What influences student experience of Graduate Entry Medicine Qualitative findings from Swansea School of Medicine

Frances Rapport*, Gwen F. Jones, Shaun Favell, Jonathan Bailey, Laurence Gray, Alexis Manning, Paul Sellars, Julie Taylor, Aidan Byrne, Adrian Evans, Claire Cowell, Sarah Rees, Rhys Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) in Medicine delivered by Swansea University (currently in collaboration with Cardiff University) accepts students from a diverse range of academic backgrounds with no restriction in relation to the field of first degree. There is a growing body of literature, predominantly quantitative in nature, regarding the influence of academic background on student achievement but little published information on students' views. Aim: To examine students' views regarding the extent to which previous higher education and wider life experience influence their student experience on the GEP course. Method: Recruitment from three student cohorts and group interview data followed by descriptive thematic analysis of anonymized data. Results: Data themes were: (1) previous study experience and its impact on present student experience; (2) the impact of life experience; (3) the impact of the present study on life experience; (4) skills, status and difference; (5) characteristics and expectations of the course; (6) finances and (7) next steps. Previous study experience had little impact on present student experience. However, previous life experience, with time between first degree and GEP, clearly enhances the learning experience. Added maturity and early clinical contact enables students to manage the challenges of the course and the NHS environment despite financial strain and heavy coursework. Conclusions: Analysing students' views is informative and provides richer insight into experience and expectations than that accessible from quantitative data alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e580-e585
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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