Physician Associate

If your application to study MSc Physician Associate at ARU is successful, we'll invite you to an interview day at our Chelmsford campus.

We use MMIs, or Multiple Mini Interviews, for our selection process. It's a style of interview that is popular for medical professionals.

MMIs look for the skills and qualities which are needed to be a competent Physician Associate. They are designed to gain an insight into your personal qualities and reasoning skills.

Successful Physician Associates need to be composed in demanding circumstances, to adjust to and perform well in unfamiliar situations, and to listen and communicate effectively – not only with individual service users, but also within a team.

What is an MMI?

MMIs consist of a series of six Mini Interviews ('stations'), each lasting six minutes.

After completing a ‘station’ you move onto the next and follow a prearranged circuit, until all stations have been completed.

The mini interviews will be carried out by members of our Physician Associate academic team, healthcare professionals, junior doctors and service users.

Usually, there is one interviewer per station, but be prepared for more than one, as some stations may involve ‘actors’, who you’ll interact with. For example, you may be given a scenario to read and then discuss and play a role with the actor in front of an interviewer.

We believe MMIs offer a fair way to assess your thinking and communication skills, and the personal values which will shape the kind of Physician Associate you’ll become.

What types of questions do we ask?

MMI questions will test your preparation and motivation to study as a Physician Associate student. The object of the interviews is to assess your ability to respond spontaneously to various scenarios, without coaching. Areas that are tested will include:

  • communication skills
  • critical thinking
  • moral reasoning
  • teamwork and leadership
  • empathy
  • problem solving
  • interpersonal skills
You'll be expected to answer questions or respond to scenarios candidly and to the best of your ability. A good place to practise MMI questions is on The Medic Portal website.

Format of the day

Our Admissions Team will have sent you information for booking your MMI. Please make sure you read it thoroughly. You’ll be invited to attend for a specific time slot, where you’ll meet Admissions staff (ID checking) and Student Ambassadors, and you’ll start your MMI circuit. After your MMI you may take a tour of the University.

We’ll ask you if you would like to be considered for placement in either Essex or Peterborough for your second year. At the end of the interview, we'll ask if you have any questions for us, we invite you to use this opportunity to find out if we are right place for you to study Physician Associate.

Interview days can be nerve-wracking, and we encourage you to allow plenty of time for preparation and travel. Due to the tight schedules we work to, if you're delayed, we may not be able to interview you.

What happens next?

You’ll be notified via UCAS of the results of your interview within three working days.

What next if I am offered a place?

  • Accept your offer via UCAS Track
  • Arrange your accommodation
  • Complete your DBS and Occupational Health information
  • Notify the Admissions team of any changes to your circumstances.

What next if I am unsuccessful at interview?

  • Please consider the areas which need improvement and ask for written feedback to prepare for future interviews
  • We are happy to accept applications for next academic year
  • You may be offered a place on another course, in which case, follow the instructions above.

Above all, you need to be certain that this is the profession you want to join. Consider visiting us at an Open Day, if you haven't already. Then commit yourself to learning as much as you can before your interview day.