The Working in Health Access Programme (WHAP): impact on school leaving exam results and applications to Medicine

Houston, M. , Lumsden, M.A. and Osborne, M. (2012) The Working in Health Access Programme (WHAP): impact on school leaving exam results and applications to Medicine.

74974.pdf - Published Version


Publisher's URL:


Introduction: Pupils from backgrounds wit socio-economic deprivation are less likely to apply to study medicine than those from more affluent backgrounds. It is unclear whether those who might have the potential to be doctors can be identified at a time when they can be exposedto awareness raising activities to enhance their likelihood of success. Methods: Sixty nine schools from all parts of Scotland with below average participation rates in Higher Education took part. More than 2000 pupils sat tests of cognitive ability (Mill Hill Vocabulary Scale and Raven’s Progressive Matrices) as well as non-cognitive tests assessing characteristics that could influence success as a doctor. Results: The results of the cognitive tests correlated closely with Standard Grade Examinations (sat in Year 11) and less so with Highers (sat in Year 12). The numbers applying to and being admitted to Medicine rose 80% and 300% respectively over the duration of the project. Those receiving an offer differed in personality from those who didn’t. Discussion: Widening Participation activities of the type used in our project successfully increased application and offers for Medicine. The value of psychometric tests in the context of Widening Participation requires further research.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Osborne, Professor Michael and Houston, Dr Muir
Authors: Houston, M., Lumsden, M.A., and Osborne, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > People, Place & Social Change
Publisher:MedEd Publish
Published Online:18 December 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 The Authors
First Published:First published in MedEd Publish 18 December 2012
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the authors

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record