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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 took up the post of lecturer and deputy programme lead on the (then) 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.

Sally was the BM6 programme lead (2012-2020) and from its inception, co-designed and delivered the innovative BM6 curriculum, 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. Sally received the National Teaching Fellow award on 2019 in recognition or her work in widening participation and student support.

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 support success in their studies and future careers.

Sally is now Deputy Head of School Education and is working with the Faculty of Medicine to deliver excellent student experience, with a focus on inclusivity and social accountability. Sally is a member of the Medical Schools Council Selection Alliance (MSCSA) and UKCAT consortium. In addition, is a member of the MSCSA executive board, 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 as well as undergraduate and postgraduate support. 

Sally leads a research group in Medical Education with a particular focus on widening participation and the student experience 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 undergraduate WP policy, programme regulations, policies and packages supporting students from a range of underrepresented backgrounds.


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 currently the main supervisor for 3 PhD students researching WP and the student experience. 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

Deputy Head of School Education

Faculty Admissions Tutor

Faculty Widening Participation Lead

Module lead – Professional Practice Year 0

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As Module Lead for Professional Practice in Year 0 of the BM6 programme I deliver interactive lectures, reflective discussions and small group teaching all with a focus on developing personal and professional skills and developing confidence and identity

Professor Sally Curtis
Deputy Head of School (Education) Primary Care Population Science and Medical Education, 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

Telephone:(023) 8059 5609

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