Medicine Interviews

Two women looking at a laptop

The interview process is designed to help assess your suitability for a career in medicine aside from academic excellence so that we can train students to become doctors who will embrace the values of the NHS including respect, compassion, resilience and commitment to quality of care.

We interview around 1,300 of our highest-scoring applicants for the 5-year MBChB (A100) course and make up to 750 offers to the highest performing candidates.

For more detailed information regarding interview outcomes from previous application cycles, please see our application statistics document.

Please note that the impact of COVID-19 meant that we adapted our usual Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) format to run online in 2021 and 2022. However, for interviews in 2024, we plan to return to face to face MMIs for all Home applicants. Details can be found below in our 'Interview Format and Stations' section.

How to Prepare

Whilst it’s not possible to ‘revise’ for MMIs, preparation for interview should include keeping abreast of medical issues appearing in the news and media and discussing and debating them with friends and family. Relevant work experience can also offer great insight into the demands placed on staff, the strategies staff employ to handle difficult situations and the benefits they obtain from caring for people and working in teams.

Advice and tips for Medicine Multiple Mini Interviews at Birmingham Medical School

Watch our Medicine MMI video below, delivered by some of our recent students, that offers you some handy tips and advice on preparing for your interview. 

Advice and tips for Medicine Multiple Mini Interviews at University of Birmingham

Interview Format and Stations

For 2024 entry - Home applicants

We plan to run our interviews for Home applicants in person, and we will use the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) format for delivery. Instead of sitting opposite a panel of interviewers, MMIs allow you to demonstrate a range of skills relevant to studying medicine, such as: commitment and insight into medicine as a career, communication, ability to evaluate information, empathy, self-insight and reflection, ethical reasoning, data analysis and interpretation.

Our MMI circuit will comprise six or seven 8-minute stations (each including 2 minutes of reading time) and will be a mix of interviews, role-play and calculation tasks. The stations all run simultaneously, and you could be asked to begin at any of the stations for that day. Stations are amended and updated each year on the basis of candidate and interviewer feedback.

Before each MMI station, you will be presented with a scenario or other information to read through so that you have time to begin thinking about your answer or how you will approach the issue or task. The way you approach each station and the challenges they pose are often just as important as the answers you give or the solutions you propose.

Our MMI stations are likely to comprise a mixture taken from the following list, but the precise combination and scenarios being used will change on a day-by-day basis. The interviewers will be a mix of academic staff, clinical staff, professional services staff, and appropriately trained senior medical students. For some of your stations, an observer may be present, but this person will not participate in any aspect of the process.

  • Critical thinking (interview)
    You will be presented with a topic relevant to healthcare but are not expected to have prior clinical knowledge. You must identify the issues that are of particular relevance to this topic and you should also present rational arguments for possible appropriate courses of action in attempting to resolve any inherent challenges.
  • Commitment and insight into medicine (interview)
    You will be asked to discuss specific aspects of your work experience or your reflections on the online resources provided on the Preparing to Apply webpage. In particular, we are interested in experiences where you had some role in providing care or support to vulnerable individuals or witnessed others providing care or support to vulnerable individuals. We will be interested in your reflections and what insights you gained either from your own work experience or from observation of healthcare professionals (please note that this does not have to be doctors and may be taken from the online resources provided elsewhere

  • Dealing with personal and ethical challenges (interview)
    You will be provided with a scenario relating to potential challenges faced by staff working in healthcare. You have the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the personal qualities important for coping in a demanding career and also provide an assessment of your own capabilities in dealing with challenge.
  • Data interpretation (interview)
    You will be provided with clinically relevant information and asked to interpret this and then draw conclusions that are appropriate to the scenario. You are not expected to have prior clinical knowledge in order to do this. Thinking about how you might communicate information to a patient or their carer in an accurate but accessible manner is an important element of this task.
  • Interaction in a healthcare setting station (role-play)
    Your skills in communication are important throughout the interview process, but in this station you will be engaging with one of the professional role-players used for training and assessing healthcare students. You are expected to interact with the role player as if the situation is real. The role player will be assuming a specified role. Your skills in establishing an effective rapport whilst dealing effectively with the challenges that will be presented to you will be assessed.
  • Interaction in a Social Setting station (role-play)
    This role play station gives you a chance to show how comfortable and confident you are meeting a new person and having a short conversation covering issues of substance, as well as giving appropriate advice relevant to the scenario. In the role play, you will be interacting with a university student. You’ll be provided with a brief paragraph to explain the context of the conversation, and then how it runs depends on how you respond to the student prompts.
  • Calculation station (computer-based stations)
    You will be asked to undertake simple mathematical calculations involving data that has clinical relevance. The mathematical skills that are being tested are at or below GCSE level, and those taking A level Mathematics are not necessarily at an advantage. The sophistication of each task is to recognise which piece or pieces of data need to be manipulated at a particular stage and to determine the precise logical and mathematical approach that needs to be applied. There will be a number of stages in the calculations, and to establish the order in which these are performed is important, too.

For 2024 entry - International applicants

International applicants who are not based in the UK will have the option to undertake their interviews online via Zoom. Online interviews will comprise two MMI stations, including a role-play station with a professional role-player and one other station taken from the list above. There will also be a separate online calculations station assessment, similar to that described above, that will take place on a separate date from your interview.

Each interview station will last for 6 minutes, plus 2 minutes preparation time during which you will be informed of the discussion topic and, where relevant, the primary questions you will need to answer. At each station you will interact with one interviewer or role-player, but a second interviewer will also be present. You will be scored independently by each. For some of your stations, an observer may be present, but this person will not participate in any aspect of the process.

Approximate Interview Dates

Invitations to interview are usually sent between December and January, with our interviews taking place in January and February. Applicants will continue to be invited to interview until all places have been filled. Unsuccessful applicants will hear from us too, however the majority of these decisions are unlikely to be made until after we have filled all of our interview places. 

Candidates who are interviewed face to face are able to participate in a tour of the Medical School and visit the University campus. However, if you can, it may also be a good idea to visit the University prior to application on one of the University Open Days held each June, October and November. Details are given on the University's website. Please note that we cannot make arrangements to meet with prospective applicants on an individual basis.

You can find out more more information about our Open Days or book onto a central campus tour

We advise you to wait until the end of March before enquiring about the status of your Medicine and Surgery application as enquiries may slow down the processing of applications.

If you are a Pathways to Birmingham applicant who applied before the deadline and have not received an update on your application by 1st January, please contact

Disabled Applicants and Reasonable Adjustments

During our normal interview cycle, we offer a number of interview slots for applicants with a disability who usually have 25% extra time in examinations (i.e. dyslexia). These slots will allow for extra reading time in the MMI, and the scenarios you are required to read through will be printed on coloured paper. Please let us know if you require this adjustment in plenty of time so that we can book you onto an appropriate interview slot. You will need to send through evidence of your disability which qualifies you for 25% extra time. If we do not receive this in a timely manner, your slot may be released to another applicant.

Should you have a disability which may require other reasonable adjustments to be made, please do let us know in good time and we will be happy to accommodate your request if we able to do so. Please note that evidence of your specific needs may be required.

Outcome of Interview/Interview Performance Scoring

For 2024 entry face to face interviews

The decision on whether an offer is made is based on interview performance data as well as a score derived from your SJT result from UCAT. 

The maximum score for each MMI station and the SJT component will be the same (i.e. all stations and the SJT component are equally weighted). The following scoring system will be applied to the SJT result: 

  • Band 1 = Maximum score
  • Band 2 = 2/3 of maximum
  • Band 3 = 1/3 of maximum
  • Band 4 = 0 

It is likely that we will set a minimum performance standard for each station, except for calculation stations. This standard will be well below the average score, so any applicant who does not reach the minimum standard for one or more stations may not receive an offer, irrespective of their overall interview score. 

Offers are based on interview performance and SJT score only, not academic merit. We will not re-review academic information in making the decision unless absolutely necessary (e.g. if there are a number of applicants on the same interview score). Once a decision is made, we will not review our final decision upon request, as this will not be fair to other candidates (i.e. you will be unable to ‘appeal’ against our decision).

Outcome of Interviews

We will inform candidates of our decision as soon as possible. We aim to have all decisions on UCAS Track by mid-March, and these decisions are final.

We advise you to wait until the end of March before enquiring about the status of your Medicine and Surgery application as enquiries may slow down the processing of applications.

Please be aware that the formal offer has to be processed by the university's central admissions office and it can take up to 3 weeks from the initial notification of the outcome before your offer is received.