image of banner

SOAMS

Sheffield's Outreach and Access to Medicine Scheme

Medicine is the study of diseases affecting people. Its scope is vast, encompassing the causes, the nature and the treatment of disease. SOAMS is a two year pathway that starts in Year 12 for students who have the ability and interest in becoming a doctor and meet specific Academic and Widening Participation (WP) criteria from state schools within South Yorkshire and the surrounding region. See 'How to apply' section below for more information.

SOAMS offers support and guidance through a range of activities related to medicine which aim to raise awareness, aspirations, and levels of achievement. The Post-16 Outreach team will also support students throughout the pathway.

Guaranteed interview and adjusted offer

Students who complete the pathway are guaranteed an interview for an offer of a place to study Medicine and allied courses at the University of Sheffield. To benefit from this guaranteed interview, students must have completed all of the SOAMS activities and must meet the minimum academic criteria upon application.

Students that pass their interview will be made a conditional adjusted offer to study Medicine or allied courses at the University of Sheffield.

What's involved?
Year 12 Year 13

Welcome Session

This is the chance to meet the other SOAMS students and find out more about the pathway. You will also be introduced to the e-mentoring programme, which allows you to communicate with a current medical student online, who can support you as you progress through SOAMS.

UCAS Guidance and Interview Techniques

We help you to ensure you prepare a strong UCAS application, including focused work on your personal statement. You will participate in a interactive session to help you get the best out of the Medical School interview.

Medical Careers Conference

This full-day conference gives you an insight into the career options open to medics. You will hear medical professionals from a range of specialities discussing their area of work, their commitment, their career to date and the sense of achievement and job satisfaction they experience.

Guest speakers from the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals will talk about their specialist areas, such as Plastic Surgery, Emergency Medicine, GP, and/or Psychiatry.

Medical School Lab Session

Following on from the Medical School lecture attended in Year 12, you will have the opportunity to shadow current medical students on a research attachment.

First Aid day

Students get to learn basic first aid skills, such as suturing, dealing with burns/bleeds/fractures, learning CPR and the recovery position, what to do if someone is choking and how to move a casualty. Working with current medical students, you will also find out how these procedures are applied in medical school and will give you an insight into what, and how, you learn at Sheffield Medical School.

Year 13 Biology and Chemistry Revision

This session will help you prepare for your A Level Biology and Chemistry exams with support from lecturers in our Biology and Chemistry Departments.

Open Day

SOAMS students are given information on the Undergraduate Open Days and the Medical School Open Days.

One to One Session

You will also be able to take part in a mock medical school interview prior to the real thing.

Year 12 Study Skills, Biology and Chemistry Revision

These events are designed to support you in your preparation for your AS Level exams.

Academic Study Skills

This session will introduce you to academic study skills that will benefit you during your A Levels and during future studies at university.

Integrated Learning Activity

You will get the chance to experience how medicine is taught at the University of Sheffield by taking part in an interactive session working with current medical students on a case study regarding an illness and presenting your findings.

Team-building Day

This day is designed to boost confidence as well as being a chance for SOAMS students to have fun together as they reach the end of their time on the scheme.

First Year Medical School Lecture

SOAMS students are invited to join first year medical students in a lecture focusing on the skeletal system, again to experience what the teaching is like at Sheffield. You will also get the opportunity to meet the lecturer for a Q&A session

Awards Evening

Congratulations! You and your parents/carers and teachers will be invited to the SOAMS awards evening, when students who have successfully completed both phases of SOAMS receive certificates of achievement.

Residential Summer School

This four-day residential summer school will give you a taste of life as a Medical Student.

During the week you will take part in a range of interactive sessions including medical ethics debates, clinical skills practice, an anatomy workshop and a mock interview session.

On the final day you will spend a day work shadowing in a department of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

You will also take part in social activities, including bowling, a BBQ night, and a joint Summer Social BBQ with students on ADOPT and STEM, you will stay in our award winning student accommodation.

E-mentoring

During Year 12 and 13 you will receive one-to-one guidance from a current medical student using a secure online platform. You'll be able to message your mentor at any time from your mobile or computer to ensure any questions you may have are answered.

Who can participate?

This pathway is for students who meet specific Academic and Widening Participation (WP) criteria from state schools within South Yorkshire and the surrounding region.

Academic criteria WP Criteria (meet both) WP Criteria (additional - between one and all of the following)

A Level (or equivalent) requirements:

  • Should be studying a minimum of 3 A Levels including Chemistry and a second science (preferably Biology but Maths, Physics & Psychology are also acceptable science subjects). Please note that the EPQ and General Studies A Level are not acceptable as stand-alone qualifications. Also, Further Maths (with Maths A Level) and Critical Thinking will not be counted by the Medical School as stand-alone A Levels.
  • Attend a State School
  • Are in the first generation of their family to enter HE (other than siblings, or parents who attended HE as a mature student)
  • Are from a low progression to HE area and the lowest socio-economic groups
  • Are a Looked After Child/Young Adult Carer/Estranged student
  • Are a student with a declared disability

GSCE requirements:

Min. 5 A*-B (or 9-6), plus a minimum of C (4) in English, Maths & Science subjects if not already included.

Pupils who meet the academic criteria and one or more of the following criteria will be prioritised for participation on this pathway:

  • Are from a low progression to HE area and the lowest socio-economic groups
  • Are a Looked After Child/Young Adult Carer/Estranged student
  • Are a student with a declared disability
  • Have individual circumstances that mean they will need to overcome other barriers to learning/progression. (We will assess this element on an individual basis, based on the information provided by the school)

How to apply

If you have the potential to achieve good grades at A Level or equivalent and would either be in the first generation of your family to go into Higher Education, or you are a Looked after Child, look after someone in your family or have a declared disability, you may qualify to apply for the programme.

Talk to the head of your sixth form or your course leader to find out. They will tell you if you are eligible based upon the criteria and information we have provided for them.

You and your parents or carers will then need to complete the online application form, via your registered school/college coordinator.

Note: Taking part in SOAMS shows commitment and could enhance your university application. However, it does not guarantee you a place at university. Places are subject to availability and you can only be registered on one sustained Outreach programmme at the University of Sheffield at any one time.