Applying to study medicine can be daunting, especially without any experience of university in the family to draw upon. Medical Aspirations supports forty Year 12 students on their path to studying medicine through participation in a range of free activities. 

We're proud to have received a commendation at the Neon awards in 2019 for the Medical Aspirations programme. Read on to find out what students who take part get up to.

Please note that applications for the 2020-21 academic year are now closed.

What is Medical Aspirations?  

  • Three events* including an introductory day on 17 February, followed by a ‘skills and communications’ day on 7 April and a two-hour online reflective event on 15 May 2021

  • Ongoing support* with applying to study medicine including; a three day GP work experience placement in summer, a dedicated current UEA medical student e-mentor, sessions on the UCAT admissions test, mock interviews and writing a personal statement

  • A guaranteed interview to study medicine at UEA if students attend all 3 dates

  • The chance to receive a scholarship to study Medicine at UEA 

  • Access to speak with current UEA medical students

*2021 activities are all subject to change due to Government and UEA guidelines.

Download our brochure here:

Medical Aspirations 2021 Brochure

How does it work? 

The Medical Aspirations Scheme is funded by an alumnus of UEA who wanted to help aspiring medics in the local area who are from backgrounds under-represented in the profession. 

Young people apply for a place on the scheme and are selected based on a variety of eligibility and short-listing criteria. Full details are in the application guide.


What's it really like? Watch our video to find out...



Am I eligible?


Please see the 2021 criteria is below.

You must:

  • Live in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough or selected areas of Essex*
  • Be in year 12/L3 Y2 or Yr12 and equivalent
  • Have the GCSE grades needed for one of the UEA medical courses. If you are planning on retaking GCSEs to achieve this level, you are still eligible to apply but need to outline this in your application. 

*You must attend one of the following sixth forms/colleges: The Sixth Form College Colchester, Havering Sixth Form College or SEEVIC College, OR you currently attend or attended (before sixth form/college) a school where 25% or more pupils are eligible for pupil premium funding/free school meals at any time during the past 6 years – see the full list.

You must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • No family experience of Higher Education (i.e. university degree, HND, HNC, teacher training in this country) 
  • Household income for the tax year 2019/2020 is less than £35,000
  • Have been in or currently in Local Authority care (not applicable for adopted students).

The scheme is to help aspiring medics from areas and schools where the number of applications is normally low. This means we may also consider your home postcode and school.

You are considered to be in the first generation of your immediate family to attend higher education if neither of your parents or carers have obtained a degree from a university in the UK or abroad before your secondary or further education began. If either of your parents or carers began a degree qualification but withdrew before completion, this is not considered as having obtained a degree. Whether an applicant’s siblings or cousins went to or currently attend university is not taken into consideration.

If you have any queries about the eligibility criteria, please get in touch – 

How do I apply?


Deadline was 5pm on Thursday 26 November. Applications are now closed.  Applicants will hear the outcome of their application by 18 December 2020.

If you have any questions please get in touch - 

What do previous attendees think?


Cameron, Medical Aspirations 2011, UEA Norwich Medical School Graduate 2018

How did you hear about Medical Aspirations?

I heard about the Medical Aspirations scheme during sixth form, and was very excited by the idea. As somebody who’s never had any family attend university, I was very unsure about the process of applying, but Medical Aspirations made things really clear and simple. It made getting into medical school feel like a possibility. 

What are you doing now?

I have just graduated, and managed to get my first-choice job in the UK, working as a foundation year 1 doctor in Edinburgh. I can look back at the Medical Aspirations scheme as the first step in this journey to getting my dream job - without the scheme I would have struggled to have the confidence and knowledge to apply and get into medical school. 

What happens at the events?


If you are part of the Medical Aspirations scheme, you’ll get the chance to visit UEA in February and April and have a two hours online reflective session in May, to get a real feel for what it is like to study medicine.

You will have the opportunity to*:

  • Meet current medical students including your e-mentor (where possible), junior doctors, consultants and academics who teach at our Medical School.
  • Take on the role of a doctor by working in groups on a Problem Based Learning scenario.
  • Get hands on in practical sessions.
  • Receive advice on making your UCAS application stand out from the crowd.
  • Enjoy getting to know like-minded students.
  • Explore our university.

*All activities are subject to change due to the Government and UEA’s COVID-19 guidance.

There is no cost to attend and we will even arrange and pay for your transport to and from UEA. If your application for the Medical Aspirations scheme is successful, you will automatically receive a place on the events and follow-up activities, and we will be in touch with more details.

You can take a look at our Sample Programme for our 2021 event so far:

Sample Medical Aspirations 2021 Programme

How do I find out more about medicine at UEA?


The Norwich Medical School at UEA has an established reputation for exciting and innovative approaches to education, supported by a strong and rapidly developing research programme. You read about education, research and innovation and engagement on the Norwich Medical School webpages

Is there a scholarship to help with my studies afterwards?


We're proud to offer Medical Aspirations Scholarships to a select number programme participants, as an extension to the Medical Aspirations programme. The scholarship is for students who attended the the programme and went on to secure a place at Norwich Medical School. Find out more details on the scholarships webpages.