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MSC Summer Schools

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The MSC Summer Schools programme is aimed at young people from areas of England where few students apply to study medicine. The summer schools allow students to learn about becoming a doctor and whether it would be the right career for them. Students receive the information, skills and above all the confidence they need to submit a strong application to medicine.

MSC summer schools will take place over four days in the summer of 2021. Each summer school is run by an individual medical school or by a partnership of medical schools, using teaching sessions developed by its staff, the Medical Schools Council and partner organisations such as the Royal College of General Practitioners. 

This initiative is generously funded by Health Education England and is provided free of charge to all participants. Students must meet the eligibility criteria for the programme in order to apply.

Eligibility criteria

Due to the way the MSC Summer Schools programme is funded, students living outside of England are not eligible to apply. Eligibility is assessed at the point of application by the host medical school. 

To be eligible for the programme the students must be currently studying at a state school and are:

  • In, or have been in local authority care

Or hold a minimum of two of the following:

  • Studying in a school that achieved below the national average Attainment 8 score at GCSE or had attended this school to the age of 16. Summer schools will use the England average score of Attainment 8 to be 46.7 out of 90. You can check your school's Attainment 8 score here.*
  • Studying in a school that achieved below or well below the national average Progress 8 score or had attended this school to the age of 16. This will be any school that gets below 0 (zero) as its Progress 8 score. You can check your school's Progress 8 score here.*
  • From a school with a high percentage of students receiving free school meals. This will be any school where the percentage of students who are eligible for free school meals is 27.7% or above. You can check your school's free school meal percentage here.
  • Living in a geographical area with low levels of progression onto higher education. Students who live in POLAR4 quintiles 1 and 2 will automatically meet this criterion. You can check your POLAR4 quintile by entering your home postcode here.*
  • The student is a young carer. Young carers are defined as children under the age of 18 who help look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.
  • From a family where the parents do not have a university degree from the UK or abroad.
  • In receipt of or eligible for free school meals or the 16-19 Bursary Fund or Discretionary Learner Support or Means Tested Benefit or Pupil Premium.
  • Be estranged from parents or guardians (the student has no contact with them) and/or be an asylum seeker or refugee.

*If you are not sure whether you meet certain criteria, don't worry - medical schools will work this out based on the information you submit in the application form.

The specification also expects participants on the programme to have:

  • The potential to study medicine and be capable of achieving the minimum grades required for entry (whether that is for standard entry programmes or programmes with a gateway year)
  • An interest in STEM subjects and be considering studying science in their post-16 studies and medicine post-18

How to apply

Applications are handled directly by participating medical schools. To learn about the summer school taking place nearest to you, and to apply, see its webpage via following links. 

BrightIdeas Summer School by Brighton and Sussex Medical School and Kent and Medway Medical School

BrightIdeas gives students the opportunity to complete a medicine focused research project, with the support of a medical student e-mentor. The project, which ends in a 4-day summer school, will provide you with invaluable insights into the roles of doctors; as scientists, clinicians and teachers. BrightIdeas 2020/21 is split into 3 programme strands; Kent, Sussex and Hampshire. You will be assigned to a programme strand depending on where you live. Each strand will be invited to three compulsory programme events throughout the year.

We are planning for a four day event, where students on the Kent and Sussex strand will stay overnight in university halls on the University of Kent campus in Canterbury and students on the Hampshire strand will stay on the University of Sussex campus. Should we be unable to host an in-person event, we will run an online summer school as we did in 2020. The safety of all our staff, medical students and young people is paramount.

Summer school dates 

Dates for the Hampshire strand: Thursday 22 July 2021 - Sunday 25 July 2021

Dates for the Kent and Sussex strands: Monday 2 August 2021 - Thursday 5 August 2021 (please note that these dates are subject to change). 

Application period

2 November 2020 - 16 December 2020

How to apply

All students in Year 12 across England can apply but priority will be given to students who meet the eligibility criteria and those who are living in Kent, Hampshire and/or Sussex. For more information and to apply, click here.

A combination of Lancaster Medical School, University of Liverpool School of Medicine and Edge Hill University Medical School

Our collaborative online medical summer school will provide you with an insight to studying medicine at three medical schools across the North West. It will allow you to experience differing teaching styles, engage with specialist staff and ask questions to student ambassadors from across the three medical schools. The online format will allow you to complete a range of activities and will be supplemented by a shorter campus experience when possible.*

*We are currently awaiting confirmation as to whether we will be able to supplement the online summer school with a short campus experience in July 2021 and will confirm this as soon as we are able to.

Application period: 1 February 2021 - 15 May 2021

Dates for the summer school: To be confirmed spring/summer 2021

For more information and to apply, click here.

Y11 Medical Summer School - Imperial College London

The Y11 Medical Summer School at Imperial College London will provide participants with the opportunity to experience what it is like to study at medical school and explore medicine as a future career. Participants will spend four days learning about what it takes to become a doctor through talks, workshops and practical activities. There will be sessions on a variety of specialisms as well as support for preparing a strong application to medical school. Students will also have the chance to experience broader university life through a series of social activities with other participants and undergraduate mentors.

Application period: 12 January 2021 - 3 March 2021

Dates for the summer school: 10 August 2021 - 13 August 2021

For more information and to apply, click here.

Bristol Medical School

This summer school is for Year 11 students at selected schools in Bristol, the Forest of Dean and West Somerset. Whether you've already thought about a career in medicine or not, we'll help you find out what you really need to get into medical school and become a doctor. You'll live and work closely with current medical students to find out what skills and qualities you'll need as well as the different pathways into medicine, and we'll make sure that you've got a good plan and plenty of support for the next two years before medical school.

This summer school is targeted at specific schools in Bristol, the Forest of Dean and West Somerset; only students from these schools will be eligible.

Application period: 15 March 2021 - 30 April 2021

Dates for the summer school: 26 July 2021 - 29 July 2021

The link to apply will be confirmed in due course.

Exeter Medical School

Exeter Medical School will be hosting an MSC Summer School in 2021. More information about the summer school and how to apply will be confirmed soon.

Leicester Medical School

Leicester Medical School will be hosting an MSC Summer School in 2021. More information about the summer school and how to apply will be announced soon.

A combination of University College London, King's College London, St George's University of London and Queen Mary University of London

A pan-London consortium of medical schools will host an MSC Summer School in 2021. More information about the summer school and how to apply will be confirmed soon.

Privacy notice

Click here to see the privacy notice for the MSC Summer Schools programme.