Taking part in the UK Medical Applicant Cohort Study

A major part of UKMACS is the longitudinal questionnaire study. For this study we invited people who were seriously considering applying to study medicine at a UK university for entry in 2020 to complete the UKMACS Wave 1 questionnaire about medical school admissions. Almost 6,500 responded. Since then, we have sent out two further questionnaires: one in winter 2019/2020 (Wave 2) and one in April 2020 about the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic (UKMACS-COVID19). We plan to follow this cohort throughout their educational journeys to help us find out how to improve the way we select and educate future doctors.

We also conducted a qualitative interview study for UKMACS. We interviewed 69 medical school applicants and first year medical students from around the country in 2018 to find out how people from different backgrounds choose which medical schools to apply to.

Thank you to everyone who completed the Wave 1 and Wave 2 UKMACS questionnaire about applying to medical school! Winners for the Wave 1 and Wave 2 prizes were contacted in January 2020. Well done! Thank you too to everyone who completed the UKMACS COVID-19 questionnaire in April 2020. Results were presented to the Medical Schools Council Selection Alliance in May 2020 and are published on the pre-print server medrxiv.org .

Wave 1 and 2 Prize Draw Rules:

  • Closing date for receipt of entry to the draw was 23:59 (UK time) 15th January 2020.
  • Prizes will be Amazon vouchers and there will be no cash substitution for any prize.
  • Winners were notified by 17:00 (UK time) 31st January 2020 via email and/or telephone/SMS.
  • The names of the winners were not be announced to protect their confidentiality.

We care about your data privacy. Click here to download the Data Privacy Notice for this questionnaire study.

I have answered the UKMACS questionnaire(s) but I have decided not to apply to medical school this year. What will happen with my data?

Your data will be used as described in the UKMACS study Information Sheet. In summary:

  • Your questionnaire answers will be added to the highly secure UK Medical Education Database (UKMED), which contains information about everyone applying to study medicine in the UK.
  • Your identifying information (name, UKCATID and contact details) will be removed in a process called pseudonymisation, and then your questionnaire answers will be linked to other relevant information about your education and background (e.g. your UCAT score) and stored safely and securely. 
  • Your pseudonymised linked information will then be made available to the UKMACS research team for research, via an online safe haven.

Because you have decided not to apply to study medicine in the UK, your information will only be available for research by the UKMACS Research Team and will not be made available to other researchers. Your information will be protected in the same way as all data within UKMED, using rigorous procedures to ensure individuals cannot be identified.

If you later make an application to study medicine in the UK, your information will then be used in the same way as those who apply to medical school this year.

The General Medical Council (the UK medical regulator) is the data controller for UKMED and will therefore also be the data controller for the UKMACS data placed in UKMED.

What is UKMED?

As described in the UKMACS Information Sheet, the UK Medical Education Database (UKMED) is a highly secure research database containing information on everyone who applies to study medicine in the UK.  The purpose of the UKMED database is to support research on medical education and training. The information within UKMED is NOT used to monitor individuals.

UKMED has strict disclosure controls on accessing the data and rigorous procedures in place to ensure that the data available for research do not identify individuals. Data in UKMED is pseudonymised and then made available for academic research via an online safe haven, which researchers can only access with a secure log-in. 

There is more information available on the UKMED website www.ukmed.ac.uk .