Oxford’s Medicine Course is highly prestigious and competitive, with Oxford University ranked as the world’s best institution for medical and health teaching and research.
Oxford takes a traditional approach with distinct pre-clinical and clinical phases, allowing students to fully understand and explore the scientific theory underlying clinical practice before stepping foot onto hospital wards. The school provides excellent teaching, immersive practicals and great resources.
The medical student body is one of the most diverse at the university.
Oxford University Interview Information
😊 How does Oxford University select candidates for interviews?
Applicants will be assessed based on their academic record.
GCSEs/ A-Levels: For A-levels A*AA (A achieved in Chemistry and one of Biology/ Maths/ Physics/ Further Maths) all must be taken in the same academic year.
BMAT: Must have sat the BMAT before the 18th of October. There is no cut off score for BMAT currently but candidates are ranked based on their BMAT score and other academic scores.
🧬 What is the interview format?
Oxford university holds interviews online in panel style interviews.
The interview lasts between 20-40 minutes with two academics asking a series of questions.
📆 When will you get interview invitations?
Interview invites are sent out from the end of October until December.
👩💼 When are the interviews usually held?
The interviews are being held on the 12th and 13th of December ( in 2022) and offers to be expected by january.
☑️ How will my interview be marked?
There are usually two interviewers; a medical practitioner and an admissions tutor.
The characteristics Oxford looks for/form the selection criteria are as follows:
Empathy: ability and willingness to imagine the feelings of others and understand the reasons for the views of others
Motivation: a reasonably well-informed and strong desire to practise medicine
Communication: ability to make knowledge and ideas clear using language appropriate to the audience
Honesty and integrity
Ability to work with others
Capacity for sustained and intense work
Alignment of individual values and behaviours with the values of the NHS Constitution.
Problem-solving: critical thinking, analytical approach
Intellectual curiosity: keenness to understand the reason for observations; depth; tendency to look for meaning; enthusiasm and curiosity in science
Communication skills: willingness and ability to express clearly and effectively; ability to listen; compatibility with tutorial format
📝 What are the main topics I will be asked at the interview?
The interview is designed to test out a wide aspect of personal qualities that makes a well rounded person and a good future physician.
For example :
Motivation and commitment to medicine
Honesty and integrity.
Examples of commonly asked questions:
What’s your motivation to study medicine
What makes a good doctor
How is a city like a cell
Why do we have red blood cells
What would you like to bring to university life?
🏠How many applicants are there per interview (Home)?
The number of applicants interviewed are fixed at 425- meaning there are 2.5 applicants per place.
🌎 How many applicants are there per interview (International)?
The number of applicants interviewed are fixed at 425- meaning there are 2.5 applicants per place.
✨How likely is it that I will be given an offer after an interview?
Applying to study medicine at Oxford is very competitive. Out of 425 interviewed 148 were offered a place. 8 of which are international students.
The overall success rate at receiving an offer is between 8-11%
Oxford recommended reading the Medical Schools Council’s Consensus Statement on the role of the doctor The Consensus Statement , as well as Guiding Principles for the Admission of Medical Students.
Take your A-Level Biology textbook with you so that you can have a quick recap over the key topics that you may find harder. Learn some content beyond the A-Level syllabus.
Practice doing problem-solving questions based on scientific topics or illnesses.
Review your personal statement and make sure you know all of the scientific basis of the illnesses/diseases you included in it.
You cannot predict whether your application has been successful by counting the number of interviews you receive, so don’t become anxious if you receive either more or fewer than you expect!
Check out our Medicine Interview Course!
Example interview questions
🔥 Motivation Interview Questions
What have you done to find out about medicine as a career/ Who have you talked to about doing medicine and what did you learn from them?
What do you think you might like best about medicine as a career?
What do you feel are likely to be the worst things about being a doctor?
When and Why did you decide you wanted to be a doctor?
What would you do if you don't get into medical school this year?
What contribution would you make to university life?
⚖️Medical Ethics Interview Questions
A 5 year old girl and a 45 year old doctor have just been diagnosed with cancer. Only one person can receive treatment. Who would you give it to and why?
🤯Values and Skills Interview Questions
What qualities will make you a good doctor?
We all know exams are stressful. How did you manage when you were taking your GCSEs?
What do you do when you have 3 or 4 things to do that are all urgent?
What do you do to relax?
How do you cope in situations where there is not enough time to finish a task?
Have you dealt with a difficult situation?
Could you tell me about a time where you lead a team in a stressful/difficult situation? How did you deal with this?
I see you play sport/ do Duke of Ed/ play in the orchestra (or similar)- why is this important?
How do you balance work and all your outside activities?
I see you were Director/ Manager in your Young Enterprise company. How did you go about performing this role?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
How do you deal with conflict?
📰 NHS Interview Questions
Discuss NHS waiting times
If you were Secretary of State for Health, what changes would you make?
How should doctors tackle the problem of obesity on a national level?
🏨 Teamwork Interview Questions
Give an example of a time you’ve worked in a team and what did you learn from this?
I see you are captain of a team. What duties does that involve?
How do you feel about sharing work with others?
🎭 Roleplay Interview Questions
Tell your friend that you can’t come to her 18th birthday party.
🏥 Work Experience Interview Questions
What difference did your work experience make to you?
When you visited a hospital what did you see that caused you to think about the challenging aspects of a medical career?
Tell me about a patient who interested you whom you met during your work experience
🏛️ Ethics Interview Questions
If the parents of your patient (who is a child) denied treatment of radiotherapy for that child, what would you do to convince them otherwise?
In a scenario, where your schedule is fully packed, and yet you need to see more patients, what would you do?
Can a doctor withhold information about a patient who has broken the law?
With the current organ shortage in the UK, should we legalise the sale of organs?
Is human cloning acceptable under any circumstances?
If you had £100,000 to spend, would you give it to a 3 year old needing a heart transplant or 100 older patients needing hip replacements?
🫀Biology and abstract biology
When given a drawing of the nerves from the ear to the auditory canal; explain the image shown.
How would you poison someone without the police finding out?
Why is it a disadvantage for humans to have two legs?
Given a skull: what animal is this, describe the teeth and why they are designed as such.
Describe what happens when a neuron is excited and an action potential follows.
Show what happens to the membrane potential of an animal cell when put in different solutions.
How can a specific animal tell the difference between spring and autumn?
How many genes are there in the genome of a rice plant?
Draw a graph of learning against time/stage of life
What do you like most about the brain?
Can you describe an experiment to differentiate between a normal and multi-resistant strain of bacteria?
Why do we have red blood cells?
How is a city like a cell?
How would you design a better brain?
Why don’t we just have one ear in the middle of our face?
How many moles of H2O are there in a cup of water?
Calculate what volume of wine can be drunk to reach the legal concentration of alcohol in the blood for driving?
🚦General Science-Based Questions
How would you simulate altitude in your living room?
How would you measure the weight of your own head?
If you are in a boat in a lake and throw a stone out of the boat, what happens to the level of the water?
Why can you not see many stars when you stand on top of a mountain?
How would you design an experiment to disprove the existence of God?
What leaves you drier if it's raining: running or walking?
💉 Medicine-Based Questions
Why does your heart rate increase when you exercise?
What's the greatest medical innovation this century?
How would you determine whether leukaemia patients have contracted the disease because of a nearby nuclear power station?
At what point is a person "dead"?
If urine was emptied into the small intestine instead of the bladder, what would happen?
What does the letter b stand for in b-lymphocyte?
How do prions actually affect the brain?
How does the body try to remove or recognise poison?
How would you solve the aids crisis in South Africa
How would you restrict the spread of an epidemic such as Ebola?
In your opinion, what has been the most significant medical breakthrough in the last 10 years?
Oxford’s medicine course is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world. All students receive a BA in Medical Sciences in addition to their medical degree by undertaking an experimental research project in third year. Small group, regular tutorials and prosections are a great space for detailed scientific and medical discussions – most of the tutors are experts in their field. The School of Medical and Biomedical Sciences at Oxford is relatively small, allowing students and staff to get to know one another and benefit from a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Being a collegiate university, students benefit to membership to one of the 39 colleges. The college provides accommodation and other facilities including dining halls, study rooms and libraries. At Oxford, everyone is a member of a college as well as their subject department(s) and the University. Students therefore have both the benefits of belonging to a large, renowned institution and to a small and friendly academic community. Alongside your college community you will be able to develop your interests, old or new, through over 400 clubs and societies, many of them University-wide. Oxford is packed with shops, restaurants, attractions, the Westgate shopping centre, and has good public transport links. After lectures/practicals, students normally go to work in local, off-site and on-site cafés.
The experience of studying at Oxford can vary a bit between colleges, since they are spread out in different locations around the city. Accommodation is normally provided by your college. There are a countless number of societies you can get involved with, many of which run their own socials and events. Your college will also do its own events; for example, every week at Christ Church, the welfare reps organise a Late Night Tea Break. College-based and intercollegiate sports are also prominent, competitive or social. Each college has between 4 and 6 medical students, together with just over one hundred other undergraduates studying various subjects, creating a diverse and friendly community to study, live and socialise in.
Oxford medical society is run for and by pre-clinical medical students at Oxford, aiming to bring students across all three years together for a range of events throughout the year. It organises numerous events throughout the year which provide a great opportunity to meet other pre-clinical students. The MedSoc Ball, held annually in Michaelmas term, is always very popular and has taken place in venues such as Blenheim Palace and Oxford Town Hall. The Welfare team always provides a supportive, kind and caring environment to listen and support you throughout your time as a medical student.
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