medical schools council

MSC Selection Alliance

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The Selection Alliance is responsible for the development and implementation of the Medical Schools Council’s selection work. Formed in 2015, its chief role is to carry out the recommendations of the Selecting for Excellence Final Report which relate to medical schools. Drawing on the expertise of medical school admissions leads from across the UK, the Selection Alliance focuses on the following areas:

Selection methods

Medical schools use various ways of selecting their students, including admissions tests, assessment centres, panel interviews and ‘multiple-mini interviews’. The value of a selection method is in its ability to predict the suitability of a candidate for medicine. The Selection Alliance offers a means for medical schools to come together to compare methods and offer best practice.

It also establishes working groups and commissions research to learn more about particular methods. For example, an expert group is now working to optimise the way in which multiple-mini interviews are used. Elsewhere, research is underway into the impact that different weightings (the relative ‘importance’ placed on various aspects of an application) has on candidates from a widening participation background.

Providing better information for participants

Entry requirements for medical schools are high, but they can vary subtly and information regarding widening participation is not always easy to find. This information is spread across more than thirty websites. Applicants with good careers guidance will therefore have an advantage in understanding the information over those who do not.

To address this, the Medical Schools Council now collects the information directly from medical schools. This information is updated for applicants on the MSC website and can be found on our Entry Requirements Comparison Tool. A PDF version is also available: Entry requirements for UK medical schools. It is updated yearly. This has also been a way of offering formalised categories for the types of medical degrees.

Applicant and entrant reports

The medical schools’ applicant and entrant profile reports have been created to provide easy access to a reliable data set of applicant and entrants’ demographic characteristics. These data can be viewed by course, year, and medical school as well as collectively. This resource enables accurate tracking of widening participation and inclusivity within medicine, in response to the recommendations set out in the 2014 Selecting for Excellence Final report.

Applicant profiles report

Entrant profiles report


The Selection Alliance consists of a Reference Group which meets twice yearly and is attended by two deans of admissions from each Medical Schools Council member. Elected from the Reference Group is a Board which sets the strategic aims for the Selection Alliance. Board members are as follows:

  • Dr Paul Garrud (Chair), University of Nottingham
  • Dr Julian Burton, University of Sheffield
  • Dr Sally Curtis, University of Southampton
  • Dr Gordon Dent, Keele University
  • Ms Angela Kubacki, St George's University of London
  • Dr Gail Nicholls, University of Leeds
  • Dr Heidi Phillips, Swansea University
  • Dr Nana Sartania, University of Glasgow

Providing ongoing monitoring of the Selection Alliance is the Oversight Group, which was established during the Selecting for Excellence project and remains to ensure that the recommendations of the Final Report are being carried out.