Outreach and widening participation

The School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing work with the University’s Widening Participation team to create opportunities for underrepresented pupils across the West of Scotland.

Our aim is to raise aspirations and guide prospective students through the application process and then support them throughout their studies.

Our Widening Participation student societies strive to create a community of like-minded future professionals with common ethos.

As a result of our commitment, most students on our Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing programmes come from state schools. One fifth are from disadvantaged backgrounds, and many are first generation students.

Our activities

We offer a range of schemes, from Summer Schools (Sutton Trust and Reach), to one-day events for students from secondary schools, Further Education colleges or gap-year students.

We take part in Teachers’ Conferences held by both the University and the Medical Schools Council.

Most of our outreach activities are for pupils in S5-S6, however initiatives trialled for pupils from S3 and S4 have been successful.

Staff from each undergraduate programme (medicine, dentistry and nursing) work collaboratively with students to advance the widening participation agenda via various outreach activities. Some of these activities include:

  • Peer mentoring programme – covering issues of personal and professional development.
  • Webinars with researchers in Life Sciences
  • Short-term research projects or audits
  • Structured work experience programmes and workshops

While many activities are open to all students with talent and aspiration, we also want to prioritise students from groups traditionally underrepresented at university.

We have a range of well-established activities and programmes designed to support school or college students:

Widening Access to Medicine Society (WAMS)

Widening Access to Medicine Society (WAMS) is a student-staff partnership that delivers peer support and peer-learning through small group peer tutorials for early years students. This is especially important in the initial weeks of transition to university, which the first-year students often find challenging.

Reach and School of Medicine

Staff from the Dental and Medical Schools work closely with the University of Glasgow Reach team to provide pupils on the programme with guidance and support for the application process.

We are actively involved in running the annual Reach Summer School; we offer series of talks about different specialties in medicine, discuss career options, interview and UCAT preparation, and provide guidance on writing personal statements.

Glasgow Access Programme (GAP)

The School of Medicine also runs its flagship Glasgow Access Programme (GAP), a one-year pre-med course aimed at preparing promising students for undergraduate medical studies.

Medic Insight Glasgow (MIG)

Medic Insight Glasgow (MIG) is a student-led society that works closely with staff in the medical school and the NHS to provide work experience and insight opportunities to aspiring applicants. The events are aimed at high school students in the West of Scotland but are also popular with gap year and post-graduate students from other courses.


Sutton Trust

University of Glasgow offers a Sutton Trust Summer School annually. Academic staff and medical students deliver a day programme for the participants, to showcase what studying medicine entails. The programme priotises those from disadvantaged backgrounds. However, anyone is welcome to take part.


To help new students with transition, the university organises induction days. Networking events with peers from a similar background cultivates a sense of belonging.

Our Medicine programme runs various modules that help instil confidence, and train students to improve their academic skills. These modules are part of the Student Selected Components (SSC) where students and staff co-create resources for other students.

These modules have the potential for staff and students to contribute equally to course design while also allowing staff to better understand students’ experiences and perspectives. Participation in such SSCs increases engagement, equip students with skills needed after the university and develop higher levels of thinking.