ACCESS TO MEDICINE. Course Information. June 2015

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1 ACCESS TO MEDICINE Course Information June 2015

2 ACCESS TO MEDICINE Sussex Downs College has a long standing history of partnership with local universities and records of outstanding success of past students from the Access to Science courses. Brighton and Sussex Medical School provided further opportunity to widen participation for mature students into the medical field. The South of England Open College Network validated the Access to Medicine course in June 2003 for the first intake of students in September What is Access to Medicine? Access to Medicine is an intensive science based one year full time course tailored to the requirements of a medical degree, designed to provide an alternative route for non traditional students into medical training. It runs for 34 weeks and students need to attend for 4 days per week. Who is it for? It is a course for mature students who, having achieved in other areas, now wish to retrain as doctors. These include those with experience in other health related professions those whose initial career choice has proved unsatisfying and who wish to change their field of employment to the health care sector those who have previously studied in higher education, but whose studies did not constitute a suitable preparation for medical training. What qualifications and experience do I need? Most Medical Schools require a minimum level of competence in English and Maths of GCSE grade B. Intending applicants without these qualifications are advised to obtain them before embarking on the Access to Medicine course, if at all possible. You must be able to demonstrate academic potential and the ability to achieve at a high level. Demonstration of success on a programme of study at level 3 or beyond will be expected. Students who have degrees which would allow direct entry (such as Bio medical degrees, or degrees that have a major component of Biology and Chemistry) will not be accepted onto the course. Prospective students must also have a proven record of achievement in the workplace, especially areas of employment which require good communication skills. Previous experience of employment in a health setting, or work of a voluntary nature, although not essential, is desirable and such students will be given preference. 1

3 How do I apply for the course? It is compulsory to attend an information session (dates are listed at the end of this booklet) at which application forms will be available. The application form must be completed and returned to us in May (exact date will be given at info session). In addition, your curriculum vitae, accompanied by two relevant references, will be required. How are students selected? Your application will then be screened and if successful at this stage, you will be asked to attend a selection course in June in which you will complete several tests and be interviewed. Final selection will depend on the results of these tests and the interview. HOW MUCH DOES IT ALL COST? Fees for this course are different depending on whether you are under 24 or 24 and over. For students aged 19 23, fees are 1, Some students in this age group may be entitled to a fee waiver see below. For students aged 24 and over, fees are 3, a government 24+ Advanced Learning Loan is available. Please note that fees shown are current at the time of going to print. Further information regarding fees will be available at the information sessions. Eligibility We may be able to waive or discount the fee if you are aged and have not previously achieved a full Level 3 qualification. or If you are unemployed and in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance (Work Related Activity Group) Discretionary Learner Support Fund If you are in receipt of an income related benefit or on a low income you may qualify for an award from the Discretionary Learner Support Fund. Awards may be given towards study related costs such as childcare, travel, equipment, books, educational visits and tuition and exam fees. Professional and Career Development Loans (for students aged 18 or over) Professional and Career Development Loans help people to pay for vocational education or training. If you are studying for a degree that leads to employment this may apply to you. You can apply to borrow between 300 and to help fund your course. Call the National careers Service on for advice on Professional and Career Development Loans or to get an application pack. 2

4 Payment by Instalments Staged Payment Agreement For full year course fees of over 100, you are able to pay in 3 instalments 40% of the total course cost is payable at enrolment, plus a 20 administrative fee (except for payments by direct debit) followed by 2 further payments of 30% each over the next two consecutive months. For full year course fees of over 500, you are able to pay in 4 instalments 40% of the total course cost is payable at enrolment, plus a 20 administrative fee (except for payments by direct debit) followed by 3 further payments of 20% each over the next three consecutive months. Payments can be made by cash, cheque, credit card or direct debit. FlexEd Students can spread the cost over equal monthly instalments by paying with FlexEd. FlexEd charge a monthly fee of 6 but no interest. More information can be found at or from Student Services. If you would like to discuss financial assistance please contact Student Services as follows: In person: Student Services Cliffe Building Lewes By Telephone:

5 What subjects will I study? The Access to Medicine course has been specifically tailored to meet the requirements of a medical degree. You will study several different units to show aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Psychology, in addition to units in Maths, Physics and Medical Ethics. Biology Units The Foundation Biology and Cellular Biochemistry units examine cellular ultrastructure and function, including membrane transport mechanisms, enzyme structure and function and factors affecting enzyme activity, biological molecules of major importance, cellular respiration and metabolic pathways, cell division and genetics, DNA technology and experimental methodology. The Life Systems units examine the structure and function of tissues and the organs in the major organ systems. Chemistry Units The three Chemistry units have been particularly designed to link Chemistry to medical and pharmaceutical topics. The foundation Chemistry unit examines basic atomic and molecular structure, bonding, chemical equations and quantitative calculations. The Reactions in Chemistry unit is closely linked to medical examples and the Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry unit includes a project which is concerned with the testing of pharmaceutical compounds. Social Science Units These are involved with developing an understanding of the key approaches to psychology, examining developmental psychology and understanding health and society. Physics Unit This examines the principles of mechanics, radiation, electronics, sound and optics and the application of these principles in medicine. Maths Units These are designed to give the numerical and statistical skills for medical training and to support the science units. Methodology and Research This unit examines different research methods and is assessed via a relevant 5000 word project of the student s choice. 4

6 How will I be assessed? You will be assessed in a variety of ways. These will include examination, structured assignment, essay, laboratory report, individual and group presentation and project. What do I have to do to pass the course? As in all Access courses, Access to Medicine is unit based and each unit carries a number of credits, depending on the number of guided learning hours. All Access to HE Diplomas offer a maximum requirement of 60 credits. To maintain high achieving attainment levels, the `Access to Medicine requires all 60 of these credits to be achieved at Level 3 (equivalent to A level standard). Please also note that Medical Schools typically demand that all graded modules are passed with Distinction. Will I be guaranteed an interview or a place at Brighton and Sussex Medical School? Brighton and Sussex Medical School recognises our course and each year the entire cohort receives a guaranteed interview following the Ucas application. Do all Medical Schools recognise the Sussex Downs College Access to Medicine course and can I be guaranteed a place at Medical School? Medical schools will normally only accept a qualification that is graded. The Sussex Downs College Access to Medicine course is graded and there has been a positive response from medical schools. To date, medical schools that have considered applications from our course include Bristol, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull/York, Keele, Kings, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, St George s and, of course, Brighton and Sussex. 5

7 Examples of Access to Medicine students J completed a degree in Podiatry in 1997 and worked within the National Health Service for 5 years. In addition, she has been involved with the St John Ambulance as a volunteer podiatrist for the last three years. During this period she treated patients with a wide variety of medical conditions and some that came from a section of society whose health concerns were not always met. She found the work challenging, but realised her knowledge and role were limited in what she could offer. It was this that made her decide to apply for the Access to Medicine programme. F obtained qualifications in accounting and programming after leaving school and she worked in this area for several years. However, she had always had an interest in medicine and five years ago decided on a career change so that she could be involved with the health area. She trained as a medical representative, which involved taking the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry examinations. It was her experience in this field of employment that made her decide to apply for the Access to Medicine course. A worked as a marketing manager for a publishing company. It was his responsibility to promote the company, products and exhibitions to large international corporations. He has also worked as a charity fundraiser, raising money and awareness on behalf of several charities. In 2002/2003 he completed an Access to Psychology course at another F.E college, which gave him the study skills necessary to participate in the Access to Medicine course. B completed a Humanities degree in 1994 and went to work for a travel company that specialised in round the world trips. He worked at a supervisory level, looking after a team of sales consultants. However, he had always had an interest in medicine, but before committing himself to a career change and before he applied for the Access to Medicine course, he spent time work shadowing a primary health care team. He spent time with GPs, surgery nurses and health care visitors. R was an experienced qualified NHS Podiatrist who was keen to broaden his medical career and after completing the SDC course is now studying medicine at BSMS. A was a mature, experienced office manager who had worked in the NHS. She initially completed a part time Access to Health course in order to prepare herself after a long break from study. While on the Access to Medicine course she received offers of places from two medical schools and is now studying medicine at BSMS. P came from a fashion and design background where she was formally qualified to diploma level. She had studied for an A level in Biology prior to joining our course and was completely committed to a change of career. She is now studying medicine at Southampton. T is a fully qualified paramedic with solid experience in the ambulance service. He is used to working under pressure and is able to take full responsibility for the health and wellbeing of others. However he had not studied formal academic subjects for very many years, but of course has successfully progressed through vocational training in the NHS. Having achieved the level of Emergency Care Practitioner, he wanted to change focus and become a qualified doctor. He is now studying medicine at BSMS. 6

8 N joined the Access to Medicine course after trying out an Arts degree and doing a Foundation in Science course. She felt that the course prepared her academically, but also helped her develop the skills that are required to get through a medical school interview. She had offers from three schools, including King s College, London. She has just started her 4 th year at St. George s University. J came from an IT background, working for Warner Brothers and the BBC. Deciding on a change of career, he joined the Sussex Downs Access to Medicine course to improve his chances of getting into medical school. He is now studying medicine at BSMS. 7

9 ACCESS TO MEDICINE INFORMATION SESSIONS These sessions will include a presentation on the course and enable you to meet some current Access to Medicine students. You must attend for the full 2 hours. Please indicate which session you would like to attend and return the slip below to Eileen Fenner at least two weeks before the session you wish to attend. Alternatively, your details to To: Eileen Fenner Sussex Downs College Mountfield Road Lewes East Sussex BN7 2XH ACCESS TO MEDICINE Name: Address: Town/Postcode: Telephone: I would like to attend the following information session: Tuesday 1 December :30 19:30 Tuesday 2 February :30 19:30 Tuesday 12 April :30 19:30 8

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