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Medical student faces £90,000 bill after failing degree

A Newcastle University medical student is facing a possible bill for £90,000 after failing in his challenge to the University's decision to fail him at the end of his six-year course, reports the Daily Mail.

Medical student Paul Crawford, who is 32, failed his medical degree by just one mark after studying for six years to become a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

He decided to challenge the decision to fail him and appointed a team of lawyers to take Newcastle University to court. Mr Crawford believed the university had failed to average out his marks over the course of his degree, and that had they done so he would have passed the course.

Mr Crawford had passed the first four years of his degree without any problem; however, in the summer of 2010 he failed his final year exams and was forced to resit.

In 2011 he again failed the final year exams and was awarded a borderline fail in the 'Clinical Communication Skills' domain in the October resit, resulting in him failing for a second time and putting an end to his medical career.

Mr Crawford's lawyer is Antony Speaight QC. Mr Speaight said that Mr Crawford was originally granted a judicial review of his case, after judges felt the university may have failed to mark his work properly.

However, after hearing Mr Crawford's arguments, Deputy High Court judge Andrew Grubb ruled that Newcastle University had not deviated from the marking criteria outlined in its student handbook, and that his mark should stand.

"It is an unfortunate outcome for a young man who had spent six years training to be a doctor and at one time or another passed every element in the medical examinations," said Mr Speaight.

The university has declined to comment until the outcome of a fee hearing later in February, which could see Mr Crawford ordered to pay the full cost of the case, estimated at £90,000.