Passionate about pursuing a career in medicine?

Pathways to Medicine was developed to widen access to the medical profession. The programme provides both academic support, so that students achieve the grades needed for highly competitive medical school places, as well as providing sector specific support – such as a work placements, mentoring, networking and skills workshops. All of which build the essential knowledge, skills and confidence required to go on to higher education and the world of work.

The programme was launched in 2012 at Imperial College London and expanded to Hull York Medical School in 2015. The programme is funded by Health Education England. Research by the Sutton Trust has shown that the top echelons of the medical professions were drawn from a narrow range of social backgrounds. The programme aims to raise student’s aspirations and allow them to make informed decision about their future career.

Applications for 2019/20 are now open!


The Trust have teamed up with 2 universities to deliver the programme
approximately 400 students have already benefitted from the programme
Another 300 students are estimated to take part in the programme from 2017-2020.

Whilst each university has a unique way of delivering the programme, every Pathways to Medicine Student will be offered:

  • A medical work experience placement 

  • A programme of after-school and weekend events.

  • E-mentoring from undergraduate medical students

  • The chance to attend a summer school packed with talks, activities and networking opportunities. The summer school is residential at HYMS, and non-residential at Imperial


Students applying to Pathways to Medicine must meet the following criteria:

  • Attend, and have always attended, a state-funded, non fee-paying school/college

  • Be in Year 11 at the start of the programme for Imperial College London 

    Be in Year 12 at the start of the programme for all other Pathways to Medicine programmes

  • Live within a reasonable distance of the university to which you are applying. For guidance on this point, please email [email protected]

  • Individual universities will have slightly different eligibility requirements. Please click here for Hull York’s full requirements, and here for Imperial.

In addition, we are looking for students who:

  • Students must have achieved five GCSEs at grades 9-6, including English and Mathematics. A minimum of two of these qualifications should be at grades 9 – 7. This is equivalent to five GCSEs at A* – B in the old system, with two grades at A* – A’

  • Would be the first generation in their family to attend university

  • Have been in receipt of Free School Meals whilst at secondary school

  • Have attended schools with a lower than average progression to higher education, or a higher than average proportion of students who qualify for Free School Meals

  • Have parent(s)/guardian(s) who qualify for means-tested benefits

  • Have been looked after or in care

*The more of these criteria you meet, the more likely it is that you will be offered a place on the programme.


Pathways to Medicine runs for three academic years at Imperial College London and two academic years at Hull York Medical School. The programme is run in conjunction with the following universities:

Imperial College London

Hull York Medical School

The University of Newcastle

The University of Nottingham


Applications for the Year 12 Pathways to Medicine programme are now open! Please click the link at the top of the page to visit our application site. Applications for the Year 11 programme will open in the autumn.

To take part in Pathways to Medicine at Hull York Medical School, the University of Newcastle or the University of Nottingham, you must be in Year 12 when the programme starts (autumn term 2019). To take part in Pathways to Medicine at Imperial College London you must be in Year 11 when the programme starts (spring term 2020).

To attend either programme, you must live within a reasonable commuting distance of the university that you wish to apply to (around 1 hour’s commute). If you have a question about this, or any other aspect of the programme, please email [email protected]


Thanks to the programme, I was able to secure work experience at Charing Cross Hospital working with an anaesthetist.  It was really fascinating – I had the opportunity to put on scrubs and watch real surgeries take place. Apparently lots of students faint the first time they watch surgery, but I was really eager to see more. It gave me a really valuable insight into the work doctors do on a day to day basis, which is nothing like you see on TV.

Pathways Student

The programme was very helpful in increasing my contact with medical students as well as many medical professionals. The work experience that was organised via this was especially helpful, as this is not always easy to obtain otherwise. It enabled me to see the clinical side of healthcare which greatly increased my motivation to study medicine and also helped in my application for studying medicine.

Pathways Student

I loved my experience on the programme, as there were various different tasks and activities to do, which were very insightful and enjoyable. This programme gave me an overall insight into medicine and I was able to be well-informed on the subject, which helped in making my decision to choose to study it at university.

Pathways Student

This programme enabled me to develop personally and increase my interest in pursuing a career in medicine. The programme offered a variety of opportunities, for example work experience placements, workshops etc, which aided in my process for applying to university.

Pathways Student


The cost associated with being on the programme (travel and accommodation) are covered by the Sutton Trust and our partner universities.

All students are offered the opportunity to take part in a work experience placement appropriate to the Pathways programme that they are on.

No, you can apply to and attend one Sutton Trust programme. This is to make sure as many students as possible benefit from the programmes. Any duplicate applications will be deleted.

Applications for Pathways to Medicine at Hull York Medical School open on Tuesday September 12th, and will close on Monday January 8th. Applications for Pathways to Medicine at Imperial College London will open in November.

All students are required to live within a reasonable distance from the delivery university in order to make involvement in the various sessions and activities manageable. If you are not sure whether this applies to you, please do contact [email protected] If you are not within this proximity it might be worth considering the Sutton Trust UK Summer Schools which are national rather than regional programmes.


You can apply, but you should be aware that our Pathways programmes are often oversubscribed – If you do not meet the academic criteria your application is less likely to be successful.

If you do not meet the academic criteria but there are extenuating circumstances to explain this, please ask your teacher to provide details when they verify your application.

The Sutton Trust is not a grant / scholarship making charity. We cannot financially support our students following at Pathways Programme, though there are many other sources of financial support available, some of which may be specific to the university you go to and which your university may be able to advise on.

The Sutton Trust programmes are for highly able state school or college (non-fee-paying) students only. Applications from students studying at private/independent (fee-paying) schools will not be considered, even if you receive a scholarship or bursary in to cover the fees. Some universities will show flexibility if you are currently in or have been in care.

If you are unsure whether your school is eligible, please visit www.schoolguide.co.uk to check. If your school is listed as ‘Independent’, it is not eligible.

There is space on the UCAS form to indicate any involvement in a university access programme (which all the Sutton Trust programmed are). Some universities will give preference or reduced offers to students who have attended these, however this is not the case for all universities. We also stress that this should not be a determining factor for you to attend a Pathways programme. Your motivation for attending should be aligned to the aims and objectives of the programme.