Widening Access to Medicine (WAM) Programme

The North West of England faces significant health challenges. Edge Hill University Medical School is committed to training doctors who are representative of the local population as they are best placed to address local needs. Key to this is support for students from under-represented groups.

Our Widening Access to Medicine (WAM) programme is a series of free events designed primarily to support local students from state schools who have the ability and personal attributes to be successful in their application for a place in medical school. The WAM programme supports application to both the Foundation Year for Medicine and the undergraduate medical programme (MBChB) at Edge Hill University.

Students on the WAM programme will be encouraged to develop a personal portfolio to include reflections of experiences and achievements and to help plan future learning needs. They will receive regular correspondence from our WAM team which will include additional learning resources and alerts relating to current healthcare issues.

It is recommended that to get the most out of this programme, students should attend all sessions.

Programme Structure

Programme Structure

The WAM programme is a series of free events over two years, designed to support application to the Medical School.

The varied programme combines practical advice with interactive workshops and talks by members of Edge Hill University staff and by doctors and healthcare professionals. All are full day events (from 9:30am to 3pm) which take place at Edge Hill University.

Please note that, due to Covid19 and social distancing and government guidelines, events may be held online. You will therefore need access to the internet, and a device to access this, either at home or at school/college.

The programme is provided below.

Day 1 – Introduction and Insight

Students will be welcomed to Edge Hill University and given a tour of the campus to provide them with an insight into life as University student. Participants will have the chance to meet with University staff and doctors. They will be given an introduction to the Edge Hill Medical School and to medicine as a career. The event will offer practical information and advice on applying to University and on student finance. Students will be supported to obtain work experience.

Day 2 – Working in Medicine

Students will gain an increased awareness of the local healthcare challenges and hear from doctors working in different areas of medicine. They will get a chance to practice clinical skills in our simulated learning facilities. Students will be supported to reflect on their own experience and to plan for future development.

Day 3 – Supporting Application to Medicine

The emphasis of this session will be on supporting students to apply for medical school. Students will take part in an application workshop and will be supported to prepare for UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test, historically known as UKCAT). UCAT is used by many medical schools to assess mental abilities, attitudes and professional behaviours. Students will take part in activities such as ethical debate, problem solving, role play and group discussion around key issues which will further support UCAT.

Day 4 – Preparing for Interview

Interviews for medical school are often very different from interviews for many other undergraduate programmes; many involve the use of Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). MMIs are a series of short practical assessments which assess things such as communication skills, decision making and ethical awareness. The focus of this session will be on preparing for MMI. As part of this students will have the opportunity to work with those who use healthcare services.

Day 5 – Medical Careers and Maximising Exam Success

Students will learn more about the different types of medical careers to help them start to plan for their long term future. Key to this is, of course, obtaining the necessary academic qualifications. This topic will include interactive sessions on study skills, biomedical and integrated clinical science to help support this.

Programme dates 2019-2021

Day 1 – Introduction and Insight – Friday 13th December 2019
Day 2 – Working in Medicine – Friday 14th February 2020
Day 3 – Supporting Application to Medicine – Friday 1st May 2020
Day 4 – Preparing for Interview – Friday 27th November 2020
Day 5 – Medical Careers and Maximising Exam Success – Friday 5th February 2021 (may be subject to change)

Programme dates 2020-2021

Day 1 – Introduction and Insight – Friday 11th December 2020
Day 2 – Working in Medicine – Friday 12th February 2021
Day 3 – Supporting Application to Medicine – Friday 7th May 2021
Day 4 – Preparing for Interview – Friday 5th November 2021 or Friday 26th November 2021 (to be confirmed)
Day 5 – Medical Careers and Maximising Exam Success – Friday 4th February 2022 (may be subject to change)

Who can apply?

Who can apply?

The WAM programme is a widening participation initiative for local Year 12 and 13 students. It supports application to both the Foundation Year for Medicine and the undergraduate medical programme (MBChB). The two year programme is aimed at students commencing Year 12, with an interest in starting either the Foundation Year for Medicine or the undergraduate medical programme in two years time. (Please note that entry to the Foundation Year for Medicine is restricted to applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.)

To be eligible to apply for the WAM Programme, applicants will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be currently living in the Northwest of England – Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, or Cumbria.
  • Have achieved five GCSEs at Grade B or Grade 6 or above, including Biology, Chemistry, English Language and Mathematics. (GCSE Double Science Awards, at Grades 6-6 or B-B or above, will also be accepted in lieu of separate GCSEs in Biology and Chemistry.)
  • Be studying at least three A levels (or equivalent*) including Biology and Chemistry.
  • Applicants must have sat their GCSEs at a non-selective school. (Students under local authority care are exempt from this criteria.)

*Please note that the A level equivalents accepted for this programme are as follows:

  • A level/BTEC Combination: A levels must be in Biology and Chemistry and the BTEC must be a single BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma or National Award
  • International Baccalaureate: Must include Chemistry and Biology at higher level, one other subject at higher level, and three standard level subjects

Applicants will also need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Live in a low-income household with a combined income below £35,000;
  • Have parents who did not go to university or who do not have a higher education qualification;
  • Be, or have previously been, in local authority care;
  • Be the sole carer of a parent or sibling;
  • Have refugee status;
  • Be a member of the travelling community;
  • Live in an area with a postcode in quintile 1 or 2 in the POLAR4 young participation index. You can check your postcode here: www.officeforstudents.org.uk/data-and-analysis/young-participation-by-area/search-by-postcode/.

Candidates’ applications who meet the above criteria will then be reviewed by a selection committee based on the content of their application.

If you would like to join a mailing list for updates regarding the WAM Programme please email ehuwam@edgehill.ac.uk.

How to Apply

How to Apply

Applications for the 2020 programme are now open. Please complete our WAM Application Form to apply.
Please note that the closing date is 31st October 2020 at 11pm.

If you are interested in submitting a late application for the previous WAM Programme cycle please first ensure that you meet the criteria identified on the ‘who can apply?’ tab, then email ehuwam@edgehill.ac.uk for more information.

If you have any queries, please contact our Course Enquiries Team on 01695 657000 or email ehuwam@edgehill.ac.uk.

Parents and Carers

We understand the importance of the support that is provided by parents and carers while your son or daughter is making decisions about their future. We want to make sure you have the right information to support your son or daughter on our WAM Programme.

What to expect:

  • The programme takes place on 5 days throughout the two year period. It is expected that your son or daughter will attend all 5 of these days. However, we appreciate that unexpected circumstances may occur which prevent attendance, in which instance your son or daughter should contact us to inform us of this.
  • All events take place on our Ormskirk campus, which can be accessed via nearby public transport links. Should your son or daughter require a car parking space for an event, they must notify us at least 6 weeks in advance as parking on campus is very limited. (Please note that due to Covid19, some events may be held online.)
  • Lunch is provided at each on campus event, unless otherwise stated.
  • Sessions are designed for Y12/13 students who are interested in studying medicine – there are no sessions designed for parents to attend.
  • All our events are arranged by Jayne and Esther (see the Meet Us tab). You or your son or daughter are welcome to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
  • The Widening Access to Medicine Programme does not guarantee your son or daughter entry to Edge Hill University. The programme is designed to provide young people with new experiences, information, guidance and support to help them apply to study Medicine at Edge Hill University or elsewhere.

Further information about supporting your son or daughter to prepare for university can be found in our Guide for Parents.

Teachers and Supporters

We understand the importance of the support that is provided by teachers and supporters while young people are making decisions about their future. We want to work with you to provide the best support to the young people you work with.

The Medical Schools Council has published some resources for teachers and supporters, which can be found on their Journey to Medicine page.

As part of the application process, students are required to submit a reference from a teacher, ideally the Head of Year, Personal Tutor or other teacher in a similar role. This reference should be a short statement regarding overall suitability of the student, and should include the following:

  • What A levels the student is studying
  • General summary of their work ethic and attitude
  • Agreement to release the student from school on the required days

We are happy to visit schools, colleges and community groups to provide talks or workshops about the WAM Programme and Edge Hill Medical School. If you would like further information about our WAM Programme, or would like us to visit your school or community group, please contact us on ehuwam@edgehill.ac.uk.

Further information about supporting your students and working with Edge Hill University can be found on our Support for Teachers and Career Advisors page.

Meet us

Dr Jayne Garner
Medical School Senior Lecturer & Widening Access to Medicine Programme Leader
01695 657 071

Mrs Esther Clarke
Widening Access to Medicine (WAM) Co-ordinator
01695 657 456

Any general enquiries relating to the WAM Programme can be sent to our WAM email address: ehuwam@edgehill.ac.uk.

Work with us

If you work at a school, voluntary or community organization, or are currently a FHSCM student, and are interested in supporting applications to medicine, we would like to work with you! We would like as many people and organisations involved as possible in our programme.

If you would like to work with us to support this programme please contact us at ehuwam@edgehill.ac.uk, or contact Esther or Jayne directly.

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