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Inspiring and Supporting Tomorrow's Doctors

Who are SWAMS?

Sheffield Widening Access to Medical School (SWAMS) are a student-led group at the University of Sheffield. Our committee is made up of a small group of medical students and one staff member at Sheffield medical school. We also have a number of medical student volunteers who are crucial to our work and help create and develop projects. 

We are passionate about making medicine accessible - by inspiring students who may not have previously considered medicine as a career, and providing free advice and support with the applications process. 

What do we do?

We work specifically with students across South Yorkshire, with a focus on areas and schools with a low number of applicants to higher education and those meeting ‘widening participation’ criteria. 

We do this by: 

We are also planning to extend our work to support current medical students at the University of Sheffield who meet widening participation criteria.   

What is ‘Widening Participation’?

Widening participation (WP) criteria are set up to address under-representation of certain groups in higher education. These differ between different universities and courses, but often include students:

  • From low socioeconomic groups/low income backgrounds

  • Who would be the first in their family to attend university

  • Who are care leavers or have caring responsibilities

  • From postcode areas where there is low participation in higher education. 

Meeting widening participation criteria such as those above often attracts extra support from universities; which may include targeted programmes giving you extra support before you apply, lowered grade offers of entry, and bursaries once you get in. An example is Sheffield’s Discover Medicine programme

As SWAMS is a student-led initiative, although taking part in our activities will likely help your application, we can’t offer lowered grade offers of entry - sadly we do not have that power!

How can I get involved?

Thinking about applying to medical school? Visit our Students page

Are you a teacher? Visit our Teachers page

If you are a medical student at the University of Sheffield and would like to know more about volunteering for SWAMS, drop us an email at

About Us: About Us
Screenshot 2021-02-05 at 23.36.47.png

Inspiring and Supporting Tomorrow's Doctors

Sheffield Widening Access to Medical School (SWAMS) is a student-run community organisation, working in close partnership with Sheffield Medical School.

We're here to inspire and support students at schools across South Yorkshire; enabling them to access medical education regardless of their background or challenges.

Getting into medical school is a long and complex process - we're here to provide students with completely free advice and guidance. Many of our medical student volunteers are from widening participation backgrounds themselves, and are able to draw on their unique experiences and stories when advising prospective medical students.

Although we are a relatively new organisation, we have already partnered with several schools across South Yorkshire. We are always looking to form new connections, so if you would be interested in working with us, please contact us via

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are offering online-only support, including:

  • Sharing top tips on our Instagram (@SheffieldSWAMS) and Facebook ( accounts

  • A near-peer mentoring scheme, where Y12 students are paired with medical students for 1-1 support

  • Online sessions for schools

So that we reach the students that need us most, some of our activites may carry inclusion criteria (like being the first in your family to attend university) - information on this wil be published along with the activity details.

For more information, please get in touch via

Please note: Although taking part in our activities is likely to help with medical school applications, we are unable to offer grade reductions for completing our activities (we don't have that power sadly!).

About Us: About Us
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