A two-year widening participation programme for young people aged 16-18 interested in studying medicine.

At a glance

  • Cohort programme with non-residential summer school
  • For highly motivated young people from state-funded school/college
  • Applications for the 2023/24 programme are now closed

About Pathways to Medicine

This programme supports highly motivated young people from state-funded schools and colleges who demonstrate a keen interest in pursuing a career in medicine. The programme recruits Year 12 students at the beginning of their A-level (or equivalent) courses and provides ongoing support into Year 13.

If you are a successful applicant, you will take part in activities that provide insight into the medical profession, support your medical school application and prepare you for starting university.  

The programme is delivered by Imperial College London in partnership with the Sutton Trust and with support from Health Education England.  It is coordinated by the Outreach Team with support from the School of Medicine, led by Professor Kevin Murphy (Admissions Tutor). The programme is also supported by Vision – a student-run medical society that aims to widen participation in medicine. Medical students from the society provide ongoing mentoring support, as well as organising events to show what it is like to study medicine at university.

What to expect

During your time with Pathways to Medicine, you will participate in events and activities throughout Year 12 and 13.

Every aspect of the programme is designed to help you make a strong and informed application to study medicine at university. Most activities take place on campus at Imperial, with a few events hosted online (there is more information in the Programme Schedule below).

Activities could include:

  • Taster sessions in different areas of medicine
  • Informative talks by admissions tutors, academics and practicing clinicians
  • Opportunities to meet and interact with Imperial medical students (including ementoring)
  • Professional insight and university experience days.

Feedback from previous participants

"I want to say thank you to everyone at Pathways for supporting us with this journey. This programme has been really insightful and has helped to reinforce my love of medicine." - Year 13 participant

"I have become a much more well-rounded, confident individual thanks to this programme and it has played a pivotal role in my (hopefully) imminent entry to medicine." - Year 13 participant

"I was part of Pathways last year and now I’m a first-year medical student at Imperial! The programme helped me so much with my medical school application and getting into Imperial, so I am always really grateful for the programme." - Programme alumni 

"Being part of Imperial's Pathways to Medicine has given me access to consistent and reliable information that I would otherwise never have, which I am forever grateful for. I've gained a realistic insight into all the marvellous pathways that can lead to medicine and that medicine can lead into, and have learnt how to look at medical cases and news through the lens of a medical student. The mentors and various doctors who dedicated time out of their busy schedules to help make medicine a more accessible course to the widening participation population made me truly appreciate the support that comes from the medical community and excited to be a part of it in the future. Thank you for the endless stream of support and memories and for being the beginning of our exposure to the mind framework of medical students and doctors that we will look back on as doctors ourselves." - Year 13 participant

"The day at St Mary’s... absolute slay." - Year 12 participant, when asked what they liked most about the summer school

Further reading

Learn about the beginning of the programme from news article Pathways to medicine: one year on

Hear from a current participant and an alumni who both spoke to 'Imperial Stories' for On the right track

Get to know one of our regular contributers, Consultant Gastroenterologist Professor Shahid Khan

Applicant information

We recommend that you use our eligibility checker tool to see if you are eligible to apply.

We look forward to seeing applications from Year 12 students who have a passion for STEM subjects and interest in medicine.

To apply for the Pathways to Medicine programme, you must be:

  • in Year 12 at the time of application;
  • attending (and have always attended) a state-funded, non fee-paying school or college;
  • living and attending a school within an hour of Imperial’s South Kensington campus;
  • willing to travel to Imperial College London for the scheduled programme dates.

Academic criteria

To be considered for this programme, you must:

  • be studying biology and chemistry at A-level;
  • be interested in pursuing medicine at university;
  • have achieved a minimum of eight GCSEs with at least five at grades 7-9, including maths and sciences;
  • have achieved a minimum of a grade 5 in GCSE English Language;
  • be on track to achieve at least two A grades out of a minimum of three subjects at A-level (or equivalent).

Additional criteria

This programme is funded by the Sutton Trust, which supports students from backgrounds under-represented in higher education. That includes if: 

  • you are eligible for free school meals
  • your family income is below £46,350 each year
  • you have been in care or are a young carer
  • you live independently (estranged), meaning you no longer have the support of your family due to a breakdown in the relationship
  • your parents do not have a university degree
  • you are studying in a non-selective state school that has below average attainment
  • your school has a high percentage of students receiving free school meals

Applications for the 2023/24 programme are now closed. 

Applications are made through our online application system, Aspire. You must create an account with Aspire before you can fill out your application.

We recommend that you use a personal email address - rather than a school email address - when creating your account. Security settings used in some school email servers stop applicants from receiving emails from Aspire.

Before you start your application, please read our pre-application information.

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide details for a parent/guardian and a teacher. Both your parent/guardian and your teacher will be contacted to provide a supporting reference and verify some of the information you provide.

We will ask for your GCSE results and the subjects you are currently studying. If you do not have predicted grades for your current subjects, you can type NPG or N/A in the grade field.

All information you provide on your application form will be stored by Imperial College London and shared with the Sutton Trust. To read about how The Sutton Trust will use your information, please see their privacy policy.

Please see below an outline of core events and activities with provisional dates for our 2023/24 students.

Year 12

  • Welcome event – a weekday evening in late November 2023 (date tbc)
  • Junior conference – a Saturday in early December 2023 (date tbc)
  • Workshop A * – full day online on Saturday 27 January 2024
  • Taster session – Thursday 21 March 2024 from 5pm
  • Workshop B * – full day online on Saturday 11 May 2024
  • Taster session – Thursday 20 June 2024 from 5pm
  • Summer school – 8-12 July 2024 (non-residential)

* You will be required to complete a small project following each of the workshop sessions. Project support from current Imperial medical students will be available through an ementoring platform (Brightside). 

Year 13

  • 1:1 ementoring – ad hoc during August 2024 until January 2025
  • Mastering the BMAT – full day online in early September 2024 (date tbc)
  • Application webinar - a weekday evening in mid September 2024 (date tbc)
  • MMA Day aka Senior conference – a Saturday in late September 2024 (date tbc)
  • Interview workshop – a Saturday in early November 2024 (date tbc)
  • Celebration event –  a Thursday evening in December 2024 (date tbc)


We aim to provide you with insights into the medical profession through virtual and/or in-person work experience opportunities. These are likely to take place during the school holidays. Optional ementoring outside of the time periods outlined above will also be available. 

If you think your participation in any in-person activities will not be possible due to the costs associated with travel to our campus, please get in touch with the programme team (no later than a week before the activity/event) and they will be happy to discuss these circumstances with you.

Contact us

For more information, please see our Outreach Programme FAQs or contact the Pathways to Medicine Team.