Two medical students walking off a ward

Medical School Interviews

The interview process for entry to study medicine at Lancaster consists of Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI). The MMI tests the skills, attitudes and values of applicants and aims to select those most suited to the medical degree programme at Lancaster.

The MMI is an opportunity for us to get to know you and for you to demonstrate that you have what it takes to succeed in our medical degree programme and as a doctor. The MMI will also give you a taste of the way teaching is delivered at Lancaster and allow you to make a more informed decision about whether PBL would suit you. You will gain valuable experience from the MMI and we aim to make it as stress-free for you as possible.

Before Your Interview

There are a few things that you can start doing before your interview to make sure that you are prepared on the day and have everything that you need.

  • If you would like to attend your interview, please complete our RSVP form as soon as possible to ensure that we are able to confirm your specific schedule with you. Please be aware that if you do not confirm your attendance, your interview slot may be offered to another applicant. If you are unable to attend the currently allocated time and would like to reschedule, you should also complete the RSVP form.
  • Make sure that you have read the information below about Microsoft Teams and that you have downloaded and are able to use it. We will send some additional guidance on how to use it before the interviews, so please let us know if you have any specific queries that you think we should address as part of that information.
  • In advance of your interview, you should complete our Forms Pack. This contains various information that we require from you before your MMI, including your confidentiality agreement. We are not able to share further documents with you until this has been returned, so you should submit it as soon as possible and no later than 2 weeks before your interview date.
  • As part of the interview, you will be asked to display certificates for all qualifications you have already completed. This could include GCSEs, A Levels or a degree depending on what qualifications you possess. You should make sure that you know where they are and can access them for the interview.
  • All applicants should complete the Supplementary Information Form. This is used to provide us with additional contextual information about your application and to determine who may be eligible for a contextually lowered offer. In light of the fact that we are unable to meet in person, the guidance about acceptable evidence has changed and can be viewed here: 2021 Entry A100 CLO Guidance‌. In order to be eligible for a contextual offer, this evidence should be received before your interview date.

On the Day

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, the MMI till take place remotely using Microsoft Teams. This can be downloaded for free and works best on a laptop or desktop PC. You should participate in a quiet space where you can be alone. You should not have any other devices (e.g. a phone or tablet) present with you in the room. You should make sure that you have a pen and paper with you so that you are able to make any notes that you need.

Lancaster Medical School uses the multiple mini interviews (MMI) format for our interviews and have endeavoured to adapt our MMI stations to suit remote interviewing. The MMI will consist of three small circuits:

  • Circuit A consists of stations where you will be given a different task or questions to answer. You will have exactly 5 minutes at each station and then you will be asked to move to the next station. You will have 5 minutes between each station.
  • Circuit B consists of stations where you will have 5 minutes to read and think about some information, followed by 5 minutes to discuss with an interviewer. You will have 5 minutes between each station.
  • Circuit C consists of a group excercise. You will have 3 minutes reading time followed by 15 minutes for group discussion.

During your interview, you will complete all three circuits.

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.

Examples of MMI stations

Example 1: 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.

Example 2: 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.

Example 3: 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.

University Closure Period

Please be aware that Lancaster University closes on the 18th December 2020 until the 4th January 2021. The admissions team will be out of the office during this time and our email inboxes will not be monitored. When we return, it may take a little while to work through all of the email queries we receive over the break, so please be patient as you await a response.

Using Microsoft Teams

Unlike in-person interviews, you will have full control over the layout of the room for online interviews because you will be in your own space – and this should help you to feel more comfortable and confident. However, this also means that you need to make sure that the area is appropriate and that you set yourself up somewhere that you’re less likely to be interrupted or experience WiFi issues. When preparing a location for your online interview, you should take into consideration the following:

  • You will require a strong and stable internet connection. If you have any concerns about your home connection, we would recommend asking whether you could complete your interview from school, college or university.
  • You will need a device that has a camera and a microphone. This might be a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone, but please be aware that MS Teams functions best on desktop or laptop computers. If you do not have a suitable device, you could ask your school or college if you could borrow one.
  • You will need a quiet and uninterrupted space. You must be alone in the room when you do the interview. The interviewer might ask you to move your camera around the room so that they can see you are alone.
  • You should limit distractions. Make sure that others that may share your space are aware that you will be interviewing, have doors and windows closed and turn off email or messenger notifications.

Using Microsoft Teams

If you are on a PC or Mac, you can join either in the app or in Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome. We recommend downloading the desktop app. The app is available for download here.

1 week before your interview begins, you will be provided with a schedule and links to each of the interview spaces. A few minutes before your interview session is due to begin, locate the link to join the meeting, click the link and you’ll join the meeting space. You may spend a few minutes in the lobby before being admitted to the meeting. When the interviewer admits you to the meeting space, they will do a quick sound check with you to ensure that you can both hear each other clearly. They will also ask you to rotate your device to ensure that you are alone in the room and do not have any other devices with you. At the end of each interview, you should make sure that you delete any messages that you have posted in the chat before hanging up the call. Then, you can click the link for the next call and wait in the lobby to be let in.

  • You should use your real name (rather than a screen name) when signing in to the interview to avoid any confusion.
  • When joining, you ensure that your microphone and camera are both turned on.
  • You should ensure that your camera is portable enough for you to lift and rotate it during the initial checks. This could mean using a laptop or a plug in webcam.

If you have any concerns about using Microsoft Teams for your interview, please let us know by emailing ugamedicine@lancaster.ac.uk and we will be sure to include further information before your interview. You will have a chance to test the functionality of Microsoft Teams during the 5 minute checking session on the Monday before your interview date, as well as further explanation during the interview briefing webinar on the Monday before your interview date.

Prior to your interview, we would also invite you to make sure that you have read and understand our privacy notice. This provides information about how we will collect, store and use your personal data.

What happens next?

After the MMI, we may seek to verify the claims made in your personal statement by contacting those named on your work & voluntary experience form. To ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible, please make sure that your references are aware that we may be in contact.

We interview until mid-February and no offers are made until all the interviews are finished. The outcome of your application will be communicated via UCAS Track and this usually happens toward the end of March.

Applicants have the right to complain if they believe that the admissions process has not met the appropriate standard or if they believe that a procedural irregularity has affected the outcome of their application. Complaints should be sent in the first instance to the Lancaster University Head of Admissions, Sue Davies by emailing ugadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk.