School of Medical Education

Admissions

Admissions

Overview

Thank you for considering an application to study Medicine at Newcastle University.

In light of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic the 2021 entry MBBS Admissions Policy may be subject to some changes.  Some dates may have to be changed to ensure administrative processes can be carried out as thoroughly as normal and in the best interest of our applicants. Some arrangements, particularly in relation to interviews, may have to be modified to ensure any future government advice is upheld. Any modifications to our processes will be publicised on this page.

Our aim is to provide a stimulating and supportive environment where students can thrive and become excellent clinicians with a thorough understanding of the fundamental science behind medicine. Our programmes ensure that our students meet the necessary standards for graduates as set out by the General Medical Council.

As a prospective medical student, it is important that you do some research into the medical school options available to you to ensure that medicine is the right career path for you and that your choice of medical school fits with your learning style and ambitions.

Before applying you should consider whether you:

  • meet the entry requirements
  • know and understand how the programme is delivered and consider whether this is compatible to the way you learn
  • know what student support systems are offered
  • are aware how existing and past students rate the programme and University
  • understand what the competition for places is like

All graduates receive an MBBS degree from Newcastle University and normally proceed to provisional registration with the GMC.

Admissions policy

Our MBBS Admissions Policy 2021 (PDF:607KB) is updated annually. We make this available to prospective students, to help them prepare for the admission process.

Our aim is to be fair, open and transparent to all applicants who apply to us.

How to apply

All applicants must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). We do not accept direct applications to our medicine programmes. 

Applicants may apply for up to four medical programmes. The dates for applying to medicine differ from the majority of undergraduate programmes. UCAS opens for applications to medicine in September and applications must be made by 15th October. The UCAS code for Newcastle University is N21.

Personal circumstances and disability

For patient safety reasons, all medical students must meet standards laid down in the GMC’s document ‘Promoting Excellence’.

If you have a particular circumstance which may impact your study, you should discuss this with us at an early stage (prior to application).

Our programmes

Standard MBBS programme (five years)

The programmes we offer include a five-year standard MBBS programme, which is open to school leavers and graduates with the appropriate entry requirements. There are currently 342 places at Newcastle University each year.

Accelerated MBBS programme (four years)

We also offer a four-year accelerated programme (UCAS code: A101) to graduates or relevant healthcare professionals with the relevant entry requirements. There are currently 25 places available on this programme.

The A101 Accelerated Programme does have an extended first year which, on successful progression, means students join our Year 3 students on the A100 programme to undertake their clinical attachments.

Medical Licensing Assessment

The UK’s medical schools and parent universities have agreed to develop and deliver the Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA) that will be embedded within final exams for a UK medical degree. Their work will be overseen and regulated by the General Medical Council.

To date UK medical schools have set their final exams independently in line with the GMC’s Outcomes for graduates. The major benefit of the MLA is that it will, for the first time, be possible to demonstrate that graduates from each medical school have met an agreed standard of proficiency and are well prepared to practise medicine as Foundation Year doctors. The MLA will provide assurance that anyone who obtains a UK medical degree has shown that they can meet a common and consistent threshold for safe practice before they are licensed to work in the UK.

The exam will consist of two parts – an applied knowledge test (AKT), and a clinical and professional skills assessment (CPSA).

All the UK’s medical schools and their parent universities have agreed that the assessment will be built on the MLA content map published by the GMC in 2019, and based on Good medical practice, Outcomes for graduates and the Generic professional capabilities framework.

The assessment will be fully implemented for students graduating from UK medical schools from the academic year 2024/25.

Further information

You may find this information useful: 

Selection process

The selection process involves a number of steps carried out between September and March.

We plan to interview shortlisted applicants for the A101 programme during the week of 14th December 2020. We then plan to interview shortlisted applicants for the A100 programme between Wednesday 6th January and Tuesday 9th February 2021.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we are unable to run MMIs and will instead be running virtual panel interviews with two selectors per panel. The interview will cover all of the competencies that are usually covered in the MMIs as listed below. We aim to send out invitations to interview around the first week of December.

Please note that these plans are subject to change in line with national guidance on Covid-19.

1. Academic Screening

All applications are checked to make sure candidates fulfil the academic criteria for entry. At this stage personal statements and references are not considered.

 2. Ranking UCAT scores

Applicants who meet the academic threshold are ranked based on their UCAT scores. A UCAT threshold is set depending on the number of interviews to be held. Applicants who meet the UCAT threshold will be invited to interview. The UCAT threshold may differ from year to year as it is dependent on the scores achieved by those who apply to us in each admissions cycle.

UCAT have produced a short video about how best to go about preparing to sit the UCAT.

 3. Interviews

For 2020 entry around 1,130 applicants were interviewed. We expect to continue interviewing similar numbers of applicants in the future. The interview process differs for applicants who are classified as "Home/EU" for fees purposes and those classed as "International", however the same competencies, aptitude and qualities are assessed.

For "Home/EU" applicants the interview is structured to a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format. This involves seven separate stations where applicants meet different selectors to be assessed and graded on the following categories:

  • Integrity (honesty and probity)
  • Communication
  • Empathy and self-awareness
  • Motivation and commitment to be a doctor
  • Compatibility with the MBBS programme
  • Teamwork (including leadership)
  • Personal organisation
  • Persistence and resilience 

Each station lasts for seven minutes with an extra two minute ice breaker question in the first station. One of the stations involves a role-play scenario.

For applicants classed as "International" for fees purposes, a panel interview involving two selectors will be arranged. For convenience, this can be carried out by Skype in the applicant's home country. If international applicants would prefer to visit Newcastle Unviersity we welcome them to have their panel interview on campus. The same categories as above will be assessed and graded by our selectors during the panel interviews. 

Our selectors are drawn from a diverse variety of backgrounds and experience from health professionals working in the NHS to current intercalating students and lay people. Our selectors receive specific selector training before the interviews as well as equality and diversity training.

4. Decisions

After interview applicants are ranked in order of merit to determine who will be made an offer. At this stage personal statements and references are also reviewed but no scores are allocated to these. 

To be fair to all applicants we do not make any decisions until all the interviews in the cycle have been completed.

Interview schedule

Interview dates for 2021 entry will be published here as soon as they are available.

Post Offer Visit Days

Newcastle University holds two Post Offer Visit Days for the A100 programme and one for the A101 programme in April. The visit days are an excellent opportunity to find out more about the programme, explore the campus and meet staff and current students.

 

Work Experience

Most medical schools require applicants to have had some work experience and to be able to show a commitment to caring.

We realise that identifying suitable work experience in a primary and/or secondary care setting can be difficult.

At Newcastle our emphasis is on our applicants being able to show a commitment to caring. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, for example. 

  • volunteering in an elderly care home
  • volunteering in a hospice
  • volunteering in a nursery
  • helping someone less fortunate

There are many ways you can demonstrate to us that you are a committed and caring individual and these can be explored further at interview.

More information

Please note that Newcastle University is unable to arrange work experience. This must be arranged through the relevant Trust:

Please also see information provided by the Medical Schools Council on relevant work experience for applying to medical school.

Widening Participation

Newcastle University and the School of Medical Education are committed to widening participation to higher education and ensuring fair access to students from all educational and social backgrounds.

In line with the Medical School Council's Selecting for Excellence report this helps us select the candidates who will make the best doctors, irrespective of their background.

There are different ways in which applicants can have access to the medicine programme at Newcastle apart from the standard application routes.

PARTNERS Programme

Medicine at Newcastle welcomes applicants by way of the PARTNERS programme and the students who have been accepted through this route of entry have performed particularly well over a number of years. 

Realising Opportunities

Newcastle University is the lead institution for Realising Opportunities - a unique collaboration of 12 research-intensive universities working together to promote fair access and social mobility of students from under-represented groups.  

International Students

Newcastle has a long history in welcoming international students to study medicine and all students benefit from the experience that cultural diversity brings to the programme.

If your are not a national of the European Economic Area, you may need to apply for Tier 4 general entry clearance (visa) before travelling to the UK.

The University has a dedicated team who will be happy to provide advice and guidance about visa requirements. Find out more at:

Visa and immigration information