New Leaders Award 2021: Leading the Foundation Year of Medicine: a widening participation initiative.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


Introduction: the issue and initiative
The ethos of the Foundation Year for Medicine (FY) at Edge Hill University is to widen access to medicine and to develop local doctors who can effectively and safely respond to the diverse health needs of the local community.
The FY recruit’s local students (NW) from non-traditional and underrepresented groups. This supports our ethos by providing students who aspire to study medicine the opportunity to gain insight into medicine and meet the standard academic level to progress to the medical programme. It ensures personal, professional and academic preparation for the demands of Medical training. On successful completion of the Foundation Year for Medicine student’s progress to Year 1 of the MBChB programme. It is also Edge Hill’s first validated non-modular programme and is high profile in that the success of the Medical programme is underpinned by a philosophy of widening access.

Methodology: Leadership role and solutions
I led the development, validation and current delivery of the programme. The programme has many distinctive features including local community placements, “added value” activities, assessments that mirror MBChB assessments, portfolio development, and significant input from service providers and service uses/carers. A narrative overview, document analysis and student evaluations of the programme and associated “added value” initiatives will be presented.
Results & discussion: Impact of the initiative
All students (n=17) who began the FY in 2019 have successfully completed the course and are currently in 1st year of the MBChB programme. The entire second cohort of 20 students are “on track” to progress in September 2021.

Student evaluations and feedback indicated the positive impact of the programme, with overall satisfaction between 4.3 & 4.6 out of 5. Students have strongly agreed “that they feel part of a community of staff and students” and that they feel supported and equipped for the rigours of undergraduate medicine. This was supported by the external examiner feedback.

The innovative curriculum approach was also identified as an area of good practice in the annual Institutional Validation report. The provision of enrichment activities to add value to the student experience was highlighted as good practice (e.g. NHS core skills, community placements, field trips, specialist careers advise, and volunteering opportunities) that directly support the widening participation agenda.

A key marker of success in leading the FY for Medicine is ensuring that the profile of the FY is raised locally and nationally. Recent involvement in national networks and media coverage that supports this narrative will also be highlighted to conclude the presentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-26
Number of pages13
JournalThe Clinical Teacher
Issue numberS1
Early online date23 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Medicine
  • Widening Participation


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