Summer School Opportunities for Medicine

What are summer schools? Why attend a summer school? What free summer schools are there available?

March 2021
Allegra Wisking (Co-Lead Editor)
UCL - 2nd Year Medical Student

What are summer school programs?


The majority of universities offer summer school programs for year 12โ€™s designed to equip students with skills that will either be useful in the application process and/or life at university. Whilst some are paid for, a large number of universities have widening participation programs that are free of cost. This post will outline some of the free opportunities available, as well as paid opportunities with scholarships available (these are clearly outlined). For some, applications for summer 2021 are still open, however, unfortunately, for others, applications have already closed. If you are in year 11 though, it is definitely worth keeping these in mind as most of the programs run every year so you will be able to apply for those with applications due earlier in the academic year.

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The programs vary in content and duration, however, I can guarantee that if you are able to secure a place on any of these programs you will benefit in some way. It must also be noted that normally these programs would run face-to-face however given the current circumstances, a few are taking place virtually this year.

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Why do a summer school program for your medical school application?

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Both medical and non-medical programs will allow you to develop a number of skills that are extremely valuable as a university student. These include organisation and communication skills, and the ability to work in a team but also independently. In addition to this, you will have the chance to meet a diverse range of individuals with whom you are likely to share common interests, and consequently build life-long friendships. Moreover, many of the universities running these courses will give you the opportunity to ask staff and current students any questions you have, and allow you to use the universities facilities, giving you a greater understanding of what life as a student is like. Completing a summer school program can be advantageous in your application if you can reflect on your experiences and appreciate the skills you gained.

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The programs that are specifically directed at prospective medical students are particularly useful for the medical school application process as many of them provide students with UCAT and BMAT advice, as well as tips on how to write a personal statement. This will strengthen your application as high scores in the admissions tests and a well written personal statement are crucial in securing an interview.

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Am I eligible for a FREE summer school program for Medicine?

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Most of the free summer programs have specific eligibility criteria. As this can vary between programs, it is important to check the individual requirements (usually clearly outlined on their respective websites).

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What summer school programs are available?

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Medicine Related:

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1. Lancaster Medicine Summer School: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/widening-participation/access/summer-schools/

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Duration: 1 week.

Eligibility criteria: see website.

Application due date for 2021: not yet released.

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2. University of Leicester Year 12 Summer School: https://le.ac.uk/study/schools-and-colleges/post-16/access-leicester-medicine

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Duration: N/A

Eligibility criteria: see website.

Application due date for 2021: applications now closed. Applications will open again in Autumn 2021 for students starting year 12 in 2021.

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3. Southampton Widening Access to Medicine Residential: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/schools-colleges/widening-access-to-medicine-residential.page

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Duration: 3 days.

Eligibility criteria: see website.

Application due date for 2021: 28th March.

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4. University of Sunderland Medicine Summer School: https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/open-days/medicine-summer-school/

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Duration: varies year on year but usually 2-4 days.

Eligibility criteria: see website.

Application due date for 2021: applications still open. No indication of a due date.

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5. Pathways to Medicine: https://www.suttontrust.com/our-programmes/pathways-to-medicine/

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โ€Duration: 1 week.

Eligibility criteria: see website.

Application due date for 2021: applications now closed.

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โ€โ€Note: although this program is run at Imperial College London, application is directly through their own website - https://www.imperial.ac.uk/be-inspired/student-recruitment-and-outreach/schools-and-colleges/students/on-campus-activities/programmes/pathways-to-medicine/.

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6. Newcastle Mini Medical School: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/medical-sciences/engage-with-us/mini-medical-school/

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Duration: 6 weeks

Eligibility criteria: not exclusively Year 12 students - open to anyone aged 15+.

Application due date for 2021: no indication of due date.

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Non-Medical:

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1. Imperial College London Year 12 Work Experience Program: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/be-inspired/student-recruitment-and-outreach/schools-and-colleges/students/on-campus-activities/summer-schools/work-experience/

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Duration: 5 days.

Eligibility criteria: differs between programs so see website.

Application due date for 2021: 3rd March.

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2. UCL Year 12 Summer School: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/widening-participation/learners/year-12-and-13/summer-schools/year-12-summer-school-online

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Duration: 1 week.

Eligibility criteria: year 12 students attending a non-selective state school.

Application due date for 2021: 2nd March.

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3. Pre-University Summer School at KCL *PAID*: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/summer/pre-university/online-summer-school

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Duration: 2 weeks.

Eligibility criteria: see website for eligibility details for scholarship.

Application due date for 2021: the scholarship application is due 30th April however if you are not applying for a scholarship it is due 31st May.

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Author & Editor: Allegra Wisking

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