Routes to the Professions

R2PThe Routes to Professions programme offers a unique opportunity for Year 12 students to gain a real insight into university study. It focuses on specific vocational courses and provides students with tailored support through the university application process.

Students join the Routes to the Professions programme in Year 12 and receive a range of support through to Year 13 including: careers advice, support with UCAS personal statements, interview preparation, work placement opportunities, mentoring by current undergraduate students, and the opportunity to shadow current students during lectures. 

This 18-month programme has five bespoke streams to support students who are looking for a career in one of the fields below:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry 
  • Law
  • Accounting and Finance 
  • Engineering  

Applications for the 2019/20 programme are closed. Applications for the 2020/21 programme will open in October 2020 (date to be announced nearer the time).

Read the Pathways to Birmingham COVID-19 FAQs

Opportunities within the Routes to the Professions programme

Launch event

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Find out more about entry requirements and different routes into chosen profession

  • Find out about different careers in law and places of work

  • Experience a taster lecture

  • Find out more about life as a student

  • Meet current undergraduate students who will support them through the rest of the programme.

'Preparing your university application' workshop

This workshop is designed to help students to prepare for their UCAS applications. Students will receive advice on different routes and careers in their chosen profession, support in developing their UCAS personal statements and guidance on admission tests. 

Student mentoring

All students will be assigned a mentor who will be a current undergraduate student. The mentor will support students with:

  • Understanding more about the demands of studying at University

  • Seeking and making the most of work experience

  • Writing a UCAS personal statement and preparing for admission tests

  • Interview preparation

  • University life

Student shadowing

Students will have the opportunity to spend a day with their mentor shadowing lectures and spending time on campus, so they can experience what it is really like to be a student at the University of Birmingham.

Clinical mentoring (Medicine and Dentistry only)

Students will also be mentored by a doctor/dentist. They will have the opportunity to discuss with their mentor what it is actually like to work in the profession, the challenges involved, the highs and the lows, and the career paths available. This will give students an invaluable insight into the profession and will help them make important decisions about their future.

Mock interviews (Medicine and Dentistry only)

This session will give students the opportunity to find out more about medical/dentistry interviews, take part in a practice interviews and receive tips on how to prepare and be successful.

Guaranteed interview (Medicine and Dentistry only)

Students who satisfactorily engage with and complete the Routes to the Professions: Medicine or Dentistry programmes will be guaranteed an interview on our undergraduate MBChB or BDS programmes.

Law Court visits (Law only)

Students will visit the Birmingham Law Courts where they will go on a guided tour with a member of Court staff. The visit will include a talk and the opportunity to see courtrooms, talk to a Judge and observe cases.

Work experience opportunities

Students on the different streams of the programme will have the opportunity to spend 3-5 days at a GP surgery, leading law, financial or industrial firm. They will get a real insight into these professions through observing day to day work, meeting and engaging with a range of professionals and developing transferable skills. 

Benefits of Routes to the Professions

Students who successfully complete the Routes to the Professions programme and apply to the University of Birmingham will receive special consideration from admissions tutors. If their application is successful, they will receive two offers from the University of Birmingham, the standard offer and a Pathways to Birmingham offer. The Pathways to Birmingham offer is typically a two grade reduction.

As well as the Pathways to Birmingham offer, students will also be eligible for financial support.

This programme will provide students with valuable experience as well as:

  • Guaranteed interview on our Medicine and Surgery MBChB or Dental Surgery BDS course for students who successfully complete the R2P: Medicine/Dentistry programme and meet the following criteria:

      • Minimum GCSE threshold and have the required predicted A level grades
      • Have a strong personal statement with evidence for motivation for Medicine/Dentistry and involvement in society and,
      • Have taken the UKCAT
  • Insight into university study and exposure to experiences that will support their applications
  • Support to help students to prepare and make successful applications to competitive university courses
  • Developing transferable skills required to enter elite professions
  • Gaining insight into professional careers and studying at university
  • A rare opportunity to shadow a current student during lectures
  • Opportunities for work experience/shadowing
  • Mentoring from current students 

What is successful completion of Routes to the Professions?

 In order to successfully complete Routes to the Professions, and be eligible for a Pathways to Birmingham offer, students are required to:

  • Attend a minimum of three of the five events hosted by the University of Birmingham 
  • Engage with the mentoring opportunities available to you through the programme 
  • Pass Skills4Uni, an online study skills quiz
  • Successfully complete a reflective activity on your experience of the programme

 More information about each of these aspects of the programme will be provided once places are confirmed.

Application criteria

The Routes to the Professions programme is suitable for Year 12 students who have a strong commitment to study at the University of Birmingham and who are studying A Level, IB or a relevant BTEC course. Applications are open to students who meet the Pathways to Birmingham criteria - check to see if you are eligible.

Academic entry criteria

As well as meeting the eligibility criteria, we also require students to have the academic potential for studies and careers in the five vocational streams. The academic criteria, as used by the University of Birmingham Admissions department, is listed below:

Medicine and Dentistry

  • A level: predicted grades BBB (including Chemistry and Biology)
  • Have a minimum of seven GCSEs including English Language, Maths, Chemistry and Biology (or Double Award Science) at grades AABB or 7755 in any order


  • Have a minimum of grade C/4 in GCSE Maths and English
  • Predicted grades of ABB at A-level or D*DD BTEC in a relevant subject (Law and Business), or Access to Higher Education in relevant subject –  60 credits overall to include at least 45 credits at level 3. This must include 21 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit.

Accounting & Finance

  • A minimum of grade B/6 in GCSE Maths and grade C/4 in English
  • Predicted grades BBB at A Level or equivalent in other qualification


  • A minimum of seven GCSEs at grade A*/9-C/4 including English, Maths and Physics/Double Science
  • Predicted grades BBB at A level including Maths or DDD at BTEC Extended Diploma with sufficient Maths content/BTEC Diploma with A level Maths

How to apply

Applications for the Routes to the Professions 19/20 programme are closed. You will be able to apply for the 20/21 programme in autumn 2020.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Routes to the Professions programme, please email or call 0121 415 8745. 

What do our students think?

“Without Routes to the Professions I wouldn’t have got into university to study medicine. The support from my mentors and the events the programme provided prepared me for everything from interviews to personal statements.”

“Experiencing a lecture with my student mentor was not only great fun, but provided insight into what exactly the degree would be like, and what studying law would entail.”