With places on medical courses being both limited in number and highly sought after the competition to secure places is very high.
Traditionally, studying medicine has been seen as an elite profession with multiple barriers to entry such as high grades, additional examinations, work experience requirements and several years of funding. A 2011 government report ‘Opening Doors and Breaking Barriers’ found that just 20% of schools in the UK provide 80% of all medical school applications.
These statistics have encouraged an ongoing effort from medical schools across the UK, The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Health Education England to address this imbalance. One outcome of this effort has been the 1500 new training places in UK medical schools that was announced in 2017. These places been allocated to medical schools, such as Aston, within areas with a relative shortage of doctors overall (or in certain specialties), and importantly to widen the social profile of new medical students.
In keeping with our vision of being a socially inclusive medical school, we aim to offer 40% of our UK/EU places each year to students who meet specified widening participation criteria; preference will be given to our local students including those who are on the Sir Doug Ellis Pathway to Healthcare Programme (see below). Full details of the widening participation criteria can be found here.
Sir Doug Ellis Pathway to Healthcare
In November 2016 we launched the Sir Doug Ellis Pathway to Healthcare Programme. Designed to prepare students to enter medical school and other healthcare professions at Aston or elsewhere, the programme is for students from across the Birmingham, Black Country (Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton) and Solihull regions; from non-traditional backgrounds (i.e. those who will be the first in their family to attend university, have been in receipt of free school meals etc.).
Students who complete this programme and meet our academic entry criteria will be eligible for a reduced academic offer on our undergraduate medicine degree (the MBChB). Find out more about the programme and details on eligibility here.
Keith Bradshaw Introduction to Healthcare
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. Full details on the programme can be found here.