Two new medical schools have been given full approval by the General Medical Council (GMC), meaning they can award degrees to graduating students for the first time this year.

Anglia Ruskin University’s School of Medicine, in Chelmsford, and Aston Medical School, part of Aston University in Birmingham, have completed the GMC’s rigorous quality assurance process for new schools, which began for both in 2016.

The decision, ratified by the GMC’s Council, means both institutions are added to the list of UK bodies able to award a primary medical qualification. From this summer, medical graduates from Anglia Ruskin and Aston will be added to the medical register and will be able to join the UK’s healthcare workforce.

Prof Colin Melville, the GMC’s Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards, said:

‘The GMC maintains high standards and has a very rigorous process before a new medical school can award primary medical qualifications to its students. Both Anglia Ruskin and Aston have worked hard, over a number of years, to meet our quality assurance standards. I’m delighted that, thanks to that hard work, they now have GMC approval to award medical degrees.’

Dr Sanjiv Ahluwalia, Head of the School of Medicine at Anglia Ruskin University, said:

‘We are looking forward to seeing our first medicine students graduate this summer. Essex has some of the highest patient-GP ratios in the country and one of the ambitions for our School of Medicine is to develop a workforce for the county and the wider region.

‘One of our main aims is to ensure there are opportunities for people from all backgrounds to study medicine, and we are proud to have a diverse student body that will serve the profession with distinction in the future.’

Professor Helen Cameron, Dean of Medical Education at Aston Medical School, said:

‘This is a really exciting moment for Aston Medical School, and we are delighted for our students, especially our pioneer cohort who will graduate in July with an Aston University medical degree and contribute to the UK’s healthcare workforce. Our focus on providing excellent education and support to a diverse range of students, including those from disadvantaged communities, has been at the heart of our mission since the school’s inception. 

‘We are proud that through commitment, teamwork, and partnership with our students, we have met the GMC’s rigorous quality assurance standards and we look forward to continuing to educate the healthcare leaders of the future.’

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