Widening participation

According to the British Medical Association, people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds use healthcare twice as frequently as the average – but only one in five UK doctors comes from these groups.

At Hull York Medical School we offer a range of Widening Participation activities for schools and colleges to help raise aspirations, support young people's choices and encourage progression into medicine and other medical careers.

Current activities and projects

Sessions for Schools/Colleges

Please see the tabs below for more detailed information about the activities we are currently running, including dates.

If you would like to book any of the sessions listed, please complete our expression of interest form

Becoming a Doctor

Becoming a doctor is a website developed in conjunction with students at HYMS to provide advice and guidance about medical school, including the application process, interviews and work experience.


  • Post 16

    Making Connections

    Making Connections is suitable for students in Years 12 and 13 who are taking Biology and Chemistry at A Level or Health and Social Care students.

    Making Connections aims to develop an understanding of the Problem Based Learning (PBL) method used at HYMS and to raise aspirations of students wishing to study medicine. The PBL method encourages students to apply their biology and chemistry knowledge to real life scenarios and develop learning outcomes based on these discoveries.

    Making Connections is delivered in conjunction with schools and HYMS and takes the following format:

    • Teachers attend a PBL information session and are given materials to work on with students
    • Students work through a PBL case and develop learning outcomes
    • Students research the learning outcomes in their own time
    • Students attend a session at the HYMS multi-functional laboratory to work on clinical skills linked to the PBL case
    • Teachers facilitate a follow up session with students to explore the learning outcomes of the PBL case

    Some of the comments from students who have greatly enjoyed the project so far include;

    • "I am even more determined to study medicine."
    • "It has given me an insight into what the learning would be like."
    • "It has developed my problem solving skills."

    Upcoming Dates:

    10 Feb 2016, 1:30-3:00pm - University of Hull

    24 Feb 2016, 1:30-3:00pm - University of Hull

    2 Feb 2016, 1:30-3:00pm - University of York

        Please contact Alexandra Jeffrey to book or to discuss a Making Connections session.


        Uncovering Medical School

        Uncovering Medical School is suitable for students from Year 10 upwards who are considering applying to study Medicine. This information based session focuses on the application process and the course at HYMS.

        By the end of the session students will;

        • Understand the admissions process to medical school including grade requirements and personal statements.
        • Learnt about the interview process and practised communication techniques.
        • Know more about the course at HYMS.
        • Understand what is involved in Problem Based Learning.

        To book a session please contact Alexandra Jeffrey Alexandra.jeffrey@hyms.ac.uk


      • Secondary School Activities

        We run a number of events for secondary school students which feature virtual HYMS patients. Each of these 'patients' has been created with a particular age group in mind.

        Key Stage 3 


        Welcome to the Hull York General Hospital. Our patient Lucy has been in a road traffic accident and has been rushed to the hospital. We need you to work with the junior doctors to help save Lucy’s life.

        In this session students work in teams to diagnose Lucy’s symptoms and save her life. The project is completely digitised and participants are guided through the activities by a virtual junior doctor and current HYMS students.

        Upcoming Sessions

        11 May 2016, Time - TBC

        29 June 2016, Time - TBC

          To arrange a session or for more information, please contact Alexandra Jeffrey 


          Gary and Neeta

          Gary and Neeta are virtual patients of two Problem Based Learning (PBL) scenarios which seek to demonstrate to students the links between science and real life.

          Students will work on a short case to try and find out what is wrong with the patient and suggest outcomes to reach a diagnosis. They will also have the opportunity to practise clinical skills related to the case.

          Upcoming Sessions

          13 April 2016, Time - TBC

            To book a session or for more information please contact Alexandra Jeffrey. 

          • Primary Schools

            HYMS Medical Wow Days

            A Medical Wow day at HYMS offers primary school students a chance to take part in varied programme of medically related activities covering topics including the skeleton, organs, temperature, breathing and reflexes.

            Students will meet and interact with Medical Ambassadors who are currently studying undergraduate medicine at HYMS. They will also have the opportunity to visit the University of York campus and find out more about life at university and what it takes to become a doctor

            Suitable for: Year 5 and 6

            Group Size: Up to 30 students at York and up to 40 students at Hull 

            Time: Sessions are a minimum of 2 hours 30 minutes but can be extended to include more activities about university life and offer the option of staying on campus for lunch.

            Please contact Alexandra Jeffrey for more information and to book a place

            T: 01904 321762



          • Talks in Schools

            HYMS Student Ambassadors are available to give talks and presentations in schools and colleges across the region. Topics include: studying medicine; life at university; and coming to HYMS. We are especially keen for our students to visit their previous schools.


            For more information please email Alexandra Jeffrey

          • University of York Science Trail

            Each year HYMS takes part in the University of York's Science Trail - an opportunity for local school pupils to sample a range of hands-on activities on a route around the University's Heslington Campus. Around 250 14-16 year olds take part in the event, part of York Festival of Science and Technology. Students who visit HYMS learn about and try out a range of diagnostic tests including testing blood pressure and reflexes, using a stethoscope and observing EEGs.

            The Science Trail took  place on Tuesday 17th March 2015. For more information please contact Sarah Mitchell 


          • Year 12 Summer School

            HYMS runs a residential summer school in July for local Year 12 students planning to apply for medical school. Student have the chance to take part in a variety of activities including Problem  Based Learning, Clinical Skills and Basic Life Support. 

            Applications for the HYMS Summer School are not currently open but if you would like to register your interest in summer school please complete the following form:

            Summer School Registration of Interest 


          • Excellence Hub

            HYMS runs activities for a variety of age groups through the Excellence Hub for Yorkshire and Humber which is a regional collaboration between the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. The purpose of the programme is to develop exciting and purposeful opportunities for high achieving young people to help enrich their experiences in school or college.

            Events delivered through the Excellence Hub for Yorkshire and Humber are open to students from across the UK who have been identified by their school or college as high achieving.

            Please note there is additional eligibility criteria and a set application process for applying for events.

            To find out more and to book onto sessions please visit the Excellence Hub website.