Supporting you to succeed
We know that medicine is a demanding course physically, intellectually and emotionally. It requires commitment, and during your five years with us, you may experience some challenges with which you may need help.
Whether you need additional support with study, financial advice, or just a listening ear, the KMMS Student Life and Wellbeing team are here to help you succeed and make the most of your time with us.
If you experience any difficulties during your course and feel that you might require some support, you are strongly encouraged to contact the KMMS Student Life and Wellbeing team in the first instance. They will be able to provide some immediate, practical support and/or advise you on how to access specialist support, if required. Alternatively, if you wish to contact specialist support services (Disability/SpLD/Mental Health/Counselling) directly, you can do so here. Discussions with specialist services will be confidential and information will only be shared on a need to know basis and with your consent. The only exception to this would be if it is felt that you are a risk to yourself or others, including any fitness to practice concerns.
Support for disabilities (including autism, mental health issues, long-term health conditions and specific learning difficulties eg, dyslexia, dyspraxia) will be provided by the University of Kent Student Support and Wellbeing team. A Disability Adviser, SpLD Adviser or Mental Health/Wellbeing Adviser will meet with you to discuss your requirements, and will be your named contact. The adviser will determine reasonable teaching/exam adjustments to be made for learners with disabilities, in line with the Equality Act 2010.
Personal Academic Tutors
Our Personal Academic Tutors provide an important point of contact in matters relating to your academic progress, personal development and welfare. They also support the induction process and help you settle into academic life and the medical school community.
You will be assigned to a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) in your first week of teaching and they will help you with general guidance, including discussion of your academic progress and personal development skills through your ePortfolio and feedback from assessments. Pastoral support, including help with minor short-term issues, will be provided when needed.
From Year 3 onwards, your PAT will be replaced by a named Clinical Academic Tutor (CAT) who you will have for the duration of your studies. The CAT will usually be a senior trust clinician who will oversee your pastoral and professional development. A transition meeting will be arranged at the start of Year 3 where you can meet with your former PAT and your new Clinical Academic Tutor.
Student Academic Peer Mentoring Scheme
In your first year, you will be paired up with second year students who will help you to settle into life as a medical student. As you progress in your studies, you will also have the opportunity to link up with other students as peer mentors, focusing on your academic development.
The KMMS team are responsible for the smooth running of the School’s processes, including curriculum, timetabling, module choices, assignment submissions, exam queries, clinical placements and attendance.
You will have access to the learning advice and support in person and online. In each year’s induction we will ensure you are fully aware of the wealth of welfare and academic support that is available to you. During your time with us, we will help you to strike a balance between being committed to your studies and ensuring that you can manage the pressure of your workload. We encourage you to maintain a good work-life balance during your studies and we will promote opportunities for you to get involved in extra-curricular activities with the Student Unions at both universities. You will have Wednesday afternoons free to enable you to get involved in other university activities.
Occupational Health Services
Occupational Health Services are delivered by a body external to KMMS. The service will offer initial screening/clearance of applicants and follow-up appointments with students and will be a necessary check to ensure your fitness to practice.
The University Medical Centre (UMC) is an NHS General Practice based on the University of Kent’s campus. All students from KMMS can access the UMC which offers a variety of services, including psychological therapies and sexual health services. Students must register with this, or another GP practice in Canterbury, so they can access facilities as and when needed.
You will have access to professional counselling services, which are regulated by the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), offering short-term solutions-focused counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Counsellors and Wellbeing/Mental Health Advisers will work closely with the University Medical Centre and external services, including Community Mental Health Teams, the Early Intervention in Psychosis Team, the local Crisis Team and substance misuse services. Some of these services provide drop-in sessions on both campuses. The teams also maintain close links with voluntary sector organisations such as the Samaritans.
Online counselling is also currently offered to students who are not able to physically attend counselling sessions on the Canterbury.
The Student Life and Wellbeing team offer drop-ins to all students during office hours. Outside of office hours, there are numerous organisations that are able to provide support.
Kent Union and Christ Church Students’ Union, with the support of the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University, run ‘Nightline’, an out of hours student-led listening and support service.
A 24/7 nursing service is also available to all students at the University of Kent campus during term time. Both universities have a 24/7 campus security presence, with staff trained in Mental Health First Aid who, on request, will conduct regular welfare checks for on-campus students that give cause for concern. The two universities together are in the process of further strengthening out of hours mental health support.
KMMS students also have access to Spectrum Life through the University of Kent. Spectrum Life provide support to students during a crisis, and the Kent Student Support and Wellbeing team will contact you on the next working day.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
We aim to attract students and staff from all over the world and from all kinds of backgrounds. We value diversity and strive to deliver equal opportunities to all students on their road to success. At KMMS, equity, diversity and inclusion are central to our ethos and underpin everything that we do. We are committed to ensuring that our students are fully supported with respect to protected characteristics, including race, gender identity, sexuality, and disability. We ensure that any issues are treated promptly and appropriately, and we take pride in creating a culture where people feel able to speak up and are confident they will be listened to.
For students with disabilities, specific learning difficulties and long-term medical and mental health conditions, specialist services are available to provide support and oversee the implementation of reasonable adjustments in teaching and assessment.
The Kent and Medway Medical School is proud to offer an inclusive academic experience. Our aim is to offer all our students a fair and enjoyable learning experience, regardless of disability or difference.
We are disclosure-positive and encourage you to disclose a disability or mental health issue as early as possible so we can support and advise you if you are facing (or potentially facing) barriers whilst you are studying at university or out on placement. There are three key points in your registration process when you can disclose a disability or mental health issue to us:
- UCAS form – UCAS is the Universities and Colleges Admission Service and you will complete a UCAS application form as part of your university application process
- Occupational health questionnaire – you will complete this questionnaire as part of your occupational health clearance process
- Kent Student Support and Wellbeing registration form – you will complete this registration form when you are registering with the Student Support team at the University of Kent
If you disclose a disability, SpLD or mental health issue on your UCAS application, you will receive contact from us, with further instructions on how to access the relevant services. At that stage, you will be invited to register for student support and to send in any evidence regarding your diagnosis and/or the support you may require.
Both universities’ chaplaincies offer support and friendship, which aim to help students of any faith or no religious faith. They organise group activities and worship, as well as being available for confidential advice or consultation.
The University of Kent offers childcare provision in its Oaks Day Nursery, and this can be used by students from KMMS. However, places cannot be guaranteed, and applications should be made at an early stage. More information about Oaks Nursery.
Support for international students
International students have the same access to disability-related adjustments and mental health support as home students. In addition, advice and support is available in relation to English language, immigration, finance and other matters related to your student experience. You can find out more about support available for international students here.
Disclaimer. This information is for indicative guidance only. KMMS is a new medical school and the BM BS programme is subject to successful progress through the General Medical Council’s quality assurance programme.