The Keith Bradshaw Introduction to Healthcare programme is designed to increase students' awareness of the various careers within the healthcare sector. Working with students in Years 8, 9 and 10 from schools within the West Midlands, the programme aims to educate young people about opportunities within healthcare and the importance of achieving the right GCSE grades in order to pursue them.

As lockdown restrictions are lifted, we will be taking a hybrid approach to the delivery of our sessions. This will include a mixture of in-school and online sessions, alongside scheduled visits to Aston University's campus. Specific delivery notes for each event can be found in the sections below.

Students will take part in interactive science sessions delivered by Aston University staff, Aston University students and healthcare professionals from across the region. Students will get an insight into science in the real world, the variety of careers within the NHS and develop an understanding of the importance of their GCSEs when making their future choices.

Students who graduate from the Introduction to Healthcare programme will also receive an additional point in favour of their application should they wish to apply to one of our popular Pathway to the Professions Programmes when they start Year 12. Please email Pathways for further details.

Who is eligible for the programme?

Schools interested in applying to become one of our Partner Schools* and put students forward to participate in activities must meet the following criteria:

*Limited numbers and application process applies

If successfully accepted as one of our Partner Schools, you will have access to the activities and sessions detailed as part of the programme.

Applications close at 5.00pm on Friday 7th October 2022. Any applications received after this point will not be considered.

Selection Criteria

We select institutions to participate in the Introduction to Healthcare programme by targeting secondary schools which meet the following criteria:

  1. A school in the West Midlands region.
  2. A school in a POLAR 4 quintile 1 or 2 area - postcode eligibility can be checked online.

Students who wish to take part in the programme must also complete an individual application. Should your Partner School application be successful, students must meet at least one of the following widening participation criteria to be eligible.

  • Live in a POLAR 4, Quintile 1 or 2 area (check if home postcode is eligible)
  • Attend a school in a POLAR 4, Quintile 1 or 2 area (check if school/college postcode is eligible)
  • Come from a home where neither parent has attended a university in the UK or abroad
  • Have a disability or are in receipt of a personal independence payment
  • Is a care leaver or has experience of being looked after by a local authority
  • Have been in receipt of free school meals at any point over the last three years
  • Belong to any of the following groups: Gypsy, Roma, Traveller communities, refugees, children of military families

Students from successful Partner Schools will have until Friday October 21st 2022 at 5.00pm to submit their individual application (max. student participants per year group = 20).

What is included in the programme?

A summary of activities for each year group can be found under the dropdowns below. Please be aware when applying that the Introduction to Healthcare programme is a 'progressive pathway’. Students who join the programme are expected to continue on the programme from the start (in this case from year 8) all the way through to completion of the programme in year 10. As such, in applying for the programme, you are applying for all activities involved and agree to the expectation that students from within the selected group attend all sessions in their year’s portion of the programme as well as for any subsequent years. By applying for the year 9 and/or 10 portions of the programme, you are confirming that if your school participated in the year 8 and/or 9 portions last year, you will be putting forward the same students that attended those events. If schools are likely to experience any issues with this, they should contact Pathways to discuss with the team.

Activities for all year groups will begin in November 2022 and end in or before June 2023. Please see the information tabs below for further details on activities organised by year group.

Year 8

Activity Overview:

Year 8 Science in Real Life Workshop – A more in-depth look at how Science affects our everyday lives, perfect for students with a developing interest in STEM. Students will receive an introduction to how scientific principals can be applied to the world around us and will take part in an interactive forensic investigation activity to put their learning into context. (Max. student participants per school: 20)

Year 8 workshops will take place for 1 hour in schools between November 2022 and March 2023. Schools are to indicate on the application form their top 3 preferred times of year where they can host both this workshop and a year 9 workshop (for 2.5 hours) on the same day if signing up for year 9 activities as well. The Pathway Team will then be in touch to agree a final date and suitable times for workshops. Please note, we cannot accept requests for Wednesday sessions due to the limited availability of the Pathway Team. If schools are likely to experience any issues with this, they should contact Pathways to discuss with the team in the first instance.

Year 8 Lab Experience Day – An on-campus experience to give students a taste of university. An exciting insight into how labs are used at university, how they differ between subjects and their application in the wider world of science and healthcare. Students’ will get up-close-and-personal with Aston’s labs and take part in hands-on activities, as well as receiving a campus tour to learn how students balance living and studying on campus from our current student ambassadors. (Max. student participants per school: 20)

You can choose from the following dates for your lab experience:

  • Wednesday 14th June 2023 – 10:00-14:45 (arrive for 09:45)
  • Thursday 15th June 2023 – 10:00 - 14:45 (arrive for 09:45)
Year 9

Activity Overview:

Year 9 University, Careers and the NHS Workshop - Delivered in your school, this a fantastic session for students considering their GCSE options. Students will learn about the journey into higher education and explore their own educational choices through a variety of interactive activities, before taking a look a the wide range of NHS careers that their choices could lead them to.

After a short break, students will then explore how a pandemic affects different  teams within the NHS and the contributions different departments make to combat outbreaks. Students will play the part of an NHS budget holder and will decide which departments receive additional funding after hearing pitches from a range of professions within the healthcare sector. An involved session that requires group work and problem solving, allowing students to put all their learning on the programme so far into practice! (Max. student participants per school: 20)

Year 10

Activity Overview:

Academic Tutoring in Science or Maths: As key subjects in university applications to medicine and healthcare courses, students who apply to participate in tutoring will receive small-group support in their choice of either Science or Maths GCSE. Tutors are current Aston University students who have studied these subjects themselves. Sessions will be tailored to help students raise their academic attainment and improve their confidence ahead of their exams and transition to post-16 education (max. student participants per school: 20).

Please note, Academic Tutoring has a hybrid approach. Most sessions will take place online in schools via our virtual teaching platform Blackboard Collaborate, but there will be two longer sessions (the Launch and Graduation session) on Aston University’s campus at the beginning and end of tutoring. Please see further details below:

Academic Tutoring Launch: Students will receive an induction presentation, detailing how and when sessions will be conducted, and what the purposes of tutoring are (i.e. to improve attainment, confidence, and to learn skills to improve their revision). They will then get to meet their mentor before completing their pre-tutoring assessment, which helps us to establish areas where they are more confident and those where they may need some support. This will allow mentors to customise their tutoring sessions ahead of the first online session in December. Students will also take part in a study-skills workshop exploring different learning techniques to make their revision as effective as possible.

Online Academic Tutoring Sessions:

Alongside their launch date, Year 10 students will have scheduled tutoring sessions in either GCSE Maths or Science taking place on the following dates online. These sessions will take place virtually either during school hours, or as part of an after-school club, via our online teaching platform Blackboard Collaborate. This will require the use of an ICT room/computer suite. If there are any serious issues with this, please contact Pathways to discuss options in the first instance. Earphones for all students will be provided free of charge from the Pathway Team.

Introduction to Healthcare Graduation: After their online tutoring sessions have been completed, students will attend an Introduction to Healthcare Graduation event held at Aston University. During the Graduation session, students will complete their post-tutoring assessment to see how much they have progressed over the programme and identify areas for further improvement post-tutoring. They will also take part in a second study skills workshop exploring techniques on how to keep motivated and develop good time-management to maintain a sense of well-being in the lead-up to exam season.

The session will come to a close with the opportunity for students to learn about future events they can get involved with at Aston University, including our Year 12 Pathway to the Professions programmes (in either Healthcare, Medicine, Engineering and Technology (STEM), Law or Business) which will allow them to learn more about university and their chosen area of study.

Finally, students will take part in a mini-graduation ceremony celebrating all they have achieved whilst on the Introduction to Healthcare programme. Timeline of tutoring sessions Please note, attendance at all tutoring events is required. Should students miss more than two of the below, they may be removed from the programme.

Timeline of tutoring sessions

Please note, attendance at all tutoring events is required. Should students miss more than two of the below, they may be removed from the programme.

Session NameDateLocation
Academic Tutoring Launch

(Including Pre-Tutoring Exam & Study Skills Workshop 1)
16th November 2022Aston University
Tutoring Session 114th December 2022Online (In School)
Tutoring Session 218th January 2023Online (In School)
Tutoring Session 31st February 2023Online (In School)
Tutoring Session 415th February 2023Online (In School)
Tutoring Session 51st March 2023Online (In School)
Academic Tutoring Graduation

(Including Post-Tutoring Exam, Study Skills Workshop 2 & Mini-Graduation Ceremony)
15th March 2023Aston University


What does it mean to be a partner?

Schools that are successful in their application will gain access to all activities across the programme. Partners will have a dedicated contact person at Aston University, who will support and coordinate all programme activity.

Please note, all resources for the Introduction to Healthcare sessions will be completely funded by the programme and partner schools will have priority booking on the programme in subsequent years.

Who will deliver the programme?

Aston University Pathway Team staff have designed and developed all aspects of the programme and will deliver all on-campus aspects of the Programme. The Pathway team or fully trained Introduction to Healthcare Tutors and Ambassadors will deliver in-school workshops, and fully trained Introduction to Healthcare tutors will deliver all tutoring sessions, with regular support from the Pathway team.

Introduction to Healthcare Tutors and Ambassadors are current Aston University students who have been successful in their application and interview to be part of the programme. All tutors will be fully DBS checked and tutor information will be sent to schools in advance.

How to apply?

We invite secondary schools to apply and submit students in years 8, 9 and 10 to take part in our various science workshops, university experience days and academic tutoring. Students should have a genuine interest in studying healthcare subjects or medicine at university or working within the healthcare sector. To apply, visit the application form.

Applications close at 5.00pm Friday 7th October. If your Partner School application is successful, we will be in touch with details and a separate application link for your students wishing to take part which must be completed by 5.00pm on Friday 21st October.