Discover Medicine

Discover Medicine 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.

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Medicine is the study of diseases affecting people. Its scope is vast, encompassing the causes, the nature and the treatment of disease. Discover Medicine 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.

Pathway structure

Year 12
  • Welcome Session - This is the chance to meet the other Discover Medicine 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 Discover Medicine.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Open Day - Discover Medicine students are given information on the Undergraduate Open Days and the Medical School Open Days.
  • Year 12 Study Skills - These events are designed to support you in your preparation for your AS Level exams.
  • 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 Discover Medicine students to have fun together as they reach the end of their time on the scheme.
  • First Year Medical School Lecture - Discover Medicine 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.
  • 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, sports evening, and a joint Summer Social BBQ with students on Discover Dental Professions and STEM, you will stay in our award winning student accommodation.
Year 13
  • 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 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.
  • One to One Session - You will also be able to take part in a mock medical school interview prior to the real thing.
  • 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.
  • Awards Evening - Congratulations! You and your parents/carers and teachers will be invited to the Discover Medicine awards evening, when students who have successfully completed both phases of Discover Medicine receive certificates of achievements.

Programme outcomes

Adjusted offer

Students who successfully complete the pathway will be eligible for a conditional offer for degrees at the University of Sheffield with the exception of a degree in Dental Surgery.

To qualify for an adjusted offer for Dental Surgery you must have completed the Discover Dental Professions pathway.

If you wanted to take a 1 x year gap break before applying to the University of Sheffield, or need to resit A Levels to achieve a higher grade, the adjusted offer would be made available in the following year only.

Please be aware - any or all A Level resits must be taken in one sitting and only one resit per A Level is permitted. You would also have to retake the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT).

Further information on A Level qualifications for medicine is available on the Medical School Undergraduate application webpages.

Support with exam revision

To be successful on the degree course you eventually choose, you will be required to meet certain entry requirements, which are set to reflect the academic level of course content and to ensure that you can be comfortable in achieving a good standard in your degree.

As a participant in Discover you will have free access to an online tutoring platform, where you will be able to work through challenging revision questions, seek support on a particular aspect of a subject, or submit written pieces of work for feedback, working with tutors who have already received qualifications in a range of subjects.

You will receive guidance on how to use the secure platform, which can be accessed from your mobile phone or computer and you’ll be able to book sessions with the tutors at times which are convenient for you, including evening and weekends.

Engaging with the tutoring opportunity is a compulsory part of the Discover programme, designed to support you in achieving the highest grades possible.


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.

Taking part in the Discover programme 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 pathway at the University of Sheffield at any one time.

Eligibility requirements

Academic criteria

A Level (or equivalent) requirements:

  • Should be studying a minimum of 3 A Levels including Chemistry or Biology and another science subject (Physics, Psychology and Maths 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.

GCSE requirements: 

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

Widening participation criteria (meet both)

  • Attend a State School
  • Are in the first generation of their family to enter Higher Education (HE) (other than siblings, or parents who attended HE as a mature student)

Widening participation criteria (additional - between one and all of the following)

  • 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.

Contact us

Email: discovermedicine@sheffield.ac.uk

Phone: +44 114 222 9875

Access Sheffield

Depending on circumstances, we may be able to give undergraduate applications additional consideration when we receive them.