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The University of Southampton

Professor Sally Curtis BSc (Hons), PhD

Professorial Fellow, Education

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Professor Sally Curtis studied Physiology with Pharmacology at the University of Southampton. She graduated in 1998 and worked in several teaching roles before accepting the post of lecturer and deputy programme lead on the new widening participation in medicine programme, BM6, in 2002. Sally then worked on the BM6 programme alongside studying for a PhD in Health Sciences, investigating muscle co-activation in chronic neck pain. As the BM6 programme lead (and initially deputy programme lead) Sally co-designed and delivered the innovative BM6 curriculum from its inception, receiving the Vice Chancellor’s teaching excellence award in 2006. BM6 has the reputation as one of the most respected WP in medicine programmes in the UK, receiving national recognition and featuring in several national reports as an example of best practice.

It is very important that widening access to medicine programmes should not only focus on recruitment and admission to medical school but also on the curriculum and supporting students in developing the skills, confidence and professional identity that will help them succeed in their studies and future careers

Sally is a member of the Medical Schools Council Selection Alliance (MSCSA) and UKCAT consortium. In addition, in 2015 she was elected to a four-year tenure on the MSCSA executive board, which is responsible for implementing the recommendations made in the Medical Schools Council’s 2014 Selecting for Excellence final report. The board implement successful change management initiatives and formulate strategic plans developing national policy relating to selection and widening participation. Sally co-wrote the current indicators of best practice in the use of contextual admissions and leads the national data monitoring group for MSCSA board. This group works closely with HESA, UKMED and UCAS and has established a reliable national data set and a robust process for collating and disseminating data whilst monitoring national WP progress at a national level.

Sally’s nationally recognised expertise has led to many invitations to act as an advisor for a number of institutions, organisations and advisory bodies, including UK and Scottish Governments and many Russell group universities. She provides advice on the design and development of curricula, programme design, admissions processes and student support for WP programmes. Sally is also an external associate member of the Centre for Healthcare Research and Innovation at the University of Aberdeen and a founder member of the WP education research special interest group for the Association for the study of Medical Education (ASME).

Sally leads and reviews innovative approaches to WP and inclusivity at a faculty, university, national and international level. Through her contributions to the University of Southampton she been closely involved in the development of the inclusivity policy, programme regulations, policies and packages supporting students from a range of underrepresented backgrounds. Sally has developed and delivered innovative outreach activities in schools and the University, including Easter and summer residential events. Following on from a number of research projects Sally has recently developed a series of workshops to support WP students’ transition and success in medicine. The evaluation of this innovative intervention is funded by the General Medical Council’s (GMC) Education and Standards Directorate, who are using this framework as a case study of best practice.


BSc (Hons) Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Southampton (1998)
PhD, University of Southampton, (2010)

Appointments held

Teaching associate, Anglo-European Chiropractic College 1999 – 2001

Lecturer, University of Southampton 2001 – 2008

Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Southampton 2008 – 2018

Professorial Fellow, Education, University of Southampton 2018 – present

Research interests

Sally is developing and leading a programme of research in Medical Education at the University of Southampton. She is the main supervisor for a PhD student researching WP progression and retention and is co supervising a second PhD student, with Prof Jen Cleland in Aberdeen, researching WP graduate outcomes. Sally has published a short series of papers on WP in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the first to publish detailed admissions and progression data in the UK.


Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education

Outreach Officer- Science to Health and Aim Higher - Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Lower Attaining Schools

BM6 Lecturer and Deputy Programme Director

2001-to date
BM6 staff student liaison committee
Member of BM6 Steering group,
Member of BM6 Assessment Group

2004 – 2006
Member of the University’s Information Systems and Resources Committee

2004 - to date
Member of TPAC

Year 1 & 2 examinations working group

2004- to date
Member of TPMC
Member of BM5 year 1 & 2 steering group

Member of Year 1 and 2 curriculum review team

Founder member of Level 4/5 Support Network – a University wide network support group

BM5 Foundation Course Coordinator

BM5 Semester 1 coordinator

BM5 Year 1 Coordinator

Faculty undergraduate International Officer

Undergraduate Pain Teaching lead

Founder Member of the Faculty of Medicine Academic Integrity Committee
Faculty Academic Integrity representative
Member of the University’s Academic Integrity Special Interest Group and Working Group

Chair of Faculty Academic Integrity group

Member of the BM programme revalidation group and institutional review team

Co-design and co-deliver the BM6 Summer School

Interfaculty website development team – Student welcome

2012-to date
Programme Leader
Line Manager
Member of the Recruitment and Admissions Committee
Member of FTPC
Member of ESDC
Chair of BM6 Steering group
Chair of BM6 Assessment group
Member of Faculty Appeals Panel
Member of Faculty Academic Integrity Panel
BM6 interviewer and selector
BM5 interviewer
Chair of BM exam boards, BM5 Year 1 and 2, BM4 year 1 and 2 and BM Finals
Member of the Foundation Programme Steering Group
Member of Health Sciences Fitness to Practice panel
Member of University’s Senate

2014 – to date
FE2HE – Widening Access to Healthcare Residential Summer School - Medicine Lead
Faculty Programme Leadership Group

Member of the UKCAT consortium

Honorary lecturer for School of Medicine, Cardiff University (Pain education)

External reviewer for Queen Mary, University of London's (Widening access programme)

External reviewer for the University of Bristol's (Widening participation pre-programme for Medical, Dental and Veterinary science programmes)

Contributor to the World Wide University Network Health Literacy group for international validation of the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) with undergraduate pre-registration students Worldwide University Network Health Literacy Group


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As Programme Leader for BM6 widening access I deliver lectures and small group teaching on a wide range of scientific topics and professionalism associated to health care. I also teach on the BM5 and BM4 programmes and supervise 4th year project students.

I deliver lectures on Masters programmes in the Faculties of Health Sciences and Humanities and have developed integrated CPD courses on pain and pain management. I am an Honorary Lecturer at the School of Medicine, Cardiff University, contributing to the international pain education website –


Professor Sally Curtis
BM6 Programme Leader Medical Education Development Unit Faculty of Medicine University of Southampton Building 85 Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ Tel: 023 8059 5609 Fax: 023 8059 4262 email:

Room Number: 85/4001

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