Extended Medical Degree Programme at King’s College London

The extended medical degree programme offered by King’s College London is aimed at educationally disadvantaged students and students from non-traditional backgrounds who have the potential to complete a medical degree successfully. The programme offers a full medical degree but, by extending it by a year, it allows students more time to develop subject knowledge and confidence, and gives greater access to pastoral and academic support from staff.


Programme director at King’s Dr Stephen Thompson says: “This is all about taking little steps and giving appropriate feedback to build learning, develop students’ confidence and help them grow over time.

“Students can come with a range of needs and staff are experienced at assisting with issues such as financial problems or difficulties balancing family responsibilities and studying.”

King’s makes strenuous efforts to make sure the course recruits non-traditional students, by seeking out bright applicants from non-selective state schools in London, Kent and Medway.

Applicants need to have at least three Bs in relevant A-level subjects. Since the programme started in 2001, nearly 500 students have enrolled, and more than 150 have graduated.

Now in its 14th year, more than 300 students are currently studying on the Extended Medical Degree Programme. Each September King’s takes another 50 eligible students on to the course.

Staff believe the slightly slower pace helps build students’ confidence that they can succeed on the course. Despite the additional challenges faced by applicants from non-traditional backgrounds, the course’s retention and success rate since 2009 is 92%, which is within touching distance of the 97% achieved by students on the standard five-year medical degree at King’s.

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