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The University of Southampton
Medical Education

Beyond Competence: a project funded by HEFCE

Published: 10 August 2010

Faith Hill and Anja Timm, in collaboration with Trudie Roberts from Leeds Medical School, have been awarded £200,000 by the Higher Education Academy for a project designed to enable and inspire healthcare students.

This collaborative project between Southampton and Leeds Universities aims to facilitate a smooth transition for students moving from university-based teaching to workplace learning.

The project will examine the experiences of audiology, medicine and nursing students as they enter ever-changing healthcare environments. The project investigates how students currently make the transition from ‘student’ to ‘trainee professional’ - and from didactic classroom teaching to increasingly independent learning. The project responds directly to needs identified by students, higher education institutions (HEIs), the health service, professional bodies and in the literature concerning transitions into placement learning. Moreover, it takes seriously the changing context of the NHS and HEIs in the period of public spending cuts. It explores the ways in which HEIs and placement providers can help students thrive in the workplace and makes recommendations for future policy and practice.

Crucially, it works with students to create resources for students, outlining and disseminating strategies for successful placement learning. The project originated partly out of concerns for third year medical students. Research suggests that many of these students find the transition to third year very challenging. It often takes a good part of the first attachment for students to really ‘get it’ and to grasp what learning in the clinical context means and requires of them. And some students struggle throughout the third year, with potential knock on effects into final year.
To find out more about the project or to get involved with the research or development please contact Fiona Alexander:

Dr Faith Hill
Anja Timm
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