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Professional Healthcare Careers

At Plymouth High School we are very proud that many of our students each year go on to courses and careers in a wide range of specialisms within healthcare. This includes students successfully gaining places in medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences. Here you will find information about the roles and support that is on offer throughout your time at Plymouth High School. 

In general, students can and should keep their options open through Years 7-11 as during these years there are no limitations to entry into the healthcare industry. Below gives an overview for each year group and then there is dedicated section for medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine information. 

Year 7-8 

There is nothing specific to do in these year groups but being inquisitive in lessons and outside of the classroom. The longer you have a general interest in the issues that matter the easier decisions and talking about yourself, and healthcare becomes when you able for work experience or a course at the end of your time at PHSG. 

Year 9 

All students at PHSG now take Separate GCSEs for all three Sciences, providing a strong foundation for moving on into any healthcare route. Now is a great time to start thinking about what you are doing to show an interest in supporting people or animals. Have you investigated work experience routes for next year as it can take time to find somewhere to take you for a week, particularly if you are interested in veterinary, medicine or dentistry? 

Participation in any dissection events run at school is now possible due to you being 14 years old. 

Year 10

This is the year that you have your first opportunity to complete a work experience related to the career you are interested in. Preparing and applying early will really matter as the spaces fill up fast on larger run schemes at the Medical and Dental School. If you don’t get into one of these schemes, don’t worry as you can apply again in Year 12 and often get priority then. 

Working hard across your subjects in key in Year 10 as you want to be able to move through to Year 11 to secure the highest grades possible as these can be used to rank students when applying for university. 

Year 11 

This is where the work and effort you have put in will start to make an impact on your ambitions for the future. In your GCSEs you will generally need grades 7-9 in all your subjects. The reason behind this is based on how universities, for many medical related courses, rank and score your GCSE results when you apply in Year 13. For many courses they will only consider your top 6-8 GCSEs no matter the subject, so having more than this although a great achievement does not boost you as a candidate but having at least 6 higher grades does give you a better score when being invited to interview or offered a place.  

Choosing your subjects carefully for A level plays a key role in the courses you can apply for. You want to be taking subjects that you enjoy, put effort into and needing them in the future is not the only factor. For some courses obviously there are requirements put in place by the course provider. Most people looking to enter medicine, dentistry or veterinary science are going to need both Biology and Chemistry A level with the third choice open. Some places will consider students with only one of these two sciences but it starts to limit your options right from the start. For nursing, midwifery, occupational health and physiotherapy there is often more flexibility but predominately focus on you taking Biology and ideally another science. Physical Education at A level is not usually counted as a science so should be used as a third choice. 

See the below the guidance sheet for further details on choosing A level options. 


Key contacts at PHS 

Healthcare Careers Lead – Dr Charlie Doddrell 

Careers Advisor – Mrs Heather Longford