Published on September 11, 2023

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University of Sheffield Medical School Guide

Sheffield Medical School is located in South Yorkshire and a very popular destination for aspiring doctors. There are 2 medicine courses available – the 5 year undergraduate as well as the fast track 4 year postgraduate course for widening participation students. Sheffield has a great reputation due to the friendly people and multi-culturalism. It has the #1 rated Students’ Union in the UK thus has many opportunities to suit everyone. So, no matter who you are, you will fit in well at Sheffield.

The origins of the University trace back to the founding of the Medical School in 1828. The location of the university is only 15 minutes away from the Peak District and has many green spaces. Continue reading this article to learn more about the entry requirements, course structure, life as a medical student at Sheffield and how to get support to get into Sheffield Medical School!

University of Sheffield Medical School Entry Requirements

Academic

GCSEMinimum 5 GCSEs at Grade 7 (Grade A) or higher + Minimum Grade 6 or above in Maths, English Language and a science*
A Level AAA (Chemistry or Biology and a second science + pass the practical elements in both sciences)
AAB (Chemistry or Biology Grade A and a second science** + A in the EPQ)
Scottish Highers + Advanced HighersAAABB + AA in Chemistry or Biology and a second science
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A levelsA + AA in Chemistry or Biology and a second science
IB6s in Higher Level Subjects (including Chemistry or Biology and another science subject) and no less than 4 in each of the Standard level subjects
36 points

*Acceptable Sciences at GCSE include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Dual Science or Environmental Science
**Second Science subjects include Biology (or Human Biology), Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology

Widening Participation

Access Sheffield allows students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to receive a contextual offer to study Medicine at the University of Sheffield. This is only for students who meet the requirements. The following are the entry requirements for this route of entry:

GCSEMinimum 5 GCSEs at Grade 7 (Grade A) or higher + Minimum Grade 6 or above in Maths, English Language and a science*
A LevelsAAB (including Chemistry or Biology Grade A and a second science** + pass the practical element of all A level sciences)
A Levels + additional qualificationsAAB (Chemistry or Biology Grade A and a second science + A in the EPQ)
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A LevelsB + AA in Chemistry or Biology and a second science
Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced HighersAAABB + AB, including A in Chemistry or Biology and B in a second science
IB34 points – 6 in Higher Level Chemistry of Biology + 6, 5 in two other subjects including a second science, and 4 in all Standard Level subjects


*Acceptable Sciences at GCSE include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Dual Science or Environmental Science
**Second Science subjects include Biology (or Human Biology), Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology

Admissions Test

Sheffield requires that all applicants sit the UCAT. Scores will help create a threshold, and any score lower than the threshold will automatically be rejected. Applicants who are considered are then ranked to determine a cut off for interviews. For 2023 entry:

  • Threshold = 2430
  • UCAT score needed to be invited to interview = 2850 (home students)
  • UCAT score need to be invited to interview = 2840 (international applicants)

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Work Experience

Sheffield believes that work experience really helps aspiring medical students to gain an in depth insight into the role of a doctor and demonstrates commitment to the career. Therefore, it is important to undergo some work experience and volunteering. The university acknowledges that obtaining work experience opportunities can be difficult but they do accept activities such as:

  • Volunteering at care homes/hospices
  • Working with children
  • Volunteering in the community with a wide variety of people

So, they emphasise more on volunteering than GP shadowing as it helps displays your own skills.

Personal Statement

Sheffield does not read or score your UCAS personal statements however, they will ask you about your experiences at interview. So, having a well-written personal statement with a lot to talk about can help you during interview preparation.

Interview

Those who meet the UCAT cut off and have a well-rounded UCAS application will be invited to interview. Sheffield aims to invited approximately 850 Home students and 150 International students for interviews. Interviews take place between December and January at the Samuel Fox House.

NB: offers start rolling out in Early March.

The interview includes 8 stations with 8 minutes being spent at each station.

The topics of these stations often relate to:

  • Knowledge of Sheffield
  • Medicine in a wider context
  • Good Medical practice
  • Attitudes and values
  • The candidate as a person
  • Communication skills
  • Ethics
  • Information processing

The score of applicants in their UCAT SJT is used as a score for a ninth station in the interview. Every station is marked out of 5 and an applicant needs at least 3/5 on each station to be considered first for an offer. However, this does not mean that scoring less than 3 on a station will lead to a rejection.

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Graduate Entry for Sheffield Medical School

The graduate entry degree at Sheffield allows students from widening participation backgrounds with a life sciences degree the opportunity to go straight to phase 2 of Medicine at the University of Sheffield and graduate within 4 years. The entry requirements for this route of entry are the following:

A LevelsBBB (including Chemistry or Biology + a 2.1 in a life sciences* degree)
IB32 – 5 in 3 Higher Level subjects including Chemistry or Biology + a 2.1 in a life sciences degree
*Life Sciences include Dentistry, Clinical Science and Biomedical Science

International Students Entry Requirements for University of Sheffield Medical School

The University of Sheffield has a worldwide reputation and attracts many international students from over 100 countries. There are only 18 places available for international students on the 5-year Undergraduate Medicine course which means it is extremely competitive.

International students must also sit the UCAT and their UCAT scores will be ranked separately to Home students. International students must also meet the cut off to be invited to interview. The UCAT cut off for internationals in 2023 was 2840.

Approximately 150 international students are invited for an interview and interviews will take place virtually.

How Many Places are there for Home and International Students at University of Sheffield Medical School?

Sheffield Medical School has 273 places for home students and 18 places for international students.

There are also 15 places available on the graduate-entry programme for home students. These students must be from widening participation backgrounds. However, there are no places for international students for Graduate Entry Medicine at Sheffield.

University of Sheffield Medical School Ranking

The Complete University Guide ranks Sheffield as the 15th placed Medical School in the UK. The Guardian ranks Sheffield as the 31st placed Medical School in the UK.

It’s important to keep in mind that university rankings are subjective and can be based on different criteria. These rankings must only be one of your deciding factors. It is important to have a holistic approach when making your decisions and consider which universities you would thrive in the most.

University of Sheffield Medical School Fees

For 2024 entry, Home students will pay £9,250 per year. International students at Sheffield Medical School will pay £39,950 per year.

University of Sheffield Medical School Acceptance Rate

In 2023, there were 2200 applications for 306 places. As a result, medicine at Sheffield is considered competitive, with an acceptance rate of 13.9% in 2023.

University of Sheffield Medical School Course Structure

The organisation of the course is unique to Sheffield as the 5 year course is split into 4 phases:

Phase 1 Phase 1 has systems based pre-clinical teaching covering the body systems and is lecture based with some clinical experience like GP placements and the Community Attachment Scheme. This is where you make 3 visits to a patient’s house to gain an insight into their medical and social history. Sheffield takes pride in its Patient as Educators scheme as it allows students to interact with real patients.
Phase 2Phase 2 consists of a 6 week research attachment, lectures, ILAs and placements. It will build on the clinical knowledge from Phase 1 which means previous topics will be revisited. Clinical skills are taught across the phases as well.
Phase 3Phase 3 is clinically based with multiple placements across primary and secondary care. There is also an opportunity for an SSC (self-selected component) and a medical elective.
Phase 4Phase 4 prepares you for clinical practice post-graduation. Includes a series of lectures which aid in consolidating knowledge, followed by two longitudinal integrated placements in different hospitals and clinical areas.

University of Sheffield Medical School Teaching Styles

Sheffield has a systems-based course and teaching methods include lectures and practical activities. For example, if the teaching block is cardiology then you will be having cardiology lectures, cardio anatomy practicals and group sessions to go through cases of cardiac patients. This benefits students by giving them a well-rounded perspective of the system. Sheffield has recently changed from using cadaveric dissections to prosections now as they believe it is a more effective way to learn from the specimen and plastination models.

University of Sheffield Medical School Term Dates

Phase 1 (Year 1)September June
Phase 2a (Year 2)September June
Phase 2b (Year 2)July December
Phase 3a (Year 3)January December (year 4)
Phase 3b (Year 4)January August
Phase 4 (Year 5)September July

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University of Sheffield Medical School Hospitals

Sheffield has many teaching hospitals spread across the North for placements.

  • Northern General Hospital
  • Royal Hallamshire Hospital
  • Doncaster Royal Infirmary
  • Barnsley Hospital
  • Chesterfield Royal Hospital
  • Scunthorpe General Hospital
  • Diana Princess of Wales Hospital (Grimsby)
  • Calderdale Royal Hospital (Halifax)

So, you will be gaining experience in Sheffield and outside of Sheffield to enhance your experiences.

University of Sheffield Medical School Interview Format

Sheffield uses an MMI style of interview. The interview includes 8 stations with 8 minutes being spent at each station.

The topics of these stations often relate to:

  • Knowledge of Sheffield
  • Medicine in a wider context
  • Good Medical practice
  • Attitudes and values
  • The candidate as a person
  • Communication skills
  • Ethics
  • Information processing

The score of applicants in their UCAT SJT is used as a score for a ninth station in the interview. Every station is marked out of 5 and an applicant needs at least 3/5 on each station to be considered first for an offer. However, this does not mean that scoring less than 3 on a station will lead to a rejection.

University of Sheffield Medical School Interview Questions

  1. Why do you want to come to Sheffield to study medicine? It’s crucial to have an idea on why Sheffield is suitable for you. Key things to consider: the course structure, teaching style, campus life and the city itself. Reading around the university website and posts by current and former students will give an insight of what it’s like to study at Sheffield. Interviewers want you to be confident on why you want to come to Sheffield.
  2. What are three of the essential qualities of a doctor, and how have you demonstrated one of these? Reading these documents can offer a good idea about the qualities of a doctor:
    • ‘Outcomes for Graduates’
    • ‘Good Medical Practice’ documents from the General Medical Council (GMC)Examples of qualities include: Compassion, Empathy, Communication, Leadership, Teamwork, amongst many more! It is also good to know about the NHS values and how you can embody these. It is vital to reflect on your experiences and link it back to medicine. An essential part of any medical interview is showing a strong ability to reflect on your experiences and taking key lessons away.
  3. What are your thoughts on the ongoing industrial action by Junior Doctors? An awareness of current issues in medicine is very important to have in the build up to an interview. Reading news articles about ongoing issues such as the Junior Doctor strikes will help answer this question. Structure is very important to make your answer clear and concise. In your answer, always present the ‘for’ and ‘against’ sections of the argument, before coming to your own conclusion. Remember – they are not necessarily testing you on your conclusion, but your awareness of the subject and your logical reasoning.
  4. Is it ever okay to discuss a patient case that you’ve seen in hospital with your colleagues? Confidentiality is a cornerstone of medical ethics. During your medical career, you will want to discuss your clinical experiences with your doctors and colleagues. It is important to respect the patients’ right to confidentiality when doing so. This is by making sure that you are not discussing any potentially identifying information. Also, by prevent any private conversations from being overheard.

Life as a Medical Student at University of Sheffield Medical School

In the first year, a typical day would include a mix of lectures and practical sessions from 9-5. However, as a medical student, your timetable will vary from day-to-day. Anatomy teaching is once a week whereas ILAs and GP placements are on alternating weeks. First year medical students are given Wednesday afternoons off to take part in societies, socialise and catch up with work.

Societies at Sheffield

The medical society is Sheffield’s largest society with over 1300 lifetime members. There are many sub-societies for sports, specialities and volunteering. The society organises socials throughout the year. Some examples are 3 balls held across the 5 years and club socials. Sheffield’s Peer Teaching Society has been a great help for many medical students during exam season. This is because it gives them the opportunity to be taught by older medical students. In addition, the medical society organises a Medic Family scheme. This to connect all first year students to mentors from second year.

Also, the university itself offers over 350 societies to suit everyone – from sports to arts and cultural to even baking! There is something for everyone to participate in.

Accommodation At Sheffield

Accommodation is offered in the City or Ranmoor/Endcliffe. The Ranmoor/Endcliffe village is the university’s own gated community with social spaces and a gym. There is always extra-curricular activities running that are all included in your rent! The accommodation is only a 15 minute walk to the medical school and 20 minute walk to the student union.

Intercalated Degree At University of Sheffield Medical School

Sheffield offers a wide variety of intercalated degrees for medical students in third year or above. These can be Bachelors of Science or Masters of Science. It could enable students to gain an in depth insight into a certain speciality or allow some amazing research experience. BSc options include research modules or specific modules for specific specialities. On the other hand, MSc options include Public Health, Endocrinology, Cardiology, Neurology and many more!

FAQs

Does University of Sheffield offer a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Degree?

Yes, Sheffield offers an excellent BSc course which is quite flexible so it can tailor every student. From the first year, students have the opportunity to choose their path in terms of specialties. Students are given the freedom to carry out their own research using the latest equipment. Research projects can be lab-based, field projects in the Peaks or even abroad!

How Much of the University of Sheffield Medicine Course is Clinical vs Preclinical?

The 5-year medicine course is quite balanced. The first 2 years are mostly preclinical with some placements and contact with patients via the Patient as Educator Schemes. The final 3 years are fully clinical with very few lectures and students will be rotating through specialties within medicine.

Is University of Sheffield Medical School a Good Medical School?

The University of Sheffield is a Russell Group university and ranks highly as a medical school. It is ideal for all medical students however, it depends on what your priorities are when selecting a medical school. It is best to visit the university on their Open Days to gain a realistic insight of the place and speak to the friendly staff!

Support With Getting Into Sheffield Medical School

UCAT Tutoring

As Sheffield Medical School has competitive entry requirements, it’s a good idea to get a UCAT tutor to help you exceed the UCAT threshold. When looking for a good tutor, it’s wise to consider someone who has recently achieved an excellent UCAT score themselves and who has experience with tutoring. Your tutor should be able to assess your strengths and weaknesses to focus your lesson time on improving the areas you need improvement in.

Medicine Interview Tutoring

With an acceptance rate under 14% in 2023, entry to Sheffield is competitive. A large part of the admissions process is the MMI, which you’ll need to thoroughly prepare for if you’re serious about getting into Sheffield. We recommend booking in with a medicine interview tutor at Sheffield to get the most realistic preparation for the Sheffield interview. An interview tutor can help you to gain interview confidence, competence, and the knowledge-base you need to stand out from the crowd.

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