Work experience peninsula pathways medicine

Deciding whether to go to university and what subject to study are always a big choice to make. As part of our Peninsula Pathways to the Healthcare Programme we offer a wide range of schemes and activities that support students from secondary schools and sixth form colleges in Cornwall (including the Isles of Scilly), Devon, Dorset and Somerset. This programme provides an excellent opportunity to aspiring medical, dental and biomedical students to develop their skills and knowledge in order to make an informed decision about their future career and enhance their university application.

Due to limited places on the Peninsula Pathways to the Healthcare Professions Programme, students living outside of the above regions will need to meet a minimum of two of the following contextual indicators to be eligible to join the programme:

Contextual indicators

  • POLAR4
Living in a low participation neighbourhood as determined by your postcode (POLAR4 quintiles 1 and 2).

  • Indices of Mass Deprivation
Living in an area categorised as being in Indices of Mass Deprivation (IMD) 1–4 or 20% most deprived as determined by your English postcode. Northern Ireland postcode, Scottish postcode, and Welsh postcode.

  • School type
Receiving schooling that is not paid for, for example by attending or having attended a state school, or attending or having attended an independent school that is fully funded by a scholarship whilst completing your relevant Level 3 qualifications.

  • School performance
Attending or attended a low performing school/college whilst completing your level 3 qualifications e.g. 16–18 performance in the ‘below’ or ‘well below average’ classifications.

  • UCAT, EMA or 16–19 bursary

In receipt of one or more of these bursaries.

  • Free school meals
Being in receipt of free school meals.

  • In care/care leaver
Being in care or a care leaver.

Peninsula Pathways engagement

  • Students from socially and/or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds can use 'significant engagement' in the Peninsula Pathways to the Healthcare Professions programme as one of the three contextual indicators needed if looking to apply to Peninsula Medical School or Peninsula Dental School with a lower offer of AAB as listed above.
  • Students from socially and/or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds with partial or no significant engagement in the Peninsula Pathways programme will need to meet a minimum of three contextual indicators for the lower offer of AAB as listed above (they cannot use Peninsula Pathways as a contextual indicator).


  • Students from socially and/or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds who have completed the Peninsula Pathways Programme will need to meet three or more of the contextual indicators from the list above to be eligible for the UKWPMED Scheme (significant engagement plus three contextual indicators as listed above).


'Significant engagement' in the Peninsula Pathways Programme by the end of Year 12 includes:

  • Completion of the five-day summer Work Experience Programme*
  • Engagement on the Brightside e-Mentoring scheme
  • Attendance of a minimum of three Peninsula Pathways workshops.

* If you have not completed the Work Experience Programme by the end of Year 12, you will need to have attended a minimum of six Peninsula Pathways workshops by the end of Year 12 and be engaged on the e-Mentoring scheme to meet the 'significant engagement' requirement.

Application form

Please download and return the application form by email to:



Peninsula Medical School has been working with five other medical schools across the country to look at ways to get our widening participation programmes recognised at each other’s institutions. The purpose of this is to further support students from a widening participation background who may want to apply at another university in a different part of the country. This collaboration provides an exciting opportunity for school leavers (Year 13) from socially and/or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their chances of gaining a place at one of the participating medical schools. The UKWPMED Scheme is open to students who have successfully completed a specific widening participation programme at a medical school that is participating.

For applicants who are part of the UKWPMED scheme, the University of Plymouth will accept ABB at GCE A level, which must include the following:
  • Grade A in Biology.
  • Grade B in a second science from Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics or Psychology.
  • Your third GCE A level can be from any subject area and does not need to be science-based. When shortlisting for interview, we do not give preference to those who complete three science A levels. General Studies is not accepted.
Medical students
All students will be required to meet the UCAT requirements.
If you are applying with ABB due to participation in the UKWPMED scheme, please ensure you have flagged your participation in the scheme on your UCAS application. 
How to apply for the UKWPMED Scheme

Access and participation resources for students, school teachers and parents

We're here to help you with everything from completing your university application to getting the support and encouragement you need to start your career. 
If you're unsure about what to expect in your first year or believe you don't have the right background to go to university, there are plenty of resources to build your confidence.
Psychology with Human Biology
Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth campus