Widening Participation and Outreach

We are committed to improving access to our courses for students who are under-represented both in higher education and within the field of Medicine, Dentistry and Health.


For students to book

New Starter Programme

About the programme

Students beginning Adult Nursing, Orthoptics and Speech and Language Therapy degrees with us are invited to join the New Starter Programme before the start of term. The three day programme is designed to help students find their feet at University, feel at home with us and hit the ground running when courses begin. It includes both online and face-to-face sessions on professional expectations, placements, academic skills, library and support services. Second and third year students are on hand to escort participants to the relevant clinical areas they will be working in and share their valuable advice on settling in as a student. Lunch is provided while students are on-campus and there are plenty of opportunities to get to know others on the course in a relaxed environment.

Joining the programme

All new students will be invited by email to register for a place on the programme. If you have accepted an offer from us and you have not received an invitation, please contact lynsey.jefferies@sheffield.ac.uk

Places for the on-campus elements are limited. In the event that more students register for the programme than there are available places, students from Widening Participation backgrounds, who are under-represented in Higher Education or on our Health Science courses will be prioritised in order to comply with our statutory obligation to support these students. Further information on access, success and progression for the groups which we have identified as being under-represented are available in our Access and Participation Plan.

New Starter Programme Prioritisation Framework

Students who wish to attend will be scored and prioritised according to the criteria below, with 1 point awarded for each:

  • Students living in an area with low participation in Higher Education
  • Students from under-represented ethnic groups (Black, Black British- Caribbean and Other Black backgrounds)
  • Students who identify as male
  • Students who received or were entitled to discretionary learner payments, 16–19 bursary or free school meals (FSM) at college or secondary school
  • Mature students
  • Students with a declared disability
  • Carers
  • Care leavers
  • Students who are living independently from their families
  • Students with alternative qualifications (eg. anything other than A-levels)
UCAT 2022 online course

A free course for year 12 students applying to Medicine or Dentistry. Interviews for these courses are offered to applicants with the highest UCAT scores; therefore your UCAT test is a crucial component of your application.

This course introduces the skills and techniques you need to improve your score and provides guided practice on each of the five parts of the test.

Additionally, you will be given feedback on your answers by our student ambassadors who will help you to improve and answer any questions you may have about the exam.

Course dates

25 July to 26 August 2022

Time commitment

10 hours over 5 weeks. Please note that this course is designed to be taken in addition to your own individual study. Students who get the highest scores on the UCAT generally spend 25-30 hours preparing for the exam in total.

Course structure

Each week the course will cover a different subtest of the UCAT exam and include one online lesson with practice activities plus a timed mock test. You must complete these within the week they are released in order to receive feedback on your work, but they may be done at any time within that week at your own pace. You will also have access to discussion forums, where you can ask questions and discuss topics about the UCAT with current and aspiring medical and dental students.

  • Week 1: Verbal Reasoning
  • Week 2: Decision Making
  • Week 3: Quantitative Reasoning
  • Week 4: Abstract Reasoning
  • Week 5: Situational Judgement

Eligibility criteria and prioritisation framework

In order to be offered a place on the online UCAT Preparation course at the University of Sheffield, you must meet the following essential widening participation criteria:

  • Attend a state school
  • Be in Year 12 and on track to achieve the minimum entry requirements to study Medicine or Dentistry at Sheffield.

In the event that there are more applications than available places on the course, applicants meeting one or more of the following criteria will be prioritised:

  • Students who are in the first generation of their immediate family to enter higher education before the age of 21.
  • Students from under-represented ethnic groups
  • Students living in an area with low participation in Higher Education. (You can check this by searching for your postcode on the Office For Students website. If your POLAR3 or POLAR4 ranking is Quintile 1 or 2, you live in an area with low participation)
  • Students receiving or entitled to discretionary learner payments, 16–19 bursary or free school meals (FSM) at college or secondary school.
  • Students who attended a school achieving below national average at GCSE (check your school's Progress 8 score)
  • Students with a declared disability
  • Carers
  • Care leavers
  • Students from military families
    Students who are living independently from their families

Students on the Discover Medicine, or Discover Dental Professions programmes are guaranteed a place subject to completion of the application form before the deadline.

The UCAT online course is run by outreach staff and student ambassadors and is independent of staff involved with admissions decisions at the University of Sheffield. 

Applications open on Monday 13 June and close on Monday 11 July 2022.

Apply now

2 year programmes for year 12 students
Additional resources

Schools and colleges outreach

We can offer tailored events and activities to schools and colleges for year 12 and 13 students online or face-to-face including:

  • Subject talks featuring taster activities and a Q&A with current students:
    • Study for a Career in Healthcare (including Adult Nursing, Speech & Language Therapy and Orthoptics)
    • Medicine
    • Dentistry
    • Bio-dental science and technology
    • Dental Hygiene and Therapy
    • Health & Human Sciences
  • Fees and funding information
  • Making successful applications (including personal statements, work experience, introduction to UCAT exam preparation, interviews)

To get in touch about any of these opportunities, or for a discussion about how the faculty can help you to engage your students, please contact lynsey.jefferies@sheffield.ac.uk  or complete this form.

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