The importance of experience of the world of work in admissions to health-based undergraduate courses at Russell Group universities: A desktop review

By Jordan Rehill (Research Assistant, Education and Employers)


This study explores the admissions requirements of three healthcare related courses of study for their 2017/18 intake: Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing. It asks whether these Russell Group Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) expect their undergraduate applicants to have undertaken work experience or secured related work-based experiences prior to application, investigating whether such work experience is likely to strengthen their application.

Online statements were reviewed, noting overt reference to whether experience of the world of work was described as an essential or a desired requirement of applicants, or not mentioned at all. The review also explores whether specific experience in a clinical or care based environment, rather than general work experience, is articulated as a desirable or essential element of any successful application.

The study follows a 2011 review by the Education and Employers Taskforce of the admissions requirements of the Russell Group universities across six undergraduate subject areas including Medicine and Dentistry (Mann et al. 2011). Results from that study are included here for purposes of comparison.