Medical students committee overview

The MSC (medical students committee) represents medical students in the UK. Find out more about our members, meetings and priorities.

Location: UK
Audience: Medical students
Updated: Thursday 25 April 2024
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​The MSC (medical students committee) represents medical students in the UK. We consider and address issues of importance to medical students and make sure your views are represented in wider BMA policy.


Updates from the MSC

Foundation school allocation placeholders

Foundation school placeholder posts created by the four national Statutory Education Bodies (SEBs) are understandably causing students a lot of concern. These programme posts exist because the foundation schools do not know how many posts they will ultimately need, with late withdrawals, oversubscription, and late medical school finals all complicating the process of creating additional posts.

Prior to the last two years, the creation of additional posts was managed by operating a national-level “reserve list”, which would be populated with the students with the lowest scoring EPM-SJT scores. For the past two years, all applicants have found out their foundation school allocation at the same time, but under the previous system, those on the reserve list would not be placed immediately, leaving them with no idea which foundation school they would be placed at until posts were created (as part of a published timeline).

Furthermore, those on the reserve list were not guaranteed a place on the foundation programme, and while we never reached a position where graduates were being turned away, the uncertainty for applicants on the reserve list was considerable.

Due to the strength of student concern, the BMA lobbied strongly over many years for an end to the reserve list and for all graduates to be guaranteed a place on the foundation programme. We have been partially successful as students have, for the past two years, been guaranteed a position on the foundation programme. There is no longer a national reserve list creating student uncertainty about the foundation school in which they will be placed, but placeholder posts have been introduced by the SEBs to manage the post-creation process. While everyone who is allocated to a placeholder will be placed at their allocated foundation school, there is still considerable uncertainty and stress for applicants awaiting confirmation of their precise destination, making it difficult to plan for living in a potentially unfamiliar part of the world.

One of the major concerns is uncertainty about when placements will be confirmed for the placeholder applicants. Each foundation school manages the local allocation on behalf of their SEB and so we have written to each of them asking them to ensure sufficient information is made available to applicants, including the latest date they will learn of their placement. We have also reminded them it is a contractual requirement for all junior doctors to be provided a template rota at least eight weeks prior to their post beginning.

We understand the very real difficulty that foundation schools have with post-creation and withdrawals, however we have received very clear and strong feedback from medical students that avoiding late allocations is a priority. The current system is a problem for foundation schools and applicants alike, and we will now be lobbying the 4 national SEBs to carry out a review into ways to improve these processes.



Changes to UKFPO Applications for Specialised Foundation Programme (SFP)

Following the review into the foundation programme allocation system that took place last year, we are extremely disappointed by UKFPO’s announcement on 14th February 2024 from the UK health bodies, that all applications for SFP are to be brought within the Preference Information Allocation (PIA) system from 2025.   

BMA MSC always aims to act in students’ best interests. We fundamentally disagree with the decision by the UK Health bodies and will fight for students by resisting this change in any way that we can going forwards. 

Read the full statement from the BMA medical students committee and the medical academic staff committee.

Reconsidering the allocation process to UK foundation training

  • BMA view on the UKFPO’s stakeholder engagement exercise on proposed changes to the UK Foundation Programme allocation process.
  • Watch the recording of our latest webinar with UKFPO and Prof. Sam that explores the pros and cons of the current allocation method and what an alternative to ranking could look like.


MSC wellbeing checklist

The medical student wellbeing work aims to contribute towards the standardisation of medical student support services throughout the region.

The MSC has created this welfare checklist on medical school welfare systems and policies to make the medical student experience a better one.

To be part of these improvements we would like to scope your opinion and feedback from your medical school experience. Please complete the survey form below.

BMA Welfare checklist survey

Our priorities

MSC policy is set by the annual medical students conference and the BMA's ARM (annual representative meeting). As future doctors, we want to safeguard our NHS. As such, our four main priorities are:


  • Lobby for the protection of the NHS bursary for AHP and medical students.
  • Lobby for sufficient and equitable travel expenses for medical students on placement.
  • Lobby against increase of fees for international medical students.


  • Addressing racial harassment and other harmful behaviours at medical schools

  • Improve awareness of student mental health issues.
  • Lobby for improvements to support systems.


  • Contribute to the development of the UKMLA (UK medical licensing assessment).
  • Increase medical student places.

Widening participation

  • Support students from a widening participation background, including mature students.
  • Engage the wider BMA and relevant stakeholders in widening participation, making recommendations and/or developing resources.


Our people

Each UK medical school elects a representative to the MSC for one year. To find out who the MSC representative for your medical school is, please contact the MSC secretariat at [email protected] or download the full list below.

The MSC also has an executive subcommittee, which is entitled to take decisions in between meetings of the MSC.

Co-chairs: Chinelo Nnadi and Shivani Ganesh

Members of the executive
Deputy chair of MSC (education) Robert Tucker - Luke Stephenson-Heskey (Co-Chair)
Deputy chair of MSC (welfare)  - Ria Bansal 
Deputy chair of MSC (finance) MSC deputy (finance) chair - James Brawn - Christian Oldfield (Co-Chair)
Deputy chair of MSC (widening participation) - Imogen Shaw
Chair of medical students conference 2024
Marguerite O'Riordan
Member of MSC executive committee (international affairs) - Eli Sassoon
Member of MSC executive committee (international medical students) - Eduardo Muscogliati
Student members elected to BMA council (non-voting)
Rebecca Susan Bates
Corey Briffa
Louis Dowland
Zain Khan
Kayode Oki
Previous co-chair of MSC (non-voting)
Omolara Akinnawonu and Raymond Effah 
Member appointed by the JDC (non-voting)
Devolved nation chairs:
Chair of Northern Ireland MSC (non-voting)
Chair of Scotland MSC (non-voting)
Chair of Wales MSC (non-voting)
Serge John
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Develop your skills as a committee member

Take part in one of our free courses designed to give you the right skills to:

  • break down equality and inclusion bias (CPD-accredited)
  • value difference and inclusivity
  • live our BMA behaviour principles.
Find out more

Associated committees

Our meetings

The committee meets four times a year to discuss the latest issues affecting medical students. Our meetings are open to all elected medical student representatives for each medical school across the UK, but non-members can apply to attend via the committee visitors scheme.

Committee meetings:

  • Saturday 18 November 2023 (Microsoft Teams)
  • Friday 23 February 2024 (Hybrid meeting at BMA House)
  • Friday 14 June 2024 (Microsoft Teams)

For more information, please email [email protected].



The MSC annual conference is an opportunity to discuss the current issues affecting medical students and to pass motions based on these debates.

BMA members from all medical schools across the UK are invited to attend, with each medical school allocated a certain number of conference places.

Any policy passed at the conference directs the MSC’s work for the coming year.



The 2025 conference will take place on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 April 2025.



Watch the MSC 2024 conference:

Day 1
Day 2



Watch the MSC 2023 conference:

Day 1
Day 2 - AM
Day 2 - PM


How to join

There are many advantages to becoming involved in our committees. You can actively influence BMA policy-making and negotiations, represent your colleagues' voices and develop your leadership skills. 

Each committee has a few routes to becoming an elected member. In the case of the Medical students committee, this is: 

Medical school elections
  • Seats/term - every year, all medical schools elect a representative and a deputy representative for a one-session term. For split campuses (Nottingham/Derby and York/Hull), an additional deputy representative is elected. An extra deputy representative is elected from Manchester, Keele, Exeter and Cardiff medical schools.
  • Timeline - elections usually take place in March or April.
  • Eligibility - all student BMA members are eligible to stand and vote in this election.

The election section below is kept up to date with details about any running elections, so make sure you keep checking it throughout the year.  



Elections for representatives to Medical Student Committee – 2024/25

Please note that elections for the above positions in your medical school for the 2024-25 academic year are now open.  

Only BMA student members may vote in MSC elections. In order to receive ballot notifications by email, you must ensure your contact information is correct on My BMA

Election schedule

Nominations open – 12pm Tuesday 2 April 2024

Nominations close – 12pm Tuesday 30 April 2024

Voting open – 12pm Wednesday 1 May 2024

Voting close – 12pm Wednesday 29 May 2024

Results will be published – shortly after voting closes. Please refer to the election guide for more details.


Get in touch

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about the work of the MSC, please email [email protected].

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