Medicine @ Sheffield | Q&A

These questions have been answered by Charlotte, a final year medical student at Sheffield.

Do you get Wednesday afternoons off to pursue sport/music interests or do you get private study time in the library?

I can’t remember exactly but I think the timetable says private study. But because this isn’t registered and there’s no set work that needs to be completed. Most people just spend their Wednesday afternoons relaxing, doing sports/societies etc.

How are the lectures, how many people are in them, is it easy to learn from them?

I enjoyed my lectures. You only really have them in 1st and 2nd year as after that you’re on placement the majority of the time and I have to say I miss lectures! Perfect opportunity to see everyone in the year and just have some nice chats!

 The cohort has increased in size since I joined. You’ll have just under 300 people in your year. But not everyone can attend the lectures. So the lecture theatre is normally around ¾ full. 

I think the lectures are done in a really good way at Sheffield. Most of the time you have access to the slides prior to lectures to. So it’s a great opportunity to just have a quick look through beforehand. Also, all of our lectures are recorded! So you don’t have to worry about writing down everything at the time.

Do you find evening lectures can get quite tiring and hard to engage with or are the lectures interactive?

Fortunately, in the first year, you have your lectures 9 am to 1 pm. So no evening lectures. 

In generally I do think lectures can get tiring as it does involve a lot of concentration. But fortunately, you get given 10-minute breaks after every 50-minute lecture. So I normally spent this time either chatting with friends or stretching my legs. Luckily a lot of our lectures are interactive: either with quizzes involved or asking the lecture theatre directly.

Do you have optional tests throughout the year to test your knowledge after completing a body system/topic?

We have formative (non-assessed) assessments at the end of each module to test our knowledge. These assessments are mandatory but don’t go towards your final grade.

These are super useful as it lets you know if things are going in ok and whether you have any gaps in your knowledge.

What is the examination style like? Is it all multiple choice or are there essay questions as well?

In first year you have 3 summative exams at the end of the year. 

  1. Anatomy Spotter: this is a multi-station exam with multiple-choice questions 
  2. Single Best Answer (SBA exam): this is an exam which is multiple choice. For each question, you get the choice out of 5 options 
  3. Single Answer Question (SAQ exam): This exam is basically the same as an a-level maths or biology paper. You get a question stem that you then have to answer. The answers are generally only a couple of words. Maximum probably 3 lines.

What is the UCAT threshold for Sheffield? What’s the average successful score?

I don’t really know this answer. Probably best to check out Sheffield’s medical admissions page. Medicine admissions 2020 | Medical School

Can international students apply without GCSEs?

Yes! I found this on the admissions website which is helpful: 

Non-GCSE qualifications (such as Level 2 OCR qualifications) taken alongside GCSEs are not considered as equivalent and do not count towards meeting the GCSE requirement. If you have not studied GCSEs but have studied an equivalent international qualification, please contact the Medical Admissions Office for information about the acceptability of the qualifications and required levels of achievement.

How are you ranked for interview?

You have 8 eight-minute stations. That are each ranked out of 5 points. Please see this page for more information on what each station looks at.

How diverse is the student population?

I would say it’s pretty diverse. It’s frequently been in the Top 50 most international universities in the world (Times Higher Education).

Is Sheffield a large city?

Sheffield is the 6th biggest city in the country for the population. It is definitely a large city with a lot of different areas to explore and lots of things to do.

What would be good to include in the personal statement for Sheffield specifically?

On the admissions page. It says that they do not read nor score personal statements as part of the selection process. So you don’t need to focus on anything in particular.

Do you know much about the graduate entry course?

I knew quite a bit about the old graduate entry course. However, in the past year or so it’s changed to only offer 15 places to students from a Widening Participation Background. Please see this link for more details.

Is the medical school on the main campus or further away?

Fairly close. Probably only a 10-15 minute walk depending on where on campus you are. It’s also the closest university building to one of the main accommodation sites (Ranmoor and Endcliffe)

Is it hard finding private accommodation?

I’ve never struggled there’s loads of different options to choose from. The university has it’s own housing service to help students find private accommodation. They also organise housemate events if you want to find some people to live with.

Is the city expensive?

I would say Sheffield is relatively cheap to live in compared to some of the cities my friends live in. Accommodation and public transport are pretty cheap (£1 bus single anywhere in Sheffield!). It definitely is an affordable city to live in.

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Posted by:Life of a Medic

4 replies on “What’s it Really Like To Study Medicine at Sheffield Medical School?

  1. Please can you clarify the first year timetable. In the FAQ you suggest lectures are all in the mornings. On the “whats it really like” page you suggest lectures are morning and afternoon?


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