James Knowles.

A course director at King’s Lynn’s College of West Anglia (CWA) has published research which he hopes will help give more people the opportunity of entering the medical profession.

James Knowles has taught on the college’s Access to Medicine course for 10 years and has spent eight-and-half years researching and writing his thesis entitled “Becoming Prospective Medicine Students.” 

He said: “I have a passion for education and health and if my research allows those who might previously not have had the opportunity to enter the medical profession or to work as doctors or move on to study at university then I have done my job. 

“It is an honour to be able to teach students who have such great ambitions and drive to work in the NHS.”

The Access to Medicine course allows those without A-levels to complete a year-long access course to move on to study medicine at university.

Over a two-year period, Mr Knowles interviewed 33 students on the course he teaches to explore their experiences.

“The recommendations to come out of the thesis are to give those students who have not previously studied at university and do not have A-levels, the opportunity to study for a longer period of two years to allow them to develop the study skills needed to progress to university, in order to bridge the gap between graduates and non-graduates,” he said. 

“I am planning on sharing my findings with CAVA, the access awarding body so they can use this information to help them to enable more students to succeed in becoming doctors in the future.”

CWA was the first college in the country to establish the Access to Medicine course in 1993 and sees a huge influx of applications year-on-year as one of the only routes to study medicine without A-Level qualifications.   

To find out more about the college’s Access to Medicine course, sign up for a virtual Return to Learning open day on July 7 at 5.30pm at cwa.ac.uk/news/events