Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Physician Associate interview days

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

On campus interview

  • We plan to hold a number of interview days beginning in February 2024. The current availability can be found in your Applicant Portal
  • You will have been invited to book an interview through your Applicant Portal. Here you will be able to accept or decline your interview invitation and select your interview day. Please note the deadline to confirm attendance is five days prior to the available interview sessions. Once you have booked your interview there is very limited availability to change this date, please ensure that you will be available for time and date selected
  • This is an interview for a professional course leading to a professional qualification. Please dress and conduct yourself in a professional way
  • Have your ID ready for verification checks.

Please note: If you can’t attend your interview day, you need to let us know as soon as possible. Email [email protected].

Applicants with learning support needs

Prospective students are tested at interview under clinical conditions. This is a competency standard so no adjustments will be given at the interview stations. However, the stems to the questions are less than 100 words to aid disabled students. The physical environment will ensure that the interviews stations are accessible to all students. If you have any specific requirements in relation to the interview process on the day, please contact [email protected] at least five days before your interview.

What is an MMI?

MMIs consist of a series of six mini interviews ('stations'), each lasting seven 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. 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

Please report to the School of Medicine foyer, Ground Floor, School of Medicine Building where you will be met by one of our colleagues. You can check the interview date and time booked on your Applicant Portal.

Interview days can be nerve wracking and we would encourage you to allow plenty of time to arrive at your interview venue early. Due to the tight schedules we work to, if you are delayed and arrive late, we will not be able to interview you, and are unable to confirm if a new date will be offered.

If someone is going to accompany you to your interview, they will be able to wait for you in our central seating area which has a coffee/canteen outlet.

After your MMI you will meet Student Ambassadors and, if you like, take a tour of the School of Medicine.

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.

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

Interview checklist

  • Research the role of a physician associate.
  • Provide scanned copies of your educational certificates proving you meet the entry requirements of the course, if awarded, and your identity documents, including any change of name, via the Applicant Portal.
  • At your interview you will be required to provide photo ID as proof of your identity; this will be checked by the Admissions team. This can be:
  • Make sure you have checked transport arrangements to the interview venue, including local parking. Unfortunately, there is no car parking on site at the Chelmsford campus, but local council websites have details of long-stay car parks or Park & Ride services. Find out more about Travelling to our Chelmsford campus.

What happens next?

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

What next if I am offered a place?

  • Accept your offer via UCAS Hub.
  • 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.
  • The offer of a place in a previous application cycle or on a waiting list does not guarantee a place or interview if you reapply for another intake. Please note that we do not accept deferrals.

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.