HOW TO BECOME A DOCTOR: ASTON Medical School
Aston Express Way, Birmingham B4 7ET
0121 204 3284
Disclaimer: This is Medic Mentor’s Review of Aston Medical School. The information below has been fact-checked via our medical student scholars, the university’s prospectus, website and speaking to the team on the phone. This has been updated to the best of our knowledge in April 2020. We always recommend that you double-check with the university too before applying because course structure and requirements are subject to change.
Aston is a brand-new medical school that opened in 2018, set in the inner city of Birmingham. It was originally based on an independent private model: predominantly for international students with a small number of spaces for widening access students from the local area. Government funding in 2018 has allowed spaces for home/UK students (100 places were given during 2019 where 40% of those were given to widening access students). Aston University is an established university, having received Royal Chartership by the Queen in 1966. Today, the university is home in a 60-acre campus in the heart of a vibrant city with excellent local and national transport links. Grand Central Train Station is a short five-minute walk from campus.
A patient-centred curriculum, focusing on translational medicine and science, developed in association with Leicester Medical School. Core skills include teamwork, NHS working, caring and compassion. The course comprises of lectures, problem-based learning and interactive workshops and tutorials. Clinical placements occur early on from the first year. In term 1, students undertake the first block of 1 week on placement in primary care for students to understand patient experience of healthcare and development of insight into clinical practice. In term 3, a further clinical block is completed, allowing students to practice and develop early clinical skills.
Not offered. Although there is no intercalation offered, in years 3, 4 and 5, students have the option to complete student selected components which carry separate certification. One of the module options is a Postgraduate module certificate in Health Leadership, delivered in conjunction with the triple accredited Aston Business School, and further options to complete research opportunities with the Aston Medical Research Institute on one of their four research themes; Maternal Health, Mental Health, Cardiovascular Medicine and Regenerative Medicine.
Student’s elective element is in year 5 for 6 weeks, which can be completed anywhere in the world.
A levels: AAA-AAB, requiring Chemistry and Biology (need to pass practical elements) and any third subject. Exceptions: General studies and Critical Thinking. If you take four A levels, Chemistry, Biology and any other science subject grade, if taken, will be considered.
UCAT: Currently no-cut off, for UCAT or SJT. This is considered alongside all other entrance criteria.
Will consider graduates with an upper 2:1 classification degree for the undergraduate programme. Accept BSc in a biological sciences related subject or another subjects. Degree must be from a UK or NARIC approved university. In addition, A levels at grade A in Chemistry and Biology. GCSE requirements as listed above.
**NARIC is a UK agency responsible for checking international qualifications and professional skills**
None accepted currently. However, will accept some foundation courses.
Sir Doug Ellis pathway. Students who live in Birmingham, Black Country or Solihull. Must have achieved eight A*-C grades at GCSE, grade B in English language and double science/chemistry and biology. Must have an active interest in life and health sciences. One of the following criteria must be meet: neither parent attended university, in receipt of a means tested bursary, lives in an eligible postcode area, living or has lived in local authority care. Priority given to those who meet more than one of the criteria listed and from schools located in areas with highest index of Multiple Deprivation. If students get onto the programme and complete it successfully, they can apply via UCAS and if they fulfil admissions and other criteria will be invited to the interview. There is no guarantee of an interview after completing the Pathway Programme. If successful after interview, students may be given an offer of ABB. In addition to the Doug Ellis pathway, students in year 8,9 and 10 from Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country area, in non selective state schools, can complete the Keith Bradshaw Introduction to Healthcare programme. Schools have to apply to be in partnership, but successful students enrol on the programme, gaining mentoring and support to educate them on a range of healthcare careers, including medicine. There are 50 places available on their short summer school, taking place in July of year 10. Graduates of the free summer school will automatically have access to the Doug Ellis pathway in year 12 of school.
A levels Resits
They will accept one resit. More than one resit due to extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case by case basis, please contact admissions team to discuss.
Please contact the institution’s admissions department, as it is a new course.
Acceptable and advised to state in your personal statement your reasoning. Students applying for deferred entry must note, UCAT exam and enhanced DBS check must be taken in the same application year.
Admissions Data for 2020
Number of applications: new course so data has yet to be released
Number of interview places: anticipate 300-400
Total number on course- 60-100 international students plus up to 20 students accepted from the Sir Doug Ellis widening access initiative from partner schools only in the Birmingham region.
Medical work experience is ideal but community and voluntary work is also valued as they recognise that not everyone can get the direct medical experience. Experience in a hospital shop or caring for a family member that is ill can still highlight key skills and characteristics.
Academic qualifications and UCAT score will be looked at when deciding who is invited to interview. Offers are dependent on MMI results, academic qualifications and UCAT score. The rank of an applicant from the interview scores will be the main factor in determining whether an offer is given. Personal statements are considered but not scored and will be read alongside referees’ comments.
Multiple Mini Interviews, consisting of 7-10 stations which will last between 6-8 minutes, to assess communication skills, problem solving, experience according to personal statement, motivation, commitment and knowledge of ‘medicine’. Medical knowledge is not tested.
December-March, requires a six-month VISA to be applied for in the case of international students, no skype interviews accepted
Contact the admissions department as it has not been confirmed
Halls guaranteed for first year students, range of accommodation options thereafter in Birmingham city centre.
Unique selling points
- First to offer enhanced medicine and leadership component; awarded mini MBA in leadership and management
- BTEC considered: distinction in single level 3, plus chemistry and biology, and consider some UK foundation programmes
- Brand new curriculum adopting innovative teaching methods.
- 40% of UK places are automatically reserved for widening participation eligible students, with 2 WAM schemes in place
Things to consider
- In 2020, Aston University had 100 places for UK students, no data has been released on 2021 availability of places
- Brand new medical school and brand new curriculum so not tried and tested
- GMC will be following up first cohort of students until they graduate in 2023