Pathways to Health Sciences

Pathways to Health Sciences is a programme for students interested in studying Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science at university.

Applications have now closed.

Pathways to Health Sciences is a widening participation scheme designed to give local Year 12 and Access to HE students an insight into our Health Science programmes (Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Science). 

As a participant, you will take part in academic taster sessions delivered by our leading academics, NHS Clinicians, and current students. You will also have the opportunity to practice clinical skills and talk to professionals from your chosen field. In addition to the academic and professional sessions, the programme will provide you with personal statement and interview workshops to help you prepare for your application to university.


To apply for Pathways to Health Sciences you must:

  • be in your first year of A-level study (or equivalent);
  • be resident in a BA, BS or other local postcode within an hour’s journey of the University of Bristol (this includes South Wales);
  • attend a local state school or college.

The scheme is very popular and there is high demand for places. If a subject stream is oversubscribed, we will give priority to those who meet all or most of the following criteria:

  • have the academic ability to study at the University of Bristol, meeting the Advanced Numeracy and Standard Literacy GCSE entry requirements for Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science and studying any required Level 3 subjects);
  • are part of the first generation in their family to go to university;
  • live in an area of low participation in higher education as defined by POLAR4, which is a score of 1 or 2 for the category 'POLAR4 young participation quintile';
  • are a BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) student;
  • attend an aspiring state school or college;
  • are or have been eligible for free school meals;
  • have spent three or more months in local authority care;
  • are currently an estranged student;
  • be considered a mature student (over 21 years old when you will begin your degree);
  • Vet Sciences stream only - due to the under-representation of males in the Veterinary field, we will also give priority to male applicants for our Vet Sciences Pathways Stream.

This is an extended programme, which means we can only accept students who will be studying at school or college for the next two years. The programme will consist of academic sessions during Year 12, with further sessions supporting your application and interview technique taking place throughout Year 13.

If you are studying an Access to HE Diploma, which is one year in length, we encourage you to apply. If you are selected, the programme coordinator will talk to you about taking part in an accelerated condensed programme.

We recommend that you discuss your application to the programme with your head of sixth form/college. You will need permission from your school or college to attend the sessions and we ask for a contact at your school on your application form.

Benefits of Pathways to Health Sciences

Access to Bristol bursary

If you successfully complete Pathways to Health Sciences and choose Bristol as your Firm choice in UCAS you may be eligible for the Access to Bristol bursary, which currently consists of a maintenance bursary of £3,855 for each year of your course.

To be considered for the bursary you need to be Firm with Bristol, a Home UK student and have a household income of £25,000 or below. No bursary is paid in any year where you are entitled to NHS funding as part of your course.

Guaranteed offer at contextual level

Term dates and times

Sessions will take place on campus every Wednesday from 2 pm to 4 pm on the dates shown below.

Autumn term 2022

2 November, 9 November, 16 November, 23 November

Spring term 2023 1 February, 8 February, 22 February, 1 March, 8 March, 15 March

Contact us

If you have any questions about the scheme or about your application, please get in touch with Kath Bourne (Pathways to Health Sciences Coordinator) at

If your query relates to our Access to Bristol, please get in touch with the Access to Bristol Coordinator at

Medical, Dental and Veterinary Schools

Find more information on the courses, research, and opportunities that our schools have to offer.

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