition)
Lancaster Medical School is a relatively small medical school, with a close community of students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
Medicine at Lancaster is taught with a holistic approach, with students given a variety of opportunities to work independently and within a wider team.
The course also incorporates the local community, with a key emphasis on health inequalities on a local and national scale.
Lancaster Medicine Interview Tips
🔍 How does Lancaster select candidates for interviews?
Stage 1: Academic requirements
Both past and predicted grades are taken into consideration. Current offer is AAB at A2 level or equivalent. GCSEs are part of the decision as to whether a candidate has sufficient academic aptitude to be taken to stage 2 of the application process (admissions test).
Stage 2: BMAT
Lancaster use the BMAT (‘BioMedical Admissions Test’) in stage 2 of their screening process for applicants. Lancaster use this in stage 2 by ranking applicants according to their BMAT score (sum of scores for sections 1-3). Only the top ranking applicants move to stage 3 and receive an invitation to interview. Therefore doing well in the BMAT is important to improve your chance at being selected for interviews at Lancaster.
Stage 3: Interview
If candidates exceed in stages 1 and 2 of the academic screening protocol they will be invited to interview (see more details below).
Stage 4: Fitness to practise
It is worth noting that even if successful at interview you must pass the fitness to practise stage of the application process in order to be enrolled on the medical course at Lancaster. More details on this can be found on their official university website (keep scrolling for link).
🧬 What is the interview format?
MMI (‘Multiple Mini Interview’) format: 12-15 stations with a couple of ‘rest’ stations and also a 20-minute long group work station assessing your compatibility with the PBL (‘Problem-Based Learning’) style of teaching at Lancaster med school.
📆 When will you get interview invitations?
Rolling basis from December. Lancaster aim to give candidates at least 2 weeks’ notice before the interview date.
🧑🏫 When are interviews usually held?
Usually January to mid-February
📝 What are the main topics I will be asked at the interview?
You may get a station in which you are asked questions relating to a graph or bar chart, for example interpreting a graph about population change/ infant mortality rates etc
Role-play stations with non-medical topics: for example you may be asked to explain to someone how to tie a pair of shoelaces or how to build a tower out of lego. These are designed to test your patience and communication skills.
This is usually a medical student who plays the role of the patient whilst you play the role of the doctor. You may have to ask questions about a diagnosis or just generally have a chat; the aim of this station is not to test your medical knowledge but instead communication skills and empathy.
Work experience/ important qualities for medicine
Unlikely to be asked questions about your personal statement, but if you can find opportunities within the interviews to bring in examples that demonstrate qualities required by a doctor, such as work experience/ volunteering roles/ jobs/ hobbies, this is good.
The 20-minute long group work station is designed to test candidates’ compatibility with the PBL teaching style at Lancaster, which is based on discussion and finding solutions to problems, instead of being presented with facts and information to learn.
☑️ How will my interview be marked?
At each station, your performance will be assessed against a set of clearly defined criteria, allowing the interviewer to assign you a score for that station. Interviewers are drawn from a pool of trained individuals and will include academic staff, clinicians, students, patients and public representatives. At the end, an overall score is calculated by adding up all the individual scores and offers will be made to those who score highest overall in the MMI.
🏠How many applicants are there per interview (Home)?
Number of applicants per interview: 1.9
Number of applicants per place: 8.2
🌎 How many applicants are there per interview (International)?
Number of applicants per interview: 7.1
Number of applicants per place: 25
✨ How likely is it that I will be given an offer after an interview?
General chance of success post-interview: 50.40%
Ensure you read any information given to you by the university before the interview – this will tell you where you need to go, as well as general details regarding how the interview will be carried out.
During the interview, articulate your thoughts out loud – the interviewers do want to give you marks, and this is a great tip if you’re unsure of what to say. In addition, try to get along with other candidates!
Whilst you are competing with each other, being a doctor involves working with a team, which is reflected in the group interview at Lancaster.
Check out our Medicine Interview Course!
Example interview questions
🔥 Motivation Interview Questions
Why do you want to study Medicine at Lancaster University?
What would you do if you did not gain any offers to study Medicine?
Explore your understanding of your chosen career, through discussion of your personal statement, and work and voluntary experience, including what you learned about your own suitability to be a doctor from these experiences.
⚖️ Medical Ethics Interview Questions
Ethical Scenarios - In a given scenario, what actions would you take, and why?
Discuss an ethical scenario. You will have 5 minutes to read a short paragraph that outlines an ethical dilemma, make notes and consider your opinion. You will then have a further 5 minutes in the next station to discuss your thoughts with an examiner. There is no right or wrong answer; this station will assess your ability to identify the issues and articulate your opinion.
🧍Values and Skills Interview Questions
What skills do you think a doctor would need, and why would they need this in the workplace?
🏥 Work Experience Interview Questions
Give an example of something you learnt from your work experience when applying to Medicine - how does this relate to being a good doctor?
Tell us about your work experience and voluntary work.
🤝 Teamwork Interview Questions
Group Interview - a PBL style discussion with other candidates and a facilitator
🛠️ Problem Solving Interview Questions
Prioritisation - from a scenario, what actions (from a given set) would you choose, and in what order would you do them.
Data interpretation - e.g. from a graph or chart
May involve watching a short consultation video with note taking opportunity. From here, you discuss your findings at a subsequent station.
You might be given 10 minutes to read through a problem-based learning (PBL) scenario, asked to identify the ten most important points and to justify why you thought they were important. At the following station, you are then allowed a further five minutes to discuss and defend your choices.
🎭 Roleplay Interview Questions
Talk to a 'patient' regarding their experiences with healthcare.
Talk to one of our patient and public representative group. You are not expected to take a medical history; we just want you to find out a bit about them. This will involve asking questions and responding to what the person says. We will be observing how you interact with the person and how you respond to their answers.
Situated in the new Health Innovation Campus, it provides early clinical experience; in Year 2, students start hospital placements, providing early patient contact and real-life context to the knowledge gained from PBL. Finals are done at the end of 4th year, with 5th year focussing on preparing you for your role as a doctor. Students can also access a wide variety of support options – first years are paired with second years from the beginning of the course, and each student has an academic tutor with whom they can discuss any concerns.
Lancaster is a quiet city in the North West – the campus is separate from the main city. However, there are regular buses which run from campus to the city, as well specific university buses which run to the main shops and nightclubs. There are also bus and train services which run to the Lake District nearby, as well as to other cities such as Preston and Manchester, making it easy to organise a day out with friends. There are a variety of societies in the university; MedSoc organises events and talks, with many subspecialties also having their own branches for interested students. There are also various other societies to join, making it easy find a new interest and find friends outside of the medical school.
Lancaster is one of the few universities in the UK with a collegiate system – there are 9 colleges in total, with all students being allocated to one. Accommodation on campus (where most first years choose to live) is organised by colleges, with students having a mix of flatmates from a range of courses. However, the system also creates a community feel between students, with competitions and events run between and within colleges. There are over 175 societies in the university, including (but not limited to) sports, arts, political, and recreational societies, so there is something for everyone to join and take part in!
Lancaster MedSoc run a variety of events and socials throughout the year, including the MedSoc Freshers’ and Winter Balls, as well as the yearly charity pantomime. The society also provides support for students, running events such as mock OSCEs before exams. There is a wide range of societies within MedSoc – these include those affiliated to various specialties, as well as Medic Sports Teams, BME Medics and the WP Society. These ‘sub-societies’ also run a range of revision sessions and talks for students, which are especially useful when considering future career options.
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