Research Strategy

Since its inception the UCAT Consortium has aspired to use data collected from candidates to enhance the test and improve admissions to medicine and dentistry in the UK. 

UCAT is funded from applicant fees and we consider it our responsibility to utilise the data we hold to inform selection policy and process development as best we can, subject to our data protection requirements. Our policy is to make data available free or at cost to researchers where project proposals are deemed to fall within this remit.

The UCAT Research Panel guides the research strategy and handles external requests for access to data. At the same time the panel considers issues raised in published research conducted within the UCAT Consortium and beyond.

A summary of relevant published work to date can be found here.

UCAT collects a significant amount of data regarding its candidates including demographic data, actual test data and progression data during their time at medical and dental school. UCAT has procured the services of the University of Dundee Health Informatics Centre to store and process its data. Data is stored securely and UCAT commits through its Data Privacy Policy to only undertake studies on fully anonymised data.

The UCAT regularly commissions and funds relevant research, usually through invitations to tender to undertake specific research projects.  Such opportunities are advertised through the UCAT Consortium and wider networks in medical and dental education.

UCAT recognises that independent research is carried out which may use UCAT performance characteristics in analyses.  When this occurs, UCAT are prepared to consider supporting Article Processing Charges in support of Open Access if a completed project (being submitted for publication) has findings of relevance to UCAT.  To be eligible a number of checks need to be satisfied;

  • findings are relevant to the aims and objectives of UCAT (i.e. implications for validity, use of the test and selection policy in relation to scores)
  • the design, execution and reporting of the study is of sufficient quality e.g. conforms to STROBE guidelines
  • the discussions and conclusions are justified by the results
  • the target journal is deemed appropriate
  • findings are deemed worthy of note by UCAT
  • enquiries must be submitted through the following [email protected]

UCAT reserves the right not to support any submission and it should be noted that recognition of the support received will be expected in the final article and UCAT will have the right to identify such support on our website.

If you are undertaking research relating to the UCAT please feel free to email us. We can put you in touch with other academics active in the field of work.