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Institute of Health Sciences Education - Barts and The London

Professor Sandra Nicholson


Centre Lead, Centre for Medical Education

Telephone: +44 207 882 2508
Room Number: 2.43b Garrod Building, Turner Street, Whitechapel, London E1 2AD


Sandra is Head of the Centre for Medical Education and leads the team of academics responsible for the programmes managed and delivered from the Institute of Health Sciences. She received her primary medical qualification from Leicester University in 1988, gained a masters in medical education in 2001 and a research PhD in 2013 that explored the models of learning and professionalization of students from non-traditional backgrounds. As a medical educationalist, researcher and practising clinician her roles at QMUL and externally have ensured that she has extensive experience of working at medical postgraduate and undergraduate levels with doctors, multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals, students and patients in primary and secondary care contexts.

Sandra has extensive experience of leading and being a co-applicant on both quantitative and qualitative research proposals with a successful track record of attracting both internal and external funding through competitive bidding. These include: projects focussed on selection and widening participation; work to increase the quality and quantity of GP placements for UG students; work to promote patient-centred care in the medial curriculum and an evaluation of arts based learning in medical education. 



Dowell, J., Cleland, J., Fitzpatrick, S., McManus, C., Nicholson, S., Oppé, T., . . . White, K. (2018). The UK medical education database (UKMED) what is it? Why and how might you use it?. BMC Med Educ, 18(1), 6. doi:10.1186/s12909-017-1115-9

Patterson, F., Cousans, F., Edwards, H., Rosselli, A., Nicholson, S., & Wright, B. (2017). The Predictive Validity of a Text-Based Situational Judgment Test in Undergraduate Medical and Dental School Admissions.. Acad Med, 92(9), 1250-1253. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000001630

Alexander, K., Cleland, J., & Nicholson, S. (2017). Let us not neglect the impact of organizational culture on increasing diversity within medical schools.. Perspect Med Educ, 6(2), 65-67. doi:10.1007/s40037-017-0342-4

Patterson, F., Knight, A., Dowell, J., Nicholson, S., Cousans, F., & Cleland, J. (n.d.). Response to Adam et al. regarding selection methods.. Med Educ, 51(6), 670. doi:10.1111/medu.13251

Alexander, K., Fahey Palma, T., Nicholson, S., & Cleland, J. (2017). 'Why not you?' Discourses of widening access on UK medical school websites.. Med Educ, 51(6), 598-611. doi:10.1111/medu.13264

Nicholson, S., & Cleland, J. A. (2016). "It's making contacts": notions of social capital and implications for widening access to medical education.. Advances in Health Sciences Education. doi:10.1007/s10459-016-9735-0

MacKenzie, R. K., Cleland, J. A., Ayansina, D., & Nicholson, S. (2016). Does the UKCAT predict performance on exit from medical school? A national cohort study.. BMJ Open, 6(10), e011313. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011313

Nicholson, S., Hastings, A. M., & McKinley, R. K. (2016). Influences on students' career decisions concerning general practice: a focus group study.. British Journal of General Practice, 66(651), e768-e775. doi:10.3399/bjgp16X687049

Lievens, F., Patterson, F., Corstjens, J., Martin, S., & Nicholson, S. (2016). Widening access in selection using situational judgement tests: evidence from the UKCAT.. Medical Education, 50(6), 624-636. doi:10.1111/medu.13060

Patterson, F., Knight, A., Dowell, J., Nicholson, S., Cousans, F., & Cleland, J. (2016). How effective are selection methods in medical education? A systematic review.. Med Educ, 50(1), 36-60. doi:10.1111/medu.12817

Nicholson, S., & Kelly, M. (2015). Commentary.. Educ Prim Care, 26(3), 146-147. Retrieved from

Cleland, J. A., Nicholson, S., Kelly, N., & Moffat, M. (2015). Taking context seriously: explaining widening access policy enactments in UK medical schools.. Med Educ, 49(1), 25-35. doi:10.1111/medu.12502

Tiffin, P. A., McLachlan, J. C., Webster, L., & Nicholson, S. (2014). Comparison of the sensitivity of the UKCAT and A Levels to sociodemographic characteristics: a national study.. BMC Med Educ, 14, 7. doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-7

McManus, I. C., Dewberry, C., Nicholson, S., & Dowell, J. S. (2013). The UKCAT-12 study: educational attainment, aptitude test performance, demographic and socio-economic contextual factors as predictors of first year outcome in a cross-sectional collaborative study of 12 UK medical schools.. BMC Med, 11, 244. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-244

McManus, I. C., Dewberry, C., Nicholson, S., Dowell, J. S., Woolf, K., & Potts, H. W. W. (2013). Construct-level predictive validity of educational attainment and intellectual aptitude tests in medical student selection: meta-regression of six UK longitudinal studies.. BMC Med, 11, 243. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-243

Nicholson, S., & Cushing, A. (2013). The importance of non-verbal behaviour: issues for selection, training and assessment.. Med Educ, 47(9), 858-860. doi:10.1111/medu.12268

Turner, R., & Nicholson, S. (2011). Can the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) select suitable candidates for interview?. Med Educ, 45(10), 1041-1047. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.03993.x

Turner, R., & Nicholson, S. (2011). Reasons selectors give for accepting and rejecting medical applicants before interview.. Med Educ, 45(3), 298-307. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2010.03874.x

James, D., Yates, J., & Nicholson, S. (2010). Comparison of A level and UKCAT performance in students applying to UK medical and dental schools in 2006: cohort study.. BMJ, 340, c478. Retrieved from

Nicholson, S., & Raval, D. (2009). Professionalism: what it means to doctors today.. Br J Hosp Med (Lond), 70(8), 470-474. doi:10.12968/hmed.2009.70.8.43542

Grime, P., Williams, S., & Nicholson, S. (2006). Medical students' evaluation of a teaching session in occupational medicine: the value of a workplace visit.. Occup Med (Lond), 56(2), 110-114. doi:10.1093/occmed/kqj006

NICHOLSON, S. (2005). The benefits of aptitude testing for selecting medical students. BMJ, 331, 559-560.

Nicholson, S. (2005). Commentary: The benefits of aptitude testing for selecting medical students. BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL, 331(7516), 559-560. doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7516.559

Kamali, A. W., NICHOLSON, S., & Wood, D. F. (2005). A model for widening access into medicine and dentistry: the SAMDA-BL project. Medical Education, 39(9), 918-925.

Cook, V., NICHOLSON, S., Cason, F., & Carter, Y. (2005). Maintaining the quality of community-based education: an evaluation of an innovative, centralised system for giving student feedback to undergraduate general practice tutors. Education for Primary Care, 16, 184-191.

Nicholson, S. (2002). 'So you row, do you? You don't look like a rower.' An account of medical students' experience of sexism.. Med Educ, 36(11), 1057-1063. Retrieved from

Nicholson, S., Osonnaya, C., Carter, Y. H., Savage, W., HENNESSY, E. M., & Collinson, S. (2001). Designing a community-based fourth-year obstetrics and gynaecology module: an example of innovative curriculum development.. Med. Educ., 35(4), 398-403.

Campbell, J., Hobbs, F. D. R., Irish, B., Nicholson, S., Pringle, M., Reeve, J., & Rosenthal, J. (n.d.). UK academic general practice and primary care. BMJ, h4164. doi:10.1136/bmj.h4164