Examination performance of graduate entry medical students compared with mainstream students

J R Soc Med. 2009 Oct;102(10):425-30. doi: 10.1258/jrsm.2009.090121.


Objectives: To assess whether medical students on graduate entry/fast- track programmes perform as well as students on standard courses.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: University of Birmingham Medical School.

Participants: Medical students on graduate entry/fast-track course and standard (5-year) course ('mainstream').

Main outcome measures: Examination marks from all assessments taken simultaneously by graduate entry course (GEC) and mainstream course students once the cohorts have combined: i.e. for the final three years of the programme. Honours awards for 2007 and 2008 graduates.

Results: In total 19,263 examination results were analysed from 1547 students. Of these 161 were GEC students and 1386 were mainstream medical students. On average mainstream students, male students, overseas students and students of South Asian ethnicity obtained lower examination marks than graduate entry students, female students, home or EU students and students of non-South Asian ethnicity, respectively. Graduate entry students were significantly more likely to achieve honours degrees than mainstream students.

Conclusion: On average the academic performance of Graduate Entry medical students at the University of Birmingham is better than mainstream medical students.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Education, Graduate
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / organization & administration*
  • Educational Measurement / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Status
  • England
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • School Admission Criteria*
  • Schools, Medical*
  • Students, Medical