The Keith Bradshaw Introduction to Healthcare programme is an initiative delivered by Aston Medical School directly into local secondary schools. The programme consists of two elements designed to complement each other and the learning of the students.

Having worked with more than 300 year 12 students through our Sir Doug Ellis Pathway to Healthcare Programme, we often find that students are unaware of the real life impact their GCSE choices and grades have on their career choices, and in particular when applying for medicine or other healthcare degrees.

The programme will see our mentors going in to schools to plant a seed in these young people’s minds to get them thinking about their future careers from an earlier stage. The aim is to raise awareness of healthcare professions to demonstrate the importance and impact of working hard to attain the best possible GCSEs to allow students to have options when applying for university.

We are very lucky to have received the donation from Keith Bradshaw, which will allow us to work with a large number of students from across the Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country area.

Firstly, the programme involves three in-school sessions. Trained mentors will go into schools to deliver these sessions, through interactive presentations and activities. The mentors are Aston University students that are in the process of completing a wide variety of degree courses and come with their own wealth of experience. Not only will our mentors raise awareness but they will also act as positive role models.

 The workshops are as follows:

1)      What is it like to study medicine and other healthcare degrees? 

2)      The impact of your GCSEs and choosing your options

3)      Your career pathway

Year 9 and 10 students participating in the workshops are invited to join us on campus and take part in an action packed Taster Day designed and delivered by Aston Medical School staff and students.

The Taster Day will consist of several interactive sessions aimed to educate the students about Higher Education and the types of careers that exist within healthcare. Most importantly, it will encourage students to think about their own journeys and help them to consider what they want to do in future and how they can achieve their goal.

Schools will be given a list of dates to choose from in order to bring their students onto campus to take part. 

Any non-selective state schools within Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country area, which have a high percentage of Widening Participation students. The programme is targeted at year 9 and 10 students within these schools.

To be considered for a school that has a high percentage of widening participation students, we would be looking for students to meet some or all of the following criteria:

  • Has lived in or is currently living in Local Authority Care
  • Come from a home where neither parent has attended a university in the UK or abroad
  • Is currently in receipt of a means-tested school bursary
  • Has been in receipt of free school meals at any point over the last 6 years (Ever 6)  
  • Lives in an eligible postcode area (where the neighbourhood has a low progression rate to HE). You can check this here under the Postcode Checker.

Schools will need to register their interest by emailing us at