Published on August 16, 2023
Reading Time: 5 min
Aston University Medical School Guide
Medicine at the University of Aston is a great way to explore the city centre of Birmingham over 5 years. The medical school took its first students in 2018, making it one of the newest medical schools in the UK. Like other medical schools, it offers a five-year undergraduate course, split into pre-clinical (years 1 and 2) and clinical (years 3, 4, and 5). Details of the course are below, alongside information about entry requirements for medicine at Aston, course structure, example interview questions, and more.
Academic Entry Requirements for Aston University Medicine
It’s important to check entry requirements for a university before submitting your application. You can find below the entry requirements for medicine at Aston University.
|A Levels||AAA. Chemistry and Biology are necessary.|
|Scottish Advanced Higher||AAA. Must include Chemistry and Biology.|
|IB||36 points. Three subjects at Higher level with grades 6, 6, 6. Must include Chemistry and Biology.|
|Bachelor’s Degree (graduates only)||2:1 Honours degree.No specific subject requirement.A-Level requirement: ABB including grade A in Chemistry or Biology. GCSE requirement: Usual GCSE requirements apply to graduate applicants too.|
|GCSEs||6 GCSEs at Grade B/6 or above. Must include Chemistry and Biology (or Dual Science), English Language, and Maths.|
UCAT Score Needed for Aston University Medicine
To assess the suitability of prospective students, Aston Medical School requires applicants to sit the UCAT. These scores are then used to select candidates for interview. With that said, there is no specific score requirement for the UCAT. Instead, the university considers each candidate’s UCAT performance along with other entry requirements in the interview selection process. However, a higher UCAT score can increase the chances of receiving an invitation for interview. The lowest UCAT score for Aston Medical School that was interviewed in 2021 was 2160 for non-widening participation applicants, and 2140 for widening participation students.
Life as an Aston Medicine Student
Aston Medical School is situated in the heart of Birmingham, a bustling city with lots of places to see, with it being the 3rd largest city in the UK. With a wide variety of things to do, Birmingham offers a great escape from the demanding nature of the medicine course. It may be best known for its restaurants and shopping, with Bullring being a large attraction as an indoor shopping mall. The university is a 10-minute walk from the train and coach station, and there is also a wide range of food places within walking distance.
Pros of studying Medicine at Aston:
- Location: Aston University’s location in Birmingham offers access to a vibrant city with various cultural, social, and recreational opportunities.
- Clinical placements: The university’s proximity to hospitals and healthcare facilities will provide ample clinical placement opportunities for hands-on learning.
- State of the art facilities: Aston University provides access to modern and advanced facilities, enhancing your learning experience.
- Interpersonal atmosphere: Aston University provides a supportive and encouraging atmosphere, which students at the university say ‘sets Aston Medical School apart’. You will have access to 2-3 teaching fellows throughout group sessions who will be available at any time to help.
Cons of studying Medicine at Aston:
- Accommodation pricing: Living in Birmingham city centre can be quite expensive, therefore students tend to live a little further out as it is more cost effective.
- New medical school: As it’s a new medical school, Aston has a partnership with Leicester medical school. This means that they follow Leicester’s curriculum and have less control of their own syllabus and content delivery.
Is Aston a Good Medical School?
Medical School Ranking
Times Higher Education UK ranks Aston Medical School as the 39th best school to study medicine in the UK. On the other hand, Aston was ranked as the 32nd best school to study medicine in the UK in the Guardian University League Tables 2023.
When considering university rankings, it’s crucial to remember that they are subjective and can vary based on different criteria. Rankings can be a good factor to consider, but it’s essential to take a holistic approach and carefully assess which universities align best with your personal and academic needs.
How Many Home and International Students Does Aston Medical School Take?
Aston Medical School offered a total of 211 places in the 2021 admissions cycle, where a total of 1,293 applications were received. 152 of these places went to home students and 59 places went to international applicants.
The University of Aston Medical School Fees
For UK full-time undergraduate students, tuition fees at Aston Medical School are £9,250 per year of study. International students are required to pay tuition fees of approximately £44,550 each year.
The university offers various scholarships and financial awards – more information on this may be found on the Aston University Medical School website.
|Years 1, 2||Students learn the fundamentals of physiology, pharmacology, public health, and various body systems.Short clinical placements throughout the year help students to gain exposure to UK clinical practice.|
|Years 3, 4, 5||Most learning takes place in clinical settings – students develop understanding of different hospital specialties, general practice, and one area of interest selected by the student.By the end of the programme, students will have developed the diagnostic and management skills to prepare them to start their foundation training as a doctor.|
Aston Medicine Interview Process
Aston Medical School uses an MMI interview style, with 7-10 stations. For 2024 entry, the MMIs will be held online between December and March.
Interview Questions for Aston Medical School
Questions can vary each year, and are likely to include testing of the following topics:
- Applicant’s motivation and understanding of studying and practicing medicine
- Verbal communication
- Listening skills
- Teamwork and leadership skills
- Compassion, empathy, respect
- Problem solving
- Emotional intelligence
- Understanding limitations
Some example questions for Aston Medical School are below, with a brief answer guide underneath each.
Discuss a time when you demonstrated good leadership. What was effective about your leadership?
This question isn’t just testing your leadership skills; your ability to reflect on your experiences is also assessed. It is important to effectively communicate not only how you demonstrated good leadership, but also why these skills helped you achieve your goal. Reflection is key here – what would you do differently? Why will these skills help you in a medical career?
What will you find challenging about medical school? How will you cope with these challenges?
In a medical school interview, it is important to show an understanding of the realities of medicine. Focus on steps you’ve taken to work on your weaknesses and prepare for a future career in medicine. This question is a great way to tie in work experience – what did you learn about the realities of life as a doctor?
Discuss a news article that you have recently read about a medical topic.
Keeping up-to-date on medical ‘hot topics’ is a great way to demonstrate an interest and understanding of the ever-changing field of medicine. Focus on your structure in this question – what have you read about? What are the implications of this news? Why is this important/interesting to you?
You have been house-sitting for a friend on holiday, during which you broke an item of sentimental value. Please break this news to your friend
Acting stations test your empathy and communication skills. Demonstrate empathy by being receptive to the actor’s emotions. Reading up on guidelines for breaking bad news can help to give you a framework to work off during the station.
Intercalation at Aston Medical School
Students may intercalate – take another extra degree in one year – after year 2, 3, or 4 of the course. Intercalation offers an opportunity to expand knowledge and improve career prospects.This is not a requirement at Aston, and as such, medical students at Aston can choose to graduate with a single degree (5 years) or two degrees (6 years).
Widening Participation for Medicine at Aston University
As a socially inclusive medical school, Aston University aims to offer 40% of its places each year to students who meet the university’s widening participation criteria. More information on this criteria is on the Aston University Medical School website.