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Preparing adult learners for a medicine degree: Subject descriptor for Medicine launched

Date: September 30 - 2021

A subject descriptor for Medicine has been formally launched by QAA, signifying the sector-wide commitment to supporting adult learners into Medicine through the Access to Higher Education Diploma. The document defines the minimum requirements to support an Access to HE student’s progression to an undergraduate degree in Medicine.

The subject descriptor was reviewed by QAA in collaboration with a range of stakeholders including the Medical Schools Council, General Medical Council and Dr Gordon Dent, Senior Lecturer at the School of Medicine, Keele University. It aims to bring greater standardisation to Access to HE Diplomas in Medicine, while continuing to afford a degree of flexibility to Access Validating Agencies (AVAs) and providers delivering one of these Diplomas.

The document also aims to provide higher education providers with confidence that students achieving such a Diploma has covered the content specified in the subject descriptor.

Five providers and three AVAs participated in a pilot of the subject descriptor for Medicine during the 2020-21 academic year and an evaluation report of the pilot is now available on the QAA website.