Pathways to Health Sciences

Pathways to Health Sciences is a programme (now merged with Access to Bristol) for students interested in studying Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science at university.

Applications for Access to Bristol are now closed. Unfortunately, and in the interest of fairness, we are unable to accept late applications under any circumstances.

Please complete this form if you wish to be notified when applications for Access to Bristol 2024-24 open in September 2024.

Pathways to Health Sciences is a widening participation scheme designed to give local Year 12 and Access to HE students an insight into our Health Science programmes (Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Science). 

As a participant, you will take part in academic taster sessions delivered by our leading academics, NHS Clinicians, and current students. You will also have the opportunity to practice clinical skills and talk to professionals from your chosen field. In addition to the academic and professional sessions, the programme will provide you with interview support to help you prepare for your application to university.

Please note that Pathways to Health Sciences has now merged with Access to Bristol, so Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences will now run as subject streams on Access to Bristol rather than as a standalone programme. 


To apply for Pathways to Health Sciences you must:

  • be in your first year of A-level study (or equivalent);
  • be resident in a BA, BS or other local postcode within an hour’s journey of the University of Bristol (this includes South Wales);
  • attend a local state school or college;
  • have the academic ability to study at the University of Bristol, meeting the Advanced Numeracy and Standard Literacy GCSE entry requirements for Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science and studying any required Level 3 subjects)

The scheme is very popular and there is high demand for places. If a subject stream is oversubscribed, we will give priority to those who meet all or most of the following criteria:

  • are part of the first generation in their family to go to university;
  • live in an area of low participation in higher education as defined by POLAR4, which is a score of 1 or 2 for the category 'POLAR4 young participation quintile';
  • identify as being Asian, Black or from a Minority Ethnic background, or Mixed Heritage featuring one or more of these ethnicities;
  • attend an aspiring state school or college;
  • are or have been eligible for free school meals;
  • have spent three or more months in local authority care;
  • are currently an estranged student;
  • be considered a mature student (over 21 years old when you will begin your degree);
  • Vet Sciences stream only - due to the under-representation of males in the Veterinary field, we will also give priority to male applicants for our Vet Sciences Pathways Stream.

This programme is only open to Year 12 and Access to Higher Education students.

We recommend that you discuss your application to the programme with your head of sixth form/college. You will need permission from your school or college to attend the sessions and we ask for a contact at your school on your application form.

Benefits of Pathways to Health Sciences

Access to Bristol bursary

If you successfully complete Pathways to Health Sciences and choose Bristol as your Firm choice in UCAS you may be eligible for the Access to Bristol bursary, which currently consists of a maintenance bursary of £3,855* for each year of your course.

To be considered for the bursary you need to be Firm with Bristol, a Home UK student and have a household income of £25,000* or below. No bursary is paid in any year where you are entitled to NHS funding as part of your course.

*Figures may be subject to change.

Guaranteed offer at contextual level

Term dates and times

Sessions will take place on campus every Wednesday from 1.30pm to 4pm on the dates shown below.

Autumn term 2023

1 November, 8 November, 15 November, 22 November, 29 November, 6 December 2023

Contact us

If you have any questions about the scheme or about your application, please get in touch with Kath Bourne (Access to Bristol Coordinator) at 

Medical, Dental and Veterinary Schools

Find more information on the courses, research, and opportunities that our schools have to offer.

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