Application to University of Nottingham in 2018/19

This student applied in the 2018/19 application cycle and therefore the selection process at Nottingham may have changed since then. You should read all the information a University sends you about the selection process to get the most up to date details!

Remember to check out the glossary at the bottom of the page for our explanations of all the jargon we medical students like to use!

More about this student

Sometimes students share information with us about their demographics, which may help put their application experience into a bit more perspective.

This student identifies as a White British woman who went to a fee-paying school.

Our Summary
Course: Standard undergraduate entry

In person MMI interview

Admissions Tests: UCAT

Before I made my application…

Choosing to apply

When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
I can’t really remember the exact age but before my GCSEs – I think when I was 14

How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
strategically – I had a very average UKCAT score and so I applied to universities that weighted GCSEs quite heavily (as I had done well in these) and didn’t rely on UKCAT so much.

Completing work experience

What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Customer service role (voluntary)

How much work experience did you do?
I did one week shadowing various doctors in a local hospital. I also volunteered for 4 years with a riding for the disabled scheme

How did you find your work experience opportunities?
I was fortunate to be able to shadow my dad’s colleagues

During the application process…

Admissions tests

What admissions test did you sit?
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT):

How did you prepare for your admissions test?
Practiced as much as possible!


What type of interview did you do?
MMI: Multiple Mini Interview. This type of interview usually includes several short interviews or ‘stations’ which may involve different types of questions and scenarios. This is different compared to a panel interview, which may cover the same scenarios/types of questions but be a more ‘traditional’ sit-down interview.

How did you prepare for your interview?
I read the BMJ (British Medical Journal) across several weeks to try and keep up with current medical news/research. I also did a few mock interviews.

I also made a list of any attributes I had listed in my personal statement and ensured I had examples to back these up, as well as making a list of strengths and weakness and examples.

What was your interview like?
I was posed a hypothetical question and asked to discuss what I believed to be the ‘right’ answer and then any ethical dilemmas. I was asked to perform a practical task simulated an OSCE style station. I remember feeling stressed, and as though the interview had not gone well, the atmosphere was very similar to an OSCE- which I found was slightly different from other interviews I had been to. In my opinion, Nottingham felt more formal and less friendly (* this is just one student’s opinion!)

Do you have any further advice?
You may not feel confident, but do your best to make eye contact, put on a big smile, and don’t worry if you come across nervous, that’s okay.

I also think that remembering the interviewers are human too and they like to see a bit of personality – everyone doing the interview has been invited because they meet criteria, so showing that not only do you bring these aspects too, you also bring a bit of personality and flare – you’re human too and you have compassion and empathy and you’re interesting – I think this helps.

Also if you feel as though a station went badly – do not dwell on it – if it’s an MMI interview style there is no time to dwell and if you go into the next station thinking about what went wrong in the last station you probably won’t perform as well as you can. Put it out of your mind completely and walk into each station as though it’s the very start of the interview and this is your first station.


Clinical work experience: Not every student will complete clinical work experience before they apply to medical school. Don’t worry, this is not required to be able to apply. You can use non-clinical work experience (e.g. a caring role, like in a care home) or even reflect on paid work you’ve done (e.g. in customer service) in a productive way.

Insiders: Don’t worry if you don’t know people like this. Most students don’t have friends who have already been through the process or healthcare professionals that they know who might be able to support them. You can meet current medical students to speak to at open days, or via free mentoring schemes, but it’s not a requirement for you to be successful. This student is in an exceptional situation!

Mock interview: Don’t worry if you didn’t have this opportunity. Interviews are designed to take into account that not everyone has the same level of preparation. See our guides and blogs on interviews to find out more about free online resources. 

OSCE:  Objective Structured Clinical Examinations are forms of testing how healthcare students perform examinations and patient interactions. They are used throughout medical school to examine your ability to practise well as a doctor. Sometimes, Multiple Mini Interview stations may appear similar to these: you might engage in role play to make a clinical decision or deliver some information to a patient. 

Stress: Many people feel anxious before the interview. Interviewers are used to it and will not judge you for being nervous.

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