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Successful bid funds Medical School summer scheme for students from diverse backgrounds

February 1, 2023

Edge Hill University has won funding for a residential summer school to encourage students from more diverse backgrounds to explore a career in medicine.

Students from low-income backgrounds or areas of deprivation, care leavers, young carers, refugees and first-generation university-goers with an interest in studying medicine are being encouraged to sign up. 

The three-day residential will provide them with the chance to speak to current medical students, find out more about the profession, the application process and financial support, as well as taster sessions and the chance to explore Edge Hill’s campus and facilities. 

Headshot of Dr Peter Leadbetter

Dr Peter Leadbetter, programme lead for Foundation Year Medicine at Edge Hill, said: “We want these young people to know they’ve got so much to offer, that they belong and that they deserve to be here. 

“It’s so important that doctors represent and understand the needs of the communities they’re serving and we believe these young people really do.

“They just need to be given the opportunity and the encouragement to pursue their ambitions.”

Two cohorts of 16 and 17-year-olds, 140 in total, will be able to take part in the summer school led by the University’s Medical School thanks to £112,000 funding awarded by the Medical Schools Council (MSc)

Applications to join the scheme – in collaboration with medical schools at The University of Liverpool, Lancaster University and the University of Manchester – are now open, with schools in underrepresented communities around the North West being called on to raise awareness. 

Successful candidates will spend the majority of their time at Edge Hill with half-day visits to the other three universities. 

Ongoing support provided by the MSc as part of the wider Pathway Programme will include online events such as Q&As with current students and medical professionals, and signposting to additional resources.

Dr Craig Keenan, Edge Hill’s programme lead for widening access to medicine who led the funding bid, said: “So many young people have what it takes to pursue a career in medicine but just don’t get the opportunity because they don’t recognise it as an option for them.

“They often don’t know any medical professionals and if their school or college doesn’t have the right information they won’t even know which A Levels to take.  

“They won’t know about options like our Medicine with Foundation Year degree for example, which is open to those who’ve studied the right A Levels to join the medicine degree but whose background means they’re less likely to meet the academic requirements for direct entry. 

“We want to raise aspirations for students and their colleges or schools.” 

Headshot of Dr Craig Keenan

Jake Brown, Widening Participation Officer at Lancaster University which previously led the summer school scheme, shared feedback from a previous participant: “It was one of the best possible experiences I could have had in preparation for studying medicine.” 

Jake added: “Following two years of successful collaboration on the medical summer school, it’s fantastic to see the programme continue and expand under Edge Hill’s leadership. 

“We’re excited to welcome the students to our campus, knowing how truly valuable and unique the opportunity to experience multiple medical schools through one programme is.”

A student carries out chest compressions on a simulation patient while another student watches.
Students try chest compressions on a simulated patient.

Find out more about how Edge Hill’s commitment to widening participation is supporting Medical School students and apply for the summer school here. The deadline for applications is Friday 10 February; for questions or to join a mailing list for updates about the Pathway Programme email [email protected].

February 1, 2023


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